Diagnosis & Treatment Options
There are two standards of care associated with the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme and associated tick-borne diseases, represented by the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) & the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS). While both groups agree that the best chance of recovery is through early intervention, there are differences in their diagnosis and treatment protocols.
Your physician should rely on her/his clinical judgment in diagnosing Lyme and associated diseases, even though you may not exhibit the classic EM rash. Such a diagnosis should be based on the time of year and outdoor exposure, history of tick activity in your area, specific symptoms and the ruling out of other diseases that might cause similar symptoms. Note that the reliability of blood tests for Lyme and co-infections remains controversial in determining the presence of an infection.
While the 2011 CDC Surveillance case definition of Lyme disease establishes a uniform criteria for disease reporting, it should not be used as the sole criteria for establishing clinical diagnoses, determining the standard of care necessary for a particular patient, setting guidelines for quality assurance, or providing standards for reimbursement.
Trust your instincts...no one knows your body better than you do. When visiting your physician, be respectful yet persistent with your questioning and vigilant in monitoring your symptoms. If symptoms persist, consider a second opinion.
Advocate for yourself!