Growing up, I knew that in the summer you stay out of the woods and if you do play in tall grass, there’s going to be a 10 minute body check afterwards to look for ticks. As a kid, it was super annoying, but as an adult who has been struggling with (potential) Lyme Disease symptoms now, I praise my mom for being diligent.
Lyme disease is on the rise and unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. More than 30,000 cases of the disease are reported nationwide each year, and yet, studies suggest the actual number of those diagnosed is closer to 300,000! Known for primarily being found in the Northeast and North Midwest, black-legged ticks infected with a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi have vastly spread to other areas of the country and more cases are coming out every year. These ticks, which can often be the mere size of a poppy seed (and therefore often overlooked) can transmit Lyme Disease to humans and pets causing symptoms like fever, fatigue, headache, body aches, nausea, and sometimes a red bull’s eye rash on the skin. At the same time, some people don’t even realize they have Lyme at all, misinterpreting their symptoms as just the flu, allergies, or stress. Most people who catch and begin treatment for Lyme Disease early recover well. However, if someone is infected and the diagnosis is missed by a doctor, it can lead to serious health issues and symptoms, such as chronic muscle pain and joint damage, arthritis, hair loss, memory loss, digestive distress, neuropathy, cardiac problems, and nervous system issues.
Luckily, the awareness of the disease has increased over the years, which has also prompted better testing options. For decades, the only way to get a confirmed diagnosis for Lyme was to schedule an appointment with your doctor or specialist and go through various tests, requiring lots of blood work, time, and money. These tests are still used today, but have more recently been found to have accuracy concerns after many studies show they can miss up to 60% of well-defined Lyme Disease cases.
Being someone who has almost all of the symptoms listed above, I decided to research to see if there are newer, more updated tests available with less blood work required (I get queasy every time I type that, haha) for confirming my potential Lyme Disease diagnosis before trying the old fashioned two-step tests. That’s when I stumbled upon myLymeTest, a company whose entire purpose is to help those who may have Lyme Disease get a confirmed diagnosis with a more accurate, less ambiguous test and a quick turnaround. The myLymeTest for anyone suffering from acute Lyme Disease symptoms, meaning only those who suspect they’ve recently been infected (not for chronic, long-term sufferers), who want an inexpensive and convenient detection. The test detects a Lyme Borrelia infection with 99% laboratory accuracy, 99% specificity, and >97% sensitivity—aka, it’s incredibly accurate. Read about it here.
Now, in my case, I’m not sure if I could be suffering with acute or chronic Lyme disease because I’ve struggled with many different issues for years, but my symptoms have greatly increased in the last few weeks, so I wanted to go ahead and test for a more recent infection first.
Within 5 days of ordering the test I received the test kit, which includes:
• Lancets, alcohol pads (US kits only) and bandages
• Micro-collection clamshell device with 4 sample collection tips
• Gauze pads
• Collection instructions
• Test Order Form
• Extra Information Booklet
• Bio-hazard bag with desiccant
• Postage-paid (US kits only), addressed return envelope
Being someone who feels like she spends more time at doctors offices and being pricked with needles, I have to say this was one of the easier tests I’ve EVER done in my life. All you have to do is provide a simple finger prick sample, let it dry, ship it off to the CLIA-approved laboratory, and wait for your results to come back within 10 days. That simple.
I got my test results back which stated that I was negative for an acute infection, which is good! But, it also means a little more testing for me to figure out if I have more of a chronic Lyme infection or something else entirely. It may also mean that it’s too early for antibody formation so I just have to keep monitoring my symptoms. Either way, it’s a good to have a peace of mind.
So, if you’re reading this realizing you have a lot of these same symptoms and want to skip the doctor’s office and lab work with a MUCH quicker, easier, more accurate test, I can’t recommend the myLyme Test enough. Order one here and let me know what you think!