8 Steps to Diagnose Lyme in Canada
I am not a medical professional. I am only stating my experience .
If you are a Canadian and suspect that you have Lyme, welcome to the land of uncertainty. But don’t fear. I’ve made a clear cut path for you which you won’t find anywhere. We are so use to having our doctors take care of everything for us and to be pushed out into the world of testing ourselves is quite overwhelming. It seems so foreign and even a little bit illegal!
- RULE #1. RULE OUT ALL OTHER CAUSES OF YOUR HEALTH ISSUES
I have personally had almost every test under the sun and they all came out clear. I knew something was wrong when I started getting tremors and funny body vibrations. Something just wasn’t right. This is what led me to test for Lyme.
- RULE #2: DO NOT GET TESTED IN CANADA
If you do not follow this rule, you will end up with this. Pending, negative results and cancellations. A complete huge waste of time.
Download a copy of this Lyme Awareness Poster that I designed and spread the word.
8 Steps to get diagnosed with Lyme in Canada
- Do not get tested in Canada. Go to IgeneX*.
Visit IgeneX or call them at 1.800.832.3200
- Order #188 and #189 Western Blot Test Kit for Lyme
They will send it to you via USPS. It took about 2 weeks to get mine in the mail. Do not test for co-infections such as bartonella or babesia either. These costs are very expensive nearing about $600. They apparently only test for 2 strains of babesia when there are more than 30. If you are being treated with a good LLMD, your medication will be eradicating co-infections anyway.
- Arrival of the Box
When it arrives, inside the box will have the kit. Fill out the paper work along with your credit card info. You will need to pay for this yourself. The #188 and #189 are $100 each. So total is $200.
- Getting an Authorized Signature
Bring this to your family doctor or naturopath and get them to sign it. There’s a signature field for your physician. Your family doctor may think you are crazy but do not let them bully you. Your mission is to get their signature on that form.
- Drawing your Blood
Get your blood drawn on a Monday morning so that by the time IgeneX gets it back, it isn’t sitting somewhere on a truck rotting. I went to a CML Healthcare Lab. The vials will need to be spun for about an hour. Some places may charge about $20.
- FedEx it back to IgeneX
Package up the vials immediately back in the box that is supplied and secure it in the Fedex Envelope it came with. Drive to Fedex and ship it right away at the fastest shipping possible. Cost for this is about $60 from Toronto.
- Find an Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD) Pronto
You most likely won’t find one in Canada or most specifically, Ontario. However there are some Naturopaths (in BC) that treat it under the guidance of Dr. Murakami. Wait times for LLMD’s may be up to 4 months. If you need a referral, contact Can Lyme or the International Lyme And Associated Diseases Society (ILADS). If you have an appointment already scheduled with an LLMD, make sure you CC your IgeneX results to them.
- The Waiting Game
Results will come back in between 2 -3 weeks. I had cc’d my results to my LLMD, and with the power of technology in the States, she emailed me the results as soon as she got them. This saved me a hassle free trip to Dr. Gollum to explain yet again why I think I have Lyme. This begs me to question: Why don’t Canadian doctors email you? or better yet, why don’t they think test results belong to you either?
* IgeneX is the leading testing facility for Lyme and they are located in California. Waiting time in all: About 4 weeks. At this point, I highly suggest that you start cleaning up your diet. This includes no sugar (not even in foods), gluten/yeast free. I also suggest that you go on a Candida Cleanse Detox. This is the Cleanse I did.
Interpreting the Western Blot:
- Read my post here on Interpreting the Western Blot
- Read my post here for the difference between IGM and IGG
You are positive, now what?
Get treatment! Financial worry will add even more stress. However I think, spending $10,000 for good treatment to get my health back is a no brainer. Yes, it is an initial shocker in the land of free healthcare, but you must realize that Lyme is a silent killer and ultimately nobody cares except for you. You will only get worse if you do not seek treatment. Claim your health back. Think about all those times you had to fix your car and paid $500 here and there. This is your LIFE! Not some car. [end tough love here]
You are negative, now what?
Lyme is all about symptoms. Just because you are negative does not mean that you don’t have Lyme. Lyme is mostly a clinical diagnosis based off your symptoms. There are many co-infection associated with Lyme. The IgeneX test is testing for antibodies. Depending on when you were bit, sometimes the antibodies haven’t shown up yet. Some patients are given something called a “Lyme Challenge” to “enhance” results of the Western Blot. What this means is that you are either given anti-biotics or herbal anti-microbials (as my homeopath gave to me) to take for a set number of days and then test for the Western Blot. I did the anti-microbial Lyme Challenge using Teasel Root and Cat’s Claw. I suggest that you seek an LLMD regardless to get treatment.
I had my 5 year old tested with IgeneX and his results came out Indeterminant (IND). This means that he may have been “exposed”. However he shows no symptoms. Nada. None. So do I treat him? No. Only treat if he has symptoms. Read more on this story here. And then I got my husband tested as well. Read more on that here.