Sign in with Google+ Sign in with LinkedIn
Lyme Disease Expert

Herbs and plants for a healing diet

Dr. Christine Horner was once on the clean-up crew. As a board certified plastic surgeon, she specialized in breast reconstruction surgery for cancer patients.

And she noticed something odd.

Each year, her patients were younger and younger. Breast cancer was an epidemic.

When her own mother died of the disease, she knew it was time to step back and look into the reasons all these women were getting cancer in the first place. Instead of putting them back together following the illness, was there something that could be done to avert it?

What she discovered can benefit everyone sick with Lyme disease.

She became convinced after her research led to the 5,000 year old teachings of Ayurveda. Ayurvedic healing works on the principle that our body has innate intelligence. When our bodies are in balance, that inner intelligence keeps us healthy.

Imbalance caused by illness, such as cancer, Lyme bacterial infection, or unhealthy lifestyle and diet disrupts our innate healing intelligence.

I’ll have what she’s having
While learning about Ayurveda, Dr. Horner made a surprising discovery. Following a luxurious spa treatment and detoxification process called panchakarma, or “five actions,” she looked in the mirror. Her face appeared ten years younger. She had a renewed sense of zest and vitality. In fact, she had never felt better in her life. On fire to put this new discovery to practice, she studied like mad to get certified in Ayurveda.

Schooled in Western medicine and having worked for years as a surgeon, it is important to Dr. Horner that everything she promotes is research-based. Ayurvedic healing is, and it also has a history of development — millions of people experimenting and refining it, over thousands of years. Ayurveda literally translates as “life-knowledge.”

Currently in the West, there is an explosion of empirical research into the natural approaches to health through the uses of herbs and plants for healing, as well as lifestyle factors. The research bodes well, unless you are one of those vegetarians who only eats French fries.

Lyme disease patients on standard antibiotics can also benefit from incorporating some or all of Dr. Horner’s advice. A healthy diet and lifestyle includes many factors, and among the most crucial is eating a varied diet of organic fruits and veggies.

Eat your medicine
“Eating a plant-based diet is considered the healthiest type of diet around,” says Dr. Horner. “Not only do plants and herbs contain vitamins, minerals, nutrients and all the other things we know are good for maintaining our health, they also contain hundreds of phytons.”

Phytons are plant chemicals, powerful natural medicines. Some of them even work exactly like chemotherapy. Pharmaceutical companies study the plants, create a drug that works the same way, and then tell the public that plant medicine doesn’t work.

Ayurveda says that there are fundamental truths about human beings, and that the basic rule-book says that, “if you follow these rules you’ll bring your body into balance. And that balance enlivens your body’s inner healing intelligence,” says Dr. Horner.

Lyme infection obstructs the balance your body is trying to create. So the idea is to do as much as you can to bring it to balance. We’re all different and in Ayurveda there are three doshas and nine different body constitutions. Overall though, the general rules apply across the board.

Strengthening your body’s immune system is the key to regaining balance and good health. The immune system needs a variety of veggies, so vary the produce you consume. Alternating supplements on a weekly or monthly basis can also help insure your maximum benefit.

Two herbs are better than one
Supplements have synergistic effects. When paired with another supplement there is a multiplication of the healing effect. Pharmaceutical drugs do not work this way.

For example, green tea and turmeric taken together are many times more effective than when taken alone. Each of these have antioxidant and anti-inflammation properties which work better when put together.

Dr. Christine Horner has more energy than many teenagers I know. I asked her what she puts in her morning smoothies. She rotates between fruits and green smoothies, and also tosses in a comprehensive list of healthy supplements.

Along with plant medicine, she also talked about the vital importance of having practices such as mediation, exercise, and radical forgiveness. Nurture your spirit, especially if you are dealing with Lyme or any serious illness. Lifestyle factors are as important as eating a healthy diet.

For further information please go to drchristinehorner.com

Podcast

Click on podcast to listen to my 60-minute interview with the effervescent Dr. Christine Horner. She’s got more energy than many of the teenagers I work with. She is a wealth of knowledge and has much more to say than I could include in this post. She also suggests ways to diminish the side effects of menopause.

