(MAC/MAI) MYCOBACTERIUM AVIUM COMPLEX PULMONARY DISEASE/BRONCHIECTASIS

Posted by Katherine, Alumni Mentor @katemn, Nov 21, 2011

I am new to Mayo online .. I was hoping to find others with .. MYCOBACTERIUM AVIUM COMPLEX PULMONARY DISEASE (MAC/MAI) and/or BRONCHIECTASIS. I found only 1 thread on mycobacterium accidently under the catagory “Lungs”. I’m hoping by starting a subject matter directly related to MYCOBACTERIUM AVIUM COMPLEX PULMONARY DISEASE (MAC/MAI) I may find others out there!

I was diagnosed by a sputum culture August 2007 (but the culture result was accidentally misfiled until 2008!) with MYCOBACTERIUM AVIUM COMPLEX PULMONARY DISEASE (MAC/MAI) and BRONCHIECTASIS. I am now on 5 antibiotics. Working with Dr. Timothy Aksamit at Rochester Mayo Clinic .. he is a saint to have put up with me this long! I was terrified of the treatment . started the first antibiotic September 3, 2011 … am now on all 5 antibiotics for 18 mos to 2 years. Am delighted at the very bearable side effects!

I wrote on the 1 thread I found: If you google NON-TUBERCULOUS MYCOBACTERIUM AVIUM COMPLEX PULMONARY DISEASE (MAC/MAI) you will learn a LOT about the disease. But PLEASE do NOT get scared about all the things you read .. that is what I did and nearly refused to do the treatment until after a 2nd Micomacterium was discovered! Educate yourself for “due diligence” .. but take it all with a grain of salt .. you are NOT necessarily going to have all the terrible side effects of the antibiotics! Good luck to you!

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January 2017 Update

One of our great Connect Members .. @Paula_MAC2007  .. had a wonderfully helpful idea that I wanted to share! Her idea .. as you read through the pages to gather information on our shared disease of MAC you can develop a personal “file cabinet” for future reference without the necessity of reading all the pages again!

If you have the “MS Word” program on your computer:

  1. Document Title Example:  Mayo Clinic Connect MAI/MAC Information
  2. Then develop different categories that make sense to you such as:  Heath Aids .. Videos .. Healthy Living .. Positive Thinking .. Baseline Testing and Regular Testing .. Antibiotics ..
    Tips for
  3. As you read the pages .. copy/paste/save things of interest into that MS Word document under your preferred categories for future reference.

Then as you want to refer back to something in the future .. YEAH!  You have now created your own personal “file cabinet” on MAC/MAI!  Go to it!

KateMN

@maggie56

So happy yet scared to have found this site and your experience & knowledge. After 5 yrs of coughing and hacking , my newest pulmonalogist has told me,just last week I have Mac Of course it scares me,,, yet I want to take on the best attitude to face it. 2 yrs ago an infectious disease Dr prescribed Cefadroxil ,,, it threw me into Sjogrene symptoms, a celiac diagnosis, weight loss. It’s been a real battle since. I dread the idea of the protocol for this Mac as its antibiotics, which I’ve had so much of already and the gut is so damaged. How does one take these and heal the gut? Anyhow, I feel blessed to have found others who understand as with most things, unless you experience it you don’t know……. Thank you, Margaret

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@maggie56 So sorry to hear that you are experiencing problems with antibiotics that you are taking. I have never been on antibiotics. So I can’t give you any valid advice or pointers. But I do hope that others on the site who have been on the drugs can provide you with helpful insights. People here have different diagnoses, different health problems and different experiences with antibiotics. But one thing we have in common is that we all have to face the disease and the fear head on and try our best to live as happy a life as we possibly can. Sharing our experiences and our feelings on this site definitely help all of us achieve that goal. Hope you’ll find the answer you are looking for.

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I am still early on in treatment. I got by for about 2.5 years after being diagnosed without antibiotics then my CT started to change. So almost at the one month point. I could not take Rifabutin and had to switch to Rifampin. I got the Probiotics one of our members recommended. She was asked to take a certain on by the National Jewish Center for MAC. Rifampin is being tolerated much better.

