Monday, January 14, 2013

Lyme Treatment

Timing is everything when it comes to treating Lyme diseases. If a person is treated right away for Lyme disease and their co-infections (other diseases from ticks other than Lyme disease), the patient will have a very good chance of eliminating Lyme disease. The longer a person waits, the higher the risk will be for developing chronic Lyme disease. Chronic Lyme patients need to have a healthy immune system to effectively kill Lyme. This means that other medical problems should be solved as well as their Lyme. Some Lyme patients do not get better due to heavy metal toxicities, mold issues, co-infections or multiple opportunistic infections, auto-immune diseases or even food allergies.
Things to consider
1. Heavy metal toxicities are important to address because not only do heavy metals weaken the immune system, they can also feed fungi which is bad news for people who are taking antibiotics. Antibiotics also aid in fungi growth and can cause Candida overgrowth. Sometimes medical procedures can cause heavy metal poisonings in the long run such as dental amalgams which can release mercury vapor. A doctor who understands how to identify heavy metal toxicities and how to detox them should be sought out.

2. Mold should be avoided for those who are sensitive to mold. Around 25% of our population have trouble with mold and 50% of our buildings have been damaged by water. Mold cannot be smelt which means buildings should be correctly tested and the leading expert on this subject is Dr. Shoemaker who has written several books including "Surviving Mold". There are mold diagnostic tests as well.

3. Co-infections are other diseases that come from ticks. Since ticks carry multiple diseases, it is important to identify the diseases that a person has been infected with and treat them. This is why it may be important to save the tick(s) alive in a plastic bag discovered on a person and tested at a lab such as igenex for different co-infections. Look at the Lyme diagnosis page for a further evaluation on what co-infections a Lyme patient may also be infected with.

4. Food allergies can weaken the immune system. People who eat the food that they have food allergies to may not have any symptoms which means a blood test may be required to determine which foods the Lyme patient should avoid. The biggest 2 offenders are wheat and dairy which is why some doctors suggest that all chronic Lyme patients avoid wheat and dairy.

5. Taking the 23andme genetics test can be very beneficial in identifying problems with a persons immune system. Dr. Lynch wrote a short book on the importance of MTHFR and health titled MTHFR basics and people can learn more from his website at  Although 23andme cannot interpret the data they provide, anyone can use a 3rd party site and enter in the 23andme raw data to identify genetic mutations in the methylation and detox cycle which does for free. The website MTHFRsupport also has information on genetics, has a 3rd party app that can interpret the data, and also has integrative doctors that can respond to questions people may have. Some websites predict what future diseases a person may have, but these predictions should be avoided because the accuracy of these predictions are in question and these genetics tests are not meant to promote people into having unnecessary medical procedures. In my opinion, what they should be used for is which supplements a person needs to avoid, and which form of supplements a person should take. Nutrahacker can provide people information on this but you would have to pay for this feature.

If a person is waiting for their LLMD visit and wish to begin supplement treatment for their co-infections, they can research Stephen Buhners protocols or research Byron White's protocols. If a Lyme patient had been treated from one co-infection and the patient is still sick, try treating the Lyme patient with another co-infection. Opportunistic virus's can reactivate themselves such as the Epstein Barr Virus and further depress the immune system and will need to be treated as well.
Both allopathic and naturopathic Lyme experts agree that treatment should include both antibiotics and supplements to both strengthen the immune system and attack the spirochetes. Borrelia can learn how to become immune fast to specific antibiotics and Lyme patients should work with their LLMDs to keep cycling through antibiotics. Jarisch-Herxheimer reactions can occur when starting antibiotics which means that a Lyme patient may get sicker when they switch to a new antibiotic.

