What Options Are There For Neurological Lyme Disease Treatment
The most common treatment for Neurological Lyme Disease is oral or intravenous antibiotics. Other treatments include anti-virals, immune modulators and hormone therapies.
In order to effectively treatNeurological Lyme Disease, it is important that a natural approach is also incorporated into any treatment protocol, especially for late stage neurological Lyme disease treatment. Natural treatment therapies can include:
- Naturally boosting your immune system by eating a lyme disease diet which includes probiotic foodsand anti-inflammatory foods such as leafy green vegetables, coconut oil, avocado, nuts and fruits.
- Take nutritional supplements to help repair the health of your cells such as vitamin D, CoQ10, medicinal mushrooms, including chaga mushroom, B-complex vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, turmeric, and probiotics.
- The medicinal herb Polygonum cuspidatum strengthens and protects the endothelial structures in the brain from inflammatory damage .
- Diffuse 2 drops of pure essential oil, such as rosemary, lemon, orange and/or lavender oil, for nerve and brain support.
- Getting plenty of rest and manage stress levels with the use of activities such as meditation and exercise.
- Reducing your exposure to mould and parasites.
Additional Lyme Disease Natural Treatment Strategies are discussed in our detailed article HERE:
Chronic Lyme And Mental Health
The CDC lists having a chronic disease as a risk factor for developing mental illness. This underscores the reality that even for patients who do not develop neurological Lyme disease, the experience of Lyme disease alone can cause or exacerbate mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and others listed above.
Getting diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease can be stressful and exhausting, especially the longer this process takes which, for many, can be several years. Patients often must deal with conflicting or inaccurate diagnoses, lack of support from health care professionals, and exorbitant medical bills, all while battling physically and mentally debilitating symptoms with no end in sight. This experience can lead to a drastic reduction in quality of life that creates the perfect conditions for mental illness.
Why Is There A Controversy About Nervous System Lyme Disease
There is a controversy about Nervous System Lyme Disease, because people suffer from a misconception that neurobiological effects of the illnesses mean they have nervous system infections which will lead to progressive loss of brain function, whereas this isnt always the case.
Its possible to have neurobiological symptoms which do not damage the nervous system.
Understanding about this disease is further complicated by the fact that the term Nervous System Lyme Disease is used to describe four different disorders.
True Nervous System Infection or Encephalitis is extremely rare and can be treated with antimicrobial therapy.
Lyme Encephalopathy which leads to impairments of cognitive function and memory can also be effectively treated with antimicrobial therapy.
Post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome and Chronic Lyme Disease, cannot be treated with antimicrobial therapy but like Lyme Encephalopathy they are neurobiological but not neurologic i.e. it wont damage the nervous system.
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How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
Lyme disease can be hard to diagnose because not everyone has symptoms. The most common symptom is a rash, which 70-80% of people with Lyme disease get. Therefore, diagnosis is usually based on symptoms, history of a tick bite, and/or recent time spent in areas where Lyme disease is common.
A blood test is usually done to check for antibodies to Lyme disease . However, because our bodies dont make antibodies until a few weeks after an infection, the blood test may be negative if checked early and with treatment may never be positive.
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Have you been diagnosed with Lyme disease and have been foggy-headed lately?
If so, youre not alone.
Brain fog can be a frustrating and debilitating side effect of this illness.
In this post, well discuss what causes brain fog and some ways that you can cope with it.
Lets get into it.
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What Is Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection thats caused by the bite of an infected tick. The name Lyme comes from the town of Old Lyme, Connecticut where the illness was first recognized back in the mid 1970s. Ticks most often live in tall grass or in heavily wooded areas. Although its a year round problem, April October is said to be tick season . June is the peak month in the northeast. Symptoms can be mild to severe, but most people get better with appropriate treatment.
When Does Lyme Disease Affect The Brain
The symptoms of Lyme Disease typically present in three stages:
Neurological Lyme Disease symptoms tend to start during the second stage which can occur weeks or months after the initial infection.
If left untreated the patient can enter the late disseminated stage months or even years after infection, and Acute Neurological Lyme Disease can turn into to Chronic Neurological Lyme Disease.
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Broadway Stars Secret Battle With Neurological Lyme Disease
Ashley Loren, who stars in Moulin Rouge! The Musical on Broadway, says she has suffered from neurological Lyme disease since she was in grammar school.
My childhood was spent pretty sick, she said in an interview with PEOPLE.