If you like what you see here, please consider signing up for our newsletter, or become an LDRD member for full access to our complete series of audio interviews. Learn from listening to Lyme-literate doctors and other medical experts.

Breathe deep, eat your greens, and be well!



Comments

Herbalist Julie McIntyre

People seek out clinical herbalist Julie McIntyre when they have reached the end of their rope. They may call her after having received a formal Lyme diagnosis. They may have already spent thousands of dollars on standard protocols and are still battling symptoms. Then there are those who are desperate for help, but don’t believe in antibiotics and put their trust in plant medicines instead. She often hears horror stories from Lyme patients who are “completely and totally frustrated with mainstream medicines.”

Standard medical doctors don’t normally talk to patients as though they are adults with minds of their own. When I’m sitting on that cold steel table it always feels like the doctor is using a tone reserved for imbeciles. “Can da widdle patient take a nice, big breath for me?”
This is absolutely not the case with Julie, who currently works with Lyme patients in 17 countries around the world via Skype, and in-person when feasible. A holistic healer treating Lyme since 2003, Julie uses her intuition and “everything she’s got,” when analyzing how best to treat each person. “Lyme is insanely complicated,” and each person is uniquely affected, she says.

Instead of talking at her patients, she actively listens. She hears what they say, the words they use, and how they describe themselves. She learns about them in every way she can, including observing their body language, examining their fingernails, and also noting the quality of their voice. “The voice tells a lot,” she says.
herbal-protocol-lyme
Most people suffering with Lyme, she says, also tell her their illness has become their greatest teacher. People understand that the illness is changing them profoundly, working in psycho-spiritual ways that most of us would never seek out willingly.

To guide patients through the process of healing from Lyme and co-infections, Julie uses her partner Stephen Buhner’s herbal protocol. But she also “innovates a lot,” always treating each person on a case-by-case basis. For example, she may add in homeopathic remedies and amino acids for one, and for another she may have them blend their own tinctures, therefore gaining a hand in their own healing process.

Where IS the immune system anyway?
The immune system, while it is a system of biological structures, it is also a system of processes. Think of it as a field inside and outside your body. Julie’s work focuses on the immune system’s many parts, such as our emotions. The immune system includes our guts—both physical and non-physical, as in gut feelings. The enteric brain is the gut brain, and it is in constant communication with our head brain. Our bodies believe what we say, Julie says, and our white blood cells respond instantly.

Herbal protocols can be used alone or concurrently with conventional medicine. One of the many benefits of plant medicine is that is it “highly flexible, and perfectly forgiving,” says Julie. “I am not dogmatic, and the plants aren’t either.”

Her advice is to support the immune system by supplementing with herbs and foods such as reishi mushrooms, ashwagandha root, rhodiola, and astragalus. She mentioned a rock rose and tea from Greece, called cistus incanus, which is used both as an immune modulator and as a bug spray. To prepare as tea, use 1 tsp in 8 ounces hot water, steep ten minutes and drink at least two cups a day.  

“It’s important to know when enough research is enough research,” she says. There is a lot of wisdom in accepting that “this shall pass,” and a vital key to healing is to regain something that many of us lose along the journey, a sense of trust. “Trust the plants, trust the medicines, trust your own body.”

But how can we trust nature, when nature is the thing that got us into this trouble in the first place? I asked, and Julie agrees it’s a bit of a paradox. Short of living in a high-rise guarded by guinea fowl and donning a hazmat suit every time you venture outdoors, how do you protect yourself from dangerous critters the size of a pinhead?

Her response, in three words, “Immunity, immunity, immunity.”

Strengthen your immunity with plants and foods, but also nurture your emotional health, a key component of the immune system. It’s vital to find something that brings you joy and do it every day. Engage with the people who lift you up, and laugh everyday. It is almost impossible to heal alone. All of us need loving and supportive relationships, especially when healing from chronic illness.

For further information about Julie McIntyre, Stephen Buhner, and the Buhner protocol, please visit gaianstudies.org.
Comments

What's Lymph got to do with it?

