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Lyme & Infectious Diseases

Lyme Disease and its common Co-Infections 

If you are already familiar with Lyme Disease and its common co-infections and symptoms, skip ahead to our 10 step approach for the natural treatment of Lyme. Otherwise read further to review the common infections and the most commonly reported symptoms.

The infection Borrelia Burgdorferi, also known as Lyme disease, was once thought to isolate to the northeastern portion of the United States. It is now known to have spread, and has been diagnosed in the southwestern states, and is now epidemic in parts of Europe and China.The testing and eventual diagnosis of Lyme disease is not a straightforward or simple task. Symptom presentations amongst patients are extremely varied, and the common western blot test and IFA test are frequently false negative. The inconsistencies are partly related to the tricky nature of Lyme bacteria, which can hide out in different tissues, with the immune system failing to produce detectable antibodies at the time of testing. Despite these significant testing concerns, we choose laboratories that provide the most consistently reliable data possible until more advanced testing comes to market. The most reliable test we use at EVND is the IgM Western Blot and the IgG Immunoblot, which tests for the most common species, Borrelia burgdorferi. There are other Borrelia species found through the world that are starting to become more prevalent in the United States, demanding expansion of testing additional organisms, if the initial Western or Immunoblot returns negative. To help in the diagnosis and raise appropriate suspicion, we often have our patients complete the Horowitz Lyme Symptom Checklist, as it has been found in research to correlate with those who do actually test positive for Lyme disease. In addition to Lyme, a portion of patients may also be diagnosed and treated for one of the more common coinfections which include Babesia, Bartonella, Anaplasma, or Ehrlichia.

Lyme has been a disease of great mystery due to the multiple forms and locations it may hide within the human body. Its effects are wide-ranging, from systemic and neuropathic pain, autonomic disorders, to central nervous system effects such “brain fog”, panic attacks, fatigue, and anxiety.  It has thus been labeled as the” great imitator.” Adding to the confusion and difficulty of diagnosing Lyme disease is the lack of communication between different specialties whose focus on separate body systems are unable to connect all of the dots. The isolation of specialties and even symptoms is a leading reason that modern medicine has failed to recognize and treat Lyme disease.

The inability to accurately assess and determine the degree of Lyme effects on a single individual, has led to great confusion, even among prominent researchers and clinicians, in how best to treat the disease. Although testing accuracy has improved, Lyme disease is complicated significantly by other immune influencing factors that have, in recent years, just come to light. For example, we now know that ticks, mice, and even mosquitoes are found to carry Lyme disease. In addition, many other infectious agents are co-inhabiting and are passed simultaneously with Lyme disease. These infections include other bacteria, viruses, and even parasites.

Therefore we have two types of Lyme-infected patients presenting in our East Valley Naturopathic Doctors Clinic. Lyme can cause acute symptoms, as can many other infectious agents such as bacteria, virus, parasites, and fungi or yeast. These patients present with new-onset symptoms within days, weeks, and perhaps a few months of exposure to Lyme disease. The other group of patients, we most often diagnose and treat, have been infected sometime in the past. They may have had some degree of acute symptoms, but they were not sufficient to seek medical help or were misdiagnosed as a mild respiratory infection or Influenza virus. More than 50% of Lyme patients do not recall seeing a bulls-eye rash distinct to acute infections. What can complicate this picture, even more, is that an old infection might have lain dormant for decades, only to be awakened or intensified by a new exposure to stress, mold toxins, and viral or bacterial infections.

The most common form of Lyme has been Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex, however there are over 2 dozen species of borrelia that have been discovered at this time. Prevalence of ticks were predominantly in the Northeast and Upper mid west but have been migrating and now found in 43 confirmed states. The CDC estimates more than 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme each year. Lyme can be injected into the body by a bite of an infected Blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis), through blood transfusions, and even through an infected mother who can unknowingly pass it to her child in utero. 

