I highly recommend you watch this film about Lyme Disease.
In the 1970s, a mysterious and
deadly illness began infecting children in a small town in Connecticut.
Today it's a global epidemic. A real-life thriller, this shocking
festival hit exposes the controversy surrounding Lyme disease. Following
the stories of patients and doctors fighting for their lives, director
Andy Abrahams Wilson [or, the film] reveals with beauty and horror a
natural world out of balance and a human nature all too willing to put
profits before patients.
Well I have had Lyme now for 30 years. I never unedrestood through all the
years why i had such trouble with sleep, yes sleep eluded me.
I could never understand why some nights I would just lie awake until the
sun rose again.
I started to work in Hotel management this career suited me down to the
ground because it's a career that means you work at night and work hard.
The Lyme and co-infections could obviously get all that they
needed when I was awake all through the night!.
Now i am treating myself i have the added problem of
Insomnia with the Herx reactions, but i will say I prefer this type of insomnia
to what I used to suffer from anyday.
Having been on my treatment for nearly a year my sleeping
pattern is becoming normal and at last i am getting tired at the right times
and actually falling asleep at the right times yippee!
This is quite a milestone for me in so many ways.
Ok my new sleep pattern has been for about three months but
at least I do not sleep talk anymore.
So gone are the days of watching through the night T.V this
is a blessing.
If you are suffering with Insommnia do not lose heart there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Health professionals are looking into a rare case of a little girl who was paralyzed after being bitten by an American dog tick.
The 2-year-old was unable to eat or drink — immobilized by a potentially fatal illness — when she was brought to Albany Medical Center this month. Jenna Tomlins woke up May 4 feeling tired and lethargic.
“She couldn’t stand up, she couldn’t really move,” said her mother, Rachel Tomlins, 25, of Hopewell Junction. “I just thought maybe she was tired. She was up late the night before.”
Her mother recalled the girl having trouble drinking.
“That’s when I called the pediatrician,” she said.
The doctor suggested the girl, who had no rash or fever, get some fresh air. When she appeared weaker, she was brought to a local emergency care center.
“The doctor was completely baffled, so we took her to Vassar,” Tomlins said. “She had X-rays, CAT scans, urine analysis, blood tests and a spinal tap. They thought maybe she had botulism.”
But the tests came back negative. By then, the child’s tongue had swelled.
“She couldn’t even cry,” Tomlins said.
The girl was rushed to the Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center, where she underwent further testing and was given an intravenous therapy.
“She was very lethargic. She had difficulty opening her eyes,” said Dr. Karen Powers, assistant professor of pediatric neurology at Albany Medical Center. “She couldn’t speak. She had difficulty swallowing. She was profoundly weak. She couldn’t move her arms or legs.”
Powers recognized her symptoms as nearly identical to a case she had seen a few years ago while on a fellowship in Richmond, Va., in which a young child suffered from “tick paralysis.”
“It’s a disorder caused by a neurotoxin secreted most commonly by the American dog tick,” Powers said. “It causes an ascending paralysis. Children will present first with difficulty walking or standing as paralysis ascends. The trunk muscles become involved, and there’s difficulty sitting. Then the face muscles are affected, and they have difficulty speaking and swallowing. Eventually, the respiratory muscles become involved, and that can lead to an inability to breathe. Cases can be fatal.” http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/article/20120518/NEWS01/305180030/-Tick-paralysis-strikes-girl-2?nclick_check=1
Lyme disease symptoms in animals are often very similar to adult symptoms of
Lyme disease or Lyme disease symptoms in children. The difficulty detecting
symptoms in animals however is that they cannot directly communicate how they
are feeling, meaning that you have to be alert to subtle changes in your
companion animals’ behaviour, especially if you think that they may have been
exposed to Lyme disease infection. Lyme disease has been reported in dogs, cats,
horses, cows, and goats and symptoms frequently include fever, lameness, joint
soreness, listlessness and fatigue, loss of appetite, and swollen glands. Where
infection spreads it can result in problems with the heart, liver, kidneys,
eyes, and nervous system, with younger animals often at risk of acute issues
such as kidney failure. Chronic Lyme disease symptoms in animals may include
unexplained weight loss, laminitis, spontaneous abortions, and poor fertility,
particularly in horses and cows. Some of those caring for animals such as horses
and dogs have also noted changes in mood and temperament following Lyme disease,
which may be a symptom in itself or could stem from chronic pain from Lyme
arthritis, or general fatigue and malaise. Just as in humans with Lyme disease,
the symptoms in animals are likely to be intermittent and variable, making it
difficult to judge whether they are all part of the same condition or are a
reaction to long walks, other infection, environmental conditions, nutritional
deficiencies, or other medical issue. The initial signs of Lyme disease may also
be difficult to detect with any rash often concealed by an animal’s coat, and
signs of fatigue frequently dismissed as a simple reaction to a long country
walk or being away from home on a camping trip, for example.
disease is suspected in an animal it is important to seek medical attention and
assessment as soon as possible in order to begin treatment. Antibiotic treatment
for Lyme disease in animals is usually very effective, especially when started
promptly, and most animals recover and experience no long-term adverse effects.
Where treatment is delayed there may be more severe damage which is more
difficult to repair and may need other medications or treatments to control,
such as anti-inflammatory drugs or dialysis.
Lyme Disease Symptoms in
Animals – Prevention
Lyme disease prevention is obviously preferable to
having to have your animals suffer Lyme disease infection and require treatment.
In areas endemic for Lyme disease it is wise to restrict outdoor exposure to
ticks for all family members, including any animals in the house. This can mean
putting up deer fences, clearing shrubbery and leaf piles around the house,
keeping grass short, and avoiding areas of dense vegetation when out walking or
camping. Prodigious use of tick-repellents is also wise, with permethrin very
effective for tick control. Discussing tick control products with your
veterinarian will help in making decisions to safeguard your pets’ health and
that of the rest of the family who may be exposed to ticks brought into the home
on the coats of pets. Although Lyme disease is not contagious it may be
transmitted to several family members from just one tick that is brought into
Vigilance is of utmost importance, with both dogs and cats
best checked daily for the presence of ticks. Brushing the animals’ fur over a
light colored surface can help to identify any ticks that may be brushed off in
order to destroy them safely. Ticks are most commonly found on the head and neck
of an animals along with the ears, toes, armpits, and groin where ticks can hide
and feed unobserved. Ticks are very small however and may be disguised against
an animal’s fur. Where a tick feeds for a number of days it is likely to become
more visible as it swells to the size of a small grape. An engorged tick is more
likely to have been in place for a longer time and to have spread Borrelia
bacteria and Lyme disease. Monitoring for symptoms in any animal from whom a
tick has been removed is of paramount importance although Lyme disease symptoms
in animals may take several weeks or months to appear. http://lymediseaseguide.org/lyme-dis...oms-in-animals
Patients with Lyme disease often report dissatisfaction with how their case has
been (mis)handled by medical professionals and the medical establishment in
general. Many have called on celebrities with Lyme disease to use their exposure
to raise Lyme awareness and force changes in how the disease is diagnosed and
treated. There are many famous people rumored to have Lyme disease, or to have
overcome the condition, as well as a handful who have openly admitted to having
been seriously affected by the infection with the spirochaetal Lyme disease
bacteria. Writers with Lyme disease
A number of authors have gone on
record stating that they suffered (or continue to suffer) from Lyme disease,
perhaps because the cognitive effects of Lyme have such a profound result on a
writer’s ability to continue working. Maintaining a handle on intricate plot
development and the finer points of your protagonist’s character clearly suffer
immensely when neuroborreliosis has confounded your short-term memory and your
concentration is non-existent. Rebecca Wells, author of The Divine Secrets of
the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is one such author, who faced diagnoses of dystonia,
epilepsy, and was even encouraged to simply take antidepressants to clear up her
Perhaps the most vocal of Lyme disease advocates who are also
authors is Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club and The Bonesetter’s Daughter,
amongst other books. Tan is still affected by the condition after contracting
the infection in 1999. Details of her experience with Lyme disease are given on
the author’s website (AmyTan.net) and included flu-like illness, numbness and
tingling in the extremities, neck stiffness, insomnia, rapidly vacillating blood
sugar levels, and fourteen brain lesions in her frontal and parietal lobes. A
New York Times Bestselling writer, Tan possibly explains the cognitive effects
of Lyme disease better than most: “By day, my memory was held together with
friable threads, my concentration was as easy to disperse as blown dust…”. Such
Lyme disease symptoms will be familiar to many patients. Another writer
having suffered with Lyme disease is the Pullitzer Prize-winning Alice Walker,
author of The Color Purple. Walker has documented her struggle with Lyme disease
in an essay entitled ‘The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult’, written and
published in 1996. At the time Alice Walker became symptomatic with Lyme disease
she was filming The Color Purple and the problems she experienced had a profound
effect on her relationship (which eventually broke down) as well as her ability
to work. Walker has become something of a Lyme disease advocate since her
experience, despite having been effectively cured of the condition with
Singers and Actors with Lyme Disease
Hall, of Hall and Oates fame, is possibly the most famous singer having suffered
from Lyme disease. Hall was diagnosed in 2006 after becoming extremely ill
whilst on stage and actually stumbling off stage with a fever of 102 degrees.
The rest of the duo’s July tour was cancelled as Hall returned to New York for
treatment. As Hall was treated promptly with antibiotics he appears to have no
lasting effects from the illness, a familiar story with many celebrities who are
lucky enough to be able to afford extensive and speedy health-care in contrast
to many with chronic Lyme disease.
