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Lyme Disease Treatment16 min read

One of the most unfortunate controversies surrounding the growing Lyme disease epidemic is the insistence by the mainstream medical establishment that antibiotics are the only course of effective treatment. Yes, in the early stages of Lyme disease, you can fully recover when treated with antibiotics alone. But for as many as 20% of people, antibiotics don’t work, and the infection becomes chronic.

This is where Brio Medical’s Lyme treatment team stands ready to take your hand, restore your hope that healing is possible, and help you get well. Most people who turn to Brio Medical for natural, non-toxic treatment have failed to respond to one or more courses of antibiotic therapy. If this is you, we welcome you to a natural, non-toxic path to healing.

How Are Antibiotics Used to Treat Lyme Disease?

 

Lyme disease is caused by bacteria, making antibiotics the obvious choice for first-line treatment. Antibiotics work by stopping the bacteria from multiplying or by breaking through the cell wall and killing the bacteria. Optimally, antibiotics give the immune system the upper hand to clear out the remaining bacteria and resolve the infection.

Borrelia burgdorferi are sensitive to certain antibiotics. In the United States, generally-agreed upon antibiotic therapy for early localized Lyme is 10-21 days of oral doxycycline for adults and children over twelve. Amoxicillin or cefuroxime are also used and recommended for adults, younger children, and pregnant or breastfeeding women.

For neurologic Lyme disease that has affected the central nervous system and for challenging cases of Lyme arthritis, intravenously-administered antibiotics, preferably ceftriaxone or cefotaxime, are sometimes used. Currently, there are no FDA-approved treatments for those who have taken the standard dose of antibiotics for Lyme disease but continue to have symptoms.

Conversely, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) asserts that these therapies are insufficient. Their treatment guidelines recommend 20 days of doxycycline for confirmed black-legged tick bites. For cases where EM rash is present, four to six weeks of doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime is recommended.

Upon completion of initial antibiotic therapy, ILADS advocates for reassessment and extension of antibiotic therapy if necessary. And for patients where chronic Lyme is determined to be a probable cause of persistent symptoms and the patient’s life is impaired, ILADS recommends retreatment with antibiotics, but only after evaluation for other possible causes.[1]

What Are the Problems with Antibiotic Treatment for Lyme Disease?

Research suggests that antibiotic therapy fails in the treatment of Lyme disease in 10-50% of cases,[2] while patient surveying has reported antibiotic failure from over 90% of respondents.[3] Another study with primates showed Lyme bacteria survived a 28-day course of antibiotics that was given four months after infection,[4] which is when humans are most often treated.

 

There’s little consensus in the medical community about how or why Lyme disease persists after treatment. Because of this, many medical doctors simply don’t know what to do with the continuation or onset of Lyme disease symptoms after treatment. They might tell you there’s nothing more they can do and terminate your care or even suggest a psychological cause for your symptoms.

 

If you find yourself in this position, it might be helpful to know why antibiotics work for some people but not you. When we logically understand what seems puzzling or even unfair, the question turns from “Why me?” to “What now?” To that question, we always answer…alternative, natural, and non-toxic therapies. For more information, learn how Lyme disease is treated at Brio Medical.

 

Is Chronic Lyme Disease a Bacterial Infection or Chronic Inflammation?

Borrelia burgdorferi may be one of only a few pathogens that can persist for long periods of time in the body because of its ability to evade the immune system and protect itself from antibiotics. This long-term persistence causes serious immune system dysfunction and chronic inflammation. That inflammation, some scientists say, is the real cause of Lyme disease symptoms.

 

Recent research has identified a Borrelia burgdorferi surface protein, BBA57, that can impair the innate immune system response, which is your body’s first line of defense in the first few hours to days after infection.[5] Failure by the immune system to eliminate Borrelia during this first wave of defense enables the bacteria to spread, clearing the blood and entering tissues.

 

Seven to ten days later, when the immune system is ready to send its second wave of defense through the adaptive immune system, it sends far too many reinforcements to kill the bacteria. This overreaction produces intense inflammation wherever it finds the spirochetes present. Borrelia is killed, according to this theory, but the inflammation remains, causing the continuation and exacerbation of symptoms.

 

Additionally recurrence of the Borrelia infection in the body weeks after the immune response suggests the existence of a secondary defense mechanism, similar to how the human immune system functions. This may be how Lyme is able to persist.

