In March 98 I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis but looking back, I think the signs were there much before of something not quite right with the system - carpal tunnel syndrome, pain in the right shoulder which wouldn't go away, some psoriasis on the scalp, allergies, allergic asthma.
The doctors tried diuthermy treatment for the shoulder and then physiotherapy but none of it helped. By this time two of my fingers were swollen and painful and the balls of the feet were very sensitive. The doctor started me on Voltaren 50mg twice a day for pain and stiffness.
In April 98 I started acupuncture treatment but pain and swelling developed in my toes and ankle. By May 98 both the knees were very stiff also. During this time I went off food and lost weight, tired easily and couldn't remain on my feet for a longer length of time. In short, I started feeling quite ill. I started very mild exercises of the joints and walking a little.
In May 98 I suddenly had high temperature and the doctor put me on erythromycin. By the time the week's course of antibiotics had finished, I found all the pain and swelling had miraculously gone. However, three weeks later, it all came back again.
This is when I discovered rheumatic.org and read about antibiotic therapy and found wonderful help and advice from everyone, most of all from Chris and Ethel. I could relate to this treatment because I had already experienced how the antibiotic treatment had helped my joints. I gave all the copies of the antibiotic treatment to my doctor who is a medical specialist and he agreed to the antibiotic therapy for my RA.
In July 98 I started Minocin treatment with 100mg Mon Wed and Fri and Voltaren 50mg twice a day, cod liver oil capsules one a day, fresh clove of garlic with water first thing in the morning, green tea, lots, lots of water. I have also been following the recommended diet of no red meats, no sweets etc. but not very strictly. Off and on my doctor did try to give me methotrexate and sulfasalazine but each time I refused.
A month later I found there was itching in those areas where the joints had been affected and there was dry skin round the ankles. The colour of the skin has been affected and my hands are much darker, so are the ankles.
By November 98 I noticed the pain and swelling of my hands were much better, appetite was good, but joint pains were very much there. By evening I used to be hobbling around. In Februay 99 I had a very painful time with my left ankle particularly, which was swollen to almost double its size and I was dragging my foot around but this was the worst time since the diagnosis. This herxheimer reaction left my ankle a bit out of shape. The pains increased to other areas, i.e. between the shoulder blades, toes, ankles, fingers, wrists, elbows, collar bone, Both shoulders were painful and I could only lie on my back.
After this herx period, I started getting better slowly and graduallly and by April 99 I reduced the Voltaren to 25 mg. The carpal tunnel syndrome vanished by itself. By July 99 the pain and stiffness had almost gone and I reduced the Minocin to 50mg MWF which dosage I am taking at present as a maintenance dose and I have eliminated Voltaren totally. My latest lab results showed ESR 10. I feel healthy, have a lot of energy, go up and down the stairs without difficulty and can walk for half an hour, do my joint exercises for 15 mins. at a stretch. It is not a total remission as I can feel the RA is lurking there somewhere with the odd pain off and on and my left ankle does give me trouble if I have been on my feet for long but the antibiotic has been wonderful for me and to think that I discovered by chance that antibiotics do work for RA.
Towards the middle of my treatment, when my medical specialist saw the improvements I was experiencing, he recommended the treatment to another male patient who was suffering very badly with RA. This man came to see me and I gave him a copy of the antibiotic protocol which he started following. About a month back I got a call from him saying that he was so much better and thanked me for introducing him to the antibiotic approach.
I hope this will be of help.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org