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Swollen parotid glands, loss of hearing, sinusitis, asthma, joint pain, muscle cramps, sleeplessness, bloating. Is it lyme infestation?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
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Dr XXXXXXX answered my previous question, but i pressed the wrong button and didnt reply . You'll understand why I get things like that wrong as you read on. I was wanting to know which area of expertise I need to correspond with. Dont know whether you are able to see my previous posting so will put it in again. For at least the past year I have a ridiculous amount of symptons which stay with me. Swollen parotid glands (checked by Maxillofacial - no tumours showing on scan, not Sjogren and do not have dry mouth etc, they believe manifestation of something going on elsewhere in my body, although didnt do biopsy). Loss of hearing with buzzing in my head (can hear myself talking and swallowing more than I can hear others). Sinusitus. Asthma and productive cough (using inhalers). Scarring at bottom of lungs (CT scan). Do not have COPD per respiritary dept at hospital. Uncontrollable weight gain (not on steroid medication other than inhalers). Muscle pain, cramps and twitching. Severe acute joint pain anywhere in my body and at any time but no swelling or discoloration. So severe that I find it difficult to walk when my leg joints are affected. Swollen abdomen and bloating, (look 6 months pregnant). Taking omeprazole for acid reflux. Sleeplessness, brain fog and short term memory problems with lack of concentration making it impossible to work, which I really want to get back to at a chartered accountancy practice. Good days and bad days. Tender spots checked for fibromyalgia by rheuomatologist, I have all but one of those. Severe acute chest pains, for which I was hospitalized overnight and checked ECG and blood tests. Heart ok and suggested it must be muscle related. Checked for sarcoidosis - negative. Had antibody checks of which the first came back weakly positive (not put on my records for some reason) and the follow up to check this came back negative. Have just been made aware of Lyme disease and wondered if this could be the cause of all these symptons. Visited Canada a few years ago and went to areas which are prevalent with Lyme infestation. Certainly had moments when we could barely breathe for the swarms of mosquitos. We also stayed in national parks and were even confronted with deer roaming free by our hotel door. Lovely holiday though !! I do not believe that fibro is causing all of these symptons although I know that most of them could be associated with it. I cannot find anyone on forums or find any research to back up the swollen parotid glands association with fibro. I am sure now that some people think that what I have is now "in my head", but I know that not to be the case. I am a reasonably intelligent person and my gut feeling is either a bacteria (such as Lyme) or an autoimmune, even though I have had the negative result. I dont know where to go from here. No one seems to be listening and I really do need to step up the action now and get to the bottom of this debilitating situation. If you can offer me any advice at all I would be extremely grateful.
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 45 hours later

Thanks for the query

First of all, let’s discuss regarding the parotid swelling; in the absence of Sjogren's syndrome and negative scan, the cause of recurrent parotid swelling could be due to intermittent block of the Stenson's duct (the patrotid duct). The intermittent block of the duct is caused by either the thickened secretions or strictures in the duct. This can be sorted out with a sialendoscopy of the duct.

Secondly, the autophony, loss of hearing, noise in the ear and the discharge from the nose are all the features of sinusitis. Autophony, hearing loss and noise in the ears are due to blockage of the Eustachian tube (the tube connecting nose and the ear). The commonest cause of blockage of the Eustachian tube is due to inflammation of the nose and the paranasal sinuses.

Thirdly, the sleeplessness, brain fog, short term memory problems, lack of concentration, weight gain, etc. are due to hypothyroidism. This can be confirmed only after doing thyroid function tests.

Finally, regarding rest of the other cardiac symptoms and asthma, I cannot comment because it does not come under my purview.

To sum it up, you need to consult a good ENT Specialist and an Endocrinologist for a detailed check up. Apart from this, you will require to use few medications such as saline nasal spray and a mucolytic (such as bromhexine or ambroxol) to reduce the consistency of the nasal and oral cavity secretions. Drink plenty of warm water and do stem inhalation, this helps in opening of the blocked Eustachian tube and the sinuses and also helps in reducing the cough.

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
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