Lyme Symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Cognitive dysfunction, meaning poor memory, severe brain fog
  • Headaches and neck stiffness
  • Insomnia
  • Migratory muscle and joint pain 
  • Fibromyalgia 
  • Neuropathic symptoms: nerve pain, numbness, hot/cold sensations, tingling
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Lightheadedness
  • Palpitations, chest pain or shortness of breath

Bartonella (henselae and quintana) Symptoms:

  • Day sweats
  • Anxiety, severe depression
  • Pain: Muscle, joint, headaches, soles of the feet
  • Severe cognitive dysfunction
  • Swollen lymph nodes: cervical, axillary
  • Skin: Striae, acne
  • Neurologic symptoms of numbness or sharp, shooting or burning pain, abdominal pain
  • Bladder symptoms of pain, urgency or burning, IC
  • GI: GERD, diarrhea, constipation
  • POTS
  • Fever of unknown origin 

Bartonella henselae transmission is often from a cat scratch or bite, tick, fleas, sand fly bites or mosquitoes, vertical transmission (Passing infection from mother to baby during pregnancy), and transfusions. Bartonella quintana transmission is often from body lice, ticks, or fleas.

Babesia (microti abd duncani) Symptoms: 

  • Temperature dysregulation (extreme sweating that can alternate with chills)
  •  Night sweats especially
  •  Insomnia
  •  Poor cognition
  •  Fatigue
  •  Headaches
  •  Depression and anxiety
  •  Air hunger
  •  Dysautonomia: POTS, irregular heart racing
  • Chest pain

Babesia transmission is often from ticks, blood transfusions, vertical transmission- from mother to child during pregnancy.

It is also very likely, as will be explained in the 10 step program, that a combination of viruses, bacteria, fungi, and even parasites, having been previously kept in check but, due to reasons still too complex for immunology to understand, have become reactivated. One example is the patient who has a history of Mononucleosis or Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Epstein-Barr virus causes both mental and physical fatigue, aggravating even mood, and is often confused by many physicians as depression. It might have lain dormant for years, but now with immune suppression from Lyme disease it can reactivate. This has led to the conclusion that many patients with Lyme disease are in effect, co-infected with other viral, fungal, parasitic, and bacterial infections. We know because we have tested for them. We find in many cases the most severely affected and most difficult patients to treat, have a combination of all the various toxins and infections, with the average being between 3-5 infections. A Lyme disease treatment program focused only on one area of possible infections or toxin induced disease may have some benefit, but will be limited in its total ability to eradicate all symptoms.

Historically and currently the treatment of Lyme disease has required the use of antibiotics. The type, dosing schedule, and duration of antibiotics are dependent on the length and type of symptoms present as well as the co-infections, whether from a new or previous exposure. The use of antibiotics produces its own side effects, such as yeast overgrowth, that is part of the underlying problem, and need to be treated and minimized while on long-term antibiotic therapy. Effective Lyme treatment often requires effective co-treatment of yeast and candida species overgrowth.

Depending on the duration of a patient’s symptoms, other bodily systems that support energy, mood, and Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) pathways are often affected. Patients often report that though their recovery is much improved, they rarely feel as good as they did before they became ill. We find that other systems, such as the endocrine and neurotransmitter systems (part of the ANS), have to be restored to their optimal function. This requires not just treating all realized and unrealized infections, but evaluating and treating nutrient, hormone, and neurotransmitter deficiencies, which occur as a result of the body’s attempt to function, while being attacked by serious infectious diseases over months and often decades.

The diagnostic workup of chronic Lyme and other infectious agents requires reviewing every functioning system in the body including the immune, endocrine, and the neurotransmitter or stress response systems. With good evaluation and treatment protocols, we can eradicate Lyme and other infectious agents, restore optimal functioning of energy and stress response, improve mood, and calm pain pathways, all of which leads toward a full recovery.

Lyme disease persists as a controversial infection due to its complexity of diagnosis and difficulty in eradication of seemingly persistent symptoms. In addition, even with the CDC’s recent admission that diagnosed Lyme disease cases exceed 300,000 annually, most primary care doctors deny its existence or are reluctant to support patients who desire to be tested. Even if patients are evaluated, many physicians refuse to treat, or offer the standard prescription of the antibiotic doxycycline, which offers very little benefit to the chronically infected.

Treatment is not likely to occur if testing is not done or fails to be sensitive enough to expose antibodies to Borrelia. Diagnosis must sometimes be made by ruling out all other possibilities associated with the patients symptoms and through a comprehensive lab set that includes immune function and possible coinfections and or mold exposures.

Some of the steps listed below may have already been completed by you prior to your diagnosis of Lyme disease, and thus may not need to be in your current program. We want you to feel comfortable with the complexity of the different prescriptions, herbs and protocols, and why we recommend them. Not all protocols are required to be completed at once, but can be divided over time and prioritized toward your individual concerns and abilities.

