The 18 Reasons Lyme Treatments Fail: Tick-Borne Infection Medicine for the New Millennium
My average patient has been to 10-50 physicians before me. Many sincere, hardworking health care experts are falling very far behind new Lyme information. I have become very concerned with the quality of "average" Lyme literate care, and I am particularly frustrated by three things:
1. Ten years of Lyme treatment is not acceptable. It is a paradigm that should be trashed. It shows massive defects in knowledge and practice. "Cure" treatments often merely lower body loads or may make someone feel better without killing many infectious agents. For example, a pseudo cure that wastes money and time is the use of hyperbaric oxygen for tick infection treatment (HBOT). To put my money where my mouth is I recently conducted, and funded, a soon to be published study examining the effects of this treatment tool on Lyme, Babesia, Ehrlichia and Bartonella. After 120 treatments at 2.4 atmospheres for 90 minutes each, all participants still had clear and obvious positive findings for all four infections. It failed completely! So advertising that HBOT "kills" Lyme disease is nonsense. I have talked to Dr. Fife in detail and carefully evaluated and posted the HBOT research done by the late Dr. Robert Lombard. So while I love this treatment for many medical problems, it is not a tick infection cure.
2. I have published two Babesia textbooks, an Artemisia derivatives text, a two-volume color text book on Bartonella (the last one is from 1998), and two practical mold toxin books that make infections harder to treat. These are just a sample of the publications I have written on various TBD topics. Why do infectious disease physicians rarely order these progressive medical books while 99% are ordered by patients? Further, I have repeatedly posted new information based on our research or based on the study of 1500 plus articles, and it was ignored. For example, our blind research study of Babesia Mepron dosing found that 750mg/teaspoon twice per day, for any duration of time, will virtually always fail and lead to a Babesia relapse. Few physicians have listened to this new research even when firmly reported. No Lyme literate pope exists in the world. The information known in 2006 is already partly out of date. By definition, a Lyme literate physician must be very aggressive to stay current -- the stakes are too high. Yet heavy scrutiny from medical boards inhibits their ability to do so. This current practice will never allow these heroes to study and read as much as they prefer, when they have to explain to unlearned prosecution lawyers and surgeons on the medical board, why a Babesia or Bartonella co-infection can cause death.
3. I have been asked by a number of physicians to share various new findings. Most ask because they are ill themselves. I have asked them to stop treating themselves, and to do an hour consultation with very extensive labs. Almost all have refused. What they could have learned by fixing themselves would have translated into help for their patients; instead they chose to remain ill, and in turn have left their patients without any chance at full cure. The age of the ten-year "patient" is over. It should never be tolerated again. Traditional and alternative medicine Lyme specialists need to catch up with emerging new 2010 medicine-now!
Reason 1: Babesia
The current treatment dosing for Babesia is flawed. If Babesia is present, Lyme cure is impossible. 750 mg/teaspoon twice a day of Mepron is not a Babesia cure, nor is the use of artesunate (Zhang Artemisiae) from Heprapro.com, at one dose three times a day -- it fails even after a full year of daily use! This had not been previously tested for Babesia. We have found obvious Babesia after extended artesunate use -- at malaria killing doses.
The flaw in all Babesia treatment is the assumption that one can simply plug in effective malaria dosing as Babesia dosing. This is a serious error. Malaria kills humans fast and has many obvious and extreme blood patterns. Babesia is much harder to see in blood, even with digitally enlarged red blood cells, and while it can cause 200 medical problems, it does not die easily -- it is much harder to fully remove than malaria.
Reason 2: Babesia Testing
The current testing for Babesia is markedly flawed. Some DNA or PCR tests sent to a respected East Coast lab are covered by insurance but require 10 negatives to be considered negative. Some labs are only good at tissue PCR testing. But if you need to do 10 urine or blood samples to show a positive, this is simply silly and unreasonable. Some patients with immune suppressing Bartonella will not show any lab signs of Babesia when they have Babesia. Why?
1. Some infections like Bartonella turn off the production of antibodies. Therefore, antibodies to Babesia microti or Babesia duncani will probably not be positive in some infected patients. The complete removal of Bartonella can result in explosive increases in IgG and IgM for Lyme disease, Babesia, Ehrlichia and Bartonella antibodies in some patients.