Neneh Cherry is another celebrity
affected by Lyme disease; the singer contracted the infection around 1990 and
Lyme disease prevented her from doing much work until 1992 during a slow
convalescence from the infection. Meadow Soprano faced a number of
terrifying scenarios in the HBO series The Sopranos, but the actor who played
her, Jamie-Lynn Sigler described her ordeal with Lyme disease in her memoir
‘Wise Girl’. Sigler contracted Lyme disease when she was nineteen and filming
the series in Hamburg, Sussex County, at the height of the cult TV show’s
popularity. Initial symptoms included tingling in her feet which rapidly
progressed to paralysis of her legs. She spent five days in Long Island’s North
Shore Hospital while doctors desperately tried to diagnose her condition,
eventually treating her with appropriate antibiotics. Sigler apparently suffers
no ill-effects as a result of her terrifying experience but has said that “It
was such a life-altering experience… I realized it could all be taken away in a
Richard Gere is another casualty of Lyme disease, although he
also appears to be cured of the disease with no chronic effects. Gere was
diagnosed with Lyme disease as he was about to start filming ‘Autumn in New
York’ with Winona Ryder. The infection laid him low for a week but the actor was
quickly diagnosed and treated. Talking to friends about the experience Gere
allegedly said “This is one scary disease. I felt as though every ounce of
strength had gone from my body. Within hours I could barely lift my head from
the pillow.” Archer Wins Gold after Lyme Paralysis
Mel Clarke has had a rough ride during her career, with an extremely
debilitating case of Lyme disease almost proving fatal as she attended the World
Archery Championships in America in 2003. Clarke, ranked second in the world at
the time, quickly became ill during competition and within minutes was
unconscious and rushed to hospital. The then 23yr-old was connected to a
life-support machine in hospital with doctors fearing for her life. Unconscious
for nearly two weeks, Clarke awoke to find herself on a ventilator and being
The world champion archer already suffered from reflex
sympathetic dystrophy (an arthritic condition) and was left paralysed from the
waist down and blind in one eye after her battle with Lyme disease. Despite
these considerable obstacles, and doctors telling her that she would never shoot
an arrow again, Mel Clarke is now one of Britains’ top Paralympians with six
Paralympic world records to add to her ten national able-bodied
records. Other Famous Lyme Disease Patients
Other celebrities with
Lyme disease include Brooke Landau, freelance reporter and producer most famous
for her work on the Today Show. Landau gave an interview to NBC because she
“wanted to talk to others because I would not have been sick for 7 years if the
insurance companies didn’t make money off of sick people.” Landau had a
congenital heart defect, a possible reason why she was so badly affected by Lyme
disease which can cause Lyme carditis. Perhaps the most famous person to
have revealed their brush with ticks is George W. Bush. Medical records released
by the White House showed that the former president was successfully treated for
early localized Lyme disease after his doctors spotted the Lyme disease rash,
erythema migrans. The president’s love of mountain-biking is likely the cause of
his exposure to ticks and some have blamed the infamous malpropisms and
linguistic oddities uttered by George W. Bush on the cognitive effects of Lyme
disease. The seeming simplicity of Bush’s Lyme disease case meant that the
former president did nothing to aid other Lyme disease patients during his time
in office and one wonders what would have happened had he experienced symptoms
of chronic Lyme disease. Actress Parker Posey, and bushcraft expert Ray Mears
are other famous people with Lyme disease stories who are doing more to
highlight the condition; hopefully their media exposure can help bring about
positive change. http://lymediseaseguide.org/celebrit...h-lyme-disease
A type of bacterium known to cause dental decay and skin ulcers may also be
linked to bowel cancer, scientists suspect.
Two independent research
teams have now found the bug Fusobacterium in colon tumours.
It's not yet
clear if the pathogen might cause cancerous changes or whether it is an
incidental finding, they told Genome Research journal.
If it is to
blame, antibiotics might be able to treat it and prevent cancer.
cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK after after breast and
Although the exact cause of bowel cancer is unknown, there are
certain factors that increase risk, such as a strong family history of the
disease and older age.
It may be that Fusobacterium infection can be
added to that list, according to the experts, but they say much more work is
needed to establish this.
The infection has already been linked with a
gut condition called ulcerative colitis which is itself a risk factor for bowel
Continue reading the main story Early warning signs and
symptoms A persistent change in normal bowel habit, such as going to the
toilet more often and diarrhoea, especially if you are also bleeding from your
back passage Bleeding from the back passage without any reason, particularly
over the age of 50 A lump in your tummy or a lump in your back passage felt
by your doctor Unexplained iron deficiency in men or in women after the
menopause Unexplained extreme tiredness
And other cancers are known to
be linked with certain bacteria and viruses - for example, HPV and cervical
The first study, led by Dr Robert Holt from Simon Fraser
University in Canada, identified Fusobacterium's hallmark in RNA present in
bowel cancer tumours. RNA is genetic material similar to DNA which is involved
in transmitting and translating the genetic code.
The other team, led by
Dr Matthew Meyerson from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, US, found
microbial sequences of DNA indicative of Fusobacterium.
looked at more than 100 samples of healthy and cancerous bowel
Sarah Williams, of Cancer Research UK, said the research gave a
clue about the environment in which bowel cancer grows, but added: "It's early
days and we look forward to the results of more specific, in-depth studies.
"In the meantime, people can reduce their risk of bowel cancer by not
smoking, cutting down on alcohol, keeping a healthy weight, being active,
reducing the amount of red and processed meat in their diet and eating plenty of
Ehrlichiosis is a disease caused by several tick-borne bacterial species in the
genus Ehrlichia (pronounced err-lick-ee-uh) which were first recognized in 1935.
Over the next several decades, since these veterinary pathogens that caused
disease in dogs, cattle, sheep, goats, and horses were identified. Currently,
three species of Ehrlichia in the United States and one in Japan are known to
cause disease in humans; others will likely be recognized in the future as
methods of detection improve.
There are two
major types of human ehrlichiosis in the U.S.; human monocytic ehrlichiosis
(HME), caused by E. chaffeensis; and human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE),
caused by E. phagocytophila. Clinically, they are difficult to differentiate.
Symptoms for both include fever, headache, malaise, and muscle aches. Rashes
occur more frequently with HME than HGE. Treatment for both are with antibiotics
in the tetracycline family, most commonly doxycycline. Fatalities are rare (2-3%
of diagnosed cases), but can occur as the result of complications from
infection. Complete diagnosis requires serological or molecular tests to
differentiate Ehrlichia species, but treatment should begin after clinical
diagnosis. Asymptomatic infections probably occur with all Ehrlichia. Improved
diagnostic tools and an increased awareness of ehrlichiosis are revealing that
these infections are more common than previously suspected.
Both horses and dogs are susceptible to Ehrlichia,
although the species involved vary (see below for details). In dogs, the
clinical signs for different types of ehrlichiosis are similar and difficult to
separate clinically. These include fever, epilepsy, incoordination, lethargy,
anemia, and bleeding episodes. Asymptomatic infections are probably common. The
clinical signs in horses vary more between the two types of ehrlichiosis. Signs
of equine granulocytic ehrlichiosis (EGE, E. phagocytophila) include fever,
lethargy, anorexia, ataxia and limb edema. Equine monocytic ehrlichiosis
(Potomac horse fever, E. risticii) most often manifests as colitis (inflamation
of the colon), resulting in diarrhea, colic, loss of appetite, depression, and
Biology of Ehrlichia
Ehrlichia are bacteria,
related to Rickettsia, and are obligate intracellular parasites, meaning they
can not survive outside of a cell. These bacteria have only recently begun to
receive much research attention, and there are still many questions about their
transmission cycles and reservoir hosts. There are likely to be taxonomic
revisions of Ehrlichia and Anaplasma as further research occurs. Many Ehrlichia
are tick-borne, although there are some species which use other invertebrates as
intermediate hosts, such as snails and helminths. The transmission cycles for
some Ehrlichia species have not yet been determined.
Ehrlichia are often
differentiated based on the mammalian cell type they infect. Monocytes,
granulocytes, and neutrophils are most frequently involved, and the common name
of the resulting disease reflects the cell type (e.g. monocytic or granulocytic
ehrlichiosis). More than one species of Ehrlichia can cause disease in most
Species of Ehrlichia in the U.S.
Disease: humans (HME), rarely monocytic erhlichiosis in dogs.
Vectors: Amblyomma americanum (lone star tick); possibly Dermacentor
variabilis (American dog tick)
Distribution: HME has been diagnosed from
every state in the U.S. except the Dakotas. It is more common in the
southeastern U.S., largely congruent with the distribution of A.
Disease: granulocytic ehrlichiosis
in humans (HGE), horses (EGE), dogs, cattle.
Vector: In the eastern U.S.,
Ixodes scapularis (black-legged tick or deer tick). Elsewhere, other members of
the I. ricinus group (I. ricinus, I. pacificus, I. persulcatus).
Distribution: U.S., Europe. In the U.S., it has been reported from areas
where I. scapularis and I. pacificus are present, predominately in the
northeast, midwest and California. Cases have been identified in Florida, but
the level of transmission is unclear.
Reservoir hosts: rodents, possibly
A note on species nomenclature: Initially, the agent of HGE was
identified as an Ehrlichia but not named. Later, it was determined that the
agent of HGE, E. equii (agent of equine granulocytic ehrlichiosis), and E.
phagocytophila (agent of ehrlichiosis in cattle and deer in Europe), were
genetically almost identical. The name E. phagocytophila has priority, and all
three are now generally considered as E. phagocytophila. Some literature may
differentiate between the three, and revision of the group is likely to change
some generic and specific names.
sanguineus (brown dog tick), possibly A. americanum.
Disease: primarily dogs (canine
granulocytic ehrlichiosis). Human infection is rare.
but likely to be R. sanguineus or A. americanum.
the southcentral states in the United States.
Horses (Potomac horse fever or equine monocytic ehrlichiosis); has also been
isolated from dogs. An equine vaccine is available, but protection is of short
duration and booster inoculations are required.
Vector: unknown but not
tick-borne. Snails and helminths may be involved as intermediate
Distribution: much of North America, particular the east coast;
Europe. More common along major waterways and in summer.
Other Ehrlichia have been described and may be agents of
disease for livestock and wild animals. The taxonomic status of some of these
are unclear and the transmission cycles are largely unknown.
Typically, there are 1-5 reported cases of human ehrlichiosis
in Florida each year. More cases probably occur, but are not severe enough to
seek medical attention or are not confirmed by laboratory tests. Veterinary
cases are not always reported, but both canine and equine ehrlichiosis also
occur in Florida.
In August 2001 an unusual cluster of 4 ehrlichiosis
cases in Jefferson county occurred, prompting the county health office to
declare a medical alert. The conditions that led to this cluster are unknown,
but it is likely to be related to tick populations and tick-human contact. The
species of Ehrlichia involved was confirmed in one case, and is probable in the
others, as E. chaffeensis.
Several species of ticks which transmit
Ehrlichia spp. are present in Florida. These include I. scapularis, A.
americanum, and D. variablis.
