Chasing diagnosis/ ruling out from a very old bite. Any advice on talking to UK doctors?

Medical topics with questions, information and discussion related to Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.
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Tricky_vicky42
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Joined: Mon 2 Nov 2015 12:24

Chasing diagnosis/ ruling out from a very old bite. Any advice on talking to UK doctors?

Post by Tricky_vicky42 » Thu 5 Nov 2015 10:25

Hi All,

I am undiagnosed, but I saw an article in a paper about symptom misdiagnosis, and the symptoms listed I have had investigated by doctors so far were all there, but until now they have all been just idiosyncratic. I have heart palpitations, and recently my sore skin and joint pain has come under investigation due to it being so bad I decided to visit a doctor. I never realised people didn't just get these pains, and usually it's not agony so I felt silly going to the doctor saying "my thumb joints hurt" like a baby!

I was bitten my a tick when I was 6 years old. I remember all too well being highly uncooperative about it's removal... but it was on the back of my head, so even if a rash was to appear, we would never have seen it. No one recalls specific awful sickness, but I was 6, so I got bugs all the time!

Anyway, While I'm having the tests done for the "random skin pain", what do I need to bring up with my GP to get her to test for Lyme too?

Many Thanks!

Vicky

duncan
Posts: 1370
Joined: Wed 5 Sep 2012 18:48

Re: Chasing diagnosis/ ruling out from a very old bite. Any advice on talking to UK doctors?

Post by duncan » Thu 5 Nov 2015 13:05

I would relay your symptoms as accurately as you can. I would specifically request a Lyme test.

Your physician may balk because reported Lyme incidence in the UK is low, but I would do my best to insist on it. It should be in your local press in a big way these days thanks to Caudwell. Your doctor may likely shrug that off, but at least Lyme should be on her/his radar.

Keep in mind technically - at least in the US - a diagnosis of Lyme should be clinical. But, I suspect you will need a positive test to receive a diagnosis and then treatment if appropriate. I hope I am wrong.

IF, and that is a big if, IF your possible infection stems from that bite when you were a child, it may be harder to get diagnosed.

I think the first test they will run is a C6 ELISA. I believe that is the screen in the UK. Its sensitivity is challenged by detractors. I don't believe your physician will order a Western Blot - the second, confirmatory test - unless the ELISA is positive. Even then, a negative result would not necessarily mean you don't have a TBD, but it certainly trims the odds in your favor. Incidentally, it would be good if you could be tested for other tick borne diseases while you're at it, but I don't know how that would work in the UK. There are also alternative or supplemental testing options, like IGeneX and Armin Labs etc.

One step at a time. Explain your symptoms. Explain the persistent joint pain and the palpitations and all the rest. Tell him/her candidly about your Lyme concerns. Request a test. It could well be your symptoms have nothing to do with Lyme or any other TBD.

Those would be my recommendations.

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