Lyme disease typically clogs up the lymph system, which is foundation of our immune system. The lymph system plays the role of our body's clean-up crew or garbage collector. It gathers waste products, dead microorganisms, damaged cells, and bacterial toxins that would otherwise trigger inflammation anywhere in the body. The lymph system is linked to the tonsils, the thymus, the spleen, lymph nodes and the large intestine. These organs are all about taking out the garbage. I know how my kitchen stinks if one of us forgets to take the trash out. Don't let your inner garbage sit around. It's toxic. Get it moving.

But I know how it is. When you are sick with Lyme and your symptoms are kicking, exercise may be the very last thing on your mind. But nothing moves the lymph like getting some exercise, especially in fresh air. If the weather is not too vile, and you are physically able, motivate and take a walk. Take the dog, or round up a friend to accompany you. They can help you set up a regular schedule that you won't be so easily persuaded to drop. Swimming and jogging are great exercises for getting the lymph to move, if you can manage. If you can do a dry brush massage, do it. That's also a terrific lymph stimulator. However, use your best judgement, and do not use a dry brush if you have skin eruptions or any sort of rash.


Lymph massage through breathing
Going for a massage could be heaven, but if it isn't an option, you can treat yourself to a really effective self-massage in this simple way. Deep, rhythmic breathing is like giving yourself a massage from the inside. When you breathe out, contract your lower-abdomen muscles, and on the in breath, keep them contracted but allow your ribcage to expand. Sit up straight, imagine a string pulling gently up from your spine through the top of your head. Imagine the other end of the string pulling gently down from your tailbone. You needn't get fancy with your imagery to get into a really relaxing frame of mind. The breath is capable of doing all of that naturally. Of course, you can get through the day without scarcely taking a deep breath. But why do that, when it can be so helpful in our healing process? We just have to remember to direct our awareness in using it.

When we eat fresh fruits and vegetables and add fresh herbs to our daily meals, we take their vitality into our bodies for healing. Dr. Wolf Storl’s work is centered in his conviction that all plants, and especially wild plants that haven't been cultivated, are bursting with vital energy from the sun. In his 2010 book,
Healing Lyme Disease Naturally, he lists several herbs that strengthen the capillary vessels, regulate the blood pressure, alleviate arterial sclerosis, improve the lymph functions and support the immune system by stimulating the thymus (Storl, 2010). Always check with your doctor(s) before taking any herb. Herbs, just like pharmaceutical medicines, can have side effects.


Reference
Storl, Wolf D. (2010).
Healing Lyme disease naturally: History, analysis, and treatments. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books.


Comments

NE docs wise to lyme -- but SE docs say no Lyme

The more I learn about Lyme, the more mysterious it seems. And not the disease so much, but the approach that’s taken by our medical professionals. It is a disease with layers of complexity. You can be tested for leukemia, for example, and the results are either positive or negative. Not so with Lyme.

Awareness of Lyme and early
treatment is increasing in the Northeastern US. However, I’ve seen anecdotal evidence that patients also get Lyme disease in the Southeast. On the LDRD Facebook page, in a recent post about Lyme in Georgia, several people living in a smattering of southern states -- Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia -- chimed in to affirm that they’d been diagnosed with Lyme and had caught it at home.

In a casual conversation with an epidemiology professor and veterinarian from Georgia, I learned just last week that there is no Lyme in our region. He agreed that there are other egregious diseases caused by ticks in the SE, but “we don’t have Lyme.”

My dentist here in NC told me the same thing. I imagine most
doctors in the area would concur.

All of this makes me curious. Consider this. When we as Lyme patients approach our healing from all the fundamental dimensions that we can, from body, mind, spirit and shadow, we’re taking more perspectives than most of our doctors are (there are exceptions). Our healing is more whole, and more effective in my experience, when we work on all of these dimensions.

When the CDC declares that there is no Lyme disease in a certain region, their evidence is not, I would argue, taking other perspectives. It is overlooking some equally fundamental dimensions. Cases of Lyme that are diagnosed in the SE, for example. Can we really just ignore that? Pass it off as an anomaly?

