Chelation Therapy For Lyme Disease
Its done using a type of medication called a chelator or chelating agent. This medication binds to metals in the bloodstream, collecting them into a compound that can be processed by your kidneys and released in urine.
Chelation therapy is an effective treatment for a buildup of heavy metals. But theres no evidence that heavy metals contribute to Lyme disease, and chelation therapy wont treat the underlying infection.
How Is Lyme Disease Treated
In its early stages, Lyme disease, an infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi , is most commonly treated with simple antibiotic regimens. However, at later stages, Lyme can disseminate to other parts of the body such as the brain, central nervous system, and heart and require more complex treatment programs. In addition, many of these patients are coinfected with other tick-borne pathogens, and this can affect treatment decisions. Unfortunately, diagnosing these coinfections is often very difficult and usually requires testing at a specialty laboratory that is dedicated to the detection of the ever-increasing list of pathogens associated with Lyme disease.
Currently there is no consensus among the medical and scientific communities regarding the best treatment for late-stage and chronic Lyme and associated coinfections. Uncertainties include the need for and effectiveness of long-term antibiotics and herbal remedies. Read on to learn more about the current outlook on Lyme disease treatment.
Disclaimer: IGeneX is a testing laboratory. IGeneX does not provide medical advice or endorse any particular Lyme disease treatment. If you have been diagnosed with Lyme, chronic Lyme, or another tick-borne infectious disease, it is important that you talk to a trusted physician or Lyme-literate doctor to come up with the best treatment plan for your condition and symptoms.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy For Lyme Disease
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves exposure to 100 percent oxygen at a high pressure. Its often in a room called a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to promote wound healing.
There isnt much research about the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for Lyme disease. But a 2014 case study from Taiwan reports that it treated Lyme disease in a person who hadnt responded to antibiotics. Still, more large-scale studies are needed to understand whether its an effective treatment.
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Dangerous Unproven Treatments For Chronic Lyme Disease Are On The Rise
An increasing number of Americans with medically ambiguous symptoms are being misdiagnosed with chronic Lyme disease and prescribed dangerous and often expensive treatments that do not work, according to a new report.
In some instances, patients have died after receiving intensive, long-term and inappropriate courses of intravenous antibiotics that led to septic shock. In other cases, misdiagnosis caused dangerous delays in treatment of a patients actual underlying condition.
These incorrect diagnoses have existed for years. But public health officials and clinicians say they are alarmed because of the increasing severity and scope of some treatments in recent years, said Christina Nelson, a medical epidemiologist and author of a report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Many of the various treatments, including courses of intravenous antibiotics lasting months and years, have no evidence of effectiveness. Studies have shown that prolonged courses of intravenous antibiotics can often result in serious harm, including death.
Unorthodox alternative therapies include intravenous infusions of hydrogen peroxide, electromagnetic frequency treatments, garlic supplements, even stem cell transplants.
Chronic Lyme disease is a diagnosis that some health-care providers use to describe patients with a variety of symptoms such as fatigue, generalized pain, and neurological symptoms.
Two Standards Of Care For Lyme Disease Treatment
There is significant controversy in science, medicine, and public policy regarding Lyme disease. Two medical societies hold widely divergent views on the best approach to diagnosing and treating Lyme disease. The conflict makes it difficult for patients to be properly diagnosed and receive treatment.
One medical society, the Infectious Diseases Society of America , regards Lyme disease as hard to catch and easy to cure with a short course of antibiotics. IDSA claims that spirochetal infection cannot persist in the body after a short course of antibiotics. The group also denies the existence of chronic Lyme disease.
In contrast, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society , regards Lyme disease as often difficult to diagnose and treat, resulting in persistent infection in many patients. ILADS recommends individualized treatment based on the severity of symptoms, the presence of tick-borne coinfections and patient response to treatment.
LDo believes that patients and their doctors should make Lyme disease treatment decisions together. This requires that patients be given sufficient information about the risks and benefits of different treatment options. Then, patient and health care provider can collaborate to reach an informed decision, based on the patients circumstances, beliefs and preferences.
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Idsa Publishes New Lyme Disease Treatment Guidelines
The following is a press release from the Infectious Disease Society of America. Analysis from LymeDisease.org will be forthcoming.
New evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of Lyme diseasehave been developed by a multidisciplinary panel led by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Academy of Neurology, and the American College of Rheumatology. Representatives from an additional 12 medical specialties and patients also served on the panel.
The guidelines provide practical recommendations for clinicians treating patients with Lyme disease, including, but not limited to, primary care physicians, infectious diseases specialists, emergency physicians, internists, pediatricians, family physicians, neurologists, rheumatologists, cardiologists, and dermatologists.
These recommendations aim to serve as a meaningful resource for the safe, effective, evidence-based care of people with Lyme disease. They address clinical questions related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of Lyme disease complications from neurologic, cardiac, and rheumatic symptoms disease expression commonly seen in Eurasia and complications from coinfection with other tick-borne pathogens.
The guidelines include 43 recommendations related to diagnostic testing, including testing scenarios detailed recommendations about Lyme carditis and a discussion of chronic Lyme disease.
