Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease - An Overview

I. Lyme Disease has been linked to over 300 diseases, including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's Disease, short-term memory loss, mood swings, anxiety and panic attacks, attention deficit disorder, obsessive-compulsive behavior and ALS.

II. Lyme Disease is more widespread and more communicable than previously thought.

III. New laboratory technology is identifying Lyme Disease with greater accuracy.

IV. Natural protocols for effectively treating Lyme Disease now exist. However, there are treatment toxicity issues (Herxheimer-Jarisch reactions, aka die-off reactions) that need to be addressed.


The first important fact to recognize about diagnosing and treating Lyme Disease is the amount of opposition you are going to receive. Lyme Disease has become a political issue. The insurance companies don't want to recognize it; the pharmaceutical companies can't afford to recognize it; and there is evidence that it's widespread dissemination in the United States may have a link to the federal government's research.

In California, my patients and I have been abused for daring to suggest that Lyme disease may be the underlying causative agent in their illness. However, the evidence is compelling.

At the web site: there are 320 conditions proven to be associated with Lyme Disease as the underlying problem with the Pub. Med. reference given.

Some of the more familiar conditions include: anorexia nervosa, acute coronary syndrome, allergic conditions, alopecia, Alzheimer's Disease, ALS, (Lou Gehrig's Disease), anxiety, arrhythmia, arthralgia, arthritis, ADD and ADHD -- and that's just the A's! Bell's palsy, bipolar disorder, brown recluse spider bite, cardiac disease, cardiomegaly, carpal tunnel syndrome, cauda equina syndrome, cerebral atrophy, cervical facet syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic muscle weakness, cranial neuritis, dementia, demyelinating disorders, diplopia, encephalitis, eosinophilia, epilepsy, Epstein Barr, fibromyalgia, fibrositis, Guillain-Barre` Syndrome, headaches (severe), hearing loss, heart block, hepatitis, herniated discs, hydrocephalus, hypothyroidism, infectious mononucleosis, influenza, intracerebral hemorrhage, intracranial aneurysm, intracranial hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, lichen sclerosus, lupus, lymphoma, memory impairment, meningitis, meningoencephalomyelitis, migraine, multiple sclerosis, myelopathy, myofascial pain syndrome (TMJ), myositis, oobsessive compulsive disorder, optic disc edema, Parkinsonism, Turner Syndrome, peripheral neuropathy, pericarditis, persistent atrioventricular block, polymyalgia rheumatica, polyneuropathy, progressive stroke, pseudotumor cerebri, psychosomatic disorders, radiculoneuritis, Raynaud's syndrome, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, Reiter's syndrome, restless leg syndrome, rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis, sacroilitis, sarcoidosis, schizophrenia, scleroderma, seizure disorder, sensorineural hearing loss, sick sinus syndrome, stroke, subacute bacterial endocarditis, SIDS, temporal arteritis, TMJ syndrome thyroiditis, Tourette's syndrome, transient ischemic attack, trigeminal neuralgia, urticaria, and vertigo.

This is just a partial list of some of the more common conditions you might see in practice. Lyme Disease has also been associated with unexplained weight gain (or loss) and Type II Diabetes.

"Initially thought to be a disorder beginning in the skin and progressing to involve the joints, Lyme disease is now ranked as one of the great mimickers of other diseases, in a manner similar to that once ascribed to syphilis." Duray PH, Clinical pathologic correlations of Lyme disease. Reviews of Infectious Diseases, Vol 11, Suppl. 6: S1487-S1493. 1989.