Prevention and Management
with any vector-borne pathogen, the primary disease preventative measure is to
minimize contact with the vectors. For humans, protective clothing, such as long
pants and socks tucked into pants will reduce tick contact; repellents
containing DEET are effective against most ticks. Permethrin-based repellents
can be sprayed on boots and clothing. For dogs, there are various treatments in
sprays, spot-ons and collars (active ingredients include permethrin, fipronil,
amitraz). Permethrin and pyrethroid based sprays and spot-ons for horses will
reduce tick bites.
For all host species, thorough tick checks and
grooming to remove attached ticks will reduce transmission of tick-borne
pathogens. Use fine-tipped forceps to remove ticks; grasp the tick near the skin
and pull straight back. Do not squeeze the abdomen or apply heat or petroleum
products; this may cause the tick to regurgitate into the host!
population reduction is difficult and it is unclear how effective it will be in
reducing infection rates. Various methods have been tested, including vegetation
management, acaracide treatment, host exclusion, and host treatment. Treatment
of hosts, via treated feed or feeding stations that apply acaricide to hosts,
are promising methods for population reduction of ticks which feed on
This document is Fact Sheet ENY-662 (IN191), one of a series of the
Entomology and Nematology Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Serivce,
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Date first
published: February 2001. Reviewed: August 2006. Please visit the EDIS Web site
Lord and C. Roxanne Rutledge Connelly, Assistant Professors, Florida Medical
Entomology Laboratory, Vero Beach, FL; Entomology and Nematology Department,
Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences,
University of Florida, Gainesville,
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity
Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other
services only to individuals and institutions that function with
non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age,
disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political
opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other extension
publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension service.
Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida,
IFAS, Florida A. & M. University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards
of County Commissioners Cooperating. Millie Ferrer-Chancy, Interim Dean.
A tick-borne, multisystemic disease, Lyme borreliosis caused by the spirochete
Borrelia burgdorferi has grown into a major public health problem during the
last 10 years. The primary treatment for chronic Lyme disease is administration
of various antibiotics. However, relapse often occurs when antibiotic treatment
is discontinued. One possible explanation for this is that B. burgdorferi become
resistant to antibiotic treatment, by converting from their vegetative
spirochete form into different round bodies and/or into biofilmlike colonies.
There is an urgent need to find novel therapeutic agents that can eliminate all
these different morphologies of B. burgdorferi. In this study, two herbal
extracts, Samento and Banderol, as well as doxycycline (one of the primary
antibiotics for Lyme disease treatment) were tested for their in vitro
effectiveness on several of the different morphological forms of B. burgdorferi
(spirochetes, round bodies, and biofilmlike colonies) using fluorescent,
darkfield microscopic, and BacLight viability staining methods. Our results
demonstrated that both herbal agents, but not doxycycline, had very significant
effects on all forms of B. burgdorferi, especially when used in combination,
suggesting that herbal agents could provide an effective therapeutic approach
for Lyme disease patients.
Borrelia burgdorferi, the primary causative
agent of Lyme disease, is a spirochetal bacterium that can adopt different
inactive forms, such as cystic and granular forms (round bodies), as well as
colonylike aggregates both in vivo and in vitro, in the presence of unfavorable
conditions such as exposure to the antibiotics commonly used for treating Lyme
borreliosis.1-4 Unfortunately, when B. burgdorferi is in these inactive forms,
conventional antibiotic therapy will not destroy the bacteria.3 Still to date,
the frontline treatment for Lyme disease is administration of pharmaceutical
antibiotics such as doxycycline, minocycline, clarithromycin, penicillin G, and
ceftriaxone.4,5 Many studies have shown that in spite of continued and high-dose
antibiotic therapy, chronic Lyme disease is not treated successfully in many
cases.6 Also, in the absence of ongoing antibiotic treatment, relapse is
common.7,8 This means that even after antibiotic treatment, the host immunity
fails to prevent recurrence.8 One possible explanation for this clinical
observation is the presence of different morphological forms of B. burgdorferi,
which mayprotect it from the antibacterial therapy. Soon after treatment,
relapse is observed, most likely because the B. burgdorferi can revert to the
spirochetal form. Furthermore, the cost of antibiotic treatment, especially when
administered intravenously, is substantial. Antibiotic therapy may also cause
multiple undesirable side effects.9 Thus, there is an urgent need for novel,
more efficient, and more cost-effective treatment approaches that can
efficiently eliminate all forms of B. burgdorferi. There is an alternative
clinical treatment option gaining wide use, called Cowden Condensed Support
Program, that utilizes several herbal extracts designed to eliminate microbes in
Lyme disease patients. Richard Horowitz, MD, president of the International Lyme
and Associated Diseases Educational Foundation (ILADEF), has prescribed this
protocol for over 2000 of his patient and reports that it has been effective for
more than 70% of them. The two herbal agents from the Cowden Condensed Support
Program selected for this study are Samento (a pentacyclic chemotype of Cat's
Claw [Uncaria tomentosa] that does not contain tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids),
with reported antibacterial and antiviral properties, and Banderol (Otoba sp.),
known to have antibacterial, antiprotozoal and anti-inflammatory effects.10-12
Both herbal agents are used during the first two months of Cowden Condensed
Support Program, then in rotation with other antimicrobials for the duration of
this 6-month protocol. n this study, we evaluated these natural antimicrobial
herbal extracts as well as doxycycline (one of the primary pharmaceutical
antibiotics for Lyme disease treatment) for their potential effects on the
different forms of B. burgdorferi.
The infectious B31strain of B.
burgdorferi used in this study, obtained from American Type Tissue
Collection(ATCC# 35210), was culturedin 5% CO2 at 34 oC, in
Barbour–Stoener–Kelly H (BSK H) medium supplemented with 6% rabbit serum (Sigma,
St. Louis, Missouri) to midlogarithmic stage (2 × 107 cells/ml). Samento and
Banderol were obtained from Nutramedix LLC (Jupiter, Florida). Doxycycline was
obtained from Sigma. A wide range of concentrations of Samento and Banderol were
initially tested to determine the effective concentrations (1:100–1:1000
dilutions). For doxycycline, a concentration 10× higher than the reported
minimum bactericidal concentration (250 µg/ml) was used.13 Triplicate test tubes
containing BSK H medium, with and without the appropriately diluted
antimicrobial agents, were inoculated with a final density of 5 × 106 cells/ml
of the test organism.
Direct cell counting methods with Petroff-Hausser
counting chambers and morphological studies using fluorescent and darkfield
microscopic techniques, as well as LIVE/DEAD BacLight Bacterial Viability Assay
(Life Technologies Corp, Carlsbad, California), were utilized to assess the
effect of the antimicrobial agents. For statistical analyses, one sample paired
T-test was performed using NCSS statistical software (NCSS LLC, Kaysville,
Utah). In the first set of experiments, we tested the in vitro susceptibility
of the spirochete and round-body forms of the B. burgdorferi B31 strain to
Samento and Banderol extracts for 96 hours, then direct cell counting and
darkfield morphological evaluation methods were used to measure the effects of
the antimicrobial agents. For both herbal extracts, the dilution of 1:400 most
efficiently eliminated both the spirochetal and round-body forms (Figure 1A and
1B). However, when we used the combination of Samento and Banderol extracts,
1:300 dilution showed the most effectiveness, and this concentration was chosen
for further study (Figure 1C). As a negative control, 0.25% ethanol treatment
was also included in all experiments, because these herbal extracts contain ~25%
ethanol to transport the nutrients into the cells and for stability.
these experiments, we also compared the effect of Samento and Banderol with
doxycycline, the most common antibiotic treatment agent for Lyme disease
treatment in a 96-hour treatment period. Our results showed that doxycycline
(250 µg/ml) was very effective in eliminating the spirochetal form of B.
burgdorferi, but it significantly increased the round-body forms. Comparing this
doxycycline data with that of the herbal extracts, Banderol and the combination
of Samento and Banderol (1:300) were more efficient in eliminating both the
spirochetal and round-body forms of B. burgdorferi in vitro (Figures
In the next set of experiments, we evaluated the effect of the
different antimicrobial agents on biofilmlike colonies of B. burgdorferi. The
cultures were treated as described above for 96 hours and stained with BacLight
fluorescent viability stains, which can help visualize the effects of the
antimicrobial agents on the bacterial cells (Figure 2). The green fluorescent
stain (SYTO 9, with excitation/emission maxima of about 480/500 nm) colors
healthy bacteria that have intact membranes, thus staining live cells; and the
red dye (propidium iodide with excitation/emission maxima of about 490/635 nm)
colors In the absence of antimicrobial agents, B. burgdorferi is forming
biofilmlike colonies (Figure 2A) with mainly live bacterial cells. In the
presence of Samento extract (1:300), the colonies were significantly smaller and
less organized (Figure 2B), but they did stain with green dye, indicating that
live cells remained. In the presence of Banderol extracts, the size of colonies
did not show any reduction; however, the cells inside the colonies are >90%
In the presence of both herbal extracts, no sign of any colony
formation was observed in the cultures, but we found evidence of a few
individual nonmotile but green spirochetes and round bodies. In the presence of
doxycycline (250 µg/ml), the average colony size was increased and contained
mainly live round-body forms.
In this study, our working hypothesis was
that for an efficient therapy, we have to find antimicrobial agents that can
eliminate all the forms of B. burgdorferi. During the course of Borrelia
infection, the bacteriumcan shift among the different forms, converting from the
spirochete form to the others when presented with an unfavorable environment and
reverting to the spirochete when the condition is again favorable for growth.1-4
To successfully eradicate B. burgdorferi, antimicrobial agents should eliminate
all those forms, including the spirochetes, round bodies, and biofilmlike
colonies. Here we have provided evidence that two natural antimicrobial
agents (Samento and Banderol extracts) had significant effect on all three known
forms of B. burgdorferi bacteria in vitro. We have also demonstrated that
doxycycline, one of the primary antibiotics used in the clinic to treat Lyme
disease, only had significant effect on the spirochetal form of B.
burgdorferi.5 Our later results might provide some explanation for why
relapse is so common after discontinuing antibiotic therapy. For example, some
of the recent reports on animal experiments demonstrated that although
pharmaceutical antibiotics are effective in ameliorating disease, the infection
may persist even after seemingly effective therapy, which suggested that
Borrelia may remain viable even after antibiotic administration.14-15 If those
pharmaceutical antibiotics only eliminate one form of this bacterium, the other
forms could be the source of the persistent disease.