2. Some patients have very few Babesia protozoa parasites, but they cause serious trouble in the body. Their small numbers are missed in a visual FISH exam or a PCR test.
3. A new medical trick can help catch some infections such as Babesia missed by even great labs. The patient is given at least two Babesia killing medications such as Mepron, artesunate at a high useful dose, or Malarone (given for the proguanil). These medications are used for ten days at a dose you and your physician feel is worth the risk, and hopefully will kill a few Babesia parasites. Approximately four weeks later, the patient is tested for antibodies to microti or duncani and ECP. If the ECP is increased significantly or the antibodies are positive, one probably has Babesia. Stealthy low volume Babesia is a common problem in tick and flea infection treatment. Talented health care workers commonly miss these red blood cell parasites, but this trick usually causes them to show up and can save someone from years of failed treatment.
Reason 3: Bartonella
Bartonella is simply the most common tick and flea-borne infection in the world. The number of species identified, that show clear uniqueness, has gone from 2 to 32 in a short time. This is based on techniques identical to those used in the Human Genome project. I am not at liberty to release the names of the scientists involved, but their findings are astonishing. For example, Bartonella floating in the blood does not even cause a fever. Any other bacteria floating in blood would kill you in 2 days. So it obviously turns off some components of the immune system.
The various tests to measure its presence are complex and multifaceted, e.g., VEGF, IL-6, IL-1b, TNF-a, Bartonella seen on various enlarged blood smears, PCR, Bartonella antibodies, and Bartonella FISH testing (which is in development and likely available in 2009). One can also use the 40 physical exam findings from a two-part color Bartonella book.
Years ago I heard a famous Lyme expert mock the idea of striations being an exam sign of Bartonella. But these are definitely a sign of Bartonella, and the striations and/or stretch marks are often red, burgundy, blue or purple. This means they are filled with blood! Bartonella makes VEGF and this chemical makes and opens blood vessels. Our two-volume full color book shows 40 possible Bartonella body or skin findings.
Reason 4: Routine Bartonella Treatments
All routine published Bartonella treatments appear to fail. This knowledge prevents wasting a year or more within effective treatments. I have examined many treatments in many inherited patients or self-treating patients. The good news is that there are emerging treatments that do work. Some are listed in my Bartonella text-books. After looking at chat room discussions, it is clear that some have not been able to understand this issue of treatment and effective treatment options. However, I will save this topic for another article or book.
The bottom line that is not fully appreciated yet is the cure of Lyme is impossible in the presence of a profoundly super immune suppressing bacteria -- Bartonella.
Reason 5: Cyst Form of Lyme
Since Lyme spirochetes can become cysts virtually instantaneously in the presence of threatening antibiotics, it does not make sense to use antibiotics without cyst-busting antibiotics (such as Flagyl), herbs or essential oils. Cysts can form immediately, and they can also quickly return to active spirochetes in the presence of a safe environment. Using strong antibiotic treatment in tablets, in shots, or in an IV form, makes no sense unless cyst-busting treatments are used at the same time.
One patient I inherited reported that she was given three months of IV antibiotics and at some later time was placed on Flagyl 500 mg. twice a day. I believe the IV antibiotics made vast numbers of Lyme sacks -- cystic forms. When the Flagyl was added, the die-off and the explosion of so many cysts caused her to be delirious for 48 hours. This was not an allergy. Nine months later she was fine on this same dose.
Cyst-busting treatments are for almost every period of treatment and not some "laterstage."
Reason 6: Decreased Insight and Cognition
Infections and inflammation decrease insight. This is largely due to an impaired frontal lobe behind your forehead that is involved in self-awareness. Examples of decreased insight are shown in the following situations:
1. Some simply feel they are cured when they are only improved. Many avoid my testing to see if they are cured, even if the testing is offered for free
2. Others go to practitioners using trash screen labs that are negative even when Lyme or other parallel tick and flea infections are coming out of their noses.
3. Some see physicians who promise to run a Western Blot actually get a junky ELISA test from a lab that has not spent the money for advanced tick disease testing.
