It was once thought to be a disease exclusive of Old Lyme’s CT when discovered. Then it was primarily seen in Connecticut, Long Island, Shelter Island and Fire Island. Now it is seen worldwide.
We need to understand that this is a vast disease which has increased over the last decade. I believe it is only when we realize that Lyme’s is worldwide can we control its spread and eradication. Climate changes affect the incidence as documented in a Portuguese study. Nine different strains of Borrelia were documented in a Scottish study. That study used the word “rocketed” to describe the dramatic increase. Do I think is an over estimation or rather an exaggeration ? I think not.
Africa has now another infection to worry about. With increase resistance to Malaria ( Plasmodium ssp) and its ever increasing HIV , there now there is Lyme’s.
Lyme borreliosis caused by the spirochete, Borrelia burgdoferi has grown into a major public health problem over the last ten years. No where is it felt more than in Fire Island. I should know. As a primary volunteer physician in Cherry Grove I have seen an increase in the number of cases over the last 3 years. The primary treatment for Lyme disease is the administration of various antibiotics. However , many patients relapse when the antibiotics are discontinued. I believe that the B. burgdorferi becomes resistant to the antibiotics. The spirochetes convert from their vegetative state to different body states. It is the job of the medical community to find out which antibiotics can be used for the different stages of the spirochete to eradicate the organism.
The mainstream antibiotics used are doxycycline, minbocycline, Penicillin G, clarithromycin and ceftriaxone.
Do you think a doctor checks for all diseases when you present with a tick bite? or a rash? I do not know. I do know that I test for other infections since ticks harbor numerous other organisms that are pathogenic to humans. Some of the other infections I test for include: other Borrelia species, Babesia species, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Bartonella species, especially quintana, Erlichosis species, especially chaffeensis, Mycoplasma species, Coxiella burnetii, and Francisella. Remember ticks are a cesspool of infections !!
If you have been biten by a tick and know it you must seek medical attention. Guidelines state that if you know you have bitten ( with or without a tick present on the body) you will need treatment with antibiotics for 3 days. Once bitten you have 72 hours to get treatment. If it is after 3 days when you seek treatment ( after the 72 hours) you will still need antibiotic treatment, but now you must take 28 days of treatment.
A work up for Tick Borne Diseases is extensive. Once a complete history and physical examination are done, a complete laboratory analysis for all tick borne diseases should be done. The management of the disease will include a dietary change. There is not one disease I can think of that doesn’t include a dietary change. There might need to be an environmental change, as eradication of mold. I do know that there needs to be psychological evaluation. A support team needs to be set up for these patients. Many times there symptoms are ‘bizarre’ as shocks going from point to another point of their body, to quivering in their skin. Some physicians are not used to hearing such symptoms. I have seen patients get diagnosed with psychiatric problems. These symptoms could be psychiatric , but let’s not forget Lyme’s cerebritis. ( Lyme disease of the brain)
Since antibiotic therapy may cause side effects and the ‘bug” might develop resistance to the antibiotics, I must discuss other options:
Option #1: Clean your diet. Trey to eat a more alkalizing diet with fruits/vegetables instead of an inflammatory diet which includes dairy, gluten , meat and cheese. Option #2. Discuss with your doctor, the Cowden protocol which utilizes several herbal extracts designed to eliminate the organisms.
The following is a quote from Richard Horowitz, MD, vice president of ILADS, (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society) that has been prescribing the Cowden Support Program since January 2007:
“The majority of Chronic Lyme patients relapse once they are taken off antibiotics with symptoms of chronic fatigue, muscle and joint aches and neuro-cognitive problems. I have been searching for a long time for a natural remedy which is safe and efficacious, and I am very happy with the results that I am seeing with the Nutramedix Cowden protocol. In a scientific study that was recently conducted at our medical facility, it was determined that the protocol was effective for 70% of the patients.
