Lyme Disease /Chronic Infections

Chronic infections like Lyme, CMV, Herpes, Epstein Barr can be culprits in symptoms like chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia and cause other debilitating symptoms like joint pain, brain fog and neurologic symptoms. Today as more and more people are suffering from symptoms of fatigue, body aches and joint pains many are being diagnosed with Lyme disease, a bacterial infection caused by Borrellia Burgdfordi, a tick borne illness that can be transmitted by tick bites or mosquitos.

We offer specialty testing that can identify possible exposure to the bacteria as well as infection. For many patients who are searching for a diagnosis to explain their symptoms, Laboratory testing can be an important aid in the diagnosis of Lyme disease.

Proper use and interpretation of laboratory tests requires physicians that understand these tests and have specialized training, and the underlying likelihood that you have the disease. Many doctors simply do not have this level of understanding. At Advance Health Functional Medicine we are now able to provide you with real answers that you have been searching for.

While we offer cutting edge testing modalities for the identification of Lyme disease as well as integrative customized treatment plans to help restore immune balance and a healthy state to the body, we do this with great attention to the individual as a whole not simply targeting a ‘disease’ while ignoring the entirety of the individual it is in. One of the main things to keep in mind when addressing Lyme and other chronic infections is the crucial role of immune health in the ability to heal the body and prevent infection and resulting illness.

 

About Dr. Rashel

Using popular advertised Lyme ‘treatments’ can actually worsen the patient’s symptoms in the long run by further injuring the core of their health. Other advertised seemingly easy but costly ‘treatments’ and ‘therapies’ are simply ineffective as most patients realize unfortunately after spending tens of thousands of dollars and years of their life only to find themselves not improved or much sicker than before they started.

One of the most important factors in treating chronic infections, Lyme disease and many other diseases is the human microbiome that each of us harbors as important as our individual genome it is referred to as our second genome.

In a natural state of health our bodies are made up of tens of thousands of individual bacterial, protozoan, fungal, and viral organisms in addition to our own cells. The Human Microbiome Project established that there are greater than 10,000 different species of organisms which makes over 100 trillion individual bugs that share our bodies when we are in a state of health.

These microorganisms that in essence make us up dictate our health and safeguard and create the integrity of our immune system. Modern research has clearly demonstrated and made clear that the growing number of diseases in the world today are related to the reduction of organisms in the human microbiome. This reduction is directly resulting from interventions, starting at even before birth, that damage and limit the diversity of these microorganisms living in, on and around us, namely the use of medications and antibiotics as well as other interventions.

Lyme disease is a classic example of a condition that triggers an aggressive, and at times, lengthy series of interventions that can severely damage and destroy many populations of microorganisms in the microbiome. This systematic depletion plays a strong role in the development of autoimmune, and allergic conditions that are seen in late stages of LD.
In order to be successful at treating Lyme Disease and restoring a healthy state to the body the microbiome must be addressed and considered both for the role that it is playing in the development of the illness and any potential harm that can come to it from possible treatments that will then worsen the disease process.

 

At Advance Health Functional Medicine we treat Chronic infections and Lyme disease by addressing the core of health and underlying factors that may be playing a part in the disease progression as well as the disease itself so that improvements are for the long run and treatments result in improvements of all aspects of health of our patients.

Common Questions about Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, Initially discovered 30 years ago in Lyme, Connecticut. Lyme disease has become the undiagnosed and untreated epidemic of the 21st century, the prevalence of Lyme disease is 10 times higher than previously reported according to the CDC. Transmission can be via tick bites, and recent studies have shown possible transmission by mosquitos. The symptoms and sequela of Lyme Disease can mimic many other diseases often leading to misdiagnosis with diseases like Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS and or limited to symptoms such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, depression, bipolar, that those suffering from Lyme may experience as well. Lyme disease can affect multiple areas of the body. Symptoms appear within 1-2 weeks after the bite and there is often a red rash, known as a “bulls-eye” ring, around the site of the bite although the infection is possible in those who did not have the classic bull’s eye rash. Most patients with Lyme disease do not recall a tick bite. Most Lyme patients don’t remember such an event since the tick numbs the skin prior to biting therefore the bite is commonly not felt.