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@judyem

i have been on the triple ABT therapy for 14 months now for MAC/bronchiectasis. In the last a couple of months I developed a rash and the itchiness is driving me crazy. I went to 2 dermatologists, an allergist/immunologist and to my pulmonologist. I had 2 biopsies, and did a lot of blood work but they could not find a cause of the rash. I tried Anti Itch Cream, a cream with steroids in it, prednisone, etc and it still persists. The dermatologist thought it might be medication-related as did the allergist. My allergist took the lead and told me to eliminate one of the antibiotics (Rifamkin) as 66% of people have the side effect of a rash. Then if the rash does NOT go away, he will eliminate the Ethambutol to see if that is the cause. I am hesitant to do so. I had him call my pulmonologist to discuss but he is on vacation. The allergist said to me that I have been on the treatment for 14 months. Who really knows if 14 months is not as effective as 18 months. They have not done more recent research to know that. So.. I am a little conflicted. I did not take the Rifamkin last night, as I can’t continue on like this either. I live in New York and believe I have an excellent medical team on Long Island. Any suggestions?

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Thanks for answering jkiemen

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@judyem

i have been on the triple ABT therapy for 14 months now for MAC/bronchiectasis. In the last a couple of months I developed a rash and the itchiness is driving me crazy. I went to 2 dermatologists, an allergist/immunologist and to my pulmonologist. I had 2 biopsies, and did a lot of blood work but they could not find a cause of the rash. I tried Anti Itch Cream, a cream with steroids in it, prednisone, etc and it still persists. The dermatologist thought it might be medication-related as did the allergist. My allergist took the lead and told me to eliminate one of the antibiotics (Rifamkin) as 66% of people have the side effect of a rash. Then if the rash does NOT go away, he will eliminate the Ethambutol to see if that is the cause. I am hesitant to do so. I had him call my pulmonologist to discuss but he is on vacation. The allergist said to me that I have been on the treatment for 14 months. Who really knows if 14 months is not as effective as 18 months. They have not done more recent research to know that. So.. I am a little conflicted. I did not take the Rifamkin last night, as I can’t continue on like this either. I live in New York and believe I have an excellent medical team on Long Island. Any suggestions?

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Thanks for your answer Terry!

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@judyem

i have been on the triple ABT therapy for 14 months now for MAC/bronchiectasis. In the last a couple of months I developed a rash and the itchiness is driving me crazy. I went to 2 dermatologists, an allergist/immunologist and to my pulmonologist. I had 2 biopsies, and did a lot of blood work but they could not find a cause of the rash. I tried Anti Itch Cream, a cream with steroids in it, prednisone, etc and it still persists. The dermatologist thought it might be medication-related as did the allergist. My allergist took the lead and told me to eliminate one of the antibiotics (Rifamkin) as 66% of people have the side effect of a rash. Then if the rash does NOT go away, he will eliminate the Ethambutol to see if that is the cause. I am hesitant to do so. I had him call my pulmonologist to discuss but he is on vacation. The allergist said to me that I have been on the treatment for 14 months. Who really knows if 14 months is not as effective as 18 months. They have not done more recent research to know that. So.. I am a little conflicted. I did not take the Rifamkin last night, as I can’t continue on like this either. I live in New York and believe I have an excellent medical team on Long Island. Any suggestions?

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Thanks link123 for your answer!

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@windwalker

@judyem, Hello Judy. I have no answers on your rash. Hopefully it will subside soon. If it does persist, you may want to have it biopsied for MAC. In rare instances, it can spread to your skin. I don’t mean to alarm you, it most likely is not that, but you should be aware. I feel for you, there is nothing worse than persistant itching. I got terrible hives from a sulpha medication once and thought I would go insane from the constant, intense itching over every square inch of my body. You can try taking a bath with one cup vinegar and one cup Epsom salt. Soak awhile. Those two things together draw toxins out of your body and soothe the skin. I do that occasionally; it is very refreshing if nothing else. I hope that you can still manage to enjoy the holidays, BIG HUG!

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@nick52 @windwalker add me to the get together…I live in Palm Harbor!

