The figure above shows a Warthin-Starry stain of cardiac tissue demonstrating Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes in one of three patients whose death was associated with Lyme carditis during November 12–July 2013. Downloaded from MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2013 Dec 13;62(49):993-6.
Brrelia burgdorferi, the organism which causes Lyme disease, infects the heart in an estimated 1% of patients. Lyme carditis is typically seen after an episode of the “summer flu” which may be the initial manifestation of infection. Symptoms of carditis, inflammation of the heart, tend to occur with the other manifestations of disease – joint pains, rash, brain fog or other neurologic symptoms. However in some patients a conduction defect – even complete heart block – may be the only manifestation of infection with the Borrelia spirochete.
Common complaints when Borrelia infects the heart range from no symptoms at all to palpitations, to severe conduction abnormalities seen on EKG. There may be chest pain, heart dysfunction because of inflammation, pericardial effusion (fluid surrounding the heart), even congestive heart failure. The carditis is rarely fatal – although a few fatalities have been reported., , 
It is thought that the chief abnormality lies within the conduction system of the heart as a direct effect of the Borrelia spirochete, since the conduction defect does not appear to be responsive to the usual pharmaceutical treatments for heart block. Temporary pacemakers may be needed in about 35% of cases, and almost all cases resolve within a few weeks, with the appropriate intravenous antibiotic therapy., 
Lyme carditis, downloaded from the CDC website “What you need to know about Lyme carditis” 2/22/2014
Diagnosing Lyme carditis is just as difficult as diagnosing Lyme disease itself. When there is historical evidence of Lyme disease (EM rash, tick bit, arthritis, encephalitis or other manifestations of Lyme disease), then the diagnosis is much easier. A positive ELISA test is helpful, a positive Western Blot is helpful – but negative tests do not rule out the diagnosis. Measurement of IgG and IgM antibiodies to Borrelia is helpful. Biopsy of the heart is not recommended, even though it might be diagnostic.
Antibiotic therapy is generally effective – as with other manifestations of Lyme disease – although the IDSA recommendations are almost certainly inadequate for treatment of this chronic condition. Steroid treatment is not recommended, as steroids may precipitate symptoms in joints or the central nervous system.
The good news is that people generally recover from Lyme carditis, as long as the Lyme disease and coinfections are treated.
 Fish AE, Pride YB, Pinto DS. Lyme Carditis. Infect Dis Clin N Am 22(2008):275-288.
Published in the Public Health Alert, June 2009
Reprinted with permission of author
By Mary Budinger
Holistic, natural medicine tends to overlook what is probably the number one source of the body’s toxins – the mouth. The infectious mechanism was initially documented by Dr. Weston A. Price, chairman of the Research Section of the American Dental Association from 1914-1923. History tells us the ADA however wanted to promote root canals as a new service and never moved forward with Dr. Price’s well documented research.
Some biological dentists have studied Dr. Price’s work, including Dr. Andrew Landerman of Sebastopol, California. He finds that Lyme and many other chronic diseases are fed by the unique bacteria that develop in root canals and where teeth have been extracted. Dr. Landerman granted us an interview:
MB: Do you see a lot of people with Lyme disease?
AL: I probably have a high proportion of people who are chronically ill. And a high proportion of people who have chronic illness have Lyme.
MB: How do you determine that?
AL: Some people of course come with the diagnosis. In others, I see Lyme in their symptoms. They may have swollen joints and other chronic conditions that are suggestive of Lyme. It is not the same with everyone. It depends upon their weak spot. Where they have a weak link, Lyme will affect that area. It is my experience and that of many others like me, that Lyme at this point in time is not a pathogen that can be eliminated. Rather we must seek to manage it holistically.
MB: Are Lyme bacteria in the teeth?
AL: Not in the enamel, but in the dentin and tubules. Every tooth has some three miles of tiny tubules that spirochetes love to occupy. Antibiotics, even the extended courses that some chronic Lyme patients use, do not get into these tubules. Lyme gravitates toward some teeth. It is my experience that Lyme gravitates especially to the upper and lower centrals, and to the upper and lower first molars. That’s eight teeth.
MB: How do you test the teeth to determine where the spirochetes are hiding?
AL: I devised a method of percussion, a slight tapping of the tooth to give it a tiny shock. I use an electrodermal screening device to measure how the tooth responds. When you see a pattern of low or high current flow, that tells me the tooth is underperforming or overperforming. When the energy level is abnormal, that can indicate Lyme. I have not seen any amount of herbs or antibiotics get these teeth to change their readings for the better.
MB: Can you get rid of the Lyme in the mouth then?
