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Have constant anxiety, mood swings, severe joint pain and circulation issues. Treated for Syphilis. Remedy?

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Infectious Diseases Specialist
Practicing since : 2000
Answered : 180 Questions
I was treated for syphilis thirty years ago. Is it possible that I have latent effects? My partner was also treated at the time. When I was pregnant, seventeen years ago, I made an extensive effort to find the medical records but could not prove that I had been treated. I remembered three shots and a follow-up. The physicians who cared for me during my pregnancies did not re-treat. Now, thirty years later, I am a fifty year old woman who has a stable life, three teenage children and wonderful marriage. My husband is a physician and of course, knows my long ago history, he is not concerned, but a little annoyed with my complaints. But I have a constant anxiety that the disease is somehow latent and destroying me. I suffer from mood swings that are new in their severity, from joint pain and some circulation symptoms. I have a constant, subtle discomfort in my chest, that worsens when I am prone, but gets slightly better if i turn to my right side. Am I a peri-menipausal women with anxiety and possible coronary artery disease? Or am I a time bomb?
Posted Fri, 12 Jul 2013 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Binod Kumar Pati 1 hour later
Can you remember, which stage of syphilis was there with you 30 years ago?
Were the 3 shots and 1 follow up shot administered during the pregnancy 17 yr back ? or was it given 30 yrs back? It is not clear.

The features are not coinciding with those of neurosyphilis.
However such features are more commonly due to perimenopausal syndrome.
Waiting for information to detail my answer.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have constant anxiety, mood swings, severe joint pain and circulation issues. Treated for Syphilis. Remedy? 6 hours later
My pregnancies were more than ten years following my infection and treatment. I was not retreated in 1996. The initial infection was in late 1985.. After ending that relationship in 1987, I had a five year period of celibacy, and was tested for HIV and other possible infections during that time. All results were negative.
Answered by Dr. Binod Kumar Pati 15 hours later
I am glad, you have returned with new information.
Latent syphilis is diagnosed by a positive serologic tests for syphilis, together with a normal CSF examination and the absence of clinical manifestations of syphilis in an untreated person.
In latent syphilis the treponemal antibody tests rarely, if ever, become negative even after treatment.
The treatment of syphilis is single dose Benzathine penicillin in primary, secondary as well as early latent syphilis. However, late latent syphilis needs 3 weekly shots of Benzathine penicillin G.
Since you are unable to recapitulate your case regarding investigations employed to diagnose, treatment offered, stage of syphilis when you got the treatment, what all were your symptoms and signs that indicated possibility of syphilis, I guess you were treated for early latent syphilis (3 shots and a follow up).
VDRL is a serological test commonly done during evaluation of a healthy pregnancy. I hope this test must be found to be nonreactive during evaluation of your pregnancy in 1996 and hence there was no need to retreat.

I will advise here to visit your endocrinologist to get evaluated for your symptoms, as I strongly feel these are all related to hormonal readjustment at this age.
Can you explain me what exactly you meant by time bomb?

Hope things are clear.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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