Lyme disease makes us realize that we can never get rid of all the bugs
in our environment; it’s about learning to minimize the effect of
the bugs, and learning to live with them.
Ixodes ticks, the principal vector for Lyme disease, were present in Massachusetts
in the 1920s and 1930s. Ticks from Long Island, New York, collected in
the late 1940s/early 1950s, were infected with Lyme. Then in 1975, a cluster
of cases brought formal recognition of the disease. A number of children
and some adults in the town of Lyme, Connecticut, mysteriously showed
up with what looked like rheumatoid arthritis. The disease was named after
the town. Eventually Lyme disease spread from the East coast across the
The organism responsible for Lyme disease was identified in 1981 by Dr.
Willy Burgdorfer, and named
Borrelia burgdorferi (B. burgdorferi), after its discoverer. It is similar in shape to the
spirochete Treponema pallidum, which causes syphilis, the scourge - of
Europe for hundreds of years. Syphilis was called “the Great Imitator”
because its symptoms mimicked so many other diseases. The same is true
The number of Lyme disease cases in the United States has doubled since
1991. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that
30,000 new cases of Lyme are reported to it each year, but estimates the
actual number of cases to be ten times higher. That would be 300,000 cases
per year in the United States alone,– making Lyme disease an epidemic
larger than AIDS, West Nile Virus, and Avian Flu combined.
Lyme disease presents a host of challenges. Once the corkscrew-shaped spirochetes
enter the bloodstream, they can cause a wide range of constitutional,
musculoskeletal, and neurological symptoms.
B. burgdorferi’s spiral shape aggressively embeds itself, usually
first in the joints – when the cluster of Lyme cases showed up in
Connecticut, most people complained of arthritis. Then the spirochetes
typically go to the muscles and tendons, and can go into the heart and
brain. Lyme spirochetes are also pleomorphic, meaning they can change
shape, making it hard for the immune system to detect them, and hard for
anything you throw at them to destroy them. They manufacture a barrier
called biofilm, and hide behind it, again evading detection by the immune
system. The strength of one’s immune system often dictates the severity
of symptoms. The longer symptoms go untreated, the more intractable they
Some victims see a classic “bulls eye” rash from a tick bite,
but more than half do not, according to ILADS, The International Lyme
and Associated Diseases Society.
Recent studies reveal Lyme disease may be transmitted by human-to-human
contact, including from mother to fetus. Spirochetes have been found
in semen, vaginal fluid, tear ducts, sweat, and mothers’ breast
milk. The CDC found Lyme bacteria alive in blood that has been purified
for donation. Blood banks do not screen for Lyme, but if admit to having
Lyme, you will be told not to donate your blood. Researchers at the
University of Wisconsin found dairy cattle infected with the Bb bacterium,
which raises the question of whether milk or other products in our food
chain may be a danger.
According to ILADS:
“After a tick bite, serologic tests (ELISA. IFA, western blots, etc.)
are not expected to become positive until several weeks have passed. Therefore,
if [a bulls eye rash] is present, treatment must begin immediately, and
one should not wait for results of Borrelia tests. You should not miss
the chance to treat early disease, for this is when the success rate is
the highest. Indeed, many knowledgeable clinicians will not even order
a Borrelia test in this circumstance.”
A good test to determine whether you have Lyme can be hard to come by.
The Lyme spirochete can hide in the human body and fool the immune system
into thinking it isn’t there by hiding behind a protein wall produced
by the spirochete, called “biofilm.” So, antibodies are not
produced, resulting in negative tests. The spirochetes can also morph
into a different and dormant form, a cyst, which the immune system does
Western Blot test essentially makes a map of the different antibodies the immune system
produces to the bacteria. It used to be that virtually every lab had accepted
bands 22, 23, 25, 31, and 34 kDa as specific and significant, and reported
them as positive for exposure to
Borrelia burgdorferi. Then in 1994, the Association of State and Territorial Public Health
Laboratory Directors set nationwide standards for Western Blot reporting
and disqualified those bands as even being reportable. Currently among
Lyme literate doctors, significance is associated with 41 kDa band, which
appear the earliest but can cross-react with other spirochetes. The 58
kDa band, on the other hand, is considered to be highly specific in Scotland
and other European laboratories.[9a]
One problem with the
Western blot test is that it was developed using only a single laboratory grown strain
of B burgdorferi. Its specificity is high – in other words, if the
test is positive, it’s really positive. But its sensitivity is low
– in other words, it may miss up to 40-50% of people who are eventually
shown to have Lyme disease.
