It is important to understand that Lyme Disease testing is still in a very poor state. When testing is most critical, early after infection and when it is essential to begin treatment, test results are at their most unreliable. Doctors usually want to see a positive test result for lyme before they give antibiotics, but delaying treatment is a big mistake.
To go strictly by test results will in many cases cause a delay of months of even years, and an infection that could have been quickly defeated becomes chronic. Antibiotics will no longer be able to do the trick at that point.
Share this story with your doctor if you need to convince them not to withhold the needed medicine.
That being said, there is a reason that doctors sometimes hesitate to give antibiotics. Antibiotics tend to kill off the weakest strains of bacteria, which opens the door for stronger, more harmful bacterial strains to take hold. Antibiotics are not without risk, but in the face of lyme they are certainly worth the risk if no better treatment options are avaiable.
In cases where lyme was not caught early, antibiotics often fail to resolve the problem anyway, and they tend to make the surviving spirochetes extra hardy (a survival of the fittest type scenario where the hardiest spirochete genepool becomes dominant in the body). Even more, they can change the landscape of the microbiome in a negative way that can be very difficult to fix.
A study has shown that a properly made Stevia Leaf extract is very effective at destroying lyme spirochetes in their stationary phase whereas some antibiotics cannot at all—doxycycline, cefoperazone, and daptomycin were compared. While antibiotics such as doxycycline can kill spirochetes in their "log phase," the study showed they do almost nothing against the spirochetes in another one of their phases.
Therefore, the study proves that the traditional approach to treating lyme is seriously inadequate. While it is perhaps adequate for treating many cases of lyme caught early, using the combination of Stevia Leaf extract and doxycylcine would likely improve that success rate even higher.
For those with chronic lyme, antibiotics may still be helpful, but one conclusion is inescapable: if that is all we are offering those with chronic lyme, we are failing this group miserably.
The future of care for Lyme patients that is beginning to show is one where they have the option of undergoing an intense therapy that involves hyperthermia at the same time as doing IV vitamin C, Stevia Leaf extract, massage, and other things. When all these are done in combination those suffering from lyme disease can lead normal lives even if the treatment does fail to permanently and completely resolve the infection.
While some sufferers might want to include riskier medicines (including antibiotics) in the hopes of possibly resolving their lyme completely (if this is indeed possible), others may wish to opt out if it is perceived to be meritless in the scope of needing regular treatments and maintaining quality of life, and not worth the risks.
Officially, Lyme Disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, a spirochete that invades the body often through the bite of a tick.
Due to the earlier mentioned poor state of Lyme Disease testing, it is not always possible for one to know or prove that they have or have ever had Lyme Disease. Since many of the related infections (such as Anaplasmosis, Bartonella, Babesia, and others) work in much the same way as Borrelia, it isn't always tremendously meaningful at the moment to distinguish between Lyme and its co-infections.
Until testing improves, to have any of these infections is for all intents and purposes like having Lyme Disease. Technically you only have Lyme if you have Borrelia, but having any of this group of related infections is an indication that you may also indeed have Lyme Disease and testing could have failed to turn it up.
The standard treatment for lyme is 2 - 4 weeks of antibiotics, usually doxycycline. This works best when lyme is suspected early and treatment begins just days after infection.
However, even if taken right away there is still a chance that this treatment fails. There are different strains of lyme spirochetes and some can survive certain antibiotics better than others. The study noted earlier demonstrated that doxycycline does virtually nothing against spirochetes in their stationary phase.
The replication time for lyme can be as little as 7 days, but many who are infected report symptom cycles lasting 21 or 28 days, which correspond to longer replication cycles. This means you would want to take 4 weeks at least, and that would only kill off some of them.
If we're going to compare apples to apples, 30 weeks of antibiotics is a better estimate of the "proper" time needed to treat Lyme with antibiotics. The conclusion then is not that lyme sufferers should be using 30 weeks of antibiotics (or 4 weeks for that matter), but rather that better treatment options are neeed. With better treatments the efficacy of the antibiotics is greatly improved. Lyme can be pushed back in a day or two, and 30 weeks of antibiotics is not necessary at all.
If you search for a LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor) you will be able to find doctors that follow ILADS standard of care, and you can receive antibiotics for longer, even 6 months to a year is what some of them give in cases of chronic Lyme.
Insurance wont cover it, but there are clinics that offer individualized care for Lyme Disease. They are more specialized so they have better knowledge and really know their stuff. This is the best care you can get in the United States as these clinics are always trying to offer the very best. They employ more advanced strategies to detect exactly what you have, and then address all of them together, if more than just Lyme is detected or suspected.