AL: Mostly. It took me almost 15 years to figure out how to test for it in the teeth and how to devise a homeopathic remedy to address it. Teeth breathe. Healthy teeth push fluids out; that is the way they keep bacteria and such out just as skin keeps harmful things out. But with stressed teeth, the flow reverses and fluids go into the tooth. Recognizing that, I devised a mix of homeopathic remedies that go into stressed teeth and knock down the Lyme. I don’t think you can ever get rid of Lyme completely. We just have to learn to live with it. The homeopathic remedies I formulated will eliminate most of the Lyme and its co-infections from the teeth. I find that if there is too much Lyme in a person’s mouth, cavitations do not heal unless we address the Lyme first. Energy transference of homeopathy is not like a chemical transference. When a tooth is treated, regardless of whether it has a crown, the tooth seems to respond.
MB: You are one of a mere handful of dentists in the country who uses electrodermal testing, why?
AL: The American Dental Association (ADA) does not yet acknowledge electrodermal screening. I am in the midst of a 10-year, FDA-approved study on the energetic relationship of teeth to degenerative disease as monitored by electrodermal screening. I have about 500 patients in the study. It is crucial to recognize that each tooth is connected via meridians to the organs of the body, and they are all connected energetically. For example, many people with heart conditions will be found to have a chronic infection at the site of their wisdom teeth – the third molars. Certain molars are connected to the heart meridian and when those teeth are stressed with chronic infection, the heart is stressed. Dr. Joseph Issels of Germany wrote that many cancer patients got well for example when root canals and other infections of the oral cavity were removed. I find that almost 100 percent of women with breast cancer have a chronically affected upper first molar. Likewise, reproductive organs are tied into the upper centrals, male and female. My approach is based upon the Meridian Theory from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and The Focal Theory of Infection.
Both homeopathy and Rife frequencies work energetically with Lyme; they are just different sides of the same coin. Both are effective. The difference is that for homeopathy to work optimally, you have to remove as many impediments to proper immune function as you can before using it – such as removal of dead teeth and metal fillings of all sorts, and cleaning up chronic infections in the jawbone. Rife works by generating a frequency specific to Lyme and aiming that at the body to kill the bacteria. Like homeopathy, Rife generators may or may nor produce healing crisis. That seems to depend on individual reactions. Neither one will totally eliminate the various forms of Lyme bacteria, but they help manage the disease.
MB: What is the Focal Theory of Infection?
AL: A focal infection is a local infection that expands to incorporate the whole quadrant, then the whole side of the mouth and eventually can cross the midline to incorporate the other side. Basically, the theory says the oral cavity is able to generate particularly nasty toxins that poison the body when you have had a root canal or a tooth extracted. Most dentists still do not understand the Focal Theory; it was studied more in Europe than here. Dr. Weston Price’s great contribution was the discovery that focal infection bacteria are polymorphic, meaning they mutate and adapt and multiply like rabbits in the three miles of dentin tubules that emanate from every tooth. The bacteria become smaller and anaerobic – they can now live without oxygen. They also become more virulent, and their toxins more toxic. Root canals and old extractions are common focal infection sites.
When you have a root canal, a dead tooth is left in the mouth. The dead tooth lacks a blood supply to its interior. Antibiotics circulating in the bloodstream have no way to penetrate this dead tissue. Over time, the material packed inside the dead tooth shrinks a bit. Now bacteria come in and morph. The tooth has both bacteria and toxins as a result of being dead for so many years and these toxins are infiltrating into the bloodstream.
In extraction sites, the healing may not take place correctly. If the healing is incorrect, the space can fill in with fatty tissue, dead bone, improper bone, or it can fill in with infected material. All of these processes are wrong and the organ associated with that extraction site will always show this improper healing. The remedy is to clean out the socket, debride it, and remove the ligament that holds the tooth in as well as the dense bony lining of the socket. The other important factor is cleaning up the quadrant (at least) of the mouth where the extraction was performed – cleaning up all metal and any other extraction sites. This is the best way to assure proper healing from extractions.
Toxins from focal site infections are highly virulent and they tend to go to the organ associated with the meridian upon which that tooth lies. Over time, the toxins’ assault will change the genetics of the organ. However, it has been found that upon proper extraction of a dead tooth and proper treatment of an extraction site, the organ will return to its normal genetics. Bob Jones, an engineer, recently did substantial genetic testing which demonstrated the ability of organs to right themselves.
MB: Are tonsils also focal infection sites?