The list of symptoms caused by Lyme Disease include the following and is from an article compiled from peer-reviewed literature reports (see Link at for literature citations):

General/Constitutional Symptoms: achiness (generalized), chills, fatigue/malaise/lethargy, fever, swollen glands, stiffness, sweating, thirst

Head/Neck/Face: Bell's palsy (uni or bilateral), Facial/Oralfacial/Dental pain; headache, hoarseness, jaw pain, stiffness or TMJ disorder, muscle spasm (facial), neck pain, stiffness or pressure, numbness/tingling (facial), sore throat, swelling (facial), swallowing difficulty, twitching of facial or other muscles, vocal paralysis

Ears/Hearing: deafness/hearing loss, hypersensitivity to sound (hyperacusis), Meniere's disease, pain in ears, ringing in ears (tinnitus)

Eyes/Vision: blindness, choroiditis, conjunctivitis, drooping eyelid, double vision (diplopia) or blurry vision, endophthalmitis, floaters, foreign body sensation (keratitis), Holmes-Adie syndrome (tonic pupil and areflexia), Horner's syndrome, nystagmus, oculomotor weakness, optic neuritis, optic neuropathy, pain in eyes, photophobia, retinal vasculitis, scleritis (posterior), swelling around the eyes, uveitis, decreased visual acuity

Digestive & Excretory Systems: abdominal pain, abdominal distention, wall weakness, abdominal paralysis, anorexia, diarrhea, kidney failure, nausea, splenitis, urinary problems (irritable bladder, trouble starting and stopping, frequent urination, voiding dysfunction), vomiting, weight loss/gain

Respiratory & Ciruclatory Systems: chest pain, cough, heart involvement (acute coronary syndrome, acute myopericarditis, atrial flutter/fibrillation, heart block, cardiomegaly, myocardial conduction abnormalities, pancarditis, pericardial effusion, tachycardia, ventricular dysfunction), shortness of breath, respiratory failure, vasculitis

Hepatic System (Liver): hepatitis

Musculoskeletal System: backache, back pain, Bannwarth's Syndrome (weakness, dyesthetic pain, numbness), bone pain/erosion, carpal tunnel syndrome, cartilage erosion, cervical pain, foot pain, gout, hand stiffness, herniated disc, joint pain (arthralgia) often migratory and transient, progressing to joint destruction, joint swelling, muscle pain (myalgia or fibromyalgia), muscle tissue inflammation (myositis), osteoporosis, tendonitis

Neurologic System: may mimic a host of neurologic diseases such as meningoencephalitis of viral, fungal or mycobacterial origin, multiple sclerosis, brain tumor, autoimmune disease, stroke or Alzheimer's disease, aneurysm, ataxia/cerebellar, brain hemorrhage, cerebral atrophy, chorea, clumsiness or coordination difficulties, coma, cranial nerve abnormalities, dementia or Alzheimer's-like presentation, demyelinating lesions or multiple sclerosis-like presentation, dizziness, encephalitis/ encephalopathy, encephomyelitis/encephomyelopathy, Guillian-Barre` Syndrome, hemiparesis/paraparesis, intracranial hypertension, meningitis, motor neuron disease or ALS-like presentation, neurogenic pain, neuritis (cranial or radiculoneuritis), numbness, tingling or burning, Parkinsonism, pseudotumor cerebri, pressure in the head, seizures, sensory abnormalities, shooting or stabbing pains, sleep disturbances, abnormal smells, stroke, taste abnormalities, Tourette's-like syndrome, tumor, transverse myelitis, tremors/shaking, vertigo, walking difficulties/ataxia

Psychological Symptoms: anxiety, behavioral changes, depression, emotional lability (overly emotional reactions), inappropriate laughter, irritabilitiy, mood changes, hallucinations (auditory, visual, olfactory), nightmares, panic attacks/panic disorder, paranoia, rage or violent outbursts, schizophrenia-like disorder

Cognitive Symptoms: "brain fog," concentration difficulties, confusion, declining school performance, facial recognition difficulties, memory impairment/word retrieval difficulties, spatial disorientation - gettiing lost, going to the wrong place, spelling difficulties/dyslexic reversals, task performance difficulties, verbal difficulties/ impaired or slurred speech, word reversals or transpositions when speaking, writing/dyslexic reversals of letters