4. Many physicians and patients do not realize that if you have a +/-, an indeterminate or a positive band at only one of these "bands"-- 18, 23, 25, 31, 34, 39, 83 or 93 -- then you may have Lyme disease.
Reason 7: Mold
Some patients get ill after a flood, large leak or some other water intrusion problem. They feel they are ill only because of mold mycotoxins that form after 36-48 hours of wetness on drywall, insulation, carpeting and other dust or cellulose-filled materials. The EPA reports 30% of USA structures have indoor mold. Some of these indoor molds have war chemicals on their surface.
In a revised version of one of my three co-authored mold books, we will discuss the opening of the tomb of the King of Poland, Casimir IV (King of Poland 1447-92). 12 scientists opened his rotting mold-filled tomb room in 1973. In a few days, four of them were dead! Soon all were dead but two! One survivor had expertise in mold and subsequently found three toxic mold species. Given the average of 40,000 - 120,000 inhalations per week while residing in a moldy location, it is no wonder some are not easily cured of tick and flea infections. This is why I write books with a master remediator to offer many treatment options, and not merely a 1970's biotoxin binder.
The best treatment with any mold problem is a perfect remediation, so I sought out certifications in mold investigation and also mold remediation. It helped me tell the real experts from those who merely had huge preformed report templates that were the same for every home or building.
We have also known since the 1880's that dust and high humidity leads to mold and bacteria growth indoors. Their presence makes Lyme disease much more difficult to cure.
Reason 8: Lyme Biotoxins
Lyme appears to make many biotoxins. One is patented (BbTox1) and the full gene code is fully known. In past years, some LLMD's doubted the presence of Lyme biotoxins. Since this is a patented Lyme biotoxin, this issue is now obviously settled.
Reason 9: Inability to Remove Biotoxins
A general physician in Maryland, working among massive deer ticks in his rural location, was smart enough to search for clinical applications of basic and accepted codes for transplant and disease medicine. These patterns can be found with a basic Wikipedia search. With this knowledge, he looked to see if certain patterns existed in his patients. Specifically for our purpose, he found that some had trouble removing Lyme biotoxins. Certain HLA patterns were found among thousands of patients, which appeared to show patients with 15/16--6/5--51 patterns were unable to remove Lyme biotoxins. These HLA numbers have many presentation options, but one respected system is what this general physician settled on (R. Shoemaker).
No one in the world has really mastered how to use this information. Ignoring it is unwise. But perhaps avoiding aggressive and full Lyme treatment may also be unwise. I find that using a toxin-binder and trying to treat Lyme aggressively has never led to irreversible low MSH. Indeed, all patients with seriously low MSH have had it return. But it will never become normal if you use a fair remediator who has no building experience or if Babesia or Bartonella are missed. Bartonella also has biotoxins, but these seem to suppress immunity instead of causing inflammation. I have no idea of their effect on MSH or other anti-inflammatory chemicals.
Reason 10: Starting Treatment at Full Dosing
Starting doses of all medications should be very low and then raised to high levels with liver-protecting sub-stances. Starting at full dosing in a "medically sensitive" patient is chemical battery. Massive die-offs can be confused with allergic reactions and can cause panic attacks, shortness of breath, chest pain and severe migraines. This sloppy, one-size-fits all approach, is common in large practices in which a few major "protocols" are routine.
Reason 11: Ignoring Symptoms
“Band-Aids” are often required to save a job, a marriage and to care for children. They are often a normal part of care. Pain, fatigue, depression and anxiety often are increased with the die-off of any of the infections carried in deer ticks, and these cannot be ignored.
"Band-Aid" treatments are often useful and helpful. I treat people who run companies, schools, very large families and professional teams. They want to sleep 13 hours per day. The use of natural or synthetic stimulant options is discussed in my book "The Diagnosis and Treatment of Babesia". Patients do not benefit from sleep in excess of 8 ½ hours. It may just serve to get them fired!
Reason 12: Inexperienced Physicians
If you have healthcare workers who do not feel comfortable being aggressive with treatment and diagnosis of all the top tick and flea infections, you are at the wrong place. If you feel someone is "experimenting" on you or they are willing, reluctantly, to test you at superior labs or with superior direct and indirect testing, then you are in the wrong class. If your healthcare provider has not spent 1,000 hours learning this complex emerging area of medicine requiring a great deal of study, find someone who is serious about it, and not someone “doing you a favor” by simply running a few tests.
