A Functional Medicine Guide To Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is on the rise in the US, yet cases are often missed and there is a lot of misinformation and confusion on the topic.I have seen the effects of Lyme disease firsthand in the clinic and I know the toll it takes on patients and their families.
In order to help you and your loved ones spot Lyme early and treat it properly , I created this comprehensive resource that is easily shareable. Check it out and bookmark it for reference later.
It Transforms To Evade The Immune System
Borrelia also changes its own morphology to evade the immune system it transforms from its characteristic spiral shape into a spherical cystic structure devoid of cell-surface recognition proteins. It also teams up with other microorganisms, including the coinfectious agents mentioned earlier, to form a biofilm. Biofilm is a consortium of microorganisms embedded in a slimy extracellular matrix when bacteria are incorporated into biofilm, they become resistant to antibiotic treatment. In the case of Lyme disease, Borrelia biofilm makes treatment even more difficult.
Diy Tick Tubes: Why They Work & How To Make Them
This article was originally published in March 2020 and updated on April 20, 2022.Ticksyikes! Anyone who lives in the northeast knows the struggle of keeping away ticks to protect against Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.
Its the beginning of April and were already starting to see them!
At my house, were ramping up our tick defense and trying to figure out more ways to reduce the population at our home. Trust me when I say, this isnt our first rodeo!
In the past, we have used essential oil sprays, had professionals come out and spray, weve actually bought guineas, and we have laying hens that roam around our house. Weve treated our pets, we use essential oil repellents on our children when they go out to play, but were still having problems with this.
This year were going a little bit more aggressive and trying tick tubes. They are shown to decrease the tick population by approximately 90%
Check out the video below as I show you how to make tick-tubes at home. If youd rather purchase ready-made tubes, you can do so here!
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Why Lyme Disease Is So Challenging To Treat
Contrary to what the CDC and IDSA would like us to believe, Lyme disease is complicated and notoriously difficult to treat. Complete eradication of B. burgdorferi spirochetes by antibiotics has not been achieved in any animal model ever tested. Treatment of B. burgdorferi is difficult due to the bacteriums ability to evade the immune system, change its morphology, and adapt to antibiotic treatments.
Healing Chronic Lyme Program
Support for those with suspected or diagnosed Chronic Lyme disease.
The Healing Chronic Lyme Program focuses on treating Lyme and all related co-infections. It also speeds recovery by supporting immune function, promoting healthy detoxification, and protecting/repairing the bodywhich may include herbal anti-microbials in combination with antibiotic therapy prescribed by your medical doctor.
Dr. Leslie Vilensky completed the International Lyme and Associated Disease Societys Physician Training Program and has worked extensively with patients dealing with Lyme Disease/Tick-Borne illness. Her approach is to restore balance and support the body in its inherent healing capacity.
Your Lyme disease treatment journey may include nutritional and lifestyle counseling, homeopathic drainage, detoxification, and herbs/supplements tailored to your unique needs
Were passionate about helping our patients recover more quickly with wellness support aims at killing Lyme, but also addresses your bodys ability to function optimallyincluding immune system function, detoxification capabilities, and gastrointestinal health.
Or call us at 440-7710.
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Some Further Blood Tests That May Help Accurate Diagnosis Include:
- Complete blood count : white blood cells count , differential , hemoglobin
- Blood chemistries: electrolytes, liver function, kidney function
- Glucose metabolism: fasting blood glucose, fasting insulin hemoglobin A1c
- Minerals: magnesium and calcium
- Autoimmune testing rheumatoid factor, ANA titer
- C-reactive protein
- Vitamins: vitamin D and B12
- Iron: ferritin
- Urinalysis: pH, WBCs, nitrites, protein, bilirubin
- Mold and mycotoxins
- Reproductive hormone testing: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone
- Testing for toxins
- Comprehensive stool analysis: yeast, parasites, viruses, and bacteria
- Microbes testing
- Genetic testing, like methylation
- Testing for neurological, cardiac, and GI symptoms
- Testing for Lyme co-infections
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What Differentiates The Conventional And Functional Medicine Approaches To Lyme Disease
The medical treatment of Lyme disease has become the subject of much controversy. The mainstream medical community argues that Lyme disease is rare and easily treated with a single round of antibiotics. When patients experience symptoms beyond this treatment, they are often dismissed and told that it is not possible that the symptoms could be caused by an ongoing infection, are post-Lyme syndrome, or are all in their head.
While conventional, or allopathic, medicine is excellent at handling acute medical emergencies and surgery, it falls short in addressing complex, chronic conditions such as Lyme disease. If we compare the field of medicine to a tree, the conventional medical disciplines such as cardiology, neurology, and gastroenterology are akin to the outer leaves and branches of the tree. These disciplines work to control or suppress the outward manifestations of the disease, but often fail to address the root cause of the problem. On the other hand, functional medicine focuses first on the roots and trunk of the tree. A functional medicine doctor addresses the underlying factors that contribute to chronic disease and looks at the body as an interconnected system, rather than a disparate collection of body parts.
