I have heard the Elisa test is not. Sensitive enough. Get your testing done through Igenics (sp?) Find a Lymes literate doctor also LLMD. I was diagnosed with Lyme 4 months ago, but have been having sickness for over a year. My LLMD is using antibiotics, herbs and immunity boosting meds to work on mine. All the best to you.
Gnienay is right, in my experience -- there is a split in the medical community about how to reliably test for Lyme and other infections that the same ticks often carry. A wise Lyme doc will take a careful history and note your symptoms, in order to know what tests to run on you.
The reason to know specifically which infections the 'Lyme' tick may have given you is that each of the infections likely needs entirely different antibiotics from the others. I had Lyme and babesiosis, and was treated for one until it was gone (took a couple of months, as I recall), and then the meds were changed to kill off the Lyme bacteria. It worked great for me and a family member who had the same infections I did (after all, we went the same grassy places and logically enough got the same infections).
My Lyme doc focuses on using antibiotics and did not use herbs or anything other than antibiotics, but that's because each doc has a different view on how to treat his/her patients -- Lyme etc. are very new to us and to the medical profession, so there are still professional disagreements about how to treat and for how long.
Gnienay mentions the IGeneX labs tests, and that is where my Lyme doc sent most (and maybe all) of my tests, based on my symptoms. First I was treated for babesiosis with one set of antibiotics, then when that was done, I was treated with separate meds for Lyme. Each treatment took several months.
I would look for an MD who is a member of ILADS, simply because they are aware of Lyme, even though ILADS member docs do not all use the same approaches to diagnosis and treatment. That's all part of Lyme and its co-infections being so new in our world.
ILADS has a website that can refer you to a Lyme doc near you, and I would also check with local patient-oriented Lyme groups nearby so you can get a feel from other patients about who the good Lyme docs are in your area.
Fear not! A family member and I were both treated with antibiotics for Lyme and babesiosis about 5 years ago, and we are just fine. I wish the same for you! Let us know how you do --
Do you know if the elispot-ltt can give false positives? I just don't recall getting bitten by a tick, so I'm a bit sceptical to lyme disease..
I did not have any sign of a tick bite, nor did someone else in my family -- no tiny bug biting me, no bite spot, no rash, nothing ... except feeling like I had a combination of the flu and a hangover for months and months.
Overall, the MDs who first recognized Lyme disease thought Lyme was limited to areas like the north eastern US (the name 'Lyme' is for a city in Connecticut) believed that Lyme was found only in a small area of the northeastern US, and that a short course of doxycycline antibiotic would always be enough to kill the infection ... but these docs were wrong.
It's okay for MDs to be wrong, but once additional studies from reputable MDs and others showed firmly that Lyme is serious and it has spread throughout many areas of the world, it's time for the old docs to face up to the fact that their first thoughts on Lyme were not accurate. There is no shame in making a mistake, but the docs need to put their egos away and think about the patients.
I had Lyme, as did another person in my family, and it took 20 MDs to diagnose us. One MD, who was holding a positive Lyme test he ordered on me, said, "I'd say you have Lyme disease, but you don't look sick enough" -- I was quite ill at the time and had been for months.
This tells me that the doc and much of the medical profession just waits until patients are SO sick that it can't be ignored -- but I was indeed very ill and was *still* ignored. It is far better however not to get that way before diagnosis and treatment.
Bottom line: you don't need to see a tick or a tick bite to have a real case of Lyme. Don't wait. It doesn't go away like the sniffles.