Home Forums General Discussion "Could Infections Protect Against RA?"

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    From Medpage:

    So it is the infection or the treatment of the infection?:
    “The authors noted that the sites of infection that were associated with lower RA risk typically involve gram-negative bacteria, while the respiratory sites that did not influence risk usually involve gram-positive pathogens.
    They also pointed out that “both sulfa (sulfasalazine) and tetracycline drugs, used for gram-negative infections at these particular sites, have in double-blind randomized clinical trials published before the era of ‘biologic’ treatments in RA been shown to be effective against RA.””

    “For instance, in one double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that included 46 seropositive patients with early RA, 18 of those treated with minocycline, 100 mg twice per day, had a 50% improvement at 3 months, which was maintained for 6 months.
    And in another trial that included 60 patients with early RA, almost twice as many patients receiving minocycline had an ACR50 response at 2 years than those given hydroxychloroquine (60% versus 33%, P=0.04).”

    Mom of teen daughter with Poly JIA since age 2. Current med: azithromycin 250 mg MWF.


    Hi Suzanne,

    Thanks for posting this interesting article. So many folks here have reported they feel temporarily better when they have an episode of diarrhea from food poisoning or some other gut infection. Also, from using enemas or colonics for gut detoxification. This makes absolute sense when one considers that 70% of immune function arises in the gut and how gut dysbiosis is a prime contender for rheumatic diseases. An acute episode of diarrhea or enema/colonic will strip away overgrowths in the gut temporarily as a kind of Band-Aid fix. One of the important asides of this is that if anyone is doing enemas or colonics, the gut needs to be replenished with probiotics. Some colonic therapists actually do a probiotic flush after the colonic is performed. I don’t think it will be as simple as stripping away gut bacteria or crowding out the bad with the good, though…it will also require replacement of a healthy gut microbiome with a mix of synergistic bacteria, parasites, fungi, etc. and this might be unique to individuals depending on other factors, such as genetics. Research like this, though, is a great starting point to wake the science up! Wouldn’t it be interesting if they could manipulate diarrhea-causing pathogens so that they were less pathogenic (not causing diarrhea), but were immune-modulating without disturbing the rest of the gut microbiome? They use bacteria and their products for so many medications today. Even good old tetracyclines are produced by the Streptomyces genus of Actinobacteria (soil based organisms).

    What is so great is how attention is now focused on the gut microbiome and, whether there are answers or not yet, at least studies will ultimately help to strengthen the case for infectious causes. It may be that one day anyone with a rheumatic disease can be assessed for gut dysbiosis and be given an enteric coated pill of healthy strains of poop bacteria to re-set the immune system.

    My old Dad was a vet and it always bothered me when our dogs would eat their own poop or snack out of the cat litter box! My Dad explained that canines had an extremely sensitive sense of smell and, if they weren’t feeling up to par, were able to replenish their own gut bacteria by replacing it “exogenously,” so to speak. Dogs also lick grass and Dad told me that various forms of penicillin molds grew on grass and dogs just know that it would help their rumbling tummies. Vets have done fecal transplants for decades on cattle with various gut infections… Perhaps it is the human distaste for poop that we have ignored it for so long and the potentials of healing many diseases – autoimmunity, obesity, diabetes, etc.

    The article really got me thinking and I was rambling a bit there, but isn’t it interesting how the alternative community has been propounding this stuff for so long and it’s just now that the science is catching up? A very smart doc once told me it could take several generations before new medical finds made it to the medical textbooks and to alter a paradigm of thinking.

    Severe, swift onset RA as a result of Lyme disease
    Current Meds: Biaxin (500mg BID), Tetracycline (500mg BID), Tirosint (88mcg), Liothyronine (10 mcg), Compounded Liposomal Artemisinin, LDN (3mg), Topical Progesterone,
    Current Supps: Curcumin, Bovine Colostrum, ALA. NAC, Milk Thistle, Super Liquid Folate/B12/B-Complex, Probiotics, Vit D3
    Supportive Measures: IV Myer's Cocktails, IV Glutathione, FIR Sauna, Gluten-free diet, Gym.

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