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  • Babesia - "Past Infection" on blood results?

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    Old 04-26-2008, 08:06 AM   #1
    jwick25
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    Babesia - "Past Infection" on blood results?

    Hello,

    One of my reports came back indicating a past infection of Babesia. I had a bull's-eye rash in May 2007.

    Could this mean that I was actually infected (bitten) in May 2007 and am only now (for the past month) feeling the effects?

    I have one more batch of blood results that I am waiting for. My doctor's office received them this past Wednesday, but STILL no one called me. I called the office about it, but no one called back.

    I don't know if this means that there is nothing significant to share with me or that they are just clueless.

    Does anyone have any knowledge about this?

    Thanks so much!
    jwick25

    Last edited by jwick25; 04-26-2008 at 08:07 AM. Reason: corrected typo

     
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    Old 04-26-2008, 05:40 PM   #2
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    Re: Babesia - "Past Infection" on blood results?

    Hi jwick25. Which Babesiosis test was done and by which lab? I have not heard of a test indicating a past infection for Babesiosis.

    Yes, it is possible to be infected for some time before getting symptoms. Sometimes people can keep the infection at bay until their immune system becomes additionally stressed (illness, accident, divorce etc.) or the infection becomes more severe. Then symptoms emerge.

    A bulls-eye rash is a definite sign of Lyme disease. The rash alone merits treatment.

    Have you seen a Lyme doctor?

     
    Old 04-27-2008, 07:00 AM   #3
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    Re: Babesia - "Past Infection" on blood results?

    Hi Ticker,

    Quest labs processed the blood work. It looks like they tested for Babesia Macroti IGG and IGM. The IGG showed past infection.

    Additional tests were run to look further into this. I got 2 of the three back.

    The first test "LD" showed I was out of range (low). Reference range is 100-200. I was 96.

    The second says Pathologist Review of Peripheral Smear. The comment was No significant morphological changes. Clinical correlation required.

    The third is still pending. This one says Babesia Microti DNA, PCR.

    I have an appointment in just over a week with a specialist who has a good reputation for working with these types of illnesses.

    Just in case that does not amount to anything, I already have another doctor on my radar who sends tests to a local lab and the lab in Stoneyfield NY.

     
    Old 04-27-2008, 10:33 AM   #4
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    Re: Babesia - "Past Infection" on blood results?

    Hi jwick25. I am not familiar with these tests. Regarding Lyme disease, the IgM tests for a more recent infection and the IgG a longer standing infection. It may be the same for Babesiosis. I recommend researching this.

    Do you have night sweats, heart palpitations, and/or shortness of breath?

    I do not have any personal experience with them, but from what I have heard Stonybrook may not be the best lab for tick-borne illness testing.

    Good luck with your appointment. If you need a Lyme doctor recommendation, let us know.

    Last edited by ticker; 04-27-2008 at 10:34 AM.

     
    Old 04-27-2008, 12:46 PM   #5
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    Re: Babesia - "Past Infection" on blood results?

    Yes, I do have all of those symptoms and more.

    If the doctor's office would call me back, I could ask for clarification. The doctor, I have come to learn, is a jerk. He was not even going to test me for tick-related illnesses.

    The physician's assistant is the one who actually listened to me and sent me to the blood lab. Thank goodness.

    I did some research and learned that IGG does, in fact, relate to past or long-standing infections. This makes sense as my rash appeared last May.

    Thanks so much for your responses! I really appreciate it!

     
    Old 05-01-2008, 09:57 AM   #6
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    Re: Babesia - "Past Infection" on blood results?

    Ok, I finally heard back from the doctor's office today. I was told that the doctor said that the test result that showed a past Babesia infection is inaccurate and wrong.

    What??!? When the tests are negative, he says that the results are accurate and could not possibly be wrong. Then, when a result indicates a past or longstanding infection, he says that that particular test is inaccurate and wrong.

    Is he serious? I understand that these tests are often inaccurate, but for him to use that excuse when it suits him is ridiculous!

    When I asked if Quest tests are often wrong, he told me that they are very accurate. Yet, the one test that indicates something is deemed wrong.

    Thank goodness I have my specialist appointment on Tuesday. At that time, I am changing primary care doctors. There is nothing more they can do for me.

    I just can't believe that this jerk actually still has patients. Sorry for venting. It just makes me angry when a doctor can sit back and watch a patient get sicker and sicker...and not care.

     
    Old 05-02-2008, 05:27 AM   #7
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    Re: Babesia - "Past Infection" on blood results?

    This is a suprisingly common thing I have heard.

     
    Old 05-02-2008, 07:57 AM   #8
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    Re: Babesia - "Past Infection" on blood results?

    Hi Bill! Are you referring to the inaccuracy of the tests, or to doctors who don't want to acknowledge a potential infection?

    Unfortunately, it might be both, huh?

    Take care!

     
    Old 05-02-2008, 02:26 PM   #9
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    Re: Babesia - "Past Infection" on blood results?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jwick25 View Post
    Hi Bill! Are you referring to the inaccuracy of the tests, or to doctors who don't want to acknowledge a potential infection?

