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Lyme Disease An Integrated Approach

Written by Andrea Candee, MH, MSC   
Monday, 01 June 2009 00:00
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The conventional medical approach is to treat Lyme disease with antibiotics. When a child or adult is quickly treated with an appropriate antibiotic, the result is usually a swift and positive healing. However, if the person does not recover with the first round of antibiotics, additional rounds are routinely prescribed, often leading to “antibiotic cocktails.” Long-term antibiotic therapy can result in an imbalance of microorganisms in the intestinal tract and deplete the functioning of the immune system, making the body more susceptible to other illnesses. Consider taking the best of both conventional and holistic medical practices by integrating natural remedies with antibiotic therapy. The natural remedies can help keep the body strong while the antibiotic does its job.

Researchers Still Puzzled

In many cases of chronic Lyme, medical researchers cannot understand why symptoms persist when intensive testing fails to reveal signs of the Lyme bacteria in blood or spinal fluid. According to a 2001 article by Philip J. Hilts in The New York Times, researchers account for these symptoms by assuming that Lyme has led to autoimmune dysfunction without considering that the tick may have passed more than just bacteria into the human host. In my own client population, I have found the majority of long-term Lyme cases complicated by viral co-infections.

Common Scenario of Infection

In recent months, doctors are discovering Bartonella bacteria piggybacking the spirochete. Bartonella infection is also called cat scratch fever—likely picked up by the tick feeding on a cat. If the tick can pick up a bacteria from a cat, why not viruses from dogs and mice? A common scenario is for a tick to feed on a dog, picking up a strain of parvovirus; feed on a mouse, picking up a strain of hantavirus; feed on a deer, picking up the spirochete; and then feeding on the human and passing along the spirochete piggybacked by viruses. It’s also possible for a tick to pick up neuroviruses from other wildlife and pass them into the central nervous system of the human host.

The Integrated Approach

When my son had Lyme disease, blood tests confirmed that it was accompanied by the virulent bacteria, Ehrlichia, and his doctor immediately put him on an antibiotic. Of course, I gave him probiotics and echinacea as described below. However, since antibiotics do not treat viruses, rather than waiting to see if one round of antibiotics would bring him to total recovery, I tested him for viruses, using kinesiology. I gave him natural remedies that specifically addressed the particular strains of virus that commonly piggyback the spirochete for which he tested positively. When children and adults do not fully and quickly recover with a round of antibiotics, it may be because viruses are also involved. They do, however, respond to natural remedies designed to address the specific viruses, remedies which can be given along with antibiotics without the treatments interfering with each other. If your Lyme disease is not responding well to the antibiotics alone, or if you have been suffering with chronic Lyme disease in spite of long-term antibiotic therapy, you may wish to consult a health practitioner who is familiar with the viruses that are known to be present in the ticks that transfer this disease.

Increasing Good Bacteria

Friendly bacteria and yeast microorganisms live harmoniously in the intestinal tract. An antibiotic does not differentiate between beneficial and harmful bacteria and, in its quest to go after the “bad guys,” may deplete the “good guys” located in the intestinal tract. When the level of good bacteria is depleted, the yeast that is regularly kept in check by the “good guys” has an opportunity to grow out of control. Yeast overgrowth can cause a variety of symptoms, including bloating, gas, itching, sugar cravings, brain fog, mouth sores, headaches, weight gain, mood swings, depression, and extreme fatigue.

Acidophilus and other probiotic, active bacterial cultures in yogurt (plain yogurt without added sugar, as sugar feeds yeast) help to bring balance to the intestinal flora by repopulating the good bacteria. Probiotics are available in capsule, liquid, and tablet form, and are best taken three times a day, an hour before or after the dose of antibiotic, and continuing for at least three weeks following the antibiotic therapy. Making the last daily dose right before bedtime gives the good bacteria a chance to grow unimpeded overnight.