With recent updates in genetics, including lab testing of Lyme, coinfections, and mold, we feel we have one of the most comprehensive and effective Lyme treatment protocols in current use today. After 15 years of developing protocols and trying and discovering newer and more effective Lyme and coinfection treatments, we recommend the following 10 step program for optimal eradication and recovery from Lyme disease and co-infections.

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Lyme Disease Step 1STEP 1. Treat Lyme infection with the Cowden Protocol

After years of studying and applying a multitude of Lyme protocols, we have gathered a combination of predominantly herbal protocols for the treatment of Lyme disease and its common co-infections. After struggling with commonly recommended antibiotic protocols we came to the conclusion, as have many others, that antibiotics to often fail in eradicating Lyme and common coinfections. Natural herbs combined in synergistic formulas are showing greater antibacterial effect against the stealthy ability of the Lyme bacteria. Taken consistently over a longer period of time, we are seeing more success in Lyme treatment than in the past. This is exciting news for an extremely difficult infection to treat. Our favorite protocol is the Cowden Support Program, developed over many years by Dr. Lee Cowden MD for successful eradication of Lyme disease. Other herbal formulas or protocols as proven beneficial, including Byron White Formulas, are often implemented. The best part about herbal medicine is that it works, without the use of common antibiotics and their resultant disruption to the microbiome. Treatment duration is most often 9 months in total before antibody testing might prove eradication of Lyme disease, but many patients report symptom improvements after 3-4 months into the program.

Did you know mosquitoes carry Lyme?

Lyme disease is caused by bacteria which is spread by ticks and can be passed from an infected pregnant mother to her child. In recent years it has been discovered that mosquitoes are also known to carry the bacterial infection. The most common sign of the infectious disease is an expanding area of redness on the skin that is neither painful or itchy and appears about a week after a bite. A few other signs of Lyme disease include fever, headaches, and tiredness. If not treated, symptoms can also lead to loss of ability to move one or both sides of the face, joint pain, neck stiffness, or heart palpitations. Those diagnosed with Lyme disease may experience joint pain and swelling months to years later. Aside from proper treatment, 10-20% of people may develop memory problems and feel fatigued for years.

At East Valley Naturopathic Doctors, we want you to feel confident in your journey to recovery and ask you call us with any questions or concerns you may have.

Lyme Disease Step 2STEP 2. Evaluate and treat for mold and biotoxin exposure

Many Lyme positive patient’s symptoms started after a disguised or known mold or mycotoxin exposure. Mycotoxins, which are most often produced in water damaged building, give rise to circulating biotoxins in the body causing immune suppression, fatigue, brain fog, and many other symptoms that appear to mimic Lyme disease itself. Mold or mycotoxin reactivity is amplified in certain genetically sensitive patients and amplify the severity of Lyme symptoms. It is extremely important to evaluate and treat for mycotoxin exposure. Failure to do so will slow or completely retard the progress of herbal treatments. It is possible that many unsuccessfully treated Lyme patients have ongoing biotoxin exposure from mycotoxins. Successful treatment for Lyme disease requires complete and absolute treatment of current or historical mycotoxin exposures.

Did you know how wide spread Lyme disease has become?

Every year, 300,000 people are affected by Lyme disease in the United States. Once a person is bitten by a tick or misquito containing the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, they may experience symptoms anywhere from 3 to 30 days. Whether a person contracts Lyme disease is often dependent on the type of tick, where you were when the bite occurred, and how long the tick was attached to you. Symptoms can vary in a wide range depending on the stage of the infection. A few of the symptoms include a red rash that doesn’t itch or hurt, headaches, fever, joint pain, loss of mobility in the face, and fatigue. If the infection progresses, symptoms can lead to loss of muscle tone, irregular heartbeat, brain and spine inflammation, and shooting pain or tingling in the hands and feet.

Doctors diagnose Lyme disease through symptoms, the patient’s history of tick exposure, and also blood tests. If blood is drawn within the first week of the disease, the test may come up as negative since it takes a few weeks for antibodies to develop. While some doctors recommend antibiotics to treat Lyme disease, we have created a 10 step program to help our patients get on the road to recovery.

At East Valley Naturopathic Doctors, we want our patients suffering from Lyme disease to feel confident in their journey to recovery. Please feel free to call us with any questions or concern you may have.

Lyme Disease Step 3STEP 3. Reduce the presence of yeast or Candida species. 

