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.
The Relationship Between Lyme And Mold
At CCFM, we also look at the relationship between tick-borne infections and toxic environmental exposures, including illnesses induced by toxic mold exposure. Exposure to mold in your living or work environment places a strain on your immune system, distracting it from its crucial task of targeting Borrelia burgdorferi and other infectious organisms. Identifying and treating mold-induced illness may be an essential, pivotal step in your healing journey. Our clinicians have extensive experience treating mold-induced illness and can help you navigate this confusing but crucial aspect of healing.
Check out our article The Link Between Mold Illness and Lyme Disease for more information on how toxic mold exposure interacts with Lyme disease, creating a perfect storm of inflammation, and how treating mold-induced illness can accelerate Lyme disease recovery.
Neuroplasticity is defined as the ability of the brain to form and reorganize the synaptic connections between neurons.41 A variety of neuroplasticity-based brain retraining programs, such as DNRS, have been extremely helpful for those recovering from Lyme disease.
To read more about how you can use brain retraining to aid your healing process, check out our article Neuroplasticity, Emotional Healing, and Chronic Illness.
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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Complementary And Alternative Therapies
You should never treat Lyme disease with complementary therapies alone. Anyone who has Lyme disease needs to take antibiotics to cure the disease and avoid complications. Lyme disease does affect many parts of your body, so including complementary therapies along with standard treatment may help.
Some people believe they have long-lasting complications from Lyme disease. Using CAM therapies to treat these long-lasting complications is controversial. Conventional doctors believing that CAM practitioners may be attributing too many random symptoms to Lyme disease. Make sure you see reputable doctors, whether conventional or CAM practitioners, and educate yourself so that you can be your own advocate.
Always tell all of your doctors about the herbs and supplements you are using or considering using.
Nutrition and SupplementsHerbs
The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider. Some helpful herbs include:
In some cases, such as Lyme disease, a professional homeopath may prescribe specific remedies without considering the individual’s constitutional state. Such remedies for Lyme disease include:
- Arsenicum album
Holistic Therapies That Complement Conventional Medical Treatments
The conventional treatment of Lyme disease often includes a course of antibiotics in the early stages of infection. This can be effective if the condition is caught and treated early.
In the later stages and in more chronic situations, it may become more complicated and difficult to treat as multiple body systems may be involved and immune function can become compromised. In these cases an integrative and holistic approach to treatment is critical to restoring the body back to health by targeting the multiple infections associated with Lyme and simultaneously strengthening the immune system.
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What Are The Fundamentals You Should Know About Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can be found worldwide, which develops as the result of a borrelia burgdorferi infection. Early stages of the disease often have symptoms of a rash , and flu-like symptoms such as joint pain and fevers. Later stages may have symptoms of fatigue, joint and muscle pain, and cognitive difficulties among other symptoms. Lyme disease is acquired by a tick bite, usually by an infected blacklegged tick, and symptoms may take up to 6 weeks to develop. The infected ticks frequently carry co-infections such as Babesia, Bartonella, Erhlichia, and other pathogens.
Left untreated, patients can experience long-term extreme fatigue, joint and muscle pain, nerve pain, mental fog, psychiatric problems such as depression and anxiety, and many other symptoms. These symptoms can be misdiagnosed as other conditions including, but not limited to, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and psychiatric disorders.
To Get A Detailed Look At How Lyme Affects Overall Health And Our Approach Read Dr Waters’ Paper Below
- what is known about the biology of the causative spirochete, Borrelia Burgdorferi
- how it creates symptoms in the human host
- the methods the human immune system uses to defend itself against microbes
- the improvement in the hosts endocrine and immune function including the correction of nutritional deficiencies that contribute to immune dysregulation
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Subculture Studies To Confirm The Activity Of The Top Natural Product Hits
For the subculture study, 1 mL B. burgdorferi stationary phase culture was treated by natural products or control drugs in 1.5 ml Eppendorf tubes for 7 days at 33°C without shaking. Next, cells were centrifuged, and cell pellets were washed with fresh BSK-H medium followed by resuspension in fresh BSK-H medium without antibiotics. Then 50 l of cell suspension was inoculated into 1 ml of fresh BSK-H medium for subculture at 33°C, 5% CO2. Cell growth was monitored using SYBR Green I/PI assay and fluorescence microscopy after 720 days.
