How Is Lyme Disease Treated
With early-stage Lyme disease, youâll take antibiotics for about 10 days to 3 weeks. The most common ones are amoxicillin, cefuroxime, and doxycycline. The antibiotics will almost always cure your infection. If they donât, you might get other antibiotics either by mouth or as a shot.
If you donât treat your Lyme infection, you might need oral antibiotics for symptoms like weakened face muscles and irregular heartbeat. You may need antibiotics if you have meningitis, inflammation in your brain and spinal cord, or more severe heart problems.
If your Lyme is late stage, the doctor might give you antibiotics either by mouth or as a shot. If it causes arthritis, youâll get arthritis treatment.
Thereâs no therapy for post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.
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.
How To Treat Lyme Disease Naturally Without Antibiotics
Lyme disease, a complicated infection, is difficult to diagnose and treat if the doctors do not have experience and miss the early symptoms. This case often happens. Therefore its treatments are tricky and hard because most of the blood tests done by doctors miss 55 percent of Lyme disease risks. Most patients with Lyme disease have the symptoms like other ailments such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome and Alzheimers disease. While antibiotics are proven to be effective to cure Lyme disease, there are many ways on how to treat Lyme disease naturally without antibiotics you can try to get rid of this complicated infection.
Look How Far Ive Come
My initial Lyme test was, in the words of my doctor, lit up like a Christmas tree. Pretty much everything on it was positive: 2 different strains of Lyme, babesia, bartonella, and mycoplasma. I was a mess.
This summer I had a repeat test. Everything came back negative. While this doesnt mean Im definitively negative for Lyme, it certainly indicates weve been able to reduce the load enough that its not showing up on the tests. Ill likely need to continue some level of treatment for quite some time.
There are many Lyme specialist who dont believe its ever possible to be completely cured of Lyme. Its a sneaky bacteria and good at hiding. Many believe, the best you can get is to effectively put yourself in remission and strengthen your immune system. This keeps the Lyme bacterial load low enough that the symptoms are kept at bay.
Another fantastic result of treatment has been a huge decrease in inflammation. My c4a levels were 20,749 when I was first diagnosed. Thats a lot. . At the beginning of this year, after about a year of treatment, they were down at 17,594. This September, I was delighted to see my levels down to 4,090. Im inching closer to being back in the normal levels.
Penicillin Plus Azole Plus Lipsomal Cinnamon Clove & Oregano Oil
- amoxicillin 500 mg 4 pills 3 times a day
- tinidazole 500 mg 1 pill 2 or 3 times a day for 4 days on and 3 days off in 7-day cycles.
- liposomal cinnamon, clove, and oregano oil capsules 1 pill 2 times a day.
- This is a very high dose of amoxicillin, which is four times stronger than physicians prescribe for other infections like ear infections. I consider this dose to be nearly as effective as IV antibiotics.
- This is a pulse dose regimen of the tinidazole. It may be more effective than continuous regimens.
- The essential oils are added to treat persister Lyme.
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Why This Is Important
The use and duration of antibiotics for chronic Lyme disease treatment is controversial because there is no biomarker that can determine whether the Lyme bacteria has been eradicated in CLD patients. Patients are often told that either chronic Lyme disease does not exist or that it is incurable. If this were true, we would not expect more well and substantially improved patients to be taking antibiotics. Instead, we might have expected the percentage of people using antibiotics to be roughly the same among the patient subgroups.
Herbal And Rx Antimicrobials That Treat Persisters
This is a newer area in Lyme treatment. To help justify these various antimicrobial options, I describe the experimental basis behind my recommendations. These options are ones I am using with various degrees of success in my Seattle practice. They all have either laboratory experiments supporting their use or published human experiments.
Laboratory-Based Experiment Options
Here is a list of prescription and herbal medicine options shown in lab experiments to kill persisters that I am incorporating into my treatments of Lyme and/or Bartonella.
- Disulfiram – work slowly up to 4 to 5 mg/kg body weight 1 time a day.
- Methylene Blue 50 mg 2 times a day.
- Liposomal Oregano, Cinnamon, and Clove Oils 1 capsule 2 times a day.
- Cryptolepis 5 ml 3 times a day.
- Japanese Knotweed½ tsp 3 times a day – start at ¼ tsp 1 time a day and then increase after two weeks to ½ tsp 3 times a day.
- Cats Claw 30 drops 2 times a day.
Human-Based Experiment Options
Here is a list of prescription medications shown in human experiments to help with persister Lyme.
- Disulfiram – work slowly up to 4 to 5 mg/kg body weight 1 time a day.
- Dapsone – work up to 100 mg or 200 mg 1 time a day.
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Symptoms Of Post Treatment Lyme Disease
- Include severe fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, & cognitive problems
- Can significantly impact patients health and quality of life
- Can be debilitating and prolonged
Our research indicates the chronic symptom burden related to PTLD is significant. Although often invisible to others, the negative impact on quality of life and daily functioning is substantial for PTLD sufferers.
