Treating Chronic Lyme Disease
Chronic Lyme disease often presents a wide range of symptoms which can mimic the symptoms of other conditions. Patients whose Lyme disease goes undiagnosed for months or even years, run the risk of developing chronic Lyme disease symptoms which may include arthritis, fatigue and anxiety.
When a person is first infected with the bacteria genusBorreila, usually from a deer tick or mosquito bite, the first sign is often the appearance of a bulls-eye skin rash. It can be large and expanding in size. This rash is called erythema migrans and can be accompanied by flu like symptoms such as joint pain, headache and fatigue. These all usually emerge within days or weeks. If the person is correctly diagnosed at this time, then Lyme disease can usually be effectively treated with a course of antibiotics.
However, in many cases there are no early Lyme disease symptoms and the person may not even recall seeing a bite. Months may pass before chronic Lyme disease symptoms occur, which are inevitably misdiagnosed. The problem with chronic Lyme disease is that its so very effective at mimicking other ailments, and it manifests in different people in different ways. Its not uncommon for chronic Lyme disease symptoms to be misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis, Parkinsons disease, lupus, mononucleosis, ulcerative colitis, ALS, Alzheimers disease, or fibromyalgia. Misdiagnosis can mean not getting treatment, or worse, getting treatment for the wrong condition.
Turn On The Immune System
The best way to treat the chronic active viruses is to follow all of the steps in The Ross Lyme Support Protocol, which collectively support the immune system. Often, the immune system will work more effectively and control the chronic active virus infections when Lyme disease and the co-infections are under control.
However, after treating the Lyme infection and the co-infections for nine months or more without major improvements following all of the steps in Ross Lyme Support Protocol, then treat the chronic virus infections with natural medicines described below because they could be an ongoing source of health problems and immune suppression.
Biological Explanations For Chronic Lyme Disease
Several arguments have been made to support the biological plausibility of CLD and to justify its treatment with lengthy courses of antibiotics. One is that B burgdorferilocalizes intracellularly in the infected host, and that the antibiotics typically chosen to treat it do not penetrate cells effectively. Aside from the fact that B burgdorferi predominantly occupies the extracellular matrix, the antibiotics currently recommended to treat Lyme disease are well-established to treat a variety of intracellular infections. For example, doxycycline and azithromycin are first-line drugs for the treatment of Mycoplasma, Chlamydia, and Legionella, and doxycycline is the drug of choice for Rickettsia and related species. Ceftriaxone is effective against Salmonella and Neisseria, both of which are predominantly intracellular amoxicillin is effective against Listeria.
Another commonly voiced argument is that B burgdorferi assumes a round morphology, variously described as cyst forms,spheroplasts,L-forms, and round bodies. These variants are said to be resistant to antibiotic treatment and require alternative antibiotics and dosing strategies. On close review of the literature there is little evidence that these variants arise in vivo in humans, let alone that they are associated with CLD-like symptom complexes or that they require treatment.
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The Numbers On Chronic Lyme
Because Lyme disease is commonly missed or misdiagnosed, statistics vary on how many Lyme patients go on to experience chronic symptoms. The following research nonetheless paints a basic picture of the problem.
- An estimated 5-20% of patients may have chronic symptoms after getting Lyme disease, according to the Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
- The treatment failure rate for chronic Lyme disease patients was estimated at 26-50% in 2004, compared to 16-39% for early Lyme patients, according to Lymedisease.org.
- Up to 15-40% of late-stage Lyme patients develop neurological disorders, which are responsible for many common symptoms of chronic Lyme disease.
Experts dont know for sure why some people experience persistent symptoms, even with treatment. However, some believe the Lyme infection may trigger an auto-immune response that manifests in the chronic symptoms detailed below.
When To Treat Viral Infections In Lyme Disease
At six to nine months of Lyme disease treatment, if no adequate progress has occurred, it is time to test IGG viral antibodies and nagalase. It is not clear to me if nagalase is always elevated in a chronic active virus infection and specifically for each of the known chronic virus infections. However, test for nagalase because in theory it can detect activity from known and unknown chronic active virus infections.