Doctors base their conclusions on empirical, scientific evidence. And correctly so. That’s the way it should be. But when there is anecdotal evidence, isn’t that also proof? Someone is surely diagnosing some cases of Lyme in the Southeast. What is going on there? This just doesn’t square with the rational conclusiveness associated with medical people. Could it be that doctors and the CDC are simply too busy, and the catalogue of diseases is too full, to include another?

And yet, the IDSA does seem to be changing. Ever so slowly. At least, in the Northeast they’re changing their approach to treatment and diagnosis in the early stage of Lyme. CBS news in Pittsburgh ran this story recently:
Doctors Change Treatment Recommendations for Lyme Disease.

As this news clip points out, doctors in the NE region are becoming aware of the critical need for early Lyme disease treatment. Patients presenting with a bull’s eye rash, who have caught it immediately, are likely to get antibiotics right away. They have a good chance of beating Lyme in its early stages.

This is good news, because of course the not-so-good news is that Lyme cases are rising alarmingly quickly in Pittsburgh. This year 150 cases have been recorded, up from 10 or 15 last year. 70% of the
ticks in the region are believed to carry the bacteria which causes the Lyme infection.

But apparently they stop at the border. So in the Southeast, we’re not dealing with Lyme. Except of course, anecdotally.

Interesting also to note that Romney is seeking to align his campaign with ILADS. Obama has also acknowledged the disease and its enormous financial implications. Awareness in Washington, DC is steadily but slowly increasing.

Lyme is a political issue, and not simply because of the definition of politics: many (poly) blood-sucking critters (ticks).


Comments

Fight Lyme from every angle

Lyme is a multi-systemic disease, which means it can affect all the systems in the body, including the brain. Many people discover that Lyme symptoms must be treated from as many angles as possible. But how can we be certain we’re hitting them all?  

These four angles represent the fundamental perspectives that arise in any illness, in fact these four angles are always present for everyone, healthy as well as ill:
  • Physical state
  • Mental state
  • Cultural views
  • Social systems


Consider the way these fit together in your life. For now, let’s talk about the first two, because it’s easy to see how they work together, although they differ in one crucial way. You can see one, but not the other.

Conventional Lyme protocols treat the physical body -- your physical symptoms. That’s one angle. Even if your doctor uses alternative medicine, for example, prescribing herbal tinctures instead of conventional antibiotics, he is still addressing the physical symptoms. And as Lyme symptoms vary from person to person, your doctor might be primarily prescribing treatment to address your arthritis, while also treating a different patient for Lyme fatigue and rash.

Conventional medicine emphasizes treatment of the physical state with good reason. The physical body is what we see. It’s easy to see many symptoms or their effects, such as the sudden wince of someone suffering with arthritic pain. Many illnesses and conditions can and should be treated primarily from this one angle. You break a leg, you go to an orthopedic doctor.

But what about the mental state?
People with Lyme disease often have the experience of seeming normal to our friends and family members even though we know that inside, something is off. Very off.  They may declare “but you don’t look sick.” They may not be able to tell from the outside, but our inner view could be garbled and fuzzy, and it can vary from day to day or depending on the medicines we take. I used to have the odd feeling that I was somehow living underwater, just a few inches from the surface, so close but so far away from normal. It was weird to think that people thought of me as “okay,” because I knew I wasn’t quite.

Integrative physicians, in contrast to conventional doctors, are in the business of addressing the mental state in addition to the physical. How do they accomplish this? For starters, they talk to their patients and they listen. They ask how they feel. Patients may be asked to guess at what they think the problem is, and they are generally encouraged to play an active role in their own treatment.

These patients typically feel gratified for having been listened to and taken seriously. Doctors who listen are thought of as open-minded by their patients. Instead of simply being poked and prodded and treated like a slab of meat, patients feel respected and even energized by sessions with their doctor. Energetic exchanges or meaningful conversations can contribute to a patient’s mental health, leaving them feeling optimistic about the future of their state of physical health. That’s two angles.

In the next post, I’ll discuss the third and fourth perspectives and explore the ways in which they contribute to the whole picture of healing from Lyme.