Treatments For Chronic Lyme Disease
A bite from a bacteria-infected tick causes Lyme disease. If you get the disease, you might have lingering symptoms. Some people have ongoing pain and fatigue, says Afton Hassett, PsyD, principal investigator at the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at University of Michigan.
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Regulate Imbalances In Hormones Neurological Function
Methyl B12 is often given for neurological support and methylation support. In my experience, B12 in very high doses can help with some of the fatigue and brain fog experienced by chronic lyme patients. The methyl form of B12 also may help with the methylation process in the body, which is intricately involved with detoxification and glutathione production in the cell . Care must be taken, as rarely some may aggravate with methyl donors, such as methyl B12, methyl folate, SAMe. Often, we can get hints from methylation by assessing 24 hour levels of hormones and their metabolites as well.
Fish oil and systemic enzymes are then often used for cellular membranes and blood fluidity. Nutrient delivery is key in my experience, and is the main thing that improves the symptoms of brain fog and fatigue in the chronic lyme patient.
Assessment of hormones, especially thyroid and adrenal insufficiencies, is profoundly useful. There is some information on this page on bioidentical hormones, but in essence, we look often for cases of borderline or suboptimal adrenal hormones. This usually contributes to fatigue, for which supportive measures on stress, optimizing nutrition (diet as well as cellular nutrition, and helping to ensure that factors for hormone balance are in place can be useful.
How Lyme Disease Spreads
Lyme bacteria are parasitic organisms, as many bacteria are. They need a host to live in. And because they cant make all the nutrients they need themselves, they scavenge them from their hosts. Most of what they need can be found in collagen tissues. So, once they enter the animal host, they begin breaking down collagen tissues into a kind of soup in order to feed. Its where they break down those tissues that important.
- Joints = Lyme arthritis
- Heart = Lyme carditis
- Central nervous system = neurological Lyme with associated brain fog, difficulty thinking and remembering, tremors, facial paralysis, loss of limb function and so on.
This is the secret to understanding the disease and how to treat it.
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A Rich Persons Disease
Since chronic Lyme is not a recognized disease, its difficult to get insurance coverage, so patients are usually stuck paying out of pocket for treatment.
Pauley, who lives in Woodstock, Illinois, is still searching for affordable treatments.
Her dementia-like symptoms made it impossible to continue working as a veterinary assistant, and she quit her veterinary clinic job in 2020. Previously, she had quit her physician assistant job in La Crosse and moved back to Illinois.
It was hard, she said. I went from the middle-upper class to the poverty line.
She went to see a Lyme-literate doctor in Milwaukee in August, when she was also suspected to have Bartonella. Pauley was charged $525 per hour for the initial consultation fee, not counting testing fees and supplements. She was irritated to hear the doctor refer to it as a rich persons disease.
Its hard to understand any doctors that charge like Beverly Hills lifestyle out in the Midwest, she said. Were not celebrities, and I dont get paid 30 million per film.
Stevens said her average costs out of pocket range from $25,000 to $50,000 a year. It was a huge strain on us, she said. This is why a lot of people cant get better, because they cant afford it.
Cashman knows the financial burdens chronic Lyme patients bear, too.
Although all five women interviewed by Wisconsin Watch have tried unconventional treatments, they say they are skeptical about anyone who claims their chronic illness can be cured quickly.
Working With A Lyme Literate Medical Doctor Is Best
Based on the October 3 study, patients did best if they worked with a physician who specializes in treating Lyme disease. These types of physicians are known as Lyme Literate Medical Doctors . Although family physicians, pediatricians, internist, and naturopathic physicians may try to treat Lyme without specific training or practice focus, they tend not to help patients as much as LLMDs.
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From The Frying Pan To The Fire: Alternative Lyme Disease ‘treatments’ That’ll Make You Worse Off
Whether you were once diagnosed with Lyme Disease and continue to suffer its devastating effects in the form of post-treatment Lyme Disease syndrome or are suffering from so-called signs of chronic Lyme Disease without a previous diagnosis, the following “treatments” spell danger rather than healing .
1. Prolonged antibiotics for those who have symptoms of “chronic Lyme Disease” or post-treatment Lyme Disease syndrome have been found not to work while some who have taken this route may report improved symptoms, scientific studies have found that this is not the norm, time and time again. What’s more, prolonged courses of often intravenous antibiotics can lead to opportunistic bacterial infections as the antibiotics destroy your microbial flora, and can even be fatal.
2. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is the one treatment that has been shown to be able to fight some strains of Borrelia burgdorferi . Despite that, it’s pricey, extremely time-consuming, and prone to causing ear and eye complications . No scientifically-supported human trials investigating whether hyperbaric oxygen therapy is effective in people suffering from Lyme Disease have taken place, either, making this something you do not want to experiment with. Similar therapies with hydrogen peroxide and ozone have no scientific backing at all, on the other hand.
Banderol And Cats Claw
“These two herbs are commonly dosed together because they work synergistically with clinically proven action against Borrelia species,” Greenspan says. “The goals with any treatment with Lyme disease spirochetes, whether chronic or acute, is to have a combination of herbs to be effective with the shape-shifting behavior of this microbe.”
