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View Diary: Dr. Internet tells me I have an autoimmune disease. I hope Dr. Real World will too. (39 comments)

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  •  Rocky Mt Spotted Fever is Rickettsia (1+ / 0-)
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    Rocky Mt. Spotted Fever is a tick-borne bacteria, Rickettsia rickettsii. They do have that in South Africa, see the blog I linked to above.

    Very often these infections (bacterial and viral) come together, as ticks are a stew-pot of infections. Lyme is Borrelia burgdorferi, one of the nastiest bacterium that exist. There are dozens of different strains of this. Another common co-infection that comes along with Lyme is babesia (a protozoa), bartonella (another type of bacteria) and various parasites from the microscopic to the type that are commonly known as 'worms.' And viruses, yeast infections, you name it. MOST of these infections are very good at evading detection.

    As far as the vitiligo, that may be caused by something else entirely (a virus??) but is taking advantage of your system already being whomped. Forget genetics! Genetics only points toward a susceptibility and doesn't help you. The two conditions, your undiagnosed illness and the vitiligo, may be linked because you are very sick. Infections of all kinds go for the sick and the weak, whether we're talking about plants or people.

    I wouldn't get too stuck on "autoimmune" as a diagnosis. That thought might hamper you in looking for causes. Many, many people with an autoimmune diagnosis eventually ended up discovering a bacterial infection. Which causes something that is identified as autoimmune, but goes away with treatment.

    I have watched two seasons of House, and do find it interesting. However, real life diseases can be a lot more complicated and harder to treat (their patients are usually cured by the end of the episode!). The one thing I did learn from House? Do NOT let them do a lumbar puncture. They are dying to do this to everybody but they never find anything that way. I'm having 'no lumbar puncture' tattooed on my back, just in case, LOL.

    Your brain problems could be a neurological/bacterial infection, like mine. Would you like to read the diary I wrote a couple years ago? This is Your Brain on Lyme...My Own Experience This got on the rec list at the time, blush.

    As for your IQ, don't worry. You are still the same person. You will find the right treatment and get better.

    •  Unfortunately (2+ / 0-)
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      sillia, Kevskos

      I'm all too familiar with lumbar punctures. Had viral meningitis about 12 years ago and the youngish ER doc wanted to get some practice in - despite the fact that I had already been sick long enough to be dead if it had been the bacterial kind. He didn't know what he was doing, dug around but couldn't get what he wanted and then did it all again. Amazing how you will let yourself be tortured after four days of a 104 degree fever and splitting migraines!

      I think I'll join you for that tattoo!

      •  Yeah, and there are risks (1+ / 0-)
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        It's actually a dangerous procedure, not only uncomfortable. Why not just give the patient some antibiotics and see if they improve??? Possibly better than accidentally killing them??

        Diagnostics for some diseases are in a much more primitive, inaccurate state than most people would assume. Even if they had found a bacteria in there they might not have been able to correctly i.d. it. Grrrrr.

        •  If you (1+ / 0-)
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          look at a biochemical testing chart for bacteria you will see all sorts of exceptions.  That is why it takes several or more tests to id a bacterium.

        •  Now that I think back (1+ / 0-)
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          that poorly done and unnecessary puncture caused more than a year of radiating lower back pain and cost me a small fortune in subsequent doctors appointments and xrays to figure out just how much he had botched the job. Obviously not comparable to cerebral herniation but rotten all the same.

          I've just read your incredibly excellent Lyme diary and you describe the functioning issues I'm dealing with so much better than I do!! It should become required reading for anyone struggling to explain how it feels to have their brain turn to mush.

          While I'm still feeling confident that my thyroid is strongly involved in what is going on, I will keep an open mind that it might not be the be all and end all magic answer I am hoping for.

          •  Yes, need an open mind (0+ / 0-)

            to navigate medical channels. Because the thyroid issues are CAUSED by something. Typically doesn't just short out on its own. Though some people have thyroid cancers (easy to treat), etc., that can be seen as cause. Or severe metals poisoning, which can be detected and treated.

            The question is, what is causing your thyroid to misbehave?

            An infection is one possibility. Lyme can attack all of your organs, pituitary, thyroid, some people get heart attacks, etc. etc. it is one mean bugger. I don't mean to sound like I'm diagnosing you, just want to make clear a possibility that may not come up at the doctor's office.

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