I was diagnosed with Lyme's disease a little over 3 weeks ago. I finished a 3 week round of antibiotics and have been told by my GP that I have to wait a month and get retested to see where I'm at. Is this the usual protocol?
By the way, I don't feel any better and the exhaustion seems to be getting worse.
I haven't started my abx yet but I've read in medical article doctor explaining what Igenex Lyme test and different bands mean in testing and it stated that patient should be retested after 4-6 weeks being completely off any antibiotic treatment.
Hope you will feel better very soon and your test comes back negative.
I have read also that after a while, the immune system gives up reacting to Lyme, so Lyme tests may be false negatives because what it measures are the antibodies made by one's immune system, and if the body gives up making them, the test will or may be negative.
The reason I ask about how long you were having symptoms or believe you had Lyme is that there is a group of MDs who believe that Lyme is appropriately treated by a short course (2 to 4 weeks, perhaps) of antibiotics no matter if symptoms return after ceasing treatment. This approach seems to work best if one was just bitten right before seeing the MD. If however it has been a while longer than 2 to 4 weeks or so since being bitten, the disease can have become entrenched, and a different group of MDs believes that significantly longer treatment is called for.
Re: testing and taking an antibiotic break to sort of challenge the immune system into testing positive---
there is no guarantee, as jackie stated.
The sensitivity of the testing is deplorable to begin with.
Even though Igenex runs in the 70%s, to be considered as a significant tool for diagnosis, a test must have a sensitivity of 95% or better.
There are too many factors as to why someone will not test positive -- even with Igenex. These tests are not looking for bacteria, they're looking for antibodies and at best reactivity to 3 strains is tested for when there are an estimate 100 or more strains in the country.
My sister tested both Igenex & CDC positive in 2006.
Her LLMD stopped practicing and she was in medical limbo for awhile. She was re-tested before she went on IV antibiotics ---last year?--
with Igenex & was only positive on band 41.
LL neurologist put her on IV antibiotics anyway coz my sister was so impaired (encephalopathy et al)---
and she broke out---not an allergic reaction to the antibiotics---
she broke out in 3 perfectly formed "tell-tale" textbook bull's eye rashes. The only ones she's ever had to her knowledge. Evidence of presence of the bacteria.
So a negative test, even from the heralded Igenex, cannot rule out lyme disease. Positive and indeterminate bands though can help support a doctor's clinical diagnosis (exposure, symptoms, health history, other tests).
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