My Long Road To A Lyme Diagnosis
I could write a freakin’ book about my pre-diagnosis Lyme experience. Not to sound dramatic, but it was basically a nightmare playing out in slow motion. For your own sanity, I’ll give you the condensed version.
Personally, I don’t remember a tick bite, and like many Lyme sufferers, I never got the bull’s-eye rash or flu-like symptoms so often touted as “classic” signs of Lyme disease. Instead, my whole ordeal began with a sharp, stinging sensation in my left ankle after a day of walking in New York City, where I’d just begun my first “big girl” job. It hurt, but I didn’t think much of it, and about a week later I was told I had tendinitis that would resolve relatively quickly. But then my other ankle started to hurt, and after a few months, the pain extended to the bottoms of my feet, my knees, and even my arms. Sometimes it would feel like electric currents were running through my toes when I stood up. After a while, I began to question my tendinitis diagnosis, but after about five “second opinions” and countless tests , doctors had no real explanation for what was going on. In the words of one of my least favorite doctors, “There’s nothing else I can do for you.”
Specific Lyme Disease Protocol
This protocol will flush toxins and alleviate the bodys toxic load, replenish nutrition and ensure your body can absorb and assimilate nutrients, strengthen the immune system, and kill pathogens that cause us harm. It will work to rid the body of any infection, including viruses, but the protocol does emphasis effectiveness against difficult bacterial infection, molds and fungal infections, and parasites.
This means that this protocol will be extremely effective against bacterial infections such as syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and any ailments caused by fungal infections as well.
If a known viral co-infection exists, this protocol is strong enough to eliminate viruses, but you could do so faster by adding St. Johns Wort, Pau dArco, colloidal silver, zinc, olive leaf extract, and systemic enzymes. Personally, if it were me, I would just up the systemic enzyme dosage with the following protocol to combat viruses.
Treatment For Chronic Lyme Disease
Sometimes, people go through treatment for Lyme disease but their symptoms donât go away. If this lasts over 6 months, itâs known as chronic Lyme disease or âpost-treatment Lyme disease syndromeâ .
Doctors still arenât sure why some people get PTLDS. Some believe that getting Lyme disease may cause damage to your tissues or immune system. Others believe itâs because the bacteria that causes Lyme hasnât completely gone away.
There is little evidence that taking more antibiotics at this stage will help. They may actually be harmful. Instead, your doctor will focus on treating the symptoms youâre still having. This will be different for everyone. Some people could benefit from a medicine that relieves fatigue, while others may need a drug that can help with headaches or very sensitive skin.
More research is needed to figure out how best to treat PTLDS. Itâs something that can be frustrating. Just remember: Many people who have this condition do start feeling like their old selves after a few months.
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Natural Remedies For Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. It is spread through the bite of infected ticks.
Ticks are very small, and their biteswhich can occur anywhere on the bodyare usually painless, so you may not immediately be aware that you have been bitten. In most cases, the tick must be attached to the body for 24 hours before Lyme disease is transmitted.
The signs and symptoms of Lyme disease usually start within three to 30 days after youve been bitten by an infected tick. Many people experience flu-like symptoms after being bitten, while more serious symptoms show up weeks after the bite. Early signs and symptoms of Lyme disease include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
If left untreated, symptoms can worsen to include Bells palsy , severe headaches, muscle, joint, and tendon pain, cardiac problems, and neurological disorders.
Most cases of Lyme disease can be managed and treated with two to three weeks of antibiotics. Depending on the severity of your symptoms and how long after the bite you were diagnosed, you may need a longer course of antibiotics to clear up the infection. Many people turn to natural remedies to help treat Lyme disease.
Forward To The 3rd Edition
The Ross Lyme Support Protocol is a living document. From time to time I update it based on the latest science and the experience I have treating people with tick-borne illnesses and mold toxicity in my Seattle clinic. This 3rd edition, released November 9, 2021, includes major additions and subtractions. Read the full Forward to The 3rd Edition to see what is new before diving into the protocol below.
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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.
Oxygen And Reactive Oxygen Species
Oxygen therapy was marketed to patients for treatment of Lyme disease primarily in 3 forms: hyperbaric oxygen, ozone, and hydrogen peroxide. Hyperbaric oxygen is administered using hyperbaric oxygen chambers and was promoted as having salutary effects on the immune response to B. burgdorferi infection . Alternatively, some practices promoted using chemically reactive oxygen species, including ozone therapy and/or intravenous infusion of hydrogen peroxide. Ozone can be generated from atmospheric oxygen and administered in several forms. These include intravenous administration of an ozonated solution, ingestion of ozonated water, ozonation and reinfusion of blood, administration of ozonated oils, and rectal or vaginal insufflation with gaseous ozone .
