Receiving antibiotics is the first line of treatment for Lyme disease. However, antibiotics may not be enough for those who have gone undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for a while. That’s when you must contact a Lyme literate doctor who can provide more advanced treatments, like therapeutic apheresis.
When a tick transmits Borrelia burgdorferi, a bacterium, into your bloodstream, it multiplies and travels to various locations in the body to hide and continue to reproduce and grow stronger. The bacteria are hard to eliminate. They create biofilms that serve as armor, protecting them from destruction.
The bacteria can also travel against blood flow without getting flushed out. They can even hide in the linings of blood vessels and go dormant to avoid detection when they are given a Lyme disease test.
What is Therapeutic Apheresis?
Apheresis means taking away something from the blood that is typically living a particular component, which can be harmful to your body. If you have Lyme disease, this can mean the bacteria living in your plasma, white or red cells, or platelets.
Your Lyme literate doctor will perform apheresis by removing the component or components infected with bacteria. Removal is done through a painless, non-surgical procedure. Once removed, the plasma or other components are either cleaned and put back into your blood or replaced by a donor’s healthy blood.
So, how do you know if you need to seek therapeutic apheresis for Lyme disease? Below are some tips and signs to watch for that signal you may need help from a Lyme specialist.
You Test Negative for Lyme Disease but Still Have Symptoms
The Lyme disease tests available to Americans are controversial due to their high percentage of inaccuracy. While researchers are working hard to develop new tests, most doctors now use a two-tiered system that includes the Western Blot test and the ELIZA.
Both tests are created to test your blood to see any active Lyme antibodies.
Your body produces antibodies once Lyme bacteria has been detected. Your immune system sends the antibodies out to fight the bacteria. Some are successful, and some aren’t. As mentioned before, Lyme bacteria are clever and are good at hiding and going dormant.
If the Lyme bacteria are hiding or are not active, there will be no antibodies in your blood. Therefore, the Lyme tests will not detect Lyme bacteria.
You can receive a negative test result for Lyme disease even if you have the disease. This is also true in the first few weeks after being bitten by an infected tick because it can take days or weeks for antibodies to develop.
You Test Positive for Lyme Disease but Still Have Symptoms
If you tested positive for Lyme disease, your doctor likely gave you a round or two of the strongest antibiotics they can prescribe. For many people, this line of treatment works. For many others, it doesn’t. The difference can happen for several reasons like the bacteria has been in your blood for so long it has created chronic Lyme disease, which is harder to eliminate.
Another reason may be that the round of antibiotics was not long enough or administered in the best way. Research suggests a minimum of 21 days of antibiotics is needed to eliminate Lyme disease. Many doctors stop at fourteen days.
Also, antibiotics administered through intravenous methods are more effective than oral antibiotics. When taken orally, the antibiotic must travel through the digestive system, where a portion of the medicine’s power erodes due to stomach acids and digestion. By the time the antibiotic reaches your blood, it is less effective.
You Have Lyme Co-Infections
If your doctor has not discussed the possibility of you having a Lyme disease co-infection, then you need to seek help from a Lyme literate doctor for a second opinion. Co-infections occur and are transmitted to your bloodstream by the same tick that transmitted Lyme bacteria.
Co-infections occur in more than 50% of those with chronic Lyme disease. Of those tested for co-infections, 30% had more than one.
Common co-infections include babesia, Bartonella, Anaplasma, Mycoplasma, RSMF, Tularemia, and Ehrlichia.
You Have Been Misdiagnosed
Lyme disease is called “the great imitator” because its symptoms match those of many other disorders. This, along with a negative Lyme test result, will lead your doctor to believe you have some other disease or possibly fibromyalgia.
Your pain is real. Your symptoms are real. Sometimes, however, a doctor can get the diagnosis wrong. If you’ve been given a diagnosis of the flu, ALS, multiple sclerosis, depression, arthritis, fibromyalgia, Morgellons, or chronic fatigue syndrome but treatments have not improved your health, you may have been misdiagnosed.
You Have Done Your Research and Think You May Have Lyme Disease
Doctors will often tell you not to search for your symptoms on the internet. However, there is a lot of outstanding research available online. What they should advise is to search only reputable, evidence-based sources.
There is no doctor out there that knows your body better than you. Most doctors spend less than twenty minutes with you a couple of times a year. They do not take your file home and study it.
If you are not receiving the kind of care you deserve and feel a treatment like Therapeutic Apheresis may help ease your symptoms, you should reach out to a Lyme literate doctor for guidance.
Contact Lyme Mexico today!