HEALING FROM LYME DISEASE
At the Silver Cancer Institute we treat Lyme disease and its coinfections with an integrative approach. Dr. Silver is a Lyme literate physician and has been treating Lyme for approximate 20 years. If you are interested in a summary of this monograph please read the summary section at the end.
Lyme Syndrome was first discovered and named in 1977. It was named in the United States when an inflammatory arthritis was observed in a cluster of children in and around Old Lyme, Connecticut. Lyme disease is now rapidly spreading across the USA and the world.
Lyme Disease is known as the great imposter or great masquerader. It mimics over 350 different medical conditions including but not limited to: Rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Lupus, vasculitis, chronic neck pain, chronic back pain, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s, chronic headache, migraines, irritable bowel, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, interstitial cystitis, chronic sinusitis, chronic bronchitis, and asthma. Also noted are depression and other hormonal imbalances.
Borrelia, which is Lyme, and the other tick- born pathogens such as Babesia, Bartonella and Ehrlichiosis are transmitted principally through the bite of a tick. The infection rate in tick populations varies by location and from year to year. Many new varieties and genospecies of Borrelia have arisen in recent years due to the organism adapting to its local environment. That is, there are many new emergent species of tick-borne infections, and tests do not exist for all these pathogens. It must also be noted that in addition to ticks, 22% of horseflies, deerflies, and mosquito, spider infection is also a carrier with Lyme and its co-infection in endemic areas. A tick, flea or mosquito caused the bite, but the bite is only remembered in 17% of patient cases. Other modes of transmission include through the placenta from the mother to the baby, breast milk and possibly with sexual transmission.
Inflammation causes most of the symptoms found in people with Lyme disease. If you can lower the inflammation in the body, it is possible to become symptom free from Lyme, even if tick-borne microbes are still present. Lyme disease is really due to the immune system’s reaction to microbes and toxins. Most symptoms are cause by the immune system attacking the tissues and places where the microbes hide out. Modulation of the immune system is an important part of treatment.
The Lyme spirochetes spread along the matrix both intracellularly and extracellularly. They invade the skin, heart, brain, blood vessels, lymphatics, muscles, tendons, joints, synovial fluid, spleen, liver and kidneys. Lyme has a predilection for articular, vascular, muscular and nervous system, and can penetrate almost any tissue and reside in there for months or years extracellular-ly, as well as intracellularly. These organisms may hide in biofilm’s which first have to be broken down to effectively kill the infections. These are called persister infections and are very difficult to treat.
Favorite sites include the endothelial wall of the cerebral arterioles and capillaries, and peripheral nerves and synovial cells and joints. They also invade the immune system. At the present time, there are about 300 different strains of Lyme existing. They express different organ specificity as well as variable degrees of antibiotic resistance. In addition, they induce variable disease mani-festations as well as variable antibody responses.
Early localized disease at 3 to 30 days after infected tick bite is the time to catch it, at or before the onset of symptoms. This phase is curable if treated promptly with oral antibiotics. The next phase includes the early disseminated disease, one to 12 weeks after an infected tick bite. There is multi-system disease, although there is good response to antibiotics. In the late dissemination phase, more than 3 months after a bite, there is complex multi-system, multi-organ progressive, disabling disease.
GENERAL FEATURES OF EARLY AND LATE DISSEMINATED LYME DISEASE:
These include the gradual onset of fatigue, muscle aches with neck stiffness, neck pain, head-ache, memory flow. There is joint pain and stiffness, knee effusion, and progressive brain and nerve involvements.
The neurologic manifestations of late disseminated disease include sleep disturbances, severe insomnia, sensory loss, loss of smell, taste, hearing, visual disturbances, and touch, peripheral neuropathy, searing pain, numbness, tingling, pins-and-needles, burning, crawling, and a stinging sensation. Memory loss with diminished visual working verbal memory and processing speed can also be seen. There is decreased concentration, recall, retrieval of words and word substitution with confusion and disorientation.
Other symptoms seen are spinal radicular pain, migraine headaches, tension, and sinus pain. Late manifestations of disseminated disease include demyelinating-like symptoms similar to multiple sclerosis or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease).
Ascending paralysis as in Guillain-Barré is also seen. Limb paralysis with peroneal nerve paraly-sis, footdrop and mononeuritis multiplex can also be seen. If you have a co-infection then each one has its own classical presentation but sometimes they are all mixed up together.
