Background Information and Treatment Overview Perspective
Lyme disease, contrary to what is often taught in traditional medical schooling, indeed can be a long-term illness with often devastating consequences especially if left untreated. Primarily transmitted via deer ticks but also via certain mosquitoes, flies, and even through sexual intercourse, lyme disease can affect certain individuals much more severely than others. This depends on a number of factors including health before getting infected, genetic factors, when it is diagnosed and treated, the diet, toxin and heavy metal exposure, and more.
Why is it so hard to treat?
Part of the reason why lyme is often so difficult to treat is that not only is an individual dealing with an infection (or often times multiple in the case of coinfections), but the lyme spirochetes (i.e. tiny bacteria) produce potent toxins, which are able to penetrates cell membranes and move through the body via the blood, lymph, extracellular fluid and more. Thus there is literally ‘nowhere’ that is safe from their potential intrusion. Moreover, like all living things, they want to stay alive. So, especially with more time, they typically ‘burrow’ deep into areas where it is difficult for the immune system to find and destroy them, such as old injury sites filled with scar tissue, joints, and the central nervous system. To make matters worse, they are able to shift ‘forms’ depending on the environment in which they are exposed to. In other words, they can essentially stay ‘dormant’ if one’s immune system is strong and healthy and conditions are not optimal for their reproduction. However they can ‘unfurl’ and become active and start reproducing if internal conditions change. They can also build ‘biofilms’ inside the body which are kind of like little lattices or cobwebs in which they can hide, hang out in, and largely avoid the immune system surveillance again.
Traditional treatments unfortunately leave much to be desired when typically addressing lyme and coinfections for some of these very reasons. Conventional treatment of lyme has relied largely on short-courses of antibiotics, which are indiscriminate ‘killers’ of both good and bad bacteria. So while they indeed can kill lyme spirochetes, they also create many other problems such as taxing the liver and depleting it of key vitamins over time (such as B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, B9 and Vitamin K), destroying important beneficial bacteria in the bowels which are intricately connected to our positive immune system response and detoxification capabilities, and they also release huge amounts of biotoxins from the dying bacteria into the body without supporting improved drainage and elimination. Thus in turn many people experience getting very, very sick after beginning antibiotics due to the huge rush of toxins without supporting elimination, detoxification, and shielding against oxidative damage from such toxins. This is most commonly known as a Herxheimer or ‘die-off’ reaction. If the antibiotics are prescribed more than the common 2-4 week courses most often given, many lyme bugs may still not have even completed one full life cycle of reproduction, thus the short courses of antibiotics may miss some of the spirochetes in larval stages if not prescribed carefully. Even if prescribed for longer courses or in combination to tackle the different forms, other problems can result. For instance, these bacteria also can become very adept at hiding and burrowing deeper into the tissues, trying to avoid antibiotic effects, thus in some cases, continued antibiotic treatment can push the infection even deeper into the body as it tries to survive.
Thus it only makes sense that when we understand the processes that happen when infected and trying to treat that we must address a number of issues when it comes to addressing lyme disease including:
- Supporting a healthy gut flora
- Supporting elimination and detoxification through a variety of means
- Treating active and latent infections
- Addressing other health issues and problems that could be hurting the immune system, weakening the overall vitality of the person, and more
- Addressing the ‘collateral damage’ done to other body tissues and systems from continued biotoxin presence
There is no ‘one way’ to successfully treat lyme disease but many core principles of treatment do need to be addressed if one wishes to get long-standing, marked improvement and hopeful resolution of this rapidly growing epidemic across North America, Europe and beyond.