and... here is my welcome to the community! I'd highly recommend doing Horowitz's screen tool below. This convinced me.
Welcome to the community.
You are finding this place just as I discovered it in January of 2016, when I thought I was dying. My primary means of support for figuring this journey out has been here, and I am 85-90% better going a mostly all herbal route without the means to afford an LLMD.
Here is a nutshell of what I've learned and hope you find it helpful. In my view, a KEY thing is to check in with regard to what pops for you, or resonates, or peaks your interest. Make a note of it somewhere you can find easily to look into further. I am not a Dr., this is anecdotal and passing on what I have learned via experience.
Here is a GREAT collated bit of info that was compiled by this community. You'll find it the top thread in this lyme forum.www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=30&m=1606610
For me, one screening tool I found, developed by a Dr. who has treated thousands of patients, convinced me to pursue a probable lyme and co-infections scenario. My blood work was initially negative, but it turns out I had symptoms galore as well as "exposure." I'd recommend taking this test if you are question whether what brought you here is due to a tick borne infection.www.tiredoflyme.com/horowitz-lyme-msids-questionnaire.html
If you score over 45, then Dr. Horowtiz suggests discussing the results with your Doctor. Mine was something like 100. Now it is down to 38.
CLINICAL DIAGNOSIS - BLOOD WORK
For blood work, it isn't reliable, lyme is a clinical diagnosis based on exposure and symptoms. Blood work is used to support the diagnosis. Not all blood work is the same. If you DO do blood work - using a lyme lab is recommended - IGEN-X is often recommended. It requires a Dr.'s signature. If you DON'T have a Dr. who will sign a form for IGEN-X, there is a firm you can order through that I used, best investment I made! I used True Health Labs. It is around $350. I ordered the Basic Lyme Panel.
LYME LITERATE DR. - LLMD
If you are on a tight budget, and can't afford a lyme literate Dr. (initial consults start at $600 on up into the thousands with not all covered by insurance) it is possible to figure it out with an herbal approach, if your body responds well. You can hire a consult with a professional herbalist for $200, in my experience. So, this route is the cheapest route to take.
TAKE RIGHT ACTION
As soon as you suspect it, I'd take right action! It can take a coons egg to get diagnosed and finding a lyme literate Dr. also takes time. There are simple steps you can begin NOW. My path, I started with nutrition, then herbs, then paid out of pocket for consults and blood work to confirm my suspicions. Here are three simple steps you can take now.
ONE: nutrition - NO SUGAR, NO ALCOHOL, NO processed foods, many benefit also from no caffeine, no dairy, no gluten. If it is a bacterial infection you want to create an environment they don't like. I began with a loose paleo diet, then began to do an anti-inflammatory diet, and then, tried GAPS for a bit. Here is a link about
the Wahl's Paleo realfoodrebel.com/wahls-paleo-diet-for-lyme-disease/
. Choose what works for you! I also benefited from Dr. Weil's anti-inflammatory nutrition pyramid. www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/anti-inflammatory-diet-pyramid/
TWO: consider herbs to start with is what someone advised me - Stephen Buhner, love his approach. An infamous moderator Traveler uses chronic tonic. I liked Buhner because it was the least costly and I could begin simple and work my way into the complexity. The herbs to start with I used were Cats Claw (which I got at a health food store) and I ordered Japanese Knotweed from Buhner's suggested source. greendragonbotanicals.com/products/medicines/japanese-knotweed.html
Free Buhner info here: I eventually bought his books.
Website with info:buhnerhealinglyme.com/the-protocols/
Some great collated notes:www.betterhealthguy.com/images/stories/PDF/BUHNER%20CONF%20NOTES.pdf
THREE: If it is lyme and co-infections, detoxing will become a familiar term as will "herx" reactions.
Favorite Detox linkwww.tiredoflyme.com/detox-methods.html
ion of a "herx" /chronicillnessrecovery.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=161
My favorite detox methods.
Sauna at the gym (I was too sick to go the gym at first)
Lemon in my water
1 tablespoon of Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar in my Water
Charcoal tabs taken 2 hours before I eat something, and don't eat for 2 hours after
Epsom salt bath: 1 cup epsom salt, 1 cup of sea salt, 1 cup of aloe vera juice, 1 cup of baking soda
You can do foot soaks as well! and use just straight epsom salts
Massage (can't afford it often)
IDD: Infections Disease Dr.'s
Don't waste your time with an infectious disease Dr., in my view. They stand on the side of uninformed and mis-information when it comes to this concept of "lyme wars." Others warned me about
this but I had to experience it before I understood. It was a horrible experience. It has to do with the "lyme wars" This link explains it well. www.chelseagreen.com/blogs/welcome-lyme-wars/
Books I would recommend - you may be able to get it at your library
Stephen Buhner's - Healing Lyme [urlhttp://www.gaianstudies.org/Bookstore.html
Richard Horowtiz - has a new book coming out - How Can I Get Better http://www.cangetbetter.com
I bought the first addition - got a lot out of it. Why Can't I Get Better?
FREE instant info I found useful about
Lyme Forum Moderator: IGEN-X IGM ++ band 41, ind band 31 IGg, ind band 41. Clinical diagnosis of lyme by CMD and Naturopath. Used Herbal protocol: Buhner, Chinese herbs, Zhang herbs, support from this community. Symptoms 90% reduced with flare-ups. Targeted in this order: lyme, bart, babesia, cysts/bio-films, candida & fungus, back to lyme and bart