Lyme disease is a challenge to diagnose and can be even tougher to treat. Whether you have reason to suspect infection, or you’ve just been diagnosed, it’s important to learn all you can about this complex illness.
Lyme disease testing is not an exact science: patients often receive negative test results when the disease is actually present, and false positives are also possible, though less common. Experienced doctors recommend that Lyme disease be diagnosed clinically, meaning diagnosis is based on an evaluation of your risk and your symptoms.
If you suspect you’ve been infected with Lyme disease, don’t wait for your symptoms to get worse.
If you suspect Lyme…
Testing for Lyme disease can be very challenging – in fact, many patients receive several false negatives before being correctly diagnosed. To avoid misdiagnosis, it’s critical that you identify your symptoms and are tested by a doctor as soon as possible.
Why Lyme is tough to diagnose
- Lyme symptoms are similar to other illnesses, so misdiagnosis is common.
- Many Canadian doctors are unfamiliar with Lyme, so they don’t test for it or administer the wrong tests.
- Only a handful of blood tests effectively detect Lyme bacteria, so the infection is often missed.
Don’t get discouraged if you get a negative diagnosis. Seek out second, and even third, opinions if you must!
Research shows that it can take several rounds of antibiotics to overcome Lyme infection. Talk to your doctor about additional antibiotic treatments if you’ve been experiencing symptoms for an extended period of time.
Treatment options include:
- Oral antibiotics
- Intravenous antibiotics
- Intramuscular antibiotics
Persistent infections and resistant bacteria can result in “Chronic Lyme Disease”, which must be treated with aggressive pulse therapy. This involves coordinating rounds of antibiotics with symptom flare-ups.