Comments

Interview with Functional Movement Specialist Katherine Dowdney

I'm pro exercise! I never had a regular exercise program until I was healing from Lyme, and its perks and positive effects have been countless. It is one of those amazing gifts that's come from dealing with Lyme and chronic problems.

And, I'm so inspired by CJ Jaffe, Perry Fields, and all of the other athletes and exercise enthusiasts we've interviewed here, who have kicked Lyme and continue to integrate a rigorous exercise program into their schedule of healing.

But when we're talking exercise, just how much is enough? How much is too much? Should you start an exercise program without consulting your doctor or medical adviser? After all, getting stronger and getting well are the goals, not wearing ourselves out.

Recently, I had an opportunity to talk about these issues with Katherine Dowdney, a Functional Movement Specialist with a private practice as an exercise and rehabilitation coach. She describes her experience in working with people who suffer with conditions brought about by chronic illness. She talks about the problems and concerns we all face, such as how to choose a good exercise coach and just how far to push ourselves when we're really sick ora feeling out of balance.

Here is her bio and website:

Katherine Dowdney’s passion for anatomy and movement is evident in her teaching. She enjoys empowering clients to meet their personal fitness and wellness goals. Utilizing a combination of the Pilates method, yoga, traditional weight training, and additional corrective exercise modalities Katherine has a special interest in working with individuals with chronic conditions and pre or post rehabilitation. Katherine is a certified ACE personal trainer, a dual certified Pilates instructor through Peak Pilates and Balanced Body, an E-RYT 200 hour yoga instructor, an NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist, and an AFPA Post Rehab Specialist. She has received training in experiential anatomy, pre/post natal Fusion Pilates, Sadhana Chi yoga, Children’s yoga, and Structural Yoga Therapy. She recently attended an 8-day training in Therapeutic Yoga for Seniors at Duke Integrative Medicine. Her interests are in mindful movement, pain management, and corrective exercise.

Katherine is a founding member of Moving Women Dance Performance Ensemble in Asheville, NC where she choreographs and performs as a modern dancer. Along with dancing and teaching movement science, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Sam, and their dog, Ranger.

Her website is www.blissful-body.com

LDRD members, please listen to the conversation with Katherine.
Comments

Listen to Tina Garcia's experience at the IDSA hearing

Patient advocate Tina Garcia is passionate about justice and fairness.

Disabled by Lyme in 2004, she soon discovered the injustices in Lyme treatment. Particularly, she was outraged to learn that patients in her position were frequently turned down for medical insurance coverage for the treatment of Lyme disease. Her own insurance requests for coverage were rejected as well, and like so many Lyme patients she had to pay for treatment out of pocket.

When Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal began the investigation into the IDSA standard of Lyme treatment, Tina submitted her rejected insurance claims to his office. However, her concern wasn't simply about her own welfare. Desire to help others inspired her to found the organization, LEAP Arizona, a Lyme Education Awareness Program. She began a dialog with the Assistant AG, which lead to her invitation to testify on July 30 at the historical IDSA hearing in Washington, DC.

Tina, who is still healing from Lyme, traveled to DC where she delivered her eloquent testimony to the hearing panel. On her website, you will find a link to listen to the IDSA hearing, and a copy of her testimony.

Tina spoke with me on Thursday, August 20, about her experience at the hearing. She describes the day's emotional highlights, in particular the presentations of Drs Ken Liegner and Steven Phillips. She also talks about her faith in the IDSA panel, who, in a matter of months, will be deciding whether or not to recommend changing the standard Lyme protocol.

I invite you to listen to our conversation by joining.

Comments

Interview with the extraordinary Dr Jones

Dr Charles Ray Jones is a man with three ordinary names - yet he couldn't be any more extraordinary in his service to chronically ill patients.

To quote Sandy Berenbaum's introduction at a 2008 University of New Haven celebration to honor Dr Jones, a colleague of his has observed that he is "an international treasure - a courageous, selfless, inspirational, and outstandingly gifted clinician who has helped thousands of the most severely ill children with Lyme disease from around the world to regain their health and their lives."

