Stuff I’ve been tested for and WHY 05/08/2012Posted by thetickthatbitme in Diagnosis, TBI Facts, Whole Person.
Tags: Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Babesia, Bartonella, Borrelia, Ehrlichia, food poisoning, health, labs, Lyme Disease, medicine, pets, Quest Diagnostics, ticks
add a comment
I apologize for the inconsistent posting lately; it’s been a busy couple weeks. No tick-lit today, so I’ll owe you some later in the week!
Tonight’s question: How did my doctor find 3 crazy infections that five other doctors missed? (One of which went undiagnosed for 7 years!)
Answer: He sent me to get tested for a whole lot of stuff.
How did he know what to order? He considered my risk factors and exposure to disease vectors (like ticks and pets). Is it important for your doctor to know if you’ve been out of the country? If you used to live in another state? If you have pets? If you hike or camp? If you’ve had food poisoning? Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes!
Below, rather than listing the name of each disease/infection I was tested for, I’ve listed the names of the tests as they appear in my lab reports from Quest Diagnostics. (No, Quest did not pay me to mention their name. I just happen to like them, since they’re always nice to me and their tests helped find my infections.) They’re sorted according to why my doctor thought to order them.
DISCLAIMER: Just because I’ve been tested for something doesn’t mean that you need to be. Only you and your doctor can decide what you should be tested for based on your history, risk factors, and symptoms.
Borrelia hermsii AB IFA
Ehrlichia chaffeensis IFA
Lyme Disease Antibody (IgG/IgM) Western Blot
WA1 (Babesia duncani) IgG Antibody, IFA
Babesia microti Antibody IgG/IgM
Bartonella Species Antibody test w/reflex (FYI: One of my cats has tested positive for Bartonella, but I was negative. He’s never scratched or bitten me, but I have been bitten by a different cat.)
Toxoplasma IgG Antibody
Toxocara Antibody, ELISA (serum)
Having food poisoning in Mexico and China
Entamoeba histolytica IgG, ELISA
Giardia lamblia AB Panel, IFA
Helicobacter pylori breath test
Salmonella and Shigella Culture (this was not fun, but I’m glad they were negative)
Immunoblobulins G, A, and M (to see if I was deficient, as this would affect the results of antibody tests and would mean I might need additional treatment, like IVIG—luckily I was not deficient)
CBC (to see if I was low on any particular kinds of blood cells, which might indicate an infection)
Questions? Feel free to comment/e-mail. For whatever reason, I seem to enjoy discussing labs.
Tags: Anaplasma, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, healing, health, humor, medicine, nicknames
During my 42 days “doing time” in the infusion clinic, I became acquainted with three women from the same family—a young woman, her mother, and her grandmother—who were all being treated by Dr. W for various conditions. I’ll call them the Kind family, because they are amazingly kind and generous people. Grandma Kind lived on the east coast, and would be seen periodically by Dr. W when she visited her daughter and granddaughter. She’d had some lab work done, and the results came into Dr. W’s office by fax at the very end of a workday.
Seeing that the elder Mrs. Kind had tested positive for an infection, Dr. W thought it wise to telephone her right away so that she could make arrangements to get treated for it. It was nearly 7:00 p.m. pacific time, 10:00 p.m. eastern time, when he called Mrs. Kind to inform her of the lab results. He hadn’t considered the time difference until she answered the phone with a groggy “hello.” He apologized for disturbing her at such a late hour, but went ahead and quickly explained that she had an Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection, and asked that she call his office within the next few days to arrange for treatment.
The next morning, Dr. W received a distressed phone call, not from the elder Mrs. Kind, but from her daughter.
“Dr. W, my mother said you called last night, and I’m a little worried about her diagnosis. I tried to Google it, but I can’t find any information on Anti-panty-poo-poo.”
Dr. W thought his hearing aid must have malfunctioned and said, “Excuse me?” to which Mrs. Kind replied, “My mother says you said she has Anti-panty-poo-poo. What exactly is that?”
Anyone who hears this story can’t help thereafter referring to Anaplasma phagocytophilum as anti-panty-poo-poo.
Tags: tick, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Lyme Disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, labs, treatment, Anaplasmosis, doxycycline, health, medicine, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
A new fact sheet is up today for Anaplasmosis, otherwise known as Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection. Try saying that three times fast. This is one of the two TBIDs I’ve been unlucky enough to have, but I had never heard of it before my lab results came back with a positive antibody test for it. By the end of this post, you’ll know eight things you didn’t know before about Anaplasmosis.
1. Anaplasmosis is spread by the same ticks that spread Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme Disease). This means that people with Lyme can have a coinfection with Anaplasmosis (and some of them don’t know it).
2. The symptoms of an Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection are: fever, headache, muscle pain, malaise, chills, nausea / abdominal pain, cough, and confusion. Some people get all the symptoms; other people only get a few.
3. If you show symptoms of Anaplasmosis, your doctor shouldn’t wait for lab results to come back to begin treating you. The CDC recommends beginning treatment right away.
4. If you’ve been infected with Anaplasma phagocytophilum and you get tested within the first 7-10 days you are sick, the test might come back negative. This doesn’t mean you don’t have Anaplasmosis, and you’ll need to be tested again later.
5. The best way to treat Anaplasmosis is with the antibiotic Doxycycline. According to the CDC, other antibiotics should not be substituted because they increase the risk of fatality. If your doctor insists on treating your Anaplasmosis with something other than Doxycycline, it’s probably time to get a new doctor. For people with severe allergies to Doxycycline or for women who are pregnant, the drug Rifampin can be used to treat Anaplasmosis.
6. Anaplasmosis can be confused with other TBIDs in the rickettsia family like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) and ehrlichiosis. These infections are also commonly treated with Doxycycline.
7. The number of cases of Anaplasmosis reported to the CDC has increased steadily since 1996. You can attribute this to climate change or not, but the trend suggests that this disease will be an increasingly more common problem in the future.
8. More than half of Anaplasmosis cases are reported in the spring and summer months. This is a no-brainer, since this is when tick populations thrive. To avoid infection, take steps to avoid tick exposure for both you and your pets.