Blood Tests and
A person suffering from Lyme
Disease most always
poison is to food, self pity is to life. (Wilson)
it is emotional, physical, mental, or spiritual exercise,
is to improve the quality of
for Lyme Disease
textbooks and the CDC (Center for Disease Control) emphasize that Lyme
disease is to be a clinical diagnosis!
are no reliable tests for Lyme disease:
diagnosis is based on the medical history, listening to all
of the patients symptoms, doing blood tests to eliminate other diseases
and doing a physical examination of the patient.)
Canada say, “The diagnosis of Lyme disease should be made after evaluation
of a patient's symptoms and the risk of exposure to infected ticks. Blood
tests may be administered in conjunction with clinical diagnosis to
demonstrate the presence of antibodies to the bacteria. It should be
stressed that the results of blood tests cannot be interpreted in the absence
of appropriate clinical information (i.e., symptoms of infection).”
According to ILADS (the International
Lyme and Associated Diseases Society), if the medical doctor suspects Lyme
disease and sees little reason to believe the patient has some other disease,
or she should begin antibiotic treatment without delay!
is to examine the patient for typical Lyme disease signs, listen to the
patient’s history and description of his or her symptoms and use this information
to make a determination. Blood tests are usually done at the same
time, but cannot be relied upon.
* As per Public Health
Notifiable Disease Management Guidelines, the two-tier confirmation of
Lyme disease for surveillance stats purposes, fails to detect
up to 90% of cases and does not distinguish between acute, chronic, or
(or Lyme titer)test:
* According to expert MD's who
have treated thousands of Lyme disease patients there are no reliable tests
for Lyme disease, at this time.
Your Medical doctor or Naturopathic
doctor must base his or her diagnosis on your symptoms, and medical history.
MD's cannot rely solely on blood tests
for Lyme disease, most especially because of the nature of the Bb spirochete
bacteria. The spirochetes do not linger in the blood stream.
At present there are a few blood tests
available, but all have problems. The blood test typically used by most
Canadian family doctors is called an ELISA.
The Elisa Test means nothing
if it is negative, and it rarely indicates infection if it is performed
too early after the tick bite.
Western blot test:
Patients in later stages of Lyme disease
seldom have a positive ELISA test,
possibly because they have ceased to produce the antibodies the test looks
Many working with Lyme patients believe
that the ELISA test is only about 30-60% accurate.
The ELISA test is not based on the specific Lyme bacteria strain that is
most useful for accurate diagnosis.
While a positive ELISA test is a reasonably
reliable indication of infection, a negative test is useless. (Positive
may indicate that the bacteria happened to be in the blood at the moment
the blood was drawn and as well tests have returned false positives.) A
screening test should have at least 95% sensitivity and the
ELISA misses 35% of culture proven Lyme disease,therefore as a first
step of the screening it has been and still is unreliable.
As of 2008, this testing protocol is
still being used by many M.D.'s as the sole diagnosis for Lyme disease.
The Western blot (may be more accurate)
but, it is rarely given unless the Elisa was returned positive. These MD's
follow guidelines that were created, long ago, before it was realized that
Lyme is a clinical diagnoses and blood tests were not reliable.
The Western blot for Lyme
disease often shows infection when an ELISA test does not.
Even if the test
results are not positive by these present standards, any
positive Lyme-specific “bands” are useful indicators of infection,but
in Canada if ELISA is negative then the Western Blot is not performed.
Unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control have set a criteria for
considering a Western blot test as positive for Lyme disease.
This criteria, which Canadian Public
Health Notifiable Disease Management uses, was established for surveillance
and statistical analysis of the spread of the disease and were not intended
to guide doctors in their diagnosis and treatment. This criteria is very
strict and misses many people in Lyme disease surveillance and thus the
provincial statistics are unbelievably low.
Canadian medical doctors who use only
the Public Health Notifiable Disease Management Guidelines for surveillance
to diagnose or decide whether or not to treat leave many, many infected
patients without a diagnosis and therefore these patients are denied of
medical treatment that would stop the progression of this disease. The
CDC justify this by saying they want to prevent people from getting antibiotic
treatment if they do not have Lyme disease.
Do your own Research Here
if the test results are not positive, any positive Lyme-specific
“bands” are useful indicators of Borrilia infection.