Reproduction/Sexuality: impotence, testicular or pelvic pain/swelling

Skin/Hair: acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans (ACA), anetoderma, hair loss (alopecia), lymphocytoma, B-cell lymphoma (a form of skin cancer), necrotic skin wound, pettechia, rash/erythema migrans, rash/maculopapular, rash/malar, rash/necrotic skin wound (masquerading as brown recluse spider bite)

Other (Cancer-like presentation): simulates cancer



Classically, Lyme Disease was believed to be spread by the deer tick. However, it has been identified in fleas, mites and mosquitoes -- and possibly even spiders. The spirochete has also been identified in mother's milk, the placenta, semen, urine and tears -- suggesting intercommunicability between humans. Entire family groups have been identified as positive for the Lyme Disease organism.

Recently, the incidence of Lyme Disease on the West Coast of the US has burgeoned.

The CDC estimates that there may be 10 times as many people as the 180,000 cases currently diagnosed in the US. The problem has been the inaccuracy of the lab tests (see below). That means that a conservative estimate of the number of undiagnosed Lyme sufferers is 2 million. Many experts consider it to be a public health threat of major proportions.

The murky science and acrimonious politics of Lyme disease have created barriers to reliable diagnosis and effective treatment of this protean illness. Two major clinical problems with the disease are the absence of a therapeutic end point in treating Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochetal agent of Lyme disease, and the presence of tick-borne co-infections such as Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis and Bartonellosis that may complicate the course of the illness. From a pathophysiological standpoint, the affinity of B. burgdorferi for multiple cell types and the presence of non-replicating forms of the spirochete have contributed to persistent infection and failure of simple antibiotic regimens. Newer approaches to the treatment of Lyme disease should take into account its clinical complexity in co-infected patients and the possible need for prolonged combination therapy in patients with persistent symptoms of this potentially debilitating illness. The risk and prevention of human transmission of Lyme disease merit further study. (from

What sustains this controversy? It is important to recognise that the science of Lyme disease suffers from two major problems. First, there is no test currently available that proves the eradication of Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochetal agent of Lyme disease, from the human body. Conversely, there is growing evidence for longterm persistence of the Lyme disease spirochete in animal models and humans despite alleged adequate treatment for the disease. The second problem is that Lyme disease likes company, and over the past 20 years we have seen compelling evidence for co-infections transmitted by ticks (which have been called 'sewers of infectious disease') along with the Lyme disease spirochete. Thus, the term 'Lyme disease' often signifies a poorly characterised polymicrobial infection with no fixed end point. This nebulous infectious disease presents a nightmare scenario for both the victim of Lyme disease and any rational healthcare provider who must deal with the complex implications of the tick-borne illness. A corollary to this nightmare is the growing recognition of possible spread of the Lyme disease spirochete by human contact. (Ibid.)

Furthermore, the diagnostic criteria for Lyme Disease automatically eliminate many potential victims, since 41 to 65% of the people infected never develop a bull's-eye rash. Furthermore, current medical practice relies upon the Lyme enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) as a first screening procedure. At least 50% of patients never react to the ELISA and, therefore, never have the 2nd, more sensitive, Western Blot test performed. This two-tiered testing system was endorsed by the US Centers for Disease Control for the surveillance of Lyme disease, not for diagnostic purposes. This is an important distinction, because it is inappropriate to apply surveillance criteria to symptomatic patients whose clinical picture already suggests the presence of Lyme disease. (Ibid.)

A further complication in the diagnosis of Lyme disease is that the spirochete assumes different forms in host tissue -- from an active spirochete, to a cell-wall deficient form, to a dormant cyst form that can reactivate and reinfect the host. Only the spirochete form is susceptible to conventional antibiotic therapy. And, unfortunately, current medical protocol does not provide antibiotic therapy for long enough to eradicate the organism. Dr. Whitaker (see next section) believes that a Lyme disease patient should have lifelong prophylaxis, even after the titers have dropped.