With our primary focus to rid the body of Lyme, a strong immune system is priority one. Three general ideas are helpful to optimize immune function. Steps 3-6 are focused significantly on the most common root problem in immune dysfunction, which is “leaky gut”. The reduction of yeast, parasites, and bacterial species automatically improves gut function by tightening leaky junctions. The most common leaky gut promoter and food allergen is gluten, easily diagnosed with the Great Plains IgG Food Intolerance or Vibrant America Wheat Zoomer blood antigen test. Yeast overgrowth within the intestinal tract reduces immune function, elevates allergy response and food reactivity. Candida also leads to brain fog, and is an underlying factor for chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.  It has also been linked to depression, PMS, sleep dysregulation, and irritability. Most importantly yeast overgrowth increases the presence of biofilm activity leading to greater difficulty in treating Lyme and chronic bacterial or parasitic infections effectively. Step 3 is to reduce Candida species in the intestines. As yeast is a living bug, it can be killed with natural and prescription antifungal therapies. Avoidance of sugar, starchy foods, and yeasted products such as bread and beer is also helpful. Consider the Candida Diet under forms and handouts section of our website. I generally recommend aggressive treatment of candida with prescription Fluconazole or Nystatin, which are normally covered by your insurance. In addition we begin to build up an immune gut barrier by taking friendly bacteria or probiotics, which healthily compete for real estate in the gut and reduce immune and allergy reactions.

Did you know Candida is an alien like invader?

Candida is part of the Fungus family which also includes mold. Some physicians suggest a mold or mycotoxin sensitive patient may also react to candida(a member of the fungus family) in the gastrointestinal tract as intensely as if exposed to mold or mycotoxins through food or air. More research is required, but Candida should be a major concern since antibiotic use can promote its growth as well as the consumption of grains, refined carbohydrates, and of course SUGAR!

For 15 years, since our establishment, East Valley Naturopathic Doctors have been treating yeast and candida species, with great benefit, in a variety of health concerns and symptoms.

At East Valley Naturopathic Doctors, we want you to be confident in your recovery and understand every step along the path to wellness. Feel free to call us with any questions or concerns you may have.

Lyme Disease Step 4STEP 4. Reduce and eradicate known or suspected parasitic infections.
I like to say, “all living things are eventually just hosts to other living things.” It may be due to consumption of food while traveling in foreign countries, or just due to time with multiple exposures to food imported from all over the world. We have naively assumed that parasites do not exist in our local environment or from local food suppliers within the United States. Humans are also known to contract parasites from food such as sushi, and from animals such as domesticated cats and dogs. It has even surprised ourselves how often parasites are present and patients respond in a positive manner with parasitic treatment. Diagnostic testing is limited and perhaps inadequate. Parasites often cause fatigue, gastrointestinal symptoms, hair loss, and reduce our immune system. Bacteria such as Lyme, viruses and other organisms are also known to be found residing within parasites. Step 4 is to reduce parasitic burden within the intestines at the same time while treating Lyme disease. Initial therapy can be accomplished with herbal protocols. If needed, additional prescription medication may be suggested for more aggressive parasite treatment.

At East Valley Naturopathic Doctors, we use natural means to treat health problems, not just to soothe symptoms, we offer natural therapies to remove symptoms permanently. With our 10-step recovery program for those diagnosed with Lyme disease, we hope to help you feel comfortable and confident while on the road to recovery. If you have any question or concerns, please feel free to call us.

Lyme Disease Step 5STEP 5. Reduce overgrowth of bad bacteria within the small intestine. 

Many of our chronically ill patients have gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, IBS, or pain with eating. They may be diagnosed with a condition known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO. SIBO is caused by an overgrowth of certain bacteria feeding upon certain sugars and fibers. Patients with SIBO are recommended to follow a special diet to reduce feeding these bad bacteria that overgrow and which cause the physical symptoms. It is suspected that many people with SIBO have slowed motility caused by or leading to SIBO. The problem arises when treating a patient for Lyme disease, a functioning bowel, that is able to support detoxification sufficiently, is required. The intestines, besides extracting necessary nutrients, also concentrate and eliminate toxins. Step 5 includes herbs, specific diets, and/or prescriptions to reduce bad bacteria and enhance detox pathways. In addition most people report feeling generally much better with improvement in energy from following these protocols. Steps 3-5 are designed to reduce the full range of toxic living bugs hiding within the intestinal cavity.  Prescriptions for treatment of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth include Xifaxin or Neomycin which are more frequently covered by insurance then in previous years. Many natural herbs such as Oregano and Phytostan are also very helpful. Xifaxin is prescribed based on specific symptoms such as irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea which persists particularly after treating for food allergies and fungal or parasitic infections.