ELISA Test (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbant Serum Assay) is automated. Many different
patient samples can be performed by a single machine simultaneously. It
may be convenient for the lab, but many consider the ELISA not sensitive
enough to serve as an adequate screen, and there are many patients with
Lyme who test negative by ELISA yet have fully diagnostic western blots.
A 2005 Johns Hopkins study, published in the
Journal of Clinical Microbiology, claims that the CDC’s two-tiered testing procedure, use of both
ELISA and Western Blot, misses 75% of positive Lyme cases.
Proving a persistent infection requires that you locate something in the
blood. Since spirochetes leave the blood for body tissue, and tissue samples
are something best collected at an autopsy, finding evidence can be tough.
Lyme-literate physicians generally prefer to use the IGeneX in California or the
ImmunoSciences Lab (also in Calfornia) because their accuracy rates are better. But again,
they are not perfect. Other tools can also be helpful:
- measurement of the CD57 natural killer cell level, an immunologic marker
that can be used to monitor treatment in chronic Lyme
- if neurologic symptoms are severe, a single-photon emission CT SPECT brain
scan to see how much inflammation is present in the brain
measuring the level of C4a complement – which is generally high with
chronic Lyme disease and decreases with successfully treatment –
may give a good way to at least measure treatment response. Patients with
predominantly musculo-skeletal symptoms have high C4a levels compared
with patients with predominantly neurologic symptoms (or with controls).
positive culture of the Lyme organism in blood is definitive proof of the
disease. To date, the only place in the country which cultures the Lyme
Advanced Laboratory Services in Pennsylvania.
Clinical diagnosis is key; even the CDC calls for objective physical findings.
THE GREAT IMITATOR
“Objective physical findings” however, run smack into
The Great Imitator. That term was first used with syphilis because spirochetes affect people
in so many different ways – their symptoms are all over the map.
One Lyme patient can look like a case of rheumatoid arthritis, another
like fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis, and yet another can look okay
physically but obviously has cognitive issues. Lyme-induced psychiatric
illness is sometimes indistinguishable from other psychiatric diagnoses.
In July 2005, football fans were stunned by newspaper stories that police
found Florida State University quarterback Wyatt Sexton doing push-ups
in the street and reportedly saying he was the “son of God.”
Medical exams later found that Sexton was suffering from advanced Lyme
disease. His physician, S. Chandra Swami, reported that the infection
caused both neuropsychiatric and cardiovascular defects.
In March 2009, Reverend Fred Winters was confronted outside his Illinois
church by a 27 year old man. After fatally shooting Winters, the man pulled
out a knife and stabbed himself repeatedly. The killer’s mother
explained that her son got Lyme10 years earlier and it had triggered a
series of erratic behaviors and mental difficulties.
New York pathologist Dr. Alan MacDonald found B. burgdorferi DNA in 1986
in seven out of ten autopsy samples from the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.[13,14]
MacDonald was also the first to document B. burgdorferi in fetal tissue,
meaning the infection passes from mother to child in the womb.
Long-term infection with B. burgdorferi for a long time allows the bacteria
to replicate and wreak havoc throughout the entire body. The bacteria
hide inside nerve cells and destroy them from within. B. burgdorferi also
burrows into tendons and ligaments causing inflammation in the tissues
and the nearby bone. B. burgdorferi infects the brain causing swelling
and interruption of blood flow, and a characteristic pattern of diminished
function seen on PET scan.. In some patients, the bacteria invade the heart, resulting in heart block
and myocarditis, life-threatening cardiac abnormalities. That is why it
is called a multi-system illness.
