This is the third in a series of four blog posts on Lyme disease, in honor of Lyme disease awareness month. If you missed the first two blogs of the series, you can check them out here and here. The first blog post offers an overview of Lyme disease and its symptoms while the second provides information on testing.
Now that we’ve established symptoms and diagnosis, the next step is to discuss Lyme disease treatment. In this post, I’m sharing methods I have used to successfully treat hundreds of patients with Lyme disease for the past ten years.
Before we dive in, I think it’s important to note that there is no one size fits all treatment. There are many different forms of therapies and treatments for Lyme.
Everyone promises to have the latest cure, but the most successful treatments are those that assess and consider all the ways in which Lyme disease is affecting your unique body.
It’s also important to note that there is no quick-fix cure. In fact, quick fix Lyme disease treatments result in a relapse in up to 40% of patients with Lyme disease (1). It’s not something that you can heal in a month or two. It takes some of my patients 2-4 years before they are no longer symptomatic.
Treatment time varies depending on genetics, immune strength, the number of co-infections that are present, stress levels, how long you’ve had Lyme disease, how your body responds to treatment, and access to treatment. Treatment for Lyme disease can be a long process and thus, quite expensive.
That said, there are 6 elements that I utilize when working with patients who have Lyme disease to help them move toward healing.
Boosting and Restoring Vitality
Your body possesses a natural ability and desire to heal, so the first steps of Lyme disease treatment involve supporting it in that process. We begin by checking vitamin and mineral levels as well as hormones. If there are deficiencies we work to restore balance through supplementation, vitamin and mineral injections, and/or intravenous therapies. Therapies such as these help restore your strength and energy, so you can begin your healing journey. They also increase the chances of successful treatment.
In order to heal, your detoxification pathways have to be open, so your body can release the toxins that are adversely affecting your health. With Lyme disease the immune system is compromised, so the detoxification process I recommend is gentle. I encourage my patients to try saunas, hydrotherapy, and colonics to support gentle cleansing and support the bodies natural ability to release toxins through sweat, urination, and the bowels.
Along with this, I also recommend genetic testing to ensure that your body is able to produce glutathione, an antioxidant that is essential for detoxification.
Many patients with Lyme disease also have severe internal inflammation. This inflammation can typically be reduced using food and nutrition, however. I often encourage my patients to consider a paleo diet when they have Lyme disease. With minimal amounts of grains, no refined sugar, gluten, dairy, soy, or genetically modified foods, this diet reduces internal acidity and supports the body in creating a more alkaline environment; reducing the ability for disease to grow.
Sleep and Stress Management
Insomnia is a common symptom of Lyme disease, but without sleep, it is impossible to heal. During sleep, we create white blood cells which increase our ability to fight infection. We also support this process when we are actively and consciously managing our stress levels. In my clinic, we can support both of these processes through herbs that help your body produce the hormones it needs for restful sleep and proper adrenal function.
Reduce Mold and Parasite Exposure
Parasites and mold stress the immune system, which can contribute to the persistence of Lyme disease symptoms (2). Exposure to mold can be decreased by reducing contact with mold spores. Some ways to do this are: limiting outdoor activities when the mold counts are high, using a HEPA filter in your air conditioner and vacuum, and keeping indoor humidity low. Parasites can be treated naturally using herbal supplements that contain the following: wormwood, black walnut, oregano, garlic and/or grapefruit seed extract.
Antibiotics and Herbal Supplementation
As I mentioned in the second blog post of this series, Lyme disease is a complicated infection. As such, treatment requires more than dietary and lifestyle modifications. In order to heal from Lyme disease, measures have to be taken to rid the body of the bacteria that causes Lyme and any bacteria, viruses, or fungi that are contributing to co-infections. These co-infections include: babesia, bartonella, ehrlichia, mycoplasma, rocky mountain spotted fever, anaplasma, and tularemia.
The first step in ridding the body of these infections is to break down the protective coating that surrounds the bacteria, viruses, and fungi, called biofilm. This biofilm makes the bacteria associated with Lyme disease highly resistant to antibiotics and herbal treatments, so I suggest taking enzymes, or biofilm breakers, to break down the slimy, glue-like covering, as the first step in ridding the body of infection.
Once the biofilm has been broken down, we can then begin to directly target the bacteria, viruses, and fungi. I do this through the use of homeopathic remedies, herbal supplements, and antibiotics when needed.
As you can see, the priority in Lyme disease treatment is all about restoring balance to the body, strengthening the immune system, and supporting the body in fighting the infection.
It’s a slow, gentle process, but one that I am proud to say has helped many of my clients heal from this complicated condition.