How Do I Know Whether I Have Received A Sufficiently Long Course Of Antibiotic Therapy
Taken together, these study results suggest that repeated antibiotic therapy may be beneficial for a subgroup of patients. However all of these studies also reported troubling adverse effects associated with the IV antibiotic therapy. Given these potentially dangerous risks, it is clear that other safer and more durable treatments are needed for patients with persistent symptoms.
How Do You Know If Your Lyme Disease Is Treated And Finished
Patients ask me this question all the time. We diagnose the disease, we treat with antibiotics, or herbs, or homeopathics. We feel better. We stop the treatment. And either we continue to feel better, or we relapse and have to start all over again.
Is there no way to test whether the spirochete is gone?
The Lyme disease.org website has an excellent article ondiagnosis of Lyme disease.
The National Geographic website has a good description of the deer tick, and thehistory of Lyme disease.
Standard Lyme testing includes the following:
- ELISA or IFA test
- If that test is positive, then a Western Blot test is run
- If 5 out of the 10 possible Lyme bands are positive, you are diagnosed with Lyme disease
- If fewer than 5 of the 10 possible bands are positive, you are diagnosed as negative.
Not all the bands which appear on a Western blot are specific to Lyme disease even though one ofthose non-specific bands is required by the CDC for diagnosis.
Two of the bands which are specific to Lyme disease are not on the CDC list of bands required to be positive.
How much sense does that make?
For more detailed information about the IFA and Western blot testing, check out theIGeneX website.
There is another test that can give us an idea whether the Lyme disease is actually gone out of our systems. This is an inflammatory marker, so it tells us whether there is continued inflammation or whether that inflammation is no longer present.
Whats The Most Common Way To Get Lyme
Blacklegged deer ticks infected with Borrelia burgdorferi transmit the Lyme bacteria when they bite. The ticks, Ixodes scapularis , can also transmit other disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites. These are called coinfections.
A tick requires a blood meal at each stage of its life as larvae, nymphs, and adults. Ticks normally feed on animals, ground-feeding birds, or reptiles. Humans are a secondary blood source.
Most bites to humans are from tick nymphs, which are the size of poppy seeds. Its hard to spot them, even on open skin. The prime seasons for human tick bites are late spring and summer.
As an infected tick feeds on you, it injects spirochetes into your blood. has shown that the severity of infection varies, depending on whether the spirochetes are from the ticks salivary glands or the ticks midgut. In this animal research, infection required 14 times more midgut spirochetes than saliva spirochetes.
Depending on the ticks bacterial virulence, you could be infected with Lyme within
Lyme bacteria may be found in bodily fluids, such as:
But theres no hard evidence that Lyme spreads from person to person via contact with bodily fluids. So dont worry about kissing someone with Lyme.
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Can Autism Be Misdiagnosed As Lyme Disease What Research Is There To Prove This Can A Child With Autism Be Successfully Treated For Lyme Disease
It would be extremely unusual to misdiagnose a child with autism as having Lyme disease. Lyme disease typically gets diagnosed when a child has joint and muscle pains, along with fatigue, positive blood tests, and central or peripheral nervous system involvement. Certainly a child with autism may also get Lyme disease and thus have two disorders. In that situation, treatment of Lyme disease should result in a resolution of the Lyme disease but it would not likely result in a change in the autism symptoms. The question of interest to us is whether there are cases of “regressive autism” that occur in older pre-school age children for example that has been induced by a central nervous system infection, such as with Borrelia burgdorferi. In such a situation, treatment with antibiotics may well result in an improvement in the developmental regression. This area however has not been adequately studied.
The Controversy Of Blood Donation
Admittedly, some tick-borne diseases can transmit to new carriers through blood transfusion. Lyme is not considered a threat for blood-transferred diseases. However, researchers see another potential reason to worry: an increasing growth rate, with up to 300,000 new infections each year.
Lyme disease occurs 6x as much as HIV/AIDS, but with Lyme research receiving less than 1% of the funding given to HIV research, there is simply not enough information on whether Lyme can actually present a threat. This information becomes even more confused when considering the different stages of the disease from its onset to chronic Lyme disease, or Post Treatment Lyme disease Syndrome .
