Do Antibiotics Cure Lyme Disease
As of 2018, there is no cure for Lyme disease and no definitive test to see if you are cured. Although some strains respond positively to antibiotics in early stages, one size does not fit all.
The pathogen can also reappear even after this type of treatment because Lyme disease is difficult to categorize, due to its multifaceted nature and treatment specialization in most doctors.
Even if a physician has working knowledge of Lyme disease, antibiotics arent always 100 percent effective. However, there are alternative treatment options besides antibiotics, often geared toward management and improving quality of life overall.
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Connections To Chronic Illness
Whether you are symptomatic or not depends a lot on the health of your cells. Your cells are not defenseless!
All of our cells have an internal housekeeping system called autophagy. Cells continually break down misfolded proteins, burned-out mitochondria, damaged DNA, and worn-out parts and recycle them into new proteins and cell parts. It is also the mechanism by which cells expel many types of intracellular microbes. The fact that our cells can expel intracellular microbes is another important and often unrecognized part of our natural defenses.
But when cells are chronically exposed to poor nutrition, toxic environment, chronic mental stress, and sedentary lifestyle, auto-nagy is impaired and cells become more vulnerable to invasion by intracellular pathogens. Increased cellular turnover and increased microbe activity overtaxes the immune system. At a certain point, a threshold is crossed, such that symptoms occur. The type of symptoms that occur depends on the types of cells affected different microbes have preference for different types of cells in the body. This is one reason why there are so many different chronic illnesses.
Problems With Testing For Lyme Disease
The problem is that Lyme disease is critically misunderstood by many people in the medical profession. Most doctors are not very well-versed in Lyme disease. Testing is not reliable. Many medical professionals are simply not educated about chronic Lyme disease to recognize and treat it. Conventional doctors often have a difficult time diagnosing, understanding, or treating something that they cannot see or isolate. Hence, Lyme disease diagnosis and treatment may be one of the most controversial and difficult issues in medicine. There are a lot of grey areas, a lot of misunderstandings, and unreliable testing, so going to a Lyme-literate practitioner is critical.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- I found a tick embedded in my skin, but I cant get it out. What should I do?
- Ive been bitten by a tick. Do I need to be seen?
- Do I need a blood test to confirm Lyme disease?
- Which antibiotic is best for me?
- How long will I have to take the antibiotic?
- What tick or insect repellent should I use for me or my child?
- How long will the symptoms last?
- What should I do if I still dont feel well a long time after I was bitten?
What Chronic Immune Dysfunction Looks Like
Typical Chronic Immune Dysfunction symptoms include fatigue, decreased stamina, stress intolerance, feeling flu-like, muscle pain, joint pain, and sleep disturbances. Also common are temperature fluctuations, digestive dysfunction, mood changes, brain fog, skin rashes, a range of neurologic symptoms, and allergic-type reactions.
If you hadnt already guessed, the default diagnosis for this morass of symptoms is fibromyalgia, when pain is the primary symptom. Or, if fatigue predominates, its labeled myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. Both are conditions, not diseases, and thus, are considered to have no known cause or treatment by the conventional medical community.
If a patient presenting with CID symptoms has any history of tick exposure, some providers may consider the possibility of Lyme disease. On the surface, this might seem like a much more attractive diagnosis than fibromyalgia or ME/CFS because it has a recognized cause , which implies a condition is treatable with antibiotics.
Unfortunately, this only applies to acute Lyme infection. Chronic Lyme disease is actually another consequence of CID, in which immune reaction is dysfunctional, and the entire microbiome is disrupted. Concentrations of borrelia are low and embedded deep in tissues where antibiotics cant reach them. As a result, treating chronic Lyme isnt much different from treating fibromyalgia or ME/CFS.
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What Do You Do If Theres A Tick Under Your Skin
Use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers to remove it as soon as possible. Pull upward with steady pressure. If parts of the tick are still in your skin, try to get those with the tweezers, too. After everything is out, clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
You probably wonât get infected if you remove the tick within 36 to 48 hours.
How do you throw away a tick?
Put it in soapy water or alcohol, stick it to a piece of tape, or flush it down the toilet.
Who Gets Lyme Disease
Anyone bitten by an infected deer tick can get Lyme disease. Most U.S. cases of Lyme disease happen in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. But Lyme disease is also found in other parts of the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
Other things that might increase a person’s risk include:
- spending a lot of time outdoors in tall grass, brush, shrubs, or wooded areas
- having pets that may carry ticks indoors
- activities such as yardwork, hiking, camping, fishing, or hunting in tick-infested areas
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Is Treatment 100% Effective
Scientists are divided on this topic. Some studies suggest that that even long-term antibiotics may not completely clear infection dogs may get sick again at some point after antibiotic treatment is stopped. Other studies suggest that complete clearance of infection is possible with antibiotic treatment. Further research is required to answer this question.Contributors: Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM Kristiina Ruotsalo, DVM, DVSc, Dip ACVP Margo S. Tant, BSc, DVM, DVSc
Look How Far Ive Come
My initial Lyme test was, in the words of my doctor, lit up like a Christmas tree. Pretty much everything on it was positive: 2 different strains of Lyme, babesia, bartonella, and mycoplasma. I was a mess.