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Early Detection Is Key
Amid the conflicting opinions and research on Lyme disease treatment, one thing is clear: The surest way to avoid needing complex treatment programs is to get diagnosed as soon as possible after being exposed and to include testing for all relevant tick-borne pathogens. The longer Lyme disease and these other infections go unchecked, the more difficult they are to treat.
What Does All This Mean
Conventional treatment options remain limited to antibiotics and are frequently prescribed for too short a course. Other inadequacies of traditional therapy include antibiotic-mediated disruption of gut flora, and the failure to address the various forms that the spirochete can morph into when it is under immune system attack. This ultimately allows the disease to further proliferate, despite completing course after course of antibiotic.
In order for Borrelia to survive, it requires collagen. To obtain this, it will activate the immune systems cytokine response. This in turn, creates tissue inflammation, leading ultimately to a collagen rich environment that can promote the life cycle of the disease. This is why chronic Lyme disease symptoms are frequently associated with collagen rich regions of the body: joints, brain, muscles, eyes, and skin. Therefore, the goal of treatment is to calm down the bodys inflammatory response that is to say, to calm down cytokine activity.
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Essential Oils For Lyme Disease
Essential oils are concentrated liquids from plants. Some of them have antibacterial properties, meaning they can kill bacteria.
A 2017 study evaluated the use of 34 essential oils to kill B. burgdorferi bacteria in a laboratory setting. Cinnamon bark, clove bud, and oregano essential oils killed the bacteria without any regrowth. <
These results are promising, but theres no evidence that they work in humans with Lyme disease. Essential oils are used in aromatherapy, where the fragrant oils are inhaled through a diffuser or diluted in a carrier oil and applied topically. Its not safe to ingest essential oils, especially in the quantities that you would likely need to treat Lyme disease.
Some people claim that immune system-boosting supplements can naturally treat Lyme disease.
The Prescription Antibiotic Study
The latest study is Antibiotic Treatment Response in Chronic Lyme Disease: Why Do Some Patients Improve While Others Do Not? published October 3, 2020. In the study people that got well or responded very well with treatment were studied to see what worked. You can see more details about this study at lymedisease.org here.
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Dont Let Ticks Get To You
It is not yet possible to prevent Lyme disease. Tick bites should be avoided from the outset also in view of the fact that the insects can transmit other diseases as well, such as tick-borne encephalitis , for example.
This means that anyone who is out and about in meadows or forests should wear clothing that is as long as possible, especially on the legs. Putting on long socks also makes life a little more difficult for the little parasitic arachnids, especially if they are pulled up over the bottom of the pant legs.
Ticks are more visible on light-colored clothing. Anti-tick sprays keep ticks away, at least for a limited time, but not all products are equally reliable.
After returning home from an outing in the wild, you should thoroughly check for ticks. If you find one, you should remove it immediately . The sooner, the better!
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Treatment For Other Forms Of Lyme Disease
People with other forms of disseminated Lyme disease may require longer courses of antibiotics or intravenous treatment with antibiotics such as ceftriaxone. For more information about treating other forms of Lyme disease, see:
The National Institutes of Health has funded several studies on the treatment of Lyme disease that show most people recover within a few weeks of completing a course of oral antibiotics when treated soon after symptom onset. In a small percentage of cases, symptoms such as fatigue and myalgia can last for more than 6 months. This condition is known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome , although it is also sometimes called chronic Lyme disease. For details on research into chronic Lyme disease and long-term treatment trials sponsored by NIH, visit the visit the National Institutes of Health Lyme Disease web siteexternal icon.
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About Other Alternative Therapies
There are two other alternative therapies that some are currently using for Lyme disease treatment. The newest is Supportive Oligonucleotide Therapy and the other is Low Dose Immunotherapy . Generally, I am very skeptical about both of these treatments and do not suggest my patients do them. For more information see SOT Treatment for Lyme Disease and LDI: Bring on The Regulators.
Five Herbal Medicines Potent Against Tick
Research supported by Bay Area Lyme Foundation points to need for more effective treatments compared to currently utilized treatments for tick-borne infections
PORTOLA VALLEY, CA, March 9, 2021 — Bay Area Lyme Foundation, a leading sponsor of Lyme disease research in the U.S., today announced the publication of new data finding that five herbal medicines had potent activity compared to commonly-used antibiotics in test tubes against Babesia duncani, a malaria-like parasite found on the West Coast of the U.S. that causes the disease babesiosis. Published in the journal Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, the laboratory study was funded in part by the Bay Area Lyme Foundation. Collaborating researchers were from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, California Center for Functional Medicine, and FOCUS Health Group, Naturopathic.
“This research is particularly important as babesiosis is a significant emerging health risk. Due to limited therapeutics and a rise in treatment resistance, current treatment options for this disease are inadequate and many patients rely on herbal therapies for which there is only anecdotal evidence of efficacy,” said co-author Sunjya K. Schweig, MD, Founder and Director, California Center for Functional Medicine and Scientific Advisory Board Member, Bay Area Lyme Foundation, who has also studied herbal treatments for Lyme disease.
About the Study
About Lyme Disease
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