Lyme diagnosis, a general sort of question??

Discussion in 'Lyme Disease Archives' started by BethM, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. BethM

    BethM New Member

    If someone has a history of tick bites and bullseye rash, but is NOT symptomatic for Lyme's, would a blood test show a positive result if they have the disease?

    Or does one need to have active symptoms for the blood test to show anything?

  2. victoria

    victoria New Member

    If it is a new infection I think it is more likely to show up in a blood test...

    but the longer one has it the less likely it is to show up in the bloodstream because it has gotten inside tissue and blood cells where it can cause symptoms. Or remain asymptomatic until later.

    To make it more confusing, it is known that some chronic Lyme pts do not show positive on blood tests until after being treated for a while...

    And anyway, no blood test is 100% reliable sadly. The Western Blot, considered the most reliable for Lyme, is about 70% accurate. That is why one should be treated overall on your 'clinical picture'.

    Even then, things can be missed. Our daughter had Rocky Mtn spotted fever, a classic case, but was almost missed; when she was admitted to the hospital ICU, her chances were only 50/50... happily she pulled thru just fine.

    On the other hand, our son has chronic Lyme but because it showed up neurologically initially and he never had a bulls-eye rash, he went -we believe -for 4 years undx'd as an adolescent.

    When he finally showed classic signs of CF/FM at 16-17 yo, I got him a Lyme test after the internist's regular workup showed nothing. It was CDC positive, 2X within 6 months. He is getting better, but it is slow going.

    Hope that helps,

  3. BethM

    BethM New Member

    Your information does help, but raises other questions, such as, does a history of tick bites and bulls-eye rash necessarily indicate infection?

    I'm asking because someone I know has this history, is not presenting any symptoms, is worried, but the lab test is expensive and she has no insurance. (really, this is not me. I've been tested and thankfully, am negative for Lyme.)

    It's a difficult illness to diagnose, and this person is asking for advice. Any thoughts?

  4. Daisys

    Daisys Member

    I've been reading up on Lyme because I'm being tested for it. Lymenet is where I've gotten a lot of information.

    From what I understand, the bull's eye rash is 100% indicative of lyme. It's the infection spreading out from the site of entry. When someone first gets the rash, they can be cured--but they won't show antibodies until later. Then, the longer a person has it, the less it shows because the immune system isn't fighting it.

    Hopefully I got this right.

    I just read the book Healing Lyme (Buhner) and learned a lot. I recommend reading it.
  5. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I don't know if you're aware of the 'Lyme wars' going on regarding the treatment of 'chronic Lyme'...? It's making it hard for those showing obvious symptoms &/or even outright positive on Western Blot for more than 28-60 days to get appropriate treatment.

    So, if your friend is not showing positive on tests and is asymptomatic, in my humble opinion I doubt any doctor will do anything as far as abx even if she has a history of the rashes.

    If she is worried, she may want to try a prevention routine via the herbal route. Prohealth just had a report on it in their newsletter this week. There is also a good book on herbal treatment for Lyme, name is escaping me... think it is Buehner (sp), try Amazon, they have it

    That, and maybe the Transfer Factor sold here that includes for Lyme... and good health habits and immune booster supplements as she can afford to keep her immune system strong.

    Hope that helps. Even tho she's asymptomatic, I'd be worried too as it can lay low for so long.

    If she ever gets a bulls-eye rash again, I hope she can at least go to her public health dept or ER or something and get some treatment... but hopefully she is taking precautions when she goes outside now to avoid getting any more tick bites.

    Hope this helps.
    All the best,

    [This Message was Edited on 04/25/2007]
  6. BethM

    BethM New Member

    Your information does help. I can recommend the website and books to the person in question, and learn more myself, also.

    Thank you!

  7. munch1958

    munch1958 Member

    Keeping looking for a doctor that you can work with! I found three doctors willing to treat me even though my Igenex test was overall negative for Borrelia Burgdorferi. The FFC doctor that ran the test would not treat me because it was not positive.

    One doctor I saw said it was some kind of infectious arthritis and prescribed Minocin per the protocol. I had some response on this ABX but only 46% of people with Lyme respond to this drug.

    The other said it was "Post Lyme Auto-immune disease" and changed my ABX to Zithromax. I think it was his way of covering himself to avoid problems with medical boards and insurance companies.

    The other said it was borreliosis and prescribed a series of 7 ABX that are known to kill Bb, Babesiosis, Ehrlichia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

    Finding a holistic doctor who is knows about Lyme takes some effort and travel depending on what state you live in. It can be done if a person is persistent enough. It's hard when you feel awful but it's the only way to get better.