Archive for the ‘Testing’ Category
Testing for Lyme Disease is currently quite controversial as the conventional medical community will state that the standard ELISA blood test done through our provincial labs is most accurate to diagnose Lyme. Some lucky people will actually receive a positive result but this occurance is very RARE. The Western Blot is the more precise blood test but provincial labs refuse to perform this test unless the first test – the ELISA comes back positive. So, in turn our labs are missing a significant amount of positive Lyme diagnoses because of their reliance on a faulty test.
All Lyme doctors will tell you that the ELISA is garbage and a waste of time. It doesn’t hurt to get your family doctor to run this test for you but I don’t want to see you get your hopes up because the majority of the results are negative. The scary fact is that just because your ELISA test comes back negative…… this does not mean that you don’t have Lyme! It still can’t be ruled out as a diagnosis until further testing is performed. I can’t even remember the numerous occasions where I have heard some poor person say “Well, my ELISA came back negative so it can’t be Lyme!”
We are taught to rely on blood tests to give us the truth but sadly this is an illness that can evade blood detection and sometimes a sick person doesn’t produce enough antibodies for the ELISA to pick up. It is stated by the Health Agency of Canada that Lyme is a clinical diagnosis based on exposure and symptoms. Blood tests can be used to support and confirm a Lyme diagnosis but should not be relied upon. The EM or bulls-eye rash is absolutely the first physical indication of Lyme exposure and the patient needs to be treated with Doxycycline immediately. Early treatment is critically important to preventing further dissemination of the bacteria in the body. I really do believe a 2 week course (sometimes longer) of Doxycycline can never hurt when Lyme is suspected in the early stages. Better to be safe than sorry!
Another devastating truth is that many non-Lyme doctors and specialists have been taught that once Lyme has reached the chronic stages (months to years) that there is nothing that can be done and the patient is left to suffer. Or, the doctor may decide to prescribe you 2 weeks of antibiotics. This is not nearly enough treatment after being infected for months to years with this bacteria. This is absolutely false and I need to go to my “happy place” anytime I hear this statement as it breaks my heart. This is the farthest thing from the truth and with all the false information out there on Lyme people are becoming terrified of this illness and there is no need for that. Of course, prevention is the best method as you don’t want to contract the bacteria in the first place. But if you happen to be infected and maybe don’t find out until months or years later ~ there is hope!
There are many kindhearted and compassionate LLMD’s or LLND’s out there who desperately want to help you. The good news is British Columbia now has a handful of Naturopathic doctors who are taking on Lyme patients and have been trained by one of the best B.C. Lyme Specialists – Dr. Murakami. The U.S. is home to Lyme specialists in nearly every state that offer the newest cutting edge therapies. I certainly sympathize with how scared and lost you can feel with this disease but things are changing and Lyme patients are now given more encouragement and support than ever before. These are the reasons why I felt such an urge in my heart to share Prairie Lymelight with all of you so we can connect and give each other support, hope and encouragement on our journeys together.
Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire. ~Arnold H. Glasow
Ok, so to the Lyme testing! I would recommend the first thing to do if you suspect you or a loved one has been infected with Lyme is get to your family doctor right away. Infectious Disease Specialists are not always on board with treating Lyme unless you have a positive test so I can’t say for sure if they will be of help to you or not. It is certainly worth a try and you may want to discuss this with your family doc.
Requesting the ELISA test from your doctor is never a bad thing as the fee will be covered under your provincial health plan. You may just be one of the lucky ones who receives a positive result so you never want to throw this option out the window. However, if you get the ELISA test done, receive a negative result and continue to suspect you are infected with Borrelia I highly recommend you get tested through IGeneX. This is a lab in California that specializes strictly in Lyme and co-infection testing and is one of the best in the world for detecting these illnesses. Many if not all LLMD’s and LLND’s rely on IGeneX when testing their patients who already have a clinical diagnosis or who are suspected to have Lyme. As I mentioned before, not everyone infected with Lyme produces antibodies so IGeneX can’t guarantee every test will come back positive. In this case, further evaluation needs to be done.
You will need the requisition form signed by a doctor. If you have a caring, willing family doctor to sign for the test that would be fantastic. Or, maybe you see a specialist that would sign for you. If these aren’t options, then most likely you will need a LLMD or LLND to sign for you.
You can contact IGeneX and they will send you the test kit free of charge. Once you have a doctor’s signature you can take the test kit to your local lab and they will draw blood for the test. I believe most labs have experience in dealing with various test kits from the U.S. if not, a good lab will find out the necessary information so they can help you with your test kit. It is then up to you to ship the test kit to the address enclosed in your kit. Payment is also up to you and the price varies depending on which tests you have done. The most common and effective test to begin with is IGeneX’s Lyme Western Blot. Although IGeneX offers various effective tests for detecting the bacteria. Testing for co-infections may be a possibility as well as the majority of those infected with Lyme are also harboring one or more co-infections.
You may already be working with a Lyme specialist so if you have been diagnosed clinically with Lyme or it is suspected most likely your doc will order the required tests for you. Some doctors keep the IGeneX test kits on hand at their office so they may just sign off and get the ball rolling for you. Either way, the instructions are quite simple and you can be reassured you are getting one of the best tests done for your health.
For more information regarding IGeneX and their testing please visit their website at:
The CD57 blood test is advancing into the Lymelight and is being considered a “magic tool” when standard testing and even IGeneX aren’t giving the desired results. More and more LLMD’s and LLND’s are using this brilliant blood test as a diagnostic tool to help diagnose Lyme, monitor treatment progress and to help aid in the correct time to stop antibiotics, including natural antibiotics. The CD57 test measures a specific type of white blood cell that functions as a “natural killer cell” or “NK” cell. NK cells are said to invade and destroy infected cells and foreign invaders. There is question whether Lyme can be adequately controlled by the body unless the NK cells are functioning properly.
Lyme specialists are starting to rely on the CD57 test as a means for diagnosing Lyme since the standard ELISA and Western Blot blood tests are not always a reliable indicator for picking up Lyme antibodies. If the CD57 is low this is a strong indicator that you are infected with the bacteria. The lower your “NK” cell count is, the stronger the infection and its effects upon your immune system. Unfortunately, this test is not very reliable in Canada as is the same old story with Lyme testing so you will want to be tested through LabCorp in the U.S. for an accurate reading. As of recent, IGeneX is now offering the CD57 as well. I believe we will be hearing much more about this test in the near future. You will want to discuss this blood test with your Lyme specialist to decide if it is a good healing tool for you on your journey.
Fry Labs is another option I wanted to mention as well. This lab is located in Arizona and specializes in detecting infectious and chronic disease through microscopy for visual identification. I don’t know enough about this lab to recommend it but I do know some LLMD’s and LLND’s rely on and believe Fry offers the most advanced detection for co-infections. Significant success has been achieved through this lab’s testing methods.
One of my previous Lyme doc’s requested I get a blood smear done through Fry Labs. My test did come back positive and infection was found visibly in my blood cells. It was pretty crazy to say the least! This lab does offer promising tests in regard to chronic illness and offers a wide array of testing for co-infections such as Babesia, Bartonella, Ehrlichia, Rickettsia and such. These co-infections don’t get the attention they deserve and they are proving to be a big piece of the puzzle with Lyme. Please check out what Fry Labs has to offer at: