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Putting Out the Fire of Inflammation with Low-Dose Immunotherapy (LDI)

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I’ve sometimes heard Lyme-literate doctors comment that symptoms in Lyme disease are caused mostly by inflammation, or the body’s response to infection, rather than by the microbes themselves. Inflammation is the body’s normal response to attack, but in Lyme disease, that response gets out of control and often doesn’t shut down, even after the completion of antimicrobial treatment. In fact, of late, some practitioners and researchers have hypothesized that one reason why some people with Lyme fail to recover or continue to have symptoms is due to an ongoing inflammatory response of the immune system.

This has led to the creation of a relatively new treatment called LDI, or low dose immunotherapy, which is an offshoot of a treatment called low dose allergen therapy (LDA). LDA in turn, is based upon an older treatment called Enzyme Potentiated Desensitization Therapy, which was developed by Dr. Leonard M. McEwen, M.D. in the 1960s.

For LDI, practitioners make homeopathic remedies out of the various microbes that are involved in Lyme disease, and then give these to their patients. The remedies modulate the immune system response and thereby quell symptoms. Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD, states in my upcoming book New Paradigms in Lyme Disease Treatment, that in some ways, LDI is nothing new, because homeopathy has been used in medicine for centuries.

LDI, which has typically been administered via injection, is now mostly being given to patients orally as liquid drops under the tongue, as recent changes in FDA regulations have apparently meant that practitioners are no longer allowed to administer the injections. Fortunately, some are still using oral preparations.

LDI is completely safe; however, symptom exacerbation can occur if patients are given a dosage that is too strong for them. The idea is to find a dosage that will produce an improvement in symptoms, without sending patients into a flare.

Typically, after the initial treatment, patients don’t receive a second LDI treatment until 7 weeks or so after the first one. Subsequently, LDI is administered over increasingly greater intervals of time; perhaps once every three months, and then once every six months, and so on, until symptoms are gone.

Like all treatments, not everyone responds favorably to LDI.  This may be due to the fact that we are all simply different, or because patients are sometimes given the wrong dosage or mix of microbes. Many factors are involved in healing, and this is one of those questions that researchers are still trying to figure out.

In the meantime, I believe that LDI is a strategy well worth trying for mitigating Lyme disease symptoms. Many practitioners, especially on the West coast, are using LDI on their patients. To learn more about LDI (and its predecessor LDA) and to find a list of practitioners that use these modalities, see: http://www.drshrader.com/lda_physicians.htm.


Connie Strasheim is the author, co-author or ghostwriter of 10 wellness books, including four on Lyme disease, and the upcoming New Paradigms in Lyme Disease Treatment: 10 Top Doctors Real Healing Strategies that Work. She is also a medical copywriter and Editor of Pro Health’s Lyme disease page, as well as Editor of the Alternative Cancer Research Institute. Her passion is to help people with complex chronic illnesses find freedom from disease and soul-spirit sickness using whole body medicine and prayer, and she collaborates with some of the world’s best integrative doctors to do this. In addition to Lyme disease, Connie’s books focus on cancer, nutrition, detoxification and spiritual healing. You can learn more about her work at: www.ConnieStrasheim.org.

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