The chronic symptom burden related to Lyme disease is considerable, as shown on the left side of the graph above, and statistically significantly greater than the aches and pains of daily living experienced by the control group, on the right.
Why Are Antibiotics The First Line Of Treatment For Lyme Disease
The use of antibiotics is critical for treating Lyme disease. Without antibiotic treatment, the Lyme disease causing bacteria can evade the host immune system, disseminate through the blood stream, and persist in the body. Antibiotics go into the bacteria preferentially and either stop the multiplication of the bacteria or disrupt the cell wall of the bacteria and kill the bacteria . By stopping the growth or killing the bacteria the human host immune response is given a leg up to eradicate the residual infection. Without antibiotics, the infection in Lyme disease can evade the host immune system and more readily persist.
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Macrolide Plus Grapefruit Seed Extract Plus Cryptolepis
- clarithromycin 500 mg 1 pill 2 times a day
- grapefruit seed extract 250 mg 1 pill 2 times a day.
- cryptolepis 5 ml 3 times a day
- Grapefruit seed extract is better tolerated than both tinidazole and metronidazole and supports killing of Lyme cysts.
- Cryptolepis can treat persister and growing Lyme. If a person also has Babesia, cryptolepis can treat this too.
What Is Lyme Disease
According to the CDC, in 2016 there were 26,203 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in the United States primarily from 14 Northeastern states. This figure is probably underestimated as many people go undiagnosed.
In the United States, Lyme disease an infection transmitted by ixodes scapularis ticks caused by Borrelia burgdoferi. There are many types of strains, all of which have different levels of virulence, severity, and immunogenicity. In northeastern US, OspC type A strains account for about 30 to 50% of infections. Unfortunately, this particular strain is particularly virulent and immunogenic. Lyme disease is a complex multisystem disease that affects the skin, nervous system, heart, and sometimes the joints.
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Guidelines For Antibiotic Use
Dr. Rawls is a physician who overcame Lyme disease through natural herbal therapy. You can learn more about Lyme disease in Dr. Rawls new best selling book, Unlocking Lyme. You can also learn about Dr. Rawls personal journey in overcoming Lyme disease and fibromyalgia in his popular blog post, My Chronic Lyme Journey.
What Happens At Your Appointment
The GP will ask about your symptoms and consider any rash or recent tick bites you know about.
Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose. It has similar symptoms to other conditions and there’s not always an obvious rash.
2 types of blood test are available to help confirm or rule out Lyme disease. But these tests are not always accurate in the early stages of the disease.
You may need to be retested if you still have Lyme disease symptoms after a negative result.
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What Is Post Treatment Lyme Disease
Post Treatment Lyme Disease represents a research subset of patients who remain significantly ill 6 months or more following standard antibiotic therapy for Lyme disease. PTLD is characterized by a constellation of symptoms that includes severe fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, sleep disturbance, depression, and cognitive problems such as difficulty with short-term memory, speed of thinking, or multi-tasking. In the absence of a direct diagnostic biomarker blood test, PTLD has been difficult to define by physicians, and its existence has been controversial. However, our clinical research shows that meticulous patient evaluation when used alongside appropriate diagnostic testing can reliably identify patients with a history of previously treated Lyme disease who display the typical symptom patterns of PTLD.
Taking Control Of Your Nervous System
Our autonomic nervous system has two branches- sympathetic and parasympathetic. Healing happens in parasympathetic mode, so maximizing the time spent we are in the parasympathetic state will greatly improve our chances at healing from Lyme.
Most of our society operates in sympathetic dominance- the fight or flight state which doesn’t allow the body to heal itself and ward off infection. Dr. Moorcroft sees great success with patients who follow an intentional heart meditation and vagal nerve stimulation practices. Singing out loud and gargling both stimulate the vagus nerve and heart-centered breathing.
Heart-centered breathing or meditation creates lower variability of heart waves and smoother transitions. The smooth, consistent frequency is a sign of optimal health.
An indirect benefit of parasympathetic nervous system exercises is optimizing digestion because the parasympathetic branch controls gut function. When digestion is working right, the nutrient-dense foods you take in will be digested, assimilated, and used for fighting off your infection.
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Treating Lyme Without Antiobiotics 18 Months Later
Ive been treating Lyme without antibiotics for about 18 months. For some, that might sound like an eternity. For those who have been struggling with Lyme, you probably know thats really not a lot of time to be treating this horrific disease.
I still dont know all of the answers. But I do know, that a no-antibiotics approach to Lyme treatment has worked remarkably well for me.
After 18 months, I am probably about 80% better. Im pretty ecstatic about the progress Ive made. I feel blessed that Ive experienced this much healing. Early on, I hit Lyme really hard. I did absolutely everything my doctor suggested. It was a lot. It was expensive. But it paid off.
You can read more here
Antimicrobials That Kill Growing Phase Spirochetes
- Amoxicillin 500 mg 1 to 2 pills 3 times a day. Alternatively as an alternative to IV antibiotics take 3 to 4 pills 3 times a day.