Seven Herbal Medicines Can Kill Lyme Disease Bacteria In Test Tube
Researchers have determined that seven herbal medicines are highly active in test tubes against B. burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, compared to the control antibiotics, doxycycline and cefuroxime.
Published in the journal Frontiers in Medicine, the laboratory study was funded by the Bay Area Lyme Foundation and supported in part by The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and colleagues at the California Center for Functional Medicine and FOCUS Health Group, Naturopathic collaborated on the study.
Since traditional antibiotic approaches fail to resolve symptoms in up to 25% of patients treated for Lyme disease and many suffer disabling effects of the disease, there is a need for novel treatment proven effective against B. burgdorferi, said the papers co-author Sunjya K. Schweig, MD, CEO and co-director, California Center for Functional Medicine and Scientific Advisory Board Member, Bay Area Lyme Foundation.
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Evaluation Of Activity Of Natural Product Extracts Against Stationary Phase B Burgdorferi
Table 2. Activity of natural products against growing and stationary phase B. burgdorferi.
Figure 1. Effect of natural product extracts on the viability of stationary phase B. burgdorferi. A 7-day old B. burgdorferi stationary phase culture was treated with the natural product extracts at 1, 0.5, and 0.2% for 7 days followed by staining with SYBR Green I/PI viability assay and fluorescence microscopy.
We also tested several other herbs and substances that are used by Lyme patients including Stevia rebaudiana, Andrographis paniculata, Grapefruit seed extract, Ashwagandha somnifera, Colloidal silver, Lauricidin, and antimicrobial peptide LL-37, but found they had little or no activity against stationary phase B. burgdorferi cells.
Treatment Round #: Antibiotics
My initial Lyme treatment looked like a whole lot of antibioticsdoxycycline, plus two others that were supposedly beneficial for combating common Lyme co-infections. And this was fine with me. Given the severity of my symptoms, I was willing to try anything. Plus, at the time, I didn’t really know I had any other options.
Because I’d likely had Lyme for years by the time I began treatment, it took some time for me to notice any results. But soon, there was no question the drugs were working. After three months, I had less pain after six months, I could walk around the block and after nine months, I could go on a 2-mile hike. All told, I was on this combination of antibiotics for about two years , after which I felt completely symptom-freesomething I never, ever expected.
And I felt pretty great for about a year. But then I’d start to feel a bit more achy than usual after walking my ankles and knees would get red, hot, and painful I started to notice that old tingling sensation in my arms and legs and eventually, I was struggling to walk again. My Lyme was re-emerging even after lengthy antibiotic treatmentand apparently, that’s not uncommon. This, I’ve since learned, is partially due to the spirochete shape of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease , which allows some forms of the bacteria to essentially burrow deep into your tissue and lay dormant only to re-emerge later when conditions are more favorable.
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The Functional Medicine Approach To Lyme Disease
Ive dealt with Lyme, with remittent symptoms, and long periods of peaceful remission for many years now. Even during peaceful remission, Ive dealt with fear: fear that the turmoil would all come flooding back into my life after every late night, every flu, every stressful thought.
But I deal, and I have chosen to deal often without the overuse of allopathy, that is, the use of pharmacological drugs that suppress symptoms.
I do have some regrets in life, but opting for a slower more holistic approach to recovery is not one of them. I will explain to you why I prefer functional medicine over allopathic medicine , but first I would like to make a point to emphasize that I am not opposed to allopathy.
Plants/herbs With Antiviral Properties
Did you know that some plants and herbs have antiviral properties that work to enhance your immune system? This is just another reason why we LOVE plants and all that they do for us. Specifically, there are seven plants/herbs that we are interested in due to their unique properties that may help reduce the viral load and therefore help your immune system.
7 plants/herbs with antiviral properties that may help with Lyme Disease
- Oregano antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties
- Sage antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties
- Echinacea antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties
- Licorice Root antiviral properties, may reduce adrenal fatigue, and boost immunity
- Olive Leaf antiviral properties, and may help with chronic fatigue
- Astralagus Root stimulates the immune system, is anti-inflammatory, and may help lower cortisol
- Garlic contains allicin which has antiviral properties
You may be surprised at just how effective these antivirals can be. However, it all comes down to quality and dosing, so make sure to work with a health practitioner .
