ILADS advises treatment options

Daniel J. Cameron, MD, MPH, the president of ILADS, has recently voiced concern over the Connecticut Department of Public Health's decision to discipline Dr. Charles Ray Jones for treating chronic Lyme patients with a standard of care beyond the IDSA's recommendations. As he explains in his speech of December 18, 2007 in Hartford, CT, at the Connecticut State Capitol Building, ILADS is disturbed by the actions of Connecticut Public Health Commissioner Robert Galvin, who has stated that the department would not initiate cases against physicians who treat chronic Lyme disease, yet allowed the case against Dr. Jones to proceed.

In his speech, Dr. Cameron announced that he is appealing the the CT Department of Public Health to drop the case against Dr. Charles Ray Jones. He advises that the scientific and medical communities need to leave treatment options open in order to better understand controversial issues such as Lyme disease.

Some of the folks I know who are suffering with Lyme disease say they are only equipped to patch their lives together on a daily basis with the help of long-term antibiotics. These people deserve to have treatment options that allow them to gain back a quality of life, and qualified doctors who can advocate for them without fear of disciplinary action.

Lifelyme conference in January

We would like to share the following with you, regarding an upcoming conference for doctors and others dealing with Lyme and other chronic illnesses.

Dear Friend,

Lifelyme is pleased to announce we are jointly sponsoring a one day Lyme conference at the Vinoy Resort in St. Petersburg, Florida on January 19th, 2008. Enclosed is a copy of our brochure. If you would like us to send you additional brochures please email or call me.

The title of our conference is:
"Similarities and Paradoxes in Chronic Illnesses".

This conference is bringing together some of the top Lyme and CFIDS doctors to share the latest information on these diseases. Registration can be made on the Internet at the University of South Florida website set up specifically for this purpose.

Go to:

This is a medical conference jointly sponsored by University of South Florida Medical College, Morton Plant Mease and The Lanford Foundation - Lifelyme, Inc. CME - Continuing Medical Education credits are being offered for health care practitioners. Please share this information with your physicians.

Registration fee: $150.00 Les Roberts Author of the Poison Plum will be selling/signing books at the event!
Fee includes a Buffet Lunch at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort

Questions or Additional Information call:
The Office of Continuing Professional Development
(813-974-4296) or (800-852-5362)
or email: [email protected]

Looking forward to seeing you at the conference.

Warmest Regards,

Sandi Lanford, Founder/President
The Lanford Foundation - Lifelyme, Inc.
(850) 906-9108

Foods for winter

Traditionally, winter time is for retreating, going within, and restoring your health. Sometimes I think of dealing with Lyme as being in an extended winter, because chronic illness does encourage a person to become more reflective and conservative, energy-wise. The point of winter is to conserve energy, and build up your reserves for use while the days are short and nights are long. If you can, go to bed earlier and sleep in later. Hibernate, like the bears. Winter is not generally a time for extravagant activity, instead, the long evenings invite time for reflection, and for setting your health goals for the year ahead.

Eating foods that help keep you warm will also help you achieve better balance, and support your immune system. Curries and salsas, though they may seem to be warming foods, are eaten in countries with warm climates, to help induce perspiration and cool the body. What is important now, especially if you're healing from Lyme, is to eat foods that help keep your body temperature normal.

Delectable, fragrant soups simmering on your stove can cheer up long, dark nights, and in addition, are warming and help keep the body's inner fire burning. Include a variety of grains with your winter meals, potatoes and other root vegetables, along with leafy greens, aduki and black beans, winter squash, walnuts, and a bit of meat - if you eat meat, that is. Greens are always important, and many people healing from Lyme employ raw foods with great success. However, during the coldest part of the year you should avoid raw salads, in fact in some schools of thought it is said that in winter, all foods should be cooked.

Thanks to Lesley Tierra, L. Ac., Herbalist, for the above information which is gleaned from her book, The Herbs of Life: Health and Healing Using Western and Chinese Techniques.

Arthritis oils for massage

Winter is here, and with it, bone-chilling weather that can make your achy knees feel worse. Fortunately, herbal oils can make them feel better, especially when applied with regular massage. Rheumatoid arthritis, a frequent symptom of chronic Lyme disease, responds well to massage. As a bonus, these oils will also help take the bite out of the bitter cold.

Below are two possible formulas for arthritis oils from renowned herbalist Lesley Tierra's book, The Herbs of Life: Health and Healing Using Western and Chinese Techniques. (The Crossing Press: 1992) Use externally.

* Use equal parts: bay, eucalyptus, mugwort, rosemary, fresh grated ginger and cayenne. Add 1 tbsp medical grade turpentine oil (turpentine is sap from the fir tree) and 1 tbsp rosemary oil for every cup of oil.

* 1 tbsp camphor oil, 1 tbsp peppermint oil, 1 tsp rosemary oil, 1 tbsp juice from fresh grated ginger, 1 tbsp clove oil, 1 tsp eucalyptus oil.


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 (, the company that offers all of the herbal supplements listed on Dr. Lee Cowden's core protocol for treating Lyme.

Cardamom Treat

Cardamom seed is a warming, fragrant spice. Herbalists believe it can help with problems associated with the spleen, stomach, lungs, and kidney. Many Lyme patients find it to be helpful in aiding digestion and eliminating lung congestion that can cause coughs and colds. Headaches, so frequently associated with Lyme disease, are sometimes caused by poor digestion and stagnant food in the stomach. When you are on antibiotics or even herbal therapy, you may need help calming your stomach and digestive tract.

