Lyme Disease Symptoms
Because the most widely used diagnostic lab tests for Lyme are so insensitive, a negative test result does not necessarily mean you don’t have Lyme. There are many reasons why a negative test result may be received by someone who actually has Lyme. The patient may be infected with a strain that the test doesn’t accurately measure, the patient’s antibodies may not have had time to develop, the person may have a suppressed immune system, the spirochetes have hidden themselves in areas of the body that they cannot be measured. It is estimated that 52% of patients with chronic Lyme disease are false negative by ELISA but positive by Western blot.
Many times, clinical diagnosis is the best way to determine if a patient has Lyme disease - based on the patient’s exposure to ticks, symptoms, and medical history.
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Two-Tiered Testing Protocol / ELISA & Western Blot
The most common diagnostic tests measure the patient’s antibody response to the infection, not the infection itself. The two most widely used antibody tests are the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and the Western blot. It is recommended that doctors first screen for the disease by using the ELISA and then use the Western Blot to confirm the disease.
During the first 4 to 5 weeks of the Lyme infection, the ELISA and Western Blot are unreliable because the antibody response that the test measures have not yet been developed in most people. Even later in the disease, the two-tiered testing of ELISA and Western Blot is highly insensitive missing roughly 50% of those who have Lyme disease.
Other diagnostic tests include the antigen detection, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and culture testing. They are considered “direct” tests because they detect the bacteria, not your immune response to the bacteria.
Antigen Detection Test - This test looks for a Lyme protein in body fluid (e.g. urine, blood, joint fluid).
PCR Test – This test is highly accurate when the Lyme DNA is detected, however it produces many false negatives. This is because the Lyme bacteria are hidden though out the body and may not be in the sample tested.
Culture Testing - Culture is considered by many the “gold standard” test for identifying bacteria. This lab attempts to grow Lyme spirochetes in a special medium (e.g. blood, urine, joint fluid).
Accurate TESTING SYSTEMS USED TO GATHER INFORMATION
AUTONOMIC RESPONSE TESTING (ART)
What is it? is an accurate, non-invasive, and safe system of evaluation and treatment developed by Dietrich Klinghardt, MD. By utilizing muscle testing through biofeedback of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), Autonomic Response Testing (ART) helps to accurately determine disturbances and potential remedies.
There is major controversy in medicine, science, and public policy regarding Lyme disease and its treatment. Allopathic medicine and Alternative Medicine have two totally different and distinct protocols.
Two medical societies within Allopathic medicine hold very different views on the best way to diagnose and treat Lyme disease. This conflict makes it challenging for Lyme patients to be properly diagnosed and receive treatment.
Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) - This society regards Lyme disease as “hard to catch and easy to cure” with a short treatment of antibiotics. IDSA claims that after a short course of antibiotics, the spirochetal infection cannot persist in the body.
This group also denies that chronic Lyme disease exists and does not recognize tick-borne coinfections as potentially being a problem.
International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) – In great contrast, this society believes that Lyme disease as often very challenging to diagnose and treat, resulting in persistent and chronic infection in many patients. ILADS recommends that treatment is based on the patient’s individual needs, including the presence of tick-borne coinfections, the severity of the patient’s symptoms, and response to treatment.
ILADS doctors are likely to recommend longer and more aggressive antibiotic treatment for patients. ILADS understands that the Lyme spirochetes within just a few weeks may move to parts of the body where antibiotics cannot reach and will become infective. ILADS may treat “high-risk” tick bites more aggressively if the tick was attached for a long time, removed improperly, or came from an endemic area.
Late or Chronic Lyme
Experts agree that the sooner a person is treated for Lyme Disease, the better. Chronic symptoms can occur if antibiotic treatment is not immediate after exposure or if the antibiotic treatment is too short term. If this occurs, spirochetes can navigate quickly to areas of the body where antibiotics cannot reach. Antibiotics at this point have little or no effect on the hiding spirochetes and this can make it almost impossible to cure the disease. Patients with chronic Lyme disease experience a quality of life that is similar to that of patients with congestive heart failure. To date, there are no tests that can accurately determine whether a patient has an active infection or if the treatment has eradicated the infection.
All medical treatments, including antibiotics, have risks associated with them. While the safety profile of antibiotics is generally said to be quite good, a growing number of patients have learned of adverse side effects of long-term antibiotic use.
Why People are Turning to Alternative Medicine
Because of the lack of effectiveness and the harmful effects of antibiotics, a growing number of patients have turned to alternative medicine for help. Dr. Klinghardt, a German-trained physician who also has a Ph.D. in neurology, has been on the forefront in the diagnosing and treating of Lyme disease and its coinfections over the past 30 years without antibiotics. Dr. Klinghardt utilizes Autonomic Response Testing (ART) to accomplish this challenging task.
Autonomic Response Testing (ART) is a system of evaluation and treatment. ART uses Applied Kinesiology, Electroacupuncture (EAV), Nogier pulse, heart rate variability, O-Ring testing, Chinese pulse, and other techniques to determine the health or dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system.
Autonomic Response Testing is a way to detect and address chronic infections including Lyme and its coinfections, allergies, immune problems, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, anxiety, and depression. It may also help with cancer, seizure disorders, diabetes, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, menopause symptoms, pre-menstrual syndrome, closed head injuries, digestive problems, and sinusitis.
The majority of the doctors using Autonomic Response Testing are holistic health practitioners, medical doctors, dentists, naturopathic physicians, chiropractors, or acupuncturists. ART is taught at the Klinghardt Academy and the American Academy of Neural Therapy/Neural Kinesiology. ART is not taught at any of the medical schools.