This article pretty much confirms my fears that maybe I don't have Lyme but instead a strange virus that mimics Lyme. It's really interesting; sorry if you've already read it!
Viral co-infections serious and common
Viral co-infections w/lyme disease are very common, especially if corticosteroids have been administered. Corticosteroids can be given by injection, inhalers, nasal, creams and other ways. Corticosteroids are the most common, but other medications can also be responsible. Corticosteroids are not the ONLY way to reactivate viruses, stress and many other factors come into play.
Re-activated viruses can range from mild to deadly. Usually attacking the peripheral nervous system and causing many symptoms that mimic and can even be mistaken for Lyme Diseases symptoms. Having both Lyme and active viruses is more common than you'd think. No outward signs such as sores are needed to have these viruses, as they can activate internally causing postherpetic neuralgia throughout the nervous system. Some symptoms include; for lyme disease and viral illnesses are almost the same. Every part of the body can be affected. Headaches, brain fog, internal vibrations, ear ringing, joint pain (severe at times), muscle pain, nerve pain, cardiac issues, “heart burn”, fatigue and feeling off balance, to name a few.
If you have been diagnosed with Lyme and have excruciating pain that seems above and beyond that of other Lyme patients it is very possible you have re-activated viruses. Other's will show nothing more than Lyme symptoms. Igenex bands 30-31 can cross react and show positive when viruses are present. If you have had any corticosteroid treatment, are in excruciating pain and these bands show positive, you may have viral issues.
IGeneX now offers a new 30-31kDa Confirmation IgG and IgM test. If results from the initial Western Blot are positive for bands 30 or 31, it is possible that these could be due to cross-reactivity with several different types of viruses. In this confirmatory test, highly specific recombinant antigens are used to validate that the positive result is not due to cross-reaction with viruses.
It is estimated that by midlife nearly 100% of the population has antibodies to some type of herpes type viruses. If you have had chickenpox as a child, HSV-1 cold sores, HSV-2 genital herpes, Rubella, mono (Epstein Barr virus) and others these viruses lie dormant in all of us and can be reactivated in a 'downed' immune system. Immunosuppressants, such as corticosteroid treatments are common at "reawakening" these viruses and mixed with Lyme can cause severe pain especially neuropathies. Many of these viruses are airborne and all of us likely have one or more.
An Md at Stanford believes the 'antibodies' themselves create symptoms an should be treated. He will treat those with negative IgM's (his opinion, Md's mistakenly believe a virus is not active if the IgM is negative) and high IgG titers. His belief is IgG titers matter and should not be discounted by Md's. This Md has run small studies and currently is running clinical trial's on Valcyte (a drug itself that needs to be researched indepth as it may cause cancer) A smaller trial of 12 people proved successful with 10 of the 12 having full resolution of symptoms and return to normal health.
A well known LLMD I have seen active in HIV in the 80's and well informed with viral issues insists that IgG is not significant, IgM indicates active infection and therefore needs attention, but IgG results, he literally crosses off the lab results. Talk to your Md regarding what he believes the IgM and IgG indicate in viral testing.
It is highly suggested that you have your LLMD run a full panel for viruses, IgG and IgM.
Here are a few to test for:
HSV 1&2 IgG and IgM
EBVCA IgG, IFA EBVCA IgM, IFA
EB early AG IgG, IFA
Cytomegalovirus IgG Cytomegalovirus IgM
HHV-6 AB IgG, IFA HHV-6 AB IgM
Rubella IgG Rubella IgM
Varicella-zoster ACIF Varicella-zoster IgM
Parvovirus IgG Parvovirus IgM l
HHV-7 IgG HHV-7 IgM
The use of antivirals, such as acyclovir, valtrex, valcyte, famvir in active viruses can help them to stop replicating, although they do not kill the viruses, it is still quite important to get on an anti-viral if you have viruses immediately and remain on them until they go dormant, which may take years.
Links of interest:
Antivirals that are proven safe and should be tried first, usually long term 1+ years or ongoing. Speak w/your LLMD:
http://www.focusdx.com/focus/0-home/index.asp (Recommend lab for viral testing is through Quest Focus Labs)
Valcyte antiviral trial abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entre ... med_DocSum
EBV Neuro symptoms: http://www.medhelp.org/forums/neuro/archive/3526.html
(Viral forums/Md links) http://hhv6foundation.proboards101.com/ ... =antiviral
Viral related info: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entre ... stractPlus
HHV6 virus may be linked to MS: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/news_and_event ... 112497.htm
http://www.immunesupport.com/healthwatc ... spr002.cfm
CFS linked to HHV6: http://www.wisconsinlab.com/cfs.htm
Parvovirus in humans: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/res ... vo_b19.htm
EBV - (mono): http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/ebv.htm
Current treatment (began June 10th 2009):
Biaxin 1000mg/day, Pulsing Flagyl 500mg/day 1 Week Every Month
"...and isn't it a kind of madness to be living by a code of silence when you've really got a lot to say...?"