How Diy Tick Tubes Help Prevent Lyme Disease
Ticks are actually not born with Lyme disease, they have to pick it up from a different host, typically rodents, like mice, rats, chipmunks or squirrels. Tick tubes work by targeting the ticks on rodents .
Tick tubes are essentially toilet paper rolls filled with cotton that has been soaked in permethrin and then scattered around the perimeter of your yard.
Mice pick up the cotton and bring it back to their den to use as bedding, which spreads it onto the mices fur. When a tick goes to bite the mouse, the permethrin kills the tick, stopping the spread of Lyme disease.
Safety Warning & Balancing the Risks and BenefitsPermethrin is a synthetic chemical and can be dangerous. Be sure to wear gloves and even protective eyewear while working with it and educate your children to stay away from the finished tubes.
Generally, I try to avoid harsh chemicals when possible. But, Ive had to weigh the risks and the benefits of my children getting a tick-borne illness versus having these isolated chemicals throughout the yard this year. Since weve tried almost everything else and havent seen the results Im looking for, were going to try these for the time being.
I encourage you to weigh the risks and benefits for your own family and make the decision that is best for you.
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A Functional Medicine Approach To Lyme Disease
Have you been diagnosed with Lyme Disease or feel that you may have contracted it, but havent been evaluated properly? In this video Jared Price, DNP, FNP-C at Forum Health Utah discusses everything you need to know about Lyme Disease including the early signs, symptoms if its left untreated, complications and how an integrative medicine approach can help diagnose and treat Lyme.
If youre interested in treatment options, schedule your free 15-minute consulthereor call 801.616.3768 for our West Jordan location or 801.515.4679 for our Orem location.
What Are Effective Lyme Disease Treatment Options
Chris Kresser: OK, so treatment. There obviously are a number of options here, and of course, the controversy doesnt stop here either. We have everything from high-dose, multiple oral antibiotics to intravenous antibiotics to things like the Buhner protocol and various herbal treatments to Rife to any number of things. So given that we cant discuss all of them, maybe we should just focus on the ones that you are using most in your practice now and you think are the most effective and promising.
Chris Kresser: Sunjya, when you say antibiotics, are you referring to oral or intravenous or both?
Dr. Sunjya Schweig: Mostly Im using Western medicine antibiotics because there are also herbal antibiotics, but when Im using Western medicine antibiotics, Im usually using oral. I also actually found that intramuscular shots, like something like Bicillin is actually really helpful because it bypasses the gut. And in some cases, I will use IV, although it brings up a new set of risks.
Chris Kresser: Right.
Lets close by talking a little bit about resources. You mentioned ILADS and some of the other websites before where people could find a practitioner. There are lots of books out there on Lyme. One of my favorites that I read in the past few years is Cure Unknown by Pamela Weintraub. Im curious to know what books you have found to be helpful for your patients.
Chris Kresser: Yeah, a very well-written and fascinating read, too.
Chris Kresser: Yeah, the nocebo effect.
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Contact Us For An Appointment If You Need Support
The other more modern name for Lyme disease is M-SIDS. This stands for Multiple System Infectious Diseases Syndrome. We only have to look at the Covid pandemic to see what damage an infection can do to our body systems. We have all been listening and reading over the past year and have become more educated on the concept of infection causing potential long term health challenges. So here we have a root cause which is important to explore and treat.
Our medical approach allows us to use antibiotics, or antiviral / antifungal medications to target key infections. Our Doctor will discuss with you in detail the best approach for you. Our holistic functional medical approach also allows us to deal with optimising gut health within the body including attention to SIBO the presence of active infections of Helicobacter pylori and gut permeability. Mitochondrial function is critical as this is where we produce our energy or ATP.
We use both natural and allopathic methods to calm the inflammatory process in the body. We optimise the gut allowing modulation of the immune system with the use of diet and supplements that are well researched and evidence-based. Examples of natural support and medications include transfer factors and low dose naltrexone. We know how to support detoxification in the body to allow bio toxins to be properly excreted.
Examples of complex disease with possible underlying immune dysregulation associated
We can also address the following situations:
Chiropractic Care And Lyme Disease
For those who have chronic Lyme disease, the condition can be debilitating. When traditional antibiotics fail to improve the symptoms, people search for other ways to restore their quality of life.
Even if the disease is caught early and after a course of antibiotics, many patients experience symptoms of chronic Lyme disease. This includes lingering symptoms such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and achiness. While symptoms vary from person to person, the effects may continue to persist for several years, or gradually fade away. Chiropractic care can help improve the musculoskeletal symptoms associated with Lyme. Chiropractic spinal adjustments improve the functioning of the central nervous system and provides relief from symptoms such as joint pain and achiness. By making some simple adjustments to the spine, your nervous system will properly regulate your immune system.
Chiropractic adjustments also restore proper nerve communication and blood flow to joints and muscles affected by Lyme disease. Improved blood flow repairs damaged muscle and nerve tissue.
Stretching and exercise reduce stiffness in muscles, improves mobility, and decrease inflammation. Light aerobic exercise that is not stressful to the joints, such as walking or swimming, may provide some relief from symptoms.
