Alternate Treatments Offer Relief
Freitas now takes Epsom salt baths Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and uses an infrared sauna for detoxification, saying it makes her body feel better.
And she now takes 30 pills each day, interspersing antibiotics with herbs and dietary supplements, which cost upwards of $1,200 a month.
Maria Alice Lima Freitas is pictured at her home in Middleton, Wis., on Oct. 6, 2021, with some of the treatments she takes for Lyme disease and other co-infections. She says she currently pays about $1,200 a month in medicines, vitamins, supplements and treatment costs. Coburn Dukehart/Wisconsin Watch
“For babesia Im taking liquid gold Mepron,” said Freitas. “It’s really expensive. Its 50 bucks for 80 milliliters, which lasts two weeks.”
She gave up dairy, gluten, and sugar to reduce inflammation.
And she meets with Shor monthly online from her house at a charge of $250 per visit, which insurance does not cover.
“It was to me the money is well paid. Im having peace of mind,” Freitas said. “I feel like Im getting better.”
Freitas said she started gaining back some weight in June. Her mind has become a bit clearer. Her long-term memory seems back a bit, too. “Im getting out of the graveyard,” she said.
Said Oppenheimer to his wife: “What Im seeing is youre better relative to the beginning of , because youre still not good.”
And she still holds out “a little flame of hope” of one day becoming a doctor just like her dad.
Why Standard Healthcare Blood Tests May Not Detect Lyme Disease
Healthcare providers are sometimes compelled to treat presumptively because the standard blood tests may notdetect Lymedisease or the accompanying co-infections accurately. Presumptive treatment does not help in uprooting theChronic Lymecoinfections, which is why we see patients whose Lyme disease symptoms return a few weeks or months aftercompletingtreatment at standard healthcare facilities.
Standard healthcare providers utilize ELISA and Western Blot tests toconfirm thediagnosis, but both tests depend on your immune system response. If your immune system is weakened due to anyreason,such as heavy infectious load from Lyme coinfections, there are high chances of a false negative in thistwo-tieredtest.
- The ELISA test detects antibodies, a type of protein, generated by your immune system in response to thebacterium B.burgdorferi, but if your immune system is weakened then it will not produce the antibody, leading to afalsenegativeresult.
- Generally, if patients test negative in ELISA, they are not even recommended for the Western Blot, whichis aconfirmatory test to help in determining the presence or absence of certain proteins.
How Does Envita Offer Holistic Treatments For Lyme Disease
Our expertise in Lyme disease treatment lies in identifying the coinfections and other factors whichcomplicate thistick-borne disease. To address these unique set of factors affecting each individual patient, we usepersonalizedproprietary treatments which combine advanced conventional and natural therapies. Dr. Dino Prato NMDFounder/CEO Envita Medical Centers
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends oral or intravenous antibiotics as the standardtreatment for Lyme disease, but antibiotics alone may not be effective for many patients. In our peer-reviewed andpublished article, “ChronicLyme Disease: Persistent Clinical Symptoms Related to Immune Evasion,Antibiotic Resistance and Various DefenseMechanisms of Borrelia burgdorferi,” we explain how the bacteria Borrelia Burgdorferi, which causes Lymedisease, is unique in its ability to reduce itsexposure to antibiotics in chronic patients. Due to this elusive feature of the bacteria, treating it with antibioticsalone may not be comprehensive enough to counter Lyme disease.
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Is It Really Lyme
Some doctors believe these patients are simply reporting symptoms commonly seen in the general population or those of a secondary condition such as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. This assumption lacks proof, counters Minnesota family practice doctor Elizabeth L. Maloney, in a 2016 article, Controversies in Persistent Lyme Disease, published in the Journal of Infusion Nursing, given that there are no tests of cure for Lyme disease or biomarkers that can identify the presence of PLDS. The bulk of the evidence, she adds, generally supports the group of physicians who believe that such symptoms are most likely directly attributable to the previous Lyme infection and represent treatment failure.
