If it’s not one thing, it’s another. From 2 posts ago, I mentioned that I took my 5 year old to have him tested at my LLMD’s office with the IgeneX Western Blot. I got the results yesterday (shown above). As I did this mainly for the reason to have peace of mind, there really is no peace. The bottom line here is that he has been “exposed “ to Lyme and according to these results, it shows that he has made antibodies specific to Borrellia. Remember IND means a small yes. More details below.
Source from: Western Blots made easy
Igenex Western Blot Break Down by band
• 9 cross-reactive for Borrellia
• 12 specific for Bb
• 18 highly specific to Lyme (from the link above by Dr. James Schaller, if this band alone is positive, you have Lyme)
• 20 cross-reactive for Borrellia
• 21 unknown
• 22 specific for Bb, probably really the 23/25 band
• 23-25 outer surface protein C (OspC), specific for Bb
• 28 unknown
• 30 unknown; probably an outer surface protein; common in European and one California strain – Has cross-reactivity with several different types of viruses
• 31 outer surface protein A (OspA), specific for Bb – Has cross-reactivity with several different types of viruses
• 34 outer surface protein B (OspB); specific for Bb
• 35 specific for Bb
• 37 specific for Bb
• 38 cross-reactive for Bb
• 39 is a major protein of Bb flagellin; specific for Bb
• 41 flagellin protein of all spirochetes; this is usually the first to appear after a spirochete infection but is NOT specific to Lyme (i.e, other spirochete diseases have flagellas)
• 45 cross-reactive for all Borellia
• 50 cross-reactive for all Borrellia
• 55 cross-reactive for all Borrellia
• 57 cross-reactive for all Borrellia
• 58 unknown but may be a heat-shock Bb protein
• 60 cross reactive for all Borrellia
• 66 cross-reactive for all Borrelia, common in all bacteria
• 83 specific antigen for the Lyme bacterium, probably a cytoplasmic membrane
• 93 unknown, probably the same protein in band 83, just migrates differently in some patients
Further excerpt by Dr. James Schaller, M.D. on Western Blots made easy.
Simply, if you are blindfolded and touch the side of an elephant, you may not be sure it is an elephant–perhaps this is a rhino? This is the 41 band. It is from the flagella’s, the parts inside Lyme that help it move—they get a lot of attention in the body, in the same way a whip snaps and gets attention in the hands of an expert user. However, the 41 antibody is not specific to Lyme, since many organisms have flagella.
Now, what if you touch this same elephant on its tusks or on its long peanut-eating tubular nose? You know it is an elephant. Period. One touch and you are certain, because these parts are very unique to this huge animal. This is Dr. Jones’ point. It you see a Western Blot 18 antibody that has a positive, you have Lyme. You do not need to check any other bands, because the 18 antibody is highly specific to Lyme—just like double tusks on an elephant.
What Do the Number of Pluses Mean?
IGeneX gives levels of antibodies. One + means you have some antibody of that type. A single positive is plenty strong, because that is the same level of brightness seen in the positive control run next to your blood test. This means they run a fake sample with all 13 proteins which should show always show up as 13 positives. It helps confirm no error in the testing.
If you have a ++ or a rare +++, this means you have a very large amount of antibody of that type. However, Lyme ruins immune system functioning and the number of positives sometimes goes up with treatment and healing of the immune system. People with no aggressive past Lyme treatment, should be lucky their body has made any antibodies at all, since Lyme is very good at both hiding from the immune system and hindering it.
Also, many people have “IND” or indeterminate findings on an antibody. This means the lab tech is seeing something, but is not ready to call it a clear positive. Consider a positive in the level of a single + to be a sharpie flair black line. I consider the IND to be a black pen line.
In my experience, many of these patients also show high Epstein Barr labs, which means this common infection is not in check and the immune system is very weak. And after we treat the patient, the IND sometimes becomes a clear + which means you now have new and clear antibodies against this part of the Lyme bug. I consider all IND’s as weak positives. This is my opinion.
Currently, IGeneX does not use Dr. Jones’ criteria. I have not asked them why. Perhaps because they are accountable to different laboratory regulating agencies and in general the government is perhaps decades behind real-world clinical medicine. Apparently, the government and many insurance companies blindly follow 14 individuals who actually think they can control 800,000 physicians and 300 million Americans.
So my questions are:
- Could this have been passed in utero? If you compare my IgeneX results with his, you will see we have the same bands marked, his is IND, mine is ++. I showed symptoms 3 years after he was born, so does this mean that my Lyme was dormant in my system? Or could we have been vacationing together and got this? All unknown.
