Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is an emerging infectious disease caused by a species of bacteria belonging to the genus Borrelia. The disease is named after the village of Lyme, Connecticut and was discovered by a volunteer Lyme patient advocate, Polly Murray. She first noted a high number of cases of arthritis and illness in children and adults in her area and alerted officials. The cause of the disease (spirochetal bacteria) was identified in 1982 by Willy Burgdorfer. Today there are over 300 known strains.

The Lyme disease bacterium can spread from the tick bite site (through skin and blood), infecting many parts of the body and various organs and producing different symptoms at different times. Not all patients with Lyme disease will have all symptoms.

The Lyme rash (EM), which occurs in less than 10 percent of children with Lyme and less than 50% of adults, can present in many different forms, if at all. The rash may gradually expand around the bite site over a period of several days. The center of the rash may clear as the spirochetes move from the bite site. The rash may be warm but is not usually painful. Some patients develop additional rashes on other areas of the body.

Rash Photos Click HERE

Patients with early stages of Lyme disease may also experience fatigue, chills, fever, headache, and muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes.

Treated or not, the infection may spread to other parts of the body within a few weeks, or months to years. For more information on symptoms (see page 9) and treatment options in general, please see Advanced Topics in Lyme Disease, by Dr. Joseph Burrascano.


Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

It's Lyme Time You Knew!

When to Suspect Lyme Disease

Warnings About Lyme Tests

Do NOT Depend on the Standard Lab Tests for Lyme

Chances Are They Could Be Wrong!

According to a study from Johns Hopkins, Lyme tests miss approximately 75% of the patients who have Lyme disease. Other sources have determined the percentage of people missed could be as high as 90%. Remember, a negative test does not exclude the diagnosis of Lyme disease!

Having a false negative Lyme test is a disadvantage in several ways.

1. Your health care professional may not realize you could still have Lyme disease and not treat you as a result.

2. False negative tests can cause a delay in obtaining a proper diagnosis. Not receiving proper treatment in the early stages allows a complex infectious organism to spread throughout your body, making your condition worse and allowing it to advance to later stages. This, in turn, makes Lyme disease more difficult and expensive to treat.

3. You may be improperly diagnosed with fibromyalgia, CFS, MS, Parkinson's, ALS, ADD, depression and other disorders when in fact Lyme disease is the underlying culprit.

4. Having a negative test provides the insurer another reason to deny your medications and any further testing or treatment for Lyme disease.

Johns Hopkins Lyme Test Study:

Over the years more health care professionals have stopped using these standard "insurance approved" tests and are sending blood samples to labs that specialize in tick borne disease testing. If you would like to use a specialty lab to aid in the diagnostic process, you can have a test kit sent to you upon request. For more information please contact:

IGeneX, Inc.

795 San Antonio Rd

Palo Alto, CA 94303

Phone: 1-800-832-3200 Toll free

Fax: 1-650-424-1196

Difficulty Affording Lyme Testing?

The Lyme Test Access Program (Lyme-TAP) is a nationwide patient assistance program offered by Ferndale Foundation in coordination with Lyme Patients Assistance Group to provide assistance for initial Lyme-related lab tests to patients who demonstrate true financial need. Please click here for more information.