Most doctors will typically order a Lyme ELISA test (blood test) first. If that is positive they will then order a Lyme Western Blot test. If it is negative, many doctors will stop there and tell you that you don't have Lyme. This is BAD, because the ELISA test has many many false negatives. So does the Western Blot, for that matter.
An experienced LLMD might put you on an antibiotic for a week and then
order the Western Blot. This is called an "antibiotic challenge"....designed to "stir up" the Lyme and cause your body to produce the antibodies that the Western Blot tests for. The outcome of a Western Blot after an antibiotic challenge is likely to be more accurate. An LLMD will use the most recent IgeneX criteria plus your medical history to decide whether or not you have Lyme disease.
An infectious disease specialist may or may not agree with the ILADS protocols and the IgeneX criteria for diagnosing Lyme disease...most likely NOT. If he or she is inclined to believe the IDSA instead of the ILADS, then they will use the CDC criteria for the Western Blot to diagnose you. This will most likely result in you being told that you do not have Lyme disease when in fact you actually may have it.
Please read the literature and posts for newbies that have links at the top of the Lyme disease forum....there are contacts that will help you find a LLMD in your area!! Having the right doctor could actually save your life, so it is VERY important to find an LLMD!
Lyme Disease, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, AIH, Hashimoto's, lupus, fibro, RA, celiac disease, asthma, psoriasis, Raynaud's, hypertension, osteopenia, sleep apnea, RLS, GERD, DDD, L3-4 and L4-5 radiculopathy -> severe lower back pain, cubital tunnel, tarsal tunnel, IV Rocephin, Alinia, Zithromax, Prednisone, Imuran, Plaquenil, Lyrica, Cymbalta, Levothyroxine, Atenolol, Cozaar, Zyrtec, Fosamax, Albuterol, Prilosec, CPAPautoimmunediseasesgfliving.blogspot.com