Why do I have pain & swelling in my joints after bug bites?

Patient

Q: I'm having pain and a feeling of swelling in all my joints. It is worse in my feet, fingers and hands, but I do feel it everywhere. It started several months ago. I had an infestation of noseeums in my apartment and they were eating me alive. I had a severe allergic reaction that happened over a weeks time. My lips swelled, my eye lids, it was hard to breathe and I started having severe pain in my hands and fingers so bad I couldn't hold a glass. This pain and swelling never went away. It has lessened some over time. It's been 4 or 5 months and I am wondering when it will go away if ever and what is wrong with me. I also have endometriosis, an auto immune disease, so I have increased risk of getting Lupus, Fibromyalgia, arthritis etc. All the women in my family have at least one, if not more, forms of arthritis... I'm currently unemployed as I'm recovering from surgery for the endo that I had in July. My state didn't expand Medicare or Medicaid, so all I get is food stamps. I've applied for disability several times but they deny me... I'm negative money. I can't afford a doctor. Please help!!!

Symptoms:  Pain and swelling in joints, fever, tiredness & fatigue
Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. We are not certain as to what insects you were bitten by, however the symptoms you are describing could be consistent with lyme disease. Lyme disease is a chronic bacterial infection caused by a bacteria transmitted by a deer tick when it bites its host and feeds on their blood. If left untreated the symptoms can worsen into severe central nervous system dysfunction which can be very difficult to treat. We strongly recommend that you return to your doctor and have an evaluation for lime disease performed. If diagnosed with lyme disease, you will be prescribed a course of antibiotics to clear this infection. It is also important that you are closely monitored by your doctor to determine if your symptoms are improving with treatment. Please seek medical attention as soon as you can.

Thank you for consulting AskTheDoctor.com

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