Dr Jones spoke with me about Connecticut Governor Rell's recent decision to allow doctors to treat Lyme disease, the significance of this week's IDSA hearing in Washington, DC, and about the future of Lyme disease treatment.


Listen to the interview with Dr Charles Ray Jones in our member’s portal.
Comments

Dr Charles Ray Jones: upcoming interview

Coming soon: a very special interview with renowned Lyme expert Dr Charles Jones of Connecticut. Dr Jones celebrated his 80th birthday last month, and he continues to treat chronically ill patients. His life and work is a testament to caring and courage.

Here are a couple of links to help you read up on Dr Jones:

Dr Charles Ray Jones homepage
The State of Connecticut vs. Dr Charles Ray Jones - A Hangin' In Hartford - article by Rick Vassar, April 17, 2007

Please note: This interview will be posted for free access to everyone - not just LDRD members. As always, we thank our members for your support, which enables us to keep conducting and posting these interviews.
Comments

Expert Interview Series: Carol Fisch Part 2

We've just uploaded Part 2 of the interview with expert Lyme disease researcher, advocate and activist Carol Fisch. Adjunct Professor Emeritus of Laboratory Science, Carol discusses her experiences studying and teaching about the bacterial complex, Borrelia burgdorferi. Her students often ask her to give a simple explanation of Lyme. Below is a bit of her answer. For a more in-depth discussion please login and listen to the entire interview.

A simple explanation of Lyme disease in not possible, as Lyme is not a simple disease. It is not just an infection with Borrelia burgdorferi the causative agent of Lyme disease. We are dealing with an illness complicated by multiple infectious agents; many of them are immune suppressive.

The immune system has difficulty in detecting the organisms that cause Lyme due to multiple factors, not least of all, its ability to change shape in order to survive -- surely one of its best tricks.

From the moment the Borrelia burgdorferi complex enters the body, it has the ability to clock itself into our own DNA proteins. When hit by anything threatening its survival, it can go into cell wall deficient (CWD) stages or into the cyst stage, where it is protected from antibiotics and the immune system. An activated immune system, where the body is trying to find an enemy and can't, leads to reactivation of Herpes Virus 1 - 6, and auto immune issues.
Comments

Expert Interview Series: Carol Fisch

Carol Fisch is Adjunct Professor Emeritus of Laboratory Science. She is also a stealth pathogens researcher, teacher, and, as she also suffers from Lyme disease, an advocate and activist for those suffering from stealth pathogens and neuroendocrine disorders. In her outreach education, she explores the possibility that people with a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are dealing with a bacterial complex that also causes Lyme disease, among other illnesses.

"Most medical professionals, when speaking of Lyme disease, are typically referring to an outdated and over-simplified version of the disease that was once taught and believed that the main causative agent being dealt with was the Borrelia spirochete. We now know there are many agents involved," explains Carol.

"Many patients given a CFIDS or Fibromyalgia diagnosis, or a Gulf War Syndrome or Neuroborreliosis Complex (Lyme disease) diagnosis, are dealing not only with a spirochetal disease that causes multiple damage to the host but a very complex organism that causes multiple damage to the host. It is indeed a very complex organism within itself. Borrelia burgdorferi is one of the players in Neuroborreloiosis Complex."

Carol says she would like to see the medical community work more harmoniously together in an effort to find answers to the complicated challenges of these illnesses. She is hopeful that such unity is possible and imminent. As she says, "we have a long way to go but in working together hopefully we can come up with answers that help all of us to live healthier and more productive lives."

Carol's experience includes having been a medical laboratory advisor for tick borne illness testing. She is well-versed in microbiology, immunology and parasitology and has an excellent understanding of Cell Wall Deficient Organisms (CWD). I spoke with Carol about the significance of her work and research on Dec 11, 2008.

Members can log in and listen to the interview.
Comments

Hear it from Lyme experts

Remember your second grade teacher telling you to use your 'thinking cap'? When I was in an acute stage of Lyme, searching for reputable sources of practical information online, I realized quickly that I was going to need to turn on my thinking cap when listening to people who meant well, but who weren't qualified medical experts. Where Lyme disease symptoms, diagnoses, and treatment are concerned, more information -- and unfortunately, more misinformation -- is becoming available every moment. Although forums and communities serve a noble purpose, and help reassure you that you're not alone, forums can also be a source of misinformation.