The other very
important fact needs to be considered for an effective treatment for Borrelia
infection: this bacterium typically has a life span ranging from several weeks
to six to eight months; therefore, it may take six to eight months for even one
generation of Borrelia to become exposed to the antimicrobial for elimination.16
Since the herbal extracts like Samento are reported to be nontoxic, they can be
safely taken daily for the long period of time necessary to thoroughly eradicate
Borrelia from an infected body.17 In summary, our study has provided in vitro
research data on a novel treatment approach using herbal antimicrobial agents to
efficiently eradicate B. burgdorferi, the Lyme disease bacterium.
Make a chart of your symptoms! Get some graph paper, on the left-hand column
list your symptoms and various affected body parts, and then across the top
number the days. Each day, fill in the appropriate squares with the severity of
your symptoms. Hurts like crazy? Fill that square in. Hurts just a little? Maybe
just put a line across the bottom of the square. Record the worst of each
symptom each day. You'll notice that some move gradually up and down, some might
appear constant, and others can blink in and out in just a day. Now you have a
record. With this record, you can help you and your doctor figure out exactly
what to expect when, and even make a prediction on when you'll feel 100% normal
again! Instead of being at the mercy of the disease, waking up each morning and
wondering "what's the torture of the day going to be?", or wondering "When is it
ever going to end?", you could be looking at your chart and knowing exactly what
to expect and when! Of course, you still have to map that first cycle, but from
there on out you're not just blindly muddling along!
interpreting your chart can be difficult. For instance, some body parts may feel
fine during the first month or two, only to become painful later on. Reason
being, is that they started out numb, and as the bacteria died away the feeling
came back to that area. Physical symptoms that started out painful should show
themselves fading away with each cycle. Basic energy level should rise each
month, although there may only be a slight increase between the first two
cycles. Neuro symptoms should also improve slightly each month, but they will be
the last ones to finally clear up.
The Lyme bacteria appears to stick
very tightly to its cyclical schedule. These cycles tend to be about 21 days in
men, 30 days in women. If your symptoms don't appear to be going down with each
cycle, then consult your doctor about increasing the antibiotic levels, adding
another, switching, or whatever the attack plan they might
Because the physical symptoms disappear first and the
psychological ones are sometimes difficult to measure, your doctor may ask you
to begin recording your temperature a few times a day once your symptoms are
nearly cleared. When you've gone through a few full cycles without sign of a
fever, you're done!
The Lyme bacteria will typically have a peak
intensity sometime during its cycle each month. Beginning, middle, or end is a
matter of chance and at what point you start your charting. But it can be very
frustrating to start your antibiotics on the low end of a cycle, only to find
yourself feeling worse and worse as the days go by. Which is why you are keeping
a chart! It is completely irrelevant to use day- to day or even week-to-week
comparisons for whether you are improving. The only reliable way to tell is to
compare each months chart and see if the symptoms are improving overall. Again
frustrating, because you really can't tell if you're improving for at least one
full cycle. Unless of course, you're one of those miracle Rocephin cures, which
is rare. The rest of us suffer for a month, and then begin comparing each
month's date to the previous to see if there is improvement.
uncomplicated recovery. Before starting your antibiotics you might find yourself
feeling pretty bad, or at the least, not very good. Once you start though:
Oh my God, I'm gonna Die.
Ugh, I feel horrible.
Feeling much better.
Wow! I feel pretty good!
Now Cycle 1 Cycle 2 Cycle 3 Cycle 4
This chart assumes many
things, mostly that nothing goes wrong, that the choice of antibiotic and its
level are correct from the start, etc..It is intended to be an example of how a
typical recovery might feel.
The Lyme Disease Cycle. Is not really 30
days precisely. Rather, in women it tends to match their menstrual cycle in
number of days. In men the cycle is usually around 21 day. But again, these vary
from person to person. The only way to know for sure is to make a chart of your
symptoms and then begin looking for patterns.
There are many
different strains of Lyme Disease. Fortunately there is also a variety of
antibiotics. The trick is to find the antibiotics which your stain is
susceptible to and that your body will tolerate in high doses. This can be
extremely discouraging, to spend weeks or months on a particular antibiotic,
only to figure out that it isn't working. This is one reason that Lyme Disease
is frequently treated with two different antibiotics at the same time. Another
is that doubling up provides a much higher kill rate. If the first set of
antibiotics you try doesn't seem to be doing much, don't be afraid to ask you
doctor for a few short trials of some others. Try each one for three days.
Remember how you felt each third day. Continue with the one/ones which hit you
Cephalosporins - When they work, they work extremely well.
This family is effectively an "instant" kill, meaning that it can kill the
bacteria regardless of the stage of the its life-cycle. Naturally, like
everything else, they're more effective during the reproductive cycle. But,
essentially, this class of antibiotics pokes holes in the bacterial cell wall
and causes the little buggers to bleed to death.
Penicillins - This class
blocks cell wall formation during the reproductive cycle of the bacteria. They
are a slow-kill antibiotic, but usually highly effective.
Generally gum up the DNA of the bacteria. Without functioning DNA, the bacteria
can't reproduce or grow.
Advanced Macrolides - Block protein synthesis in
the bacteria. Without proteins, the bacteria have a difficult time doing much of
Metronidazole - Does three things: gums up the bacterial
DNA, suffocates the bacteria that may be in anaerobic mode, and breaks their
little legs so they can't run and hide (almost literally! The bacteria use their
flagellum to escape attacking white blood cells, but without functioning
flippers, they become easy targets). One possible problem with this antibiotic,
is that it may be a tad too useful. By enabling the immune system to see and
catch the bacteria the body is suddenly hit with the realizationthat there is
tremendous infection going on. The immune system response can be intense.
Possibly a great choice for "mop-up" later in treatment.
dosage and duration. Typical bacteria have very short cycle times, usually
measured in hours or minutes. This means, that an antibiotic that is given at a
standard rate to produce an effective 10-20% kill rate can kill a typical
infection in just a matter of a few days. With each cycle the antibiotic kills
some percentage of whatever bacteria are still left. When the numbers get low
enough your body cleans up the stragglers, thus keeping the "percentage of
what's left" from becoming one of those "limits that never reach zero" problems
that you dreaded back in high school algebra. The Lyme bacteria behaves the same
way. With each cycle the standard rate of antibiotics will kill some percentage
of whatever is there. Except that the Lyme bacteria has a cycle time measured in
weeks! (3-4) It could take years to kill the infection at standard rates!
Antibiotics are dosed quite high, and often combined, in order to achieve the
highest kill rate possible without killing the patient (you) in the process. But
even forcing a very high kill rate can still take 4-6 months before the levels
are brought down far enough for your body to overwhelm the stragglers. The other
reason that antibiotic levels are kept very high for Lyme Disease treatment is
that the bacteria isn't just in one or two easy-to reach places. It's
everywhere. That includes the central nervous system (CNS) and inside cells,
joints, etc, etc....Many antibiotics have a difficult time reaching these
places in concentrations high enough to effectively kill the disease in these
areas. Don't let your doctor under-dose treatment options and effective dosage
rates. Duration, or how long you stay on the high rate of antibiotics is just as
important. A typical infection by a typical bacteria is beaten to death for many
cycles past when it should have all been dead, just to make sure. Why not the
same with Lyme? Currently, you'll be lucky if your doctor agrees to one full
cycle symptom-free. Press for one full cycle fever-free. If you manage to stay
on antibiotics for anything after that, consider yourself blessed. But 3-4
fever- free cycles, assuming that you're back living a healthy lifestyle and
doing what you can to keep your immune system pumped up in top condition, well,
that should to it. Time to stop and see if it's really as dead as we all hope it
Can't lie to ya. Rough road ahead. In fact,
getting well may be about the hardest and most difficult thing you'll ever
do. But it's worth it! Stick with it! Never give up hope!The first thing you
should know is that it gets worse before it gets better. It can in fact get a
lot worse before it gets better. Itdepends on how long you've had it, how much
of the bacteria has builtup, what strain you have, and many other factors as
The Lyme bacteria gives off a chemical toxin when it dies. When the
antibiotics start killing them, the toxin levels in your body will soar and the
symptoms can become intense. Physical symptoms includepain, numbness, swelling,
tremors, and a myriad of others if internalorgans are significantly affected.
The toxin affects your mind aswell. Typical symptoms include insomnia,
confusion, disorientation,depression, anxiety and panic attacks. These will all
go away as youget well!
As if the toxin effects weren't good enough,
another fact about theLyme bacteria is that it grows and reproduces slowly. At
first thatmay seem a good thing, except that antibiotics are generally able
tokill it only during certain stages of it's life cycle. The end resultbeing
that it takes a long time to get well. usually months. Therehave been cases of
"miracle" cures in just a couple weeks, but theseare rather rare. Just don't
give up hope! Keep at it! Keep trying! Ittakes a long time, but being happy and
healthy again is worth it!
Of course we'd all probably like to have our
mind functioning properly again as the first step in getting well.
Unfortunately, that won't happen. Your mind returns last, when just about all
the bacteria are dead. Physical symptoms like pain and numbness go first, then
the bacteria that didn't cause pain, and then, finally, your head begins to
clear up. This can be very disconcerting when your body feels good but your head
is still reeling. Hang in there! When you first start on effective
antibiotics, you'll be in for quite an unpleasant surprise. Within a day or two
you'll feel like you've been hit by a fully loaded military cargo jet flying at
full throttle. Your symptoms, including the ones you didn't even know you
had, will flare up intensely. Try hard to tough it out. But if you find that you
absolutely positively can't, and this is not too unusual, ask your doctor
about lowering the dosage for a while, or pulsing on and off until you get
through the worst of it. Sticking on the medication as prescribed, always taking
them right on time, is your best bet for getting through it as quickly as
possible. Don't give those nasty little bacteria an inch! This can be really
tough, because it takes at least a few weeks (6-8), and sometimes much more to
get through the brutally hard part.
If when you start your antibiotics,
your symptoms don't flare severely, including ones you didn't know you had, then
you may have astrain that is resistant to that particular antibiotic.Or,
perhaps, your body is fighting the antibiotic and not letting it do its job
properly. This is one reason that two antibiotics are often used at the same
time. It is a judgment call between you and your doctor as to whether the
antibiotics are being effective, and what might need to be done if they
Which set of symptoms, the physical or the psychological, will be
the most difficult to handle is entirely up to the individual. Are
you more physically oriented? Or are you a thinker? Some people are so
happy-go-lucky and full of faith that nothing at all bothers them. In fact, many
people are. You can be like them too. Just don't bother to worry about it!
