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Old 26.04.2016, 19:45
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HELP: Antibiotics over antibiotics

Dear Fellow forum members. I seek out your advise with the following:

My wife (35) has been sick and sick in the last 3-4 month over and over, having bacterial infections again and again.

The same pattern seems to repeat each time:
  1. - she has a sore throat, headaches and extreme tiredness
  2. - the GP does some test, which state she has some bacterial infection (a few times Streptococcus, once something else)
  3. - she gets a treatment of antibiotics
  4. - she feels better for a few weeks
  5. after a few weeks it all starts again

She (both of us) are desperate to find out THE REAL CAUSE not just treat the symptoms and are looking for advise so that she can get her strength and health back.

So far we considered:
  • - what they call here a "full check-up", but that seems more of a preventive thing, whereas she already has a problem.
  • - alternative methods, such as reflexology
  • - she does now Intravenous Iron Infusion once a week for 4 weeks (recommended by her GP)

So, do you have any advise? can you recommend a good doctor / medical center / test palette, reflexologist, alternative therapist preferably in the greater Zug area.
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Old 26.04.2016, 19:48
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Re: HELP: Antibiotics over antibiotics

Ignore anything "alternative" and get your GP to refer her to a specialist.
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Old 26.04.2016, 20:50
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Re: HELP: Antibiotics over antibiotics

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Ignore anything "alternative" and get your GP to refer her to a specialist.
A specialist in what exactly?

"There are 142 conditions associated with fatigue, headache, sore throat and tires quickly."

http://symptomchecker.webmd.com/mult...%7C2%7C10%7C66

I agree a specialist is probably what's needed, but further, more thorough testing by her GP may be needed to help find out what illness may be affecting her.
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Old 26.04.2016, 21:00
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Re: HELP: Antibiotics over antibiotics

Paramed in Baar is what you are looking for. Traditional doctors that do blood tests 27 different ways to work out what and why is missing so the body can function as it is meant to. Given the amount of antibiotics she has taken you don't need to be a doctor to know her stomach bacteria is probably in bad shape and therefore not absorbing nutrients to help her regain health.
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Old 26.04.2016, 21:01
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Re: HELP: Antibiotics over antibiotics

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A specialist in what exactly?

"There are 142 conditions associated with fatigue, headache, sore throat and tires quickly."

http://symptomchecker.webmd.com/mult...%7C2%7C10%7C66

I agree a specialist is probably what's needed, but further, more thorough testing by her GP may be needed to help find out what illness may be affecting her.
The GP has had 3-4 months of "testing" and doesn't have it right yet. Time to step things up to the next level! She is compromising her immune system in a major way with these multiple treatments of antibiotics and does not seem to have a solution that is working.

I once had to go through two major treatments of antibiotics for pneumonia because the first one was not "wide enough spectrum" to kill the little buggers. It was a major hit on the system. I can imagine what she is feeling.
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Old 26.04.2016, 21:09
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Re: HELP: Antibiotics over antibiotics

So sorry to hear about your ordeal. It's a needle in the hay situation sometimes to find the right doctors who can determine the correct diagnosis.
There are some shortcomings of swiss healthcare, especially when it comes to infectiology and situations where there are comorbidities where doctors need to cooperate. To be fair certain bacterial infections are hard to detect with existing tests, not just in CH but worldwide.
I want to suggest a Swiss laboratory that looks at your blood Under the microscope to determine a bounch of bacterial infections. You may have to pay out ofyour own pocket. It is located in Chaux de Fond. (I believe it is called admed)
Don't lose faith even when specialists tell you they cant help or that all she needs is to rest. Keep persevering and if you need any personal doc recommendations shoot me a PM.
Also I would not rule out herbal anti microbials. Many people do not do well on long term antibiotics and turn to herbals, or do a combined therapy. All the best for you two
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Old 26.04.2016, 21:41
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Re: HELP: Antibiotics over antibiotics

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[*]- she does now Intravenous Iron Infusion once a week for 4 weeks (recommended by her GP)
Be careful with the iron infusion - it takes a good GP to recognise if you have Beta thalassemia minor - a blood disease more or less harmless to a certain extent (you can get lots of info. on the internet), but iron supplements can make you feel like hell if you have this. (Talking from experience over many years).