What you need more than anything, especially when you're weak, is to know that you can get better. I remember being so deathly ill (and also so ignorant about this disease), that I burst into tears of relief when my sister told me, over the phone, that a woman she knew had beaten Lyme, and was traveling, working, and living a perfectly happy life again. My symptoms were so painful, and my daily life and routines were at that time centered on Basic Survival 101. My world had shrunk to the point that I really couldn't even imagine living a 'normal' life again. Well, over the past three years since my diagnosis and treatment, my life has totally changed, but it's all for the better. As you may very well know, going through treatment, suffering Herx after Herx is not fun. It has never been easy. It's a slow road. I genuinely wish I could tell you there is a magic bullet that could set your life right again, or snap my fingers and make your pain disappear. However, there's no single pill that can do that for someone with an advanced stage of Lyme. Not yet. As you can hear our from our interviews with top Lyme disease research scientists, however, they are fervently devoted to finding a cure very soon. So keep your fingers crossed. When it happens, we'll tell you all about it!

Our mission here is to record real people's Lyme success stories, and interview world-class Lyme aware physicians so that you can hear them tell it like it is, and get the scoop directly. No mediators, no advertisers. This is the sort of meaty, practical information I hungered for when I first learned I had Lyme. We're grateful to be able to document all of these stories. Every one of our stories is important, each of them adds a small piece of the puzzle of Lyme and adds to our ability to heal. Listening to Rick's story, Karol's, and the others is one surefire way to fill your heart and mind with hope. And listening to the ILADS doctors and other medical practitioners in our 'interviews with experts' series is one very good way to learn, from reputable sources, how to get better. Because it may not be easy, but believe me, when you put on your thinking cap, as Ginger Savely, RN, who has treated a thousand Lyme patients at her clinic in San Francisco says: "You can get better!"

Become a member and get immediate access to the Expert Interview Series and the Success Stories.
Comments

Scientific evidence ignored

If you are struggling with late stage Lyme disease symptoms, the last thing you need is anyone telling you there is no such thing as chronic Lyme. Yet that is what doctors, many who seem genuinely interested in helping their patients, are doing.

Doctors who defend the IDSA's guidelines for the treatment of Lyme -- thirty days of antibiotic therapy -- as sufficient say there is no scientific evidence to prove that Lyme disease can enter a chronic stage. However, Ginger Savely, RN, FNP, who treats patients with Lyme, says that thousands of animal studies do offer scientific evidence that Lyme bacteria survive beyond the recommended one month course of doxycycline. Yet these studies are overlooked by the IDSA.

"Of course, we can't do the same kinds of experiments on humans as we can on animals. So just because we don't have the human studies out there, the IDSA always wants to ignore all the many, many animal studies that there are, basically just saying, well, those aren't people," says Savely.
Comments

Doc examines Lyme & Alzheimer's link

Lyme disease symptoms can look a lot like other diseases' symptoms, not the least of which is Alzheimer's. In late-stage, or tertiary stage of Lyme, the bug has infected the brain. It may be hard to distinguish between the symptoms of somebody with late-stage Lyme, and somebody suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Such was the case of Paul Christensen, who was diagnosed with Lyme, treated, and then released from Stony Brook Hospital. Paul was a firefighter, yet he struggled for eight years with mental deterioration after his diagnosis of Lyme. Finally, he died due to Alzheimer's.

Paul's wife suspected that there was a strong link between her husband's diagnosis of Lyme and his death from Alzheimer's disease. If there was a connection, she was determined that other people should learn about it, in the event that it might help reduce their suffering. So, after Paul died she urged medical researcher Dr. Alan MacDonald to investigate her husband's case.

Dr. Alan MacDonald is a featured expert in the 'Interviews with Experts' series, which you can access here. In the 30 minute audio interview, he tells about the well-documented Christensen case, and he describes what he and other researchers are doing to understand the Lyme bug, so we can eradicate it.
Comments