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When Inflammation Becomes Chronic
Imagine if the acute inflammatory process was going on in tissues throughout your body and it never resolved. Thats exactly what happens with the chronic inflammation associated with chronic Lyme disease.
The driving force is bacteria invading cells. Its not an all-out invasion like you would find with an acute infection, such as pneumonia, however. Its an insidious migration of bacteria into tissues throughout the body in the brain, heart, joints, muscles, kidneys, intestines, everywhere.
When Lyme bacteria enter the bloodstream from a tick bite, WBCs gobble up the bacteria in an attempt to get rid of them. The bacteria, however, have sophisticated ways of staying alive inside the WBCs. Instead of eradicating the bacteria, the WBCs unintentionally become transport vehicles to distribute bacteria to tissues throughout the body.
On arrival, the bacteria surface and infect other cells. Its not as much a deluge of invasion as it is a random sprinkling. Tissues throughout the body become peppered with cells that have been infected with bacteria.
The Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, are intracellular, which means they infect and live inside cells. The cells provide nutrients to make new bacteria as well as protection from the immune system. Once the bacteria have used up the resources a cell has to offer, they surface and infect other cells.
Patients Turning To Herbal Remedies
Because patients are currently turning to herbal remedies to fill the treatment gaps left by antibiotics, this research is a critical step in helping clinicians, as well as patients, understand which ones may offer the most potential benefit.
According to this study, carried out by Prof. Ying Zhangs group at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the seven herbal medicines that have the ability to kill B. burgdorferi in test tubes are:
- Cryptolepis sanguinolenta
- Uncaria tomentosa
- Cistus incanus
- Scutellaria baicalensis
It is important to note that each of these products have the potential to produce significant side effects in patients, and should be taken only under advisement of a clinician knowledgeable of their capabilities and toxicities.
Of these products, the Cryptolepis sanguinolenta extract caused complete eradication, while doxycycline and cefuroxime and other active herbs did not. This extract has been used for the treatment of malaria as well as the tick-borne infection Babesia, a malaria-like parasite.
This study is believed to be the first time this extract has been documented to have a potential impact on B. burgdorferi, and additional laboratory and clincial studies should be conducted to investigate the potential role Cryptolepis sanguinolenta could play in the treatment of Lyme disease.
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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.
Antibiotic Treatment For Lyme Disease:
The most commonly used and conventional option for Acute or Early-Stage Lyme treatment are pharmaceutical antibiotics.
A brief review is provided below:
The rapid increase in reported cases of persistent and chronic Lyme disease symptoms, has led many people in search of alternative and natural Lyme Disease treatment methods when faced with the disease.
The best treatment for Lyme disease takes a multi-layered approach and many doctors believe that:
Pharmaceutical antibiotics should not be used without natural therapies that support the use of these aggressive drugs which can weaken your immune system over time.
This will help to ensure that the detoxification pathways are operating efficiently and the kidneys and liver are supported at the time of introducing more aggressive medications.
Its really about:
Treating the person, not the disease
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Banderol And Cats Claw
“These two herbs are commonly dosed together because they work synergistically with clinically proven action against Borrelia species,” Greenspan says. “The goals with any treatment with Lyme disease spirochetes, whether chronic or acute, is to have a combination of herbs to be effective with the shape-shifting behavior of this microbe.”
When Is It Okay To Exercise
When you have Lyme disease, exercise can be a tricky thing to figure out. You know you need to move, but if you do too much, you can set yourself up for a cycle of pushing, crashing, and flaring up. If you move too little, you lose muscle tone, strength, and stamina. So how do you find the delicate balance between doing too much and not enough?
Exercise is beneficial, says Dr. Rawls. However, its equally as important to avoid overtaxing your body. His rule of thumb? Exercise as long as it feels good to you. If it ever results in a next-day hangover with pain and worsening fatigue, youve pushed yourself too far, and youll need to allow yourself time to recover.
When youre ready to try again, dial down the intensity until youre further along in your recovery. Swap out aggressive exercise with low-impact fitness programs like yoga, Pilates, qigong, or walking. As you begin to feel better, theres a good chance youll naturally increase your activity levels without feeling like youre draining your body of every last drop of energy.
