Friday, September 3, 2010

Lyme Aid

Doctors—naturopathic or otherwise—practicing in the Northeast will tell you that Lyme disease is an epidemic illness affecting large parts of their practices. Fewer than fifty percent of people who acquire Lyme disease don’t remember being bit by a tick and won’t actually manifest the bulls-eye rash commonly associated with Lyme. These patients won’t realize that they’ve been infected by the spiral-shaped bacteria called Borrelia burdorferi until they start manifesting other clinical signs and symptoms of Lyme that include fatigue, visions changes, memory changes, mood swings, nervous system abnormalities and joint inflammation. In fact, the first outbreak of Lyme in 1975 in Lyme, CT was actually diagnosed based on what, at that time, was considered a bizarre outbreak of arthritis.

When 11-year old Samantha’s mother Anne checked her in at Dr. Ginger Nash’s office, she had telltale signs of Lyme such as joint pain, headache and stomach upset after eating. But she had also been manifesting some of the less-common neurological symptoms that include anger, rage and malaise or what Samantha described as “just wanting to watch TV all day.” She never had a rash.

Her symptoms began three years ago when she was taken to a medical doctor who diagnosed her using the Western blot method. She showed four strong positive bands and was put on five months of antibiotic treatment with Amoxicillin (the traditional treatment of doxycycline is not given to children). The doctors then continued her antibiotic treatment with Zithromycin and Cefdinar, which she stayed on for months and months. After several years of antibiotics, Anne reported that Samantha’s joint pain—which had localized to her right shoulder, knees and feet—receded. Her stomach pain, which spread through her whole belly, was no better and she continued to have mood swings, deep fatigue and anger. Samantha is tall for her age is also very thin; she sat with her shoulders rolled forward, her long hair forming a curtain around her face. Her skin was translucently pale and she seemed emotionally empty.

After speaking extensively with Samantha and Anne, Dr. Nash had Samantha hop up on the examination table. Samantha’s tonsils were swollen, as were the chains of lymph nodes on either side of her neck. Thinking briefly, Dr. Nash told Samantha and Anne that her treatment would focus on supporting the immune system and interfering with the bacteria’s ability to communicate and create resistance to antibiotic.

The treatment plan was as follows:

· Type O+ diet guidelines: particularly no milk.

· Polyflora O, a NAP product

· Security, a NAP product

· Lyme nosode

· For inflammation: Ananese (sublingual bromelain), homeopathic biotherapeutic drainage, fish oils

I’d like to focus here on Security, which is a product recently formulated by Dr. Peter D’Adamo for the purposes of treating chronic, stubborn infections. The characteristic of Lyme that makes it so tricky to treat is the biofilm, also known as cysts, it forms when it penetrates deeply into tissues. As this biofilm accumulates, it becomes more and more resistant to antibiotic treatment. And even more amazingly, the biofilm has the ability to signal to the receptors on other bacteria so that all of them change their genetic makeup to adhere to the biofilm, then signaling their own followers. This is how the biofilm builds up and becomes increasingly impervious to the efforts of the antibiotic.

Biomedicine has focused on trying to interfere with biofilm communication. Herbal medicine, though, has a leg up on biomedicine because naturally occurring substances have existed for centuries that interrupt this kind of cellular signaling. D’Adamo has compounded five such substances in one formulation and the results, thus far, with Lyme have been extraordinary.

The first herb, Andrographis paniculata, has been used for thousands of years in the medical traditions of India. A recent study found that it directly interrupts the signaling between biofilm. Scuttelaria baicalensis, or Chinese skullcap, encourages the body to dispel faulty cells as well as regulates the body’s inflammatory response. It has, interestingly, been shown to increase the efficacy of antibiotics by decreasing the bacteria’s ability to flush them out of their systems. Schisandra chinensis helps the body to rebuilt adrenal gland cells, which regulate the body’s stress response. This herb bolsters the body’s ability to handle an strong immune response; further, biofilm seems to thrive in states of high stress so decreasing the about of adrenaline in the body is crucial. Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae is a Chinese herb that influences the energy of the spleen and stomach, which means it supports detoxification pathways: an essential when ridding the body of a heavy bacterial burden. Finally, Eleutherococcus senticosus is the final herb in the formulation. It’s also known as Siberian ginseng and many people in the West are familiar with is for its energy-producing and stress-reducing effects. But in the case of Security, it’s most useful as a modulator of the immune response; healthy tissue repair and renewal is incredibly important to prevent recurrence of bacterial infection.

Samantha continued her treatment protocol for three months. At that point, her joint pain and headaches had decreased significantly, and she had fewer mood swings and showed more interest in hanging out with her friends and life away from the television. Five months after treatment, Samantha is reporting no joint pain and her mother says her personality has returned to what it was pre-Lyme. She is no longer on Security or the homeopathics, but continues the Polyflora O to continue to support proper gut flora and fish oils to keep inflammation in check. Anne makes sure Samantha follows the Type O diet as much as it is possible kid who loves pizza and ice cream. But trading those in so that she can live a joyful, pain-free life that an 11-year old deserves? You’ll find no debate from me.

For more information on Security, click here:

1 comment:

  1. Hey Maura thank you. I posted your blog around the net, and even took the time to join a Lyme dx forum and post it there.
    thanks.. Andrea GT5