Lyme can be mistaken for an estimated 350 conditions, including:
• Alzheimer’s disease
• amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
• chronic fatigue syndrome
• irritable bowel syndrome
• Bell’s Palsy
• memory loss
• rheumatoid arthritis
• multiple sclerosis (MS)
• Parkinson’s disease
• various autoimmune disorders
Often, chronic Lyme patients get a diagnosis that actually hinders meaningful
treatment when Lyme is the root problem. For example, when Lyme attacks
the joints and a person receives a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis,
typically they are given a prescription for anti-inflammatory steroids.
However, steroids suppress the immune system – exactly what you
would NOT want to do if you knew you had Lyme. Also, we know that B. burgdorferi
can induce secretion of aggrecanase, an enzyme that breaks down cartilage.
Steroids do nothing for that.
Let’s look a little more closely at another diagnosis on the list: autism.
“The epidemics of Lyme and autism have gone from mild ripples in
the water to roaring, all-consuming tidal waves, destroying thousands
of lives and tearing apart countless families,” said Bryan Rosner
and Tami Duncan, co-authors of the book,
The Lyme-Autism Connection.
Duncan founded the Lyme-Induced Autism (LIA) Foundation in California.
The LIA Foundation estimates the majority of children with autism may
be also infected with Lyme disease. Informal studies put the number at
about 30 percent; clinicians are reporting up to 90% of the children with
autism testing positive for B. burgdorferi. At the LIA Foundation’s
June 2008 conference, several experts suggested that at least 70% of the
population has Lyme, and that it is being passed to children through congenital
transmission, possibly through DNA. Dr. Dietrich Kinghardt said, “Most
autistic kids have Lyme disease because most docs do not treat for Lyme
first to knock it down enough that the white blood count can mount an
attack and give you something to measure; that is why it is unknown.”
THE POLYMORPHIC SPIROCHETE
Lyme disease starts with an attack of spirochetes. The tip of the
Borrelia burgdorfei spirochete can spin and twirl until it stimulates the cell’s own
enzymes to digest a part of the membrane, allowing entry. Once inside,
the spirochete can lie dormant, protected from both the immune system
and the action of antibiotics.
cell division time of B. burgdorferi is very long compared to other bacteria. Strep
and staph cells, for example, divide in less than 20 minutes. B. burgdorferi
takes 12-24 hours to divide and this is a key reason Lyme is so hard to
knock out. Most antibiotics are effective at the moment when bacteria
are dividing because antibiotics inhibit the creation of a new cell wall.
When Lyme spirochetes encounter antibiotics, they can go into cyst form
very quickly. Most reserachers feel the cyst form is impervious to antibiotics,
although some physicians have had success with metronidazle (Flagyl) and
tinidazole and the non-drug, grapefruit seed extract.
Cysts are small sacs containing immature spirochetes. Eventually the sacs
might lodge in tissue or travel the blood stream where white blood cells
sense their foreign presence but have little ammunition to kill them.
Spirochetes have the ability to burrow into or between cells and hide,
gaining protection from the immune system. Both B. burgdorferi and Treponema
pallidum, the causative agent for syphilis, have highly unusual outer
membranes; the molecular architecture of these membranes is responsible
for their ability to cause persistent infection.
Ticks harbor more infections than just B. burgdorferi. Some of the most
bartonella, babesia, ehrlichia, mycoplasma, chlamydia, anaplasma, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Sometimes, these co-infections are
more common and more debilitating than B. burgdorferi itself.
A 2004 New Jersey study examined the prevalence of coinfections in
Ixodes ticks that transmit Lyme disease and found the prevalence of B. burgdorferi
infection was 33.6%, but the prevalence of Bartonella infection was 34.5%. Thus,
Bartonellaspecies were found more often in that geographical area than the Lyme spirochete
in these ticks.
