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Lyme Disease?
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Lyme Disease?

My story is long, but I will try to sumarize. I am very suspitious of lyme disease. I need to know how to find out with relative assurance that I do not have it. I have talked with a few people that do and also read a lot of information online and I'm not sure what to listen to and what not to. If I go online to a "symptoms" list and look at the 60 or so possible symptoms I generaly experience at least 50% of them. I'm a 34 yr old single male. I had a deep unexplained depression come over me about 6 years ago, along with a large number of eye floaters almost overnight. I am loosing my hair fast (prabably male pattern baldness according to a dermatologist) and I have very dry eyes, and chronic sinusitis came over me about 6 years ago too. I can't remember off the top of my head some of the other small symptoms that I connected with the "list", but my biggest concern came about 9 months ago when I had promiscuous sex and ended up with a urinary tract infection. I did learn my lesson, but the first one-day antibiotic didn't knock it out so my doctor put me on 30 of 200mg Doxycicline. I have never experienced such horror in my life. My anxiety went through the roof, all of the lymph nodes in my body (neck, arms, armpits, groin) were painful and sweating, night sweats, severe muscle pain/stiffness, eyes ached, rashes, little red pin dots on my skin, and just a feeling of terrible mallice. I thought I had a serious STD, but at 5 months out everything came back negative. I was complaining a lot about my lymph node pain and so the doc ordered lupus, mono and lyme disease blood tests, all came back neg. He was ready to send me to a onocologist, but did a leukimia screen which came back neg so he stopped at that and just put his hands up. Well all of these symptoms went away VERY gradually over the next 6 months after I finished the doxycycline, so I was releaved, but I still get a little lymph node discomfort and muscle stiffness on a regular basis and now in the past month my left knee joint is acting a little stiff and swollen at times. My ther things like sinusitis and eye issues still continues. This is something I haev never had before...and I know that is a major symptom of lyme. I have also heard that the standard blood test is inacurate over 50% of the time, and I read about some article that was explaining that sometimes when you take an antibiotic and you have severe reactions like that it can indicate an underlying infection or something else in your system that is being killed off and releasing toxins that cause the symptoms. Basically it was saying that that kind of reaction could indicate a disease like lyme or syphilis or something. This has all been very strange and upsetting to me and I need to find out where I am at and how to know for sure if I do or do not have Lyme disease. Someone told me I should do a PCR test for it? Any advise or opinion about my situation would help. My family doctor is not much help. Thanks.
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Lyme disease can represent an area of controversy when it comes to diagnosis.  

The standard tests are the Elisa and Western Blot tests.  However, as you may have read, there can be inaccuracies when using these tests.  Because of this, there are some investigational studies that can be considered and discussed with your personal physician.

This can include urine antigen testing, PCR testing, immune complex disruption or T-cell proliferative response.  These investigational studies can be discussed if the standard testing is giving inconclusive responses.

Regarding the lymph nodes - a biopsy can be considered if there is concern about possible cancer.

These options can be discussed with your personal physician, or in conjunction with an infections disease specialist.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
kevinmd_
4 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your advice. Can I ask you one last thing, based on what I have stated, do you have an opinion as to whether or not I should definately be persuing this, or is it an unlikely issue? It's hard to tell sometimes whether or not "symptoms" are something to be concerned about or just normal part of living and aging. My doctor thinks I am a hypocondriac, but he is not me. I do not ever remember a specific bite or ring, but this whole deal with all these symptoms coming on me when I took the antiiotic is mainly what concerns me. I just went to the CDC site on lyme and under the symptoms list it specifically addresses the issue of "If you have taken an antibiotic and noticed a sudden onset or increase in these symptoms..." Maybe I should just ask my family doctor to either order a PCR test and/or refer me to an infectious disease specialist.

Thanks
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Avatar_m_tn
Have you had your liver checked out? I'd have some bloodwork done and check for Hepatitis C.

Alot of your symptoms are also Hep C related.

I know most people who get it have a past/current drug history but not ALL people get it that way, there are other modes of transmission. Please, be tested to rule it out, it is a simple blood test. It can be a very sneaky and difficult thing to diagnose because many people have no symptoms at all or smptoms like yours that are hard to pin down.
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes I was tested for Hep A,B,C plus had a liver function panel. These tests were done about 4 months after my encounter and have never used drugs. They all came back normal. I forget what the time windows are for hep to get tested but my doctor seemed satisfied at the time.
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Avatar_n_tn
Check out this site:

http://www.angelfire.com/me2/StarShar/Herx1.html

"When you frist start on effective antibiotics, you'll be in for quite an unpleasant surprise. Within a day or two you'll feel like you've been hit by a fully loaded military cargo jet flying at full throttle. Your symptoms, including the ones you didn't even know you had, will flare up intensely. "

The reaction you had to antibiotics is consistent with Lyme Disease.
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Avatar_m_tn
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