Dr. Martha Grout dives into prevention, diagnosis and treatment options
by Martha M. Grout, MD, MD(H)
Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of a tick infected with a
species of a spirochete known as
borrelia burgdorferi. There are many species of ticks, but the species found commonly in the
United States usually infects the joints, causing pain. Lyme disease may
be masked in the body, because the organism hides behind biofilm, a slimy
conglomeration of bacterial cells and proteins, and evades the notice
of the immune system. To make a diagnosis, symptomatology is just as important
as testing. If the immune system is unable to muster a response, then
immunoserology tests will be negative, as if there were no infection in
the first place.
A controversy exists regarding the treatment of what patients experience
as chronic debilitating symptoms. Allopathic medicine calls them post-Lyme
syndrome, or dismisses the idea of Lyme out of hand, often prescribing
antidepressant medications in an effort to help their patients feel better.
Homeopathic medicine calls these debilitating symptoms chronic Lyme disease.
As a result, treatments are quite different.
Remember that foreign organisms can only thrive in an environment that
is weakened. If the body is toxic because of exposure or inability to
get rid of toxins, it is more susceptible to infection. If the body is
magnesium-depleted, which most of us are, then it is much easier for organisms
to form biofilm to hide behind.
Some patients can be treated with oral or intravenous antibiotics for a
period of months or years. Those whose disease is treated successfully
have not stopped with antibiotic treatment. They have eliminated chemicals
and food additives-any foods to which they are sensitive. Most have eliminated
gluten (wheat products) and dairy (cow’s milk products) from their
diets, as well as corn (high-fructose corn syrup, genetically engineered
corn), soy (genetically engineered), eggs and citrus fruits.
Many have also undergone chelation therapy to decrease the amount of inflammatory
heavy metals in their system or taken intravenous nutritional treatments
until their intestinal tract was finally able to absorb the needed nutrients.
The point is to decrease the total toxic load, so that the body has a
better chance of finding and eliminating infectious organisms like Lyme
Several steps need to occur for the best chance at complete healing, including
excellent nutrition-working with a practitioner well trained in functional
medicine, to ensure that everything eaten is healthy; nutrient supplementation-test,
and supplement with GMP-certified products, so the body has the nutrients
it needs to operate efficiently. Removing toxins is a must-whether they
be foods, heavy metals, chemicals or toxic relationships, because they
all have the same debilitating effect on the body.
Guided imagery, biophotonic therapy, heat and light therapy and chelation
therapy all help eliminate these toxins, and antibiotic therapy kills
the organisms so that you can get on with your life. Exercise is also
proven to improve the function of the immune system. It can be as simple
as going for a brisk walk three times a week. All these modalities are
important for healing. Antibiotics alone are insufficient, although they
are almost certainly a necessary component.
Gratitude is another essential. Infection occurs because of some significant
imbalance in our lives-in food, environment or relationships. It is never
too late to take steps toward correcting these imbalances. Health is a
process, a journey toward the light. A homeopathic or naturopathic practitioner
can help to smooth the way.
Martha M. Grout, MD, MD(H), is medical director of the Arizona Center for
Advanced Medicine, in Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information, call
480-240-2600 or visit