Everybody experiences ups and downs as they recover. The key to a successful exercise program when youre chronically ill is this: Be mindful of your limits and acknowledge that your body is healing at a speed thats unique and right for you. Using a gentle, consistent approach to exercise, youll improve strength, endurance, and restore your body.
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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.
Herbal And Natural Protocols
There are 101 Protocols claiming to cure Lyme disease. Every Lyme doctor tends to have their own. Some claim to have the one in which case I would run screaming. In my opinion, there is no one way to treat this disease. A good Lyme doctor will carefully diagnose and form an individual plan for treatment. It truly does require customization and close monitoring for each individual which is part of why I warn against self-treating.
Lyme is a very complex disease and still is not fully understood. If it was really that simple, and there really was a one-size-fits-all cure, there would not be so many Protocols and so much controversy surrounding the treatment of it. If there was a cure, it would be known and used.
I do not list all of the protocols that you may hear about in Lymeland here. There are some that I do not feel comfortable saying are effective and are still under scrutiny. Please do your research before jumping in on any of these protocols.
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Natural Treatment For Lyme Disease In Dogs
Lyme disease in dogs is the leading tick-borne disease in the United States.
And while Lyme disease may not be common and many dogs never develop any symptoms, it is something that you need to treat if your dog starts showing signs
But if your dog does get this infection, dont run to the vet for drugs without trying these natural alternatives first.
C Antifungals For Overgrowth:
Do this if you have a yeast screening score of 140 or higher . When you complete treatment, then start yeast prevention antifungals as above. Use the supplement or prescription medicine option, but not both together.
- Herbal Combination. 2 pills 2 times a day. Common herbs found individually or mixed together include: Pau D’arco, caprylic acid, rosemary oil, thyme oil, garlic, and grapefruit seed extract.
Use both of the following together.
- Nystatin 500,000 IU 2 pills 2 times a day, and
- Fluconazole 200 mg 1 time daily for 30 days. Use in combination with nystatin to prevent drug resistance. This combination will take 30 days to get yeast under control.
Some have great difficulty getting rid of intestinal yeast overgrowth. See Kills Yeast: A Brief Guide for more herbal and prescription medicine options.
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Healthy Vs Weak Cells
How all this plays out is a function of the health of cells as much as the aggressiveness of the bacteria: Cells that are weak from being chronically stressed are more vulnerable to invasion by bacteria.
A healthy person with healthy cells who is bitten by a tick may not have much in the way of acute symptoms and may never develop chronic symptoms. It doesnt mean, however, that the bacteria have been eradicated from the body. They can stay dormant in tissues for a lifetime.
All it takes is a shift in the health of cells for dormant bacteria to surface and invade more cells. The immune system scrambles to keep a lid on things as bacteria erupt and infect other cells. Dead cells break apart and create debris. Macrophages secrete acid and free radicals to break down debris. Reinforcements are called in. More acid. More free radicals. More collateral damage. More debris. Flow of nutrients and oxygen is obstructed and cells are weakened even further.
The invasion intensifies as more cells are infected. Along with inflicting injury to cells in tissues, bacteria infect and kill WBCs. In addition, bacteria throw the immune system off balance by disrupting the cytokines the immune system uses to coordinate the resistance. As the process spirals out of control, the immune system loses the capacity to keep microbes in check.
Before long, tissues throughout the body start to look like a war zone. Cells suffer. Symptoms result. It becomes a never-ending cycle of misery.
What You Need To Know
Lyme disease is transmitted to humans by the bite of a deer tick infected with the spiral-shaped bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and is one of the fastest growing infectious diseases today. The Center for Disease Control reports approximately 10,000 new cases per year, but due to the high incidence of undiagnosed and unreported cases, the number of those infected is likely much higher. A large percentage of those infected with the Lyme bacteria are co-infected with other pathogenic organisms, also transmitted by ticks and contributing to the symptom picture we call Lyme disease.
Contrary to popular opinion, Lyme disease is not only an issue for those living on the East Coast. Lyme disease is prevalent across the United States and throughout the world. According to the Minnesota Department of Healths website, from 1996 to 2012, over 17,000 cases of tick-borne diseases were reported in Minnesota, the majority of which were Lyme disease. Statistics indicate that the incidence of reported cases in the upper Midwest, including Minnesota and Wisconsin, is second only to that of the Northeastern states.
Currently, there is no testing available that can exclude the diagnosis of Lyme disease. Therefore, the diagnosis is often a clinical one, making it extremely important to obtain a thorough health history, assessing for risk of tick exposure, as well as a thorough clinical evaluation, including physical examination and supportive lab work.
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