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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Getting pulsating sensation all over body, headache and mild fever. Parasite infection?

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Dr. Ganesh Sanap

Radiologist

Practicing since :2007

Answered : 561 Questions

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Posted on Sat, 5 Jan 2013 in Infections
Question: Hi Dr. Mintz. I am a 32 yr old female suffering from what I think is some kind of myiasis or parasite infection. Spent a lot of time in SE Asia - Thailand, Cambodia and India and have had recurrent/ongoing health problems since returning three years ago. In the last year I have been having odd things come out of my skin, sores and pustules all over my body and scalp that never fully heal and often come back, as well as a ton of filament type threads that come out of everywhere - skin, nose, gums, ears, eyeballs. I have never had acne or skin issues before in my life. I moved from CO to FL about 5 mos. ago and ever since the problem has progressed rapidly. I have actually pulled an insect wing out of my leg and continuously am expelling larva looking things, little clumps of what looks like very fine black lint or hair (I'm blond) as well as clumps of odd colors of goo with these thread things and little black flecks that emerge from XXXXXXX in the skin. I've lost over 25 lbs in past few years without trying, been running a low grade fever for months, frequent profuse night sweats, daily headaches that often persist for weeks at a time without letting up for a moment, debilitating fatigue...blood tests revealed high liver enzymes, subsequent ultrasound showed 4 hyperechoic lesions on my liver, have MRI w/ IV contrast scheduled in a few days. Have seen several Dr.s who are obviously running these tests but they immediately dismiss my requests to test for myiasis type parasites. I know is not often seen here but in the countries I was living it is not hugely uncommon. But they won't take me seriously and assume I am just crazy, probably thinking delusional parasitosis and have refused to even perform skin scrapings or biopsies. Am beyond frustrated and not sure how to get the help I need, or find someone who will at least bother to hear me out, do a little research which would easily confirm this is a real condition or even just humor me by performing diagnostic tests to at least eliminate the possibility of what my intuition, not to mention the physical evidence is telling me. If you could offer any insight into this or what I can do I would be most grateful.
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Answered by Dr. Ganesh Sanap 3 hours later
Hi,

I can understand the difficulties you are undergoing.

I think there's some problem regarding your health. Myiasis is old complaints. It will not affect the whole body. It is difficult for any physician to diagnose on such complaints. It is very difficult to comment on your condition without examining or seeing how the lesions look. You can try showing evidence like a parasite or snap of same to your treating doctor. As you had mentioned, it is important to rule out the presence of any parasitic infection.

You could also consult a good psychiatrist for your complaints and take opinion. There's no harm in asking for help from few more doctors.

Hope I had been able to guide you in the right direction. Follow up questions are always welcome.

Regards

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Mohammed Kappan
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Follow up: Dr. Ganesh Sanap 5 hours later
Thank you Dr. I wasn't sure whether parasites that cause myiasis or filariasis could be affecting the liver though I know there are types that will cause a systemic infestation and are found in the organs as well as skin, all this info tends to come from WHO or research from other countries, US doctors don't often come across this so disregsrd it. If there is an infestation it has been slowly gestating for about 3 years and there have been rapid changes since moving from a cold dry climate to a tropical one which would seem in keeping with a tropical parasite. I do have a good psychiatrist here and have seen one for past couple of years, assumed I was just developing OCD behavior and was trying various treatments, couldn't explain skin changes - thought was maybe hormonal so went on birth control - then found what was very clearly an insect wing coming out of my leg. The lesions are similiar to subcutaneous cysts and are likewise tender and sometimes painful but they appear places acne would not - shins, scalp etc. Once they rupture, there is never blood, the scab remains for weeks and leaves a white scar rather than a darker purple one. They appear in clusters in random places and are very cyclical in nature. I did bring in samples of what I was finding to a dermatologist who said it would be sent to a lab but don't think that happened as last I checked she said it all looks like is probably skin and hair bundles, but I included an actual fly - like a small gnat that was wrapped in small black fibers - which appeared on my white washcloth while doing a vaseline and steam treatment to try and cleanse my skin. Obviously they haven't looked very closely, and I would prefer to just have samples taken as bringing things in is considered a diagnostic criteria for delusional parasitosis, the 'matchbox test'. Ridiculous and astounding. I would like to know what kind of doctor or specialist I should see for treatment, am looking for new one as I can't get an appt for over a month with infectious disease specialist I was seeing, picked up ultarasound results from the office but no one was even available to explain them to me, had to get the MRI order that the results said I needed from my psychiatrist, no one has even told me what hyperechoic lesions are. The results said may represent hemangiomas but MRI was needed to further examine, could you please tell me what this all means? And perhaps what kind of Dr I should see that will best treat this is and not treat me like I'm crazy? I just want this resolved and to feel better.


places and are very cyclical. Again, I don't know if is definitely a parasite but the debris that comes out is unlike
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Answered by Dr. Ganesh Sanap 1 hour later
Hi,

Thanks for writing back.

It is good that you are taking treatment from psychiatrist. You have to consult infectious disease specialist. Try for early appointment.

You can upload ultrasound report and any picture of skin lesion, so that we can discuss about liver and skin lesion in detail. You have a feature to upload the reports/images by yourself on the right side of this query page. Please utilize it.

Waiting for follow up.

Regards.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
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