What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is an infectious disease cause by bacteria, most often transferred from a tick bite. While it used to be less common in places like Arizona, it can now be found in any state.
The most common sign of infection is a “bull’s-eye rash” that begins after a tick bite and may last up to one week. In 25% or more cases, people never develop a rash, but still contract the infection.
The symptoms of Lyme disease can mimic almost any other condition, but some early symptoms may include fever, headache or feeling tired all of the time. Eventually it can spread throughout the body and cause joint pain, severe headaches, joint stiffness, heart palpitations and the inability to move parts of your face.
Medical diagnosis of Lyme disease is in its infancy. Unfortunately it is a diagnosis that is mostly diagnosed via symptoms, with lab tests missing over half of all cases. The process for lab testing usually starts with an ELISA test, if that is positive or almost or borderline (see the problem?), then usually a Western blot test is used. The ELISA is accepted as a poor test and misses many cases as does the Western blot. Testing for Lyme disase can get expensive as the ELISA and Western Blot cost approximately $100 each and the more definitive test called the IgeneX that tests for co-infections runs from $400-$700.
In addition if you want to talk to a Lyme-literate doctor you are likely looking to pay around $300 per appointment. Some require a month or more stay at prices from 5k to 10k, with no guarantee of improvement.
Hopefully your insurance covers some of this, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
It would be worth paying $400 to have the proper diagnosis right?
I always try and emphasize that in most conditions a proper diagnosis rarely leads to proper treatment. Instead it usually leads to covering up symptoms. The more important part of diagnosing something is diagnosing the process that went wrong.
In the case of Lyme disease a more holistic approach to diagnosis includes treating co-infections and biofilms, boosting your natural immunity and supporting organs/body systems that are stressed.
Traditional Treatment of Lyme Disease
Antibiotics…antibiotics….antibiotics…and more antibiotics. Given the high rise in cases of Lyme disease, if you know a tick has bitten you for the first time, then an early dose of antibiotics is probably the best choice to avoid future complications. If you have been bitten multiple times, unless you develop the telltale rash, I wouldn’t take an anti-biotic just for fun! Although if you prefer to be extra cautious, I would recommend taking a high quality herbal antimicrobial immediately after exposure.
As a quick personal note on antibiotics, when a tick bit my wife and she immediately developed the “bull’s-eye rash”, we chose to treat it with antibiotics the same day. So just in case you think I don’t “believe” in medicine or drugs, there may be a time and place for certain drugs. That was also the only time since my schooling and in our married life that anyone in our family has taken an antibiotic. Their use should be rare, not a yearly, biannually or more.
In order to try and eradicate Lyme disease, antibiotics may be used for years in the traditional model. Different antibiotics are often cycled; with short-term high-dose cycles or long-term low-dose cycles. There really isn’t much else that the traditional medical model does for the condition other than give you prescriptions to treat symptoms like joint pain, muscle pain, etc.
Natural Treatment for Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a difficult condition. Standard treatment is generally futile against it. The optimal way to treat Lyme disease is by getting the whole individual as healthy as possible, then letting the body do the work to kill the infection. This may sound the same as treating any other condition, but with severe Lyme disease it is even more important.
- Treat the primary infection – usually this is Borrelia burgdorferi
- Treat possible co-infections – common ones include erlichia, bartonella and especially babesia
- Discover and treat nutrient deficiencies
- Support detoxification of toxic byproducts of infection
- Restore the immune system – our natural immune system is the best treatment for Lyme disease
- Reduce systemic inflammation
- Support digestive health and treat intestinal dysbiosis
- Find food sensitivities that may be stressing the body
- Treat sub-clinical viral infections – many viral infections have limited symptoms but still stress the immune system.
- Eliminate fungal infections, yeast infections and candida
- Assess and treat heavy metal toxicity
- Assess and treat mold and mycotoxins toxicity
- Balance hormones including adrenals, thyroid and sex hormones
- Fix sleep disorders, elevated cortisol and circadian rhythm disturbances
- Balance brain neurotransmitters and support brain chemistry with specific nutrients
Obviously treating Lyme disease can get complicated. While the above list is applicable for any condition, Lyme disease usually requires addressing more of this list than many other conditions. Most of my treatments require addressing 4 to 5 of these root causes, but Lyme disease can disturb many more processes once it has set it roots in.
In part 2 I will go over in detail, some of these 15 natural treatments for Lyme disease.