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Antibiotics and Lyme

How I survived the Herx

Ten years ago, one day in July, 2005, I was sick with Lyme, and vacillating between extremes. I was feeling pretty positive most of the day, symptoms not horrible, merely terrible…a big improvement.

But at that moment, my naturopath called, and our conversation sent me into a mental funk.

Through the brain fog, I strained to comprehend what he was suggesting.

He explained that he really didn’t want to prescribe antibiotics. But in the next breath he said that because I was not out of the woods, I really must use them.

He said antibiotics were crucial now, because there was a neurological involvement we must address. Neuroborrellia.

He recommended intravenous antibiotics, and thought I should have an IV for the next several weeks. That meant getting a catheter stuck into my arm and bringing home a portable IV stand with a bag. Then I would be injecting myself with antibiotics every day.

The thought of having a tube stuck into my arm me depressed me to no end. But the problem was, there was evidence that with Lyme disease, long-term antibiotics are effective. In fact, they may be the only way to prevent symptoms from returning.

It was a conundrum. I felt like I was being pulled in two directions at once. I did not want the catheter. I did not want to stay on antibiotics. I dreaded the Herx. But, I did want to kill the spirochetes, and I did want to get completely well.

Evan, however, was convinced that I was coming along really well. He was my systems-thinking cheerleader.

“Look at the numbers,” he said. “You have only been on the antibiotics for twelve days. You added a second antibiotic on Friday. Okay, so you herxed in misery. But instead of seeing that as bad,” he said, “look at it this way. The Herx proves the antibiotics are doing their job. They're killing the spirochetes efficiently.”

And it turned out that he was right. Doctors call it a die off. The Herx is one of the ways of measuring the effectiveness of the antibiotics. It’s a case of the cure being as bad as the illness.

Spirochetes — the original survivalists
Spirochetes are ancient organisms, eons older than dinosaurs. Over the ages they have had nothing else to do but refine their survival techniques.

For such minuscule critters, they’ve got a sophisticated arsenal of ways to keep from detected by your immune system. They can armor themselves with cysts to keep the antibiotics from reaching them, and morph into other forms, thus playing hide ’n seek in your tissues, muscles, organs, and brain.

The spirochetes are the villains, and the last thing they want is for the Terminator — your immune system — to locate and destroy them.

Fight back! Why anaerobic exercise helps
Lyme spirochetes thrive in a cold, low body temperature. I was beginning to get the idea that I would have to fight back, and fight hard. As much as possible, I started to include therapies and lifestyle changes that would increase my core body temp.

The good news is that Borrelia burgdorferi are anaerobic organisms and can't survive in a high oxygen environment.

My plan to fight back began to take shape back then. It started off pretty slowly I admit. Surviving the Herxes was easier said than done. I drank a whole lot of water with lemon. I slept. I endured and persevered, like you are doing.

Don't let the Herx scare you
I knew in my heart that the more I could manage to raise my core body temperature, the more the spirochetes I could kill. It was my main goal, to kill them, and to try to not kill myself with a Herx.

It wasn't easy trying to get enough exercise. I had a hard time standing up, let alone walking around the neighborhood. But I kept at it, determined to be as proactive in my healing as I could.

Today, ten years to the month from my diagnosis, I'm a martial artist, with two solid years of practice logged on my journey from Borreliosis to black belt.

You don't have to join a Taekwondo school. You don't have to sweat through hours of hot yoga, play basketball, dance, or climb steep mountainsides if you don't want to. But you do have to make a plan to be as proactive in your own healing as you possibly can. The doctors can only do so much. The rest is really up to you.

Did I ever get the IV antibiotics?

In the end, the decision was made for me. I couldn’t afford it, so I passed. These days, I might have been tempted, since now I've got health insurance. But in 2005, it simply wasn’t a choice.

Comments

Laughter, the best medicine

Do you journal your experience of Lyme? I did, and though it's painful to read now, I am glad I captured something of the emotional and psychological dimension while it was occurring. I wouldn't have remembered how I scraped the bottom, especially in comparison to the healthy high that is my new normal.

Shortly after diagnosis, I was put on a cocktail of antibiotics that nearly killed me. Every day was a challenge. No, every breath was a challenge. I never knew that severe pain could be a 24/7 ordeal. The physical pain was torture, but it was the accompanying emotional pain that pushed me over the edge into despair. And then, miraculously, and none too soon, pushed me out again.