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Complementary Lyme Disease Services
Holistic Approach to Lyme Disease
Our doctors are trained to view the body as an integrated system where one part impacts and influences another. Lyme disease results in chronic elevation of pro-inflammatory cytokines, multi-system disturbances and disruption of normal functioning. Genetic predispositions often become more evident or active, at this time, complicating the clinic presentation and taxing the body’s ability to heal. Mood disorders and insomnia are very common due to alternations in neurotransmitter synthesis and alterations in response to immune system activation. Persistent Lyme disease is an infectious disease with many complicating factors. Post-Lyme disease syndrome is a non-infectious disorder that is caused by an initial infection that leads to multi-system disturbances and activation of epigenetic predispositions. Treating the entire body moves a person closer to their health goals.
We specialize in complementary and alternative support for Lyme disease. Treatments are personalized to patients based on testing.
Botanicals, nutrition, desiccated thyroid, SIBO treatments, neurotransmitter balancing, antimicrobial agents, vitamin/mineral IVs, B vitamin injections, and more.
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.
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What To Do When Serologic Testing Is Negative But Lyme Is Still Suspected
The problems with the conventional two-tier testing strategy for Lyme disease have initiated the development of new tests from independent labs intended to offer higher sensitivity and specificity.
As the first step in the diagnosis of Lyme, we often recommend serologic tests, including the ELISA, the Western Blot, and the Immunoblot. This new test is more sensitive than the Western Blot and is designed to take its place.38 Serologic Lyme tests can be done through Stony Brook University, Quest, LabCorp, or IGeneX.
If serologic tests come back negative and Lyme is still strongly suspected, we may recommend molecular testing such as the test offered by Global Lyme Diagnostics. The GLD tests antibodies to B. burgdorferi outer surface proteins, expanding the number of species and strains that can be detected.
We may also recommend Elispot T cell activation tests. These tests are run by labs such as InfectoLab and Armin Laboratories, and look at T cell activation for the pathogens. This may be a better indicator of current or recent infection and lead to a more accurate diagnosis.
However, it is important to remember that the testing for Lyme and other tickborne pathogens is still far from perfect, and we always focus on your individual case and symptoms. Lyme disease is primarily a clinical diagnosis and the tests are used as supportive aids.
Borrelia Impairs Immune Function And May Increase The Risk Of Other Infections
Borrelia burgdorferi impairs its host’s immune function, allowing it to evade the immune system and persist in the body undetected.20 This subsequent immune suppression makes the host more susceptible to opportunistic infections, further harming the body.21 Heavy-handed use of antibiotics for Lyme disease can also disrupt the gut microbiome, accelerating the growth of opportunistic gut microbes such as Candida albicans. This is just one reason why a functional medicine approach, which may combine the judicious use of antibiotics with other non-antibiotic antimicrobial therapies, and gut healing protocols, can be so beneficial.
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Evaluation Of Natural Products For Their Activity Against B Burgdorferi Stationary Phase Cultures
B. burgdorferi B31 was cultured for 7 days in microaerophilic incubator as stationary phase cultures . To evaluate potential anti-persister activity of the natural products, their stocks and their control solvents were added to 100 L of the B. burgdorferi stationary phase culture in 96-well plates to obtain the desired concentrations. The botanical medicines and natural product extracts were tested with the concentration of 1, 0.5, and 0.25% antibiotics of daptomycin, doxycycline, and cefuroxime were used as controls at a final concentration of 5 g/ml. All the tests mentioned above were run in triplicate. The microtiter plates were sealed and incubated at 33°C without shaking for 7 days with 5% CO2.
What Is Lyme Disease
The most common vector-borne disease in the United States is Lyme disease caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted to humans most often via the bite of infected tick.
The initial symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, headache, fatigue, and a skin rash. If antibiotics are given early it is possible to treat the infection. However, even with early treatment, many people will go on to develop chronic Lyme disease. Also contributing to the challenge is that up to 50% of people do not even remember being bit by a tick.
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