Lyme The Diagnostic NightmareThe offficial word from the authority site of Mayo clinic states "Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that causes signs and symptoms ranging from rash, fever, chills and body aches to joint swelling, weakness, and temporary paralysis. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Deer ticks, which feed on the blood of animals and humans, can harbor the disease and spread it when feeding."
Today, savvy doctors are reporting other insect vectors like mosquitoes and biting flies, and the latest evidence detecting the Lyme spirochete in Mother's Milk and sexual fluids better have the epidemiologists wondering about this vehicle of transmission.
In June 2010, Ginger Savely, DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) gave a presentation on Lyme disease in Phoenix, AZ to a group predominantly made up of health care professionals.
Dr. Savely is one of the few experts on the front lines for both Lyme and Morgellons disease and she supports the idea there is a Lyme connection with Morgellons. To consider the less known and still widely debated information that Lyme is a genectically engineered organism (In the book 'Lab 257' by G. Enderlein, he suggest that Bb bacterium is an escaped man-made US military bio-warfare organism) combined with the data reported from Dr. Staninger stating the root cause of Morgellons is contamination from advanced nano materials, this makes an interesting case.
Her topic at this presentation targeted the issues of diagnosing this shape shifting disease for the medical community. Doctors and nurses are challenged by the huge numbers of patients afflicted by a range of Lyme disease symptoms that copycat a wide array of chronic conditions.
She covered in great detail the inadequacies of the 2 current lab testing procedures used to identify the more than two hundred different strains of Borrelia burgdorferi, Bb bacterium, aka Lyme spirochetes.
The CDC recommends a 2-tiered system, starting with the ELISA and if positive, it should be followed by the Western Blot.
The trouble right out of the gate with this system is the ELISA test is very insensitive (about 50%) which means that 50% of true Lyme cases are ruled out on the first round of diagnostic testing. This test was set up for epidemiological purposes and is therefore restrictive and not approporiate for diagnosis. However, for the main stream communication within the medical community, this is what is recommended!
The Western Blot is more sensitive but limited in range (mapping only a few of the 200+ strains of Bb) and often returns false/positives if the infection associated with the spirochete remains active in the IgM state and therefore doesn't convert to the IgG state which is what is measured in the Western blot analysis.
This leads infectious disease doctors to determine the false/positive outcome and is obviously not a good diagnostic tool causing an even deeper confusion and adding to the lack expert care for this chronic and infectious disease.
She discussed the recent discovery that Lyme can go into a dormant stage in the form of cysts and sit quiet in our system for years, even decades until the right combination of stresses tip the scale and pop these cysts to release the spirochetes of Lyme Disease. By that time, the patient's history may have no mention of a tick bite, any of the classic symptoms like the bull's eye rash, or recent exposure to an area reporting Lymes disease.
Dr. Savely has noticed some patterns in the misdiagnosing of Lyme. For example, patients come to her after years of being passed around with a history of auto-immune syndromes or a diagnosis like 'atypical Lupus'.
She pointed out that if the word atypical shows up on a patient's history chart, to recognize this as one of the flags that may indicate Lyme may very well be the pathogen cause for their illness. Today, many patients are given a diagnosis that is simply names of symptoms complexes:
• Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
• Irritable bowel syndrome, Reflux, Interstitial Cystitis
• dysautonomia, orthostatic hypotension
• Migraines, TMJ, tinnitus
• Plantar fasciitis, costochondritis
• Restless leg syndrome
The most typical misdiagnosis include: MS, Lupus, ALS, Parkinson's, Early-onset Alzheimer's or Autism Spectrum Disorder in children.
During her slide presentation, she had two maps of the United States; one was tracking the reports of Lyme cases from the medical communities, the other was a map from the veterinarian profession outlining the incidence for household pets. In the state of AZ, the charted cases for humans indicated very few Lyme sufferers, but the veterinarians had reported a very high incidents of Lyme in Arizona.
She presented this with humor and the joke around the room was that in Arizona, only dogs contract Lyme disease!
Dr. Savely appears well informed on the latest complexities to this debilitating disease. She was even willing to speak briefly on the difficult political climate surrounding Lyme disease. Starting with the CDC, the inadequate training for infectious disease doctors, the lack of updated information for the public, and the absurd shortcomings of the current lab tests being utilized by the medical field to diagnosis a disease whose nickname is - The Great Imposter.
I must commend Dr. Savely for urging this group of nurses to better understand and utilize a more 'old fashion' clinical impression as a means of diagnosing and not to rely on the inadequate tests conventionally employed today.
I left with a strange dis-quiet. It was a very good talk on these challenges for consistent diagnosing; however, the short time she spent discussing treatment protocols left me unsettled and one I want to discuss in another article.