Providing a glimpse of what life is like for many following a Lyme diagnosis is a published survey of 1,087 people. Dr. Maloney notes, 72 percent rated their health as fair or poor compared with 16 percent of a general population of similar age. They averaged 20 days of poor physical and 15 days of poor mental health per month. Thirty-nine percent had stopped working, and an additional 28 percent had reduced their work hours. Thirty-nine percent had spent at least $5,000 out of pocket for Lyme-related expenses.
Weve had some children who needed to be in the intensive care unit with life-threatening complications.Billl Moore
Lyme Arthritis In Children Can Present Throughout The Year
The studys objective was to evaluate the seasonality of pediatric Lyme disease in three endemic regions in the United States, writes Sundheim. Participants had been treated at 8 different medical centers throughout the Northeast and UpperMidwest. Of the 690 children with Lyme disease, 77 had a single EM lesion, 247 had early disseminated disease, and 366 had arthritis, wrote the authors. Children with early and early-disseminated Lyme disease
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How Gut Health Impacts Your Overall Wellness
Have you ever heard of your second brain? If you havent, youre not alone. But believe it or not, your second brain contains more nerves than the spinal cord.Containing more than 100 million neurons, the network of nerve cells lining the digestive tract your gut is so extensive that many medical professionals have nicknamed it the bodys second
Herbs Are A Good Choice For Chronic Disease
Herbs with antimicrobial properties work quite differently than synthetic antibiotics. Plants have to deal with threatening microbes just like we do. Plants, however, tackled the friend versus foe problem a very long time ago. Plants produce a spectrum of chemical substances that selectively target pathogens and spare normal flora. The plants that we call medicinal herbs are the ones that mesh particularly well with human biochemistry.
Certain herbs are particularly good for suppressing stealth microbes and enhancing immune function. These are the herbs commonly chosen for use in Lyme disease. Because most medicinal herbs are very safe, do not disrupt normal flora and immune function, and offer a host of other beneficial properties, herbs can be used continuously for long periods of time.
Medicinal herbs, however, are not nearly as potent as synthetic antibiotics.
There are certain situations where the potency of synthetic antibiotics may be valuable.
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When To Consider Antibiotic Therapy
Last Updated 11/01/16
There is little consensus, however, on antibiotic use for chronic Lyme disease. At present, there are no studies showing benefit from long term use of antibiotic therapy for treatment of Lyme disease and the practice is not condoned by the conventional medical community.
The primary problem is that synthetic antibiotics do not kill only pathogens . Antibiotics kill all bacteria.
The types of microbes associated with Lyme disease are survivors. When full guns are levied at the microbiome , stealth microbes are generally the last ones standing. Normal flora are very susceptible to being killed by antibiotics. The harder and longer target stealth microbes are targeted with potent antibiotics, the higher the possibility that normal flora will get caught in the crossfire.
Destruction of normal flora shifts the balance of the microbiome from friendly microbes to pathogens . Prolonged antibiotic use allows these pathogens to become antibiotic resistant. The total process places undue stress on an already overly stressed immune system.
Indiscriminate use of high potency antibiotics destroys normal flora, allows potential pathogens to flourish, causes yeast overgrowth in the gut, fosters antibiotic resistance, and disrupts immune function.
It is impossible to overcome stealth microbes without a healthy immune system.
Health Woes Lead To Self
Oppenheimer said Freitas, once wildly independent, increasingly depends on him as she struggles with her health. The two met when she was a single mom driving a Madison Metro bus and juggling classes at the UW-Madison. Oppenheimer had overheard her speaking in Portuguese, and he tried to put together a phrase that he could speak in the same language. That led to a first date and in 2011, marriage.
But these days, Oppenheimer said, his wife is very drained.
And even friends and family members question whether the symptoms Freitas describes are real.
“When everybody is saying that it is not Lyme,” Freitas said, “you start to question yourself.”