You're on the right road. The road to being happy, healthy and normal
Is it contagious? The answer is: no one knows. Spouses and
siblings tend to all travel in the same places, so it is hard to tell if the
disease was transmitted person to person or just infectious bites
by different ticks. The long answer is: that since it's a blood-borne
disease, as long as you don't go around biting people and bleeding on them, then
no, it's not. As always though, better safe than sorry.
A few annoyances
you may encounter along the way, and should be made aware of if you're the
1. Confusion/Disorientation. Your short-term memory will
probably be taking a nice long vacation. You may find yourself confused about
where you are and what you're doing every time the scenery changes. Like when
walking from one room to another, or driving (DON'T!). Sometimes even when just
sitting or lying around doing nothing. It could also be even more intense, with
temporary bouts of amnesia. But it's a fact of life that vacations do end. This
one tends to be about the most disconcerting psychological symptom for most
people. Again though, it's caused by the toxin release from the dying
bacteria. It will get better and eventually go away!
Various parts of your body, both those you knew were infected and those you
didn't, may go numb for a period of time. Quite often it's just for a day or so,
but can also last for many weeks, until enough of the bacteria in that location
have been killed that the toxin level finally drops. Don't panic! They all come
back! (The numb body parts, that is!) They'll eventually switch from numb to
painful, and then finally to normal.
3. Pain. Same as 2), but may be
sporadic pains instead of numbness.
4. It's in more places than you know.
While you are on effective antibiotics the bacteria are NOT spreading. Never had
a problem with your back, but now it hurts? Forearms maybe? Wrists? They hurt
now because the bacteria were there all along, and now that they're dying
they're releasing toxins. It's the toxin from the dying bacteria that causes the
numbness and pain. Dead bacteria is a good thing!
5. Insomnia. And not
just at night either. You may find it impossible to nap during the day at all.
You may get to enjoy every last minute of the worst part. As the toxin levels
fall though, you'll be able to sleep better and better.
and voices. These can occur during times when your mind and body are exhausted
but the toxins won't let you sleep. You may be trying to rest, but your brain
gets stuck halfway between sleep and awake, dreams and reality mix. Better sleep
at night, along with less activity during the day, should help these symptoms
disappear. Ask your Doctor about sleeping aids you can use if necessary.
However, if you get these symtpoms while you're wide awake and have gotten
reasonable sleep, consult your doctor immediately.
7. Tremors, shakes,
and spasms. Can occur in various places to varying degrees. The length of time
they last varies as well. These may be caused by bacteria dying near, and hence
irritating, a nerve which controls motion.
8. Sweats, hot, cold, day and
night. Get used to them. You might consider adding just a bit of extra salt to
your diet so that you don't become salt/sodium deficient.
popcorn, or pin-cushion pains. These tend to feel like someone has picked a part
of your body and decided to jab it with a pin a few times. Then they go and pick
another spot. These are probably just irritations of pain nerves, or perhaps
bacteria dying inside a nerve itself. You might notice that they tend to occure
in your most affected areas, and that more effective antibiotics cause more
10. Heart palpitations or irregularities. Notify your doctor
immediately so that they can determine if the irregularities are severe enough
to be dangerous. In some extreme cases, people have been put on a temporary pace
maker until the worst of the symptoms have disappeared
11. Dizziness and
Vertigo. It's everywhere else, why be surprised that it's in your ears? Symptoms
here can range from a feeling of "walking through jello" to complete loss of
12. Temporary Amnesia. Really this is just an extension of
memory loss symptoms, except that instead of just losing your short-term memory,
mid and sometimes long-term memory can go for a hike as well. These symptoms can
last anywhere from just a few minutes, to a few weeks, and will probably only
occur during the first month or so of treatment.
13. Aliens Under My
Skin. usually felt in the forearms or shins, but can occur anywhere, this feels
for all the world like little turtle- shaped aliens crawling around in the
affected area. These are actually associated with an attack by your own immune
system against the bacteria, and are probably the result of localized swelling
and toxin releases from the bacteria dying under the attack.
bouts of weakness and symptoms flares. Your body is fighting the bacteria
alongside the antibiotics. But your body isn't always a nice steady
predictable stream. Occasionally, and even frequently during the first cycle or
two, your body will attack. Sometimes with an all-out-vengeance that will
literally leave your knees weak and you panting for breath. In extreme cases,
this can actually cause fainting. This can be very disconcerting if your're not
expecting it. As long as your heart rate and blood pressure are OK, then you're'
probably fine. Go over your drug allergy checklist and consult your doctor if
you think it might be a delayed reaction to antibiotics. Normally, this feeling
will drop in intensity withina few minutes.
15. Headaches. Can range from
not at all if you're really lucky, tosome really intense head-splitters. Do
whatever you can to survive them.
16. Disconnection. Close your eyes, now
where is your arm? OK, look at it now. Doesn't really feel like it looks where
it is, does it? The extreme of this symptom is a complete out-of-body
experience. As toxin levels fall, you should become more and more re-connected
to your body again. And there you were thinking that you were just getting
really good at your Yoga exercises.......
17. Panic Attacks. You don't
want to get these, really, you don't. It's a feeling of "Oh my God, I'm going to
be like this forever, I can't take it please, somebody just kill me and get it
over with..." The only possible good thing about this symptom is that it goes
18. Bright Colours. Your pupils may dilate a bit. Indeed, you may
find yourself wearing sunglasses, inside!
19. Hypersensitive Hearing.
Your ears may become hypersensitive to sound. In extreme cases, sound, even very
quiet ones, can become painful.
20. Mood Swings, Irritability/Short
Temper, Erratic Behaviour. Again, all due to the toxin's effect on your mind.
These will all clear up as you get well. These symptoms can be especially
difficult for those around you to deal with.
21. Yo-Yo. You'll be feeling
like one. Up one minute, down the next. You might wake up feeling great one day,
only to find that a couple hours later you're back feeling horrible again. UP,
down, up, down, all around. Slowly, month after month, the downs will stop being
quite so low, and eventually go away.
22. Whatever Else. Everyone is
different, and the disease is quite well known these days for just how
differently it affects different people. Any other significant symptoms that you
are concerned about should be discussed with your doctor.
1. You may need help to get through this. You
should not be left alone for long periods of time. Someone needs to be around to
help encourage and reassure you along your rough road back to wellness. Your
mind will not be working properly, and it's easy to become confused, terrified,
and discouraged. Make sure you have someone to talk to when you need them. Just
a phone call can help tremendously! Emotional release, if needed, can be good
for you! Rare are the ones who can make the journey back to wellness without a
few breakdowns along the way. Call around, ask around, find your local lyme
disease support groups. Talk to them. That's why they're there. They want to
2. Eat! When you finally get through this, you'd certainly like to
enjoy life again as soon as possible, wouldn't you? Well you can't do that if
you're a shriveled-up little mess. Solid food is best, but may prove difficult
for a while.Liquid foods like "Ensure Plus" and "Instant Breakfast" can help
keep your calorie intake up. Don't forget your basic "Multi-vitamin &
Minerals" either. And eating does much more than just keep your weight up. It
provides energy for: your own immune system so it can fight too, for all the
healing that has to take place, and energy to help your body process the toxins
out. Eat, and you'll be healthy and happy again that much sooner.
Move and Stretch. The worst ting you can do is just sit or lie around all day.
Lyme Disease is a deep tissue bug as well as not-so- deep tissue. It likes to
hide and live in places that are hard to reach, both for your body and the
antibiotics. Stretching and moving around does a number of things: such as
providing circulation going and flushing toxins out, you help prevent toxic
bulid-up and subsequent possible permanent damage. So if it hurts, stretch
it (gently), move it around, get some circulation in there! You should be
gently stretching everything from your nose to your toes at least once an hour
while you're awake. Go for a short walk... Even just up and down the driveway,
or around the living room a few times will do a world of good. This is extremely
important during the first few weeks or so when the toxin levels will
4. Sleeping aids. Do not use sleeping aids during the first
couple weeks or so. As long as you have extreme pain or numbness somewhere that
needs to be moved around occasionally you're probably better off rolling around
and tossing and turning all night. Once you feel like you can go the night
without accumulating severe pain somewhere, then sleeping aids are OK.
Naturally, use as little as possible. You do need sleep but you also don't want
permanent toxin damage.
5. Take your medication on time, every time,
religiously. Some bacteria takes days to kill. A missed dose may let them
recover and restart the clock all over again. Unless, of course, you like
6. Don't stop once you feel good. Lyme Disease is very
slow growing, but the longer you've had it, the deeper into your system it gets.
Deep enough such that even the "instant kill" family of cephalosporins
antibiotics take time to kill it. Thus it is generally good practice for Lyme
patients to continue effect antibiotics for a number of months after symptoms
have (seeminglydisappeared. Taking medication when you feel good can be an
annoyance, but when you consider what you're going through now, do you really
want to do it again?
7. Lyme Disease doesn't just grow in the
bloodstream. It tends to enter inside your cells and grow there too. Not all
antibiotics can penetrate cell walls to effectively kill the bacteria there.
Fortunately, there are a number that can: Suprax, Flagyl, and Biaxin for
example. One might consider some time spent on these to help kill any bacteria
which might have crossed inside the cell wall barrier.
8. Know the signs
of a drug reaction for those drugs you haven't had before. Sometimes it can be
difficult to distinguish between a drug reaction and standard Lyme symptoms.
Discuss any concerns or unusual symptoms with your doctor.
9. Avoid any
anti-inflammatory and anti-pain medication. Mostly at the start of treatment.
Inflammation is your body's way of increasing circulation to affected areas.
Circulation is what brings the antibiotics in to where they need to go and takes
the toxins away. Pain is your body's way of saying "Hey stupid! Move this part
around a bit!" You might actually find that anti-inflammatories, though, during
the first month or so of treatment, will tend to make joint pains worse. Once
past the hard part though, a bit of anti- inflammatory and anti-pain medication
10. Antibiotic Soap. For shower or bath. Not proven to actually
do anything, but may help to kill the bacteria hiding in the pores of your
11. Contact Lenses. Take them out! Never nap or sleep with your
contacts in! It is just as likely that the bacteria is in your eyes, as well as
everywhere else. A die-off in your eyes can raise the local toxin levels, but
with your contacts in your body, is hindered from flushing it away. The result
build-up may cause damage to your eyes. Better safe than sorry! Dig up that
dusty old pair of glasses!