Might be something to get your GP to double check.
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Old 27.04.2016, 09:00
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Re: HELP: Antibiotics over antibiotics

I would have a shot at improving lifestyle, bacterial infection is really dependent on Immune System which I think is mainly a genetic thing. Antibiotics will only be a temporary cure and might have long term consequence.

I would try changing lifestyle.
- Decrease stress factors
- Do more sports running/ Swimming
- Change Nutrition

The immune system is a complex mechanism and I think there is no simple way to boost it, and to achieve those things above it may take extreme steps, like moving to a new place, changing jobs or even changing friends with bad habits.
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Old 27.04.2016, 09:32
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Re: HELP: Antibiotics over antibiotics

My experience of GPs in CH is pretty shit.

If after a couple of attempts to fix problems don't work the you need to move up the chain.

Specialists as Paddy says.

However which?

Has your wife been cataloguing her health - i.e. every little symptom no matter how bizarre or seemingly unrelated? If not, then start.

With no obvious route, Google is your friend. Start typing in the range of symptoms systematically adding and removing symptoms to give a possible list of conditions. Cross match symptoms that come up with specific conditions with your list.

Try to find a pattern. Then select a specialist based on this.

With fatigue, iron (too much or too little) is an obvious choice. But there are no iron specialists (or few) - look in liver, haematology or pain centres. Most people look at too little iron, but seriously consider too much.

With the infection consider an immunologist to try and find the underlying cause. It sounds like an underlying issue - which you have clearly worked out for yourselves.

Re alternative, I'm not quite as sceptical as Paddy (although I draw the line at homeopathy!) and would consider this in parallel. They tend to be good at looking at the whole body and not just the symptom. Don't have any recommendations for your area.

Good luck.
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Old 27.04.2016, 09:40
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Re: HELP: Antibiotics over antibiotics

Just my personal view: too many times antibiotics isn´t good for your immune system in the end. Try and find another doctor who wants to find the source of this? In the mean time you could take high dosed vitamins to help her immune System (I use Orthomol)
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Old 27.04.2016, 09:50
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Re: HELP: Antibiotics over antibiotics

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Just my personal view: too many times antibiotics isn´t good for your immune system in the end. Try and find another doctor who wants to find the source of this? In the mean time you could take high dosed vitamins to help her immune System (I use Orthomol)
There are no vitamins to improve immune system. https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4227
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Old 27.04.2016, 09:54
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Re: HELP: Antibiotics over antibiotics

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There are no vitamins to improve immune system. https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4227


Really? That is your view then. It has helped me in the past
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Old 27.04.2016, 10:17
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Re: HELP: Antibiotics over antibiotics

With persistant, recurrent throat infections with associated anaemia, I would be looking for an immunologist, ENT specialist or haematologist in the first instance.
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Old 27.04.2016, 10:25
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Re: HELP: Antibiotics over antibiotics

Thanks for all the replies which we still need to process and dig into.

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Ignore anything "alternative" and get your GP to refer her to a specialist.
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A specialist in what exactly?
That was my thought as well: which specialist?

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Be careful with the iron infusion - it takes a good GP to recognise if you have Beta thalassemia minor - a blood disease more or less harmless to a certain extent (you can get lots of info. on the internet), but iron supplements can make you feel like hell if you have this. (Talking from experience over many years).

Might be something to get your GP to double check.
I wouldn't say teh iron infusion made her feel worse, but will keep an eye on that.

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I would have a shot at improving lifestyle, bacterial infection is really dependent on Immune System which I think is mainly a genetic thing. Antibiotics will only be a temporary cure and might have long term consequence.

