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Feeling lightheaded, sore throat, fever, weakness, joint pain and throat congestion. What's wrong?

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Allergist and Immunologist
Practicing since : 1999
Answered : 584 Questions
About a month ago, I had a sore throat, fever and chills (extremely badly), and was very weak. It passed in a couple of days, but the fatigue lingered. That improved as well, but I am now achy in my joints and have some chest and throat congestion to go with it. I am also a bit worm down as the day goes on. I am concerned about Mono or Lyme Disease which I was treated for about 12 years ago. Is it possible that it came back? It feels similar to that time. I have also experienced lightheadedness and sensitivity to light on and off during this time.
Posted Sat, 26 Jan 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Sujoy Khan 54 minutes later
Welcome to Healthcare Magic and thank you for writing to us.

The multiple symptoms of flu-like illness (sore throat, fever, chills) and then fatigue, muscle aches and joint pains sounds like a post-viral syndrome of chronic fatigue type. Lyme disease or lyme borreliosis can persist if inadequately treated at the first instance with development of chronic and severe symptoms.

Polyneuropathy (shooting pains in the legs or tingling in the hands), profound fatigue, depression, fibromyagia are features of chronic (late) disseminated infection. Three levels of testing exist depending on the type of symptoms. (1) ELISA test - as it is sensitive (but controversy exists); (2) Western blot - that detects active disease IgM ; (3) PCR that detects genetic material of the organism. Specimens required are either blood by venipuncture, or CSF from spine.
If IgG tests are negative, then the diagnosis is difficult. High titres of IgG or IgM against borrelia are more in favour of disease.

In conclusion, your symptoms could be a recurrence of Lyme disease especially if there is history of travel to endemic areas, or a post viral fatigue.
Chronic fatigue syndrome needs to be dealt by physicians experienced in CFS, but also when all tests have excluded another cause. Tests such as full blood count, liver function tests, eletrolytes, renal profile, XXXXXXX infectious disease serology, RF, IgG IgA IgM levels (immunoglobulin levels), CMV/HSV/EBV IgG are minimum tests to start excluding known causes.

I hope that helps.
Best Wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Feeling lightheaded, sore throat, fever, weakness, joint pain and throat congestion. What's wrong? 21 minutes later
I should have mentioned that I live in CT, and work outside as a soccer coach, which probably makes me more susceptible to Lyme. I was treated for about a month of antibiotics after feeling the same way I have been now. It cleared up. But I have had other instances where I felt similar and they usually pass. Wondered if it could be something like Chronic Lyme or if it hadnt been completely eradicated the first time. I am out of town now, but have an appt with my doctor when I return to CT in a couple of days. I suppose it could also be as simple as a flu or virus that hung around and I relapsed after a drastic change in temperature and not enough rest. Thank you for your response.
Answered by Dr. Sujoy Khan 6 minutes later
Yes, you are absolutely right.
The immune system takes a bit of time in generating antibodies against infectious agents which why tests differ depending of time frame, as well as the symptoms that you get from the particular agent.

CT is probably the highest on the list of susceptible areas.
See: WWW.WWWW.WW Please get the blood test, even though it was negative a few months ago, and hopefully things will turn out different and this will pass.

Best Wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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