12. Depression. Nobody likes feeling
depressed. Problem is, that a fair number of people just get that way after
fighting the disease for a seeming eternity and still not feeling a whole lot
better. Try to find things you can do to occupy yourself and keep your mind off
it. Do whatever you can, naturally, to lift your spirits and keep them up.
Failing that, it is not out of the question to ask you doctor for a little help.
Make sure to avoid anti-depressants that can add to your insomnia!
B-Complex Vitamins. Thse have been shown to significantly help psychological
symptoms. They also help the brain repair and protect itself from toxin
14. Injuries. Try to avoid them. The Lyme bacteria thrive on
injured body parts. Bruises, sprains, etc., are a feast with an open all-you-
can-eat invitation. You might, to amuse yourself once you know the exact length
of your cycle, try mapping back specific short-lived pains to the event which
15. Exercise. Gentle stretching and low-level workouts are
OK. But remember that strenuous exercise and hard workouts are actually
controlled injury...and injury feeds the bacteria.
16. Yeast Infections -
in throat and/or digestive tract. Some antibiotics are more prone than others to
causing yeast infections by killing off all your good bacteria. Your doctor
should question you about sore throats and intestinal problems each time you
visit. These infections can be cured with yet more drugs, or avoided all
together by simply asking your pharmacist for "good tummy bacteria", the live
ones". Lactobacillus Acidophilus (they're non-prescription) Live Culture yogurt
does essentially the same thing, as it contains the very same live bacteria. In
either case, make sure to rinse your mouth and throat with water immediately
after you eat or drink anything, then swish a bit of your live good bacteria
around in your mouth and swallow.
17. Antihistamines. No. No. No. No. No.
And most especially not whenon one of the 'Cyclene family of antibiotics. Your
immune system is one of the biggest factors in your recovery, one of the big
superpowers in the war against disease. The antibiotics will kill some
percentage of the bacteria each cycle while your immune system kills off the
ones that were weakened. Together, the antibiotics and your body create a team
to defeat the bacteria. Antihistamines, like Benadryl, turn off your immune
system! All they do is make sure that you suffer longer! Further, the cyclene
family of antibiotics doesn't actually kill the bacteria, but rather just stops
them from growing and relies on your immune system to kill them.
Natural herbs and such. A stroll through your local herbal and natural foods
shop will provide you with an amazing array of itmes which claim to do all sorts
of good things. Anything that says "boosts your immune system" might be a good
idea. Purely optional, although a number of herbal concoctions have actually
been shown to do as they claim.
19.Caffeine. Suppresses the immune
system, which is very bad. Give up that morning coffee and that afternoon
20. Alcohol. Worse for you than caffeine. Unless you just want to
be sick longer, no alcohol!
21. Smoking. Haven't you been lectured about
this enough yet? Now would be a really good time to quit.
You're going to need a lot of it. Even after you begin to feel better, remember
your body is still fighting off a rather nasty infection. Don't overdo it.
Without sufficient rest, recovery just takes longer.
23.Hot drinks. Let
them cool off to luke-warm first. Hot fluids tend to make the dead layers of
cells on your tongue rather thick to protect them from the scalding heat. This
means more stuff for yeast infections to grow in.
Careful investigation supports the theory that the epidemic of ignorance and
corresponding lack of treatment has been perpetuated by the CDC as part of Phase
II of the deadly Tuskegee Experiment.
Even worse, Phase II is
being carried out by the CDC with the aid of its secretive biological warfare
group. Where the Phase I experiment denied isolated patients from seeing
non-CDC-approved doctors,[i] Phase II involves preventing doctors from treating
patients (or even providing an accurate diagnosis--recall the Tuskegee diagnosis
of syphilis as “bad blood”[ii]) outside of CDC-approved guidelines published by
a medical society known as the IDSA (Infectious Disease Society of America), on
an international basis.
The CDC’s own history of the Tuskegee
Experiment describes how the CDC worked with prominent medical societies to gain
support for the multi-decade experiment in medical malpractice:
“1969 CDC reaffirms need for study and gains local medical
societies' support (AMA and NMA chapters officially support continuation of
So the national agency that was supposed to be
protecting the public from a deadly disease was actually in favor of letting it
go untreated for experimental reasons and worked with prestigious medical
societies to that end!
Tuskegee Phase II is being conducted in a
similar manner, including the direct assistance of prominent medical societies
through IDSA treatment guidelines[iii] enforced by CDC insiders, who are
regularly found to be on the payroll of the pharmaceuticals and insurance
industries--both of which can profit enormously[iv] [v] by not treating the many
symptoms[vi] caused by the disease.
“One way drug
companies have marketed their products is by funding the implementation of
--Civil Action No. 08 CA 11318
The CDC has used the non-specificity of Lyme symptoms
(except for those fortunate enough to manifest the Bull’s Eye rash at the onset
of infection[vii]) as an excuse to mislabel the disease and thereby prevent
effective diagnosis and treatment.[viii] [ix] As Dr. Brian Fallon
“Incorrectly labeling these patients as having a
functional illness, such as depression, hypochondriasis or a somatization
disorder, may result in a delay in the initiation of antibiotic treatment. Such
delay may lead to further dissemination of the infection, and in some cases
severe disability and possibly chronic neurologic damage.”
further dissemination of symptoms is highly profitable for pharmaceutical
companies, while treating the root cause of the disease with off-patent
antibiotics is not.[x]
In the 1950s, Willy Burgdorfer, who isolated the tick-vectored Lyme disease
spirochete and for whom the causative Borrelia is named,[i] worked on
artificially forcing Borrelia disease agents (like relapsing fever Borrelias) to
infect new tick vectors. (Burgdorfer then used these artificially infected ticks
in attempts to infect lab animals.[ii])
He also published papers
describing the "occult infections" due to these relapsing fever spirochete
disease agents.[iii] In parallel with these studies, he developed
production-like methods for transferring diseases to Ixodid ticks,[iv] the same
species that spreads the occult Borrelia infection initially called Lyme
disease, which Burgdorfer later compared to the relapsing fever Borrelias he had
The lab he conducted this research in and which later
isolated the Lyme spirochete[vi] is now a “biosafety level 4” biowarfare
research facility,[vii] just like the biowarfare lab at the epicenter of the
Lyme Epidemic (Plum Island Animal Disease Center), which conducted outdoor tick
research and is suspected of being the source of the Lyme Epidemic. [viii]
Given the manner in which Lyme disease broke out and the deadly
manner in which it has been intentionally mismanaged ever since, hard questions
must be asked:
When Burgdorfer was developing techniques to
artificially expand the host-range of Borrelias to new tick species, and then to
lab animals, was he in fact conducting biological warfare research at the Rocky
Did this research feed in to the tick research
that was conducted at Plum Island Animal Disease Center, the outdoor biowar test
facility for such insect vectors? And was Plum Island,the outdoor test facility
for Fort Detrick, the center of the U.S. biological warfare
Was the causative agent of Lyme disease later “discovered” by
a military epidemiologist as part of a suspected public relations/containment
effort to control information about the burgeoning epidemic and its ties to the
Did this effort surrounding the so-called "natural"
outbreak of a zoonotic agent lead to an experimental vaccine effort
(orchestrated by CDC/EIS biowarfare agents) similar to that which happened in
Egypt, when human vaccine experiments were conducted after the "natural"
outbreak of Rift Valley fever virus, an outbreak that occurred in the same
time-frame as the Lyme disease outbreak?
In the time period leading
up to the Lyme Epidemic, Burgdorfer worked for the military in a capacity
consistent with this hypothesis: He was a member of the Armed Forces
Epidemiology Board investigating insect vectored diseases.[ix] The disastrous
non-response to the Lyme Epidemic has been orchestrated by military
epidemiologists using their influence in the government, medical infrastructure
and media. Was Willy Burgdorfer part of this non-response to the devastating
disease named after him?
At a time when desperate patients and
persecuted doctors need all the information they can get about the true nature
of Lyme disease, Willy Burgdorfer has coyly stated, on film, that he hasn’t told
us everything he knows about the disease.
What are you hiding
Why don’t you tell us what you know?
Until you do, you have the Borrelia BURGDORFERi-infected blood
of millions on your hands.
Microbes are the greatest predator of man. As medical technology improves, there
is increasing recognition that infectious disease contributes not only to acute,
but also chronic relapsing illness and mental illness. -Robert C. Bransfield,
Probably the biggest challenge facing those sick with Lyme disease
manifesting with psychiatric symptoms is to get the Lyme disease diagnosis in
the first place. Many people with Lyme and associated mental dysfunction (this
is about 95% of all Lyme sufferers) never get diagnosed properly and are left to
struggle with palliative treatment, institutionalization, and basically a life
sentence of obscurity and panic.
Even for those with the right diagnosis,
for example, Lyme disease infection, symptoms of mental illness are obviously
still devastating. I created this video to address some of the common
experiences, and some useful solutions / tips, for people who meet this
description. Below the video is an excerpt from a book I wrote in 2007 entitled
The Lyme-Autism Connection, which further addresses the topic of the connection
between Lyme disease and mental illness. Excerpt: Mental Illnesses and
Autism, Lyme Disease From the book, The Lyme Autism Connection
similarities between Lyme disease and autism, especially in children, are
astounding. Obviously, symptom similarity alone is not a strong enough
scientific indicator to implicate Lyme disease in the autism epidemic. However,
when considered within the framework of the other arguments presented in this
book, symptom similarity becomes an important, central piece of the puzzle.
This chapter was written with three primary goals. First, we will look
at the diagnostic procedures used in classifying mental illnesses. Then we will
show that a Lyme disease diagnosis overlaps with numerous other mental
disorders. Finally, we will show that an autism diagnosis not only overlaps with
a variety of different mental illnesses as well, but that they happen to be, in
many cases, the same mental illnesses which overlap with Lyme disease.
Additionally, the chapter will also cover various data which support the above
Symptoms vs. Syndromes
At first glance, the obvious
question to ask in this chapter is whether or not the symptoms of Lyme disease
overlap with the symptoms of autism. As you will see, however, this question is
much too broad. You will see that Lyme disease is known as the “great imitator”
because it can mimic dozens of seemingly unrelated health problems. Lyme disease
symptoms overlap with just about every mental illness, so it is not very
impressive to show that they also overlap with autism.