Most commonly, Lyme disease is transmitted through a bite from a specific type of tick, particularly deer ticks or black-legged tick, which is known to feed and mate on deer during part of their life cycle. Deer ticks have been found to be infected with these spiral-shaped bacterium or spirochete.

The recent growth of the deer population in the northeast and the building of suburban developments in rural areas where deer ticks are commonly found have probably contributed to the increasing number of people with the disease. The number of reported cases of Lyme disease, as well as the number of geographic areas in which it is found, has been increasing over the years but most cases have been found in the geographic areas of the coastal northeast, Mid-Atlantic States, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, and northern California.

Symptoms of Lyme disease can include include rash around the bite site, swelling of lymph nodes around the infection site, symptoms resembling the flu, fatigue, muscles aches and stiffness and joint pains. As the disease progresses neurological problems such as nerve pain, numbness and tingling, twitching, muscle weakness and paralysis may also occur.

Some patients may not improve even after initial treatment and may experience ongoing and worsening symptoms and this is referred to as chronic Lyme disease. This is an area of controversy among mainstream conventional and contemporary physicians where conventional physicians do not believe that this stage of Lyme exists. Patients with chronic Lyme Disease who experience ongoing symptoms may experience debilitating fatigue and extreme exhaustion, chronic pain, insomnia. Symptoms are complex as with symptoms of all chronic disease and multifactorial and many systems can be affected and patients may simultaneously suffer from nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalance, cognitive impairment, neurological symptoms, and mood disorders. Chronic illness can also cause and be associated with neurological disease and Brain changes as seen in Alzheimers dementia, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

If you’re suffering from symptoms, but have not been able to get appropriate diagnosis or treatment, you’re not alone. Most patients we see who come to us with chronic Lyme disease complain of ‘strange’ or ‘weird’ symptoms that could not be explained even after numerous doctor visits and many times were told by their physician it is psychological or hypochondriac in nature. Since most patients do not recall being bit by a tick that makes it more difficult for physicians not specialized in the field. Additionally, because the symptoms are so variable and they mimic the symptoms of other chronic conditions, most doctors do not even think of testing for Lyme disease much less providing any kind of treatment. In the rare instance testing is done, however, standard tests miss over 90% of chronic Lyme disease cases. The problem with these tests is that they are designed to detect acute Lyme disease and are very poor at detecting chronic Lyme disease. Lyme disease is also notoriously difficult to diagnose, and laboratory tests are known to be unreliable. It’s difficult to test for Lyme for a variety of reasons, but one of the main ones is that there are so many species of the germ, and only a handful of strains are detectable with current lab science technology Additionally, many doctors rely on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) criteria to identify a positive test which was meant only to be used for data rather than actual diagnosis.

Laboratory testing can be an important aid in the diagnosis of Lyme disease. However, proper use and interpretation of laboratory tests requires physicians that understand these tests and have specialized training in the type of test, the stage of illness, and the underlying likelihood that you have the disease. Many doctors simply do not have this level of understanding.

One of the reasons blood tests are so unreliable as indicators of Lyme infection is that the spirochete has found a way to infect your white blood cells. Lab tests rely on the normal function of these cells to produce the antibodies they measure. If your white cells are infected, they don’t respond to an infection appropriately. And the worse your Borrelia infection is, the less likely it will show up on a blood test. So, in order for Lyme tests to be useful, you have to be treated first. Once your immune system begins to respond normally, only then will the antibodies show up…

If your blood test comes back with positive IgM antibodies, take this as a positive confirmation of active Lyme in your body. I tell you this because many physicians will dismiss a positive IgM antibody and tell you that you do not have an active infection. They will tell you it is a false positive and not to worry, and not to treat. This is not really true because of a process called antigenic variation, the proteins on the outer surface of the Lyme germ move around, causing your body to see the germ as new and different, even if it’s been living inside your body for decades. This is what causes the positive IgM years after the initial infection. It’s also called “epitope switching.”