AL: They can be. Tonsils are basically nodules of lymph tissue. Removing tonsils should be a solution of last resort. Tonsils are part of the immune system. Tonsils are a network of guard posts to infection because the body needs to protect the brain. There are valves in the veins that prevent blood from flowing backward. In the head there are no valves, so blood can flow in any direction and an infection in the brain would be disastrous. The tonsils, when functioning properly, prevent infections from entering the brain. There are four tonsils on each side of the head plus the pair we can readily see at the back of the mouth. They are prone to recurring infections because of allergies and other factors in the body. With multiple infections comes scarring of the tissue. Hence when this has occurred, the tonsils need to be dealt with as scars need to be dealt with.
MB: Tell us how scars interfere with the body’s energy.
AL: If scars are present, they act as an energetic block, much the same way a dead tooth does. And there are various ways to neutralize scars. A scar is not merely something on the outside of the skin – it is the skin. The energy flow of the meridians goes right under the surface of the skin so where there are scars, they can act as a major block to energy flow. There are various other energetic blocks, but teeth, the tonsils, and scars are the major ones. When healing energetically, all three areas are very important to deal with. The stronger the energetic system, the better you can handle outside factors like genetically modified food and environmental chemicals. Often with Lyme, it is said that you need a strong immune system to keep the Lyme under control. That is true. But you also need a strong energetic system and often that is overlooked.
MB: Can you tell us about one of the Lyme patients in your FDA-approved study?
AL: Sure, let’s call her “Julie.” Her history was one of a normal birth, normal delivery, normal first 6 months of development. But then she began to have pronounced joint pains, mobility problems, rashes, and her deciduous teeth – her baby teeth – showed pronounced malformation and discoloration. Julie’s parents took her to a prestigious California medical facility where they were unable to make a diagnosis. She was given pain medication and anti-inflammatories. This went on for 6 or 8 months with no apparent relief of the symptoms. When I first saw Julie, she was 18 months old. Her deciduous enamel was misshapen and reddish in color. This suggested there was a deep underlying condition that probably would cause the same things to occur in her permanent teeth. I used electrodermal screening and determined she had what looked like borellia burgdorferi – the main spirochete that causes Lyme disease. She tested positive for some co-infections, but B. burgdorferi was the bigger factor. I made homeopathic remedies for this and we also used natural anti-inflammatory remedies. Within a week, the pain subsided dramatically. The swelling decreased. About one month later, the parents reported that the symptoms had disappeared. It is too early to tell of course, but there is every reason to believe her adult teeth will erupt normally and be free of the red stains and changes in morphology that came with the baby teeth. When I saw Julie, I realized both parents had Lyme. Lyme can be transmitted through the placenta.
MB: How much of a role do vaccinations play with children with Lyme?
AL: In general, vaccines lower one’s immune competency and most would impede immune function where Lyme is concerned – allow it to get an easier foothold. A vaccine does not boost immunity. It gives us a template to recognize a specific protein when it enters the body and to be able to attack that protein and render it harmless to the body. Vaccinations should not be done until about 2 ½ years of age, the point at which all the baby teeth have erupted. It is then that humans have a fully functional, competent immune system and can better handle the introduction of the complex foreign proteins introduced in the form of vaccines. That is not to say they can handle the mercury and other toxins added for stability. We have to create a culture where people realize drugs are not made to maintain healthy, happy lives. The integrity of the terrain is the major factor. Louis Pasteur, remembered for developing vaccines, reversed himself on his deathbed. He said, “The pathogen is nothing, terrain is everything.” If you want a healthy terrain for children, then pre-conception health becomes critical because we are seeing more and more that degenerative changes in kids are transferred from the parents. You see teeth malformations in some children. That says something is going on with the DNA. It has been demonstrated, for example, that there are genetic changes along pathways where there are root canals. Where pathways have been interfered with, the genetic changes for worse. But when corrected, the genetic change goes back to the normal pathway. “Smart conception” means you clean up the energetics of the body first.
MB: What about mercury fillings?
AL: Mercury is about the most active of metals. The higher the temperature, the more it is released, poisoning the system. It is tough to rid the body of chronic diseases when poison constantly leeches from the mouth. Many people have crowns with an underlying layer of nickel, a very toxic metal. Unfortunately, dental schools are not much help right now. They do not teach Chinese medicine and they still consider amalgam (50% mercury filling) a usable material, when even the FDA now requires warning labels on amalgam packaging. Sometimes people tell me they got worse after they had mercury fillings taken out. I know the wrong material was used in that person’s mouth. You really have to test energetically for what to use for crowns or bridges – restorations. The material I like the best is cubit zirconium, a cousin of what you find in the false diamond. It is energetically different and has been consistently good for restorations. Zirconium is a metal that looks like clear glass. When you make an oxide of it, the negative aspects of the metal disappear. It loses it crystalline aspect and becomes more acceptable to the body.