- Do I treat him if he has absolutely ZERO symptoms and awaken a potential beast? Or do I treat him when symptoms start coming if at all? At which time from what I read, it can be either slow or fast.
My LLMD’s response:
All you can say from a Lyme blood test is that there has been exposure to the Borrelia Burgdorferi (Lyme) bacteria if there are either IND (indeterminate= weak positive) or +’s (positive’s) next to the ** bands (except for band 41, which is + in all Lyme patients, but is not specific for the Lyme bacteria – it can be from bacteria in the mouth). So an IND or + in bands 23-25, 31, 34, 39, or 83-93 means they have been exposed to the Lyme bacteria. (There is no mention here of Band 18)
You cannot say someone has Lyme disease from a test result that says “positive” because the only way to make that diagnosis is clinical symptoms. Some people have a positive test but no symptoms – they do not have Lyme disease, they have been exposed to the Lyme bacteria but without symptoms they cannot be said to have Lyme disease.
LLMD’s Bottom line: Don’t treat based on labs, treat on symptoms. This brings me back to what my LLMD told me 2 weeks ago. “ Be weary about trusting tests. It is not about proving it on a piece of paper. It’s about how you feel.” Of course, this is only in relation to Lyme.
My Lyme Homeopath’s response:
I emailed my Lyme Homeopath to get his interpretation of the results and he said this is suspicious of Lyme and to do a Lyme Challenge (if I wish to). The Lyme Challenge (which is what I did back in March 2012) is when you take herbs such as Cat’s Claw or Teasel Root for several days to see if it produces a herx. A 5 year old would most likely do 1/4 adult dose. I asked if this would “awaken the beast”. He said no. But I am not sure if I want to do this because I’m not trying to prove whether he has Lyme or not (like in my case). Infact I want to disprove it. If I were to treat him, I will not subject my 5 year old to harsh antibiotics. If anything, I will do as my LLMD advised on symptomatic kids and start him on the Cowden Condensed Protocol with specific dosages according to weight. However, I need to do more research on that and I need to monitor him on symptoms. In the meantime, my pantry will be cleared out of all skittles, gummi bears and chocolate chip cookies.
Another great point that he brought up was the mention of Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt where his theory is that 70% of people on earth are walking with Lyme antibodies and their immune systems can fight off the infection.
Homeopath’s Bottom line: Don’t treat if asymptomatic.
Dr. Marty Ross Response:
A western blot is a technique used to see if a person is making antibodies that attach to very specific proteins found on the Lyme germ covering. We identify the proteins by what they weigh. For instance, one of the proteins weighs 18 KDa (a KDa is a microscopic unit of weight.) On the western bot a + of ++ or +++ means that the tests detects antibodies against that protein. An ind could mean one of two things: there was a very weak antibody reaction so it is barely detected or during the test some dirt or another artifact showed up on the test strip. So an Ind could be a weak antibody reaction but is not always. A test is positive if there are antibodies against 2 of the following, 23-25, 31, 34, 39, 41 or 83-93. Ind do not count in determining a true positive. Having said this, I would interpret the results as very weakly positive given the number of ind findings at the 6 important proteins.
However, having a positive test or even a weakly positive test does not prove one has Lyme. We also have to consider is there a risk of getting it, the symptoms, any physical findings. So in the case of a person like your son who does not have any symptoms, I do not treat. It is possible that even if he has Lyme his immune system is dealing with it. I do not use antibiotics in this situation because they may not rid his body of the infection if it is present, it is also possible they could cause any Lyme to become dormant which is much harder to treat. Finally, even if he is on antibiotics, it is not clear how long to treat given that he does not have symptoms.
Yes, some of my patient had Lyme infection but not disease for many years and then they became symptomatic. Again though it is hard to tell who this will happen in.
Regarding the 18 +, the Europeans consider it to be one of the important proteins. I sometimes consider it, but prefer to look at the reaction to the six proteins I discussed earlier.
Dr. Ross’ Bottom line: Don’t treat if asymptomatic.
Ok, so I got 3 of the same answers from great sources and my mind is now at ease. Again, the good news is that he shows no symptoms at all, he’s very active, sleeps really well, very smart and intelligent especially with technology, on the ball, and can sometimes outwit me and always calls my bluff.
So what next? Right now, I must leave things up to God and pray that everything works out fine for our future. Next step, get hubby tested. I’m curious now to see if every living soul on earth has Lyme antibodies.
Just curious, what would you do in my situation and have any of you been in this dilemma? Any advice would be appreciated.
In other news, I got my monthly blood labs back and things are looking much better.