Is it common for Lyme's Disease to be misdiagnosed as Epstein-Barr?
Also, does Lyme's Disease cause swollen lymph nodes?
I had Epstein-Barr a few years ago. I also had Lyme's Disease a few years ago but caught it in enough time so that it was curable with antiobiotics.
Anyway, For the past few weeks, I've been more tired than usual, had a lot of headaches (basically a constant one for 3 weeks that is almost gone in the morning but gets worse as the day goes on), and have had swollen lymph nodes in my armpits and neck on and off for the past 2 weeks, almost.
My doctor thinks is could be a flare up of Epstein-Barr, since I had it once a few years ago, but I started thinking, and am wondering if I have Lyme's Disease again. I had bloodwork done so my doctor can check my Epstein-Barr level, but even if that comes back as positive, should I have him test for Lyme's Disease anyway?
Hi SentenceDoing. When you had Lyme a few years ago, do you remember how long you were treated and which antibiotic you took? You may not have been treated long enough or aggressively enough or you may have been re-infected.
Lyme is sometimes misdiagnosed as other things. Below is a Lyme symptom list. You can have any combination of symptoms.
Unexplained fevers, sweats, chills, or flushing
Unexplained weight change--loss or gain
Fatigue, tiredness, poor stamina
Unexplained hair loss
Testicular pain/pelvic pain
Unexplained menstrual irregularity
Unexplained milk production: breast pain
Irritable bladder or bladder dysfunction
Sexual dysfunction or loss of libido
Change in bowel function-constipation, diarrhea
Chest pain or rib soreness
Shortness of breath, cough
Heart palpitations, pulse skips, heart block
Any history of a heart murmur or valve prolapse?
Joint pain or swelling
Stiffness of the joints, neck, or back
Muscle pain or cramps
Twitching of the face or other muscles
Neck creeks and cracks, neck stiffness, neck pain
Tingling, numbness, burning or stabbing sensations, shooting pains
Facial paralysis (Bell's Palsy)
Eyes/Vision: double, blurry, increased floaters, light sensitivity
Ears/Hearing: buzzing, ringing, ear pain, sound sensitivity
lncreased motion sickness, vertigo, poor balance
Confusion, difficulty in thinking
Difficulty with concentration, reading
Forgetfulness, poor short term memory
Disorientation: getting lost, going to wrong places
Difficulty with speech or writing
Mood swings, irritability, depression
Disturbed sleep-too much, too little, early awakening
Exaggerated symptoms or worse hangover from alcohol
When Lyme disease is a possibility, it is very important to see a knowledgeable doctor. Many doctors do not understand Lyme and treat with outdated protocols. No test is completely reliable, and results can vary by lab. Besides Lyme, ticks can transmit several co-infections including Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis (HME & HGE), Bartonella, and Mycoplasma. Many people who have Lyme are co-infected, and it may affect treatment choice and progress. It is important to be tested for these by a Lyme reputable lab such as IgeneX in Palo Alto, CA. If you would like a doctor recommendation, let me know.
Lyme and Bartonella can cause swollen lymph nodes.
ticker, when I was treated for Lyme, I was put on a strong antibiotic (I forgot which one) for 14 days. This was about 3 or 4 years ago, and I haven't really had any of those same symptoms again all at once. I've had some from the list you posted, but I don't know if they're related.
Is it possible to not have any symptoms for a couple of years after being treated, and then find out that the Lyme was never actually cured?
And yes, do you know of any Lyme specialists in Connecticut?
Hi SentenceDoing. Fourteen days of treatment is never long enough for Lyme. From what I understand, an infection caught within two weeks of the bite should be treated with a minimum of six weeks of the proper dose antibiotic. The antibiotics kill the bacteria when they are reproducing, which is estimated at four weeks. Six weeks of treatment will cover one growth cycle. If symptoms are still present, further treatment is warranted. A longer infection needs longer treatment.
Yes, it is possible to go without symptoms for a long time. Sometimes people are able to keep the infection at bay until their immune system becomes additionally stressed in some way (illness, accident, divorce, etc.), then symtpoms can emerge.
Dr. Steven Phillips in Wilton, CT comes very highly recommended. I have heard that Dr. Bernard Raxlen in Greenwich is knowledgeable, but I do not know if he is.
I hope you can see a Lyme doctor soon. Keep us posted okay?
Oh, and one more question... do most Lyme specialists take most insurance? A couple of years ago when I had Lyme (the bloodtests actually came back negative twice, but I had the bullseye rash and all the symptoms), I called a Lyme specialist (don't remember who), and they didn't take my insurance, and it would be $400 for one visit. Yikes. Should I get bloodwork done first to make sure I actually have it? Or does it come back negative when it's really positive so often that it's worth it to just go to a specialist from the beginning?
Last edited by SentenceDoing; 11-16-2006 at 07:46 AM.
Hi SentenceDoing. Unfortunately, most Lyme doctors do not take insurance because they often do not get reimbursed. People usually pay up front and submit the bills to their company for what they will reimburse. You could call your company to see how much they would cover.
The first visit is usually the most expensive. Many Lyme doctors spend one to two hours with the patient on the first visit and a lot of blood is taken.
I think it is very important to see a knowledgeable doctor as soon as possible. No Lyme test is completely reliable, and any doctor who relies solely on test results to treat is not knowledgeable about Lyme disease.
On the Western Blot for example, the CDC requires a large number of bands to show for it to be considered positive yet many people who have Lyme do not have this many bands show. Lyme doctors often focus on which bands show, some are specific for Lyme. It is important to be tested by a Lyme reputable lab such as IgeneX in Palo Alto, CA. They have more sensitive tests and list more bands on the Western Blot. Testing should be used as an aid in diagnosis not solely for diagnosis. A lyme knowledgeable doctor will not rely solely on test results to diagnose tick-borne illnesses.
I know it is difficult and expensive, but your health is the most important thing. By seeing a knowledgable doctor sooner, you will likely save time and money in the long run.