Dr. Garth Nicolson, PhD, well known in the Lyme community for his study
of chronic intracellular infections, identified a variety of infections
present in common chronic conditions:
|Condition identified by Symptoms
||Infections Commonly Observed
|Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
||Mycoplasma fermentans (and other species), Borrelia burgdorferi, HHV6,
|Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
||Chlamydia pneumoniae, Mycoplasma species, Borrelia burgdorferi, HHV6 and
other Herpes viruses
||Chlamydia pneumoniae, Borrelia burgdorferi, HSV1 and other Herpes viruses
||Helicobacter pylori, coronavirus, Mycoplasma species
|Autism Spectrum Disorders
||Mycoplasma fermentans (and other species), Chlamydia pneumoniae, HHV6,
|Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
||Mycoplasma pneumoniae (and other species), Chlamydia pneumoniae, Borrelia
Singer Daryl Hall of the rock group Hall & Oats had to cancel tour
dates in 2005 because of unexplained fevers and tremors. At his girlfriend’s
advice, he got tested for Lyme and found four co-infections. He went public
with his story because he feels chronic Lyme disease needs to be acknowledged
as a serious health issue.
“There are two very, very strong-feeling camps. One camp is really
sure that if you’re bitten by a tick you get tests, medicine. But
with the chronic disease, that won’t put a dent in it. It manifests
in so many ways. It can lead to heart disease, depression. It can be so
serious that people have died. It’s a battle,” said Hall.
Co-infections present their own set of challenges for physicians and patients.
Agents used to kill B. burgdorferi may not even touch the co-infections.
“Many an ‘incurable’ Lyme patient has discovered the
existence of a second, lurking disease – ehrlichiosis or anaplasmosis
– only to be treated with doxycycline and, finally, get well,”
author and Lyme patient Pam Weintraub documented in
Cure Unknown-Inside the Lyme Epidemic.
http://www.ilads.org/lyme_disease/B_guidelines_12_17_08.pdf andhttp://www.lymedisease.org/lyme101/coinfections/coinfection.html for specifics on the various co-infections.
BIOFILMS – A CLOAKING DISGUISE
One of the great advances in understanding Lyme will come from understanding
biofilms, a cloaking device bacteria use to survive in adverse conditions.
Drs. Eva Sapi and Alan MacDonald did the first clear work on a Lyme biofilm
in early 2008. Lyme bacteria are capable of forming a slimy covering shield
themselves from antibodies and white blood cells, the sentinels of the
immune system. These biofilms are also notorious for their ability to
withstand extraordinarily high concentrations of antibiotics that are
otherwise lethal in smaller doses to their planktonic counterparts. Biofilms
are well described with other bacteria such as dental bacteria, pseudomonas
and E. coli. Biofilms have been seen in brain tissue. This may be why
neuroborreliosis, or “neuro Lyme,” is so hard to cure and
why it causes dementia.
Biofilm is comprised, in part, of heavy metals. Heavy metals are perhaps
the most troublesome toxins because they have been found to feed and make
up the biofilm that surrounds the spirochete
B.burgdorferi. Combining systemic enzymes like serapeptase with heavy metal chelators
is one strategy for “punching holes” in the biofilm. Garlic
extract and heparin may help to break up the biofilm, as well. Once this
is done, then anti-microbials can attack bacteria, yeast, and other bugs.
THE BATTLE OVER TREATMENT
Lyme disease causes incredibly deep-seated controversies, pitting patients
against their insurance companies, and members of the medical establishment
against each other. The 8,000-member Infectious Diseases Society of America
(IDSA) maintains that Lyme is hard to catch and easy to treat:
“Treatment usually involves 10-28 days of oral antibiotics and is
highly effective. When Lyme disease is diagnosed and treated quickly,
95 percent of people are cured within a few weeks of treatment …
There is no convincing biologic evidence to support a diagnosis of chronic
Lyme disease after completion of the recommended treatment.”