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Genomic Insights From Borreliaceae Lineages
Between 1982 and 2010, the B. burgdorferi species complex, known as B. burgdorferi sensu lato, steadily expanded from 1 to 18 species as isolates from tick vectors, their hosts, and patient samples were characterized . A subset of these species are associated with human disease. B. burgdorferi sensu stricto in the USA, as well as B. afzelii and B. garinii in Eurasia are the most common agents of LD in the Northern hemisphere. Cases of LD in Europe are also caused by Bb and B. bavariensis , but are less common. B. spielmanii , B. bisettiae , and B. lusitaniae have been identified in human specimens but their clinical importance is less clear. B. valaisiana has been identified in human specimens , but others have recently provided compelling reasons why existing evidence does not support it being considered a human pathogen . Additional species have been identified in tick vectors or their hosts, but not in patient samples.
Adrenal Patients Are Prone To Viral Infectionsand Reinfections
After a person is infected with Lyme, a combination of antibiotics and a fight put up by our immune system eradicates the disease. At least thats how its supposed to work. But what if the tick bite wasnt noticed, or it was ignored, or it just wasnt treated with antibiotics at the time. Or maybe the symptoms developed years later insidiously. For those with weakened immune systems, however, the symptoms are more severe and prolonged.
The majority of my Adrenal Dysfunction patients present with immunologic symptoms. In these patients, I will not chase after chronic infections but will instead focus on the system that is leading to immunosuppression. The underlying troublemaker is the stress response system, which includes, but is not limited to, the adrenal glands.
Adrenal Dysfunction is the result of chronic, perpetual stress over time, severe or prolonged enough to overwhelm ones capacity for that stress. I refer to the capacity for stress as a bucket of tolerance. As the bucket fills up, the body shifts into stress physiology, or fight or flight, and away from rest and digest physiology.
This shift turns on the organs of stress response and turns off the organs of healing and repair . The immune system is one of the main rest and digest systems, along with the digestive, reproductive, and thyroid.
The immunosuppression that occurs because of the release of excess stress hormonescortisol and adrenalineis very well documented, researched, and predictable.
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What Is Late Lyme Disease
Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is caused by an infection with the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacteria is disseminated through tick bites. Infected ticks usually bite small mammals, who do not develop any kind of infection from the bacteria. When humans are exposed to B. Burgdorferi from a tick bite, however, they can develop Lyme disease.
People who work outside or spend time in woodland areas, where there is greater potential for exposure to tick bites, are most at risk of infection.
Lyme disease is a condition which progresses in stages:
Testing Testing Can You Find Me
Tests for Lyme disease focus on measuring a patients antibodies, rather than the bacteria itself, in a process known as serologic testing. The US Centers for Disease Control require two-tiered testing to establish a Lyme disease diagnosis, and both tiers need to come back positive for a diagnosis to be confirmed.
Due to the complexity of the process, there are significant ambiguities in testing best practice across the medical system. Writing in The Atlantic, Meghan ORourke describes how her doctor sent her bloods to three labs, two of which gave a positive reading on one part of the test but not the other, and the third of which came back negative on both parts. ORourke was informed she probably had Lyme disease, despite not meeting CDC guidelines for a Lyme diagnosis.
Chronic Lyme thus becomes something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Any ache or ailment could be a symptom and blood test results can be interpreted as indicative of Lyme disease against official guidelines, or even confirm the presence of the disease when it isnt there.
Bite prevention expert Howard Carter says: Antibodies to Lyme disease take a few weeks to form if you have an early test and youve got a puncture mark or have removed the tick yourself you can get a false re-assurance, so you really need to wait for six weeks before requesting a blood test.
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Symptoms Of Early Stage Lyme Disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , early-stage Lyme disease symptoms crop up within 3 to 30 days after exposure and can include but are not limited to:
- Joint pain and swelling
- Swelling of the lymph nodes
- Erythema migrans , a bulls-eye-shaped rash that appears at the site of the tick bite
Early Lyme disease does not always appear the same in all patients. For example, up to 30% of patients dont remember experiencing a bulls eye rash.
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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Chronic Lyme Disease Vs Acute And Late Stage Lyme
One reason chronic Lyme disease is harder to detect and treat than Lyme at earlier stages is that chronic Lyme disease symptoms are more wide-ranging and varied. Chronic Lyme disease can cause symptoms of early Lyme disease such as fatigue and muscle aches to recur, but it can also cause new symptoms that affect different parts of the body.
Solutions To Chronic Lyme Disease
At LifeWorks Wellness Center, we believe that the best treatment for Lyme disease is ozone therapy.
