Chronic Lyme Dos And Don’ts
Chronic Lyme disease is an ongoing Borrelia burgdorferi infection that can involve any body system or tissue. The infection produces a wide range of symptoms and signs, which can be debilitating for some patients. Common symptoms include severe fatigue, migratory musculoskeletal pain, headaches, and impaired memory. Unfortunately, chronic Lyme disease is complex and often misunderstood, which means that many patients will struggle to obtain the care they need to regain their health. Every patient concerned about Lyme disease and tick-borne illness should know the following.
Herbal And Prescription Antimicrobials By Function
Be aware the doses I provide below are for adults. These same prescriptions can be used with children but have lower doses. For pediatric dosing, talk with your family physician or pediatrician. Tetracyclines can be used in children under eight, but there is a risk of tooth staining. This staining seems not to be an issue if they are used for a month or less.
Quinine Derivatives To Boost Intracellular Antibiotics
Inside of cells, Lyme may live in cave-like structures called vacuoles. In these vacuoles, Lyme germs create a hostile acidic environment that can limit the effectiveness of various antibiotics. Quinine derivatives, like hydroxychloroquine , can make the inside of cells more basic which can help the tetracyclines and macrolides mentioned above work better.
- Hydroxychloroquine 200 mg 1 pill 2 times a day
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What Foods Should Be Avoided With Lyme Disease
There are a lot of foods that should be avoided if you have Lyme disease. Any food that cant be cooked or eaten raw should be avoided because it could make the symptoms worse and might not be properly cooked. One example is sushi.
Ingredients like raw seafood, unpasteurized dairy and raw eggs increase the risk for getting sick with Lyme disease, so those foods should also be avoided.
Top 3 Most Popular Alternative Lyme Disease Treatments
- Herbal protocols rated 68% effective
- Chelation or detox rated 63% effective
- Homeopathy rated 55% effective
Of these alternative treatment options, herbal protocols were rated the most effective by participants, but note that 22% rated this treatment method as having moderate or severe side effects. The treatment option with the most moderate or severe side effects was detox, at 29%. The least effective treatment option was rated to be stem cells.
As shown in the data above, herbal protocols are a common treatment choice, and there is some exciting new research in this field that may make it an even more popular option. Researchers have found that two plants Ghanaian quinine and Japanese knotweed have properties that might make them effective against the Lyme bacteria.
As with any medical intervention, alternative Lyme treatments can come with risks or negative side effects. It is crucial that you discuss these risks with your doctor before beginning any treatment regimen.
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Growing Bartonella: What Works Best
Ying Zhang, MD and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins show that rifampin and azithromycin are the strongest agents. These are followed closely by doxycycline, methylene blue, oregano oil, and ciprofloxacin. In his experiments he did not study rifabutin, minocycline, clarithromycin, or levofloxacin. The following combinations of antibiotics are in the same family: rifabutin and rifampin, minocycline and doxycycline, clarithromycin and azithromycin, and levofloxacin and ciprofloxacin. If one member in a family works well the other one is likely too – so clarithromycin, minocycline, and levofloxacin should work well too.
Stage : Early Localized Disease
Symptoms of Lyme disease usually start 1 to 2 weeks after the tick bite. One of the earliest signs of the disease is a bulls-eye rash.
The rash occurs at the site of the tick bite, usually, but not always, as a central red spot surrounded by a clear spot with an area of redness at the edge. It may be warm to the touch, but it isnt painful and doesnt itch. This rash will gradually fade in most people.
The formal name for this rash is erythema migrans. Erythema migrans is said to be characteristic of Lyme disease. However, many people dont have this symptom.
Some people have a rash thats solid red, while people with dark complexions may have a rash that resembles a bruise.
The rash can occur with or without systemic viral or flu-like symptoms.
Other symptoms commonly seen in this stage of Lyme disease include:
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Penicillin Plus Azole Plus Lipsomal Cinnamon Clove & Oregano Oil
- amoxicillin 500 mg 4 pills 3 times a day
- tinidazole 500 mg 1 pill 2 or 3 times a day for 4 days on and 3 days off in 7-day cycles.
- liposomal cinnamon, clove, and oregano oil capsules 1 pill 2 times a day.
- This is a very high dose of amoxicillin, which is four times stronger than physicians prescribe for other infections like ear infections. I consider this dose to be nearly as effective as IV antibiotics.
- This is a pulse dose regimen of the tinidazole. It may be more effective than continuous regimens.
- The essential oils are added to treat persister Lyme.
What Treatment Approach Did Well Patients And High Responders Use
We asked patients what their treatment approach was and listed four options a) antibiotics, b) alternative treatments, c) both antibiotics and alternative treatments, and d) no treatment at all. High treatment response was most closely associated with the use of antibiotics compared to patients who were using alternative treatments alone or forgoing treatment altogether. Treatment with antibiotics for Lyme disease was far higher among well patients and high responders compared to non-responders .