Connect with the Lyme Community:
Connect with the Lyme community for additional support and some great groups include:
Meet with your Lyme community (Make sure they are ILADS friendly)
On Facebook
Under Our Skin

Do not eat:
Wheat, GMOs, pasteurized dairy, sugar, artificial flavorings including aspartame, alcohol, caffeine, and reduce carb intake.
Can Eat:
Try to eat organic non-starchy vegetables, legumes (no peanuts), nuts, meats (organic grass fed), and eggs(organic grass fed). Some fruits can be added like organic berries, but fruits generally should be limited because of their natural sugar content that will feed the spirochetes. Xylitol (alcohol sugar) and Stevia are allowed for Lyme patients.
Try to get 80 grams of protein a day. Garden of Life has vegan protein shakes:  Other protein shakes will work, but the ingredients list of the protein shake must not include wheat, GMOs, dairy, or any of the foods that Lyme patients should avoid. The blog Tired of Lyme has pictures of what Lyme patients should eat.

Although patients that have a daily exercise routine before they get Lyme do better with treatment than those that do not, all Lyme patients should consider exercising each day without letting their heart rate go above 125 bpm because more spirochetes can pass through the blood brain barrier with faster heart rates. Moderate walking, lifting light weights, or light stretches will all work. Yoga and Pilates can both count for ways to get exercise for the day.

Dr. Burrascano is a leading expert in Lyme disease treatment and he lists several supplements Lyme patients should be on. He also has a description of each supplement as well, which is explained below.

