Lyme Disease Testing

One reason why Lyme is usually undiagnosed or misdiagnosed is because the testing is inaccurate.  If you go to a regular doctor they will probably do the ELISA blood test which is a huge problem because it produces over 60% false negative.  So if you don’t see a Lyme Literate MD (LLMD) your doctor will rely on this test and assume you do not have Lyme.  

IGENEX TESTING If you luckily get to an educated doctor they will run test at Igenex lab in Palo Alto, California.  They will usually run the Western Blot or other tests for Borrelia.  And they should run tests for co-infections because most everyone with Lyme Disease also has co-infections.  

IGENEX  does run a variety of different tests and I’ve been told it’s the best and most reliable lab.  You can order test kits yourself but I believe you need a doctors approval to get your blood drawn.

DNA Connexions I don’t know how long this lab has been around but I am just learning about it and it seems like a really good option for some people.  

So DNA Connexions uses Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology.  The Lyme panel it is a urine test. PCR tests for the actual DNA of the organisms. According to their website they test for the following.

  1. Anaplasma phagocytophilium
  2. Borrelia burgdorferi
  3. Babesia divergens
  4. Bartonella bacilliformis
  5. Ehrlichia chaffeensis
  6. Borrelia recurrentis
  7. Borrelia miyamotoi
  8. Babesia duncani
  9. Bartonella henselae
  10. Babesia microti
  11. Bartonella quintana

That’s a pretty good list.  And I’m told it costs $500.  Doubtful your insurance would cover it since you don’t need a doctors order to do it.  But that is A LOT cheaper than the first IGENIX testing I did and I heard positive feedback about the test.  It’s not 100% accurate either but maybe be a good choice for some.  If you decide to do this I was told you have to exercise hard for 30 minutes before or get a deep tissue massage.  That’s hard for us Lymies to do that but exercise and deep massage can cause herxing, which means we will feel sicker after.  

I think either test you do you definitely should follow up with a LLMD to discuss.  Since the testing is so inaccurate you can be diagnosed with Lyme with a clinical diagnosis by an LLMD based on symptoms and medical history.

I think DNA Connexions is a great option if you know someone that you suspect has Lyme.  Many of us  know people who we highly suspect have it.  So it’s a good option because it’s easy to do home testing and it’s cheaper if they can’t afford to see an LLMD.

But remember none of these tests are not 100% accurate and a negative result does not mean you do not have Lyme Disease.

Here are a few links for more info on testing.

Bay Area Lyme Foundation

Symptom Chart