 

While more research is required, chronic Lyme disease may be a chronic inflammatory condition, not a chronic bacterial infection. A major focus of Brio Medical’s Lyme disease treatment protocol is the equalizing of the inflammatory response, which we achieve with natural non-toxic therapies so you can move away from dependence on pharmaceutical drugs with undesirable side effects and unknown long-term consequences to your health.

Are Gene Expression and Biofilms to Blame for the Failure of Antibiotics in Lyme Disease?

Another suggested cause of antibiotic failure in Lyme disease is the ability of spirochetes to alter gene expression and become dormant when threatened by antibiotics.[6] This alteration causes a subpopulation of persister bacteria that’s no longer susceptible to antibiotics. These Borrelia persisters can change sizes and shapes, depending on the environment, forming into round bodies, L-forms, microcolonies, or biofilm-like clumps.

 

Persisters exist in great numbers within biofilms, and Borrelia can produce biofilm as soon as 24-48 hours after infection.[7] This likely explains why biofilms are known for such antibiotic tolerance that can withstand even aggressive antibiotic assaults.

 

When conditions are favorable, Borrelia can reform back into motile spirochetes to move throughout the body. Antibiotic resistance and recurrence of Lyme disease may be a result of Borrelia spirochetes altering gene expression and hiding within biofilm, but, as with much of Lyme disease research, more studies are needed to confirm these findings and learn how they can be used in prevention and treatment.

What Is the Impact of Antibiotic Use for Lyme Disease on Your Body?

In the case of chronic or recurrent Lyme disease, long-term or repeated use of antibiotics is sometimes the only way a person gets relief from burdensome symptoms, even when they fail to eliminate the infection. There are no studies that prove the effectiveness of long-term or repeated antibiotic use in chronic Lyme disease,[8] but some patients contribute remission of their Lyme symptoms to antibiotics. Still, using antibiotics this way is not without dangerous consequences. Long-term or repeated use of antibiotics disrupts the microbiome, the immune system, the beneficial biofilm in the colon, and damages cellular mitochondria, wreaking havoc on your holistic health and well-being.

 

Borrelia is able to hide amongst other microbes in the microbiome. This makes it difficult to target during treatment, leading to longer courses of antibiotics. But antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria, harming the delicate balance of flora within the microbiome.

 

This imbalance leaves the beneficial biofilm along the lining of the colon vulnerable to the formation of gaps that allow microbes, proteins, and even food particles to move freely through the intestinal lining, causing issues such as leaky gut and more serious conditions like ulcerative colitis. This leads to increased inflammation and food sensitivities while further impairing the strength and function of the immune system, providing pathogens such as yeast, parasites, and viruses the opportunity to take root in the body.

 

There is still so much uncertainty surrounding why antibiotics fail to cure Lyme disease in some patients. But the fact remains that no studies prove long-term antibiotic use is helpful in chronic Lyme disease. Instead, they show serious, even deadly, complications. So, if initial antibiotic use has failed to cure you and you’re debating your next move, please contact our care coordinators to discuss alternative care at Brio Medical Center.

 

What Holistic Treatments Are Used to Treat Lyme Disease?

You don’t have to continue to suffer from unrelenting symptoms when antibiotics fail to treat tick-borne illness. Our Lyme disease treatment team has advanced knowledge and clinical expertise to administer powerful detoxification, supplementation, and technological therapies that suppress Lyme and its co-infections, reduce inflammation, restore the microbiome, and regulate immune system dysfunction.

We’ve researched and tested safe, effective therapies that are time tested or stand on the cutting edge of evolutionary healing, elevating Brio Medical as a world leader in Lyme disease treatment. When you make the life-changing decision to enter our program, your personalized treatment plan will include a strategic blend of holistic therapies:

What Oxygen Therapies Are Used To Treat Lyme Disease?

 

Oxygen therapy for the treatment of Lyme disease works by increasing the amount of oxygen your blood carries to damaged tissues. Borrelia is an anaerobic bacteria, meaning it can’t exist in an oxygenated environment, so treatment with oxygen can be quite effective. Our patients report increased mobility with less joint pain, better cognitive function, increased energy, and more restful sleep. Oxygen therapy is primarily available through hyperbaric oxygen therapy and ozone therapy.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is exposure to 100% oxygen using a pressurized chamber that hyper-oxygenates your blood. By breathing air that’s two to three times more pressurized than normal air, oxygen moves through your lungs and into your body, increasing blood oxygen and returning blood gases to normal levels. This helps fight the Borrelia bacteria and stimulates the release of stem cells and growth factors that encourage healing. Typical hyperbaric oxygen therapy sessions are 45 minutes to two hours long and vary based on your condition, response, and tolerance. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to support your personalized treatment plan and is administered along with other therapies for maximum benefit.

