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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » RA vs Lymes

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Author Topic: RA vs Lymes
mellowpup24
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Member # 25712

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Hi,

I am having horrible joint / muscle pain over the past 2 months (knees, ankles, feet, hands, elbows & fingers). Each day it is a different joint pain. Elisa and Western Blot tests were negative but WB test 41 band (IGG IGM) was reactive. Sed Rate and RH Factor elevated, joint inflammation patterns were diagnosed by a Rheumatologist as rheumatoid arthritis. Before I start on those awful drugs (methotrexate), I wanted to be sure I don't have something else as i have been misdiagnosed in the past.

Have prior episodes of face and arm going numb (like bells palsy) about 2 years ago which was initially diagnosed as MS because of 2 white lesions on MRI. Ultimately that diagnosis was overturned. Spent a lot of time over the last decade tracking with dogs in tick infested woods and have picked many a tick off and have one bulls eye rash like 5 + years ago.

Convinced my primary care doctor to see if this is Lymes and she prescribed Doxy 100mg 2x per day for six weeks to see what happens.

My question is ow close is RA to Lymes and are people misdiagnosed with RA when the actually have Lymes? Are their any specific joint symptoms that apply to one disease and not the other. Any information is appreciated.

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abigail
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Not all rheumies settle for methotrexate and the other immunosuppressives. A good place for info is The Road Back Foundation where by the way, mercifully, I was directed back towards getting a Lyme disease diagnosis, which I eventually did through Igenix. I worked for 2 rheumatologists. They were idiots on purpose when it came to really being doctors.

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Dying is easy. Living is harder.

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Lymetoo
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Lyme (no S) can cause RA .. and is OFTEN misdiagnosed as RA. I was once given steroid and methotrexate myself .. dr thought I had RA.

Quite a few years later, I was diagnosed with Lyme and babesia.

My "RA" symptoms disappeared.

The 200mg of doxy should be enough to tell you if it's Lyme...but not enough to cure you. You really need 400mg of doxy per day.

Warning... YOU WILL HERX if you have Lyme. That means you will feel WORSE within hours or days of your first dosage.

Lyme and Coinfections Symptom List
http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/1/81386

Yes... go to www.roadback.org for a real eye-opener.

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--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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mellowpup24
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A day after I started the doxy, the joint pain got much worse, running hot/cold, sore throat and feel exhausted (like I was hit by a 2x4). I was thinking that may be a HERX reaction?

Thank you both for your information. I appreciate it.

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Lymetoo
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Yes, sounds like a herx!! Welcome to our little club!!

read here about herxing:

www.wildcondor.com/lymelinks

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--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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WildCondor
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Thanks Lymetoo, [Smile]


Lymetoo is right that the Doxy should be 400 mg/day, not 200 mg.


RA is just a symptom of Lyme, not a disease in itself. It is a symptom. You have to find the cause. Lyme is usually the cause. MS is usually late stage Lyme disease as well.

Make sure you get the right doses and that you do not stop treatment too early. 6 weeks is nowhere near enough for someone who has been sick as long as you have.

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Amanda
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I was diagnosed with RA at one point (among a hundred other things)

You may have a "co-infection". Ticks carry a lot more than just lyme disease, and it could be you also have one of these other infections.

But migrating joint pains, the MS like symptoms, and the fact that you felt worse after abx are all classic signs you have lyme.

You need to see a LLMD (Lyme literate doctor). Its very complicated and 99% of most doctors will not be able (or willing) to treat you long enough.

Also, FYI, the worse thing you can do if you have lyme is do any kind of steriod medicine. Its really hard, because your joints are inflammed and hurt like crazy, but any kind of steriods (pills or shot) will cause the lyme to get much worse.

Go to "seeking doctor" thread at teh opening page of this site, and ask for closest LLMD. Be prepared, you might have to travel several hours to closest LLMD taking pateints.

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