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Lyme Disease Message Board

Lyme Disease Board Index

Hi dkysh, welcome to the board!

I am sorry your son has Lyme disease, but it is good he has been diagnosed. Getting tested for the co-infections is very important. It is estimated that 60% of people who have Lyme disease are co-infected. Having them may affect treatment choice and progress. As someone who has had several co-infections, I know firsthand how important it is to know if they are present.

The co-infections are Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis (HME & HGE), Bartonella, and Mycoplasma. It is important to be tested by a Lyme lab such as IgeneX in Palo Alto, CA. Many Lyme doctors use this lab. They can test for everything except Mycoplasma. MDL in NJ is a good lab to test for this.

Some of the symptoms of Lyme and the co-infections can overlap. Babesiosis is a malaria-like protozoa illness that invades, infects, and kills the red blood cells. Symptoms include fatigue, night sweats, chills, fever, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, headache, dark urine, muscle pain, joint pain, nausea, and jaundice. Treatment is an anti-malarial combined with an antibiotic--often Mepron with Zithromax (or Biaxin or Ketek).

Ehrlichiosis is a bacterial infection that invades and infects the white blood cells. There are two types of Ehrlichiosis: Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis (HME) and Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis (HGE). Symptoms include malaise, fever, sweating, nausea, dry cough, headache, muscle aches and pain. Treatment is most often Doxycycline.

Bartonella also known as cat-scratch fever is a bacterial infection. Symptoms include swollen, painful lymph nodes, muscle and/or joint pain, nausea, vomiting, chills, anxiety, insomnia, red rashes. Treatment is often Levaquin or Rifampin.

Mycoplasma is a bacterial infection. Symptoms include fatigue, breathing problems, headache, muscle pain and soreness, nausea, lymph node pain, and cognitive problems. Treatment is usually Doxycycline, Minocycline, Azithromycin, Clarithromycin, or Ciprofloxacin.

It is very important to see a knowledgeable doctor. Often, infectious disease doctors are not the best to see for tick-borne illnesses. Many doctors do not understand Lyme and treat with outdated protocols. It is great that you are in CT. The best Lyme pediatrician in the country is in New Haven, CT: Dr. Charles Ray Jones. He sees patients from all over and has helped many children. I highly recommend calling his office for advice.

When getting treated for tick-borne illnesses, it is normal to feel worse before feeling better and it can take time. With proper treatment, his symptoms should resolve. Most Lyme doctors will treat until a person is symptom free plus at least two months longer.

Be aware of the Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction (herx). Often, when people who have Lyme take antibiotics, their symptoms become worse or they get new ones. When the antibiotics kill the bacteria, toxins are released making them feel sicker. It can be very scary when it happens, but it is a good sign the antibiotics are working. Although it can vary individually, many people experience this at the beginning of treatment and every three to four weeks.

It is a good idea to document your son's symptoms daily. One way to do this is to list the three main symptoms he has each day and a numerical rating of their severity, from 1-10. Over time when you review this, you can see when his herxes occur and how he is responding to the meds.

It is also important to learn as much as possible. I recommend reading Dr. Joseph Burrascano's 2005 Diagnostic Hints and Treatment Guidelines For Lyme and Other Tick Borne Illnesses. He is one of the top Lyme doctors in the country, and many Lyme doctors follow his protocols. The co-infections are discussed there too. I also recommend the book "Everything You Need To Know About Lyme Disease (2nd edition)" by Karen Vanderhoof-Forschner.

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