 

Ozone is a colorless gas made of three atoms of oxygen (O3). This form of oxygen breaks down free radicals, killing microbes and stimulating the immune system. When ozone contacts your blood, it produces more red blood cells and proteins, increasing your body’s oxygen supply. It can also deactivate bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses to disrupt infection.[9] Ozone is administered a few ways. These include intravenous (IV) administration of ozone into your bloodstream, circulation of your blood through a machine that infuses it with ozone and returns it to your body, or the ingestion or application of ozonated water or oils.

 

What Intravenous (IV) Nutrients Are Used to Treat Lyme Disease?

Borrelia bacteria and the use of antibiotics damage the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, which inhibits adequate absorption of vital nutrients from food and oral supplements. Proper nutrition is critical to cellular function, most especially when your immune system is working overtime to heal your body. Intravenous (IV) nutrient therapy revitalizes your body at the cellular level, bypassing the digestive system and delivering vitamins directly into your bloodstream. When administered in high doses only possible with IV therapy, some of these nutrients have proven pharmacological benefits.

 

Intravenous vitamins and minerals were first used by Dr. John Myers in the 1960s for a variety of ailments. The “Myer’s Cocktail,” a blend of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and B vitamins is often used as the base for our nutrient IV treatments, with additives or modifications depending on your unique biochemistry. As a Brio Medical patient, you receive daily IV nutrient therapy to boost your immune system, build your strength, and supply your cells with the deep nourishment needed to correct deficits and restore optimum function.

 

Intravenous nutrient therapy may produce immediate benefits such as increased energy, mental clarity, and feelings of well-being, but it may also cause a detox reaction that leaves you feeling tired or ill. As nutrients flood your cells, toxins are pulled out of tissues and flood your system. This detoxification process is temporary and is accelerated with other detoxification therapies.

 

What Detoxification Therapies Are Used to Treat Lyme Disease?

Detoxification is an essential element of a successful Lyme disease treatment plan. By keeping toxins out of your diet, supplements, and environment, you’re giving detoxification therapies a chance to cleanse your body at a cellular level. Our detoxification strategy typically includes some combination of the following therapies intended to support your liver, kidneys, and intestines in flushing toxins from your body.

How is Glutathione Used to Treat Lyme Disease?

Glutathione is probably the most important antioxidant your body needs to stay healthy. It plays a role in neutralizing free radicals, removing oxidation agents, eliminating toxins, transporting heavy metals out of the body, boosting other antioxidants, repairing cellular damage, and more. While your body produces glutathione naturally, it’s rarely sufficient during an infection. Because it’s pivotal to peak metabolic function, glutathione therapy is a staple in almost most every Lyme disease treatment plan and is especially helpful to offset the Herxheimer reaction caused when Lyme bacteria is killed.

 

Glutathione is administered orally, intravenously, or with a nebulizer. Oral glutathione is often mixed with fats called phospholipids in a solution called liposomal glutathione. This mixture increases absorption by preventing the gut from destroying glutathione during digestion and also makes glutathione more palatable.

 

Intravenous and nebulizer glutathione therapies are significantly more effective because they send glutathione directly into the bloodstream, either with a needle in the vein or through a nebulizer that produces a mist that’s inhaled into the lungs.

 

How is Chelation Therapy Used to Treat Lyme Disease?

Chelation therapy is a standard therapy for metal poisoning and is often used as a complementary detoxification therapy in a Lyme disease treatment protocol if testing reveals metal toxicity or there’s a history of environmental exposure. Heavy metals such as mercury, lead, aluminum, arsenic, and nickel are widely used in industry, agriculture, and technology. They contaminate the air, soil, and water and build up in our body after inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact.

Heavy metal toxicity can lead to inflammation, accumulation of plaque in the blood vessels, immune system dysregulation, mitochondrial and endothelial cell dysfunction, and inability of the body to fight infection. While the exact path of injury is unknown, metals may cause serious system-wide health problems through altered gene expression.[10]

Chelation binds and removes toxic metals that have accumulated in the tissues with chemical or herbal chelators. Like nutrient and glutathione therapy, chelators can be orally or intravenously administered. Intravenous calcium EDTA is one of the most effective. DMSA, cilantro, and chlorella are common oral chelating agents but are rarely as effective as IV chelation therapy.

