Rheumatoid Arthritis And Lyme Disease And New Testing for Lyme Disease
January 02, 2008
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Carl Roselli writes:
I've been reading your weekly newsletters with great interest for the past two years and learned a lot. You have opened my eyes to many things in medicine that I would never have questioned before.
The reason why I am writing is your last newletter raised a red flag for me when you discussed the possibility of using Zithromax for your RA patients in lieu of Minocin. I was diagnosed with RA a few years ago (a diagnosis that I never believed) and convinced my Rheumatologist to use Dr. Brown's protocol for treatment. We used Minocin and I also tried your diet but neither treatment worked.
I continue to look into other causes of my problem and now I believe I have Lyme disease. I have found it to be a very controversial field and one that "mainstream medicine" is very narrow minded about. I have also found that many State Health Departments are in total denial of Lyme disease in their States (Michigan is, and I'll bet Illinois is as well). As a result, most Doctors don't even look for it when treating their patients. Mainstream medicine is still using the CDC diagnostic criteria and testing based on Dr. Alan Steere's work back in the 80's which is turning out not to be very accurate.
There are new DNA tests (that the CDC does not officially recognize) that are more accurate and have a higher specificity for the Borriella Burgdorferi spirochete. ELISA's and Western Blots are not specific to the BB spirochete. I have found that Lyme disease is a scary illness is underreported and very political (something I never realized until reading you newsletters about medicine in general).
Just as a suggestion to you, it might be a good idea to retest some of your "strange" RA patients using the newer blood/fluids tests that are available. I attended a Lyme conference recently and found that many Lyme patients had been misdiagnosed with RA, which turned out to be Lyme disease. Because the bulls eye rash shows up in about 50% of the cases and since the spirochete is not endemic to many areas, doctors don't even suspect the disease in patients.
The new PCR-DNA and LUAT (Lyme Urine Antigen Test) should be run on the blood, urine, synovial fluid, or cerebal spinal fluid. According to the "Lyme literate" doctors from the east coast, if a patient turns out to be positive especially on the PCR-DNA test, they are 95% certain that the patient has Lyme Disease. However, one has to be careful to use the correct Labs for these tests.
P.S. My wife and I recently found out that we will be grandparents for the first time. We both have been reading your reports on Vaccines with much interest. She worked as a pediatric nurse for 25 years and encountered many problem children during that time. In hindsight, she now realizes that the vaccines probably caused so much of what she saw. We are now very concerned for our future grandchild. God bless you and keep up the good work.
Dr. Mercola's Comment:
Thank you for your comments. It encouraged me to look for solutions in the patients who fail to respond to the antibiotic regimen and diet. I have identified a lab called Immunoassay, which uses the PCR-DNA test for the urine. They also recommended that one use doxycyline 100 mg twice a day for three days to help kill some of the bugs and they would be in the urine, which will radically increase the sensitivity of the test. You can contact Immuno Sciences by calling (800) 950-4686.