HOW WE TREAT LYME DISEASE
Lyme Disease, also known as as chronic borreliosis, is a severe bacterial infection spread to humans by blood-feeding insects, particularly deer ticks. It can cause immense physical and psychological distress with symptoms ranging from extreme fatigue and joint pain to neurological issues, such as memory problems and emotional turmoil. For those unfamiliar with the condition, it can be tricky to diagnose because the symptoms are similar to many other conditions. Our Clinical Team has helped thousands of Lyme patients receive the treatment they need.
The treatment outcome of Lyme disease depends on numerous factors including the:
- duration of infection
- the number of bites
- the strength of your immune system
- your detoxification capacity
Clinical diagnoses of borreliosis may be made based on the symptoms and exposure. However, it is helpful to have laboratory evidence of infection. For four decades, doctors at Breakspear Medical have been actively looking for infectious agents such as borreliosis, Epstein-Barr virus, Parvovirus B19 and bacterial, rickettsial and parasitic organisms to find the cause of many illnesses, including ME/CFS.
The accredited laboratory investigations we offer for borreliosis include:
- Borrelia antibody evaluation by ELISA technique, which measures antibodies to the organism.
- Polymerase Chain Reaction test for Borrelia burgdorferi, which measures the presence of the DNA – the chromosomes of the organism from the patient.
- Lymphocyte Transformation Test for Borrelia burgdorferi (LTT MELISA), which, if the results are positive, demonstrates current active infection with the organism.
- Borrelia burgdorferi IgG and IgM antibody evaluation by the Immunoblot/Western Blot technique, which detects portions of the Lyme disease organism.
It is important to note that different laboratories use different methods and criteria to interpret the results. Due to the various stages of the lifecycle of the bacteria, some tests are more effective early in the disease, while others are more effective in the later stages. Sometimes it takes several tests to develop a diagnosis. It is important to review your clinical history in addition to reviewing the test results.
Once it has been determined that you have Lyme disease, your doctor will then discuss the treatment options. Treatments may include antibiotics, biofilm breakers and immune support, as well as dietary and other interventions such as the Lyme Cowden, Buhner and iodine protocols where appropriate.
Other treatment options that may be recommended are:
- hyperthermia treatment – treatment sessions with our IRATHERM®, which provides intense infra-red sauna body-heating therapy, which can help to relieve the pain.
- addressing stomach or digestive problems – this is commonly caused by food sensitivities and testing for these and provision of low-dose immunotherapy (LDI) will allow the correction of specific food sensitivities to help relieve pain and provide support.
- improving gut function – recommendations will be made to optimise your gut function by balancing the microbiomes. The gut has trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi, which are collectively known as microbiome. Some are linked to disease while others are essential for your immune system and many other aspects of health.
- oxygen therapy – many people benefit from using an oxygen concentrator, which helps increase the oxygen levels in the blood.
- detoxification – lifestyle changes may be recommended to help eliminate toxins in the body, including drugs.
- rectification of your energy cycle – the Krebs cycle is the citric acid cycle which is the main source of energy for living things. There are 10 steps in the Krebs cycle and if any of the steps are not performing as they should, there is a knockdown effect, which can cause extreme fatigue and pain.
- redox restorative substances
Worried you have a tick bite?
Visit our blog, Tick bites, rashes & treatments to learn about ticks, removal, early symptoms and the Lyme disease rash
Have you experience with Lyme disease?
Please complete the Lyme Resource Centre’s anonymous survey to help develop an understanding of its impact in the UK & Ireland.
“Lyme Disease is the most common vector borne disease. Despite being a complex medical condition to both diagnose and treat, there is still a good chance of complete recovery in some cases, while others can go back to their base line of functioning.”
Dr Daud Mohamed, Specialist in Infectious Diseases
If you have very recently been bitten by a tick and can remove it very carefully, we can have it tested to see if it is carrying the Lyme disease organism, Borrelia burgdorferi. If the laboratory test result is positive, you can be prescribed an antibiotic straightaway.
