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.
Taking A Bite Out Of Lyme What To Do If You Are Bitten By A Tick
What if you are bitten? Do not panic, as there is plenty that both conventional and naturopathic medicine can do acutely to prevent infection from taking hold and causing illness. First things first, however, you must remove the tick safely.
Do not use anything to suffocate the tick, as this may cause the tick to regurgitate its contents into you and expose your body to Borrelia burgdorferi and other species of Borrelia that cause Lyme disease, as well as its co-infections. Use flat-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick at the base of the head and slowly but firmly pull the tick from the skin in the same direction that it is implanted.
Once the tick is removed, use a clear plastic sealable bag to store it. Apply hydrogen peroxide to clean the wound. Mix bentonite clay and Andrographis tincture to form a paste and apply it directly to the bite. Cover with a bandage soaked in the Andrographis tincture and let it heal.
The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society recommends that those experiencing Erythema migrans undergo antibiotic therapy for four to six weeks.
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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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
Lyme Disease Treatment With Alternative Medicine In Winston
Spending time outside with your family, friends, and pets can be a fun way to get some fresh air and enjoy nature. Unfortunately, it is also an easy way to pick up an unwanted traveler on your clothes, gear, hair, and pets fur.
From backpacking in a national park to playing in the backyard, you can be exposed to ticks in bushy or wooded areas, especially during the warmer months from April through September in North Carolina
It is imperative to prevent ticks from attaching themselves to your skin because they can carry and transmit Lyme disease. When Lyme disease takes hold this can be a very challenging condition to treat, especially if there are co-infections, but the healthcare providers at Robinhood Integrative Health are very experienced in diagnosing and treating chronic lyme disease.
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Natural Yard Sprays To Protect Your Home
You can also utilize natural sprays that are safe for honeybees and amphibians, as well as humans and pets, which can keep ticks at bay.
Spraying for ticks should be done in the early spring, summer, and late fall, and should be applied to the entire lawn, well past the perimeter and into the woods. Consider recycling paper towel tubes into tick tubes that help to eliminate ticks from rodents like the white footed mouse which is the main spreader of tiny nymph ticks.
Ways Integrative Medicine Practitioners Treat Lyme Disease
According to the CDC, Lyme Borreliosis, or Lyme Disease, accounts for 77% of vector-borne illnesses in the United States every year . Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, typically transmitted by a tick, which can affect every area of the human body, hijacking your immune system.
From the years of 2010 to 2018, there were an estimated 476,000 Lyme disease cases diagnosed annually by clinicians, according to the CDC. This estimate was based on insurance claims alone. Researchers suggest that substantial underreporting occurs, and the incidence of this illness could be much higher.
Studies indicate that these bacterial cells can lie dormant and become persistent and difficult to treat when not identified in the acute phase.
A functional medicine approach to treating Lyme Disease usually involves:
- Identifying co-infections and triggers.
- Optimizing the individual’s immune and detoxification system.
- Directly targeting the infection.
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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.
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Heavy Metals And Chelation
Some sites discussed heavy metal toxicity, particularly due to mercury, as copathogenic with Lyme disease . Specifically, Lyme disease was said to predispose to symptomatic mercury toxicity consequently, mercury chelation was a recommended adjunct to other treatments for Lyme disease. The interventions marketed for mercury toxicity included chemical chelators such as dimercaptosuccinic acid, 2,3-dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid, alpha lipoic acid, and ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid . Some herbal therapies such as garlic, cilantro, or chlorella were also said to be beneficial for heavy metal intoxication. In addition to chelation, some sources recommended the removal of all mercury-containing amalgam dental fillings and root canals as part of Lyme disease therapy . Some have suggested receiving future dental care only from biological dentists .
Bismuth and silver, in contrast to mercury, were heralded for their therapeutic rather than toxic properties. Silver is said to support the immune system as it attempts to kill off these bacterium . Silver kills lyme through oxidation first, then alkylation. Usually sold in colloidal form, silver particles are administered both orally and parenterally . Bismuth compounds were promoted for killing cyst forms of B. burgdorferi and are sometimes combined with EDTA to sequester additional substances .
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What Is The Strongest Antibiotic For Lyme Disease
Ceftriaxone is one of the most effective antibiotics for Lyme disease because it has a high penetration of the blood-brain barrier.
Early Lyme disease can be treated with a short course of oral antibiotics. In more complicated cases, antibiotics can typically be used for three to four weeks in order to treat Lyme disease. Three placebo-controlled clinical trials have been conducted to investigate the efficacy of long-term antibiotic therapy for treating PLDS. As part of their research, 37 people with known Lyme disease were subjected to at least three weeks of intravenous antibiotics, as well as a self-report of memory impairment. According to the authors, intravenous ceftriaxone, a therapy used for cognitive improvement, did not work because it lasted only ten weeks. More durable, less painful, and safer methods of treatment are still required. Scientists at NIAID are conducting a clinical study to assess the effectiveness of antibiotics in treating patients with Lyme disease in terms of clinical, microbiological, and immunological characteristics.
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
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Why Antibiotics May Not Work For Lyme Disease
- Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, has a corkscrew shape that allows it to bore deep into tissues and cartilage , safely out of reach of most antibiotics.
- Borrelia burgdorferi can give up its corkscrew shape and convert to a form that is able to live inside cells where again, antibiotics have less reach.