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How Did They Find The Contaminated Blood
Shortly after the 2011 CDC report, the American Red Cross launched a study in partnership with IMUGEN, Inc. to investigate the blood supply from four states for the presence of Babesia microti. From 2012-2014 they screened 89,153 blood-donation samples from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and found 335 donations to be infected with Babesia microti.
Diagnosis Testing And Treatment
You may have heard that the blood test for Lyme disease is correctly positive only 65% of the time or less. This is misleading information. As with serologic tests for other infectious diseases, the accuracy of the test depends upon how long youve been infected. During the first few weeks of infection, such as when a patient has an erythema migrans rash, the test is expected to be negative.
Several weeks after infection, FDA cleared tests have very good sensitivity.
It is possible for someone who was infected with Lyme disease to test negative because:
If you are pregnant and suspect you have contracted Lyme disease, contact your physician immediately.
* Silver HM. Lyme disease during pregnancy. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 1997 Mar 11:93-7.
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How To Find A Qualified Doctor
If Plasmapheresis may be something you want to try, your first step is to find the right doctor. The right doctor is qualified.
Qualified means more than they completed medical school, a residency and passed their board exams. A qualified doctor has performed Plasmapheresis many times before treating you, they have the apheresis machine in their office, and they have success stories to share.
If you have a disorder like Lyme disease, the doctor you choose should also be Lyme literate. Meaning, they stay up to date on the condition and treatments for the disease.
Once you find the right doctor, you can start looking forward to feeling better.
How K Health Can Help
Did you know you can get affordable primary care with the K Health app? Download K to check your symptoms, explore conditions and treatments, and if needed text with a doctor in minutes. K Healths AI-powered app is HIPAA compliant and based on 20 years of clinical data.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
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Correctly Identifying The Patient’s Infections
The SOT treatment by RGCC for each patient is individualized based on testing of the patient’s blood for active infections. The testing technique is to use a PCR method to detect the DNA of the various bacteria. This is problematic though. PCR testing for Lyme infection is well known to only find Lyme 30 percent of the time when someone has the infection. In the case of Bartonella, the germ often does not live in the blood, so trying to detect DNA of Bartonella, is often not effective either. Given this issue – I question how RGCC is developing treatments for these two infections that often are not found with PCR testing.
Knowing of this issue, in an email to RGCC on April 18, 2022, I asked RGCC to provide validation studies for its PCR testing method. In a validation study, a lab tests its method on samples of blood that have and do not have the infection. They then find out if their test is effective at correctly determining which samples have the infection and which ones do not. RGCC responded that its test technique is “certified and valid”.
Lyme Disease: Symptoms Diagnosis And Treatment
Lyme disease is the most common disease transmitted by ticks in the United States with an estimated 300,000 people infected each year. It can cause symptoms including headache, fever, fatigue, and a characteristic bullseye skin rash. Promisingly, most cases of Lyme disease can be treated effectively with antibiotics, especially when caught early.
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What Are The Risk Factors For Post Treatment Lyme Disease
Risk factors for Post Treatment Lyme Disease include:
- Delay in diagnosis
- Increased severity of initial illness
- Presence of neurologic symptoms
Increased severity of initial illness, the presence of neurologic symptoms, and initial misdiagnosis increase the risk of Post Treatment Lyme Disease. PTLD is especially common in people that have had neurologic involvement. The rates of Post Treatment Lyme Disease after neurologic involvement may be as high as 20% or even higher. Other risk factors being investigated are genetic predispositions and immunologic variables.
In addition to Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, there are several other tick-borne co-infections that may also contribute to more prolonged and complicated illness.
Is There Any Relationship Between Sleep Apnea And Lyme Disease
We do not know of any evidence that Lyme disease causes sleep apnea, although sleep apnea has been associated with other encephalitic disorders. Sleep apnea may look like Lyme disease. For example, patients with sleep apnea may be difficult to arouse when asleep, will have excessive daytime sleepiness, and may complain of insomnia. They may have morning headaches, inattentiveness, and a decline in school or work performance. Hypertension may also occur. One can have sleep apnea without being obese. The problem can occur in children as well as adults. The diagnosis is made at a sleep lab after special tests of respiratory function and all-night polygraphic sleep monitoring. Patients with central sleep apnea may have lesions in the medulla with ninth and 10th cranial nerve palsies with trouble swallowing or speaking. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea tend to be overweight and to have large tonsils. These patients may snore and then have 10-30 second periods at night when breathing appears to stop. Patients will then take a deep snorting breath and then return to sleep, unaware of what just happened. Treatment is determined by the severity of the symptoms and the type. In central apnea, medroxyprogesterone and protriptyline can be helpful. Weight loss and surgical correction are the treatments for the obstructive type. Patients may experience enormous relief after the surgery. Symptoms previously incorrectly attributed to Lyme disease may now resolve completely.