Standard medical screening:
a. Lyme ELISA screening test
b. If positive, proceed to Western Blot test

Igenex Laboratories
a. Employs standard medical tests, but begins with the Western Blot
b. If Western Blot is equivocal then proceed to Multiplex PCR, which tests for DNA
c. May still be equivocal, then followed by 3 sequential urine samples subsequent to an antibiotic challenge
d. Need to test for all co-infections separately
e. EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE and inconclusive

Bowen Research and Training Institute, Inc.
a. New technology based upon flourescent antibody testing (FTA).
b. Single test gives a titer; the higher the dilution the more intense the infection
c. Very few false negatives
d. Tests for all the most common co-infections on same sample

1. Kill the bugs
a. May include long-term antibiotic therapy
b. May include traditional Chinese medicine
c. May include long-term Western herbal therapy (Cat's Claw, Wormwood, Echinacea Premium and Sarsaparilla)
d. Homeopathy
e. Orthomolecular nutrition
f. Heat treatment to increase cellular activity (diathermy, spa, sauna)
g. May include electromagnetic therapies, such as Rife machines
2. Open the pathways of elimination to deal with aggravation of the die-off of organisms, or Herxheimer reaction
a. Lymph massage
b. Exercise to increase lymph movement
c. Skin brushing
d. Chi gong, yoga, etc
e. High protein, high fat, low carb diet with vegetables (modified elimination diet). Avoid artificial sweeteners. Drink lots of pure water. Quality essential fatty acids are critical.
f. Maintain alkalinity via supplements or bicarbonate. Supplements include buffered Vitamin C to bowel tolerance, green drink, Chlorophyll Perles (Standard Process). See Alkaline Broth recipe, attached.
3. Drain the lymph, liver and gall bladder and clear the colon to clear the body of TNF alpha and neurotoxins, along with heavy metals
a. Probiotics to maintain normal bowel flora
b. Gall bladder flushes (use hot lemon tea to maintain gall bladder function)
c. Daily doses of colon cleanse (psyllium with betonite clay)
d. Coffee enemas (I personally do not recommend)
4. Circulate the blood and make it less viscous
a. Enzyme therapy to reduce rouleau formation
b. Trace Minerals concentrate with a couple grains of high quality cayenne to enhance circulation to extremities. The warming herb helps balance the cold effect of Cat's Claw.
c. Ginko biloba to open capillary beds
5. Regulate the immune system to target the organisms and lower the inflammatory responses, keep the body alkaline
a. Chlorophyll extract from green leafy vegetables
b. A green drink or Alkaline Broth
6. Maintain body temperature at 98.6ºF
a. Support thyroid function, as needed (Thyroid Complex/Medi-Herb)
7. Eliminate stressors on the body, including:
a. Remove heavy metals
b. Keep the CSF flowing via cranial/sacral stimulation
c. Clear foci of infection: cavitations and root canals (biological dentist)
d. Remove severe subluxations
e. Remove trauma from body (body therapy and high potency homeopathic arnica)
f. Clear scars and energy leaks
8. Supportive therapy, as needed, based upon individual patient symptoms:
a. For joint pain: MSM, n-acetylcysteine, Inflavanoid, Rehmannia Complex Phytosynergist (Medi-Herb)
b. For blood sugar regulation: Glucose Tolerance Factor (Cr-GTF) or MetaGlycemX (Metagenics)
c. For energy: CoQ10 ST100, adrenal support, Astragulus (Medi-Herb)
d. For sleep: 5H T P
e. Candida overgrowth: avoid sugars, Cat's Claw (Medi-Herb)
f. Tachycardia: Cardioplus (Standard Process), Hawthorne Berry (Medi-Herb), CoQ10ST100 (Metagenics)
g. Viral Infections: St. John's Wort (Medi-Herb)
h. For neurologic problems: Essential Fatty Acids and Kudzu

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