The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) describes
“a group of forward-thinking doctors who understand the complexities
of Lyme disease … Undertreated infections will inevitably resurface,
usually as chronic Lyme, with its tremendous problems of morbidity and
difficulty with diagnosis and treatment and high cost in every sense of
ILADS contends that “persistent symptoms have been noted in 25%-80%
of patients with Lyme disease after 2-4 weeks of antibiotic therapy.”
Key points of contention between the two groups are whether chronic Lyme
exists, and whether antibiotics should be used long term. Some doctors,
like Charles Ray Jones MD, have been brought before their state medical
boards and disciplined for prescribing long-term antibiotics for Lyme patients.
The Lyme patient advocacy movement gained momentum in 2006, when IDSA updated
its written guidelines for identifying and treating Lyme disease. Patients
complained they were written primarily to spare insurance companies from
having to pay for the long-term treatment of chronic Lyme. Connecticut
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal launched an antitrust investigation
into IDSA. In May, 2008, Blumenthal stated that:
“My office uncovered undisclosed financial interests held by several
of the most powerful IDSA panelists. The IDSA’s guideline panel
improperly ignored or minimized consideration of alternative medical opinion
and evidence regarding chronic Lyme disease, potentially raising serious
questions about whether the recommendations reflected all relevant science.”
IDSA agreed to create a new review panel. In April, 2010. Nevertheless,
the IDSA decreed that its controversial guidelines on Lyme disease will
stand unchanged. The review panel agreed that all of the 69 original recommendations
were “medically and scientifically justified” in the light
of the evidence. The panel made a number of new recommendations that would
revise the guidelines, but voted that the new revisions need not be considered
until the next time the Guidelines are updated by IDSA. It seems curious
that all but one of the members of the review panel were IDSA members
who had been on the panel that made the original recommendations.
Tina Garcia of Lyme Education Awareness Program, a non-profit in Mesa,
Arizona, testified that the IDSA Practice Guidelines actually prevent
patients in Arizona, the rest of the United States, Canada and Europe
from receiving diagnosis and treatment. “The truth about the IDSA
Guidelines is that they accommodate some of the Guideline authors’
collaboration with the CDC in the development of a Lyme disease vaccine.
It would take years and years for vaccine clinical trials to be conducted
if those developing the vaccines acknowledged persistent Lyme infection.
That is an inconvenient truth for these vaccine developers. It would be
great if a safe and effective Lyme vaccine was developed. However, it
is inhumane to sweep so many suffering patients under the carpet and deny
them treatment in order to bring a vaccine to market.”[24a]
On one hand, the CDC endorses IDSA’s guidelines. On the other hand,
there is no rule that doctors must follow them. The problem is, as Mr.
“The IDSA guidelines have sweeping and significant impacts on Lyme
disease medical care. They are commonly applied by insurance companies
in restricting coverage for long-term antibiotic treatment or other medical
care and also strongly influence physician treatment decisions.”
Meanwhile, many argue whether antibiotics should even be used extensively
in cases of chronic Lyme. The first generation of Lyme-literate-medical-doctors
(LLMDs) primarily used long-term antibiotics. In recent years, others
have focused less on pharmaceutical agents.
The battle lines have been drawn; both patients and doctors get caught
in the crossfire.
3 polymorphic forms of Borrelia Burgdorferi: Spirochete – spiral-shaped bacterium responsible for the initial, rapid spread
of the infection throughout the body and various organs thanks to its
highly-mobile, drill-capable shape
Cyst form – a symptomless, protective, survival-oriented form that is elusive,
difficult to identify in laboratories, and nearly impossible to kill.
It often lies in wait for a stressful event to trigger it back to the
CWD or cell-wall-deficient form – can hide inside cells, including immune system cells, to avoid
detection. Over time, the population of cell-wall-deficient bacteria tends
to increase. This accounts for many of the most severe symptoms and organ
dysfunctions associated with Lyme disease. CWD is sometimes called L-form.Each
of these forms is able to convert to another form under the right conditions.
