Current Lyme Disease Tests are Flawed

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Interviewer:  Speaking from personal experience, doctors it seems often are not really sure in pin-pointing Lyme Disease.  You know, I've had a condition where they've tested me for a number of different things and then they say well, have you been tested for Lyme Disease and they try that.  You know, I've come up negative, but how accurate is that?  I guess.  And talk about those tests that are currently the norm.

Dr. Bradley Bush:  Well, Lyme Disease is a very controversial condition or disease at this point.  The reason why it's controversial is that many doctors have learned that there are more and more patients in their patient population that are actually positive with Lyme Disease that actually tested negative on the convention Western block tests.  

So many doctors, especially those in Lyme afflicted areas such as the Upper Northeast, the Upper Midwest, those doctors have started diagnosing Lyme based on not just the testing but by also just symptomology, and then clinical trials with antibiotics.

The problem is that patients being experimented on with high potency antibiotics is not a good thing.

Interviewer:  Um-hmm.

Dr. Bradley Bush:  And antibiotic therapy in itself is a, has anti-inflammatory activity.  So people are receiving therapeutic benefits from the high potency antibiotics, may not be getting the benefit because it's actually killing off an infective agent like Borrelia burgdorferi,  the Lyme Disease disease agent.  It may be because they're just reducing pro-inflammatory subtle kinds in their body, relieving symptoms.  

Then of course the root cause is still there.  And so there's big controversy because unfortunately there's a large number of people not properly diagnosed with Lyme, and of course those patients receive great benefit undergoing an aggressive Lyme Disease treatment.  

But then there's many other patients who have benefit from taking antibiotics, but when they go off of it, they have a re-occurrence of those symptoms.  And so those individuals may be stuck in a rut where they're taking antibiotics for years with some positive effects, but often only short term and short lived effects.

Dr. Bradley Bush explains some of the problems with diagnosing Lyme Disease. He discusses the issues with the test and some of the common antibiotics that are prescribed for the symptoms of Lyme disease or similar conditions.

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