From my journal: Lately, I feel emotionally raw, and a bit overwhelmed by a radical compassion for the suffering in this world. I am tremendously grateful for my friends and family. If not for them, I would be dead. My heart breaks for anybody who doesn’t have people to lean on in times of crisis.

I was falling apart—in mind and body. Lyme was bitch-slapping me right out of the stratosphere. The illness had triggered some mysterious process that was stripping me of everything that wasn't absolutely necessary for my immediate survival—from certain foods and drinks, to relationships, to habits, to clothes that I couldn't wear (too itchy, too big, too small), to possessions, desires, and even including my lifelong dreams. I was a musician who couldn't practice, a writer who couldn't string a sentence together. I wasn't left with much that I could recognize of my old self. I was being peeled to the core of whatever ragtag collection of trinkets might be left of my inner self. And inside, things were no bed of roses. In there, I discovered I was capable of really feeling my own pain, and other people’s, deeply, probably for the very first time.

But I could laugh—and that's why God made comedy.

Each day, Evan went in mad pursuit of a (hopefully) hilarious movie that we hadn’t yet seen. We'd start it up before bedtime, and cross our fingers it would work its magic.

While I was laughing, I wasn't thinking about my pain. Pain did not exist! Those precious moments were my aim, my sacred chalice. For a few brief seconds, I wasn't trapped inside my misery. I was free. And like cracking a window for fresh air, I believe healing can take hold in those small openings. Episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 were manna from heaven.

But you can’t fake it. That’s the trick. Your funny bone has got to be genuinely tickled. You must actually be laughing, not just ha, ha, faking it. Bowled over, tummy-clenching humor--miracle of miracles. I felt like I’d discovered the Rosetta Stone.

Most people suffering with longterm Lyme symptoms realize that addressing the psychological component of the disease is equally as important as treating the physical one. The two cannot be separated.

Homework assignment: Watch a comedy tonight.


Comments

Life after antibiotics: How to heal your gut

How do you heal your war-torn gut from the damage done by antibiotics? In my experience, and what I've learned from others, is first of all eat a healthy, whole foods diet. This means eliminating sugar (yes, including honey and other sweeteners) and alcohol. Cutting out sugar is necessary. It feeds the Lyme bug and cancer, you don’t need it. Or just little-bitty bits as a once in a blue moon treat. Not every day. Quit sugar, and believe me, you'll feel the difference.

The key is to eat a vibrant diet of foods that have a lot of prana - life force - and focus on consuming anti-inflammatory foods. The Mediterranean diet is a good place to start, according to WebMD. It's a bit loosey-goosey, which suits me fine. I don't tend to follow strict guidelines anyway and listening to your gut is, after all, the whole idea here! So eat fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, fish, healthy whole grains and olive oil, with bits of meat and dairy and a splash of red wine.

Live foods, fresh greens with a lot of enzymes flush your digestive tract with nutrients. But be cautious with raw foods which can be too harsh when you're healing. I usually stir-fry or steam a variety of leafy greens, broccoli, sweet potato, garlic and onions. Serve with brown rice or quinoa, which cooks up in only 15 minutes -- way quicker than brown rice, if you’re like me and want to eat when you’re hungry! Watch out for gluten, which can hide in lots of things that might surprise you, such as salad dressings, marinades, and soy sauce. So many people nowadays seem to be keen on Gluten-free foods, it’s easy to find GF products in your grocery store and on the menu at your favorite restaurants.

Some spices, like turmeric and ginger, help reduce inflammation, so add these into your meals whenever you like. Your doctor can prescribe turmeric in capsules too, which would give you a stronger dose. I have a friend who has greatly reduced her RA pain with medical-grade turmeric capsules she gets from her doctor.

When your antibiotic Lyme treatment is over, start taking a good probiotic (up to 100 billion units daily). I started as soon as I finished the pharmaceutical antibiotics. I'm well again, so in my case I have not been taking probiotics on a regular basis for a few years now. But that’s just because I wax and wane with supplements. Always do what works for you, physically as well as financially. Supps can take a big bite out of the monthly grocery budget, I know. So I'm off and on now, but for the first two years following the antibiotics routine I took them religiously, and I'm positive they helped to restore balance to my gut flora.

