Understanding Genes As Key to Overcoming the Symptoms of Lyme Disease
It wasn’t until we ran a lab test for a particular type of gene that my family began to heal from the symptoms of Lyme disease. We, like so many struggling Lyme patients, had seen many well-known Lyme-literate medical doctors over the course of about three and a half years. We traveled hours to see some of them, spending thousands of dollars out of pocket, in the hopes that they would be the one with the miracle combination of antibiotics, supplements or homeopathics that would restore our wellbeing. Of the literally hundreds of lab tests that our family did, never did a doctor run the HLA-DR by PCR genetic test. Fortunately, we had the good fortune to come across one doctor who routinely ordered this test. Up until then, I knew that the fact that wellness had evaded us despite massive amounts of treatment proved that we were missing something.
Prior to this, I had agonized for four years as my two daughters, husband and I painstakingly complied with one Lyme treatment regimen after another, all to no avail. We were still sick, housebound much of the time with most, if not all of the same symptoms that we started out with. Some of those symptoms were even worse after our treatment than before. I am sure that some of you who have had the unfortunate experience of being diagnosed with this disease can relate to what I am saying. Not everyone gets well with the standard treatment of antibiotics. We were those people but we didn’t know why.
When the doctor reviewed our results and explained that we had a certain combination of genes that made us susceptible to inflammation caused by either Lyme and/or mold toxins, I felt a calm come over me. I knew we had found the missing piece of the puzzle. It wasn’t a guess. We had genetic mutations that did not allow our bodies to tag and remove these toxins. This explained why no other protocol had ever worked.
Maybe we had successfully eradicated enough of the Lyme bacteria, but our bodies could not rid themselves of the toxins that these bacteria had caused, and instead left them recirculating inside of us. Or maybe the genes had flipped a switch inside our bodies so that certain environments, specifically moldy ones, caused us to experience the same scenario of symptoms that we did with Lyme.
I was thrilled by the prospect of learning about how genes and mold played a role in our inability to get well. I was eager to learn everything I could about them. My research led me to the work of Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker. He was responsible for putting together the relationship between genes, mold and Lyme disease. No simple task for sure. I knew his discoveries could very well be what would finally get my family well. I could just feel it. This was our answer. I actively set out to find a doctor who was skilled in Dr. Shoemaker’s protocol.
Addressing genetic mutations, along with Lyme and mold toxicity, has proven to be the most effective treatment for our family to date. Although we are a work in progress, we are much better and able to participate in life again. By assisting our bodies’ ability to remove these toxins we have started to eliminate many of the symptoms that previously debilitated us. I am confident that with this continued treatment, my family will once again know what it’s like to be healthy.
Had it not been for the HLA-DR genetic lab test, I would still be searching for answers. It is my hope that in the future as more is learned about the complexities of Lyme disease and the role that genetics and environments play, that every doctor specializing in the treatment of Lyme will run this test as part of their initial evaluation. Fortunately, a few Lyme-Literate doctors are already doing so. As Drs. Neil Nathan and Wayne Anderson said in an article written by health advocate Scott Forsgren and which appeared in the July 2014 issue of the Townsend letter, “Anderson has said many times that if he could only run one test, the HLA DR panel would be the one that he would choose because it provides him the most useful information of any single test.”
I would have to say from personal experience that I agree.
Patty Graham Velletri is the founder of a Facebook support group for Lyme and mold patients that are following the Shoemaker Protocol. After her family experienced serious declines in their health she made it her mission to finding answers and treatment that would make them well again.