The Cowden protocol uses many herbs, but two in particular which must be mentioned. One is Samento ( a modified Cat’s Claw- Uncaria tomentosa)which has reported anti-viral and anti bacterial properties. The other is called Banderol ( Otoba sp) which has anti-inflammatory, antiprotozoal and antibacterial properties. Studies have been done to demonstrate the benefit of adding Samento and Banderol to doxycycline. It has been found and published that the additions of the two herbal extracts effects all forms of Borrellia burgdoferi, whereas doxycycline alone only effects the spirochete form. Using both doxycycline and herbal extracts had the most beneficial results. The protocol is intense, but I have used it with great success. It does require regiment and discipline, but if willing can do the most benefit.
It also uses trace minerals, pinella, burbur and amantilla. I would suggest viewing this on the web and downloading the protocol. It must be used with the guidance of a health care practitioner. An example from the protocol is below. This is only a sample of the actual protocol.
“””For the first 3 days do only the following
Three times daily immediately before mealtimes take 15 drops of TRACE MINERALS,
10 drops of PINELLA, 10 drops of BURBUR and 10 drops of AMANTILLA (the
noontime dose can be eliminated anytime after day 21 if not feeling toxic)
On Day 4 of the protocol add the following. Twice daily 30 min. before breakfast and supper take 30 drops of BANDEROL (start with one drop twice daily adding a drop with each dose until reaching 30 drops twice daily) together with 15 drops of TRACE MINERALS, 10 drops of PARSLEY and 1 capsule of SERRAPEPTASE. After taking a full dose of BANDEROL for two months (Day 78) start rotating between CUMANDA, QUINA and BANDEROL every two weeks,taking 30 drops twice daily for the remainder of the protocol: 12 ½ days ON, 36 hours OFF, 12 ½ days ON, etc “””
LYME DISEASE is bewildering. There are not enough physicians treating these tick bore infections. Yes, we know how to give an antibiotic but to treat chronic Lyme disease, there are few. When Lyme disease is involved with the co-infections there is overall havoc. There are physicians who have linked Lyme to autism. It may not be the main reason, but can be in the differential. A patient whether a child with autism or an adult might have other problems that need to be addresses before the Lyme disease. For example, a diet rich in breads, cakes and sugar causing yeast overgrowth will not help the Lyme. The yeast problem would have to addressed before treating the actual Lyme. Also a patient who has a heavy metal burden with mercury, lead or other toxic metals would have to be treated before the Lymes or at the same time. These metals as well as the yeast causes immune deficient states, which then allows the Lymes to cause havoc on the body. Attention must be given to the other symptoms of the body. The problem I have is that a patient gets a tick bite. Sees their primary doctor. He does the blood tests and treats with antibiotics. The patient over time feels brain fog, muscle aches and pains, and has digestive issues. The patient never thinks it could be Lyme, nor at times does the physician. The patient needs a full work-up. The patient might need to be detoxified. Food and environmental allergies need to be tested, as well as heavy metals – pre and post 6 hr provocation with a chelator ( as per the American College of Advancement of Medicine – ACAM) There needs to be a dietary lifestyle change. The patient needs to be aware what foods can heal the body faster. The patient will need address ways to decrease stress in their life. The doctor might need to talk to the family to explain about Lymes. The physician needs to explain the chronic affects to the patient ‘and their family. What I am saying is that ‘ The physician needs to get involved.
I rotate antibiotics for three months depending on the laboratory results. I might use intravenous antibiotics early in the course of treatment. When I trained the medical community did not know how to treat Lymes. Some do not believe in using more than one antibiotic. I would seek out a Lyme specialist who treats the disease by both allopathic and alternative treatments. I tend to use two intracellular antibiotics, sometimes with or without flagyl ( remember you cannot drink alcohol with flagyl). And I still use doxycycline. Of course not all at the same time. If the doctor uses antibiotics he will have to replace the good bacteria at different times of the day. The good bacteria are probiotics.
So you see– Lyme Disease is not that simple. It is a complicated disease for a small simple , yet complicated organism…