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Re: depression and antibiotics

Posted by marushkah on August 3, 2002, at 12:18:26

In reply to Re: depression and antibiotics, posted by katekite on August 2, 2002, at 12:43:09

Kate: Thank you for following up. I have not noticed any intestinal symptoms that change with antibiotic use, though an increase in B-vitamin supplements a few weeks ago led to a noticeable improvement in mood and energy levels. Also, I do not have acne, per se, although I have long had terrible folliculitis on my upper arms and thighs. This improves slowly with antibiotic use, but I have never been on antibiotics long enough to clear it up completely.

I do understand why doctors are hesitant to prescribe antibiotics in large doses, and essentially I agree with that approach, both because of the increase of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and because of the effects the medication can have on the patient's own physiology. It just happens to be a frustrating road block in my case. I am also aware that antibiotics can have a stimulant effect, and that that might lead a lethargic depressive to believe the depression was alleviated. However, the improved mental clarity and overall mood shift are so marked in my case that I still suspect an underlying physical problem that responds to antibiotics. Over the past 20 years I have learned that anti-depressants don't help, but the herbal supplement SAM-e works wonders; that B-vitamins help; but that regardless of significant mood improvement, the all-pervasive fatigue and mental confusion - along with the attendant frustration and immobilization - are only alleviated by antibiotics.

Coincidentally, yesterday I mentioned all this to the doctor treating the urinary infecton (I never had one till about 10 years ago and now get them every year or so). He works at the local walk-in clinic, so he is not someone with whom I previously discussed depression. He turned out to be the FIRST doctor who heard the word "depression" and didn't immediately assume it was all in my head. He has suggested blood tests, although I have had many in the past because I have a hypothyroid condition that is monitored by my regular physician (yes, thyroid treatment was the first improvement in my crushing depression, but it did not "cure" it, just elevated me from the 12th circle of hell to the 10th. All tests of thyroid function now fall well within normal range). If the blood work shows nothing, he suggests x-rays to look for specific infection sites, such as the synuses. I do not know how revealing this would be, but it certainly sounds worth a try.

In the meantime, I am still looking for the information on strep and depression, or anything else that might imply a connection between antibiotics and improved mental function.




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