As you can see in the chart below, many patients who were taking antibiotics were also taking herbal supplements, which can be antimicrobial . So it is possible that there was a synergistic effect between antibiotics and herbal supplements.
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Antibiotics For Lyme Disease Treatment
Every year, a campaign is launched in the media to raise awareness of what Lyme disease is and what its effects may be. It should be emphasized that Lyme disease can consequently lead to inflammation of the encephalitis and meninges. In the spring and summer period, when the most ticks are found in forests, parks, and meadows, you need to be particularly vigilant and observe your body with the signals they send. If you develop erythema on your skin, you should see your doctor immediately, as this may be the first symptom of a tick bite and possibly Lyme disease. It is not recommended to remove the forceps from the body on your own. Unfortunately, this will not protect us from Lyme disease, if the tick was its carrier. It is better if the doctor assesses the risk of a tick bite.
Infection with Lyme disease of the human body can take several forms, due to the fact that the insects carrying this disease have the form of an oval spirochete without a cell wall, in the form of a cyst, and as spores. If a tick bites a persons skin, Lyme starts living inside the cells of the human skin and is also able to cross the blood-brain barrier in a short time. This is a big problem when treating patients with Lyme disease.
Most often, Lyme disease is identified in:
- Connective tissue skin, tendons, walls of blood vessels, including those in the brain
- Muscle tissue
- Nervous tissue
Why Was This Study Needed
Lyme disease affects around 2,000 to 3,000 people a year in England and Wales. Although still uncommon, cases have risen in recent years, with warmer winters likely to be a contributing factor. It is caused by an infection with the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, spread through infected ticks.
Early symptoms are usually mild. Many people experience a rash that starts around the bite area and may have flu-like symptoms. If left untreated, more serious complications can occur such as nerve pain and heart problems.
Antibiotics are the standard treatment, with doxycycline being the first line antibiotic recommended by NICE. Whilst it is clear they work, the evidence supporting the choice of antibiotic agent is not conclusive. Additionally, the researchers wanted to see if the data pointed to a best treatment regimen and whether dose and treatment length are important.
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Herbal And Rx Antimicrobials That Treat Persisters
This is a newer area in Lyme treatment. To help justify these various antimicrobial options, I describe the experimental basis behind my recommendations. These options are ones I am using with various degrees of success in my Seattle practice. They all have either laboratory experiments supporting their use or published human experiments.
Laboratory-Based Experiment Options
Here is a list of prescription and herbal medicine options shown in lab experiments to kill persisters that I am incorporating into my treatments of Lyme and/or Bartonella.
- Disulfiram – work slowly up to 4 to 5 mg/kg body weight 1 time a day.
- Methylene Blue 50 mg 2 times a day.
- Liposomal Oregano, Cinnamon, and Clove Oils 1 capsule 2 times a day.
- Cryptolepis 5 ml 3 times a day.
- Japanese Knotweed½ tsp 3 times a day – start at ¼ tsp 1 time a day and then increase after two weeks to ½ tsp 3 times a day.
- Cats Claw 30 drops 2 times a day.
Human-Based Experiment Options
Here is a list of prescription medications shown in human experiments to help with persister Lyme.
- Disulfiram – work slowly up to 4 to 5 mg/kg body weight 1 time a day.
- Dapsone – work up to 100 mg or 200 mg 1 time a day.
Which Antibiotics Are Used For Lyme Disease Treatment
In the treatment of Lyme disease, the following categories of antibiotics are used:
- Penicillin has a bactericidal effect, such as amoxycycline and penicillin V. They are administered orally. The concentration of this type of antibiotic in the blood should be constantly monitored as it tends to fluctuate significantly.
- Tetracycline the antibiotic group includes, among others doxycycline and minocycline. If these antibiotics are given to the patient in too low doses, they will only act bacteriostatic. Low blood levels of the drug cause failure in the treatment of Lyme disease at every stage. At the same time, high doses of this type of antibiotics are generally poorly tolerated by the patients body. Doxycycline can be administered orally or intravenously.
- Cephalosporins it is a new generation of antibiotics developed in the third phase of research. Cephalosporins in their latest version are very effective in the fight against Lyme disease and more. The danger is that this type of antibiotic causes some side effects in the digestive system. It is also quite expensive.
Antibiotics are administered intravenously or orally. The patients doctor decides about the application of a particular therapeutic therapy.