I had headaches all the time. I was nauseous. I was vomiting. All of my elementary-school life, every day driving to school, we would have to pull over, and I had to throw up. I was on antibiotics for 10 years.
She told PEOPLE that she survived that tough childhood by pretending to be somebody elsewhich led to her career in acting.
Unfortunately, while performing in Moulin Rouge, she contracted COVID twice. According to her doctors, that led to reactivation of Lyme disease in her body and brought on other problems.
She had to take a leave of absence from the Broadway production, but now she has returned to the stage.
She said shes back on antibiotics and on the road to recovery.
To learn more about Ashleys acting career and her Lyme disease experience, I encourage you to read the article in PEOPLE.
Administering Effective Lyme Treatments
Conventional medicine views Lyme disease treatment as an easy and straightforward proposition, a dose of antibiotics and youre cured. Though this may work in the earliest stage of the disease, it is when Lyme goes undiagnosed or mistreated and allowed to get to a chronic state when treatment becomes more difficult.
Lyme disease will often be accompanied by co-infections which work in synergy with borrelia to exacerbate symptoms making the disease difficult to treat. Lyme disease also has the unique ability to bypass the bodys blood-brain barrier, a barrier which typically prevents foreign invaders from affecting the brain, allowing the disease to enter the nervous system accounting for Lymes many complex neurological symptoms. Antibiotic treatment protocols alone do not account for this invasion of the bodys nervous system through the blood-brain barrier and therefore are not likely to have lasting results. To effectively treat chronic Lyme disease, antibiotics need to also move past the blood-brain barrier .
Borrelia Attacking Neurons in the Brain
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Reports From The Literature
The literature search by using stringent diagnostic criteria disclosed only seven additional patients with dementia as a leading symptom of definitive LNB. These cases were reported in detail, so they can serve for the description of characteristic features. The data of all 10 patients are summarized in Table and .
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Papers Of Particular Interest Published Recently Have Been Highlighted As: Of Importance Of Major Importance
Afzelius A. Verhandlugen der dermatorischen Gesellshaft zu Stockholm. Arch Dermatol Syph. 1910 101:404.
Rupprecht TA, Plate A, Adam M, et al. The chemokine CXCL13 is a key regulator of B cell recruitment to the cerebrospinal fluid in acute Lyme neuroborreliosis. J Neuroinflammation 2009 6:42. This study begins to elucidate the sequential immune response involved in the development of symptomatic neuroborreliosis.
Wang ZY, Hansen K, Siden A, Cruz M. Intrathecal synthesis of anti-Borrelia burgdorferi antibodies in neuroborreliosis: a study with special emphasis on oligoclonal IgM antibody bands. Scand J Immunol. 1993 37:36976.
Cerar D, Cerar T, Ruzic-Sabljic E, et al. Subjective symptoms after treatment of early Lyme disease. Am J Med 2010 123:7986. This study tracks the evolution of nonspecific symptoms following treatment of early Lyme disease, and shows they occur no more frequently than in healthy controls followed for the same period of time.
Skogman BH, Croner S, Nordwall M, et al. Lyme Neuroborreliosis in Children A Prospective Study of Clinical features, Prognosis, and Outcome. Pediatr Infect Dis J 2008 27:108994. This study follows children treated for neuroborreliosis and demonstrates that residual subjective symptoms occur no more frequently than in healthy controls.
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The Path To Healing Chronic Neurological Lyme Disease
I spent countless hours searching for answers before I was finally diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease.
Since Lyme Disease is such a complicated illness, I knew that I could not get better on my own.
I knew I needed to find a doctor who had success in treating Lyme Disease.
Once I found a Lyme Literate MD, I knew my future then depended on one person.
That person was me.
My doctor was responsible for creating a treatment plan, but it was my responsibility to follow the plan. I knew it was ultimately up to me to be the driving force behind my healing.
Below are the steps I took to heal Chronic Neurological Lyme Disease, mold toxicity, and radiation exposure.
While I am still on my healing journey, these are the things that have made major improvements in my health.
Before I tell you the steps I took there is one critical thing to remember.
We are always on a journey. Life is the journey. There is no endpoint just an infinite amount of small goals and big wins along the way!
This is something helpful to remember when dealing with a chronic illness since there can be many ups and downs.