Think of it as 3 different suits of armor.Cysts convert to spirochetes
usually in spring and fall as a proliferation tactic, to spread the disease
to other tissues. The CWD The cell-wall-deficient form is used to survive
treatments including cell wall inhibiting antibiotics.
Antibiotics: There is much agreement that if you have just been infected, a course
of doxycycline-penicillin-type antibiotics for at least 6 weeks is the
best treatment. The idea here is to knock it out before it can mutate
and burrow in to too many tissues. After initial infection, B. burgdorferi
travels rapidly via the bloodstream, and can be found within the central
nervous system as soon as twelve hours after entering the bloodstream.
Early infections require full dose antibiotic therapy with an agent able
to penetrate all tissues in concentrations known to be bactericidal to
But increasingly, it is months or years after the initial infection that
people suspect or confirm they have Lyme.
Borrelia Burgdorferi exists in three distinct forms: spirochete, cyst, and cell-wall-deficient
(CWD) form. The polymorphic qualities of Lyme mean that when you throw
an antibiotic at a spirochete, the organism can simply morph into its
cyst or CWD form, and hide itself in a biofilm, to escape destruction.
When the Lyme bug no longer senses the stress of antibiotics, it can morph
again into the spirochete form and continue burrowing into new tissues.
Lyme patients report that B. burgdorferi is also able to outsmart many
of the herbal remedies.
Vitamin D avoidance, pulsed antibiotics: Some people infected with chronic, subclinical infections do not handle
Vitamin D the way Nature intended. Their bodies convert too much of it
to a type of secosteroid known as 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin-D (1,25 2(OH)-D).
That triggers a production of macrophages – soldiers with inflammatory
ammunition to overwhelm the bacteria. But the soldiers cannot see the
bacteria because the bugs are hiding behind a wall of biofilm. The host
is left with lots of inflammation – an army dressed for battle who
can’t find the enemy. Since soldiers will do battle, they attack
whatever moves; it happens not to be the enemy. Oops.
So how do we find the hidden enemy? Can we give the soldiers better glasses?
That would be years and years of antibiotics. Or, we perhaps we can destroy
the enemy’s camouflage. That would be the biofilm.
When sickness takes hold, the body sometimes loses the ability to regulate
levels of various things. For example, abnormally high serum copper levels
have been observed in cancer patients with progressive tumors. Copper
plays a big role in the formation of blood vessels. By depriving tumors
of the copper supply they need to form new blood vessels, the growth of
cancer can be slowed. In the case of Lyme disease, part of the problem
may be abnormally high levels of vitamin D, causing excessive production
of macrophages and their native inflammatory proteins. Researcher Trevor
Marshall, Ph.D., developed a protocol to handle patients who bodies make
too much vitamin D.
Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction – a transient, short-term immunologic reaction commonly seen following
antibiotic treatment of syphilis and less often in other diseases, such
as borreliosis, brucellosis, typhoid fever, and trichinellosis. Manifestations
include fever, chills, headache, myalgias, and exacerbation of cutaneous
lesions. The reaction has been attributed to liberation of endotoxin-like
substances or antigens from the killed or dying microorganisms, but its
exact pathogenesis is unclear. Called also
Herxheimer r.Dorland’s Medical Dictionary
First, patients avoid the sun and foods with vitamin D. Herxheimer (also
called Herx) reactions may pop up as the immune system rights itself and
begins to attack the infection and kill bacteria.
Second, if there is a great deal of inflammation, we use fairly large doses
of an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) called Benicar® (olmesartan)
to bring the inflammation under reasonable control. Then we pulse small
amounts of antibiotics, each of which inhibits the formation of the biofilm
proteins in a different way. Marshall found that after vitamin D levels
are balanced and the inflammation is somewhat controlled, the immune system
is then able to detect the foreign bacteria and deal with them.
