Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lyme Disease

Over the years, a number of people have emailed me about Lyme Disease. Their suggestions are invariably the same - "Do not forget about Lyme Disease. Your daughter very well might be suffering from Lyme Disease."

Certainly Lyme Disease and ME/CFS can coexist.

Of course Lyme Disease is both a difficult illness, and a difficult diagnosis. Testing can be done in a variety of places with a variety of results. Igenex is seen as the "gold standard" lab for western blot testing. Reading western blot testing is very much like reading Rorshach tests. It is heavily subjective. In spite of Igenex's superior western blot tests, Lyme Disease remains a clinical diagnosis.

With an equivocal diagnosis for Lyme Disease, it is difficult for a reasonable person to embark on antibiotic protocol that might cause as much damage as the illness itself. Antibiotics tear up the gut. However, there are other treatment options for Lyme Disease. An excellent place to start learning about Lyme Disease is Scott Forsgren's website betterhealthguy.com. Scott does us all a great service with his website.

The diagnostic situation regarding Lyme Disease very well might be changing. Advanced Laboratory Services in Sharon Hill, PA has developed what looks like a clear diagnostic test for Lyme Disease. Clarity in Lyme Disease diagnosis might have arrived in the form of this culture test that grows spirochetes in the blood. (A positive culture test is accompanied by a nice color photo of the spirochetes.) Most likely this culture test is the missing link. Incidentally Dr. Burrascano had a hand in the development of this test.

Information about the Lyme Disease culture test can be found here. Scott Forsgren writes about it here.

At the moment the test, which is easy to do, is seen as "investigational". Advanced labs is in the process of having the test validated. It is expensive, at close to $600, and the test, most likely, is not reimbursable. However, this test might be a worthwhile expense - as it brings great clarity to a very important variable in neuroimmune illnesses.

Speaking of clarity, there is an excellent article in the NY Times today by David Tuller. This article outlines the "difficulties" that ME/CFS research has encountered in the last year or two. It also presents the idea that, within all the negativity, a positive force field has been constructed in which serious research can move forward.