With that being said, here are my top ten tips to healing Chronic Neurological Lyme Disease:
Treatment Of Chronic Lyme Disease
Damage to the peripheral and autonomic nervous system is common in late-stage Lyme disease. Numbness, tingling, burning and nerve pain experienced in peripheral neuropathy and radiculitis require effective treatment of the involved infections. Therapies directed at decreasing the inflammatory response by the immune system and repair of the damaged nerves is also part of the strategy when treating symptoms associated with chronic neurological Lyme disease.
Neuropathy is one of the most debilitating and challenging to treat symptoms of chronic neurological Lyme disease. Intravenous immunoglobulin therapy can be useful at reversing any form of neuropathy including CIDP caused by Lyme disease. The biggest hurdle in using IVIG as a therapy is the expense , so insurance coverage of this therapy is typically necessary. Often, criteria for health insurance approval is a positive nerve conduction study and a biopsy demonstrating small fiber neuropathy. Treatments are usually once per month, and it can take 6-18 months to see results.
Other therapies can also be helpful in treating the untoward neurological effects of Lyme disease. Work with a Lyme-literate doctor to determine the most effective therapies for the infection and subsequent immune-mediated inflammatory response that is causing your symptoms.
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Purify Your System Of Toxins
A toxic environment impedes recovery from any illness. And unfortunately, chronic, systemic inflammation and neurological inflammation can compromise detoxification and waste removal processes in the brain and body even further.
Toxic substances can enter the body by three routes oral, respiration, and skin so step one is minimizing the inflow. To reduce oral toxins, avoid processed food products, and eat a fresh, whole food diet weighted toward vegetables . Clean water is also key, and is as simple as installing or purchasing a water filter.
Regularly changing your HVAC air filters and placing free-standing HEPA filters in rooms where you spend the majority of your time can go a long way toward improving indoor air quality. Breathing fresh air in natural places as often as possible can also promote healing.
As for your skin, adopting a practice of using only natural skin care products allows you to avoid a surprising number of toxic substances commonly found in commercial skin care products. The same goes for household cleaning supplies. The Environmental Working Group is a great resource for finding toxin-free consumer products.
Supplements that support detoxification in the body include activated B vitamins for enhanced methylation , and glutathione, NAC, and alpha lipoic acid to support cellular functions and detoxification. Dandelion and milk thistle protect the liver and stimulate bile flow, which is essential for removing toxic substances from the body.
Analysis Of The Evidence
When Lyme borreliosis affects the nervous system, it typically presents with all or part of a triadmeningitis, cranial neuritis, and radiculoneuritis parenchymal inflammation of the brain or spinal cord mild radiculoneuropathy presenting as a more diffuse, predominantly sensory peripheral neuropathy or encephalopathy . Most well performed studies have focused on , the group in which the diagnosis is most clear-cut and treatment response is most straightforward to assess.
Parenchymal CNS involvement is quite rare, and studies of treatment of these individuals have largely been anecdotal . Similarly, only a limited number of small studies have addressed or all are Class III or IV.
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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.
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What Is Lyme Disease Exactly
Lyme disease, also called borreliosis, is a medical condition caused by bacteria carried by a tick, usually deer ticks.
Deer ticks are black-legged ticks that are most common in the northeastern, upper midwestern, and western parts of the United States.
The rash caused by Lyme disease looks like a bulls-eye pattern and is accompanied by flu-like symptoms. Joint discomfort and chronic fatigue syndrome can also occur.
The majority of Lyme disease sufferers will recover completely after finishing a course of antibiotics. However, for those who continue to experience symptoms , pain medications may help to alleviate these symptoms.
Even though Lyme disease is rarely fatal, it is more severe when treatment is delayed, as the infection has more time to spread and your immune system has already weakened.
If you notice a characteristic rash or any other possible symptoms, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider immediately.
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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.
Four Inflammatory Conditions Of Neuro Lyme
When Lyme borreliosis enters the body through the lymphatic system and causes inflammation in the central nervous system, four inflammatory conditions may occur:
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What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
A person can get bitten by an infected tick and not have any symptoms of Lyme disease . Others have symptoms. If you develop Lyme disease, you may notice a small red bump within 3-14 days after the bite of an infected tick. The bump is often warm to the touch and slightly sore. The bump usually spreads into a rash that looks like a bulls-eyepink in the center and deeper red on the outside called erythema migrans.
Other signs can appear after several days or weeks, and are similar to flu symptoms:
- Neurological problems such as encephalopathy, meningitis, and facial nerve palsy
- Irregular heart rhythm