Did you know?

Besides medications for treatment of SIBO, many natural herbs are effective in reducing bacterial counts or loads and minimizing symptoms from chronic and persistent SIBO. At EVND we often choose Artichoke and Ginger as useful herbs to promote motility. Some patients have also benefited from the use of food enzymes or hydrochloric acid supplementation. Some patients have great difficulty with motility resulting in chronic constipation. It is possible that herbs can help with motility and even choosing the right strain of probiotic might be more effective than over dosing on combination or multi-strain products. Your doctor can help you sort through the multiple options and help you decide which would be most effective for your individual needs

At East Valley Naturopathic Doctors, our 10-step treatment program for Lyme disease recovery can be very helpful for you. We want you to feel confident and comfortable while on the road to recovery and ask you to call us with any questions or concerns.

Lyme Disease Step 6STEP 6. Change your diet to reduce inflammatory and immune reactive foods. 

Dietary recommendations are no longer as easy as following a generic list of good or non reactive foods and avoiding bad or reactive foods.  Each person is extremely individual. Try to describe an average but common personality. There is no such thing. Diet is also very individualized. Based on testing many patients over the years, and through the benefit of trial and error, we have come to some conclusions for which testing can be helpful to confirm. Many people who are ill are reacting to gluten. This can be evaluated using tests such as Wheat Zoomer or Great Plains IgG food intolerance panel to determine the degree of food reactivity or “leaky gut”. Evaluation of SIBO can also provide dietary recommendations. Without testing to confirm reactive foods, we recommend firstly the avoidance of all gluten, dairy, and yeast dominant foods. Secondly, in the most reactive or sensitive patients, we may recommend the effective elemental diet or an elimination diet. Other diets or concepts which have proven helpful include the Whole 30 diet, intermittent fasting, carnivore, or Keto diet. Your doctor will help you decide what would be most helpful throughout your treatment period. Step 6 is cleanup your diet by avoiding bread, sugar, processed food, and soda and by increasing intake of fruits, vegetables, non-gluten grains, organic animal protein, and healthy fats. For specific testing and concern for “leaky gut” I recommend the Wheat Zoomer or consider the Great Plains IgG food intolerance test that evaluates for gluten, dairy, candida, and 100 other foods.

Did you know mold toxins are in our food?

Mycotoxins, which arise from molds such as aspergillus and stachybotrys, can produce aflatoxins found in grain and dairy products. That can mean for the most sensitive of us, that our reactions to grains and dairy are not allergy reactions, but inflammatory reactions related to heightened immune response and inflammation from mold species. These are often carcinogenic and neurotoxic biotoxins causing fatigue and “brain fog”. Food can be our best medicine, but also our worst poison. Testing is available to determine if you reacting to such exposures.

At East Valley Naturopathic Doctors, our 10-step recovery program can help you feel confident on your road to recovery. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call us.

Lyme Disease Step 7STEP 7. Replenish with nutrients to support immune and detox pathways. 

B vitamins and minerals are often combined in a comprehensive multivitamin mineral products. Additional delivery methods of certain nutrients can be given using injections and even IV therapy, resulting in improved energy, cognitive functioning, and detoxification. Even with assumed optimal dosing some individuals still fall short in nutrients due to their genetic makeup or other disease conditions. Nutrient testing through Vibrant America and Lab Corp can demonstrate nutritional status in white or red blood cells and in the serum. Testing always reveals nutritional deficiencies difficult to determine by any specific symptom alone. Optimal nutrient support can possibly be met with a nutrient dense Multi-Vitamin/Mineral supplement or Intravenous Nutrient therapy. Severely depleted nutrients may require additional dosing, but will only be discovered after micro-nutrient evaluation. IV therapy should be considered once weekly beginning in the 2-3 months of the Cowden Suppport Program. At this point in time, progess is being made ad IV therapy often is able to lift energy, mood, and reduce brain fog in a noticeable way.

Did you know our genetics predict our struggles to recover?