Herbalists recommend some supplements, such as Slippery Elm and Marshmallow, which are believed to have a healing effect on the intestines. I have found that to be true for me. I drink them as teas, usually mixed with other bulk herbs that taste good and address my issue, which is my skin. The other thing I did was to drink aloe vera juice and I think it helped. Some people chew DGL tablets which help with digestion issues. You can get them at Whole foods or any other grocery with a good supplements department. HCL is also said to help.

Sharing a meal with family and friends, relaxing while you dine, exercising regularly, and enjoying life as much as possible. Even when you’re sick, don’t make it worse by thinking the worst. Invite happy people into your life, online as well as face-to-face. These are anti-inflammatory measures too, just as vital to your overall health and wellness as any sort of diet.


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Warm-weather ticks & Treatment strategy questioned

Surprisingly brisk bursts of wind scatter multi-colored leaves and shuttle herds of gray thunderheads across the sky. It’s Fall, arguably the most beautiful time of the year, at least in our nook of the SE. Still, when it comes to unwanted critters, awareness and prevention are the rule for venturing outdoors.

Warmer weather creates a haven for the tiny natural catastrophes we know as
ticks. In the Southeast, we may be advised that ticks don’t carry Lyme disease, but an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. A recent news clip from WXIA in Georgia attests to the rise in ticks, which may be due to the very warm weather much of the nation has endured over the course of 2012.

For prevention, the classic advice includes keeping on top of your pets’ tick and flea medications, and using caution outdoors. When you are outside, whether hiking, strolling through a neighborhood park, or preparing your garden for the season, don’t make yourself available for ticks. Start a fashion trend -- goodness knows it’ll keep the neighbors amused. Tuck your pants into the tops of your socks and wear light-colored clothing so ticks are easier to spot. Who says you can’t wear white after Labor Day?

Other prevention-strategies for the season: Make a tick-check a part of your post-outdoors routine. We can’t see our whole selves even in the mirror. Ask a family member to inspect the back of your head and your back. If they do find a tick -- have them remove it without damaging it (which can increase the risk of infection) and put it in a baggie, so it can be checked for the bacterial complex which causes Lyme and other diseases. Not all ticks carry the spirochete that causes Lyme.

We recommend sending it to
IGeneX Labs in Palo Alto, California. There are a few other labs around the country, which you can find through searching online.

Watch and wait? Or treat with doxy?
People who suspect that they’ve been bitten and infected by a tick have a couple of choices. One is to watch and wait. See your doctor, and be ready to treat symptoms aggressively if they arise. Symptoms can be extremely subtle, and they are mightily varied depending on your particular immune system response, general state of health, age and many other factors.

The other option is to begin antibiotic treatment immediately, with the most common drug used for Lyme, doxycycline. This approach, which is apparently based on only one case study, deserves scrutiny, according to ILADS doctor Elizabeth Maloney, who has
another view on the matter.

In her written testimony, she questions whether this now commonly-recommended prophylaxis strategy is sufficient to treat the borrelia infection. She states that it may indeed prevent the patient from getting the treatment they need, by hiding the symptoms of Lyme. Watching and waiting may be the wisest choice.



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Chronic Lyme and Antibiotics

Q. Hello,

I am new to Lyme Disease... come from a very holistic background, eat a whole food
organic diet, etc. Will not bore you with details and get to my point.

Any idea on the current train of thought on IV antibiotic treatment for people with
chronic
lyme
? I will also be taking a holistic approach, but am also trying to get the latest info on
antibiotic treatment before my visit with the infectious disease md.

Thank you!

A. Thanks so much for your question. I get where you're coming from, as I've always
been a health-foodie myself. Lyme blindsided me too. Through diligent attention to
my cross-training approach -- including body, mind, spirit and shadow practices daily
-- I am completely well. And I was almost dead. Sounds dramatic, but it's true.

Your question is specifically about IV treatment for chronic Lyme, and I'll tell you,
it's a complicated answer. For one thing, the term "
chronic Lyme" is not a condition
widely agreed upon in the medical world. Whether or not a chronic state of Lyme
disease exists seems to completely depend on whom you ask. Doctors are people
and people have their biases. I noticed recently that the
CDC has changed their
information on their website to reflect that there is a condition which they say is more
properly called “Post-Lyme disease Syndrome,” or PTLDS. The article states that the
cause of PTLDS is as yet unknown.