- Borrelia burgdorferi, along with other similar microbes, can form dormant cysts that are completely resistant to antibiotics the harder you hit it, the more resistant it becomes.
- Borrelia burgdorferi is usually accompanied and aided by co-infections of other stealth microbes that also live inside cells.
Antibiotic resistance occurs at a high rate with these types of microbes. An antibiotic is one single chemical substance. Bacteria, such as Borrelia , respond slowly to antibiotics and have more time to develop resistance to the antibiotic. In other words, the longer they can hang on, the more likely they are to become completely antibiotic resistant. Using multiple antibiotics at once seems to accelerate this process and alternating antibiotics doesnt seem to help. Resistant bacteria become even more entrenched.
Antibiotics destroy the normal flora in the gut and skin, causing bacterial imbalance and a host of other symptoms in the body. Most importantly, use of antibiotics suppresses immune function, which may present the greatest hurdle to recoveryyou cannot get well without optimal immune function.
One Lyme Disease Diet
Its time to tighten the diet. Dial it in. Get strict. This doesnt mean you wont enjoy food it means its time to learn to enjoy salads! Make a salad every day, using at least ten different vegetables and at least five different herbs and spices. Variety is key, and be sure to mix it up, but always include garlic, turmeric, pepper, healthy fats like avocado, flax, and coconut oil, and get organic, fresh vegetables whenever possible.
Fruit is great to consume with this diet, but every time fruit is eaten, SF722 or another powerful fungal fighter needs to be taken with it.
Juicing is a common problem for us health nuts. Sweet juice is a refined sugar, even fresh squeezed organic orange juice. Beets, carrots, and all fruits , feed fungal infections, bacteria, and promote viruses. Juicing is fine, when done right. Juice regularly, but instead of those sweet juices, try ginger and turmeric shots . On the other hand, youre not likely to have much room for juicing because you will be drinking a lot of cranberry, stevia lemonade.
Every day, make a gallon of cranberry lemonade sweetened with stevia, and a very large salad . Obviously your size should be taken into consideration, dont kill yourself trying to drink a gallon a day if you only weigh 80 pounds, but for most people a gallon of water a day will do them a world of good.
Absolutely no alcohol is allowed on this diet save what little bit is in some of the recommended tinctures.
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Natural Remedies To Tame The Fires
Eating a healthy diet, living in a clean environment, learning to live around stress, and staying active are all very important for keeping cells in your body healthy. However, the chemical substances in plants defined as herbs can take that protection to the next level. Taking herbs can give you the advantage that you need to overcome chronic inflammation and return to a normal life.
Plants must protect their cells from a wide range of stress factors: damaging free radicals, physical stress from harsh weather, toxic substances, harmful radiation, insects, invasive fungi, parasites, and, last but not least, every variety of microbe.
Plants do this with their own natural chemistry. In fact, plants are the most sophisticated chemists on the planet. The chemical substances that plants use to solve problems and protect cells are called phytochemicals.
Mushrooms, which are technically fungi, also have to deal with similar stress factors as plant. They also produce a wide range of protective substances that mirror the protective properties of phytochemicals found in plants.
When we consume plant phytochemicals, the benefits are transferred to us. The three primary things that phytochemicals do for us:
Integrative Treatment For Lyme Disease
The CDC maintains that most cases of Lyme diseaseif caught earlycan be effectively treated with 2 to 4 weeks of oral antibiotics. The approved medications used for acute Lyme symptoms include doxycycline, amoxicillin, and cefuroxime.
Its crucial to see an integrative medicine doctor as soon as possible, or a Lyme Literate Physician who has the proper training if you suspect youve been bitten by a tick who carried Lyme disease. Swift treatment is important to ensure eradication of the infection.
In some cases, patients may experience pain, fatigue, and other neurological symptoms 6 months or more after the initial tick bite. This is known as chronic Lyme or post-treatment Lyme disease.
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Treatment Of Lyme Disease Without Antibiotics
Many of my chronic lyme patients have come to me after they have been on repeated courses of antibiotics, with only temporary improvement. In these cases, one option for treatment is a more holistic, naturopathic approach to chronic lyme disease which involves nutritional support to regulate physiology, detoxification, more broad spectrum antimicrobials , and immune system modulation.
How To Cure Lyme Disease Naturally
The bacteria that cause Lyme can be found in the skin, heart, joints, and nervous system. On top of that, Lyme disease specialists are finding that what we call Lyme disease may be caused by several different infectious organisms and may even be caused by a combination of different infectious pathogens. Some speculate that Lyme disease is an infection from the bacteria along with an overabundance of fungi or a parasite.
Everyone plays host to countless viruses, infectious bacteria, fungi, toxins, and cancer cells in their body. Many may be carrying Lyme, along with or many other scary diseases, and not know it.
Those with stronger immune systems often pass on infections they didnt even know they have to others with weakened immunity. Currently, specialists are saying Lyme cannot be passed from person to person. Some are challenging this belief, especially in regards to sexual transmission. Regardless, those infected can carry the disease for years without knowing it.
The good news is that a holistic approach to fixing the bodys immune system and ridding it of infectious agents can cure almost any disease. The approach to Lyme should be similar to the approach to curing HIV, fibromyalgia, chronic strep, lupus, Chlamydia, and many other diseases. The first step is to heal the gut, balance the gut flora, and rebuild the immune system.
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