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Diagnosis & Testing

for Lyme Disease

Let’s get to the bottom of this!

Symptoms

With symptom diagnosis, some may be more clear in providing an answer.  That is, some people knew they were bit by a tick and developed a bulls eye rash (only about a third of people do).  Many developed flu like symptoms or neurological or arthritic symptoms but never got better, with or with out the use of antibiotics. However, symptom diagnosis is often the most challenging due to the variety of symptoms, how it progresses (slow or fast) or if it was misdiagnosed or not treated early.  Antibiotics are still the best treatment for initial infection and the sooner the treatment starts, the better the prognosis. 

The most unique symptom of Chronic Lyme is migrating symptoms; symptoms that come and go, move from place to place and can change in severity and presentation.  However, when a person with Lyme also has a Candida overgrowth or co-infections, then migrating symptoms can be less evident.

Co-Infections are other pathogens that the tick can carry and then be transmitted at the time of Lyme infection.  Some of the common vector (tick) based diseases are Bartonella (cat scratch fever), Babesia, Mycoplasma and Ehrlichiosis.  Non vector based examples of co-infection are fungal i.e. Candida and viral.

 

Horowitz Questionnaire

The Horowitz Questionnaire was developed by Richard Horowitz MD, author of “Why can’t I get better?” This can be an excellent tool as it addresses the common Lyme symptoms and quantifies them into a scale for easy interpretation by both practitioner and end user.  See below for the Questionnaire.

You may fill out the questionnaire then print it and bring it to your first appointment. This will help keep track of your symptom levels over the course of the treatment regime.

 TESTING

Igenex Labs

  • considered the leading US lab for Lyme and co-infection testing
  • There are two different types of Borreliosis (Lyme),  B. Burgdorferi group and Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever (TBRF) group. The below are the tests associated with each group from Igenex Labs.

  1.  B. Burgdorferi

ImmunoBlot  IgM test# 325 is for recent infection diagnosis.

ImmunoBlot IgG test# 335  the most common test done for chronic infection diagnosis.

Why Immonoblots instead of Western Blots test? 
Improved sensitivity than the current Western Blot because the Immonoblot is designed to include B.burgdoreri specific antigens from several species covering North America and European strains (Igenex Labs 2018)

2. Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever (TBRF)

TBRF ImmunoBlot IgM test# 345 is for recent infection diagnosis.

TBRF ImmunoBlot IgG test# 355 is for chronic infection diagnosis.

Note: individuals and health care providers can order the test directly from Igenex. The Test Kit includes all the information and packaging material for an individual or practitioner to complete and courier back to Igenex.

As this is a blood based test, a requisition is required from a health care provider to have the blood drawn for the test.  Additionally, a licenced practitioner (not necessarily MD) needs to complete the referring physician area, sign the test form and test results will be sent to that practitioner (test results are not sent to the patient).

ELISA test (Canadian)

Covered by OHIP, this test is for only a few strains of Borrellia burgdorferi and not considered as accurate as Western or Immuno Blot tests (above).

Please discuss this test with you family doctor.

For more information on Canadian Lyme Disease testing, please follow the link below.