Re: Can you have lyme for many years with negative blood results?
Hi Nexis. Believe it or not, Lyme disease is in every state. It is the second fastest growing infectious disease in the US after AIDS, and it is the number one vector-borne disease.
Many doctors often believe that Lyme is not in a certain area. This ignorance is dangerous. I was told this also. This led to a delay in my diagnosis and I became much sicker than had if I would have started treatment when I saw this doctor.
No test for Lyme is completely reliable. Many people who have Lyme do not test positive. From what I understand, the ELISA or titer is the least reliable test and the one most doctors run first.
The Western Blot is a better test. On the Western Blot, 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.
To rule out or confirm Lyme disease, it is imporatant to see a knowledgeable doctor. If you need a recommendation, let us know.