Ozone is a substance that is found at high atmospheric levels youve heard of the ozone layer. For medical purposes, ozone is created by sending oxygen through an electrical coil, causing it to have three atoms instead of two its no longer O2 its now O3. This third atom makes for oxygen that is supercharged, giving it superior medical properties.
Ozone works by increasing the amount of oxygen in your body. This helps it to heal by:
- Detoxifying your liver
- Killing fungi, viruses and bacteria
- Improving cellular metabolism
- Enhancing your immune system
When you consider the myriad ways in which ozone benefits your body, its easy to see how it helps to counteract the immunosuppressant effects of various diseases, including Lyme disease. Its believed that ozone therapy can prevent and control a variety of conditions.
When treating Lyme disease we usually combine ozone therapy with one or more other modalities. Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy and Pulsed Magnetic Field Therapy are both offered to patients who have a lot of pain as part of their symptoms. IV therapy such as Myers Cocktails are very beneficial is boosting the immune system back up and Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant which potentiates the Myers Cocktail.
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Theres A Difference Between Acute And Chronic Lyme Disease
Since testing is far from perfect for anything other than acute Lyme infection, a patient can just present with a certain set of symptoms and then be diagnosed by a Lyme Literate MD presumptively based on a set of symptoms, or the patients history of a tick bit from years before.
The problem here is that that set of symptoms is absolutely similar to that of Adrenal Fatigue, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and other conditions.
Chronic Lyme Disease, sometimes called Post Lyme Disease Syndrome, is confusing and controversial, so controversial that conventional medicine does not view it as an official diagnosable condition.
Theoretically, CLD can occur months to years after a possible initial infection. The symptoms can be similar, and the testing is inconclusive. Diagnosis is often clinical , and treatment is presumptive. Typical treatment is long-term antibiotic cocktails. Results vary tremendously, and symptoms appear to reoccur.
This begs the question: Is it Lyme disease thats causing these non-specific symptoms, or could it be something else?
Potential Treatment For Lyme Disease Kills Bacteria That May Cause Lingering Symptoms Study Finds
Screening thousands of drugs, Stanford scientists determined that in mice, azlocillin, an antibiotic approved by the Food and Drug Administration, eliminated the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
Deer ticks are vectors of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.Scott Bauer/USDA Agricultural Research Service
For decades, the routine treatment for Lyme disease has been standard antibiotics, which usually kill off the infection. But for up to 20% of people with the tick-borne illness, the antibiotics dont work, and lingering symptoms of muscle pain, fatigue and cognitive impairment can continue for years sometimes indefinitely.
A new Stanford Medicine study in lab dishes and mice provides evidence that the drug azlocillin completely kills off the disease-causing bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi at the onset of the illness. The study suggests it could also be effective for treating patients infected with drug-tolerant bacteria that may cause lingering symptoms.
This compound is just amazing, said Jayakumar Rajadas, PhD, assistant professor of medicine and director of the Biomaterials and Advanced Drug Delivery Laboratory at the Stanford School of Medicine. It clears the infection without a lot of side effects. We are hoping to repurpose it as an oral treatment for Lyme disease. Rajadas is the senior author of the study, which was published online March 2 in Scientific Reports. The lead author is research associate Venkata Raveendra Pothineni, PhD.
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Natural Treatment Plan For Chronic Lyme Disease Patients
When it comes to chronic tick-borne infections, the most common being Lyme disease, patients are searching for the treatment plan providing the most rapid recovery. Their treatment may be a blend of antibiotics with natural medications in a complementary fashion or natural medications alone. Chronic Lyme disease may also take a patient on a journey implementing immunotherapies, heavy metal chelation, stem cells, magnetic therapies, hyperthermia therapy , essential oils, energy medicine modalities and oxygen enhancement therapies.
As with any other chronic medical conditions, treatments will vary depending on the individual constitution, patient philosophy, access to care, cost, and ability to tolerate treatment. If there are complications along the way like symptoms flares due to treatment causing increased inflammation called Jarisch-Herxheimer response, its important to have a very diverse holistic approach to reduce the bumps on the road to recovery. These flares are usually the rule, rather than the exception with treating tick-borne infection. Its important to support the body, mind and spirit throughout the process because it can be a longer journey than anticipated.
10-Step Natural Treatment Plan for Chronic Lyme Disease
The examples given here are just a sampling of options available for treatment. They were chosen because they are the most commonly used and easiest to find in the marketplace.
2. Saccharomyces boulardii
5. Adrenal Support