How can a doctor tell how long you've had lyme disease?

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romohr84
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 7/24/2011 11:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey all. I'm wondering how the lyme doctor can tell how long you've had lyme disease? Is it by your blood results he looks at? Is it by the lab he sends to that lab in Cali? Or just by the symptoms? Just curious if anyone knew or their experiences :)
SAHM to 2 amazing children & wife to husband who teaches 5th grade special education. Being diagnosed with chronic/neuro lyme.

"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies." - The Shawshank Redemption.

MysteryLyme
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 7/24/2011 12:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't think they have the best grasp on this topic.

In my case my Doctor told me my blood test showed "Actute Lyme Disease". But I had been having symptoms for 2 years. I think this may be because I had a badly sprained ankle. I've read that when you have Lyme, injuring your body can actually cause other symptoms to worsen fast. In fact the real reason I went to the Doctor that day was because of my ankle. But when I explained my weird symptoms over the past 2 years she was the one who suspected Lyme and had me tested right away.

I think the tests do a better job of showing how active the bacteria is in your body rather than how long you've had it.


-MysteryLyme

achievinggrace
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 2484
   Posted 7/24/2011 1:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Miss Cranberry said...
In a sense I would like to look back over my life and interpret all my lows as lyme - but I don't think that would be accurate. But who knows?


That is what I did when I realized how long I had been infected! I went through my life and attributed every stupid thing I did, every thing I didn't get done, all my failures and bad social interactions to Lyme. Really, though, while Lyme didn't help, I have to own all those mis-steps. Knowing that I was ill, however, I can be a lot more understanding and forgiving of myself. This has brought me a large measure of peace and has also made me a lot more compassionate to others who are "acting out". Some manner of grace had been afforded me by this dreadful disease!

Romohr -- just as a person gets diagnosed clinically, it is really only by looking at your symptoms over the years that you can determine when you probably first contracted Lyme. Do remember a funny bite? A summer flu that just didn't go away? A cluster of annoying symptoms that came and went? Most doctors are not interested in finding out how long you've been sick, they want to know how sick you are and what will get you better.
Co-Moderator Lyme Disease Forum

Traveler
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 14773
   Posted 7/24/2011 4:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Here's another problem with trying to figure out how long you have been ill according to blood tests. The Lyme bacteria can and does 'outwit' our bodies.

Their first order of business is to survive, so they leave the blood stream as fast as they can and move into the tissues, joints, organs and brain. At that point, any time they feel threatened, they go into their cyst form which protects them from everything. When they are in cyst form, it also like a cloaking device, as our bodies can't 'see' them, so we don't produce any antibodies to them.

This has a lot to do with why the current tests are very accurate - especially if you don't have a recent infection.
Co-Moderator, Lyme Disease ;)

Treating with Acupuncture, Traditional & Modern Chinese Medicine & Western Herbs.

"Absence of proof is not proof of absence" - Dr. Edwin Masters, great LLMD & researcher -RIP

I break up my post because my eyes have been effected by TBI's as well, which makes long paragraphs very hard to read.

Brittany Shores
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 73
   Posted 7/24/2011 4:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't think there is any for sure way to know but I do know the western blot test gives you a little bit of an idea. It can show whether the like bacteria is a current infection or a passed infection. A current infection usually means you were infected not long before the test, possibly a few months. But a passed infection means you could have had it for over about three months undiagnosed.

also my llmd made me think of anytime it would have been possible to have been bitten by a tick. Also depending on when your symptoms start. Its different for everyone unfortunately. I got bitten when I was five, had the bullseye rash and everything but didn't experience any symptoms until ten years later. Others experience symptoms right away.

Do you have a copy of you lab results? It would help a lot to know if the bands that came back positive were IGM or IGG
:)

MeGoSun
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 389
   Posted 7/24/2011 5:50 PM (GMT -6)   
My GP ran the Western Blot and told me that it was a newer infection.
 
I asked if they could really tell and I was told yes.
 
I double checked with my Rhmy and he told me the same thing.
 
Not that they could tell me when but I think I kinow when.  I never found a tick or had a rash.
 
 
 
 
Hypothyroidism
Lyme
Fibromyalgia
Raynauds
Hypokalemia
Hemochromatosis

May the sun shine on you and warm your heart.

Traveler
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 14773
   Posted 7/24/2011 7:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I guess I should have clarified myself - sorry! The tests can show whether you have a recent infection or a long term infection but that is the only thing that can be determined. Not how many months or years. That take some real investigative work, usually by the patient!
Co-Moderator, Lyme Disease ;)

Treating with Acupuncture, Traditional & Modern Chinese Medicine & Western Herbs.

"Absence of proof is not proof of absence" - Dr. Edwin Masters, great LLMD & researcher -RIP

I break up my post because my eyes have been effected by TBI's as well, which makes long paragraphs very hard to read.

Deejavu
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 3803
   Posted 7/24/2011 8:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all,
 
It really doesn't matter to me how long I had lyme.  I could have been born with (being passed on from my mother or I could have been bit by a blood sucking bug that carried lyme bacteria).  What matters to me is that I am better, have not relapsed for all the years I have been better and to focus on keeping myself healthy.
 
I believe what's important is to focus on today, yesterday is gone.  Focus on detoxing, eating healthy, positive thinking, reducing stress levels... 
 
Enjoy life as much as you can and try to find some positives in your daily life!
 
Cheers,
Denise
It's all about the Immune System mixed with Daily Detoxing and a dose of Positive Thinking!
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