Herbs and homeopathic remedies are also used extensively in Lyme treatments. Carnivora® for example
appears to work through the immune system and acts as an antimicrobial
and virucidal, with great safety. Intravenous vitamin C can be very useful
for detoxification. Chlorella’s many benefits include the ability
to bind toxic metals, increase glutathione production, bind neurotoxins,
and serve as an overall super-nutrient. Zeolite can be helpful in removing
toxins from the body. TAO-free cats claw, olive leaf extract, and colloidal
silver are used like non-pharmaceutical antibiotics.
Energetic approaches: Homeopathy teaches us that everything in the world carries frequencies
which are unique identifiers. Science teaches us that we can discover
some of these frequencies by using measurement equipment like mass spectrometers.
The treatment of physical ailments using energetic frequencies has been
known for centuries. Examples are the laying on of hands and the use of
infra-red sauna. Some frequencies are beneficial, some are harmful –
an example of the latter would be microwave energy, which cooks our food
(helpful) but can also damage our bodies (harmful). Certain frequencies
are damaging to specific types of organisms, but not damaging to our own
bodies – these frequencies can be used to good therapeutic effect.
One of the real challenges for the patient is that often the agents employed
to knock down Lyme and co-infections lose their efficacy over time. There
may be an initial beneficial impact, inducing Herx reactions and improvement,
but eventually the bacteria learn how to outsmart it. So, depending upon
the severity of the case, many different approaches are used.
When treating Lyme,there is no perfect remedy for everyone. But the better shape you are in when you start treatment, the better
the outcome will likely be. The shape you are in is determined in large
measure by the integrity of your inner terrain.
INFECTIONS FROM THE TOXIC LOAD
The predominant focus in many treatment programs is the elimination of
infection. Patients take antibiotics and other anti-microbial agents,
but a holistic approach considers what factors set the stage for illness
in the first place – what is the condition of the inner terrain.
The average person today has a high total
body burden of pathogens. There are 10 times as many microbes within us as there are
cells in our body. Some of those microbes play a good role, like bacteria
which help digest food, but many are pathogenic, meaning they harm us.
The more toxic we become, the more pathogens are able take over. Various
studies have shown that we all have a toxic body burden of
heavy metals – lead, mercury, aluminum, and cadmium for example. Pathogens bind
to and tightly hold heavy metals. Fungi such as Candida have an affinity
for binding heavy metals. Stored toxins suppress the
immune system, creating an environment where
chronic infections flourish. An immune system weakened by toxins enables pathogens to take
hold. To make things worse, the pathogenic microbes themselves are a producer
of toxins in the body.
However, as heavy metals, fungi, and environmental toxins are removed,
blood flow is enhanced. The microbes are less likely to survive in a body
with adequate blood flow and optimal distribution of oxygen. Mold, fungi,
and other microorganisms that may be making us unwell will not survive.
The microbes lose their playground and our health recovers.
Beyond the damage that B. burgdorferi and co-infections themselves create,
they prompt the body to create fibrin which protects the organisms from
the reach of many therapeutic interventions by thickening the blood and
providing the pathogens with a place to hide. Viscous (thick) blood reduces
the body’s ability to get nutrients in and toxins out of tissues.
Fortunately, the reverse is also true. The more we can do to reduce our
toxic load, the more capable our bodies will be of managing chronic infections
which are universally present. An excellent way to begin to relieve the
toxic body burden is with
Chelation of heavy metals is a time-honored, useful therapy for reducing chronic
inflammation. Amalgam dental fillings are an ongoing and significant source
of mercury toxicity; partnering with a
biological dentist is important for those who have mercury in their mouth.
The connection between mold and Lyme disease increasingly pops up in the
literature. Mold mycotoxins can form 36-48 hours after water intrusion
into drywall, insulation, carpeting or
cellulose-filled materials; EPA reports 30% of USA structures have indoor
mold. Mold spores contain potent nerve toxins or neurotoxins. When these
spores are inhaled, about three out of four people can produce antibodies
to the toxins and quickly eliminate them. But one out of four has a genetic
makeup that does not identify the toxins as invaders and does not eliminate
them effectively. The liver can send them to the digestive tract via the
bile, but they are quickly reabsorbed back into the blood. The result
is that continual or repeated exposures to mold toxins result in an ever
increasing amount of these toxins in the body. When Lyme is also present,
Lyme toxins also build up in the body the same way. Mold and Lyme toxins
attach to fat cells and cause the fat cells to continually release inflammatory
cytokines. The result is chronic inflammation, often with symptoms such
as fatigue, pain, brain fog and out of control weight gain.