My bias is to go with a cross-training approach, which I have laid out on our website.
This is what we call "100 Perspectives," which is the way I think about my practices,
the body, mind, spirit and shadow practices that I mentioned. Please read about it
and see what you think.

The notion of long-term
antibiotics (IV and/or oral) is hotly debated. Although I
know that some are grateful for antibiotics long-term, I am also a huge proponent of
attacking the bacteria from every angle. The daily practices are not simply tacked on
to my life, they’re central to it. This is what has worked for me.

Dr. Lee Cowden, whom I've interviewed several times, is a worldwide expert on Lyme
treatment. He's not pro-antibiotics for the long-term. He sees that they can cause
worse problems than the Lyme bacteria can for the intestines. He is in favor of long-
term herbal tinctures, which do not damage the intestines when used as directed in
his protocol. His protocol worked for me as well. We need to bear in mind that the
intestines play a major role in our immune system, so Dr. Cowden’s message is a
significant note of caution, in my opinion.

I suggest that you listen to the
audio interviews on our website that feature Dr.
Cowden. (Many are free for the public to access - go to our blog and do a search.)
He will teach you so much and give you a lot of food for thought, all very positive.


All my very best to you on your healing journey,
Suzanne

Here's more information about Dr. Cowden and the
Cowden protocol.


Comments

Sweet Alternatives: Splenda or Stevia?

Have you thumped your thymus lately?

The thymus is located in the chest, in front of the heart. It’s part of the adaptive immune system. You may recall as a kid seeing Tarzan pounding his chest, right before leaping onto a vine and sailing across the treetops. The thymus, which decreases in size after puberty, is situated right there in the chest behind the sternum. The King of the Jungle and his gorilla pals pounded their chests as a show of strength and dominance. Some physical therapists say that thumping it gently will help stimulate it.

Eating Splenda shrinks it. Why is this bad? Because T-cells develop in, and are educated by, the thymus. Splenda can damage the T-cells, according to Jean Reist, a nurse who has treated over a thousand people diagnosed with Lyme disease. When treating Lyme, the last thing you want to do is cause damage to your adaptive immune system.

Lyme-literate experts advise us to avoid sugar. So what do you replace it with? Honey and agave sweeteners may contain nutritional goodness, but they are processed by our bodies the same way that sugar is. Stay away from Splenda (sucralose), which contains chlorine.

I’m happy to see that some nutritionists recommend stevia nowadays. I switched to stevia tincture when I was first diagnosed with late-disseminated Lyme symtpoms. Stevia tincture is made from the stevia herb, which has small leaves and looks like any other hillside weed. My mom, who has an amazing green thumb, grows it in a container on her deck. If you ever get the opportunity, bite into a stevia leaf. It’s unbelievably sweet, and it’s pure plant. No sugar. Nothing fake. This herb is native to South America, used for centuries to sweeten tea and make mate, and although popular for decades in Japan and elsewhere, it’s now in widespread use in the US, following approval from the FDA. Still, if you buy stevia at the grocery store, read the label. Some brands actually add sugar! I use KAL Stevia tincture, an alcohol-free, zero-calorie blend.

How far can diet and exercise go toward treating Lyme? There is no question that antibiotics are well-advised and necessary towards a Lyme disease treatment. But if there are lingering symptoms or problems, diet and exercise seem to be critically important.  In my experience, healthy shifts in diet and making the effort to maintain a regular workout practice have made a huge, positive difference. I know that without having changed my habits I wouldn’t be in very good shape at all.

Weird as it sounds, I count having had Lyme disease among the biggest blessings in my life. Perhaps it is the biggest. I know you’ll understand what I’m saying. Although I’d never have voluntarily dived into the wretched state that it put me in, if I hadn’t been dragged under by Lyme, I strongly doubt that I would now be making the daily efforts I now make to live a radiantly healthy life, in body, mind & spirit! As you know, healthy living is not something that happens by accident. It takes mindfulness. I eat live foods, and drink freshly-made juices, mostly containing fresh organic veggies and high-fiber, high-protein foods such as beans and quinoa, to improve my skin and elevate my energy. I hit the gym at least three times a week, mainly doing interval workouts and strength training with weights. Exercising helps oxygenate my blood, strengthen my muscles and improve my endurance. I also think positively, which is not too difficult considering that post-Lyme, I feel blessed to be alive at all!

