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  1. #1

    Default after finishing the thru hike

    Hello all,

    My son, Howdyman, just finished his NOBO thru hike today! YAY! Anyway, he called and asked me to see if I can get him a blood test ordered to check for Lyme disease and Girardia. He told me he wanted to be checked for these post hike, has no symptoms, but that he'd read it was a good idea. He also wanted me to check to see if there was anything else he should get checked for. I am a nurse in a hospital and friends with his personal physician, so he was asking me to get this set up for him. If anyone has other suggestions of what he should look for I would appreciate hearing from you. I will be picking him up from the airport on Monday, and will be driving right by the hospital on the way home. Stopping in for a lab draw will be no big deal. Thanks for your help!

  2. #2

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    This never occurred to me last year, but I guess it is a good idea. ( I carried meds for both on the hike)
    Congrats to your son!

  3. #3

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    bah! i spelled giardia wrong ;p

  4. #4
    Registered User canoe's Avatar
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    Did he read it or did you want it?

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    What's wrong with just going to the doctor? Minus symptoms of giardia it's not likely the doc will recommend a stool sample test. No blood test for giardia. Minus a tick story and minus symptoms of Lyme's disease the doc may recommend a blood test just for peace of mind.

  6. #6
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    I'd also be sure he gets on an exercise program and a diet. No joke. The weight comes on fast as does the post trail blues.







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  7. #7
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    Agreed on the stool sample thing, but I wonder about broad spectrum testing unless done by someone who's familiar with outdoor issues. Beyond just giardia, there's cryptosporidium, for example, Beyond Lyme there are other tick-borne diseases. A friend got something lyme-like on the AT that had similar symptoms, and delivered by a tick, but wasn't lyme.

    Maybe this approach makes perfect sense, however; my knowledge of the medical profession closely approaches zero.
    Gadget
    PCT: 2008 NOBO, AT: 2010 NOBO, CDT: 2011 SOBO, PNT: 2014+2016

  8. #8
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    If he has no digestive issues, then I don't see any need for a giardia test. Regarding the Lyme disease tests, be aware that there are plenty of false positives and false negatives. Again, if he does not exhibit any symptoms, I don't see a good reason to get it. If he does exhibit symptoms, then go for it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmeh View Post
    If he has no digestive issues, then I don't see any need for a giardia test. Regarding the Lyme disease tests, be aware that there are plenty of false positives and false negatives. Again, if he does not exhibit any symptoms, I don't see a good reason to get it. If he does exhibit symptoms, then go for it.
    Agree about the inaccuracy of tests. Mom has it, tested negative.


    "Your comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.
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  10. #10

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    I don't agree that it is a "good idea" to run these tests in the absence of symptons. I'd suggest a lipid and comprehensive metabolic panel be taken - which should be done on a routine basis anyway - and go from there.

  11. #11
    Registered User VT-Mike's Avatar
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    I know quite a few in medicine. The majority opinion would be no symptoms no test. Was your son even bitten by a tick?
    -My feet are my only carriage so I've got to push on through-

  12. #12

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    goodness, thanks all for the responses. He says he was meticulous in removing ticks nightly. I will pass this info along to him. Thanks again and good hiking to all

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmeh View Post
    If he has no digestive issues, then I don't see any need for a giardia test. Regarding the Lyme disease tests, be aware that there are plenty of false positives and false negatives. Again, if he does not exhibit any symptoms, I don't see a good reason to get it. If he does exhibit symptoms, then go for it.
    I wished I had myself tested after the trail. I was sick for about a week in southern Va. but it went away. When I got home, I was fine until late the next spring. I started with pain in my shoulder (my wife had to help me put on a t-shirt). I went to the doctor, he gave me a shot and said it was bursitis. My shoulder got better but a few weeks later the pain started up in my hip. I could barely walk and when I did, every step hurt. I went to the same doctor and demanded to be tested for lymes. Turns out, I was the first case ever seen in that clinic. The disease was in the secondary stage. Moral of the story: that disease is no joke. It doesn't cost much to be tested. Why wait for symptoms? Nothing to be gained there. I think you are getting advice from some people who never had the disease. Have your son spend the relatively few $ for a test if he hiked the trail.please.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by VT-Mike View Post
    The majority opinion would be no symptoms no test. Was your son even bitten by a tick?
    And there is a good sound math reason for this.

    Lets say 1 out of 1000 people have disease A. Lets say we have a test for disease A that is 99% accurate. Hiker gets tested, the test results are positive. Take a guess at what the odds are that Hiker has the disease.

    Most people assume the answer is 99%. Its not. The odds that he has the disease is still only about 9%
    Love people and use things; never the reverse.

    Mt. Katahdin would be a lot quicker to climb if its darn access trail didn't start all the way down in Georgia.

  15. #15

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    What's a few bucks for peace of mind. Consider it to be preventive maintenance. Take the test
    Shocker

  16. #16
    Registered User Symba's Avatar
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    Before my medical insurance kicked in I had to have a blood panel done; I wanted the Lyme's test since I did have Lyme's already twenty years ago; #31 of Sussex County, NJ, Yay me The cost without insurance was around $400. For my dog it is 10 bucks and a 7 dollar preventative shot if negative, go figure. Turned out I have fibromyalgia, arthritis, high BP, etc. etc. but came up negative for Lyme's. I'd say, have a physical done after a long hike like a thru just to be precautious. I had blood work done, physical, a week ago, will leave for two months section hike of NE, will have blood work done again in January thru my insurance.
    I am well again, I came to life in the cool winds and crystal waters of the mountains...

    ~ John Muir ~

  17. #17

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    By all means take the Lyme tests. I think there are 2 I've had it 3 times, and it's no joke! Also never saw the tick, either. Be sure you go to a Lyme Literate Doctor. My DH also has had it, but he gets the "bulls eye" (I forget the name of that) and I have taken ticks off of him, too. DO.NOT.WAIT! Best of luck.

    As to the Giardia, wouldn't you have classic (ugh) symptoms? Or can one be a carrier? Check it out.

  18. #18
    Registered User Symba's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=ladydi;1520777]By all means take the Lyme tests. I think there are 2 I've had it 3 times, and it's no joke! Also never saw the tick, either. Be sure you go to a Lyme Literate Doctor. My DH also has had it, but he gets the "bulls eye" (I forget the name of that) and I have taken ticks off of him, too. DO.NOT.WAIT! Best of luck.

    A Lyme Literate Doctor is an excellent suggestion here. For some reason, at least in NJ when I was living there, it depended on the doctor. Like medical marijuana, some believe in it highly and some disregard it completely; I believe. Second opinions help sometimes too. My first doctor said to me the Lyme's test was expensive and passed it up; I said NO I feel 400 bucks is worth my life. Seriously.
    I am well again, I came to life in the cool winds and crystal waters of the mountains...

    ~ John Muir ~

  19. #19

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    I was checked out after completing each one of my Thru-Hikes, It's always a good idea to go in for a Physical, Blood work,etc. Tell your son Welcome to the 2000 miler club, and Gradulations on his completed Thru-Hike, It's an Awesome experience.

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