1. PROBIOTICS (required when on antibiotics)
Kefir: drink 2 to 4 ounces a day. Acidophilus: the best kinds are frozen or refrigerated to ensure potency.  Usual dose is two with each meal. Plan to mix together several different brands to broaden the spectrum. Acidophilus can be gotten from most vitamin stores but some generic brands are of unknown freshness and potency. An alternative that does not need refrigeration and can be taken only once a day is a high potency, patented product called “Pro Bio” from Pharmanex. The ultimate mix of pre- and probiotics with soil based organisms is a product called “PrescriptAssist Pro” from Researched Nutritionals. This too does not need refrigeration. In addition, have 4 ounces of sugar-free yogurt on occasion.
2. MULTI-VITAMIN (required)
I recommend the Life Pack family of multivitamins available through Pharmanex. These are unique
supplements- pharmaceutical grade and USP certified, they are the only products clinically proven in double blinded, placebo controlled crossover studies to quench free radicals and raise antioxidant levels in the blood and lipids.  Choose LifePak for males under 40, LifePak Women for hormonally active women, LifePak Prenatal when pregnant, and LifePak Prime for postmenopausal women and for men over 40. LifePak Teen is also available. Continue long term.
3. CO-Q10- required, but do not use while taking the prescription drug atovaquone (Mepron, Malarone). Deficiencies have been related to poor function of the heart, limitations of stamina, gum disease, and poor resistance to infections.  Heart biopsy studies in Lyme patients indicated that they should take between 300 and 400mg daily. I recommend the Co Q-10 from Researched Nutritionals. One caplet contains 400 mg, so the dose is one a day with food.
4. ALPHA LIPOIC ACID (required) This facilitates entry of CoQ-10 into mitochondria. Dose is 300 mg twice daily. Generic is OK.
5. VITAMIN B (required). Clinical studies demonstrated the need for supplemental vitamin B in infections with Borrelia, to help clear neurological symptoms. Take one 50 mg B-complex capsule daily. If neuropathy is severe, an additional 50 mg of B-6 can be added. Generics are OK.
6. MAGNESIUM (required)
Magnesium supplementation is very helpful for the tremors, twitches, cramps, muscle soreness, heart skips and weakness.  It may also help in energy level and cognition. The best source is magnesium L-lactate dehydrate (“Mag-tab SR”, sold by Niche Pharmaceuticals: 1-800-677-0355, and available at Wal-Mart).  DO NOT rely on “cal-mag”, calcium plus magnesium combination tablets, as they are not well absorbed.  Take at least one tablet twice daily.  Higher doses increase the benefit and should be tried, but may cause diarrhea. In some cases, intramuscular or intravenous doses may be necessary.
Studies show that when EFAs are taken regularly, statistically significant improvements in fatigue, aches weakness, vertigo, dizziness, memory, concentration and depression are likely.  There are two broad classes: GLA (omega-6 oils) and EPA (omega-3 oils), derived respectively from plant and fish oils.
Plant Oil: Use a refrigerated liquid product of mixed omega oils obtained from the local health food
store (always avoid capsules as the plant oils within may be rancid and you would never know). Take
one to two tablespoons of the liquid oil daily. May be mixed with food, put on salads, etc.
Fish Oil: Use “Marine Omega” by Pharmanex. Use four daily, taken on a full stomach (this brand is
required because it is made not from fish, but from Krill and is certified to be free of any measurable
amounts of heavy metals and organic toxins).
This product addresses the mitochondrial damage thought to underlie the metabolic dysfunction associated with chronic diseases which, in patients with tick-borne illnesses, is manifest by fatigue and neurologic dysfunction. It is the single most reliable agent I have found that can give noticeably increased energy levels. When supplements known to support neurological function are added (see below), improved cognition and memory often result. Effects will be noted in two to three weeks. It also contains high quality prebiotics and probiotics. Available from Researched Nutritionals.
OPTIONAL SUPPLEMENTS FOR SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES FOR NEUROLOGIC SYMPTOMS- here, the goal is three-fold- supply the metabolic needs, replenish
what has become depleted, and protect the neurons and their supportive cells. The “required”
supplements, above, must be taken, and the items that follow below are considered “add-ons”.
ACETYL-L-CARNITINE- this is taken along with SAM-e. This combination can result in noticeable gains in short term memory, mood and cognition. The Acetyl Carnitine also is said to help heart and muscle function. Doses: Acetyl-L-carnitine- 1500-2000 mg daily on empty stomach; SAM e- 400 mg daily with the acetyl carnitine. Positive results may appear as early as 3 weeks; use for 2 to 3 months, but repeat or extend this course if needed. Available in most vitamin stores; Generic acetyl carnitine is okay, but I recommend “Nature Made” brand SAM-e (also available at most vitamin stores).
Methylcobalamin is a prescription drug derived from vitamin B12. This can help to heal problems with the central and peripheral nervous system, improve depressed immune function, and help to restore more normal sleeping patterns. Many patients note improved energy as well. Because the oral form is not absorbed when swallowed or dissolved under the tongue, Methyl B12 must be taken by injection. Dose is generally 25 mg. (1 c.c.) daily for 3 to 6 months. Long term studies have never demonstrated any side effects from this drug. However, the urine is expected to turn red shortly after each dose- if the urine is not red, a higher dose may be needed or the present supply may have lost potency. The injectable form of this is not available in regular drug stores. It must be manufactured (compounded) by specialty pharmacies on order.
Green, but not black or white tea contains some of the most potent antioxidants around (80-100 times more effective than vitamin C). I strongly recommend this to any patient with degenerative changes to the central nervous system. At least four cups daily are needed to reap this benefit, and the tea must be decaffeinated. A nice alternative is “TeGreen“ capsules by Pharmanex. They contain 97% pure tea polyphenols and each capsule is the equivalent of four cups of decaffeinated green tea. Take one to three daily.
CORDYMAX Cordyceps is a well-known herb from Tibet that has been shown in clinical studies to improve stamina, fatigue, and enhance lung and antioxidant function.  It also raises superoxide dismutase levels, important to prevent lesions in the central nervous system, which is why this (along with green tea) is essential if neurodegeneration is part of your illness. The positive effects can be dramatic; should be used long term. USP- certified cordyceps is available from Pharmanex as "CordyMax".
CITICHOLINEMany studies have shown benefits to cognition, especially memory. Benefits are slow to notice, so plan to use this long-term. Dose is 500 to 1000 mg twice a day. FOR IMMUNE SUPPORT
“REISHI MAX “ This enhanced extract from cracked spores of the Reishi mushroom has been shown in clinical studies to augment function of the Natural Killer Cells as well as macrophages. Recommended in all patients who have a CD-57 count below 60. Take four a day. Available only from Pharmanex.
TRANSFER FACTORS are the body’s natural signals meant to activate the pathogen-killing effects of the cellular immune system. Therapy with these agents consists of taking both a general stimulator, plus specific transfer factors for the infection you have. Personal experience made me a believer in transfer factor therapy. For Lyme patients, use Transfer Factor Multi-Immune as the general stimulant, and Transfer Factor LymePlus as the specific agent. Both are exclusives from Researched Nutritionals, and I have found them to be surprisingly effective in making the very ill respond better to treatment. Take as directed on the label.

