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Help -- positive result on Advanced Laboratory Testing test

Discussion in 'Lyme Disease and Co-Infections' started by el_squared, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. el_squared

    el_squared

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    Seeking perspective on some test results I got. I will talk to my doctor soon but in the meantime I'm reading the results and they appear to be a diagnosis of Lyme Disease but I'm not sure.

    I just got tests back from Advanced Laboratory Services. The preliminary tests were negative, at 10 days and 8 weeks, but I now appear to be positive at 16 weeks.
    It says: the Poly Borrelia culture shows: Growth. It says culture was positive for spirochetes at 16 weeks. "These spirochetes strained positive with polyclonal antibody immunochemical strain for Borrelia species."

    That's all it says.

    What does this mean? Could this be an "answer" -- meaning why I have chronic fatigue, pain, neurological problems (jerks and spasms). Would this be a small part of the picture or a big part? I know there's a lot of controversy around these "alternative" tests and the idea of "chronic" Lyme. I was negative on the western blot test.

    Any thoughts appreciated!
     
    Mel9 likes this.
  2. zzz

    zzz Senior Member

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    Oregon
    It's certainly possible. Neurological problems of the type you describe tend to be much more common among tick-borne diseases than ME/CFS.
    If the test is indeed accurate, it would be a very big part of the picture, and possibly the whole thing.
    Standard tests for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases tend to be notoriously inaccurate, generally failing on the side of far too many false negatives. I'm not familiar with Advanced Laboratory Services, so I can't comment on their tests.

    As for chronic Lyme, or other chronic tick-borne diseases, there is more than enough evidence to regard them as real. This is just another case of the medical establishment's being far behind the science.
    Standard western blot tests have a very high rate of false negatives.
     
    fireflymd likes this.
  3. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

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    I would be very wary of a lab that has Borrelia culture as the top subheading on its website. It also has a 'paper' in a journal I have never heard of supposedly indicating that they have a special culture technique (i.e. they claim that nobody else can get the results they get - not too encouraging). They seem to have found Borrelia at 16 weeks in 94% of Lyme patients' sera. That is very hard to believe, since presumably some people infected with Borrelia will have cleared any circulating organisms. Moreover, culturing from serum is weird because serum is the fluid left after blood clots and clotting should clump out pretty much all bacteria. If cultures are made on blood they are normally done on whole blood.

    To be honest this looks entirely phoney. I may be wrong, but I suspect your test means nothing.
     
    soxfan and el_squared like this.
  4. msf

    msf Senior Member

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    If you are worried that Lyme is a possibility, and you have the money, why not get other Lyme tests, and tests for co-infections done? If you are positive for Ehrlichia on a standard test, say, the Lyme result will start to seem more credible, and if you are positive for Lyme on a different standard WB test (they are different for different regions), then it will seem even more credible.
     
    dadouv47, el_squared and Valentijn like this.
  5. el_squared

    el_squared

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    Everything negative on Western Blot. Stanford CFS clinic only believes in Western Blot. But this functional MD, of Holtorf Medicine, had me take this Advanced Laboratory Services test (sorry I got the name wrong in the title of this thread). I'm seeing the doc in a couple hours. Maybe she'll suggest I take another test to help confirm, but this one appeared to come back positive. This company has been under fire for not being transparent with its methods and data. But my doc is an MD and she believes in it. Don't know who to trust.
     
  6. msf

    msf Senior Member

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    Like I said, maybe try testing for co-infections? And different WBs give different results, so it may be a good idea to get a different one done.
     
  7. sick2long

    sick2long

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    Hello. I am sick since 1992 when lyme was misdiagnosed for other diseases. Lyme "The great imitator" . I don't know Mr. Edwards scientific or educational background. What I do know is we do need a better test for Lyme. I did eventually have positive PCR lyme tests multiple times but my initial tests were negative due to me a former doctor taking some antibiotics because I thought I just had a bug. This through all the Lyme tests off. I can tell you I was an active man who skied, hiked, hunted and loved the outdoors. I was so sick that I got down to about 130lbs and I am six foot tall. If it were not for a Lyme specialist located in eastern Long Island NY who heard about my illness I am sure I would not be alive today. He aggressively treated my severe candida infection due to a lowered immune system from fighting Lyme. This helped me to be able to start eating again. Then with IV antibiotics then intramuscular antibiotics and then oral I slowly started to get better. The trigeminal neuralgia was so bad I could not even chew any hard food without severe nerve pain in my teeth. It felt like being drilled on without novacain. To make a long story end. I have not had antibiotics for years now and the teeth pain is starting to return. I too have recently had the blood culture test and am awaiting results. It feels like this organism is still alive in me and still doing damage. I run fevers many nights. The recent doctors I have seen call this post lyme syndrome. Without cutting a lesion out of my brain of which there are many I don't know if this spirochete is still alive in me. A culture test if it works would be a gold standard of a test. Since Lyme is such a slow growing organism getting results after a long culture time is very interesting to me. I to have jerky limbs at times (called myoclonus), tinnitus so loud that I cannot hear people talk many times, the joints of my mid spine have many herniated discs now in addition to a joint in my foot that swells up and throbs just like in my mid spine. It will be interesting to see if my culture test is positive. I wish you well and hope you can afford to see a Lyme literate MD. I cannot afford them any longer as all near me do not take medicare and I am barely able to afford living in my home. I pray you get better.
     
  8. fireflymd

    fireflymd

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    A culture that grows bacteria from a blood or tissue sample is considered “the gold standard” in general in medicine. Dr. Burrascano, who is a renowned Lyme expert, is the medical director of this lab.

    Many tests developed/created by private labs eventually become mainstream as years go by and more research is done. Often a major commercial lab will “send out” the lab work to a smaller private lab (we have seen this done with Arup Labs, Genova Diagnostics and National Jewish Lab).

    A negative culture does not necessarily tell you anything (because the bacteria may be ensconced within connective tissue) but a positive culture means the bacteria is indeed alive in your bloodstream and able to be grown in appropriate media.

    I think I may have Lyme but noted zero benefit from multiple antibiotic courses until I started pulsing Tetracycline & Diflucan 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off.

    During my last pulse I felt terrible a few days into the pulse but 2 weeks later felt noticeably better.

    I restarted my 2 week pulse a few days ago, and am back to the awful fatigue, left jaw aching, reflux and shortness of breath. But this decline is not as bad as prior descents into darkness.

    I hope it signifies die-off, and not the waxing/waning symptoms of ME/CFS.

    I’m envious that you have this “slam dunk” of a positive culture.

    Have you seen improvement with Lyme treatment? It took a year and a half for me to find what I think is the “right” treatment for me.
     
    Mel9 likes this.
  9. fireflymd

    fireflymd

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    So sorry to hear what you are going through.

    I just read Buhner’s Healing Lyme and found it fascinating. I thought it would just be to use herbs as antibiotics, but he recommends herbs that modulate the immune response/cytokine cascade that can reduce symptoms by reducing inflammation, and by reducing inflammation the herbs reduce the availability of nutrients for the Lyme spirochete.

    I don’t know if antibiotics even pulsed will ever completely eliminate the spirochetes, so if I’m sure I have Lyme I plan to start this herbal protocol. My LLMD has already told us he does not use herbs, so I’ll be doing it on my own.

    Have you gotten any results from your culture yet?
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017

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