Chronic inflammation increases the loss of water soluble nutrients through the kidneys. Some patients, with or without MTHFR, will require more Vitamin B6, Zinc, Folate, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D for example, to support methylation and glutathione pathways. Optimal dosing can often extend outside of average ranges found in laboratory testing. Each person is individual and needs to dose for their individual needs, more so if they are in a healing crisis or have a chronic disease. Newer labs are able to assess optimal methylation status to determine the best course of action without continued guessing.

Lyme disease is a serious illness and effects well over 300,000 people each year in the United States. If you or a loved one suffers from Lyme disease, we recommend you joining our 10-step program to help you recover from this infectious disease. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our office. We care for our patients and want you to feel confident on your road to recovery.

Lyme Disease Step 8STEP 8. Detoxify and boost immune function.

Lyme and infectious diseases take advantage of a weakened immune system. Your immune system needs a boost to drag itself out of the pit of exhaustion and to promote the most effective response for killing bacterial and viral infections and detoxification of waste products. One of the most effective therapies for boosting immune and detox function is intravenous therapy, particularly oxidative therapies. Oxidative therapies increase oxygen and oxygen radical activity in the body enhancing immune response and killing infectious bugs. Oxidative IV therapies including Ozone therapy, Hydrogen Peroxide, high dose Vitamin C,and Detox Defender with glutathione. One of the most exciting advancements in oxidative therapies is High Dose Ozone therapy with ultra violet light. This therapy provides 5-7 times the normal dose of ozone treatment in a single session for enhanced therapeutic benefits. 

Another common concern, particularly when an autoimmune disease is present, is the need to remove toxic heavy metals which have accumulated over a lifetime from amalgams, vaccines, metal implants, and polluted air and water supplies. Chelation therapy can be recommended after appropriate testing and evaluation. Step 8 is to detoxify the body and enhance immune response by adding regular IV therapy to support immune response, removal of toxic metals, and optimize Lyme protocols.

Did you know Ozone is a powerful and natural weapon?

Our high dose multi pass ozone therapy combines ultra violet light to enhance the killing effect of various viruses, bacteria, and parasites as it passes through specialized tubes at the same time as you are getting ozone therapy. Numerous studies are revealing the multitude of positive effects for patients with chronic unrelenting infections, cancer, fatigue, Lyme disease, immune suppression, and improving physical endurance as also recovery post surgery.

At East Valley Naturopathic Doctors, we want what is best for our patients. If you or a loved one is struggling with Lyme disease, schedule an appointment with us and we will help you get on our 10 step program so you can begin your road to recovery.

Lyme Disease Step 9STEP 9. Treat hormone and neurotransmitter deficiencies

Optimizing levels of cortisol, DHEA, thyroid, testosterone, estrogen or progesterone can be extremely beneficial. Laboratory evaluation will help determine concern and possible benefit from hormone replacement. Step 9 is part of the standard work up we do with every patient. It also includes an evaluation of adrenal function to rule out adrenal fatigue associated with cortisol and adrenaline hypofunctioning. Some hormone therapies are prescribed as available prescriptions through your regular pharmacy and some may require specialty compounding.

Another area of concern includes neurotransmitter deficiencies such as serotonin, adrenaline, noradrenaline, and dopamine. The neurotransmitters do so much for us by managing mood and stress in our lives. Whether or not depression or anxiety were present before contracting or expressing Lyme, it’s pretty normal to be anxious and depressed having had to fight Lyme over many years. By the time most people are diagnosed and begin treatment for Lyme they will likely feel they are depressed. Part of these symptoms are just due to the fatigue of the disease and likely the “burnout” we experience from trying to manage our lives with Lyme in the background. One result is the constant strain in mood stabilizing chemicals produced and reacting in our body and brain to regulate mood. This constant strain depletes the natural pool of transmitters leading to mood irregularities we often feel. Evaluation of neurotransmitters begins with blood work and support through amino acid precursors to rebuild the neurotransmitter system. Medications are rarely prescribed, but instead natural precursor amino acids to serotonin, dopamine, adrenaline are given to support and restore optimal balance of brain and gut neurotransmitters.

At East Valley Naturopathic Doctors, we want our patients to feel comfortable and confident during the recovery process. We have your best intentions at heart and look forward to taking your call and answering your questions and concerns regarding our Lyme disease recovery program.

Lyme Disease Step 10STEP 10. Heal your brain with HBOT, FSM therapy, and Neurofeedback. 