I also love to learn from other people. My mom is in her 80s and still healthy, beautiful and active, taking dance and Tai Chi classes and enjoying spending time with her friends and family. She never bought us much junk food or soda pop as kids, and she didn’t drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes. Instead, she shared her excitement over vibrant fresh greens and delicious fruits straight from the garden or the local farmer’s markets. When we sat down to dinner, she and my siblings and I often lingered afterward just talking and enjoying each other’s company. Recently I asked about her secret to living a long, healthy life. She thought about it for a minute and said, “I don’t poison my body and I think positively!” I love my mom. What a wonderful role model.

Sadly, I have friends ten years younger than I who suffer with RA and other autoimmune deficiencies, who refuse to examine their dietary habits and sedentary lifestyles. They depend on the medical professionals to help heal them with medicines.

If you decide to take an active role in your own healing, begin by recognizing that shifting your diet and starting an exercise practice takes determination and regular effort. Realize that your Lyme doctor may be an excellent diagnostician, and she may have prescribed antibiotics and been of great help to you in the early stages, but she may not know bupkes about nutrition, or how some foods or alternatives such as Splenda may contribute to, or denigrate, your progress.

Medical doctors don’t study nutrition in medical school, not with any depth. While it would be nice to think that they could be our role models for healthy living all-around, that isn’t in the curriculum. So unless your doctor is also educated in and interested in the way diet affects healing, it’s possible that you know much more about it than he does. There are indications that this is changing, and that more people who become doctors are also interested in how the whole healing process works. This is a wonderful trend, and I have a feeling it will continue. One of my friends says her doctor expects his patients to have read up on their condition online, and he encourages them to dialog with him about what they learn there.

Does your medical doctor know about the role of nutrition and exercise in treating Lyme? Do you talk with your nurse practitioner or doctor about diet and exercise as you heal from Lyme disease? Who are your role models for healthy living? Drop a line or leave a comment. I love hearing from you!

Now go on, nobody’s looking. Thump your thymus!

Comments

Healing from Lyme - Part 1

Q.  I noticed in the article you said that your symptoms are gone and your health vastly improved. What did you do to get to that point and how long did it take you?

A. My healing journey is still ongoing, and since Lyme changed my perspective on pretty much everything, I’m always vigilant about the consequences of my everyday choices. I’ve learned how critical it is, when dealing with any serious disease, to approach healing from as many directions as possible. This is called an ‘integral’ approach and there are four general life areas that come under consideration. I’ll get into all four areas in this multi-part post.

First, I’ll give you the general picture of the medicines and supplements I took and still take. To begin with, my doctor put me on a treatment protocol of antibiotics including Omnicef and Zithromax. He also started me on a regime of homeopathics and vitamin supplements to support my immune system. Here is a partial list of the supplements that I took everyday for the first year:

probiotics
cod liver oil
bromelain
thymucin
lithium
dermaliq
CoQ10
quercetin/bromelain
copper
garlic
vit E
vit C
MSM
pekana
L lysine
Noni
liquid chlorophyll
zinc
psyllium

After six months, my doctor recommended that I stop the oral antibiotics and begin IV treatment with the antibiotic Rocephin. I had been through a rough time physically and emotionally, and though I felt better, I didn’t feel anywhere near 100%. In addition, I didn’t have health insurance, and I understood the cost of the IV and the new antibiotics would be around $20,000. Financially, my illness had already set me back in two fundamental ways. First, I hadn’t been able to work full time. And second, I had spent a great deal of money on the medicine and supplements needed already. It was a pretty disturbing place to be. My doctor was a naturopath, and typically did not treat illness with antibiotics. I knew my condition must be very serious if he thought I needed the Rocephin.

I had to decide what to do. After agonizing over it for a week or so, I chose not to go with the IV, but decided to start the Cowden protocol. There was no lapse of time between ending my oral antibiotic protocol and beginning the Cowden, an alternative protocol that I had researched, consisting of Samento, Burbur, Banderol and a number of other herbal tinctures that originate in the Amazon. These native plants have been used to treat malaria for a thousand years or more. I felt like I could make it work.