For this reason,
we will instead take a narrower look at the symptom similarities between Lyme
disease and autism, and delve further into analyzing the overlap. Namely, we
will not look at individual symptoms the diseases share in common, but instead
at entire disease syndromes which the two diseases share in common. For example,
we will go further than to just say “Lyme disease and autism both cause
headaches.” Rather, we will say that “Lyme disease and autism both manifest as
schizophrenia.” A headache is an individual symptom, while schizophrenia is a
For our purpose of further analyzing the Lyme-autism
connection, it is more helpful to look at overlapping disease syndromes instead
of just overlapping symptoms because disease syndromes are much more complex,
specific, and isolated than are individual symptoms. Many things can cause a
headache, such as fatigue, a bad lunch, or a fight with a spouse. So,
demonstrating that Lyme disease and autism both cause headaches does not add
much support to the Lyme-autism connection. Schizophrenia, on the other hand, is
not caused by many factors, and cannot be confused with simple triggers like a
bad hamburger or emotional stress. By narrowing the comparison down to specific
disease syndromes, we can build a much stronger case for the Lyme-autism
Blurred Lines Between Disease Labels
In order to show
that both Lyme disease and autism share in common numerous disease syndromes, we
must first accept the fact that the diagnostic lines are blurred between autism,
Lyme disease, and numerous other mental illnesses, leading to somewhat arbitrary
and meaningless guidelines for diagnosing the diseases. For example, someone
diagnosed with the label “schizophrenia” may in fact be suffering from Lyme
disease, autism, or both. “Schizophrenia” is not a disease; instead it is a
disease presentation. The label schizophrenia says nothing about the reason for
the disease, or the cause, but instead simply says that a given person is
suffering from a collection of physiologic and symptomatic dysfunctions.
It is important to keep this in mind as you think about Lyme disease,
autism, and the list of mimicking diseases. You have to ask yourself, “Does the
disease label in question tell me anything about what is actually causing this
health problem?” Understanding that many of the disease labels used by
conventional medicine are actually not indicative of the cause of the disease
will help you learn how to adjust your thinking process and see that many
“diseases” do not in fact have established, defined boundaries separating them
from other “diseases,” but are instead simply a melting pot of symptomatic and
Why is this important? Let’s again use
the example of a headache. When someone says, “I have a headache,” you would
never jump to a conclusion about what is causing the headache unless you knew
more about the person’s current circumstances. A headache is not a disease in
and of itself; instead it is a list of symptomatic and physiologic properties,
namely, pain in the head, and typically, inflammation in the head. We all know
that many things can cause headaches, hence, if someone mentions their headache,
the next thing you might try to do is play detective to discover what is causing
the headache. You might ask the person what they ate for lunch, how much sleep
they are getting, or what is happening at work. You would never assume that the
cause of their headache is the headache itself. Headaches always have
underlying, root causes.
In the same way, if someone has schizophrenia or
autism, you should train your mind to play the same detective role.
Schizophrenia and autism are no more the cause of a health problem than is a
headache. Instead, schizophrenia and autism are just labels for a set of
symptomatic and physiologic characteristics. When you begin to adopt this way of
thinking, you can see that the lines between various diseases can easily become
When autism is seen as a set of symptoms rather than a defined
“disease,” it leaves a lot more room for questions—questions which can
ultimately lead to a better understanding of the disease and its cause(s). Do
not passively accept a diagnosis of autism as the final description of your
child’s health. You should empower yourself to play detective and get to the
bottom of the symptoms, instead of simply accepting the diagnosis and giving up.
If you think about Lyme disease and autism as separate diseases, with
distinct boundaries, then the Lyme-autism connection seems improbable. However,
if you think of the two diseases accurately, as nothing more than arbitrary
labels which encompass a grouping of symptoms, some of which overlap, then the
question arises and must be answered: what is the root cause of the disease
syndromes? Is the root cause potentially the same?
Now, a clarifying
point is in order here. Some diseases certainly do include causative factors in
their label. For example, strep throat is caused by…strep bacteria in the
throat. The disease label “strep throat” is one which is accurate in its
description of causality. Similarly, Lyme disease is caused by Lyme disease
bacteria (the scientific name for which is Borrelia burgdorferi). So, when we
are looking at the Lyme-autism connection, what we are really asking is whether
or not autism shares the same root cause as Lyme disease, namely, a Borrelia
Ok, so this all sounds good in theory, but where is the
evidence? Let’s now turn our attention to several scientific studies which
provide objective substantiation for the theory we just talked about—the theory
that mental disorders have blurred diagnostic lines.
Lyme Disease: The
To substantiate the theory that disease labels are
relatively arbitrary and have blurred defining lines, let’s begin by looking at
Lyme disease and the many diseases which it mimics.
The Journal of
Neuropsychiatry in 2001 published an article in which it was stated that
“Children with Lyme disease have…cognitive and psychiatric
disturbances…resulting in psycho-social and academic impairments.” According to
Dr. Frederic Blanc, of the University of Strasbourg, France, “The neurological
and psychiatric manifestations of Borrelia are so numerous that it is called the
‘new great imitator.’ Every part of the nervous system can be involved: from
central to peripheral.”
It is difficult to convey just how broad and
diverse Lyme disease symptoms can be. As the “new great imitator” (Syphilis was
considered the original great imitator), Lyme disease mimics dozens of seemingly
unrelated illnesses, from physical disorders such as chronic fatigue syndrome
and arthritis, to psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, obsessive
compulsive disorder, Tourette syndrome, depression, bipolar disorder, and more.
According to psychiatrists at Columbia University, as published in 1994 in the
American Journal of Psychiatry:
“Lyme disease can trigger a broad range
of psychiatric reactions, including paranoia, dementia, schizophrenia, bipolar
disorder, panic attacks, major depression, anorexia nervosa and
As you can see, Lyme disease is often the
root cause of a long list of diseases. In these cases, there is in fact zero
separation between the seemingly distinct diseases on the list—the lines are
blurred beyond recognition. A variety of mental disorders can potentially all
have the same root cause.
Antiquated belief that Lyme disease is
characterized by a limited set of mostly benign symptoms is rapidly being
replaced by modern, increasingly accurate models of Lyme disease symptomology
that encompass a vast diversity of symptomology in numerous body systems. So, if
you are doubtful that a simple bacterial infection can cause such diverse
symptoms as are present in autism, be forewarned—Lyme disease is a highly
advanced neuropsychiatric disease with complicated and poorly understood effects
on the brain. The combination of wide-ranging symptoms and the prevalence of
false-negative laboratory test results means that Lyme disease may be one of the
most rampant, yet under-diagnosed, infections on the planet. And, when the Lyme
infection occurs in the womb, a new set of variables and complexities are
introduced to the scene which further broaden the potential neurological effects
of Lyme disease.
Still, the fact that Lyme disease is a great imitator
is nothing worth writing home about—this has become accepted science in both
mainstream and alternative medicine. Therefore, we will not belabor this point
here. To learn more about Lyme disease as a great imitator, read Appendix B and
consult available Lyme disease literature.
The real point we are tracking
down in this chapter is not merely the fact that Lyme disease shares blurred
lines with many mental illnesses, but, more importantly, the fact that autism
also shares blurred lines with a variety of mental disorders. Even more
important yet is the paramount question of whether or not Lyme disease and
autism share blurred lines with the same set of mental illnesses.
The Next Great Imitator?
You may be surprised to learn that just as Lyme
disease is a great imitator, so also is autism.
Many autistic people have
a broad range of psychological symptoms, not just those few which have
historically defined “classic” autism. Autism is currently being re-defined as a
multi-systemic, multi-factorial disease. In this section, we will examine some
of the science surrounding autism as a great imitator. For each of the
scientific studies below, we will note their relevance to the Lyme-autism
Swedish researchers have observed a fascinating overlap
between symptoms of autism and other mental illnesses. In 2004, the Department
of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, at Göteborg University, Sweden, published
findings in the Journal of Neural Transmission indicating that patients
suffering from autism also sometimes have symptoms of schizophrenia, bipolar
disorder, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD). The Swedish
researchers don’t offer an explanation for this symptom overlap, but they do
acknowledge it, and conclude their study by stating that “Current diagnostic
criteria have to be revised to acknowledge the co-morbidity of autism with
bipolar disorder, AD/HD, schizophrenia, and other psychotic
The connection: Of the mental illnesses which Lyme disease
mimics, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity
disorder are at the top of the list.
Researchers at the University of
Michigan published a study in 2004 in the Journal of Autism and Developmental
Disorders which concluded with the following statement: “This study lends
support to the validity of depression as a distinct condition in some children
with autism/PDD and suggests that, as in the normal population, autistic
children who suffer from depression are more likely to have a family history of
The connection: These findings are significant for two
reasons: first, the study indicates that depression is part of the autism
complex of symptoms, and second, this depression can be found in family history.
Both of these points are true of Lyme disease, as well.
similar conclusions are being reached. The Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry
Research Centre published in 1998 a study entitled “Autism, affective and other
psychiatric disorders: patterns of familial aggregation.” The report was
released by Cambridge University Press in the Journal of Psychological Medicine.
In addition to finding a correlation between familial mental disorders and
autism, researchers also discovered that “Individuals with a singular diagnosis
of obsessive-compulsive disorder were more likely to exhibit autistic-like
social and communication impairments.”
The connection: This finding is
fascinating because it tells us that not only does autism involve symptoms of
other, previously believed separate diseases, but the converse of this is also
true; that those separate diseases also sometimes include symptoms known to
occur in autism. This further blurs the lines between different mental
disorders. This is another piece of the puzzle that shatters the previous belief
that autism is completely distinct and separate from other psychiatric diseases.
Modern medicine likes to put these diseases in their own neatly organized,
unrelated files, but reality just won’t comply with such an organizational
City of Hope National Medical Center in California published
findings that link autism and Tourette syndrome. Researchers found that “there
is an intimate genetic, neuropathologic relatedness between some cases of
[autism] and Tourette syndrome.” Additionally, these researchers noted frequent
family groupings of the two afflictions, with obsessive compulsive disorder also
showing up frequently.