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@judyem

i have been on the triple ABT therapy for 14 months now for MAC/bronchiectasis. In the last a couple of months I developed a rash and the itchiness is driving me crazy. I went to 2 dermatologists, an allergist/immunologist and to my pulmonologist. I had 2 biopsies, and did a lot of blood work but they could not find a cause of the rash. I tried Anti Itch Cream, a cream with steroids in it, prednisone, etc and it still persists. The dermatologist thought it might be medication-related as did the allergist. My allergist took the lead and told me to eliminate one of the antibiotics (Rifamkin) as 66% of people have the side effect of a rash. Then if the rash does NOT go away, he will eliminate the Ethambutol to see if that is the cause. I am hesitant to do so. I had him call my pulmonologist to discuss but he is on vacation. The allergist said to me that I have been on the treatment for 14 months. Who really knows if 14 months is not as effective as 18 months. They have not done more recent research to know that. So.. I am a little conflicted. I did not take the Rifamkin last night, as I can’t continue on like this either. I live in New York and believe I have an excellent medical team on Long Island. Any suggestions?

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Thanks tdrell! Same thing for me and have problem breathing if there is a smoker .  I need to wear a mask or put something on my nose. My infectiologist (do not know rhe right term in english)  said it was due to the bronchiectasis . Does any of your doctors

says the same thing.  After exposure, i will cough and i will have few small sputum the next day.  I use clear lungs and it works but I hate to have smokers around me. It make me sick! 

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@judyem

i have been on the triple ABT therapy for 14 months now for MAC/bronchiectasis. In the last a couple of months I developed a rash and the itchiness is driving me crazy. I went to 2 dermatologists, an allergist/immunologist and to my pulmonologist. I had 2 biopsies, and did a lot of blood work but they could not find a cause of the rash. I tried Anti Itch Cream, a cream with steroids in it, prednisone, etc and it still persists. The dermatologist thought it might be medication-related as did the allergist. My allergist took the lead and told me to eliminate one of the antibiotics (Rifamkin) as 66% of people have the side effect of a rash. Then if the rash does NOT go away, he will eliminate the Ethambutol to see if that is the cause. I am hesitant to do so. I had him call my pulmonologist to discuss but he is on vacation. The allergist said to me that I have been on the treatment for 14 months. Who really knows if 14 months is not as effective as 18 months. They have not done more recent research to know that. So.. I am a little conflicted. I did not take the Rifamkin last night, as I can’t continue on like this either. I live in New York and believe I have an excellent medical team on Long Island. Any suggestions?

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I am new to this discussion. I have bronchiectasis and use Advair 250/50 2 times each day as well as azithromycin Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I also use nasal spray each day and take a zyrtec. I have had several bouts of pneumonia with hospital stays. I have not heard of Clear Lungs. I am a patient at Mayo in Jacksonville, FL. My doctor has not discussed this with me.

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@maggie56

So happy yet scared to have found this site and your experience & knowledge. After 5 yrs of coughing and hacking , my newest pulmonalogist has told me,just last week I have Mac Of course it scares me,,, yet I want to take on the best attitude to face it. 2 yrs ago an infectious disease Dr prescribed Cefadroxil ,,, it threw me into Sjogrene symptoms, a celiac diagnosis, weight loss. It’s been a real battle since. I dread the idea of the protocol for this Mac as its antibiotics, which I’ve had so much of already and the gut is so damaged. How does one take these and heal the gut? Anyhow, I feel blessed to have found others who understand as with most things, unless you experience it you don’t know……. Thank you, Margaret

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Hi Margaret, 

Maybe you should try Probiotics !  This help fight the bacteria specially for the guts. There is a good one also that you can find on the Web Dr Ohhira’s probiotics. Those antibiotics isn’t proven to cure the Mac. Maybe you should read on the secondary

effect and decide if is worth taking.  I got rid of the MAC and have never taken the antibiotic but I took good expensive probiotics.  If you try to cure something and create other problems is it worth it?

With a good diet you will feel good (no sugar, no fat food, no starch…no alchool….

I sure hope you find something to help you with your gut.  I had IBS and cure it with probiotics. Nic

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@windwalker

@judyem, Hello Judy. I have no answers on your rash. Hopefully it will subside soon. If it does persist, you may want to have it biopsied for MAC. In rare instances, it can spread to your skin. I don’t mean to alarm you, it most likely is not that, but you should be aware. I feel for you, there is nothing worse than persistant itching. I got terrible hives from a sulpha medication once and thought I would go insane from the constant, intense itching over every square inch of my body. You can try taking a bath with one cup vinegar and one cup Epsom salt. Soak awhile. Those two things together draw toxins out of your body and soothe the skin. I do that occasionally; it is very refreshing if nothing else. I hope that you can still manage to enjoy the holidays, BIG HUG!