- Amoxicillin/Clavulanic Acid 875 mg/125 mg 1 pill 2 times a day
- Bicillin LA 2.4 million units IM 3 times a week with one day between each injection
- Ceftriaxone 2 gm IV 2 times a day for 4 days in a row then off for 3 days of each 7 days
- Cefotaxime 2 gm IV every 8 hours
- Cefuroxime 500 mg 1 pill 2 times a day
- Cefdinir 300 mg 1 pill 2 times a day
Additional IV Antibiotics
Vancomycin, imipenem, and ertapenem are possible alternatives if someone is allergic to Ceftriaxone or Cefotaxime.
Intracellular and Extracellular
- Clarithromycin 500 mg 2 pills 2 times a day
- Azithromycin 500 mg 1 time a day or 500 mg IV 1 time a day
- Doxycycline 100 mg 1 or 2 pills 2 times a day or 200 to 400 mg mg IV 1 time a day
- Minocycline 100 mg 1 pill 2 times a day
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- I found a tick embedded in my skin, but I cant get it out. What should I do?
- Ive been bitten by a tick. Do I need to be seen?
- Do I need a blood test to confirm Lyme disease?
- Which antibiotic is best for me?
- How long will I have to take the antibiotic?
- What tick or insect repellent should I use for me or my child?
- How long will the symptoms last?
- What should I do if I still dont feel well a long time after I was bitten?
What Do You Do If There’s A Tick Under Your Skin
Use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers to remove it as soon as possible. Pull upward with steady pressure. If parts of the tick are still in your skin, try to get those with the tweezers, too. After everything is out, clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
You probably wonât get infected if you remove the tick within 36 to 48 hours.
How do you throw away a tick?
Put it in soapy water or alcohol, stick it to a piece of tape, or flush it down the toilet.
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Tetracycline Plus Macrolide Plus Grapefruit Seed Extract Plus Japanese Knotweed
- doxycycline 100 mg 2 pills 2 times a day
- clarithromycin 500 mg 1 pill 2 times a day
- grapefruit seed extract 250 mg 1 pill 2 times a day.
- Japanese knotweed½ tsp 3 times a day
- Tetracyclines and macrolides both block protein production by binding to the protein production apparatus in germs called ribosomes. But they each bind to a different part of the ribosome improving the blockade of protein production.
- Japanese knotweed is added here to treat persister Lyme. It also may treat growing Lyme and can lower inflammation cytokines.
What If I Don’t Feel Better After Treatment
If you’re treated for Lyme disease and don’t feel better after youve finished your treatment, talk to your doctor. He or she may recommend a longer course of antibiotics or may be able to prescribe another medication to help with symptoms like joint or muscle pain.
You might also want to seek a second opinion, especially if your Lyme disease diagnosis was not initially confirmed via a two-step blood test. If your body has not responded to antibiotics, its possible that something else besides the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is making you sick. In 2017, for example, the CDC reported on a woman who was given antibiotics and herbal remedies to treat her chronic Lyme disease, when she actually hadand eventually died fromamyotrophic lateral sclerosis .
Even if you do recover completely from a Lyme disease diagnosis, your immune system may continue making antibodies to fight Lyme disease bacteria for months or even years after the infection is gone. Those antibodies wont protect you from getting a second Lyme disease infection, however, so be sure to take steps to protect yourself from ticks in the future.
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How To Avoid Tick Bites
To reduce the chance of being bitten:
- cover your skin while walking outdoors and tuck your trousers into your socks
- use insect repellent on your clothes and skin products containing DEET are best
- stay on clear paths whenever possible
- wear light-coloured clothing so ticks are easier to see and brush off
Treatment For Erythema Migrans
People treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of Lyme disease usually recover rapidly and completely. Early diagnosis and proper antibiotic treatment of Lyme disease can help prevent late Lyme disease.
Treatment regimens listed in the following table are for the erythema migrans rash, the most common manifestation of early Lyme disease. These regimens may need to be adjusted depending on a persons age, medical history, underlying health conditions, pregnancy status, or allergies. Consult an infectious disease specialist regarding individual patient treatment decisions.
|100 mg, twice per day orally||N/A|
|500 mg, three times per day orally||N/A|
|500 mg, twice per day orally||N/A|
|4.4 mg/kg per day orally, divided into 2 doses||100 mg per dose|
|50 mg/kg per day orally, divided into 3 doses||500 mg per dose|
|30 mg/kg per day orally, divided into 2 doses||500 mg per dose|
*When different durations of antibiotics are shown to be effective for the treatment of Lyme disease, the shorter duration is preferred to minimize unnecessary antibiotics that might result in adverse effects, including infectious diarrhea and antimicrobial resistance.
NOTE: For people intolerant of amoxicillin, doxycycline, and cefuroxime, the macrolide azithromycin may be used, although it is less effective. People treated with azithromycin should be closely monitored to ensure that symptoms resolve.
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