More evidence for antibiotics … and the mold connection

I had the privilege of meeting a wonderful infectious disease doctor here in Pittsburgh this week. She treated me as an intelligent person who deserved a say in my own care, and was willing to talk about and even consider the possible value of additional antibiotics. We ran tests to try and verify one or more of the hypotheses I’ve been talking about in my blog, and also discussed the role that my December-February 2006/2007 mold exposure may have played in my illness.

Wonder of wonders she then had the kindness to respond to some questions I sent her by email a few days later, by which time she had (1) read an article I mentioned to her as possibly suggesting the value of antibiotics and (2) had most of my test results back. She answered my questions and discussed both the article and my test results in the email and included a table with the full details. I was amazed and grateful.

Suddenly the picture seems much clearer .. and perhaps also more complex. The test results pretty conclusively say that I don’t have an auto-immune disease and that I have lyme disease. I was shocked by the latter, it is not supposed to be possible after the sort of antibiotic treatment I had, but the IgM (the test which shows current, active infection) was positive on my western blot, and in fact included markers that are highly specific to lyme. As expected, the IgG (which shows past exposure) was also positive.

I have begun researching mold in any case and have some questions about how it may have contributed or may be contributing to my situation. But the case seems very clear for a specific explanation of many if not all of my symptoms: the IgM test tells us that I still have an active infection. My gut was right.

22 thoughts on “More evidence for antibiotics … and the mold connection

  1. Would you mind sharing the doctor’s name so that others with potential Lyme disease might be able to see her? thanks!

  2. Hello, I’ve been searching for support here in Pittsburgh for months. Luckily I’ve stumbled on this. I got bit at the end of April ’08 and my WB came back positive 6/23/08. I have just finished my 3 weeks of doxy and I’m still suffering. My 8 year old son is almost done with his 3 weeks of amoxicilian and still has symptoms.
    The ID doc I’m seeing says he doesn’t think its lyme and is done prescribing My PCP says its all in my head. I believe I have coinfections.
    Well I can’t find anyone here in Pittsburgh to help. August 25th I will see a LLMD in Hermitage but I’m so sick with flu symptoms now I can’t wait. Any suggestions or help would be appreciated. Thanks.

  3. Wow, finally someone else who lives in Pittsburgh and has Lyme. I’ve been searching for other folks here too, that’s one reason I started this blog. I think it’s amazing that doctors are willing to prescribe antibiotics with great frequency for kids with ear infections and in many other circumstances, but stop doxy after only 3 weeks for lyme. The harm of a few extra weeks of doxy is nothing compared to the harm of not nicking this in the bud, and you caught it early!

  4. My girlfriend has been suffering for months with symptons that sound a lot like Lyme Disease to me, but her primary doctor did a test for Lyme over a month ago and he said that it came back negative and will not retest although we brought articles saying that Lyme was often misdiagnosed. He sent her to a neurologist, who also refused to consider Lyme because the tests had already been done. Her response was to prescribe some heavy anti-seisure medicine that have terrible life changing side effects, but still no relief from the constant pain. Last week my girlfriend had another appointment with the neurologist who sent her to the hospital for a battary of tests and today she was told that they found nothing! I have done a lot of research online and am convinced that she has Lyme and would like the name of a doctor in the Pittsburgh area that takes this seriously and knows what to do about it. HELP PLEASE!

  5. Hello all – I am also in Pittsburgh and am wondering who a good Dr would be. My son has lyme – positive western blot. He is having trouble tolerating the treatment and his Dr. is not very supportive. Was wondering if someone in Pittsburgh had the name of a more supportive physician. Thanks

  6. Hi, just as a reminder for everyone who’s interested, I haven’t been naming names on the blog. I respond to every comment that comes in, however, usually by email, so feel free to post a comment and I will respond.

  7. Hello,

    I have also been suffering form Lyme since July 08, an it is now Jan 09′. I went to many doctors all saying nothing is wrong. My symptoms started with numbness in the right side of my face which were diagnosed as migranes and I was given composine which I was allergic to. So, then I was given steriods which brought on many other symptoms. List of symptoms: what seemed like severe sinus infection, difficult breathing, facial numbness, felt like tounge was swollen but wasn’t, dizziness, weakness,severe headaches lips would go numb, trouble sleeping(used to sleep like a baby) wake up with very rapid heartbeat,severe anxiety( feel like you are losing your mind) too many symptoms to list here.I felt like I was dying but all these doctors were telling me nothing is wrong. My PCP did test me for Lyme which was negative.In October I found a LLMD in Hermatige.He did A western blot which was positive for Lyme on IGM. So, I was started on 100 MG Doxy twice a day for 3 months plus probiotics and immune pills called Bioimmune code 22. Since my NKC count was 10 which is very poor.During treatment symptoms would get worse and taper off and get worse again. I am doing I would say 90% better now. I just went back for my 3 month appointment and am now taking 200 mg doxy twice a day for 3 more months.Also still taking the immune pills and probiotics. I have also started taking garlic, vitamin C. The key to keeping Lyme at Bay is boosting your immune system. If anyone has questions they can email me anytime. It is helpful talking to someone that knows what you are going through.