She tried a four-week course of doxycycline, the first-line antibiotics therapy for treating Lyme disease, prescribed by another rheumatologist. She began to feel better, with less pain and less brain fog. However, the symptoms returned once she completed the treatment. She even found herself starting to stutter.
Oppenheimer himself was diagnosed with Lyme disease as a 19-year-old. At the time, he was living less than 50 miles from Lyme, Connecticut, the community for which the disease was named.
He described an “arrogant unwillingness” by the medical establishment to recognize what he believes are his wifes ongoing symptoms of Lyme disease.
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What Kind Of Doctor Tests For Lyme Disease
In fact, any kind of doctor can test you for Lyme disease. However, that doesnt mean its a good idea to have your dermatologist or podiatrist order the diagnostic tests. Many people simply see their family physician or primary care doctor to get diagnosed and treated for Lyme.
There are also doctors who specialize in Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses, called Lyme-literate doctors, who you may want to consult instead more on that a little later in this article.
Finally, there are other types of specialists you may or may not need to consult with depending on the duration and severity of your symptoms.
For example, many patients wonder if they need to see an infectious disease specialist.
Ticked Off And Depressed: Lyme Diseases Effects On Mental Health
As summer fades and temperatures begin to cool down, you may be looking forward to enjoying the fall foliage and spending time in the great outdoors. This could mean more opportunity to brush with black-legged ticks, the irksome creatures known for the spread of Lyme disease.If you live in a highly endemic area such as Virginia, or elsewhere along the
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Experienced Lyme Disease Doctors
We are one of the top Lyme Disease treatment clinics in the world. Weve specialized in late-stage Lyme disease treatment for over 23 years. Dr. Minkoff is an infectious disease doctor who oversees all Lyme treatment programs, using a safe and highly effective, science-based approach to help patients overcome Lyme Disease.
Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness in North America and Europe and is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme got its name from Yale researchers who named the strange cluster of symptoms, after the town it originated from, Lyme, Connecticut.
Deer ticks typically carry the bacteria, which they spread to humans while feeding on their blood, but other insects including mosquitoes are also now being implicated.
Recover From Chronic Lyme Disease At Lifeworks
Dr. Minkoff and the experienced team at LifeWorks Wellness Center have helped hundreds of Lyme Disease patients recover from Lyme and can help you too.
Watch the patient videos below and read some of the Lyme disease testimonials further down the page. Youll see a familiar pattern of patients who were suffering due to lack of proper Lyme diagnosis and/or treatment and then came here and their lives were transformed
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Lyme: Pittsburghs Growing Epidemic
Ever since her Peace Corps days in Uganda, Libby Ernharth has been fascinated by infectious diseases. In Africa in the 1990s, she first saw the havoc wreaked when parasites and other tiny organisms make their way inside of human hosts.
Later, when she became a physician assistant in Pittsburgh, she dealt mainly with first-world infectionsthe consequences of our diets, of our smoking, our chemotherapies and our medications. For the first decade, rarely part of her practice were diseases passed from ticks to humans, most commonly Lyme.
She remembers clearly the day that all changed.
About nine years ago, we had a patient in complete heart block at St. Margarets . He was an active healthy guy in his 50s but was passing out from a low heart rate. The morning of the procedure, the consulted us because this patient had a fever. They didnt want to put hardware in a guy with a fever. Ernharths physician colleague also noticed that the patients face on the left side was drooping: Two clear signs he had contracted an infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferiin other words, Lyme disease from the bite of a tick.
Thats where it all started. Ever since, during Lyme season, all fevers in our minds are from Lyme until proven otherwise. Thats how endemic we are here, says Ernharth, who works with a group of physicians at the North Hills private practice, Romano, Pontzer & Associates.
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Lyme Disease And Tick
Lyme disease patients have difficulty finding doctors with experience treating Lyme disease. For the past 25 years, LymeDisease.org has been connecting patients with Lyme-literate practitioners who specialize in caring for patients with Lyme disease.
