Tag Archives: infectious diseases

#Lyme Disease Treatment with Andrographis Update

Hello To All,

I started taking the herb andrographis last month to help kill off the remaining borrelia. Both my naturopath and my LLMD thought this would be a good choice for me. So I started off with 1 pill per day with the intention of working up slowly.

Whoa…

My reaction to it was quite strong at first. I’m happy to say that I didn’t get a migraine, which is my usual signal that I don’t tolerate a substance. What I did get were classic die-off symptoms: fatigue, achiness, chills, irritability, and anxiety just for added fun. I slowly worked my way up to 2 pills per day 3 days per week. The recommended dose is 4 pills per day. It got easier, but it was still tough. But I felt optimistic because I knew that I was making progress.

Then I had a setback. I went a little wild with food while out of town and my yeast symptoms returned. I started on the Ampho B/Diflucan/Nystatin combination that has served me well in the past, but this time I crashed hard. It was probably the combination of the andrographis and the drugs. I had to stop the andrographis temporarily. It took about two weeks for my symptoms to subside. I feel much better this past week. It’s frustrating, though. Ever since the antibiotics, the yeast just keeps coming back. I’m looking into more long-term solutions for this, such as: systemic enzymes, iodine, monolaurin, and different probiotics.

On a positive note, some remarkable things happened in the last few months. I had some days where I felt great! Not just okay, not just good, but great! My sensitivity to food markedly decreased. I also woke up one day thinking that I’m finally healing and that I will make a full recovery. Is this false hope? I don’t know. But I’ve learned to pay closer attention to my body and listen to my intuition. It steers me in the right direction when I’m willing to listen to it.

Best,

Laura

#Lyme Disease and Rife Machines Part 2

Hello to All,

I haven’t felt like writing in a while. I’ve been in a holding pattern waiting to see how I felt after several months of killing Borrelia with a Rife machine. This technology is pretty new to me and I’m trying to understand it better. I’m also trying to decide how much faith to put in a treatment that is so alternative.

When I last wrote, my doctor had put me on Teasel root. This herbal antimicrobial made me miserable even though I reduced my dose to 1/10 of a drop once per week. I had profound fatigue, headaches, muscle weakness, shakiness, and light-headedness even at this low dose. My doctor agreed with me that these were side effects and not worth it for me. We discussed alternate medications, especially ones that would be compatible with rifing. He suggested tinidazole.

According to people knowledgeable about Rife machines, using antibiotics is counterproductive to rifing. Antibiotics can cause resistance and drive the pathogens deeper into the tissues as they avoid exposure to the drugs. Certain ABX can be used intermittently while rifing, such as cyst busters like metronidazole or tinidazole. I just read Bryan Rosner’s book Lyme Disease and Rife Machines and he says this as well.

I’m doing a treatment protocol that increases the time and number of frequencies as you can tolerate it.  I’m following auto channels recommended to me. Auto channels cycle through groups of frequencies. I started with channel 466, then I added 467. I just added channel 468 on top of those two. That will cover about 100 frequencies against Lyme spirochetes, hatchlings, eggs, and Babesia. The nice thing about the GB-4000 is that it can run 8 frequencies at once, so you can cover a lot of ground.

As for my response, I had 30-hour flu-like herx responses to the treatments for a number of sessions. The herxes decreased so I added time and more frequencies until I herxed again. I just started the tinidazole, so we’ll see what that does to me…

Best,

Laura

#Lyme Disease Treatment Update

Hello to All,

I saw my LLMD this week and I’m starting treatment with pharmaceutical antibiotics. I’m apprehensive but also hopeful that this regimen could turn things around for me. He had me start cholestyramine and liposomal glutathione for detox, and pharmaceutical yeast meds. He also had me start Fibroboost and Meriva for inflammation control, and NT Factor Energy for mitochondrial support. The first antibiotic I start is Biaxin, then I’ll add in Malarone for the Babesia. If tolerated, I add in grapefruit seed extract to break up cysts. I’m on day 2 of the Biaxin and I’m waiting for the storm to begin. I hope that the detox and inflammation supplements will minimize any herxes, but we’ll see.

I wasn’t prepared for the cost of treatment. My ABX cost $300, and the antifungals cost another $50 (out of pocket). The detox supplements will run me another $150 per month. This is on top of the cost of office visits and my other supplements. Yikes. It’s a good thing my husband loves me. I’ve become one expensive gal.

I started reading Dr. Richard Horowitz’ book, Why Can’t I Get Better? Solving the Mystery of Lyme and Chronic Disease, which is #10 on the New York Times list of top-selling science books. His approach is comprehensive, with a 16 point diagnosis map to determine the whole picture of what ails chronically ill patients. The book is quite dense, as it is meant for both patients and practitioners. But it is written clearly and in a friendly tone, so I find it easy to read, albeit in small chunks. I find the case studies very helpful. I can relate to his patients very well.

So that’s all for now. I’ll write an update when all the meds kick in. I hope for the best, but am preparing for the worst.