This summer I had a repeat test. Everything came back negative. While this doesnt mean Im definitively negative for Lyme, it certainly indicates weve been able to reduce the load enough that its not showing up on the tests. Ill likely need to continue some level of treatment for quite some time.
There are many Lyme specialist who dont believe its ever possible to be completely cured of Lyme. Its a sneaky bacteria and good at hiding. Many believe, the best you can get is to effectively put yourself in remission and strengthen your immune system. This keeps the Lyme bacterial load low enough that the symptoms are kept at bay.
Another fantastic result of treatment has been a huge decrease in inflammation. My c4a levels were 20,749 when I was first diagnosed. Thats a lot. . At the beginning of this year, after about a year of treatment, they were down at 17,594. This September, I was delighted to see my levels down to 4,090. Im inching closer to being back in the normal levels.
An Overview Of Medical Treatment For Lyme Disease
Medical treatments for Lyme disease include antibiotics, herbal antibiotics, and other pharmaceutical drugs besides antibiotics. Combinations of antibiotics are typically used for Lyme disease treatment because the three types of Borrelia bacteria that cause Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi for short, Borrelia afzelii, and Borrelia garinii, morph into different forms that must be targeted with different antibiotics. Antibiotics that are commonly used to treat Lyme disease include penicillins , cephalosporins , macrolides , and tetracyclines .
The natural world is filled with botanicals with antibiotic properties. Herbal antibiotic protocols incorporate many of natures most potent antibiotic plants. Two of the most popular herbal antibiotic protocols for Lyme disease include the Buhner and the Cowden protocols. A few notable herbs in these protocols include Japanese Knotweed , which, in addition to being antibacterial, contains phytochemicals that alleviate Lyme-induced inflammation, and Cryptolepis sanguinolenta, a bitter botanical with potent anti-Borrelia activity.
Several non-antibiotic drugs are also used in Lyme disease treatment, including artemisinin, an antimalarial drug, and low-dose naltrexone , an immune system-modulating drug. You can read more about the applications of LDN for Lyme disease in my article, Low Dose Naltrexone for Lyme Disease Treatment.
Symptoms Of Post Treatment Lyme Disease
- Include severe fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, & cognitive problems
- Can significantly impact patients health and quality of life
- Can be debilitating and prolonged
Our research indicates the chronic symptom burden related to PTLD is significant. Although often invisible to others, the negative impact on quality of life and daily functioning is substantial for PTLD sufferers.
The chronic symptom burden related to Lyme disease is considerable, as shown on the left side of the graph above, and statistically significantly greater than the aches and pains of daily living experienced by the control group, on the right.
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So What Stresses Cells
The factors that stress or threaten cells are intimately tied to the fact that we must interact with the surrounding environment to survive. The nutrients, water, and oxygen that cells need to thrive must come from outside the body. This mandatory interaction with the outside environment poses a variety of different risks to cells of the body.
All totaled, there are five categories of factors that can stress cells of the body and lead to chronic illness.
Treating Lyme Without Antiobiotics 18 Months Later
Ive been treating Lyme without antibiotics for about 18 months. For some, that might sound like an eternity. For those who have been struggling with Lyme, you probably know thats really not a lot of time to be treating this horrific disease.
I still dont know all of the answers. But I do know, that a no-antibiotics approach to Lyme treatment has worked remarkably well for me.
After 18 months, I am probably about 80% better. Im pretty ecstatic about the progress Ive made. I feel blessed that Ive experienced this much healing. Early on, I hit Lyme really hard. I did absolutely everything my doctor suggested. It was a lot. It was expensive. But it paid off.
You can read more here
Lyme Has Two Growth States
Research published in 2015 shows that Lyme has two different growth states. There is a growing phase of the germs and there is a persister phase. Think of the persisters as germs that are in hibernation. These persisters – hibernating phase germs – ignore regular standard antibiotics we traditionally use to treat Lyme.
Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented
Most people with Lyme disease get the infection during the late spring, summer and early fall when immature ticks are out feeding. In warm climates, few tick bites take place during winter months.
Deer ticks are most often found in wooded areas and nearby grasslands. Theyre especially common where the two areas merge, including neighborhood yards where deer occasionally roam. Ticks dont survive long on sunny lawns. They dry out quickly and die.
Although only about 1% of all deer ticks carry Lyme disease-causing bacteria, there are areas in which over 50% of the ticks carry the bacterium. The diseased ticks are often found in the U.S. Northeast and upper Midwest areas. Ticks also live in coastal areas.
Black-legged ticks can get the infection from animals other than deer. Mice, voles and some squirrels can carry the bacteria.
How can I prevent tick bites?