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Lyme Disease Should Be Considered In A Differential Diagnosis In Those Patients Diagnosed With:
FibromyalgiaRheumatological disorders Neurological disorders Any multi-system illnesses that are difficult to diagnose
Or call us at 440-7710.
The health services and supplements I get from Be Well Natural Medicine is absolutely critical to my well being. Without them I could not function in society and would be confined to my home and maybe my bed. THANK YOU Be Well!
Foods That Support Glutathione Production
A variety of whole foods have been found to support glutathione production. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale are rich in sulforaphane, a phytochemical that augments glutathione production. Plants from the Allium genus, including garlic, onions, and leeks, induce the activity of glutathione S-transferase and glutathione peroxidase, critical enzymes in the glutathione system.
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Causes Of Lyme Disease
If you brush past undergrowth where a tick is hiding, it will attach itself to your skin. The tick often sits there unnoticed because not only are they very small, but ticks secrete a numbing substance so you wont feel them biting you. Once attached, the insect will bury its head in your skin and feed on your blood through a special feeding tube.
Some ticks harbour a type of bacteria called Borrelia. While the tick is feeding, the bacteria can make their way into your bloodstream where they can damage muscles, nerves or organs.
Comprehensive Lyme Disease Treatment
Reduce the Microbial Burden on the Body
- Antibiotic Therapy following ILADS protocol
- Because Lyme Disease can cause severe consequences antibiotic therapy is usually recommended based on ILADs protocols.
- Herbal Therapy Supplementation
- Herbal therapy if you cannot take antibiotics, or prefer herbals, based on the work of Buhner that may help kill the bacteria, relieve symptoms and/or strengthen your immune system.
Support the Immune System with Additional Therapies
Every patient needs to support their immune system in order to heal. This may done with IV Therapy, nutritional support, herbal supplementation, digestive support and detoxification therapies based on your symptoms and the direction of your doctor.
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It Impairs The Immune System
As I mentioned earlier, Borrelia impairs host immunity, including the adaptive immune response and the complement system, the part of the immune system that enhances the ability of antibodies and phagocytes to clear harmful microbes. This not only opens up the body to opportunistic infection, but also allows Borrelia to persist in the body.
What To Expect At Your Provider’s Office
Lyme disease can be hard to diagnose because many of its symptoms look like those of other illnesses, and there is no definitive lab test for Lyme disease. About 20% of people with Lyme disease do not get a rash. Tell your doctor if you think you may have been bitten by a tick. Your doctor may order these tests:
- ELISA test, which detects antibodies to the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. This test may result in false positives.
- Western blot test, which detects antibodies to proteins of the bacteria
- Polymerase chain reaction , which detects bacteria in joint fluid and is used for people who may have Lyme arthritis.
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The Lyme Disease Conundrum
Why is Lyme so hard to detect and recover from, even after antibiotics? Here are three main theories:
Problem 1: The Lyme bacterium is a survivor
Lyme bacteria knows how to stay alive inside its host. It suppresses the immune system, which allows it to survive and multiply. Lyme also seems to have the ability to cloak itself, making itself invisible to our immune system. In fact, Borrelia is so smart that some research suggests that when it senses its being attacked, it can go into a dormant state, allowing it to live and survive against the onslaught of antibiotics. Other studies suggest that Borrelia can actually mutate its own genes to make it resistant to antibiotics.
Problem 2: Diagnosis is tricky
Only about half of all Lyme patients actually remember getting a tick bite. Plus, the classic bulls-eye rash that people associate with Lyme may not appear in all cases, or may appear somewhere the victim never sees, such as on the scalp, hidden by hair. Some research suggests that conventional Lyme tests may not be sensitive enough to make an accurate diagnosis, especially during the later stages of disease. False-negative results are also common.
Problem 3: Conventional treatment may not be sufficient
Getting An Accurate Diagnosis During A Pandemic
If you suspect you may have this tick-borne disease, its more critical than ever to seek help in light of the coronavirus pandemic. But Lyme disease can be challenging to diagnose. Seeing an integrative or functional medicine physician is a good place to start.
In addition, brain imaging can help. On brain SPECT scans, infections in the brain tend to show an overall pattern of significantly low blood flow and may appear toxic. When these abnormal brain patterns are visible, it calls for additional testing to determine the type of infection that may be causing cerebral blood flow issues. Lab tests for Lyme disease include the Western Blot , Immunoblot, and C6 Lyme ELISA, and although they offer critical data, Filidei cautions that they are only part of a comprehensive diagnostic process. Diving into a persons clinical history helps complete the picture.
With a precise diagnosis, you are better able toaddress underlying infections and related symptoms. And that makes you betterable to fend off other infections and to cope with the mental strain associatedwith quarantine.
At Amen Clinics, our integrative and functional medicine physicians have seen hundreds of patients with resistant complex psychiatric symptoms or cognitive problems who tested positive for Lyme disease. When the underlying infection is addressed as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, symptoms improve significantly.
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