Lyme Disease/Lyme?


Hi Bonnie, I live in a small town in B.C. Canada. I came back from Spain last March, got a bad weird flu and have been ill since. I mostly have head and ear pressure which turned up as bad Sinusitis, went to ER many times, eventually had 2 cat scans and an MRI which confirmed Sinusitis. Went to 2 ENT's and a neurologist, finally going to a top ENT in Vancouver. Long story short, I had sinus surgery, but still have head problems after 6 weeks, ( a little better though) so had a Lyme test from Igenex labs because I had a kit, and just don't feel right, I had regular blood tests for Lyme from my GP,  they came back negative. Hope you can help me read the "Equivocal" results, my Doctor can't.

IGM- **41 kda - IND, 66 kda - +

ICG- 18 kda - +, **23-25 kda - IND, **34 kda - ++, **41 kda - +, **83-93 kda - +

IFA- 40

Results were Equivocal, so I wonder if I was exposed or not? Other symptoms are some neck pain once in a while, occasional headaches,ear sensitivity, night sweats ( could be peri menopause , because I'm just starting with that too) my sinuses seem better, and some days recently were really good, but the head pressure comes and goes, I've been off work for almost 6 months but am planning to go back in a couple weeks.

I would appreciate any insight or suggestions you may have, I don't seem to fit the most common symptoms, like brain fog, muscle or joint aches etc. Thanks for your time...

Sincerely Judi

Hi Judi, thank you for writing. I can relate - my very first symptom of Lyme was a bad flu and within a month I began to have sinus and allergy issues. Prior to that, I had NEVER had a single sinus or allergy issue in my life and it has now been 3 years that I have pretty much suffered from sinus congestion on a daily basis. I also had "head pressure" as well - I used to describe it as a "migraine but without the pain" (I also had severe migraines too, but that was to come later)

Before I answer your questions about your Igenex test - I want to recommend two resources for you. I would HIGHLY recommend renting (it's available on Netflix Instant Watch I think) a documentary about Lyme called "Under Our Skin". It will answer EVERY question you ever had about Lyme!
Also, because you have such varied symptoms, I would read Dr. Burrascano's Treatment Guidelines - on page 9 is a checklist which I would suggest you go through and see how many other symptoms you have that you might not have connected with possible Lyme symptoms. It's located at:

Now, regarding your Igenex Labs - it's so interesting, because when I first insisted that I be re-tested for Lyme (my first 2 tests through local labs were negative) my doctor didn't know how to interpret them either! So it wasn't until I saw a LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor) that I learned I was positive for chronic or "late stage Lyme". I also had a positive PCR test for Lyme which shows fragments of DNA from the Lyme bacteria in your blood. Interestingly, THIS is what the local Public health department was quite interested in, and they called me at home to ask about my exposure (I had just returned from the East Coast where I had been doing lots of hiking outdoors). There is a great site that will explain EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about these antibody tests - I think you will find it quite informative. The site is:

Regarding your tests, this is what it means: According to the results, the IgG (you wrote ICG but I'm assuming you meant to write IgG?) means that you tested positive for a past exposure to Lyme Disease. If you were not treated properly right after you were bit (which many people are not because the smaller nymph ticks are the size of the period at the end of this sentence. If this were on your back or in your scalp - most people would never see it. IgG can indicate that you have chronic Lyme or "late stage Lyme". Your IgM shows 2 bands positive which means it's not a CURRENT infection. However, you must realize that by CURRENT, this simply means that the test indicates that your immune system isn't producing antibodies for an infection it recognizes as a current borrelia burgdorferi bacterial presence. If the bacteria has morphed into a cyst form, then it's quite possible that your immune system can't recognize it and therefore won't show a positive result. However, you definitely HAVE had a past exposure and the fact that you have four positive bands with a 5th band that is Equivocal - is a strong indicator. Again, if you visit the link I listed above, it will go into much more detail about this.

**41 kda - IND,
66 kda - +

18 kda - +,
**23-25 kda - IND,
**34 kda - ++,
**41 kda - +,
**83-93 kda - +

The fact that you don't have symptoms like brain fog, or muscle and joint aches just means that you may have encountered a different strain of Lyme (there are MANY different strains which most people don't realize!) and I know several Lyme patients who never had these symptoms either. (I'm quite envious!)

