What makes Lyme disease so challenging to treat?
People’s systems are so stressed and taxed that things like Lyme disease are taking advantage of that weakened immune state, the hyper-inflamed state. Borrelia, Spirochete bacteria, associated co-infections, bacterias, parasites, and viruses are taking advantage of an individual’s terrain that’s in a compromised state, and it starts to grow and manifest. Then the replication process starts getting ahead of the immune system and what it can do to shut that response down. It’s a culmination of the compounding effect of all the toxins, all the exposures, and all the stressors that are happening to people now. It’s creating an environment where some of these latent quiet under the radar type infections are starting to get some teeth and grow.
I think Lyme is something that’s actually fairly easy to diagnose. You have to know what tests to run and how to assess it physiologically and immunologically to determine what’s really going on. And not just base everything off a CDC standard. You have to take the whole clinical picture into consideration with what the patient is presenting with. We run the proper testing, ask the right questions, and look at the clinical picture. Does it check off all these boxes?
The treatment part is where it becomes difficult. It’s figuring out the uniqueness of the patient and what they can tolerate. We’re looking at factors like:
- How long has it been going on?
- Is there a consistent exposure source?
- Is there toxic overload?
- How many other variables are actually contributing to this person’s complication, or concern, or illness other than just these infections hitting them?
- Do they have an overload of environmental toxins?
- Do they have an unhealthy relationship and home life?
- Do they have an extraordinary amount of stress in their life that’s just completely consuming?
- Do they have bad dietary and lifestyle habits?
How it affects each individual person really relies on the Constitution and resiliency of that individual. What are the other contributing pieces to this that are going on with this patient and can we jump right into treating them or do we have to do a lot of prep work in order to get them to the point where we can actually start treating them for their particular situation?
Some people can be incredibly high functioning and not even know they really have Lyme disease but they have weird things that just come on and off every so often, but Lyme disease is raging in them. Then you have the person who’s totally debilitated, almost if not totally bedridden, and their immune system isn’t really responding. So there’s not a lot you can do at this point, and first we have to do a lot of other ground work in order to prepare them to move into that. With the latter case, if we go right into treating things sometimes it’s too much for the system and they can get a lot worse.
There are so many variables to it, that you have to take the person as a whole and the situation as a whole to break it down and figure it out where the starting point is. Start walking them through that process and watching them very closely. It’s not as simple as just – here’s an antibiotic, good luck. It’s just not that simple. I wish it were, but it’s not.