Clinics like these will also offer herbal formulas and tinctures like the Stevia Leaf extract mentioned earlier. These being more powerful against the biofilms and stationary phase, those suffering from chronic lyme will get especially better results than any standard care.
In our documentary, POST LYME, we had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Ken Mitchel of Lifestream Wellness Clinic. We have no connection to him or his clinic, but after meeting him it was clear that his clinic is one of the best in the world, and he really knew what goes into a proper treatment of Lyme Disease. We greatly appreciate the time he took to answer our questions. If you are looking for individualized care, I suggest you take a look at what Lifestream Wellness Clinic has to offer and give them a call.
As a treatment for Lyme, Whole Body Hyperthermia Therapy refers to a technique of heating the entire body, with everything from the neck down in a closed off space, to at least 105.8 degrees (107 degrees if you want to be really sure to kill them).
To do this properly you slowly raise the temperature of the body over a 2 hour period, then hold it at the high point for 1 to 2 hours (longer is better), and slowly bring the temperature to normal again. It takes upward of 6 hours to complete, and the person can optionally be sedated for the procedure.
You want to do this carefully and slowly for it to be safe for the body, and the person should be monitored for safety. They should also receive extra support before and after the treatment in way of supplements, nutrients, and medicines. The procedure makes medicines more powerful, so doing it in combination with medicines is best.
In Germany they use antibiotics Rocephin and Flagyl in combination with the therapy. Stevia Leaf extract should be another great one to use in combination with it.
Unfortunately, there may be no places in the United States that have this treatment available due to unconstitutional restrictions imposed by the FDA. There are some places that misleadingly use the name hyperthermia but do not say anything about achieving the higher temperatures and longer duration to qualify as proper hyperthermia treatment.
For more information on how to do the procedure on yourself, make sure to sign up on our website if you haven't already. We will be trying to figure out the best way and share our findings with our PostLyme Club members.
In addition to taking supplements, nutrients, and medicines orally to support Hyperthermia treatment, it would also be helpful to have a supportive IV therapy shortly before, or perhaps during, the hyperthermia. IV therapy can be a much more effective way to deliver medicines or nutrients, including Rocephin and Flagyl.
Vitamin C is also a popular supportive vitamin and significantly more effective when delivered by IV.
Here are some additional supportive measures that may greatly help during treatment.
1) Deep Tissue Massage
Deep massage helps break up biofilms and promotes circulation, improving the effectiveness of medicines and treatments. You want to target the areas where spirochetes are thought to hide, such as the joints and old injuries.
If you already have lyme in your brain you probably want to target the head as well. We do not recommend doing massages without first having started a treatment and having supplements in your system to help destroy the spirochetes and their biofilm.
Lyme spirochetes release toxins, which is what causes the horrible symptoms of lyme disease. There is probably nothing more important than detoxifying your body to help it get these toxins out of your body.
People we have talked to said Coffee enemas were one of the most powerful ways to detoxify and relieve lyme symptoms. Other options include sauna and red heat lamps (Sweat it out). We recommend both, although the the higher temperature your body is accustomed to probably means the higher temperature you will have to raise your body to kill the spirochetes when doing hyperthermia treatment.
There are also some supplements that assist in detoxification.
The most important of the supplements against lyme are thought to be the biofilm destroyers. Studies have shown that taking certain supplements in conjuction with treatment greatly boosts the effectivness of treatment. The reason is thought to be that the supplements assist in destroying the biofilms.
Antibiotics cannot penetrate biofilms and that is why lyme spirochetes resurface later after ceasing the antibiotic treatment, even if the antibiotic treatment was otherwise successful. Supplements that help destroy biofilms greatly assist in the destruction of spirochetes.
There are a number of supplements to combat lyme disease. They include Stevia leaf extract, N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC), Iodine, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Olive leaf extract, Chlorella, Lysine, Beta-glucans, Nattokinase, Bromelain, Ozone water, Colloidal Silver, Kratom, CBD oil, Magnesium and some other minerals and several other herbs including Ashwagandha, Reishi, and Rhodiola. For a more complete list, and to see which ones are top-ranked, see our Supplement Protocols page.
Many people with lyme disease also have "a messed up gut ecology," due mostly to antibiotics and not the lyme itself (although lyme does attack the gut), so probiotics have been helpful for some. Mostly when we talked to someone with chronic lyme who hadn't been using antibiotics, they didn't really notice any help from taking probiotics. Those who had taken antibiotics noticed some improvement.