I was diagnosed with RA in 1995, after my second son was born. I was 35, and had had aches and pains in my shoulders at least 5 years before. Since I didn’t have inflammation in my joints, I had managed the pain with painkillers. But in 1996, everything went wrong. I had two small kids and aching and swollen joints and no desire to get out of the bed. The rheumatologist put me on Plaquenil and some heavy-duty painkillers that hurt my stomach and made me feel miserable. I knew I didn’t want to take these meds for the rest of my life, so I went to the library (there was no Google yet) and started researching and reading. There were hundreds of books on the topic of RA, all of them basically the same. Except for one, written by Dr. Brown, The Road Back Foundation. Yes, this little book was different and when I read it, I felt hope.
My first rheumatologist laughed at me and blatantly refused to prescribe the antibiotic treatment, so I found a new doctor. She knew about the treatment and prescribed Minocycline. My treatment consisted of daily oral dose of minocycline (if I am not mistaken, 100 mg 2x a day) for about 6 months, when I switched to the maintenance dose of 100 mg 3x a week because I felt better, and my RA factor was low. I never received IV treatment. I had struggled with yeast almost from start, so I took probiotics, supplements, ate fermented food, yogurt and kefir. I cut out sugar and alcohol. I should mention that only one pharmacy had carried the minocycline brand that was helpful to me, and I could immediately tell the difference if I tried a different brand.
I had been on my protocol for two and a half years when I gave up antibiotics altogether because they made me prone to yeast infection. Also, my RA factor at that point was 24, and I was officially in remission. I started walking 4-5 miles a day, exercising and running. I meditated and visualized staying healthy every day.
I felt well for 2 decades until Lyme kicked me off my feet. I was terrified when all my arthritis symptoms came back with a vengeance and my knee swelled up, but I know I will recover again, because I’ve done it before and I know it’s possible. I am done with the month-long amoxicillin treatment and I am working on strengthening my immune system. This time I am paying even more attention to keeping my gut healthy, and I have not had any problems with yeast and I take supplements.
The antibiotics are working again and I am hoping to get back to normal soon. I just wanted to let you know that it has been almost 20 years since the initial antibiotic treatment and I would do it all over again.