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What To Try If You Have Failed Years Of Antibiotics
In my practice for those that have failed years of regular antibiotics I offer two persister oriented regimes. Both of these regimens have some published clinical evidence of benefit. One regimen I offer is a Horowitz dapsone persister regimen. The other option I offer is a disulfiram only regimen or a disulfiram combination regimen . You can read more details about how to take both of these regimens in
Antibiotic Treatment For Early
The first line of treatment for early Lyme disease is antibiotics. The most commonly prescribed antibiotics include:
- Cefuroxime axetil
These antibiotics are most often administered orally, though intravenous administration is necessary for some patients. Programs are typically 2 weeks long but can be as long as 4 or more weeks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Infectious Diseases Society of America maintain that most cases of Lyme disease clear up quickly from a short course of antibiotics. However, as you will see later in this article, there is much evidence showing that Lyme that is not detected early can actually be very difficult to treat and that even early treatment can be unsuccessful. The presence of coinfections can also complicate the treatment process, again emphasizing the need for comprehensive testing at a specialty lab.
Finally, as acknowledged by the CDC, some Lyme patients experience ongoing or recurrent symptoms despite having received treatment for Lyme. These patients are said to have Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome . Is this caused by untreated coinfections, persistence of Bb , permanent damage, or an as-yet unidentified immune system problem? The jury is still out, but all may be possible.
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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.
What Do I Do If I Find A Tick On My Skin
Dont panic. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skins surface as possible. Pull up with steady, even pressure. Be careful not to squeeze or twist the tick body. Sometimes parts of the tick remain in the skin. You can leave them alone or carefully remove them the same way you would a splinter. Do not use heat , petroleum jelly, or other methods to try to make the tick back out on its own. These methods are not effective.
Wash the area where the tick was attached thoroughly with soap and water. Keep an eye on the area for a few weeks and note any changes. Call your doctor if you develop a rash around the area where the tick was attached. Be sure to tell your doctor that you were bitten by a tick and when it happened.
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Synovial Fluid Pcr For B Burgdorferi
Although reported in a few patients, it is exceedingly difficult to culture B. burgdorferi from synovial fluid in patients with Lyme arthritis. This is presumably due to the fact that joint fluid, with its many inflammatory mediators, is an extremely hostile environment. In spiked cultures, adding small amounts of joint fluid results in rapid killing of spirochetes. In contrast, polymerase chain reaction testing of synovial fluid for B. burgdorferi DNA often yields positive results before antibiotic therapy ,, and usually becomes negative following antibiotic treatment. However, spirochetal DNA may persist after spirochetal killing, which limits its use as a test for active infection. Moreover, PCR testing has not been standardized for routine clinical use. Therefore, in most cases, the appropriate clinical picture and a positive serologic result are sufficient for diagnosis of Lyme arthritis, and PCR testing serves as an optional test to further support the diagnosis.
Stage : Early Disseminated Lyme Disease
Early disseminated Lyme disease occurs several weeks to months after the tick bite.
Youll have a general feeling of being unwell, and a rash may appear in areas other than the tick bite.
This stage of the disease is primarily characterized by evidence of systemic infection, which means infection has spread throughout the body, including to other organs.
Symptoms can include:
- disturbances in heart rhythm, which can be caused by Lyme carditis
- neurologic conditions, such as numbness, tingling, facial and cranial nerve palsies, and meningitis
The symptoms of stages 1 and 2 can overlap.
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What To Expect At The Vets Office
If your pet has been diagnosed with uncomplicated Lyme disease, this is what you can expect to happen at your veterinarians office.
- Depending on the type of test used to screen for Lyme disease, a confirmatory test may be necessary.
- Urine protein screening — In general, only dogs who have symptoms of Lyme disease or protein in their urine should be treated with antibiotics.
- Dogs with protein in their urine should have regularly scheduled rechecks to monitor their condition.
What Is Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is an infection caused by a spirochete bacterium transmitted to humans through infected ticks of two species of wild deer called the white-tailed deer and the western black-legged deer. The disease can be debilitating if not diagnosed early on
The white-tailed deer that are in North America have been experimentally infected in laboratories in New York State in 1903, Pennsylvania in 1983, and Wisconsin in 2008. The Lyme disease bacteria have also been found within Europe so it is difficult to say where it originated.
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Late Stage Lyme Disease Post
Even though the majority of patients diagnosed with Lyme disease are treated successfully with antibiotics, some patients continue to have symptoms that last for several months or even years after treatment has stopped. These symptoms are often called chronic Lyme disease or post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome and can include not just aches and pains but also problems with the brain, joints, muscles, nervous system, heart, or other organs.
Late disseminated infection:
The most severe form of post-treatment Lyme disease is known as late disseminated infection. LDI develops within two to four weeks of stopping antibiotic therapy. Symptoms include persistent headaches, dizziness, depression, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbances, and sometimes paralysis. The condition tends to occur more frequently among older adults and children.
Another type of long term complication of Lyme disease is post-infectious encephalopathy or meningoencephalitis. PEM usually begins between three and 12 months following an initial bout of Lyme disease. Patients report fatigue, memory loss, confusion, personality changes, mood swings, seizures, tremors, and visual hallucinations. Other symptoms associated with PEM include headache, neck stiffness, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, and stiffening of the limbs.