Reason 13: Treatment Fatigue
You have been treated for many years. You have done IV, you have taken 40 pills per day, you have tried a wide range of specialized treatments, and now you are fed up with it all. You can generally function now at about 75% of your baseline. You are at the end of your treatment rope. This is what happens when someone does not treat you fully and effectively at the beginning of your treatment. You can get treatment fatigue.
Reason 14: Improper Dosing
The treatment approach that leads to cure is not the same dose that leads to stunning organisms. Cure does not does not merely equal fewer bacteria or "a reduction in body load.” For example, using Bicillin once a week with no cyst buster will not kill all your Lyme, nor will it remove cysts. So years after receiving this treatment, your cancer-fighting cells, marked by some as the CD57 level, may be under 90. This is one good test that is quite specific for Lyme disease. (The C3a and C4a test is not specific for Lyme).
Reason 15: Ignorant Influences and Opinions
Cynical know-it-alls can castrate the work of Lyme experts and convince patients to drop healthcare workers who are helping. They usually use "the money” argument or "the speed of your recovery" argument to cut you off from someone sincerely trying to help you. Tick and flea-borne infections in the bodies and brains of relatives and friends can cause some of them to be outrageously critical, entitled, disrespectful, nasty, insulting, and defamatory, proposing God-like standards to convince you that a person who is helping you should be dropped.
Reason 16: Biofilm
Two respected scientists, Drs. Sapi and MacDonald, did the first clear work on a Lyme biofilm in early 2008. Organizations with millions in grants and research money have never addressed this issue. We know that many spirochetes have biofilms. Indeed, many spirochetes in your mouth are known to cause a biofilm and plaque.
Why does this matter? I'll give you an example: I have a pool. One day it was filled with some patches of large algae. The manual said some algae varieties make a biofilm that make chlorine and algaecides worthless. They suggested a tough industrial large brush. I used it, and watched a clearfilm float off the top of the algae, and in 30 minutes no algae was visible. This is the power of a biofilm. It makes most antibiotics a joke.
In a textbook I am currently working on, I will address the many options for attacking biofilms. No article or book yet exists that explores the twenty plus ways I would propose to beat a Lyme biofilm. I am deeply concerned with the simplistic nature of the current options. It is believed by some professionals that highly specific enzymes can digest a Lyme biofilm. Yet enzymes are sometimes like keys, and this so-called miracle enzyme may not be the "key" to Lyme's biofilm.
Two of the twenty biofilm treatments we are already exploring include these samples. First, if you look at what kills spirochetes making plaque in your mouth, you will notice that the key ingredients include four essential oils present in products like Listerine. Further, we have been working with biological chemists who are extracting a wide range of natural chemicals from various botanicals. Some grow bacteria and others kill bacteria but hurt human membranes. Others kill bacteria and are profoundly safe.
Reason 17: Self-treatment
Self-treatment is easy to pursue. Many experts are expensive, and you are uncertain of their level of knowledge after reading on the Internet. Some are too narrow. Others are open to virtually everything as they seek out cures. So you get in a medical boat and push yourself out to sea. You read like crazy. You try a, b, and c. You read testimonies of hundreds of patients. You try a wide range of non-prescription options. Some days, weeks, or months you feel better. Other weeks, you are not so good. You are upset. You ask yourself, why do I have to do all the work and learning? This is not a good place. People exist who have already explored virtually all of th efifty things you are going to explore in the next ten years. You need a mentor.
Reason 18: Isolation
Tick and flea-borne infections cause isolation. They ruin relationships due to fogginess, poor insight, various addictions, rage, extreme hostility, and refusing to get treatment, and they can sometimes provoke violence. Bartonella is likely the worst cause of these problems, but Lyme and Babesia and their die offs can also increase these problems. Isolation leads to decreased treatment options. It can ultimately lead to divorce and the loss of family relationships and friendships. This, in turn, leads to decreased resources and support while ill. Isolated humans, as Mother Teresa often said, are the poorest beings on earth.
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