Typically, the ELISA, Western blot, PCR and Lyme culture tests have been promoted as the best ways to diagnose Lyme disease. The ELISA has been deemed to be essentially worthless by most Lyme-literate doctors (LLMDs) that I know (for reasons that I won’t go into here, because I simply don’t know a single educated healthcare provider who uses it anyway). The other tests are used among some Lyme-literate physicians, although their usefulness is limited.
An Overview of Lyme Disease Tests
The Western blot looks for antibodies to Lyme, which the body produces in response to the infections. It can be helpful for detecting a few species of infection, but it is only somewhat useful because in the later stages of disease, the body may not be able to mount an antibody response against the infections, and up to 60% of all people with Lyme will test negative on it.
The PCR is similarly useful for detecting a few species of infection, but not most. According to Wayne Anderson, ND, in my 2016 book New Paradigms in Lyme Disease Treatment, “We now know that there are over 290 subspecies of Mycoplasma that can affect humans, but tests have been developed only for one Mycoplasma species, which means that lab tests will miss most of them. Similarly, current lab tests can only detect 2 out of the 29 species of Bartonella that are out there, and only 2 species of Babesia, even though there are over 100! The same is true of other microbes.”
So these Lyme disease tests may miss most of the microbes. Further, PCR antigen testing (which looks for samples of microbial DNA in the blood) misses many cases of Lyme because most microbes aren’t in the blood and a random sample may or may not contain microbial antigens.
The good news is—world-renowned Lyme-literate doctor Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD, has recently discovered a method for obtaining accurate PCR results in his patients — nearly every time. I describe this method in New Paradigms in Lyme Disease Treatment. The great thing about it is that it means that any patient or practitioner can now do PCR testing and get mostly accurate results, but urine test samples must be collected according to the method described by Dr. Klinghardt, which involves doing deep tissue massage to “chase” the bugs out of hiding, before collecting a urine sample for the PCR test.
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There are other ways to find out for sure whether you have Lyme. First and foremost, you’ll want to see a healthcare practitioner who can diagnose Lyme based on your symptom patterns and who uses tests only to confirm the diagnosis. Secondly, consider looking for a practitioner who does dark field microscopy testing. This involves looking at the blood under a microscope. It is a great way to test for some infections, because if you have microbes in your body, they will tend to show up under the microscope. It is a helpful adjunct diagnostic tool when used along with other types of testing.
Finally, bioenergetic testing, using tools such as muscle testing and bioenergetic devices like the ZYTO can be incredibly useful for showing the infections that the body is battling at present, and many practitioners now use these in their practices.
“Challenge” testing, which involves giving patients an antimicrobial remedy to see how they respond to it, is another way to determine whether an infection is present. A few of the doctors featured in New Paradigms in Lyme Disease Treatment have found the Byron White remedies to be especially useful for this purpose.
In summary, you don’t have to rely upon a Lyme test like the Western blot or useless ELISA to find out whether you have Lyme. Explore some of these additional testing options with your doctor to see if you might find a better, easier way to detect the infections.
This article was first published on ProHealth.com on October 27, 2016 and was updated on July 01, 2020.
Connie Strasheim is the author of multiple wellness books, including three on Lyme disease. She is also a medical copywriter, editor and healing prayer minister. Her passion is to help people with complex chronic illnesses find freedom from disease and soul-spirit sickness using whole body medicine and prayer, and she collaborates with some of the world’s best integrative doctors to do this. In addition to Lyme disease, Connie’s books focus on cancer, nutrition, detoxification and spiritual healing. You can learn more about her work at: ConnieStrasheim.