We are happy to connect you with your nearest Lyme literate practitioners contact information. Please note, however, we are not privy to the status on each individual offices payment/insurance practices or if they are accepting new patients, with that said, we do encourage you to use the information available to contact the offices directly.
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What You Need To Know About Borrelia
Borrelia is an ancient microbe dating back 15-20 million years, and possibly even longer. Its an extremely adaptable microbe that can infect most anything with blood today, it commonly infects mammals, birds, and even some reptiles.
Infection is imperative for borrelias survival. To complete its life cycle, it must infect a new host via a tick-bite, reproduce within that host , and then reboard a new tick when the host is bitten again.
That last step reboarding a new tick is crucial. If the host is never bitten by another tick, the microbe reaches a dead end. It cant spread to new hosts. Here are some either key facts you should know about borrelia:
Do You Have Lyme Disease Symptoms And Answers
Early symptoms of the disease often manifest as a flu-like illness, with accompanying fever, chills, muscle aches, and joint pain. While the characteristic bulls-eye rash called erythema migrans is often present, many people develop a different type of rash or none at all. Moreover, a host of Lyme symptoms occur in other diseases, and as a result, many patients suffering from Lyme disease are misdiagnosed with conditions like fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and other psychiatric illnesses before being correctly treated.
If Lyme is not diagnosed or treated in its early stages, it transitions to a chronic, highly problematic late-stage disease, and symptoms increase in their severity. Untreated Lyme disease will eventually infect joints, the heart, and the nervous systemcausing nerve paralysis and meningitis, and difficulty with memory and concentration. While one of the defining features of chronic Lyme disease is fatigue, Dr. Heyman discusses his own cases in which there were a myriad of presentations without any one defining symptom. Many of his patients had suffered severe cognitive decline, loss of executive function, memory problems, mood disturbances, chronic pain, cardiopulmonary problems and more. The debilitating effects of the disease then led to more devastating results: these patients often are unable to work, function in personal relationships, or complete simple daily activities without experiencing profound exhaustion.
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What Are Lyme Disease Co
Lyme Disease is no longer an infection caused by just one organism, the well known Borrelia Burgdoferi bacteria. We now know that there are many tick-borne diseases and co-infections that co-occur with Lyme from the same tick. These can include bacteria such as Bartonella and Mycoplasma, as well as viruses like Epstein Barr Virus. All of these co-infections cause further havoc in our bodies on top of the damaging effects of the Lyme itself.
One of the most common Lyme disease co-infections is mold illness. Mold illness is fungal in nature, and fungi are opportunistic, meaning that they take advantage where they can. If Lyme is weakening the immune and neurological systems in the body, mold will likely also be present. Mold is a leading cause of inflammation and can trigger chronic inflammatory response syndrome , which affects your immune system. The physicians at Meeting Point have extensive experience in treating mold illness and other Lyme disease co-infections.
Find Answers To Your Health Concerns With Holistic Medicine
Your health is your most precious asset. If youre experiencing anything less than optimal health, you deserve the upmost care and diligence in discovering whats amiss. At Premier Health and Holistic Medicine, youll have a physician by your side that understands the intricacies of whole-body health and goes the extra distance to make you well.
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What Makes Us Different
At Sierra Integrative Medical Center, we specialize in treating hard to diagnose and difficult to treat casesâand are especially equipped to treat occult infectious diseases like Lyme Disease. Assessing the whole body, by performing a comprehensive evaluation on the patient, including medical history and risk factors for exposures to infectious diseases and or toxins and lifestyle. Then, by drawing from all schools of medicineâincluding the very latest in conventional medicine, alternative therapies, and homeopathic and holistic healthâwill apply a combination of interventions to strengthen your body, so it can heal itself.âOur team of integrative physicians and other providers in Reno Nevada are highly experienced in diagnosing and treating a wide variety of infectious diseases using a combination of the methods listed above. We’ll work with you to cooperatively recommend the best combination of interventions possible for your unique condition, so that you can rest assured knowing youâre receiving the best treatment possible.