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Avatar universal

HELP interpreting Quest Lyme results

I'm 47 yr. female and have been sick for 9 yrs and treated like I'm crazy everywhere I go seeking help. Bloodwork keeps coming back normal but recently a pain management Dr. says I have fibromyalgia. I talked my primary Dr. into ordering a Lyme test and I don't know if it means yes or a true negative because it shows no bars, and is so close to the equivical number. Can anyone who understands this help explain as I live in FL but grew up til age 10 in MO on a 1000 acre cattle ranch where tick bites were the norm. and Dr.'s here don't believe Lyme is real so I don't trust their knowledge of the interpretation of the results. Thanks for any help :)
It is from Quest Labs for Lyme Disease AB W/ REFL TO BLOT (IGG, IGM) LYME AB SCREEN  

MY RESULTS:  < OR = 0.90  

7 Responses
Avatar universal
Go for the Igenx western blot test. I got this one and it showed up lyme when everything else didn't. You can get the test your self you just need a physician to sign for it. You can get the papers printed off the Igenex site. Get it signed and check the boxes you want and take to a hospital for drawing.
I did mine this way.

Also try to find an LLMD in your area. They will be more help than any other doctors. If you can get an LLMD it is your best bet. This can be easier or harder depending on where you live and financial/insurance factors.
Avatar universal
Greetings --

I'm with Katya, that a bit more investigation may well be worthwhile.

IGeneX has a number tests, and your MD may want to test you (perhaps in addition to Western blot) run a test called PCR, short of polymerase chain reaction.  

PCR tests look in your blood for the DNA (unique cellular material) of the Lyme bacteria, and it quite reliable ... the Western blot and ELISA tests are structured differently and may return a false negative result, meaning that the test says 'no Lyme here', but the test is actually wrong and you do have Lyme.  Why is that? -- because W.blot and ELISA tests look in your blood for evidence that your immune system is creating *antibodies* to kill the Lyme bacteria, and the Lyme bacteria can suppress the manufacture of those antibodies.  Result?  A possible negative test result, when really you do have Lyme.  

In comparison, the PCR test works very differently:  it looks for cellular material (DNA) from inside the person's cells.  A positive test in this regard is very accurate, because PCR cannot be suppressed -- it simply is or is not there.

In sum, if you get a positive Lyme test on a Western blot or ELISA test, it is likely accurate, but if you get a negative test on Western blot or ELISA test, it may be inaccurate:  the test say you don't have it, but in reality, you very well could.  PCR testing is not affected is this way, and is far more accurate as a result.  PCR testing is offered *only* by IGeneX Labs and is considered highly accurate.

An MD's signature is required to have this testing done, just as with W.blot and ELISA testing.  Best wishes to you -- keep us posted!
Avatar universal
oops, that should have said in my previous post, not 'a number tests', but a number OF tests:

IGeneX has a number **OF** tests, and your MD may want to test you (perhaps in addition to Western blot) run a test called PCR, short of polymerase chain reaction.  
Avatar universal
any chance it could be menopause? I ask that because I am your age and if you read my symptoms in a post I just made, you may like me.
Neurologist thinks it is related to hormones.
I think it is lyme.
Avatar universal
Menopause doesn't last for *9* years.

And you might want to consider a second opinion with someone who is a Lyme specialist and not a neurologist:  'neuros' as a group are not big believers in Lyme disease.
Avatar universal
I'm 44 and diag with juvenile arthritis at around 4 y/o have had severe pain all my life.  Diag with Hashimotos thyroiditis which can be caused from Lyme.  I was diag with fribromyalgia also but stopped eating gluten and the pain is now almost gone.  Recently developed Bart Henslae cat scratch fever now the pain is horrible and worse than any pain I'd ever had in the past.  Back in the 70's kids were getting misdiagnosised.  You may be one of them.  Have you done a Elisa test it's suppose to be the best...
Avatar universal
ELISA is one of the earlier tests, but I think it's still used.

The standard tests (ELISA and Western blot) used to diagnose Lyme rely entirely on measuring your immune system's reaction to the presence of Lyme in your body ... which would be fine, except that many of the docs in the Lyme field *still* don't know that the Lyme bacteria can and do suppress the action of your immune system.  

Result:  the Western blot and ELISA tests may well show a negative test result ("no Lyme here") while the real reason the test is negative may be that the Lyme bacteria are suppressing your immune system.  

Better test:  a PCR [polymerase chain reaction] test, which does not rely on your compromised immune system for a diagnosis (as W.blot and ELISA do), but instead PCR looks in your blood for **DNA** made by the Lyme bacteria.  PCR is a *direct* test, rather than the compromised indirect W.blot/ELISA tests.

Doesn't hurt to have the ELISA/W.blot tests run, and docs like to gather as much data as possible, but I would want my Lyme doc to also run the IGeneX tests.  If your doc isn't interested in running the IGeneX tests, I would seriously consider saying a polite thank you to the current doc, get a full copy of your test results from that doc, and *go see a Lyme doc who follows the ILADS approach to diagnosis, such as using IGeneX tests for Lyme.  

If you're up for reading, IGeneX has a website that explains the methodology behind its tests.  Best wishes to you -- let us know how it goes.
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