Treatment of Chronic Lyme Disease

Successful treatment of chronic lyme disease requires a comprehensive approach. The mainstay of treatment for chronic lyme disease has traditionally been antibiotics. The regimen is designed with the patient's symptoms in mind as well as the types of coinfections present. While antibiotics are a powerful tool, they can have potentially serious side effects. In addition, some individuals will typically relapse within weeks to months after discontinuing therapy, sometimes even after protracted intravenous antibiotics.

It is, therefore, imperative that a comprehensive treatment program be designed that addresses factors that can interfere with an individual's recovery. The presence of chronic viruses, methylation cycle defects, mold illness & mast cell activation are just some of the factors that can cause chronic inflammation to the point where most antimicrobial agents simply stop working within days to weeks.

Once the inflammation is addressed, there are a number of effective antimicrobial agents at our disposal:

  • Herbal antimicrobial formulations

  • Homeopathy

  • Prescription antibiotics

  • Electromedicine

  • Oxidative therapies

  • Bio-Magnetism

It has been our experience that a combination approach, with or without antibiotics, can easily treat these infections when the underlying sources of inflammation have been addressed first.

Diet & Lyme Disease:

Most patients with Chronic Lyme disease have significant gastrointestinal issues.

Symptoms resemble Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and include the following:

  • Diarrhea and/or constipation

  • Bloating after meals

  • Flatulence

  • Burping

  • Abdominal discomfort

  • Hypoglycemia between meals with irritability, lightheadedness, and headaches

Borrelia, the bacteria causing Lyme Disease, has been well demonstrated to invade and multiply in the intestinal lining resulting in "leaky gut." As a result, Chronic Lyme disease sufferers cannot fully digest certain carbohydrates as the inflammation causes key enzymes on the gut lining to be wiped out. As a result, it is not uncommon for Lyme patients to have carbohydrate intolerance resulting in intestinal dysbiosis, candida overgrowth and/or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).

For all of our patients with Chronic Lyme disease, we strongly recommend a gluten-free casein-free (GFCF) diet. For those patients more severely affected, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) has been extremely helpful. Please keep in mind that these dietary restrictions are temporary and most patients are able to return to a normal healthy diet after the Lyme infection is treated.

Both antibiotics as well as the intestinal malabsorption mentioned above can play a huge role in promoting yeast/candida overgrowth. In such a situation, consuming alcohol or refined carbohydrates can cause the yeast to grow in an explosive fashion. So, we recommend you refrain from anything sweet including natural and artificial sweeteners as much as possible.

List of Healthy GFCF Foods:

Grains:

Millet, quinoa (white and red), brown rice, buckwheat, amaranth, corn.

Pastas:

Brown rice pasta, quinoa with corn pasta.

Vegetables:

Green beans, carrots, parsnips, winter squash - butternut, acorn, sweet potato, yam, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, asparagus, artichoke, cucumber, celery, garlic, onion..

Leafy Vegetables:

Green leafy veg - lettuces, spinach, chard, kale, collards..

Nightshades:

Peppers, tomatoes, potatoes - red skin, eggplant..

Sprouts:

Alfalfa sprouts, sunflower seed sprouts, daikon sprouts.

Legumes:

Lentils, black beans, kidney, pinto, adzuki, dried beans.

Meat/Fish/Poultry:

Egg, tilapia, petrale sole, chicken, turkey, chicken/turkey sausages, beef, buffalo.

Fruits/Nuts:

Banana, orange, apple, lemon. avocado, berries, grapes, cherries, coconut, almonds, walnuts.

Asian Food:

Chinese food with brown rice, Indian curry (be careful here as some sauces do contain gluten).

Exercise and Lyme Disease

Lyme disease and its co-infections can cause a significant amount of fatigue, but movement on some level is imperative for successful treatment. As we start implementing an antimicrobial treatment (both herbal and pharmaceutical), toxins are released into the body.

Exercise plays an important role in mobilizing toxins and supporting the body’s ability to excrete them, so we ask our patients to engage in regular movement (10-20 minutes twice daily) even if it is a walk with regular breaks.

We find that those who can tolerate higher levels of activity, can move the toxins at a greater rate and allowing us to treat them faster. For many Lyme patients, the amount and intensity of exercise can be a fine line between it being supportive versus destructive making it important to listen to one’s body.

Detoxification Support

Besides exercise, there are many other tools to aid the movement of toxins released out of the body. When patients use these tools regularly, they are more comfortable with treatment and able to progress at a faster rate.

Dry Skin Brushing:

The lymphatic system is responsible for collecting and transporting waste and the act of dry skin brushing stimulates this process. Dedicate 3-5 minutes to this simple and low cost self-care routine. Look for a medium-soft cactus bristle with a detachable handle for comfort and ease.

Dry skin brushing should be gentle and never scratch or break the skin. It is best done in the morning before showering as it can be potentially energizing. Use firm small strokes or a circular motion. When you begin, start at your feet and brush upward towards the heart. Next, move to your arms by starting at your hands and again brush towards the heart. Brush downward on the neck again towards the heart. When brushing the abdomen, you want to brush in a counterclockwise motion.

Epsom Salt Baths:

We recommend adding epsom salt (3 cups) and baking soda (1 cup) to a tub full of water and soak for 20-30 minutes to aid in detoxification and assist in dealing with herxheimer reactions.

Epsom Salt is a natural occuring mineral (often Magnesium sulfate) that has the following benefits:

  • Relaxes muscles

  • Reduces toxins

  • Reduces inflammation

Baking Soda, Sodium Bicarbonate, is naturally alkaline and can assist in eliminating toxins.

Ionic Foot Baths:

We find this to be a supportive tool for detoxification. Though the mechanism of action is unclear, our patients consistently find it to reduce toxicity and elicit a relaxing parasympathetic (also known as “rest and digest”) response.

quote l
lymebook

"New Paradigms in Lyme Disease Treatment" by best-selling author Connie Strasheim is based on interviews with ten leading Lyme doctors, including Dr. Patel, and takes you deep into their treatment programs, so you can see for yourself what is new and different about modern Lyme treatment.