Lyme MRI Findings
They are normal in most cases of acute and early disseminated stages, but are abnormal in 20 to 40% of patients with Lyme encephalopathy. Punctate white matter demyelinization lesions are noted on T2-weighting. Also noted are multiple sclerosis-like lesions that are also heightened in distributions. I perform a neuro quantitative analysis. These are indistinguishable from multiple sclerosis.
Chronic arthritis of late disseminated Lyme.
This includes a mono, oligo, or polyarticular septic arthritis involving the large joints, mainly the knees, hips or shoulders. These are seen in 60% of untreated Lyme. Please note that persistent intraarticular infection stimulates both inflammation and autoimmune responses. Treatment in-cludes both traditional prescription medications and nutritionals.
This usually presents as lack of stamina, fatigue wand exhaustion. There is loss of libido and encephalopathy despite treatment, intolerance to stress, irritability, and weight gain is seen in the majority with a minority showing weight loss. Also, there appears to be disturbances of the hypothalamic pituitary access with hypoparathyroidism, hypogonadism, ovarian failure, hypothyroid-ism, adrenal fatigue, diabetes insipidus and diminished growth hormone.
Neuro-mediated hypotension. POTS.
This is often seen with symptoms of dehydration and hypotension in a supine or orthostatic posi-tion. There is autonomic neuropathy present with pituitary insufficiency. The patient exhibits a paradoxic response to adrenalin with profound fatigue and adrenalin rushes with palpitations and the unavoidable need to lie down. Blood pressure will go down upon standing up and cause symptoms of lightheadedness and dizziness. As this occurs your heart rate goes up in compensation. There is decreased or increased sweating, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, esophageal dysmotility, urinary or fecal incontinence, sleep apnea, sleep movement disorders, and altered heart rate and arrhythmias and others.
WHY IS CHRONIC, PERSISTENT LYME SO SEVERE?
There appears to be a high spirochete load either through multiple tick bites or long duration of unrecognized infection. There are the creation of Bio-films or protected niches made up of mu-copolysaccharides in which the infections hide. There are also alternative forms of Lyme such as the cyst, the L and the modal form. In addition to all of this, there is immune suppression of the host. We now know that some Lyme are called persistors.
Published in antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy May 2015 a study showed that Lyme is able to form drug tolerant persister cells. These are a small population of cells that may survive despite antibiotics because they are dormant and not metabolically active. In this last active phase combinations of antibiotics did not improve the killing rate. Both persister cells and biofilms helps us understand some of the reasons there are relapses in Lyme disease. These are very very important and many doctors feel to treat them effectively. Several studies have shown and this is the reason pulsing therapy or long-term intermittent therapy is sometimes necessary Along with a comprehensive natural approach. The therapies are personalized and tailored to each patient’s disease.
I think it is the presence of co-infections and premorbid states such as steroids, immuno-suppressive drugs, diabetes, heart failure, autoimmune disease, other chronic infection states like Epstein-Barré, HHV-6, Cytomegalovirus, salmonella, Brucella, mold,parasites and electromag-netic pollution and multitude of infections and toxins.The complex causality is a genetic predis-position that are epi-genetically many generations old. This in addition to roundup pesticide and electromagnetic smog just add to the problem. Studies have shown that most of the symptoms are really due to the immune system’s reaction to infections and toxins rather than the microbes or toxins themselves. Many of the long standing symptoms are caused by the immune system attacking the tissue where the infection hides out.
HEAVY METAL OVERLOAD:
Heavy metal overload magnifies overlying symptoms. Its presence significantly weakens immune response, causes inflammation, and triggers autoimmunity. There is also increased susceptibility to a wide variety of infections and unmasking latent infections. Heavy metals accelerate all types of degenerative disease and increase the risk of cancer. It leads to a sicker patient and slower recovery. You should suspect it if slow clinical response or in the presence of intractable neurologic symptoms.
Sources of free radicals must be eliminated. These sources include radiation, heavy metals like mercury, lead, arsenic, silver, gold, cadmium, cigarette smoke, and neurotoxins of mold, Strep, Lyme, etc. Excess iron and copper must also be removed. Solvents such as benzene, xylene, toluene and methylene chloride are bad for the system, and gases such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and plastics should be removed.
There is no Gold Standard laboratory test at the present time, since the testing of Lyme’s Disease and its associated co-infections is in its infancy. Be aware that the Lyme number is sparse in number, and it is found in the tissues and not in the blood except briefly when it initially disseminates.
Serologic tests such as ELISA have a low sensitivity . They are a poor screening tool.