Furthermore, a vaccine was developed years ago, and conventional testing does not identify the most popular surface proteins called bands because those were in the original vaccine known as Lymerix, now removed from the market. Since they are not testing for the most popular bands of Lyme how is it expected that infection is properly diagnosed in infected individuals? There is a strong likelihood that if one is tested by. A western blot the test will be negative and this can be another cause that Lyme is under diagnosed.

This is why I recommend. And use Igenex because its a reputable lab and tests for more surface proteins allowing for better diagnosis than standard blood tests allow for. Babesia and Erhlichia.

Most patients that have actually been diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease have had either standard treatment with antibiotics for weeks or long term treatment by long term antibiotics oral and intravenous for months and even years. Unfortunately most all of the time these treatments are ineffective even when used in conjunction with other treatments like Ozone and other pharmaceutical drugs and hormones used to treat Lyme by many Lyme centers. The sooner such therapy is begun following infection, the quicker and more complete the recovery otherwise treatment can be very problematic. One of the only ways to restore a healthy state to your body if you are suffering from symptoms of chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and chronic infections including Lyme Disease is by addressing the core of your health that is your Microbiome. Other treatments whether oral or added to the blood as in Ozone are ineffective when the core of health the microbiome has been disturbed and is not addressed first. This critical step can often be overlooked as treatment is involved and many health care professionals and Lyme professionals are not trained in Functional Medicine and modalities to treat and strengthen the microbiome and thereby the immune system. Once you partner with us while committed to regaining a healthy state in your body, through specialized testing, our expertise in treating your gastrointestinal health and attention to the microbiome, as well as our multi-system integrative treatment approach, including detoxification from heavy metals and other toxins that the body is burdened with often in patients suffering from the symptoms of Lyme we can achieve the outcome you deserve and restore a state of health in your body as a whole.
There’s a load of controversy around Lyme disease. In the past, sufferers were told their ailments were “all in their head,” and the disease was largely swept under the rug. Sadly, this still occurs today and this is frequently missed. The controversy for the most part today largely revolves around whether or not antibiotics are effective against chronic Lyme disease, and whether there even is such a thing as chronic Lyme. Today most infectious disease physicians do not believe in chronic Lyme and typically will not treat a Lyme patient beyond four weeks. Physicians with Lyme training understand that symptoms may persist and are willing to treat patients beyond the 4Week period. As described by investigative journalist Beth Daley in the PBS interview10 above: “It’s a very controversial disease, in large part because there are so many questions about treatment and lingering symptoms of people with Lyme and if people actually have Lyme disease who are sick… Traditionally, you get bit by a tick, you might see a rash or feel a fever or you go to the doctor. They sort of diagnose you through tests or clinically. And you would probably get three to four weeks of oral antibiotics. And that is — most people agree, is usually enough to knock the disease from your system completely. Sometimes, it goes a little bit longer if it’s more involved, but short courses of antibiotics overall. However, a large segment of people believe that their symptoms linger for years sometimes, and the only way to treat them is to use long-course antibiotics, often through intravenously or orally, for years on end to — so they can live, so they can really get out of bed in the morning. And that is a controversy. The medical establishment says, listen, there’s no proof this longer course of antibiotics work at all. And these Lyme patients say, yes, it does… And a lot of the debate centers on, a lot of insurance companies won’t pay for those antibiotics. As a result, lots of people go bankrupt…” According to Daley, there’s little discussion within the medical community to determine whether patients with lingering symptoms actually benefit from long-course antibiotics or not. However, some researchers are looking into the matter. Researchers at Yale, for example, are investigating whether the killed-off bacteria might be leaving protein residues behind, causing long-term symptoms. Other research being performed at Tufts suggests that the bacteria can indeed survive, at least in animal studies, and that this weakened bacteria might still contribute to problems. Daley also points out that these latest statistics really bring Lyme disease to the fore politically: Long term antibiotic treatment may not be a wise choice for most, natural alternative treatments should be considered prior to that strategy as there is a major danger for impairing your beneficial bacteria and developing a yeast or fungal co-infections, which are already common in the disease.
Generally chronic Lyme disease can be divided into two categories. The first includes patients with a documented known history of infection by the spirochete Borrelia Burgdorferi, responsible for Lyme disease. A small subgroup of these patients that have already been treated for Lyme disease experience fatigue, muscle aches and other various nonspecific symptoms a year or more after the infection is treated. The cause of the symptoms is debatable among mainstream physicians and can be caused by the infection or the treatments or other causes, unfortunately there is not enough data to make a clear distinction. The second group includes those patients that have no proven history of any actual infection who represent the majority of patients who describe suffering chronic symptoms similar to Lyme Disease or who are told by some contemporary physicians that they have Chronic Lyme disease, this form of Lyme Disease is controversial among the vast medical community. Unfortunately most patients do not report success on long-term antibiotic treatments and the small portion that may report some improvement suffer extensive side effects and are exposed to associated risks including kidney and liver disease, antibiotic-resistant disease, development of deeply rooted fungal infections, destruction of healthy bacteria critically important for the health of the immune system, thereby predisposition to a host of new infections and diseases. The extensive side effects of using long-term antibiotics are an integral part of the overall controversy for patients who do not have a history of active Lyme infection. Since the side effects of long-term antibiotics can be serious and detrimental alternatives to long-term antibiotics should be considered and implemented especially since the spirochete changes forms and can hide from antibiotics in different forms. In addition there is great more to be considered respective of the biochemistry and genetics of patients who may suffer from the symptoms of chronic Lyme disease. Individual detoxification capabilities must be assessed including methylation. Methylation polymorphisms are very common among patients suffering from symptoms of chronic Lyme disease and must be addressed for successful treatment of symptoms without which symptoms linger on and antibiotic therapy can be even more toxic for the patient.