The following tips can help you avoid tick bites:
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Antimicrobial Herbs That Kill Growing Phase Spirochetes & Cysts
Intracellular and Extracellular
Based on my observations, these herbal combination options have as good of a chance as the prescription options. They appear to kill intracellular and extracellular Lyme too based on the clinical benefit I see in my medical practice.
- Cats Claw and Otoba Bark Tinctures 30 drops of each 2 times a day. Start at 5 drops 2 times a day and add 1 drop per dose per day until you reach 30 drops 2 times a day. If you get a Herxheimer reaction, stop increasing the dose until it has passed.
- Cats Claw and Japanese Knotweed 30 drops of Cats Claw 2 times a day and ½ tsp of Japanese Knotweed 3 times a day. Work up to these doses over 30 days. Start Cats Claw at 5 drops 2 times a day and add 1 drop per dose per day until you reach 30 drops 2 times a day. Start the Japanese Knotweed at ¼ tsp 3 times a day and in two weeks increase to ½ tsp 3 times a day.
For Depression And Anxiety
Both psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy have proven benefits for improving mood. Psychotherapy has many different types such as supportive, dynamic, cognitive behavioral, dialectical behavior therapy, transference focused psychotherapy each of which offers benefit. Pharmacotherapy also has many different types. For depression the first-line options usually are SSRIs, SNRIs, Tricyclics or other agents with more unique modes of action.
A few noteworthy tips on anti-depressant agents:
- Most anti-depressant agents also help in reducing anxiety. However the opposite isn’t necessarily true. Specific anti-anxiety agents such as clonazepam or diazepam may not necessarily help fight depression.
- Most anti-depressants take three to eight weeks before an effect is seen. Therefore, it is unwise to stop an anti-depressant after only three or four weeks, as staying on it another two to three weeks may lead to a good response.
- Dosage makes a difference. Some anti-depressants work fine at low doses some medications however are effective only at higher doses. Some medications are more effective as the dose is increased. Other antidepressants may have a therapeutic range one has to achieve at least a certain dosage .
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Quinine Derivatives To Boost Intracellular Antibiotics
Inside of cells, Lyme may live in cave-like structures called vacuoles. In these vacuoles, Lyme germs create a hostile acidic environment that can limit the effectiveness of various antibiotics. Quinine derivatives, like hydroxychloroquine , can make the inside of cells more basic which can help the tetracyclines and macrolides mentioned above work better.
- Hydroxychloroquine 200 mg 1 pill 2 times a day
What To Do If You Find A Tick
If you see a tick, try to remove it from your childs body. If the tick was on the body for less than 36 hours, it may help prevent infection.
To safely remove a tick:
- Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick at its head or mouth, close to the skin.
- Pull firmly on the tick until it releases the skin. Try to ease out any parts that get stuck in the skin.
- Wash the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water and apply an antiseptic lotion or cream.
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What Is The Outlook For Someone With Lyme Disease
Most of the people who get Lyme disease and receive treatment early will be fine. Treatment can cure Lyme disease but you might still have some long-term effects. Untreated Lyme disease may contribute to other serious problems but its rarely fatal.
Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome
Even after proper treatment, some people may experience lingering fatigue, achiness or headaches. This is known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome or PTLDS. The symptoms dont mean that you still have an infection. PTLDS probably wont respond to additional antibiotics. The majority of people in this group will have symptoms that resolve at some point over the next six months.
Chronic Lyme disease
Chronic Lyme disease is a term used by some for a condition in a person who had Lyme disease and the symptoms of PTLDS. Some people consider chronic Lyme disease to be the same as PTLDS. However, some people receive a chronic Lyme disease diagnosis without a Lyme disease diagnosis. Sometimes, extended treatment with antibiotics helps.
This term may be why some people think a Lyme disease infection can occur without being bitten by a tick. There isn’t enough proof that mosquitoes can transmit Lyme disease. Many researchers dislike using the term chronic Lyme disease.
Healthy Cells Equal A Healthy Body
The human body is a complex collection of living cells. When all the cells in the body are healthy and working in unison, you feel well. Symptoms occur when cells are stressed. Sometimes the symptom points to the source of stress: for example, joint pain indicates that cells in the joints have been taxed or injured. Symptoms like fatigue, however, suggest that cells throughout the body are overburdened, and communications that unify cellular functions have been compromised.
Fortunately, cells can recover from being stressed its what healing is all about. Cells can repair internal damage, and even when theyre injured beyond repair, other cells in the body can divide to make replacements . That is, if the stress resolves or is relieved.
Chronic illness occurs when stress never resolves, and our cells dont get a chance to recover from being overworked. There are many different chronic illnesses because different cells in the body can become chronically stressed in different ways.
The immune system plays an enormous role in the healing process. Its responsible for removing old and abnormal cells, cleaning up cellular debris and dead microbes, clearing foreign substances from the bloodstream, and purging toxins from the body. During chronic illness, cellular turnover is increased to the point that the immune system becomes overtaxed. When the immune system cant do its job, all cells in the body suffer.
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