The Cowden routine worked very effectively for me, and although it took a long time (several years) I’m happy with the results. The cost, while not cheap, was a fraction of what the Rocephin IV treatment would have been. Currently I’m on a break from the r Cowden's updated Lyme protocol">Cowden protocol. About a year ago I tapered off of it, and began taking a low dose (3 drops 3 times daily) of teasel root tincture which I still take. I made this decision after reading about it and interviewing a couple of herbalist/physicians who had found it to be immensely helpful for their patients.

It took me six years to get to the point where I feel normal again. It wasn’t a quick trip. More like an excruciatingly slow journey. Normal, to me, means that I can enjoy my family and friends and take time for them. I can pursue my personal and professional goals and work long days if I so choose without crashing, I can sleep through the night every night, and I can exercise rigorously every day. I can make plans for the future.

In my opinion, exercise and diet are more important than anybody will tell you. I consider Lance Armstrong and all the athletes I’ve had the honor of interviewing for our Lyme success stories to be my solid gold role models.

Next, I’ll give a bit of backstory and talk about what happened before I found my naturopath. What can happen when the doctors don’t know about Lyme disease and prescribe the wrong medicine?


Comments

Lyme doctor punished for helping children

Pediatrician and hero to many moms and kids with Lyme disease, Dr Charles Ray Jones is being "harassed" by the medical community for treating Lyme disease, says state Rep. Jason Bartlett (D-Bethel).

Bartlett sponsored a bill that was passed unanimously by Connecticut State Legislature in 2009 that protects doctors who treat chronic Lyme with antibiotics over extended periods. But although it may protect doctors in the future, it's not doing anything to protect Dr Jones right now.

"The law 'allow[s] a licensed physician to prescribe, administer or dispense long-term antibiotics for a therapeutic purpose to a patient clinically diagnosed with Lyme disease.'"

Jones has been ordered  to hire a monitor to examine his patients charts every month, given four years of probation and smacked with a $10,000 fine. Jones expects the monitor may cost $2,000 - $10,000 per month. He says "it's hopeless," because he simply cannot afford it. But what really burns up his supporters is that the good doctor appears to be the mouse in a game of legal cat-and-mouse being played out at his expense.

In a New Haven Advocate article from July 13, Time Is Running Out For Controversial Chronic Lyme Disease Doctor Betsy Yalga writes,

"None of Jones’ patients has complained, he’s quick to point out, and none has been harmed by his treatment. He’s never been sued for medical malpractice. The charges against him have been levied by fathers involved in custodial battles over their children. In those cases Mom was in charge of treatment and Dad was in charge of payment and disputed the need for treatment. By complaining, Jones’ supporters say, Dad could get back at Mom and possibly skirt paying a costly medical bill. There were no allegations of harm done to the children."


Please listen to a brief interview with Dr Charles Ray Jones in the member’s portal.
Comments

Lyme docs OK'd to treat with long-term antibiotics

Governor signs bill, shielding doctors in treatment of Lyme disease


It's Monday, and I've got good news. Let's all acknowledge this nod of compassion in Lyme disease treatment and send thank you notes in support of this decision made by the governor of Connecticut.

The following is an excerpt of a June 21, 2009 article by Jack Sanders in the Ridgefield Press.com:

Governor M. Jodi Rell said Sunday she has signed a bill allowing doctors to prescribe long-term antibiotics in the treatment of persistent Lyme disease – outside of standard guidelines – without fear of sanctions from state health regulators if the patient’s clinical diagnosis of the tick-borne disease and treatment have been documented by a licensed physician.

“Doctors in Connecticut – the absolute epicenter of Lyme disease – can continue to do what is best for their patients suffering from this complex illness. I think most people know someone who has been infected,” Governor Rell said. “The bill also recognizes that Lyme disease patients must have the freedom to choose which remedy or regimen best meets their needs.”

House Bill 6200, which gained broad bipartisan support in the Legislature, was prompted by an ongoing debate in the medical community. Some health organizations have questioned the existence of chronic Lyme disease and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has cautioned against the long-term use of antibiotics. Some physicians were hesitant to treat patients outside the IDSA guidelines because of potential reprimands from medical boards and insurance companies.

