Diagnosis, Treatment, & Misdiagnosis
We are not doctors nor claim to be. Only in that we provide information to allow you, along with your medical professional, to make the best decisions concerning your health and welfare.
There are two main issues to address while being treated. First is to effectively kill the bacteria (or your co infections) and second is to boost or improve your immune system so that you are better able to allow your own body to fight these infections. You must address both of these to be successful in your treatment as relapses can occur and the fact you may be affected in some way the rest of your life from this illness.
Acute Lyme or Lyme-Like-Illness - usually 14 - 30 days of Doxy taken at the correct body weight/strength ((a 250 pound man would take a higher dose than a 100 pound women (try to get the maximum dosage your doctor will allow to fully treat for tick related infections - up to 30 days. Note: differences in body weight are not always considered by all doctors when prescribing antibiotic treatment)). This length of treatment and dosage should cover RMSF, STARI, most co-infections and most cases of acute Lyme disease. Symptoms could persist past 30 days and you should discuss this with your doctor if you feel you still have an infection or continuing symptoms.
Late Stage or Chronic Lyme - this is where it may get difficult with treatment success as co infections and immune suppression may have occurred and the bacteria can evade normal courses of antibiotics. The IDSA and many doctors say that after 30 days of only one antibiotic, the patient is cured from Lyme. This blanket statement cannot be further from the truth as every patient responds differently from treatment and their treatment must be tailored to the individual situation in terms of infection, health, symptoms and all other factors the Lyme wise doctor will take into consideration. Blanket statements on the length of treatment are another political issue for insurance companies and the IDSA. When it comes to your health, leave the political issues behind. Doctors should address the current symptoms and measure treatment success by the patient's response to the drugs and their known experience in treating Lyme disease. There is no magic pill, so to speak. Treatment will take time and you must be aware of this fact. The following two articles give good information towards treatment options.
- Advanced topics in Lyme disease, 2008 edition - Diagnostic Hints and Treatment Guidelines for Lyme and Other Tick Borne Illnesses
Having a doctor prescribe antibiotics and blindly following the guidelines above is also not the right approach to full recovery for some individuals. For difficult cases, your doctor needs to be experienced in Lyme treatment. At times, treatment modifications and alterations must be made as the treatment progresses. Combinations of drugs are often taken to allow penetration deep enough into the body's tissues as Bb can be found deep within the body. Patients with Neurological Lyme of those who have had the disease for a long period will need longer treatment, usually with IV antibiotics for months to be well again. Also, depending on what areas of the body are affected, some symptoms will linger or persist for years or may stay with the patient for the rest of their lives.
Alternative treatments are becoming popular and there are a few books on the market which address these protocols. Diets alone will not normally cure Lyme disease but may assist the patient as a good Lyme treatment plan calls for good nutrition. There is no magic or simple treatment to cure Lyme disease as some sites claim. General recommendations:
- A healthy lifestyle to improve your body's immune system
- Vitamins and supplements
- Probiotics to replace the body's good bacteria that is killed from antibiotics
- A common side effect of antibiotics is diarrhea, which may be caused by the elimination of beneficial bacteria normally found in the colon. Controlled studies have shown that taking probiotic microorganisms—such as Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium longum, or Saccharomyces boulardii—helps prevent antibiotic-induced diarrhea.
- Diarrhea experienced by some people who take antibiotics also might be due to an overgrowth of the bacterium Clostridium difficile, which causes a disease known as pseudomembranous colitis. Controlled studies have shown that supplementation with harmless yeast—such as Saccharomyces boulardii2 or Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker's or brewer's yeast) —helps prevent recurrence of this infection. In one study, taking 500 mg of Saccharomyces boulardii twice daily enhanced the effectiveness of the antibiotic vancomycin in preventing recurrent clostridium infection. Therefore, people taking antibiotics who later develop diarrhea might benefit from supplementing with saccharomyces organisms.
- Treatment with antibiotics also commonly leads to an overgrowth of yeast (Candida albicans) in the vagina (candida vaginitis) and the intestines (sometimes referred to as "dysbiosis"). Controlled studies have shown that Lactobacillus acidophilus might prevent candida vaginitis.
- Sleep and exercise to strengthen the body
- A strong mental attitude, positive attitude and support from family and friends
- Support from family and friends cannot be emphasized enough. Dealing with Lyme or its related diseases can be very taxing on the patient. How successful and quickly the patient recovers may depend on a positive support group, knowing what to expect and good friends to help them get through the difficult times (there will be difficult times for chronic or long-term sufferers).
Products which boost or improve your immune system and anti-oxidants are always recommended. The following is a partial list of what others have said worked for them:
- Cats Claw taken with Cumanda - improves immune system and anti-oxidant
- Chlorella to help your body detoxify
- Glutathione and NAC (N-Acetyl L-Cysteine) - anti-oxidant
- Alginate Plus - detoxify
- Vit. C in high doses
- Vit. E and essential fish oils - anti-oxidant
- Fruits and fresh vegetables
You can spend hundreds of dollars per months on these products. You need to understand that some may, or may not work for you and not all are worth the additional expense (as you are already spending a great deal on your treatment). Work with your doctor and see what they recommend for you. Do your own research and ask others who have gone through Lyme treatment to see what they recommend. Do research on the Internet (be advised that most everyone is out to sell you something) and look at available reading material on the subject.