Valley Fever is diagnosed by studying the immune response of patients by blood tests which are serology (blood tests) and cerebrospinal fluid (spinal taps).
Antibodies are created by the immune system to assist the white blood cells; which are the defense against a specific invading organism.
These antibodies are usually produced during a Valley Fever infection. These antibodies are specific tococcidioides. The coccidioides fungi stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies. The Compliment Fixation Titer is checking to see if you have the Coccidioides antibodies. This indicates the response to the valley fever infection.
Complement Fixation Titers (CFT) is a common test for coccidioides antibodies in the blood serum. There are two types of antibodies in the CFT test: Immunoglobulin M (IgM) and Immunoglobulin G (IgG).
CF Titer & CFA often refers only to the IgG antibodies.
Immunoglobulin M (IgM)
- Earliest Test (up to 6 mos)
- Usually takes two weeks after symptoms begin before the early antibodies are found in the bloodstream
- These are likely to fade from the bloodstream in 4 to 6 months
Immunoglobulin G (IgG)
- Later test (up to 18 mos.)
- Complement Fixation Titers test for IgG, but evaluate both the IgM and IgG
- This test is used to track the effectiveness of antifungal treatment over longer periods of time (a year or longer)
- Decreasing symptoms with decreasing IgG titers usually suggest drug therapy is working
- IgG titers might not be reduced to <1:2 by the time the antifungal therapy is scheduled to end. Your doctor may choose to have you take the antifungal drug for a little longer period of time, but at a lower dose
- Even if your titer has dropped, your symptoms and how you are feeling is actually more important. plus your age and health issues.
- An average "azole" dose is 200 mg. twice a day
University of California-Davis laboratory is considered the “Gold Standard” for excellence in testing coccidioides. A test score of <1:4, reads one to four.
RATIO TEST READINGS
0:0 to 1:2 Negative
1:2 to 1:4 Low
1:4 to 1:8 Serious
1:8 to 1:16 or higher serious and likely to indicate dissemination
1:32 or higher dissemination has occured
1: 2,048 Highest reported titer
Doctors must evaluate their patients’ symptoms and cannot trust the trend in CFT tests completely.
RELAPSE RATES ARE AS HIGH AS 75% ONLY ONE YEAR AFTER STOPPING DRUG THERAPY. Stay on top of your symptoms and how you are feeling and let your doctor know ASAP, if there are changes.
One-third of the public's blood serum will never test positive for valley fever. If your blood test is negative the first time, repeat the blood test one to two later. This is important. This is called a false positive and you are infected but show negative for valley fever.. Your doctor will need to prescribe a fine needle lung biopsy, if you test negative again. I can not stress enough that you NEVER have a lung removed without the biopsy. Many doctors will treat you for pneumonia and then diagnose you with lung cancer, remove your lung for you to be told that you do not have lung cancer but valley fever.
Also, chest surgery has changed dramatically, in the past few years. Today, there are surgeons, who can remove an entire lung with just two small one-inch incissions. The recovery is rapid, very low infection rate, quite painless compared to the old way and little scarring. This procedure is called a minimally envassive thorasic lung surgery. It is an incredible surgery and worth finding a qualified doctor to do this surgery for you whether it be cancer, valley fever or other illnesses.
OTHER ANTIBODY TESTS (these procedures can tell the doctors if a person is infected, but nothing of the seriousness or severity of the Valley Fever infection).
- Precipitin tests
- Immunodiffusion a blood test to find antibodies to a specific antigen by placing them together and seeing whether they react chemically
- Enzyme Immunoassays (EIA) a type of test that measures antibodies.
- Enzyme Immunoassays (ELISA) a type of enzyme immunoassay (EIA) blood type
QUALITIVE tests will give a positive or negative response specifically for Valley Fever, but no ratio number is given.
PERNICIOUS ANEMIA SYMPTOMS
(This is not a test that is frequently done. Because the symptoms are so similiar to valley fever, I highly suggest the test. It is possible that you could have both at the same time, and this may be overlooked).
- Reduced exercise endurance and rapid, noticeable heartbeat;
- Usually, none are apparent early in the disease;
- Sore tongue;
- Poor appetite and weight loss;
- Disturbed walking gait and balance;
- Mental changes, including memory loss, depression and dementia; and,
- Numbness in hand and feet.
It is of a hereditary nature, affecting older men and women, but anyone can get it. The disease progress is slow, but steady. If left untreated (with vitamin B12 shot, monthly), it will cause ones death after many years. Also, if left untreated it may cause serious damage to ones nervous and digestive system, then death.
Valley Fever causes inflammation.
Reduce stress as it affects the immune system.
Improve your diet.
Practice physical therapy or stretching exercises.
The immune response plays a MAJOR role in fighting Valley Fever. Steroids suppress the immune system.
1. Refined sugars
c. Baked Goods
4. Fried Foods
Foods With High ORAC Rating
(Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity Scale)
Measures the Benefits of Antioxidants in Certain Foods, Fruits and Vegetables:
Brussels Sprouts 980
Alfalfa Sprouts 930
Broccoli Flowers 890
Red Bell Peppers 710
Red Grapes 739
Kiwi Fruit 602
Grapefruit, Pink 483