I would try changing lifestyle.
- Decrease stress factors
- Do more sports running/ Swimming
- Change Nutrition

The immune system is a complex mechanism and I think there is no simple way to boost it, and to achieve those things above it may take extreme steps, like moving to a new place, changing jobs or even changing friends with bad habits.
Lifestyle improvement is already on our list. She did reduce her workload already but might need more.
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Old 27.04.2016, 10:30
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Re: HELP: Antibiotics over antibiotics

Sorry to hear about the troubles of your wife. At 35 years old she should be jumping around all day.

The symptoms you describe are in line with a severe cold or flu. That is not abnormal to have had that in the last 4 months. I have seen many people that were sick more than once this winter. In this country the doctors do take to medication faster than they would for example in Netherlands. So all is still normal.

On a general level reviewing or improving lifestyle would include all the things you already know as cutting down the alcohol, smoking, review eating habits, sleep, use of caffeine, stress and a 30 minute walk every day. You do not need a doctor to tell you that.

I would monitor it for a while before doing more and more tests. It sounds like more of an inconvenience than a probable hidden disease as her blood tests came out without alarm bells ringing.
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Old 27.04.2016, 10:34
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Re: HELP: Antibiotics over antibiotics

Just a thought (and based on personal experience) - has she been tested for Glandula Fever (Mononucleosis)?
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Old 27.04.2016, 10:36
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Re: HELP: Antibiotics over antibiotics

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.... I would try changing lifestyle.
- Do more sports running/ Swimming
....
This not while she is still suffering. Her body is already under stress and you should not add to that while she is still ill.

Once she is fully healthy again, then yes.
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Old 27.04.2016, 10:39
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Re: HELP: Antibiotics over antibiotics

Four iron infusions in one month sounds strange to me. My doctor gives me one every 3-4 months. And my iron level went down to 4. I definitely have a problem with retaining iron. And they are pretty expensive, so I can't see why it's worth splitting them into weekly doses, and that must take extra time at the doctors...

Has she been seeing the same doctor each time ? My doctor is known for taking the 'avoid medication' route and minimising referrals (he's a 'cheaper' one under the health system) but I like that. We don't do antibiotics unless absolutely necessary (even strep throat only occasionally needs antibiotics, not every time, although I did have it once where I definitely needed antibiotics as I could no longer swallow by the fourth day)... maybe another doctor would take another approach.

Does she work with small children ? This takes an enormous hit on the immune system. In my experience it takes around 5 years of working every day with small children before your immune system catches up and you no longer get everything that goes round

If you have small children at home (under 6 years) then they go to childcare or school, bring it all home, potentiate it (make the bugs grow) then share the illness with mum.... I never got so sick until I had a small child in the household...

That, and this winter was tough. There were at least 5 rounds of winter colds, two rounds of strep, an outbreak of chicken pox and at least one pneumonia-causing illness, and at least one influenza doing the rounds in Zurich city. In the UK they were still mentioning influenza in late march, even though usually the peak flu season is usually Christmas to Sport holidays.

The weather may have something to do with it - my hypothesis would be milder weather, more people out and about at the shopping centres, public transport, public areas, to share the germs...

There is no doubt the immune system needs rest, sunshine, good nutrition and time to catch up...

And strep is a big thing in Switzerland. I never saw so much strep throat in Australia. It must be the dryness of the air plus perhaps simply that the doctors have a way to test for it, whereas doctor's who can't do an in-house test would just say "Sore throat/tonsilitis" come back in two days if it's not better...
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Old 27.04.2016, 10:43
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Re: HELP: Antibiotics over antibiotics

its not a guessing game ...

how long will it take for someone to start talking about gluten, thyroids, sugary drinks, ...
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Old 27.04.2016, 10:47
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Re: HELP: Antibiotics over antibiotics

Or alkaline drinks? :-) (Haven´t seen that one around for some days)


OP, please do find a good doctor and hope your wife gets well soon!
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