KEEPING THE GENIE IN THE BOTTLE
The disease can be controlled, but it may never be eradicated. It waits,
like a genie in a bottle, for the right moment to pop out. Although some
still want to dispute the concept of chronic Lyme, the abilities of latent
bacteria are well documented elsewhere. People who had a childhood case
of chicken pox can have a case of shingles, for example, much later in
life. Shingles is a reactivation of the virus that has been in the body
in a dormant form. The testimony of thousands of Lyme patients is that
the genie comes out of the bottle when life delivers a major stress such
as a death in the family, a surgery, or the loss of a career.
Most people with chronic Lyme seem to wrestle with it for the rest of their
lives. The most successful learn to control it by avoiding foods which
feed Lyme and its co-infections such as
sugar, refined carbs, alcohol,
gluten, and caffeine. They also use
chelation to lessen the
chronic inflammatory burden of metals and infections, and systemic enzymes to lessen fibrin
and thin the blood. Cutting edge research is looking into the effects that
genetically modified foods and EMF from cell phones and such may have on Lyme and its co-infections.
“Under Our Skin”
This excellent documentary walks you through Lyme’s biology, and
its political and economic dimensions. The film consists in large part
of interviews with people who have suffered from chronic Lyme disease.
You can order the CD on line or watch it in my office.
See movie trailer at
To find out how to host a screening of the movie, visit
Cure Unknown – Inside the Lyme Epidemic, ©2008
By Pamela Weintraub
This senior editor of Discover Magazine interviews key players in the Lyme
disease controversy. She also reveals her personal odyssey after she,
her husband and their two sons became seriously ill in the 1990s. In many
cases, doctors are woefully unable or unwilling to diagnose Lyme. Then,
once-treatable infections become chronic, inexorably disseminating to
cause disabling conditions that may never be cured.
The Top 10 Lyme Disease Treatments: Defeat Lyme Disease With The Best Of
Conventional And Alternative Medicine
By Bryan Rosner
Lyme Disease is one of the most stubborn, treatment-resistant infections
in the world and spreading rapidly on all continents. Recent research
indicates that, in addition to tick bites, Lyme Disease may also be transmitted
by sexual contact and bites from other insects. More difficult than diagnosing
Lyme Disease is successfully treating it. In many cases, standard antibiotic
treatment fails and symptoms persist.
When Antibiotics Fail… Lyme Disease and Rife Machines
By Bryan Rosner
“Written for people who actually have a case of Lyme disease that
is not responding to conventional antibiotic treatment. Lyme disease sufferers
want to know their options, not how to identify a tick.” Rosner
speaks about the use of frequency-generating machines to kill infectious bacteria.
The Lyme-Autism Connection: Unveiling the Shocking Link Between Lyme Disease
and Childhood Developmental Disorders
by Tami Duncan, Bryan Rosner
Science has found compelling similarities between Lyme disease and autism.
At first glance, they may appear to be dissimilar conditions, new research
increasingly shows that they are most certainly connect.
The Baker’s Dozen & the Lunatic Fringe: Has Junk Science Shifted
the Lyme Disease Paradigm?
By PJ Langhoff
Midwest author and Lyme patient PJ Langhoff chronicles the politics, conflicts
of interest, academic ties, research, and IDSA guidelines for Lyme disease.
Third in a series, this book reveals key evidence offered during CT Attorney
General Richard Blumenthal’s anti-trust investigation into the Infectious
Disease Society of America’s (IDSA) clinical practice guidelines for Lyme
Public Health Alert
A monthly newspaper of the Lyme community, available by subscription. Past
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