For a yummy winter treat that will soothe your tummy and counteract mucus congestion in the lungs and sinuses, core a hard pear, drizzle honey into the opening and sprinkle in a teaspoon of cardamom powder, then bake it at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Adding cardamom powder to milk and fruit neutralizes the mucus-forming properties.

Dealing with Herxes

Herxing occurs when your body reacts to bacterial die-off, usually as a result of taking antibiotics. The herx itself isn't considered dangerous to your health, but it can be extremely unpleasant. Your body is cleansing itself of toxins, a crucial step. The problem is that this cleansing process stirs up symptoms and makes you feel sick. Doesn't seem fair, does it? Frequent or intense herxes can stress you out, and when you're healing from LD you need more stress like you need another hole in your head. However, herxing can help Lyme patients understand what's happening to them, and some folks say that observing their herxes helps them monitor the effectiveness of their therapy.

The naturopath I consulted while in the critical stage of Lyme agreed. He suggested that I use my herxes as a guide or measurement of sorts. When I was on antibiotics, a period of about six months, it was difficult for me to distinguish between a herx and the Lyme disease symptoms themselves. I came to the conclusion, at that time, that it didn't matter which was which. They were both equally devastating, and all I could do was deal with them the best way I knew how. I wasn't at liberty to lower my dosage of abx, because according to my doctor the Lyme bacteria were likely to replicate and get stronger if I did.

Some Lyme patients say they don't herx on certain protocols, such as Steven Buhner's herbal protocol, for example. Conventional antibiotic therapy does seem to cause intense herxing, which some would say is a good sign because it indicates that you're killing the bug. I found that there were several different ways to deal with a dismal, stressful herx that accompanies chronic Lyme.

Here are just a few:

* Number one: Drink more clean water all day long, even if you think you're already drinking a lot of water. That will go a long way toward flushing out the toxins.

* Number two: Have a bowel movement every single day. Get that stuff out of there!

* Another is to drink the juice of a lemon, straight. You can also blend a whole lemon with one or two tablespoons of olive oil, put the mixture into a glass of water or juice, and drink it down.

* Dry brushing is another favorite of mine for ridding your body of toxins. However, you can't use this method if your skin is rashy, because you may make it worse. If you don't have a rash, brush your dry skin gently toward your heart each morning before you shower. This method really helps your lymph system kick into gear, and toxins that have accumulated during the night wash away down the drain.

* Take a spoonful of vegetable oil, such as olive oil, first thing in the morning. This method is as yucky as it sounds, but it works for me. Hold the oil in your mouth and swish it around, but do not swallow it. After a minute, spit it out and rinse your mouth.

* Exercise, if you possibly can. (This also helps with #2 - the bowel movement.) Sitting around is one of the worst things we can do. We have to move the body, and assist the lymph system in its critical job of carrying nutrition to the cells, and carrying the garbage away. Jump on a rebounder for five minutes in the morning, and five at night, if that's all you can manage. It will really help.

* Watch a hilarious movie, or a stand-up comic you like. When you're laughing, your body's immune system kicks into high gear. You'll also find that your whole attitude improves, and you'll sleep better at night.


Herxing and finding the balance

How do you tell the difference between a herx and Lyme symptoms? A herx, aka Herxheimer reaction, is many things to many people. When you're suffering, it doesn't seem to matter whether the cause is a herx or symptoms that are acting up. You just want them to stop. When you are infected with the Lyme bacteria, your body is loaded with toxins that react within your body's multiple systems and make you sick.

You have to kill the bugs and get them out of your body. Detoxifying, therefore, is a primary aim in healing from Lyme, but unfortunately, detoxing can also make you sick. When you're healing from Lyme you must try to find the balance between killing the bugs and keeping the herxes under control, so it doesn't feel like they are trying to kill you. Finding that balance is like surfing a giant wave. You must be hypervigilant, sensitive to your environment, and able to react as elegantly as possible to the perpetual changes that encompass you and carry you along. Although, as anybody who has ever suffered the stress and pain of Lyme symptoms or herxes would say, I'd rather be surfing.

It seems that herxing (often accompanied by a rash) can be triggered by a number of different factors. Stress, change of medication type and an increase in medication dosage (either herbal or pharmaceutical medications) are a few examples. Those in the Lyme community (albeit, an unwilling yet blessedly generous group of humans) deal with herxes in a wide variety of ways. That's the subject of my next post.

Until then, hang ten.

Lyme lowers body temperature

Lyme disease lowers body temperature.

Staying warm in the winter can be more challenging when you're fighting Lyme disease. You may even notice your symptoms increasing after you get a chill. When you wake up to a frosty morning, reach for a steaming hot cup of herbal or green tea to help shake off the fatigue. Add a slice of warming ginger. Lyme bacteria thrive in cool body temperatures, and many people suffering with LD actually have lowered body temps. That's why it's so important to get regular exercise and choose your beverages and foods wisely.

One of the nicest things (okay, sometimes the ONLY nice thing) about snowy weather is the occasional Snow Day. When I lived with roommates, and the snow happened to be piling up on a weekday night, we'd get up early and begin our Snow Day vigil at the kitchen table, where we could keep an eye out the front window. We'd make a big pot of coffee and tune into the local radio station to listen for the list of school closures, since we were all teachers at three different schools. I always wondered why I'd start to get chilled after my second cup.

One of the problems with coffee is that it cools your body, instead of heating it, like some spices and herbs will. For a real burst of warmth, add just a touch of cayenne. If you need sweetener, try agave nectar or a drop of stevia, not sugar, which is a no-no when you've got Lyme. Staying warm and healing is your goal through the chilly winter months.