ZocdocAnswersDo I have lyme disease?

Question

Do I have lyme disease?

I was blood tested and the ELISA came back positive and the Western blot says negative, but has 3/10 reactions. My doctor assured me I have it and I'm terrified. I had one bump under my belly button 4 weeks ago, my doctor thought it was shingles. I went to another doctor, they thought it was shingles as well. It was very itchy at first but never hurt. My physical symptoms are fatigue, headache, upset stomach, achey all over. Not as severe as a flu or bad cold, just feeling generally bad.

Answer

From your question, is not clear to me that you have Lyme disease. The ELISA test that you had done is very nonspecific. What that means is that it will come back positive if you have Lyme disease, but it will also come back positive for many other reasons that are not Lyme disease. If it does come back positive, then we use the Western blot to confirm the diagnosis. If the Western blot comes back negative, then this generally means that you do not have Lyme disease. Many doctors are not trained to tell the difference. Thus, I would suggest that you schedule an appointment with an infectious disease physician. He or she will review this lab work and decide whether or not you actually have tested positive or negative for Lyme disease. The doctor will also likely ask you questions about where you live and whether or not you were out hiking in an area that is known to be endemic for Lyme disease. Most people that get Lyme disease develop a target shaped rash near where they were bit by the tick. Your symptoms of fatigue, headache, stomach upset, and myalgias could be due to many different conditions including influenza. Thus, further evaluation is needed. If you do have Lyme disease, then you will need treated with an antibiotic most likely doxycycline. Please speak with your doctor.

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