Best,

Laura

Renewed Hope for Lyme Disease and Biotoxin Illness

Hello to All,

I met with my third doctor in three years on my ongoing quest for health. I was impressed by his comprehensive approach to my illness. Here is the gist of it:

  • I have Lyme Disease (he is my third doc to confirm this*) AND
  • I also have Babesia (diagnosed by symptoms. Testing is $$$ and not always helpful) AND
  • Poor phase 1 and 2 detoxification ability resulting in inadequate glutathione production
  • Inability to detox mold resulting in biotoxin illness (revealed by genetic testing)
  • Methylation defects – MTFHR and others
  • Ongoing yeast problems
  • Increased intestinal permeability (aka Leaky Gut syndrome)
  • High levels of lead and mercury (though they came down significantly with IV chelation)
  • Reduced liver function
  • Reduced thyroid and adrenal function

Now, I already knew most of this, but it’s refreshing to have someone put it all together at one time. Now we’ll see if he has solutions for my problems. I can only hope that this is the complete picture of my health problems and there are no others in hiding. I’m testing my metal levels and spending the next 5 weeks detoxing before proceeding with Babesia treatment. Here are a few meds and supplements that I’ll be adding to my regimen:

  • Apex Methyl-SP formula, containing high doses of B vitamins, TMG and choline (given by my current naturopath)
  • Researched Nutritionals Liposomal Glutathione
  • Cholestyramine
  • Diflucan every other day
  • Nystatin twice per day

I’m also experimenting with my diet. I mostly avoid gluten, dairy, and sugar, and now I’m cutting down on the meat and omitting beef and pork entirely. I must admit, I feel a little starved.

I feel a renewed sense of hope after meeting with him. But as they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. I’ll track my symptoms and report back.

Best,

Laura

* Note: I have a Lyme Disease diagnosis by two naturopaths and an MD whose specialty is treating Lyme, ME/CFS and similar conditions. I’ve thought about seeing an infectious disease doc, but I doubt I’ll get any assistance from one. My diagnosis does not meet CDC criteria.

Bartonella as a Possible Cause for Rheumatic Disease

Hello to All,

Following is a link to an excellent audio interview with Dr. Robert Mozayeni, a rheumatologist in Bethesda, MD who has conducted research with patients with chronic inflammatory diseases and found a link to Bartonella infection. I highly recommend listening to it. This could be a real breakthrough, especially since it comes from a conventionally trained MD.

http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/MozayeniXtended.mp3

Here are some important points from the interview:

  • Chronic  rheumatological diseases often have an infection as a root cause
  • Lyme Disease is often a blanket diagnosis when in fact organisms other than borrelia are the problem. Those with Bartonella can often be misdiagnosed as having chronic borreliosis, which similarly manifests, though the two are distinct.
  • Treating a patient for Borrelia when they actually have Bartonella can have detrimental effects
  • Bartonella is hard to detect and difficult to treat
  • Typical testing for Bartonella is often faulty and results in under diagnosis
  • Treating Bartonella involves a long course of antibiotics, at least 6 months
  • Neurological symptoms are common with bartonella infection
  • Patients are often stigmatized and traumatized after repeated treatment failures in the medical system

Background

In collaboration with Dr. Robert Mozayeni, a rheumatologist based in Maryland, and Dr. Ricardo Maggi, a research assistant professor at NC State, Dr. Ed Breitschwerdt, professor of internal medicine at NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine and adjunct professor of medicine at Duke University, tested blood samples from 296 patients for evidence of Bartonella infection. The patients had previously been diagnosed with conditions ranging from Lyme disease to arthritis to chronic fatigue. Since rheumatic symptoms have sometimes been reported following cat scratch disease, the researchers wanted to see if these patients tested positive for B. henselae.

Of the 296 patients, 62 percent had Bartonella antibodies, which supported prior exposure to these bacteria.

Breitschwerdt and Maggi figured out how to cultivate the bacteria in the laboratory from blood samples of infected people. They founded a company called Galaxy Diagnostics to handle the laboratory volume. For information on Bartonella testing used by Dr. Mozayeni’s Clinic, please visit http://www.galaxydx.com/web/human-health/test-descriptions/

I dislike the narrow definition of Lyme Disease as an infection of only Borrelia, because so often these infections go together. However, I think that this research is a big step. Hurray for Drs. Mozayeni, Breitschwerdt, and Maggi!

Best,

Laura

Lyme Disease Treatment Status

Hello to All,

I neglected my blog and email this summer. I suppose part of this is because I just wanted to enjoy myself and forget about being sick for a while (as much as that is possible). The other part is because I feel stuck, unmotivated, and frustrated. I’ve done hundreds of hours of research and feel that I know almost everything there is to know about this disease. I’ve been through almost 2 years of antimicrobial treatment and 1 year of serious detox before that. Though I’ve made a number of improvements, I’m still not well. In summary, my problems below the neck have improved considerably, but certain neurological problems have worsened.