  8. I would like the name of the Dr in Hermitage you visited. I have been tested for fibro, cfs, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and a whole host of other things…and I go from one Dr to another and mostly I feel like they think I am a hypochondriac or crazy…I’ve had pretty good health until last fall. I had a tick on my scalp in June – didn’t notice any ill effects that I remember until Sept…woke up with what felt like broken feet, which over a few weeks spread up through my ankles into my knees and thigh muscles. My hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders hurt at times, but mostly it’s lower extremeties. I can no longer remember names, or words at times. I definitely deal with depression and also anxiety and irritability. The fatigue can be pretty bad. All of my symptoms come and go – nothing is the same every day. Does this sound like Lyme to you that are more experienced and educated? Thanks for any help you can offer!

  9. Yes, it definitely sounds like lyme. I went through the same thing. Everyday would be a different symptom. I still deal with the anxiety and irritability. Not as severe as it was though, thank god. My email is frederickr@dlar.pitt.edu you can contact me and I can give you doctor’s names.

  10. hi,

    i’m trying to do some research on behalf of a friend of mine who has such advanced Lyme that she can’t use a computer any more. I found this site because of the mention of toxic mold: you say you’re researching what effect exposure to that might have played in your case. My friend has the same question, since she knows she had significant exposure to mold as well. have you found anything out? any information would be greatly appreciated.

  11. I recommend the book “Mold Warriors” as a laymen’s introduction to some of the effects that mold can have. In the end, my LLMD argued against treating for the mold, for various reasons. However I did do some of the genetic testing to assure myself that my body can process out the toxins once exposure stops, and as you may see in other posts, I took some steps to reduce the dampness in my basement & etc that remediation the mold problem in my home.

    I personally believe that the mold exposure affected my immune system significantly, and that in turn is one reason why the Lyme infection made me as sick as it did.

    I’d be happy to try to answer any specific questions you have, but I am no expert and at best can tell you about my own personal experiences.

  12. Would anyone be willing to privately e-mail the name of a helpful dr. that treats lyme near Pittsburgh. I see posts mentioning a dr. in Hermitage PA. Our 11 year old daughter has had every test known to man and her symptoms are classic of Lyme. We are becoming desparate for help.

  13. try warren levin in vienna, va. he specialises in this type of thing and is treating me at the moment with lots of success.

  14. I would like to contact you regarding this specialist. I grew up in the da burgh and most recently living in a horrendous MOLD infested (visible, growing over clothes in closet)/roach ‘n’ rat infested apartment in Oakland, CA…anyways suffering severe health problems too terrible for my age (also spent some a year doing forestry work in new england) anyways I have a lot of lyme symptoms and derm. issues. Cali medical care hasn’t helped, been to a lot of doctors and the only solution is steroids…i am going back to the burgh very soon and would like to meet with this doctor if at all possible. My health is diminishing (I used to be collegiate athlete)

  15. Hi! I have been sick for seven years and just found out my apartment is loaded with mold. I want to know if I am going to have long term changes. Is mold testing reliable or is there a doctor that can help me? Any recommendations? Thank you.

  16. I have noticed I tend to get sick more often when there is mold in the areas I spend long time. Is there really any connection between tonsillitis and mold?

  17. Hi there! I live near Pittsburgh and am going to see a Infectious diseases specialist soon about Toxic Mold exposure. Has anyone found a reputable doctor in the area known to cure toxic mold syndrome??

  18. This site is very helpful , even simply knowing that others suffer from the same illness . My malady is Toxic Mold Syndrome . I have been searching for a dr. in the Pittsburgh area for about 2 yrs. to no avail . The only dr. I have found who deals w this illness is Dr. Richie Shoemaker . But alas , he is in Maryland & I live in Pgh.. He charges $8.00 a minute for a consultation . What ! Isn’t he supposed to be helping people not ripping them off ! Does anyone know of a dr. that truly knows how to treat Toxic Mold Syndrome/Inflammatory Response Syndrome ? I would surely like to know before this illness kills me

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