“Doctors will have the right to use treatment guidelines based on their clinical experience and best medical judgment,” Governor Rell said. “This bill does not, however, shield any physician who provides substandard care.”
Comments

Breaking News: IDSA guidelines under scrutiny

"Serious flaws in the IDSA's process for writing its 2006 Lyme disease guidelines" have been revealed during an antitrust investigation conducted by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. Reassessment of the guidelines must now take place with an outside arbiter and a "conflicts-free panel." The subsequent hearing is also required to be broadcast live on the IDSA's website.

Turns out it's not nice -- or particularly legal -- to stack the panel with people who stand to make loads of cash from drug and insurance companies, Lyme disease diagnostic tests and patents. Stay tuned for developments. It's bound to get wild in the coming weeks and months, especially with IDSA-loving Dr. Gary Wormser shrugging off the investigation and calling it "absurd." Conflicts? What conflicts?

This significant turn of events could soon impact your ability to get proper treatment. Meantime, we'll continue to interview physicians who specialize in Lyme and who can give us the inside scoop and help us understand the ramifications of the reassessment.

Please become a member to hear upcoming interviews with Lyme experts on this issue.

Read the IDSA's press release.
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Zeolite and Dr. Cowden's therapy

Chelation therapy helps detoxify the body by removing heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, and mercury. This type of therapy is commonly used in treating lead poisoning and heavy metal toxicity, but is not supported by conventional doctors as a way to help patients heal from other serious conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, autism, and Lyme disease. However, some alternative medical practitioners and patients claim to get significant results with chelation. Cilantro and alpha lipoic acid are among the natural chelators used by many people seeking to remove low-level poisons such as mercury and lead, which can be transmitted from a polluted environment, from their systems.

Zeolite is another substance used as a chelator. What is it? Zeolites are natural minerals formed thousands or even millions of years ago, that work as other chelating agents do, absorbing metals from your system, and drawing them out so your body can eliminate them. When the body's immune system is supported its natural healing mechanisms simply work better.

Dr. Lee Cowden, a renowned physician who treats Lyme patients, and spends much of his time and energy teaching other doctors his method for treating Lyme patients, emphasizes the necessity to detoxify the body of metals in order to thoroughly treat Lyme disease and prevent reinfection. He recommends Zeolite as a chelator. You can now order Zeolite through Nutramedix (http://www.nutramedix.com), the company that offers all of the herbal supplements listed on Dr. Lee Cowden's core protocol for treating Lyme.
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Treatment of Lyme and CFS with Samento

Medical research reveals Lyme disease and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to share not only similar symptoms, but in some cases identical gene expression as well. In my conversation with Dr. Andrew Wright of the UK, he said he thinks that CFS is caused by a bacterial infection, and in many cases it seems to be the same bacteria, Borrelia, that is at the root of Lyme disease. He discussed the success of Samento, his preferred treatment of both illnesses, and his desire for more medical studies to be conducted on the long-term treatment of Lyme and CFS with herbal antimicrobials. As Samento has no effects, is safe and more well-tolerated than antibiotics, he says it's his first choice for treatment. Read more here.
Comments

Investigation into the October IDSA rulings

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, in an unprecedented historical move, has begun an investigation into the recent IDSA rulings regarding treatment for Lyme.

Click here to read the press release, which includes the President of the Lyme Disease Association (LDA) Pat Smith's statement of support. Let's all make sure Mr. Blumenthal knows how thankful we are that he's doing the right thing and tell him he's got our support.

Write to him at: attorney.general@po.state.ct.us
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On the horns of an abx dilemma.

We know that antibiotics do help Lyme patients heal, although doctors have observed that abx do their best work when people start taking them soon after becoming infected. Many docs are advocating for the use of long-term abx in the case of chronic Lyme. They feel there is no other way to deal with it. No question, antibiotics are the modern miracle medicine, an irrefutable symbol of civilization. But the medical truth is, long-term antibiotics may do more harm than good.

If you're one of those people who never experienced Lyme disease symptoms until the stress of a life-changing event set it off, you may have been given abx long after you caught the bug. Are your chances of healing from Lyme now reduced? What are the alternatives to abx, and why should we give them a chance?

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