Once a chelator is injected into the bloodstream, it circulates and binds to heavy metals. The toxic metals are compiled into a compound that your body filters through your kidneys and releases with urine or a bowel movement. With proper oversight and diagnostics, chelation is incredibly effective at reversing certain functional changes caused by Lyme disease infection.

Why Is Detoxification of Mycotoxins Important in Lyme Disease Treatment?

Over 95% of patients with a chronic illness such as chronic Lyme disease test positive for mycotoxins, the toxic byproducts of mold.[11] Mycotoxins can cause illness directly or suppress the immune system so the body is unable to fight off other infections. At the same time, people with Lyme disease are more susceptible to mycotoxins because their body isn’t functioning normally and is unable to remove them effectively.

 

A genetic predisposition may be responsible for the high prevalence of mycotoxins in Lyme disease patients. This predisposition means the immune system is unable to tag and remove biotoxins, including mycotoxins and Borrelia bacteria, from the body, leading to chronic inflammation and accompanying symptoms.[12] It’s not possible to know which infection occurred first, but when mold is involved in your Lyme disease diagnosis, it’s critical to detox mycotoxins simultaneously.

The most important factor in cleansing mycotoxins from your body is avoidance. Removing yourself from water-damaged buildings, even if it’s your home or workplace is critical. Reexposure initiates the inflammatory response all over and sets back your healing.

Binders are then used to remove mycotoxins from the body. Common binders used for mold include activated charcoal, cholestyramine, bentonite clays, and welchol, but chlorella and modified citrus pectin are also effective, depending on the frequency of bowel movements. The elimination pathways must stay open, so report any signs of constipation to your physician.

Like Borrelia spirochetes, mycotoxins need to be removed at a cellular level. The Shoemaker protocol for biotoxin illness[13] has been a standard for the system-wide treatment of toxic mold illness, but other physicians are adapting the protocol based on research and clinical observations. Here at Brio Medical, we treat Lyme while removing mycotoxins with natural, non-toxic therapies designed to optimize the immune system so you feel better faster.

To aid detoxification, we’ve established strict non-toxic standards at our facilities. During your program, you’ll receive fresh, organic, non-GMO, anti-inflammatory meals with cold-pressed juices and smoothies that leave you satisfied without adding to your body’s toxic load. We know many Lyme patients suffer from intense chemical sensitivities, so we only use green cleaning supplies our patients agree cause little or no reaction

How Is Lyme Disease Treated at Brio Medical Center?

Brio Medical Center’s treatment philosophy forms the foundation of our mission, values, and service to life — your life. Our guiding principle? The prerequisite to healing is believing you can be healed. At Brio, HOPE is the beginning of successful Lyme disease treatment.

From that place of hope, our Lyme disease treatment strategy is designed to restore your body’s inherent ability to heal itself. We apply a methodical approach that focuses on equalizing inflammation, optimizing immune response, and eradicating infection. We pride our success on the evidence-based application of natural, non-toxic therapies that treat your whole being — body, mind, and spirit —  to achieve holistic healing.

Your treatment outcome is enhanced by our attention to detail in assessing and addressing environmental and genetic factors that affect your health and wellbeing. Genetic predispositions, personal experiences, trauma, attitude, spiritual influences, sleep, exercise, nutrition, stress factors, relationships, community, exposure to pollutants and microorganisms, and the strength or vulnerability of your immune system are all considered essential elements of your personalized treatment plan.

[1] https://www.ilads.org/patient-care/ilads-treatment-guidelines/

[2] https://www.ilads.org/patient-care/ilads-treatment-guidelines/

[3] https://www.lymedisease.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/lymedisease.org-patient-survey-20151.pdf

[4] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171213143613.htm

[5] https://www.pnas.org/content/115/16/E3788

[6]https://parasitesandvectors.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13071-019-3495-7#:~:text=Persistence%20only%20occurs%20in%20a,with%20tetracycline%20antibiotics%20%5B49%5D

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6287027/

[8] https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/postlds/index.html

[9] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352003516300260

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6160949/

[11] https://globallymealliance.org/mold-mycotoxins-compromising-recovery/

[12] https://www.survivingmold.com/diagnosis

[13] https://www.survivingmold.com/treatment/step-by-step

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