Lately, many top doctors seem to be treating chronic Lyme disease in a new way. Ten years ago, it seemed that many Lyme doctors were focused on putting their patients on high-dose antibiotic regimens that involved rotating multiple medications and/or herbal remedies. The belief was that “more is better” and that getting patients to have a Herxheimer reaction was a sign of successful treatment. The good ones also focused on detoxifying the body, getting patients to change their diets, and helping to bring the body back into balance.
While these things are all still important, and some doctors yet believe that high dose antibiotic regimens are yet the way to go, I’m now witnessing some Lyme-literate doctors approach chronic Lyme disease in a different way.
That new way involves giving the same antibiotics and herbal remedies as before, but in dosages and numbers that don’t overwhelm the body and cause severe Herxheimer reactions. A Herx is a sign that the body cannot adequately process toxins, which in turn can lead to a redistribution of those toxins into the cells. Some patients, especially those with compromised detoxification mechanisms, can even become sicker in the long run as a result of ongoing, prolonged Herx reactions.
For this reason, some doctors, such as Neil Nathan, MD—who is one of the leading Lyme disease doctors featured in my new book, New Paradigms in Lyme Disease Treatment: 10 Top Doctors Reveal Healing Strategies that Work—have been able to get their patients well by following gentler regimens that involve lower dosages of antibiotics and herbal remedies, and fewer of them, until patients are able to tolerate more.
What’s exciting about this approach is that doctors such as Nathan contend that they haven’t witnessed the microbes developing resistance to the treatments by doing therapy this way, although it can take longer in people who are ultra-sensitive and who can only tolerate miniscule dosages of remedies.
I don’t know about you, but this is encouraging news to me. In my own battle with Lyme disease, I endured years of feeling worse before I felt better, and I believe that the year and a half that I took antibiotics actually set me back in my healing, because I was taking multiple drugs and herbal remedies at high dosages. I wanted to get better, fast, so I agreed with my doctor’s approach at that time, but what I didn’t realize then was that my body could not handle all that medication.
In hindsight, I believe that I probably would have fared better had I not been impatient and started by taking only one or two medications to start off with, and at lower dosages than what had been prescribed to me—and then slowly ramped up, as I added in other things along the way. This may not be true for everyone, and in fact it probably isn’t—but what works for some will not work for others.
Additionally, I believe I would have fared better if my doctors and I had paid greater attention to simply healing my gut and my immune and neuroendocrine systems, which are usually profoundly affected by Lyme disease.
As Dr. Nathan shared with me in New Paradigms in Lyme Disease Treatment, it used to be that, 20 years ago, doctors could give their patients some antibiotics or other remedy and it would often be enough to heal them. But today’s patients are sicker, due to the increased amount of toxins in our environment, and many require an approach that goes beyond just treating infections.
For this reason, many savvy Lyme disease doctors are increasingly focusing on “rebooting” and rebalancing the body, not just eliminating toxins and infections. This is also because Lyme disease creates a chronic overactive immune response, and damage to the organs and tissues, which must be addressed separately from the infections.
Finally, the new way of approaching Lyme disease treatment involves incorporating other tools besides antibiotics and herbal remedies into a healing regimen. Increasingly, oxidative therapies such as ozone and ultraviolet blood irradiation, and out-of-the-box treatments such as hyperthermia are being used. Some of these are described by the doctors in New Paradigms in Lyme Disease Treatment as well as elsewhere.
If you haven’t found healing through the methods that have been thus far been made available to you, take heart—doctors are continually coming up with better ways to treat Lyme, and chances are, there is something out there that will work for you. Never give up! Scientific information doubles every two years, and more and more doctors are becoming aware of chronic Lyme as an epidemic, which means that better solutions will likely continue to emerge as the medical community learns more about this insidious disease.
Connie Strasheim is the author, co-author or ghostwriter of 10 wellness books, including four on Lyme disease, and the just-released 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.