Weeks, months, or years after a tick bite, other problems, such as difficulty with concentration, irritability, depression, arthritis, heart problems, memory and/or sleep disorders and nerve damage may also occur. Some people with chronic Lyme disease recall being bitten by a tick, while others do not. Complications include numbness, pain, weakness, visual disturbances, and meningitis symptoms such as fever, stiff neck, and severe headaches. Our doctors have many years experience treating patients with chronic Lyme disease.
If you believe you have Lyme disease/chronic borreliosis, when you telephone reception to book an appointment, please let the receptionist know that you may have this condition. There are additional forms specifically for Lyme disease patients, which will help the doctor diagnosis and develop an optimal treatment programme for you.
SUPPLEMENTS FOR LYME DISEASE
For those with Lyme, there are many supplements that may be recommended in combination to help you regain your vitality. Often supplements are used in prescribed doses, which may vary considerably from the standard, recommended doses. A wide range of herbal remedies
can also help as part of the first step to working towards feeling better.
Our Environmental Naturopath or Nutritional Therapy Practitioner will advise you on the best supplementation programme for you during a one hour appointment to discuss your test results and recommendations so that you know what to do next.
I was becoming so weak that I struggled to walk even the shortest of distances. I had a baffling array of symptoms, which were staggering, overwhelming and agonising. At Breakspear Medical, I was clinically diagnosed with Lyme disease and coinfections, which was confirmed with positive blood results.”
Morven-May MacCallum , author of Finding Joy, a novel about living with Lyme disease.
SYMPTOMS OF LYME DISEASE
After a person becomes infected with borreliosis by a tick or other blood-feeding insect, the person may develop a resulting skin rash. This characteristic “bull’s eye” circular rash, called erythema migrans, is a clear indication that the tick was infected and treatment should start immediately. Without treatment, flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, fatigue, muscle aches and joint pain can last for weeks or even longer.
Weeks, months, or years after a tick bite, other problems, such as difficulty with concentration, irritability, depression, arthritis, heart problems, memory and/or sleep disorders and nerve damage may also occur. Complications include numbness, pain, weakness, visual disturbances, and meningitis symptoms such as fever, stiff neck, and severe headaches.
Common symptoms include:
- visual disturbances
- stiff neck
- severe headaches
- difficulties with concentration
- joint pain
- sleep disorders
- nerve damage
- chronic fatigue
However, some infected people may not experience any noticeable symptoms at the time of infection. Some people do not receive treatment and forget about the infecting bite and many years later develop symptoms of infection. If a bite has not been noticed, these symptoms often get misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue or psychological problems. Many undiagnosed sufferers have been told that the symptoms are just in their heads.
ARTICLES ON LYME DISEASE
We have shared information about Lyme disease in our Breakspear Medical Bulletins over the years including:
Can you test for Lyme Disease?
At your initial consultation, if your doctor feels that you may have Lyme disease, you will be presented with the various options available to test for this condition, together with an estimate of the costs.
What do you offer at Breakspear medical for Lyme disease which is different to other clinics?
Having been treating patients with Lyme disease since the 1990s, we have had a lot experience of managing this condition. We have the connections with several laboratories around the world to ensure that we have correct assessments of individuals infections and illnesses. Once diagnosed, we are able to offer different programmes of treatment for eliminating the organism and supporting the patient. Infusions can be administered effectively and treatment continued with antibiotics or herbal medicines so that there is an adequate course of treatment for the individual. If as a result of having contracted Lyme the individual developed sensitivities to foods and chemicals these can be treated as we have expertise to diagnose and treat these using LDI.
How long will it take to treat my Lyme Disease?
Sadly, there is no easy answer to this question. At Breakspear Medical, we look at each patient individually and therefore your customised treatment programmes will be different from other patients and, depending on a variety of factors, it may take a few weeks to many months to start feeling better.
If I am treated for Lyme disease will I ever have symptoms again? Will I be cured?
To successfully treat chronic Lyme diseas, it is often necessary to undergo a long course of treatment. At Breakspear Medical, we’ve treated many thousands of people who have had Lyme disease successfully.