Are all testing labs the same?
No, they are not. Some labs
have made special efforts to focus on tick-borne disease testing and use
procedures that make their tests more reliable and sensitive to Lyme disease
and its co infections.
you are unable to get a clinical diagnosis from your family medical doctor
If you want to be tested it is important
to choose one of these Labs and make sure it is also one that returns detailed
information of the results to your doctor as opposed to the ones that return
results of only a simple “positive” or a simple “negative”.
Unfortunately as of 2009 we have no
specialized Lab in Canada.
Canadians having a gut feeling they
are lyme infected, but have had a “negative” ELISA (therefore receive
no treatment), sometime believe if they could just prove to their doctor
that they do have Lyme that their doctor will give them treatment. So,
they invest in an expensive, out of country test at a specialized lab to
have the Western blot. They believe that if their doctor could just see
the results on a paper, from a reputable lab, that this would convince
their family doctor to give them treatment... but this will not happen,
unless you a have a Lyme literate doctor.
Few Canadian medical doctors acknowledge
out of country tick borne test results and others prefer to stay clear
of treating Lyme disease completely. They will give you many lame reasons
why they cannot treat you. When I look back at my MD experiences,most insults
and denials were fear based and others, I truly believe, were completely
ignorant about diseases caused by a tick bite and as well, suffered from
And there are no Lyme literate
Naturopathic doctors in your area and you are wanting to use antibiotics
as your eradicating agent then it is better to try to get a blood test
diagnosis from a specialized lab rather than suffering and leaving the
disease progress. You must pay out of your own pocket for these blood tests
sent out of country.
a Western Blot and Co-infection Tests outside of Canada
1. Before ordering
the test kits, Canadians can contact the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation
for more information on reputable Labs, and which area labs, etc. I
got mine here.
for Lyme disease???
2. After receiving the kit
from the lab, bring the Requisition Form (from the test kit) to your MD.
He or she will sign it and put their office address on the form. (This
is where the lab will return results.)
3. Take the Requisition Form
(completed with your personal info), to your local lab along with your
4. They will draw the blood,
package it and take care of the shipping.
5. You will require a Credit
card to pay for the shipping and the local lab test.
6. The out of country lab will
charge you the fees for their services and the shipping charges.
7. Your MD will receive the
results, or you will, depending on the lab.
8. Go to your MD to get your
results, but your MD will probably not know how to interpret it, unless
your MD is Lyme Literate. The average MD will be glad to copy it and give
it to you to get it off their hands.
9. Now you need to find a Lyme
Literate doctor to interpret it. The Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation may
be able to help you find someone who can help you or here.
Western Blot Test Results
There isn't a vaccine available
for Lyme disease at this time 2009. There was one vaccine licensed by the
Health Protection Branch for use in Canada, but shortly thereafter the
manufacturer took that vaccine off the market. Evidence indicated that
people with a certain gene might develop an autoimmune arthritic disease
from the vaccine. About 30% of the population have this gene, and taking
the vaccine could result in severe arthritis. Perhaps a safe and
effective vaccine will be developed in the future, but for now, the only
way to avoid contracting Lyme disease is to avoid ticks and the other blood
sucking insects, and other.
I have had Lyme disease once, am I then immune from any more infected tick
No. You can get Lyme and other
tick borne diseases every time you get a new tick bite. Some Lyme MD's
and people with chronic Lyme have observed that each subsequent infection
makes symptoms more severe and treatment more difficult.
11. My Experience
with the IDS MD:
The Infectious Disease Specialist looked
at the results of the Elisa, that had returned negative, and said it was
impossible to get Lyme in Red Deer (2008)because there was no Lyme in Alberta.
I wanted him to listen to my symptoms, but, as I started to list a few
symptoms he cut in and said, "There is no Lyme in Alberta", I tried again
to get a clinical diagnoses by speaking up for my rights and again he repeats,"You
do not have Lyme disease. There is no Lyme in Alberta." and the third time
he repeated this he simply walked away and left me to swallow all my hope
for getting better. He did not want to even peak at my symptoms list and
history that I had written down. I left with added anger at having been
stifled once again, at having been treated as an insignificant once again,
at not having been listened to...once again, by one more MD.
Take what you want and leave the rest!~