Chronic infection creates chronic inflammation, much of which crosses the blood brain barrier. This inflammation causes derangements in blood flow and brain wave electric patterns. These new patterns lead to mood dysregulations, cognitive decline, poor stress response, and sleep difficulty.  No drug or herb is able to reset these offset patterns. Three different therapies have emerged as the most effective healers of brain tissue. Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy (HBOT), Neurofeedback therapy, and Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM) therapy. 

Before undergoing any of the following treatment modalities a picture of your brain activity is recommended. This picture is easily required with a QEEG also known as a brain map. Other options to view the functioning of the brain activity includes a SPECT scan. Once a brain scan has been completed, benefit from therapy is easily evaluated and observed with repeat brain maps or SPECT scans.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Lyme infection is known to be difficult to treat. The immune system attempts to combat this infection, but due to the ability of Lyme infection to change the proteins it expresses, it can evade detection. The immune system responds next by sending out cytokines, molecules that mediate and regulate varied immune responses. These immune responses lead to inflammation, occurring at sites where the bacteria are concentrated. These sites are often located in joints, muscles, brain or bones and cause such symptoms as pain, aches, fatigue and neurological symptoms such as memory loss and brain fog.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps reduce inflammation in all areas of the body, energize the immune system, and even kill the bacteria. In multiple case studies performed, subjects would report symptoms such as severe joint pain, fatigue, short term memory loss, seizures, headaches or depression. After receiving treatment for their prescribed amount of hyperbaric sessions, all patients reported improvement in symptoms with some reporting a complete recovery. HBOT supplemented with the Cowden Support Program can have an immensely powerful effect in your battle against Lyme disease. Hyperbaric therapy also improves blood flow to the brain helping a patient recover both cognitive and emotional function as observable on follow up brain maps or SPECT scans.

Neurofeedback Therapy

Neurofeedback has emerged and proven itself in studies and in practice to reset or rewire the brain in more productive and effective patterns returning us to our previous best selves and sometimes even better than we were prior to Lyme infection. Neurofeedback therapy is guided by a QEEG aka brain map, which is a picture of the electrical activity of the brain showing well or poor functioning regions of the brain. Inflammation from Lyme, mold, and coinfections disrupt normal patterns of brain activity and affecting neurotransmitter levels. Treatment of Lyme disease removes the root offenders while Neurofeedback can reset the brain’s stress response and cognitive ability toward optimal functioning.

Frequency Specific Microcurrent Therapy

Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM) therapy is a revolutionary noninvasive treatment that has been proven to be both a powerful and effective therapy for removing symptoms or difficult diagnoses. The body is electric and the frequency specific microcurrent (FSM) therapy is a treatment that uses this characteristic of the body to help energize cells and promote healing. An FSM machine runs a current into the body that is one millionth of an amp, which is the same current that the body naturally makes. Each individual part of the body runs at this same current but they all run at different frequencies, almost like different channels stations on a radio. Similarly, each ailment, disease, injury, etc. runs at a different frequency. “Tuning into” the correct frequencies, the FSM machine is able to resonate with a specific behavior happening in a specific part of the body, (for example, inflammation in the spine). This resonance activates the cells within this area to accomplish the specific action requested (which would be to reduce inflammation in the spine). The cells instantly react with the frequencies and set about healing and changing the body. The range of issues that this therapy is able to benefit is extensive and can be helpful for both acute and chronic issues associated with Lyme. We find it helpful with cognitive dysfunction, mood disorders, sleep regulation, painful joints or connective tissue, autoimmune disease, asthma, neuropathies, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel and gastritis, infections, Herpes Viruses, and fatigue. FSM has great potential in treating varied, irregular or even mysterious symptoms that have risen as a result of chronic Lyme, mold or infectious exposures. Step 10 is designed to complete the healing process by scheduling a brain map and regenerate or restore your brain with HBOT, Neurofeedback, or FSM therapy. As each patient’s needs may vary, individuals may customize their program or choose to participate in the Brain Regeneration Program which combine brain mapping, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Frequency Specific Microcurrent Therapy, and Neurofeedback in a single program designed to “reboot” the brain.  

We want you to be confident in your healing journey and welcome you to call with any questions or concerns you may have during this process. Of course we recognize that our treatment protocols may not align with other ideas. Understand that this is what we have found, over many years and hundreds of trials with patients, to be the most direct, effective, and cost savings approach available.

We hope this is helpful for you and invite you to not get overwhelmed with what you think you’re not doing or don’t know. We welcome you to call us with any questions or concerns you may have about Lyme Disease.