I have had brain fog (feels like I'm mildly "stoned" all the time) and a low grade fever for two years, with no diagnosis. I recently tested "negative" on the Western Blot, altough band 23 showed up for the IgM and band 41 for IgG. I read somewhere that because band 23 is one of the ones specific to Borrelia burgdorferi, this band can alone verify a Lyme diagnosis. Does anyone agree/disagree?
Also, is it possible to have Lyme disease with only brain fog and a low grade fever, yet no other symptoms? Thanks,
First of all, no Lyme test is completely reliable. Many people who have Lyme test negative. Although the CDC requires a large number of bands to show for the Western Blot to be positive, most Lyme doctors focus on which bands show. You are right that band 23 is specific for Lyme.
You need to be evaluated by a Lyme knowledgeable doctor. Besides Lyme, ticks can also transmit co-infections--Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis (HME & HGE), Bartonella, and Mycoplasma. It is important to be tested for these because many people who have Lyme are co-infected.
Thanks for your response, Ticker. I live in Salt Lake City and recently saw one doctor who claimed to be a lyme "specialist," (Dr. Devon Hale) but he refuses to treat someone for lyme disease unless they meet the CDC requirement for the number of bands on the western blot. Over the course of the last couple years, several doctors (including the Mayo clinic) gave me the ELISA test and nothing more, in spite of many claims that the test is worthless and that 75% of people with lyme disease test negative on that test!
The doctor you saw does not understand Lyme or he would know that even the CDC states that a negative test does not rule it out. You are right, that the ELISA or titer is the least reliable of all and the one most doctors run.
It is important to see a knowledgeable doctor. Unfortunately, there are not many in the country and many people need to travel to see one. I do not know of any in Utah. The closest one to UT that I know of is in CA. If you would like the name, just let me know.