Ways & How

how to diagnose Lyme disease

how to diagnose Lyme disease

How to diagnose Lyme disease effectively is still an ongoing process for medical researchers. In an area prone for the disease, it’s immediately assumed that patients with symptoms like rashes and the flu have Lyme disease. Muscle and joint tenderness, especially around the knees, are other symptoms for Lyme disease as well as other fever-related cases. Prior to the existence of a reliable, diagnostic method for the ailment, here’s how medical practitioners conduct some testing to verify Lyme disease:

  1. Perform an antibody blood test to verify Lyme disease. A doctor cannot easily confirm or rule out Lyme disease after just one blood test. There are three common blood tests that detect antibodies that are produced in the immune system to fight the disease. Antibody tests can sometimes give false results because if there’s a minimal amount of antibodies, the result will be negative. This will get expensive once you’ve done all the necessary blood tests.

  2. Do a follow-up blood test called the Western Blot when the antibody testing is positive.

    ysicians can analyze the graph created by the process showing various color schemes and shading that determines the response of the immune system. This test can actually not stand alone without the antibody blood test. This can only reduce the number of positive results from the initial blood tests and has nothing to do with the negative findings.

  3. Determine the extent to which the body is affected possibly by Lyme disease. A spinal tap or lumbar puncture is useful for early detection of the disease when the person affected is experiencing symptoms that involve their nervous system. It is facilitated by gently inserting a needle at the back of the spine to withdraw a small amount of fluid. The procedure sounds scary, but it’s really that simple. It’s like getting an acupuncture treatment.

  4. Discover the effects of Lyme disease on the central nervous system through the patterns revealed in the brain. Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography, or SPECT, is an advanced imaging procedure that can be helpful to finally confirm the disease. This can be costly but it’s worth it. Treatments can only be effective when you know the root cause of the disease.

  5. Make no assumptions that the symptoms are not Lyme disease until the available diagnostic methods are undertaken. There are many common diseases that can be associated with it because of the presence of rashes. Ringworm, for example, is a mere skin infection. This can be treated externally with an anti-fungal ointment. Note, however, that this is contagious contrary to Lyme disease.

  6. Be aware of other ailments that resemble the same symptoms as Lyme disease. Scleroderma is a progressive illness with symptoms like pain, swelling, or stiffness of the joints. Rheumatic fever’s strep throat condition can lead to symptoms similar to Lyme disease. Mononucleosis and viral meningitis can cause severe fatigue and other Lyme-like symptoms.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a tick-borne disease with similar symptoms. Take note that Lyme disease is a bacterial illness that is spread by tick bites. It can affect the skin, joints, heart, and the nervous system. You’ll know that an infection occurs when the tick bite expands into a ring of redness. Overall, how to diagnose Lyme disease is based on the patient's clinical signs of illness and the detection of Lyme antibodies in the blood which will then finally be treated with antibiotics. Certain environmental conditions can trigger tick infestation. Proper hygiene is crucial to avoid the disease. The symptoms are very uncomfortable and may lead to serious injuries when left untreated.


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