I thought that this would be a good time to take stock of my healing progress. Here is the status on my symptoms:

Improvements:

  1. Headaches: lessened in severity and frequency, but still a problem 10 – 15 days per month
  2. Joint pain: gone
  3. Muscle pain: improved – occasional pain in right side of neck and shoulder ( I love Cryoderm topical for this)
  4. Irritable bowel: gone, or perhaps just being managed with magnesium and fiber?
  5. Depression: intermittent and milder (managed using exercise, 5-htp, l-tyrosine, and l-phenylalanine)
  6. Fatigue: improved from the past two years, but still a problem
  7. Vulvodynia: gone for months now
  8. Tooth pain: improved but still flares occasionally
  9. Food intolerance: much improved
  10. Chemical sensitivities: improved but still a problem
  11. Heat sensitivity: improved but I have to be careful
  12. Light sensitivity: started in 2011. Improved since then

Problematic or worsening symptoms:

  1. Dizziness/light headedness: a daily problem for me. This started with an episode of vertigo in 2011.
  2. Heart palpitations: a new problem that developed in December of 2012
  3. Anxiety: still a big problem, (especially when I get dizzy I tend to panic)
  4. Cognitive dysfunction: still a problem, especially decision making, organizing, and short term memory
  5. Insomnia: worsened in December

I summary, my symptoms still wax and wane. I have more pain-free days with good energy, very few days where I’m completely miserable and dysfunctional, lot of days where I just feel crummy and tired. The dizziness is my most disabling symptom at this time. I frequently cannot drive because of it.

So what the heck is going on?

My doctor ran some blood tests: ferritin, thyroid, thyroid antibodies, the usual blood work up, and a nutritional test called a Spectracell. My ferritin (iron storage) is rock bottom at 4.0, my thyroid is low, no thyroid antibodies (hurray!) and I have a few other abnormalities. I await the results of the Spectracell.

My new treatment plan:

  • Serious iron replacement
  • Boost thyroid with SSKI iodine. If not helpful, switch to thyroid meds
  • A new antimicrobial regimen using a tincture called Quintessence by Bio Pure. This contains herbs popularized by Stephen Buhner, including knotweed, stephania, andrograhis, red root, and smilax.
  • Teasel
  • Peony for blood

I’m starting very slowly, one herb at a time to determine tolerance. Wish me luck.

Until next time,

Laura

Lyme Disease and Candida Infections

As many of us with Lyme Disease already know, we are usually infected with more than one kind of bug. Today, I want to talk about what I’ve learned about Candida and my efforts to overcome it.

I believe that Candida is one of my worst problems, leading to gut permeability, food “allergies”, inflammation, and chronic headaches. I first figured out that I had a Candida problem in 2008 when my research on headaches and food allergies led me to this as a probable cause. After trying a few natural supplements and probiotics to no avail, I started taking oral Nystatin powder. Bingo! I had my first remission of headaches and misery in years. I was able to eat a wider variety of foods. But the effects were short lived. It seems the effectiveness of Nystatin wore off within months.

After trying numerous other natural and pharmaceutical antifungals and clays for gut detox, I had only slight and short-lived relief. Then my doctor put me on Butyrate in 2012. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was probably a major contributor to my improved health last year. That, along with NAET/BioSET treatments, toxin binders, and high doses of methylfolate to improve my detox system.

I discussed Butyrate in a previous post. Not only does it mop up excess ammonia, quell food allergies, and soothe the gut, but it actually disables the more virulent hyphal form of Candida. Following is some research I came across discussing the role of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA’s) on gut health and Candida.

The American Society for Microbiology provides free access to full text articles on Candida and other fungal infections. Here is a link to an article in the Journal of Infectious Immunology from 2004 titled Regulation of Candida albicans Morphogenesis by Fatty Acid Metabolites: http://iai.asm.org/content/72/11/6206.full.pdf+html. Briefly, this article talks about how fatty acids disable the conversion of Candida albicans into their more virulent hyphal form that burrows into tissues.

And here is link to another article in the journal Eukaryotic Cell titled Conjugated Linoleic Acid Inhibits Hyphal Growth in Candida albicans by Modulating Ras1p Cellular Levels and Downregulating TEC1 Expression: http://ec.asm.org/content/10/4/565.full.pdf+html. The gist of this article is that CLA stops the virulent hyphal form of Candida.

In my ignorance and efforts to save money, I gradually stopped taking Butyrate, or only took it sporadically. I started it again at a high dose of 600mg, 8 caps per day, and have noticed a reduction in food-related headaches. So in order for me to eat enough to survive, I take 2 capsules of activated charcoal or clay 30 min before a meal, and 4 caps of butyrate at the end of a meal. Hopefully, this is a short term fix until I can actually kill off my gut infections for good.

My doctor also has me on Pau d’arco, a South American herb known for its antimicrobial properties. I make it into a tea and drink it twice per day. It tastes nice, like root beer. So far it has no side effects for me at this dose. Lapachol is a compound in Pau d’arco that is known to kill Candida. You can look this up in PubMed.gov and come up with journals discussing the research. Here is one source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7938274.

My next step with Candida is to try oxygen therapies, like ozone or oral liquid oxygen products to see if I can really kill it off instead of just keeping it at bay with fungistatic compounds and diet.

Best,

Laura