Of course you have Lyme’s disease. If you live on long Island you have Lyme disease. I can only say this after years of practice with thousands of patients. There is no point wasting time, effort and money if you have Lyme symptoms, you have Lyme. It would be great to prove this with testing. However research into the effectiveness of Lyme disease testing shows that it is less than 50/50 as to whether your results will be accurate. This means you have a better chance of getting a right answer by flipping a coin. I have seen all varieties of testing from the most conventional to all of the alternative testing methods. The issue is that the Lyme bacteria is capable of change into a form that does not allow the body to create antibodies. Antibodies are what the body produces in response to the presence of the bacteria. This is was all of the variety of testing checks for. I have seen this many times as people that test negative for Lyme after exposure to a tick or suspected symptoms later come back positive, and then negative again, and then positive again. It is only through trial and error that I became convinced that testing does not tell us if a person has been exposed to Lyme. Not only are the tests unreliable but we are only testing for one of the microorganisms that can infect us after exposure to ticks. Even is you don’t test positive to antibodies to one of the known bacteria that creates Lyme symptoms, you may have been infective by one of the many, many others that we are not able to test for. So what are the symptoms of Lyme? Inflamation in the joints, like unexplained knee, wrist, shoulder, hip or back pain. Unexplained emotional symptoms like and anxiety and depression. Unexplained mental disfunction such a foggy thinking, confused or delusional thoughts, lack of memory and inability to remember names, words, faces etc. Unexplained organ disfunction such as adrenal fatigue and chronic thyroid problems and unexplained weight gain. Any symptom created by chronic inflammation can be a result of Lyme. Other myth that we have to address in practice is that of the Lyme epidemic. Many people imagine this to be like the plague where you have either been exposed or have not been exposed. However the bacteria that affects us in Lyme disease has been with us for a long time. A long time means before there were even human beings on the planet. The many species of bacteria that are transmitted from ticks don’t specifically infect people but many other animals. These bacteria have evolved with mammal over eons. When the recently defrosted the 5,000 year old ice man they found Lyme bacteria in his DNA. New research has shown that these bacteria that have long association with humans and other mammals can not only create symptoms but have a profound impact on our behavior and thought process. I recent study of the bacteria the creates cat scratch fever showed the the bacteria affected the behavior of mice. Mice that were infected engaged in risky behavior that made them more likely to be caught by cats. The cats are then more likely to continue to host the bacteria by becoming infected by consuming infected mice. Lyme is clearly not the only microbe that infects us that is working in this way. It is probably more accurate to say that every microbe that can infect us, is capable of changing our chemistry to create the optimal environment for the bacteria. The two conventional approaches to inflammation are to either fight the bug with antibiotics, or to fight the inflammation with prednison. Neither one of these has proven to be a safe or effective long term solution. One major reason is the the bacteria is responsive to the presence of antibiotics and goes into various hiding strategies. Changing shape, shedding it’s cell wall, or going to various tissues impervious to immune response are all ways that the bacteria not only persists but becomes undetectable through blood work. A better approach than panicking with every tick to to just accept that your function, or that of your child, etc is already being affected my the microbes that we are carrying. We can never eliminate these microbes. Lyme, for example is an intercellular parasite the exists within our own cells. A much more effective strategy to correct the changes being made by the bacteria and to make sure the immune system is being as effective as possible in controlling the infection. To address the changes being made by the microbe the most effective test is the neuroscience exam. The exam tests our cortisol levels four times throughout the day through saliva. One urine sample is used to check for brain chemistry. We are looking to answer the question, is our brain all “brakes”, all “gas”, both or neither. The only other essential piece of Lyme cases is the test for hidden food allergens. These are present in nearly every Lyme case I have worked with. Some foods can greatly weaken our ability to deal with Lyme, while others can cause us to over react with auto-immune symptoms, depending on the allergy. Stop chasing one bacteria and instead focus your efforts on creating and internal state that allows you to be healthy no matter which organisms you have been exposed to or may be exposed to in the future.