Glucosamine can be of long term benefit to the joints. Do not be misled into buying a product that also contains chondroitin, as this chemical does not add anything, but it can make the product more expensive. Look for a product that contains the herb Boswellia serrata- this is a non-irritative anti-inflammatory. Although many generics exist, the Pharmanex product, "Cartilage Formula" has the right ingredients and is of proven efficacy. Expect improvement only over time (several weeks), but plan to use this indefinitely to maintain joint health.
Vitamin C is important to aid in maintaining healthy connective tissues. High doses are recommended- 1000 to 6000 mg a day as tolerated (if the dose is too high for you it may cause acid stomach, gas and loose stools, so therefore dose titration is necessary). Consider using “Ester-C” (non-acid and longer acting), or “C-Salts” (very well tolerated). Start with a low dose and increase slowly to find your tolerance level.
FLEX CREAM This is an amazing liniment-like product that really works and has a money back guarantee. Use for any type of body pain- spread on a thick layer and do not rub in. It takes 30 to 60 minutes to work, then lasts many hours. A Pharmanex exclusive.
Surprisingly, most people in America are vitamin D deficient. In the Lyme patient, low vitamin D levels can cause diffuse body aches and cramps that are not responsive to magnesium or calcium supplements. Some also believe that vitamin D is essential for normal immune and hormone function. I strongly urge you to have a fasting blood level drawn. It is recommended that the blood levels be in the upper half or the normal range. If it is not, then 2000 to 4000 units daily are needed for several weeks to make up for the deficit, and then a lower maintenance dose may be necessary, based on results from repeated blood level monitoring. If vitamin D is needed, improvements take 2 to 3 weeks to note, but are well worth the wait.
CREATINE Creatine has been shown to be of benefit in neuromuscular degenerative diseases such as Lou Gherig’s Disease (ALS) and can be very helpful in supporting low blood pressure, as in NMH. It may also benefit strength, stamina, and heart function.  Important: To use this safely, you must have an adequate fluid intake. The creatine product should contain taurine, an amino acid needed to enhance creatine absorption, plus some carbohydrate to aid creatine entry into muscle.  You will need a 20 gram daily loading dose for the first five days, then 4 to 10 grams daily maintenance.  Try "Cell Tech" from the Vitamin Shop, and follow label directions.      
Useful to support liver function. Take 175 mg daily- use an 80% Silymarin extract. Available from many vitamin stores.

Other supplements not in Dr. Burrascano's list:
Lugol's Iodine and Iodide: Dr Brownstein is a leading expert on halides and points out that iodine has anti-viral, anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungi qualities. Dosage should start out low such as 1 drop a day for the first week and should be increased to at least 4 drops a day by week 2 or 3 in case of detox reactions. When a person takes iodine for the first time, bromide and other toxic halides get replaced by iodine and if a person starts the dosage of iodine too high, high levels of bromide will be displaced from cells and be released throughout the body making a person sicker. Some Lyme patients that have been taking iodine daily take whole droppers full of iodine in the morning.

Nutribiotic Grapeseed extract
Since Lyme forms biofilms, all Lyme patients must use something that will break down the biofilm so that antibiotics can attack the spirochetes. Grapeseed extract has been shown to break down the biofilm of Lyme.

LB Core Protocol
Stephen Buhners 3 core supplement list to kill Lyme and expand blood flow to joints: Cat's Claws, resveratrol and andrographis.

Limit the amount of unnecessary surgeries while patients have Lyme because anesthesia has been found to decrease Natural Killer cells which are vital to a Lyme patients healing process.
A Lyme patient should not receive any steroid shots because this also shuts down the immune system.


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