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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Hematology Topics

Question: lyme/tick disease diagnosed by low platelet count

 jennifer1b - Sun Aug 19, 2007 5:58 pm

My husband is 64. He has had his gall bladder removed and has allergies but otherwise very healthy.
Last March he started to feel strange. Night sweats, insomnia, anxiousness, loss of appetite, after a few months other symptoms were added, some change in control of muscles, twitching, shaking hands, blood pressure spikes etc. etc. He was given...blood pressure meds., antidepressants, sleep help. He decided on his own to have his blood tested again to test for other things and his platelet count came back a 19.
Our doctor has now diagnosed a tick related disease called babesia even though the test for that came out negative. After 24 days on an antibiotic he is feeling much better. But he is still having some neurological tremors and is also still taking the antidepressents that I don't think he really needed to start with. The question finally, is the low platelet count enough to diagnos correctly? Thank good ness he is feeling better.
Second question please, I was told as a young woman that I had something called a D U variant and possible coolies anemia. I have had regular blood work done and nothing has ever been said to me since then. Is this something that needs a special test?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Fri Aug 24, 2007 10:38 pm

User avatar Hi Jennifer1b,

Babesiosis can cause thrombocytopenia. Many of the tick borne illnesses can cause thrombocytopenia as well. The treatment for them is the same, basically. It is a little unusual for the tests to come back negative for babesiosis so I can't say for sure that this is or is not the cause of his illness. The good thing is he's getting better.

Regarding your question about anemia, Cooley's anemia (Beta thalassemia major) is a very, very severe blood disease that can present with life threatening anemia. It requires life long transfusions to sustain life. Given that your blood tests have been normal I am assuming you have not been requiring transfusions and thus do not have Cooley's anemia.

There are many different types of hemoglobin variants, several of which are not clinically significant. I am not familiar with the Du variant and was not able to find any significant information about it. If there is a question (even if you are just curious) you can have a hemoglobin electrophoresis performed to determine if you have any hemoglobinopathies.

Best wishes.
 jennifer1b - Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:25 pm

It is now over 8 months later and my husband is again starting the some same symptoms again. His platlet count is 120,000. Slightly below normal but we wonder why. A second lyme/tick test also for babesiosis. Again negative.
He is taking doxycycline again but we want to have a definite diagnosis.
What questions should we ask? What tests should he have? Do we need
to see a specialist...hemotologist? Help and thank you

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