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Oh yes boomerexpert! Can you send me a privat message because I don’ know how to do that on this website ok!

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@judyem

i have been on the triple ABT therapy for 14 months now for MAC/bronchiectasis. In the last a couple of months I developed a rash and the itchiness is driving me crazy. I went to 2 dermatologists, an allergist/immunologist and to my pulmonologist. I had 2 biopsies, and did a lot of blood work but they could not find a cause of the rash. I tried Anti Itch Cream, a cream with steroids in it, prednisone, etc and it still persists. The dermatologist thought it might be medication-related as did the allergist. My allergist took the lead and told me to eliminate one of the antibiotics (Rifamkin) as 66% of people have the side effect of a rash. Then if the rash does NOT go away, he will eliminate the Ethambutol to see if that is the cause. I am hesitant to do so. I had him call my pulmonologist to discuss but he is on vacation. The allergist said to me that I have been on the treatment for 14 months. Who really knows if 14 months is not as effective as 18 months. They have not done more recent research to know that. So.. I am a little conflicted. I did not take the Rifamkin last night, as I can’t continue on like this either. I live in New York and believe I have an excellent medical team on Long Island. Any suggestions?

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This is not a doctors recommendation rconn602. Clear lungs are natural herbs and it works for me.  You can find this in Dr Balch Book Natural Healing .  This is where I found the info.  As I am not a medication believer because of the secondary effects I try

to find something Natural for all illness. The doctors help me find what is wrong and I go from there.  It works for me but it may not work for you.  I am a believer in Natural Medicine so that makes also a difference.  I have Bronchiectasis because I have

dysphagia (clear liquid only). I had a MAC until this fall now it is gone according to my bronchoscopy lab analysis. 

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@judyem

i have been on the triple ABT therapy for 14 months now for MAC/bronchiectasis. In the last a couple of months I developed a rash and the itchiness is driving me crazy. I went to 2 dermatologists, an allergist/immunologist and to my pulmonologist. I had 2 biopsies, and did a lot of blood work but they could not find a cause of the rash. I tried Anti Itch Cream, a cream with steroids in it, prednisone, etc and it still persists. The dermatologist thought it might be medication-related as did the allergist. My allergist took the lead and told me to eliminate one of the antibiotics (Rifamkin) as 66% of people have the side effect of a rash. Then if the rash does NOT go away, he will eliminate the Ethambutol to see if that is the cause. I am hesitant to do so. I had him call my pulmonologist to discuss but he is on vacation. The allergist said to me that I have been on the treatment for 14 months. Who really knows if 14 months is not as effective as 18 months. They have not done more recent research to know that. So.. I am a little conflicted. I did not take the Rifamkin last night, as I can’t continue on like this either. I live in New York and believe I have an excellent medical team on Long Island. Any suggestions?

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Thank you..I will do some research.

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@maggie56

So happy yet scared to have found this site and your experience & knowledge. After 5 yrs of coughing and hacking , my newest pulmonalogist has told me,just last week I have Mac Of course it scares me,,, yet I want to take on the best attitude to face it. 2 yrs ago an infectious disease Dr prescribed Cefadroxil ,,, it threw me into Sjogrene symptoms, a celiac diagnosis, weight loss. It’s been a real battle since. I dread the idea of the protocol for this Mac as its antibiotics, which I’ve had so much of already and the gut is so damaged. How does one take these and heal the gut? Anyhow, I feel blessed to have found others who understand as with most things, unless you experience it you don’t know……. Thank you, Margaret

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Hi, I have been dealing with Mac since June of 2016. I have taken the antibiotics, now I am also on an iv drip. I work everyday, don’t feel bad at all. This has been a long, long journey….

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I am glad you feel good. How long do you have to be on the IV drip. Did they say what strain of MAC you have?

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Yes I was told, but can’t remember the name. How are you feeling????

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