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I Am Wondering If Columbia University Uses Xenodiagnosis For Detection Of Infectious Diseases
This is an interesting question. Xenodiagnosis in this case refers to allowing an uninfected tick to feed on an individual with suspected infection to see whether the tick is able to suck up spirochetes when the spirochetes might not have been detectable otherwise. As strange as this concept appears, it has been used successfully recently by Dr. Steven Barthold at UC Davis. After being unable to identify persistent infection in a treated infected mouse using the standard PCR and culture techniques, he was then able to identify the spirochetes in these mice after treatment using the xenodiagnosis method. We at Columbia are not using this method on humans. This is a very intriguing scientific question that should be studied in humans.
The Centers for Disease Control publishes national statistics and identifies those counties with the highest rates of Lyme disease in the United States. The web sites of many state health departments provide data on Lyme disease by town of residence.
Support groups can be found by calling the Lyme clinics or Lyme disease organizations in your state. You might also call a national organization, such as the Lyme Disease Association for the names of support groups in your area.
Benefits Of Plasma Exchange For Lyme Patients
One of the most reported benefits is the immediate relief of negative symptoms like pain and stiffness. Another benefit noted by patients is the reduction in inflammation, which in turn eases the pain associated with arthritis caused by Lyme disease.
Further benefits of plasmapheresis include assisting your body in ridding toxins, especially when other treatments like antibiotics have not been successful. Remember those super-powered bacteria that can withstand the flow of blood? Antibiotics can kill some of them, but not all. If any remain in your blood, they will reproduce until your blood is filled with them once again.
With plasma exchange, the bacteria are taken out of your body when the infected blood is completely removed. Most specialists will use donated healthy blood to add back into your system rather than risk cleaning and re-injecting your blood.
Because you are replacing unhealthy blood with a healthy version from a donor, you are ensuring that any co-infections are eliminated.
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Can You Get Chagas Disease From Your Pets
While animals can and do get Chagas disease, household pets cant transmit it to humans directly or through casual contact. For transmission to occur, a kissing bug with the parasite would need to bite a pet. The pet would then need to develop an infection and bite a human.
Humans can only transmit the disease to other humans during pregnancy and birth or via blood transfusions and organ donations.
The Benefits Could Be A Placebo Effect
Keep in mind that the average drug in clinical trials has a placebo effect of 30 to 40 percent. This means in clinical trials 30 to 40 percent of people improve by taking an inert pill without an active ingredient – a so- called sugar pill. So if some claim benefit from SOT, it may have nothing to do with the oligonucleotides of SOT – the benefits could be a placebo effect.
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Is Lyme Disease Contagious
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There is no credible scientific evidence that Lyme disease is spread through sexual contact. Published studies in animals do not support sexual transmission , and the biology of the Lyme disease spirochete is not compatible this route of exposure . The ticks that transmit Lyme disease are very small and easily overlooked. Consequently, it is possible for sexual partners living in the same household to both become infected through tick bites, even if one or both partners doesnt remember being bitten.
Can Lyme disease be transmitted through breast milk?
There are no reports of Lyme disease being spread to infants through breast milk. If you are diagnosed with Lyme disease and are also breastfeeding, make sure that your doctor knows this so that he or she can prescribe an antibiotic thats safe for use when breastfeeding.
Can Lyme disease be transmitted during a blood transfusion?
Although no cases of Lyme disease have been linked to blood transfusion, scientists have found that the Lyme disease bacteria can live in blood from a person with an active infection that is stored for donation. Individuals being treated for Lyme disease with an antibiotic should not donate blood. Individuals who have completed antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease may be considered as potential blood donors. The Red Cross provides additional information on the most recent criteria for blood donation.
Is it true that you can get Lyme disease anywhere in the U.S.?
DIAGNOSIS, TESTING, AND TREATMENT
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