I know what you mean about wondering if it's peri-menopause. When I first presented with my symptoms, I was having severe night sweats along with all my other symptoms and I went out and bought several books on peri-menopause! I was convinced that is what I had! But peri-menopause doesn't cause fevers which one of the first doctors I saw was quick to point out, so I was REALLY confused! It was 7 months and several hospital visits along with about a dozen different doctors before I insisted on another Lyme test - this time thru Igenex and I FINALLY tested positive. I've had a second test since then thru another lab which was ALSO positive, so that took care of any thoughts that it might have been a false positive.

I hope this answers your question, Judi and please let me know if you have any more questions.

My very best to you!

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I contracted Lyme Disease while on hiking trip in Virginia almost 3 years ago. I returned to San Diego and within 3 weeks came down with a terrible "flu-like" illness. During that time, I developed some strange rashes on my fingers and the palm of my hand. I also had a giant melon size purple "bruise" on my left thigh which may or may not have been a bullseye - but I didn't even know that was back then. A week later, I went to the store and stopped right outside the entrance. I realized that I had completely forgotten WHY I was there and it was the most scary, unsettling feeling I've ever had. That was the beginning of my strange cognitive and neuro issues I would have for the next 2 and 1/2 years. I had previously been an extremely active person - running up to 4 miles a day and hiking a few times a week. All of a sudden, I was so tired I couldn't get out of bed and my legs became weaker and weaker. At first I thought I was anemic, and when I went to a clinic, they said you probably have mono even though you aren't testing positive. I began to get fevers, night sweats, sleep disturbances, abdominal pain, and horrible nausea. Within 6 months I was developing severe arthritis in every joint in my body and THEN...the worst. . . nerve pain developing in my arms and legs. It was horrific pain. It took 7 months and a dozen doctors to diagnose me with Lyme, and since then, my entire world has been turned upside down! I have had to learn everything I could about Lyme Disease since I live in San Diego and we only have FOUR Lyme Literate doctors in this city. I am a member of several Lyme support groups and have become very active in spreading awareness about Lyme Disease and helping people get the right treatment they need. I decided to join up as an Expert, since I saw there were currently no "Lyme experts" listed at this time. I can answer most questions about Lyme - most importantly, how to instruct people as to WHERE to get help, answers, resources, etc.


I have lived with Lyme Disease for almost 3 years now (in January of 2013) and have had to educate myself because of the appalling lack of (correct) information about this disease. There is so much misinformation about Lyme, that I took it upon myself to read every book, article and studies available and educate myself. I'm a member of several Lyme groups and have learned so much by listening to other patients about their experiences and treatments. Thankfully I now have a wonderful LLMD (Lyme Literate MD) and am finally getting the treatment that I need. I've worked with dozens of other Lyme patients in helping them get the proper information and providing them with the resources they need to find doctors, learn about their options for treatments and help them find local support groups in their area. It saddens me when well meaning doctors tell their patients that they should be CURED after 3 weeks of antibiotics and yet these same patients are still suffering years later because they still have large bacterial loads in their body that are causing symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, nausea, weight loss/gain, sinus issues, muscle weakness and sometimes lack of mobility, nerve pain, joint pain, etc. - the list goes on and on. We need doctors to come together and realize that the past guidelines are NOT effective and they need to take their patients seriously rather than suggest that maybe it's "all in their head" (which happens more often than you'd think!) I am now unable to walk without a cane or walker (depending on how bad my legs are!), I continue to have peripheral neuropathy in both arms and legs, brain fog and lack of focus/concentration (is maddening!), fatigue, joint pain, nausea, headaches, sinus issues. . .the list goes on. But I'm hopeful that I'm on the right track for treatment (Finally!) and am optimistic that SOMEDAY, I WILL be cured! :)

Local and National Lyme Groups including CALDA (California Lyme Disease Association) Southern California Lyme Group MD Junction Lyme Group

I have a blog called which I definitely need to update since my last post, but it DOES have a LOT of useful links and information!

I have a Masters Degree in Film and Television - no medical degree here, but honestly I feel like I know more now than most (non-Lyme) doctors in the country.

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