    Unfortunately, it might be both, huh?

    Take care!
    More the closed-mindedness of the docs, but yes the continually shifting definition of positive vs false positive is quite unhelpful.

     
    Old 05-02-2008, 06:43 PM   #10
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    Re: Babesia - "Past Infection" on blood results?

    Hi jwick25,
    I am based in SE PA as well. Just was diagnosed with Lyme , had the same reaction you are getting with your GP. Had to travel to MD to see an LLMD who sent my blood tests to Igenex labs. All my tests from Quest came back negative.
    Good luck with the specialist you are going to see !!
    Lyme100

     
    Old 05-03-2008, 06:20 AM   #11
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    Re: Babesia - "Past Infection" on blood results?

    Thanks, lyme100...

    I'm glad that you were were able to see a doctor who got to the bottom of things. I'm sure the drive to MD was well worth it!


    I've read so many stories from people who had the same experience, but it never ceases to amaze me. I hope they come out with better testing methods!

     
    Old 05-06-2008, 03:28 PM   #12
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    Re: Babesia - "Past Infection" on blood results?

    Hello. Just an update. I had my appointment with the Rheumatologist today. While no official diagnosis was made just yet, he suspects that I have a tick-related infection. He is putting me on a 30-day treatment of Doxycycline.

    He is also sending me for additional blood work tomorrow to test for Celiac disease, C-Reactive Protein, Vitamin D and several other things. He is not, however, having me retested for all of the tick-related illnesses.

    I believe he wants to be able to rule out other problems in order to feel confident in a diagnosis of a tick-related illness.

    My concern is that because my past results indicated a past infection of Babesia (which my PC doc ruled "inaccurate"), would this be the appropriate treatment?

    Any advice about this?
    Thanks!

     
    Old 05-06-2008, 04:20 PM   #13
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    Re: Babesia - "Past Infection" on blood results?

    Hi jwick25. What dose of Doxy will you be taking? Doxy is not effective for Babesiosis. Babesiosis is similar to malaria and needs to be treated with an anti-malarial (often Mepron) together with an antibotic (Zithromax, Biaxin, or Ketek).

    I highly recommend seeing a Lyme knowledgeable doctor and being properly evaluated for all tick-borne illnesses.

    If you take the Doxy, there are a few tips to know about it. Do not have any dairy, iron, or magnesium products within two hours of taking it, or it will not be absorbed properly. If it makes you nauseous, eat something substantial and non-dairy before taking it. It helped me to eat a sandwich with some kind of protein. Avoid the sun. You can get a severe burn in minutes even when wearing sunscreen. Do not lay down for at least an hour after taking it or you can ulcerate your esophagus. This is really painful! Drink a full glass of water when you take it for the same reason.

    Whenever you take any antibiotics, make sure you take high-quality acidophilus capsules. They replace the good bacteria and help prevent yeast overgrowth. The best kind to get are refrigerated and have a high culture count (such as 10 billion). Most healthfood stores have them.

    Be aware of the Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction (herx). Often when people who have Lyme take antibiotics, their symptoms get worse or they get new ones. When the antibiotics kill the bacteria, toxins are released making them feel sicker. It can be scary when it happens, but it is a good sign the antibiotics are working. Although it varies individually, many people experience this reaction at the beginning or change of treatment and every three to four weeks. You may experience this if you also have Lyme disease.

     
    Old 05-06-2008, 04:36 PM   #14
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    Re: Babesia - "Past Infection" on blood results?

    Hi Ticker,

    Yikes...this Doxy stuff sounds like fun.

    The dosage is 100mg twice a day for 30 days. I'm really concerned about whether this is the appropriate treatment for me. Especially since I have not officially tested positive for any of the tick-related illnesses.

    The closest I came to that was the indication of a past infection of babesia. I keep thinking, "What if the doxy makes me feel a little better, for a little while, but does not completely get rid of my infection?"

    I also wonder how a treatment plan can be created when it's not even 100% confirmed what the problem is. I just want to curl up in a ball and cry my eyes out. Should I not start the Doxy? I'm very scared about making a bad decision that might affect me for the rest of my life.

    If I take the Doxy, but really need something else (such as the babesia treatments), will that prevent me from responding to a different treatment later on (if necessary)?

    Thanks so much for the response. I'm so sorry for all the questions. I'm just at my wit's end with all of this.

    Last edited by jwick25; 05-06-2008 at 04:37 PM.

     
    Old 05-06-2008, 07:07 PM   #15
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    Re: Babesia - "Past Infection" on blood results?

    Hi jwick25. I don't blame you for being upset.

    200 mg of Doxy is not strong enough for Lyme. I believe the recommended dose is 300-600 mg daily.

    I suggest making an appointment with a Lyme doctor for a proper evaluation and testing. Although it is likely possible to have co-infections without having Lyme disease, I don't think it is typical. Many Lyme doctors believe co-infections need to be treated first for Lyme treatment to be effective. This was true in my case.

    Although testing is not 100%, I believe it is important to know what infections are present so you can get the most effective treatment.

     
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