Integrative Treatments are not necessarily Lyme specific, but often play a role in Treatment efficacy. Besides treating all forms of the Lyme Spirochete, there are many other factors that need to be addressed alongside Lyme Treatment. There are so many aspects to treatment, that it is difficult to separate it all, group it logically, and gather a full understanding of what needs to happen and when. Every person is so different and there are so many variables at play it makes it all very challenging and confusing.
For the purposes of this page, I’m going to stick to the most common co-treatments that many Lyme patients are faced with and many Lyme doctors incorporate. Many of these share some of the same symptoms of Lyme, so it is important to address them in order to properly monitor treatment progress. Often treating these aspects makes treatment more effective and improves quality of life. It is often after treatment failure that we learn of these things. So, I thought it would be helpful to separate them out and discuss them here. Hopefully it will save you some time, money, and suffering.
Co-infections often accompany Lyme infection. While some of them are bacterial, some viral, and some parasitic, they are generally recognized as other tick-borne diseases. In some cases, the co-infection can hinder Lyme treatment. It is important to determine if co-infections are present and treat them as well. There is more information on the Co-infections and Testing pages.
Secondary infections are very common in Lyme patients. The most common one is Candida Albicans which often shows up due to long term antibiotic treatment. It is imperative to treat this and eat a diet that prevents Candida overgrowth throughout Lyme Treatment. Candida gybraltar is a particularly harmful strain that must be treated. H.pylori and other digestive pathogens are also common.
There are many so-called “stealth viruses” that should be tested for and/or monitored. Some of these include Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), Human Herpes Virus 6 (HHV-6), and Parvovirus.
Testing for STDs should be done, as they can have a significant impact on patients as well.
Parasites are also a common problem with Lyme patients. Besides Digestive Parasites, there are infectious ones as well. One of the newest protozoal parasites currently being studied is Protomyxzoa Rheumatica (was called FL1953).
There are too many to list all of the possibilities here, so be sure to ask your doctor a lot of questions and do some of your own research.
It is becoming increasingly clearer that Lyme and other pathogens create biofilms during long-term infection. This makes treatment success much more challenging. There is still much research to be done on this, but it appears to be a very important part of treatment success in Chronic or Late Stage Lyme patients.
The idea is that pathogens create communities in order to make their survival more efficient and prolonged. Similar to the way humans form communities and tribes, so do pathogens. They create a protective layer that not only provides shelter and helps them to hide from the immune system, but it provides nourishment. It also promotes communication through quorum sensing which allows colonies to work together as an efficient team, rather than individual pathogens.
In essence, Biofilms have become a type of infection in and of itself. They can even reproduce, or break off into other communities. Preventing the formation of biofilms is one critical aspect. Breaking down what already exists can be challenging, but is necessary in order for antimicrobial agents to be effective against them.
Metabolic Function and Lipid Replacement Therapy
Metabolic Function is crucial to our health. It is how our body turns nutrients into energy. All of our bodily functions depend on that process being efficient. It effects cell processes, hormone production, repair, digestion, sleep, etc… Once these processes begin to decline, so does overall health lending to chronic and degenerative diseases.
Lipid Replacement Therapy (NT Factor) specifically is a relatively new approach and is showing incredible promise in supporting the body to reverse damage and improving quality of life. It all comes down to the health of our mitochondria. So what do mitochondria do in our bodies? They produce almost all of our cells energy. That means they are crucial in every aspect of our bodily functions down to the cellular level.
Recent studies show that many degenerative diseases are primarily influenced by oxidative damage to mitochondria and mitochondrial dysfunction. Preventing excessive damage through diet, exercise, reduced stress and pain, limiting exposure to environmental pathogens, etc….are a large part of the solution.
However, sometimes, our bodies become burdened and overloaded. Without supplementation, it can become a downward spiral increasing the growth and severity of pathogenic and degenerative disease. With supplementation, the body is supported and better able to fight off these pathogens and heal.
More research is needed, but many people are showing significant improvement with this and many Lyme doctors are incorporating into treatment. To purchase NT Factor, see the Supplements page.
Genetic Factors and Methylation
There are also several genetic factors that come into play with chronic illness. There could be slight variations in your DNA make up that can make you more susceptible to disease, and make it harder for you to fight disease. Genetics can make you more prone to depression or anxiety, which can exacerbate symptoms. You could be more at risk for developing organ problems and cancer from taking long term antibiotics and antimicrobial agents. There are so many variables at play that complicate an already complicated disease.
Some of the most common genetic mutations that occur in Lyme patients are ones that form Biotoxin Illness, or make it more difficult for a person to remove toxins or more sensitive to them, thus making their symptoms worse. They can cause all sorts of physical complications and even play a role in metabolic function. The most common one is Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR).
Methylation is another aspect of genetics that often plays a role in chronic illness and can be affected by genetic mutations. In its simplest form, it is the natural and frequent process of donating a methyl group to a substrate. What does that mean?
If you are deficient in normal methylation processes, your body is not producing DNA. Methylation is also responsible for immune function, detoxification, gene and hormone production and function, nerve function, inflammation, and energy production.
This process is affected by diet, exercise, environmental stressors, etc. As with everything with this disease, this is crucial in treatment and overall health. When it is imbalanced, treatment and supplementation is often needed to restore balance. For some people it is in the form of Methyl-B12 supplementation. Some would require Glutathione. It can vary greatly from person to person.
Testing for genetic mutations is incredibly important to determine what, if any, genetic factors may be playing a role in furthering chronic illness and declined health. From that point, treatment can be adjusted to support these functions.
Thyroid Dysfunction and Adrenal Fatigue
Lyme diseases is known to disrupt thyroid and adrenal functions in many people. Symptoms vary from person to person, but it takes a huge toll on the quality of life. Diagnosing and managing this can improve immune function and overall well-being significantly.
Supporting the body’s natural functions while preventing the proliferation of infection.