lymed out

my quest to getting these suckas out!

You don’t have Lyme because your results says positive IGM and negative IGG


As in one of my previous posts, Dr. Gollum didn’t believe my results from IgeneX because I had positive IGM and negative IGG. And he was skeptical because I “claimed” that my symptoms have been for over a year. In short:

IGM = current infection
IGG = past infection

So, attending my weekly awesome Lyme webinars from a really awesome doc in Seattle, Washington named Dr. Marty Ross (www.treatlyme.net), I asked this question and here is the response I got. I typed it up and I think I will shove it into Dr. Gollum’s face.

Q: I have been infected for more than 6 mths – 1 year. My family doc does not believe that I have lyme even though my igenex has 2 positive IGM Bands. He said he would believe it if the IGG was positive since the infection was more than a year ago. Is this right? Why would my IGM be postive and IGG be negative if this infection was more than 6 months ago?

A: There are 2 families of antibodies when trying to determine if somebody’s immune system is reacting to any germ. One of those families is IGM and the other is IGG. Always when you get infected, you develop IGM antibodies, and then for most infections EXCEPT Lyme disease, in most cases, IGM’s will go away within 6 weeks – 3 months and be replaced by IGG’s. When you develop IGG antibodies in an infection including Lyme, they will remain positive even after the illness is gone. What we say when we look at the IGG antibody is that it serves as the “memory” of the immune system. When it comes back positive, we cannot tell if the germ is in you or out of you, the best we can say about a positive IGG is that you had the infection.

Now, IGM Antibodies in Lyme can remain positive indefinitely. If they do, it means you have a living germ in you. Any germ covering is made up of a layer of fat (phospholipids), into which proteins get stuck. So in short, a germ covering is proteins stuck in fat. In all infections EXCEPT Lyme and a handful of other infections, those proteins that get stuck are static. They do not move around. Therefore what the germ looks like to the immune system never changes. In the case of Lyme and a few other infections, those proteins do get moved around. There are 14 kinds of proteins in the Lyme germ. If those move, what the germ looks like is going to change and the immune system gets tricked into thinking it’s seeing a new infection and keeps making positive IGM antibodies.

One of the reasons why your doc may not believe you about your positive western blot test is because he is going to be doing what we were taught. IGM’s are supposed to go away and that by 3 months or so they should be gone and you should then be having IGG Antibodies. And what he is thinking in his mind as most doctors do is that you are having a false positive test. They are ignoring the science that says you can have this phenomenon known in Lyme and it’s called Epitope Switching or Antigenic Variation. There is good science that supports this in Lyme.

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17 thoughts on “You don’t have Lyme because your results says positive IGM and negative IGG

  1. Veronica on said:

    Thank you so much for publishing this! I am going through this right now and find it so frustrating. I will be printing this off

  2. Pingback: Information. I am gathering information. | I have told my kids that every thought they have doesn't need a voice. But...

  3. Interesting. . . I had Lyme for five years before I got an LLMD. I tested for super positive IGM but really low IGG. She was very surprised, but thankfully she knew that I definitely had lyme.

  4. leigh on said:

    had lyme in late 2011, treated and fine for almost 2 years. got sick again this spring (no new bites) and igm is neg, igg positive. any way to know if I need treatment again or is igg positive just because I had it before.

    • you could have had a relapse? this is very common and from what i hear, you can be in a couple months of abx which should do the trick. speak to your llmd and see what their take on it is?

  5. Pingback: The “Yes”, “No”, “Maybe” Confusion of Blood Tests for Lyme | My Color Is Lyme

  6. Thank you. My testing from Igenex had the same results as yours, but thank God a Lyme literate doctor knew I had Lyme anyway. This is something interesting I may reference with my non believing PCP though. Thank you for sharing. One Lymie Love 😉

  7. I’ve struggled with chronic fatigue and brain fog for years. I’ve tested negative for Lyme 3 times over the past 2 years, but my naturopath encouraged me to do the iGeneX lab. I, too, tested IgG negative and IgM positive. I am sure if I don’t arm myself with info my doctor will dismiss it like she has everything else. I’m going to print this to take to my doctor for some talking points. Thank you, than you, thank you.

  8. I had a positive Lyme Elisa and Negative WB from regular cdc testing in 2011. I retested through Igenex in October 2013 after my symptoms got worse. I was Positive on 6 bands for IgM cdc standards and Igenex and was negative with only 2 positive bands on IgG through Igenex and CDC standards. My PCR whole blood was positive as well. My IFA (I think) was 40 so equivocol. My LLMD said it appears with my neurological symptoms that I have Lymes.

  9. Lauren on said:

    So if one has a positive IGM 2 or more bands for iGenex to be positive and 4 or more for CDC to be positive and your IGG is blank, does that mean it is a recent infection – lyme and coinfections more than likely? I asked my LLMD this questions as my husband and mother both have IGMs lite up by iGenex but almost blank IGGs. Both have had lyme symptoms for years. My LLMD said he doesn’t put much into the iGenex tests in determining that – he goes more by symptoms. I know there is an Epitope 31 test which will confirm if you are chronic or over a year exposed to lyme. I’ve taken that too and was positive. As for my Mom and husband, they don’t want to spend the extra $200 for this side test and will just begin treatment with Abx pills to start. I’ve been on Abx pills – combinations for over a year now and still have symptoms. I realize we cannot get rid of this overnight but if my brain fog, loss of concentration, short term memory loss and vertigo/lightheadedness continues, I will more than likely have a port put in in 4 to 5 weeks. I don’t want to live with this terrible disease the rest of my life – I want to make it go dormant. Any comments on the IGM positive, IGG negative is great and advice on a chest port and IV abx – is it worth it? Are there major risks? My LLMD tells me if I need it, he’s seen almost zero die from it – I’ve heard horror stories about pick lines or ports that get bacteria in them and then the patient is rushed to the hospital with a high fever and how some make it and other don’t. Very scary but I am willing to do anything to get this beast to go dormant. Then if I can accomplish this task, there’ my husband, mother, possibly father and one of my children I have to worry about who need to be treated as well. We are under attack by our own environment. I found solice in nature and now I cannot even walk out into it without thinking of these little bugs that can change your life overnight. Also lyme can be transmitted sexually from your partner, a mother can give it to her child or a person can get it from a simple blood tranfusion. Scary stuff.

  10. Victoria on said:

    Lauren,
    Did you ever get the port? If so, what treatment (antibiotic) are you using? Lastly, did insurance pay for the port?

  11. karen on said:

    it’s a lyme spirochete, not a lyme germ!

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