The connection: The Lancet in 1998 published a
study linking Lyme disease with Tourette syndrome. A 4-year old boy developed
typical Tourette symptoms and was subsequently diagnosed with Lyme disease by
ELISA IgG antibody testing. Upon antibiotic treatment, all symptoms resolved.
From the Lancet: “Rapid efficacy of antibiotic treatment followed by a decrease
in Borrelia-specific antibody titres suggests that the multiple motor and vocal
tics [in this 4-year old boy] were at least partially caused by the tertiary
stage of Borreliosis.” Therefore, both autism and Lyme disease share in common
blurred lines with Tourette syndrome.
The lines between autism and other
mental disorders are further blurred when considering the methods used to
diagnose autism. This is an important area to examine because the diagnostic
model used in categorizing childhood mental disorders is the primary determinant
of the next twenty or more years of treatment decisions. Consider this
carefully—if a child is diagnosed with autism but Lyme disease is really the
root problem, then parents will spend thousands (or maybe millions) of dollars,
thousands of hours, and incalculable stress, pursuing the wrong course(s) of
treatment. Hence, proper diagnostic procedures, or at least, proper
understanding of the limitations of modern diagnostic capabilities, is essential
for ensuring that a lifetime of energy is focused in the right direction. This
statement is substantiated by the experiences of numerous mothers, whose stories
appear in Appendix E. These mothers only received desirable treatment results
after discovering the Lyme infection in their children. Prior to the discovery,
they wasted incalculable time, energy and money chasing palliative
Alarmingly, the diagnostic model used for autism can be
relatively unreliable. The Indiana University School of Medicine in 1971
evaluated 5 diagnostic systems designed to differentiate infantile autism and
early childhood schizophrenia and published their findings in the Journal of
Autism and Developmental Disorders. Diagnostic scores from 44 children were
examined. Some of the five diagnostic systems contradicted the others, leading
to a confusing and disturbing debate about the definitions of autism and
schizophrenia. So similar are the two diseases that the lines between them
become blurred when using these diagnostic systems, and the results of the
diagnostic procedures become relatively meaningless. Obviously, diagnostic
systems have improved exponentially since 1971. However, even today, the same
symptom similarities exist between autism and schizophrenia, resulting in debate
and disagreement about proper courses of treatment for the two disorders, not to
mention heated arguments between parents and physicians about which treatments
are most logical to pursue. Modern medicine’s appearance of having everything
figured out, with white-coated, authoritative doctors passing down final
diagnostic decrees to parents, is riddled with an uncertain and ambiguous past.
The tendency to over-compartmentalize diseases without sufficient data
is not limited to just the commercial medical industry—non-profit research
organizations dedicated to healing schizophrenia and autism also suffer the
effects of arbitrarily separating autism from schizophrenia when conducting
research and presenting information. The reality is that autism and
schizophrenia are intimately related, and only when this fact is accounted for
will true breakthrough occur in the research of the two conditions. Autism and
schizophrenia are not two separate entities like the colors black and white.
They resemble more closely a shade of grey, mixing some amount of black and some
amount of white. When researchers only look at the black, they miss the big
picture, and when they only look at white, they don’t see all of the facts. Only
when shades of grey are acknowledged, will the mechanisms behind the afflictions
become more apparent.
Any parent with an autistic child knows that their
child exhibits a wide array of symptoms and that no two days are alike. Unlike
high cholesterol or diabetes, which are fairly constant disorders with very few
variations in symptoms and presentation, autism is a wildly variable condition
that seems to follow no particular pattern or predictable course.
far in this chapter, we have worked to establish that not only do Lyme disease
and autism act like great imitators, but the diseases which they imitate happen
to be the same diseases—namely, mental disorders such as schizophrenia,
obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, Tourette syndrome, AD/HD, and others.
Although this overlap in associated disease syndromes (and, more broadly,
associated individual symptoms) is not sufficient evidence to stand alone as the
foundation for the Lyme-autism connection, this observation is, again, one more
piece of the puzzle.
It really is shocking and insightful to discover
that Lyme disease and autism are separated by much less space than medical
schools and textbooks teach. If these broad similarities are not explained by an
underlying Lyme disease infection, then what is the explanation? Isn’t it a bit
improbable that two supposedly separate diseases are so intimately related in so
Before concluding this chapter, we will briefly introduce one
more area of overlap: autoimmunity.
Lyme disease and
autism not only share numerous similarities with regard to psychiatric symptoms
and syndromes, but also autoimmunity.
The number of studies linking both
Lyme disease and autism to autoimmune dysfunction is vast, encompassing dozens
of published articles released by several research institutions. For specific
studies, visit MEDLINE at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed and search for keywords autism
autoimmune and lyme disease autoimmune. At the time of this writing, the first
search string yielded 86 studies and the second string yielded 123 studies.
The fact that Lyme disease and autism share autoimmunity in common is,
of course, fascinating, and lends credit to the Lyme-autism hypothesis. However,
the link becomes even stronger in light of the fact that new research is
revealing that many autoimmune disorders are caused by stealth infections.
Recent research has found that treatments aimed at eradicating stealth
infections happen to also provide relief, and in some cases, remission or cure,
for autoimmune diseases.
One such cutting-edge treatment is the Marshall
Protocol, discussed at length in The Top 10 Lyme Disease Treatments. The
Marshall Protocol is significant in this context because it defines and reveals
the mechanism by which symptoms of autoimmunity can really be an indication of
underlying infection. Patients experiencing healing on the Marshall Protocol
suffer from a wide range of autoimmune disorders—and healing is taking place via
the anti-infective treatments that comprise the protocol. Autoimmunity is
defined as the body attacking its own cells. But why would it do that? The new,
prevailing theory is that there is a stealth infection inhabiting body tissues
and when the immune system attempts to attack that infection, it mistakenly
attacks its own proteins which might look similar to the proteins that compose
the infectious microorganisms. This new theory of autoimmunity is gaining
It shouldn’t surprise us that autoimmunity is involved in Lyme
disease. After all, Lyme disease is known to be caused by an infection. However,
what about autism? Why is there autoimmunity in autism? Is there an underlying
infection? If, in fact, autoimmunity is caused by an infectious process, then
the autoimmune link between Lyme disease and autism becomes quite telling and
is, yet again, just another piece of the puzzle.
Where the Rubber Meets
Hopefully, this chapter has given you a new perspective on
childhood developmental disorders. Remember, if your child gets diagnosed with
any of the disease labels we have just looked at, do not be satisfied with the
diagnosis. Being diagnosed with attention deficit disorder is like being
diagnosed with a headache. A headache is not a diagnosis, it is a symptom. A
headache is the beginning of the diagnostic journey, not the end. The same can
be said of attention deficit disorder.
The minute you start treating your
child’s attention deficit disorder (or autism, or schizophrenia, or
fill-in-the-blank disorder) as if it is a complete diagnosis, you are beginning
a losing battle. Why? The reason is logical and simple. Since these disease
labels do not factor in the true cause(s) of the disease (whatever the cause(s)
may be), the only treatment modern medicine can offer you is palliative
treatment. Palliative treatment is that which covers symptoms instead of
addressing cause. The word palliative is derived from the Latin word palliare,
which means “to cloak.”
Antidepressant drugs are an example of a
palliative treatment, and, not surprisingly, antidepressant drugs are the
treatment most often given for childhood developmental disorders. Other
palliative drugs include anti-psychotic, anti-anxiety, and sedative. These drugs
only temporarily snuff out the symptoms of the underlying problem. And, these
drugs have ghastly, brutal side effects of which the public is becoming
increasingly aware—such as aggressive behavior, suicidal thoughts and ideation,
and decline in intellect. Are these horrendous side effects justified given that
the drugs are not even addressing the cause of the disease?
Most of the
autism treatment programs and centers in the United States (at least among
mainstream medicine) do nothing but offer palliative, or “behavioral” treatment.
The government, non-profit research organizations, and parents spend millions of
dollars on palliative treatments for childhood developmental disorders. What
would happen if some of that money were actually spent on what really matters;
that is, trying to locate and treat the cause? Would you offer physical therapy
to someone suffering from a broken leg, or would you repair the broken
Now that you are equipped with knowledge, and you know that
childhood developmental disorders do in fact have underlying, scientific,
physiological causes (even though these causes are sometimes elusive and
difficult to isolate), you can begin to play detective with your child and treat
the causes, not the symptoms, of their disease. Palliative treatments are useful
to increase quality of life during the discovery process. But the palliative
treatments themselves are not the end goal.
Maybe your child’s disorder
is caused by an imbalance of intestinal microflora. In this case, you might
consider using probiotics, diet, and herbs to correct the problem. Or maybe, it
is mercury poisoning, for which you could use chelation. Or possibly, your
child’s disorder is caused by food allergies, which you might alleviate by an
elimination diet. Or, as this book proposes, maybe your child’s autism is caused
by Lyme disease, in which case you may decide to undergo Lyme treatment.
Whatever the underlying cause, the thought pattern is the same: you, as the
parent, must step up to the plate, take responsibility, reject the “diagnosis”
your child was given, and search for the underlying cause.
A good friend
of mine (Bryan) suffered from migraine headaches for years. She drained her bank
account trying the strongest painkillers and anti-migraine medications
available. She endured the side effects of powerful, dangerous pharmaceuticals.
She only received minimal relief, and suffered greatly. One day, a thinking
physician inquired about her diet and discovered that she consumed diet soda pop
once or twice a day, every day of her life. In fact, if she ran out of soda, she
would make a special trip to the store to replenish her stock. After she
objected vehemently, he finally convinced her to go without the soda for a few
weeks. Bingo! The headaches disappeared, almost overnight. The palliative,
symptom-covering painkillers were not the answer (although they did make a few
CEOs and stockholders richer). Eliminating the root cause was the
I do not want to oversimplify childhood developmental disorders.
In most cases, the detective work necessary is much more difficult than the
experience my friend had with her headaches. However, you owe it to yourself and
your child to at least try the detective strategy. In the best case scenario,
you will cure your child, and in the worst case scenario, you will at least
become educated about your son or daughter’s body, and provide him or her with
some level of relief, however minor. But most importantly, taking a detective
approach will ensure that you are doing absolutely everything you can to be a
You, as a thinking, caring, intelligent parent, have what it
takes to be a detective and to reject the superficial diagnosis given by a
doctor whose thinking is victim of the dogmatic, palliative treatment paradigm
that currently rules American medicine.