Lyme Western Blot test. This test measures antibody to a specific Lyme antigen or protein re-ported as a numbered band. Some highly specific bands are indicative of Lyme. I use a lab that provides the most accurate Western Blot test results in the United States, and possibly world-wide. But remember, people may have false negative Western Blot tests if the Borrelia is hiding in their cells in a cystic form or if they have been suppressed, or if they have suppressed antibody response. Also, if the antibodies for Borrelia are hiding within the immune complexes or the Borrelia level in the body are too low to create immune response. Immunofluorescence testing and other testing is also available through.
T-Cell Stimulation Assay may also be useful for detecting Borrelia infections. This is called I Spot testing. It looks for the presence of proteins from inside certain immune cells called T-cells. As with all tests, however, it has its limitations. I use several different labs depending on where in the world the patient lives. These are the labs I currently use.
LYME: SO, HOW DO YOU MAKE THE DIAGNOSIS?
Lyme is a clinical diagnosis, and tests are only an adjunct. Remember, negative tests do not rule out Lyme. At times I need to do repeat testing after I begin to treat the patient.Lyme can be pre-sent with negative blood tests in all stages of Lyme. At the present time, there is currently no cost-efficient or simple mechanism to positively test for Lyme. I feel that are present time a pro-vocative urine DNA analysis is the best test that I have seen. I also do the I spot from various labs depending where the patient lives in the world.
TREATMENT OF LYME AND ASSOCIATED CO-INFECTIONS:
Lyme treatment is controversial at the present time. Depending on the stage and severity of the patient, either oral or intravenous antibiotics are used along with natural therapies. The problem with Lyme if that the organism is highly involved and there may be more than 600 different genes involved. This is why it is so difficult to treat.
Tick-borne common infections include Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlichia, Q Fever, turelemia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Colorado Tick Fever, mycoplasma and Chlamydia. Each tick-borne co-infection has similar but different symptoms. Lyme and its co-infections is a syndrome not just an infection. There are multiple imbalances. Also important are coexisting parasite infections, mold infections, viral infections, bacterial infections, and electromagnetic pollution, and heavy metals as well as all toxic chemicals like Roundup. In addition to this the biofilms need to be broken down.
There is immune imbalance, communication dysregulation, neurologic impairment, endocrine malfunction, gastrointestinal damage and dysbiosis; there is toxic-mediated impairment, end-organ damage, and neurophysiologic damage
Antibiotics and natural therapies
At one extreme, there may be the administration of multiple high doses of toxic antibiotics at the onset of treatment. When indicated I do use them but I try to pulse them or possibly use them intermittently along with natural substances. I believe there are much better and safer ways of detoxifying the body and down regulating the immune system. I always try to add the natural substances to the Protocol. I never want to return patient to quickly or severely because he will get a Herxheimer reaction.
I am a Lyme literate doctor in Scottsdale/Phoenix Arizona. I have been treating Lyme for approximately 20 years. I have seen patients with multiple sclerosis, ALS, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, depression, hormonal imbalance, auto immune disease, heart disease and im-mune dysfunction. Many of them were infected and toxic and were never diagnosed.
I am convinced that Lyme infections and its co-infections in addition to parasites, virus, bac-teria, mold, heavy metals, toxins, roundup up and electromagnetic pollution are all factors that we need to correct.
I also measure a single nucleotide polymorphism‘s which are the genes that we inherit from our parents. I have measured mine and I think in some cases they are very important to measure in a patient. This allowed me to see many of the genes in my body and helped me optimize my health.
The microbiome needs to be optimized, the leaky gut repaired, auto immune disease re-versed, the toxic load needs to be reduced, hormones balanced, methylation defects need to be corrected, electromagnetic radiation needs to be reduced, mitochondria need to be re-paired, heavy metals need to be chelated out, and all the organs need to be repaired.
All the critical values and levels mentioned in this monograph are objectively analyzed and followed. This is in addition to your clinical symptoms. I like to see objective laboratory test-ing which get better as the treatment progresses.
Your treatment may include intravenous therapy, oxidative therapy, antibiotics when indicated, herbs, homeopathic’s, toxin binders, immune stimulators, heavy metal detoxification, hyperthermia and sauna, hyperbaric oxygen, PEMF, photonic stimulation and others. Eve-ry patient is different. Depending on the number of infections, the toxins and your genes the length of time the treatment varies. This may take months to years.
My treatment is individualized to each patient, I practice personalized medicine. Over 40 years in practice I have found that no two patients are the same. Since I cured myself of cancer and heart disease 20 years ago I have a very good understanding of integrative medicine. I am a believer in natural medicine and I’m a believer in traditional medicine. I practice integrative medicine. I feel it’s the best for myself and for my family and patients.
Dean R. Silver, M.D. M.D (H)