At Advance Health Functional Medicine, Dr. Rashel uses a Functional Medicine approach for the treatment of symptoms of chronic Lyme as well as Dr. Klinghardt recommended considerations in appropriate cases.
Below are the five steps Dr. Klinghardt recommends to consider when treating Lyme Disease:

  1. Evaluation of all external factors. External factors include molds, EMF, microwave radiation from wireless technologies.
  2. Remediation and mitigation of external factors. Once external factors have been assessed, they’re remediated and mitigated. To mitigate microwave radiation, Dr. Klinghardt recommends shielding the outside of your home with a graphite paint called Y Shield. Inside, he uses a special silver-coated cloth for your curtains. Patients are instructed to remove all cordless telephones and turn off all the fuses at night, until they have recovered from Lyme disease.
  3. Addressing emotional issues. Emotional components of the disease are addressed using Energy Psychology tools, including psycho-kinesiology (PK), which is similar to the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), but more refined and advanced.
  4. Addressing parasitic, bacterial and viral infections. Using a specialized antimicrobial cocktail
  5. Addressing parasites first followed by bacteria and viruses as well as addressing other lifestyle factors and nutritional considerations.
    Addressing Heavy Metals is also very important this is done by appropriate testing. Follows by chelation and other supported targeted heavy metal detoxification.

In Dr. Klinghardt’s experience, the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society (ILADS) is by far the best and most responsible group. The following are some other resources you might find helpful:

  • “Under Our Skin” website
  • Tick-Borne Disease Alliance (TBDA)
  • Lymedisease.org (formerly CALDA)

Another leading Lyme disease expert is Richard Horowitz, MD and author of the new book, Why can’t I get better? Solving the mystery of Lyme and chronic disease that can be great reading material.

A Functional Medicine Consultation with Dr Rashel is the first step on your journey to optimal health and well being and address your symptoms from the root cause, diagnose and treat chronic infections including Lyme correctly and safely. Fill out our New Patient Inquiry Form and we will contact you.

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At Advance Health Functional Medicine we treat Chronic infections and Lyme disease by addressing the core of your health and all underlying factors that may be playing a part in the disease process, therefore treatments result in improvements of all aspects of our patients’ health, as well as symptoms of Lyme disease and overall health is also improved for the long run because you can not address Lyme Disease without first addressing the Functional Medicine Matrix and Dr. Rashel’s 9 Pillars to Advance Health.

A Functional Medicine Consultation with Dr. Rashel is the first step on your journey to optimal health and well-being and address your symptoms from the root cause, diagnose and treat chronic infections including Lyme correctly and safely.  Fill out our New Patient Inquiry Form and we will contact you, answer any questions and schedule your consultation.

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