I always felt the internet would help humanity learn how to live better, naturally. As more consumers demand metal-free dentistry, this will create the change in the profession. When I started 35 years ago, I had to talk like a Dutch uncle to get people to remove mercury fillings and root canals – it was tough. Now people are getting more informed. As patients demand change, the young dentists will have to respond. The dilemma, though, is that when they get out of school, young dentists are in debt. To take on a whole new challenge, to change your profession, is a very arduous task. They need the support of the patients.
MB: Would you say something about your own experience with Lyme?
AL: Many people in my part of the country do not understand the Sierra Foothills and the California coastal range in which they live is full of ticks. Many people are bit and never know it. They don’t understand that Lyme disease is sexually transmissible, and is passed through breast milk as well. I got sick because I had teeth extracted. Root canals, as well as improper extractions, weaken your immune competency. In my case I had two front teeth and one lateral incisor killed by trauma. Subsequent root canals left me compromised. When I was bitten by a tick, I contracted Lyme. I have every reason to believe that had these teeth been properly addressed, my immune function would have been sufficient to withstand the Lyme onslaught, because people who exhibit healthy immune function generally do not suffer from the worse aspects of Lyme. Nobody in my family has Lyme disease – mother, father, sister, etc. I was the only one with bad teeth as well as the only one to have had my tonsils removed unnecessarily. I believe this heavily compromised my immune system.
When I got bit, I had the textbook bulls eye rash. In my opinion, those who see a rash are those who have a stronger immune system. The rash is the body’s attempt to defeat the bacteria at the site. Then as the rash expands, that is a sign the body is losing the battle. Eventually, the rash dissipates and is gone. Then you can assume the Lyme has gone latent.
I still struggle with Lyme. But I don’t encourage limiting anyone’s life. I hunt and fish less than I used to, but that’s age, not fear. I love the outdoors and it is such a valuable part of my life, I would not choose to limit that. Lyme can be treated successfully initially with antibiotics or homeopathy – if it is done immediately. But most people, like my patient Julie, don’t know what they have until it is too late for conventional treatment to produce a result.
Andrew Landerman, DDS
Biological Dental Center
145 Pleasant Hill Ave North, Ste 201
Sebastopol, CA 95472
A “Perfect Storm” Accelerates the Chronic Disease Epidemic
Report from the Lyme-Induced Autism Conference of 2009
Published in Explore! For the Professional
Reprinted with permission of author
By Mary Budinger
A toxic soup of heavy metals, EMF pollution, chemicals, and the body’s own toxins produced by disease, is turning long-familiar microorganisms into super stars of destruction. Combined with junk food and a chemical-laden environment, they all add up to the perfect storm where perhaps a few types of biotoxins are produced in us in unprecedented rates.
Pathogenic bugs – be they bacterial, viral, fungal or/and parasitic – are competing with us for survival. They are cunning adversaries, fluent in serious disruption for their own gain. They thrive on common staples in our modern world – sugar, denatured and genetically modified foods, chemicals, stress, and electromagnetic pollution.
So far, the bugs have proven more adaptable and simply smarter at survival than most of us. The mounting evidence is in our children:
The CDC reports that 1 out of every 6 children has a diagnosis of a developmental problem.
Cancer is now the leading cause of death in children, aged 1-14. The National Children’s Cancer Society says 1 in 330 children will develop cancer by age 20.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (July 2007), “new epidemics in chronic health conditions among children and youth will translate into major demands on public health and welfare in the coming decades.” The study found “from 15 to 18 percent of children and adolescents have some sort of chronic health condition, nearly half of whom could be considered disabled.”
The Lyme-Induced Autism Foundation’s annual conference is an opportunity for doctors and parents working in the trenches of chronic disease to compare notes on what they are seeing. As that took place this past June in Scottsdale, Arizona, there were differing opinions about specific pathogens and treatments, but there was universal agreement that a “perfect storm” of environmental elements is weakening the human immune system.
“For some reason or another, the cases are getting more difficult,” said Dr. Toby Watkinson of the Scripps Medical Offices in California who has been in practice some 28 years. “It used to be we said, gluten-free, dairy-free, and got good results. But that is not so much the case now.”
Author Donna Jackson Nakazawa sounded a wake-up call with her 2008 book, the Autoimmune Epidemic. “We have been waging an all out war on cancer for decades,” she said. “But a woman is eight times more likely to have an autoimmune disease than breast cancer. Our own immune system is being asked to distinguish between itself and invaders and it is overloaded. Too many mistakes are being made because of the plethora of environmental chemicals. In the international community, scientists talk about the impact of the chemicals as global warming, yet we do not admit that there is a sea of change also taking place in human bodies.”
Immune system dysfunction is on the rise because immune system competency is withering under an assault of toxicity and pathogens.
A TOXIC WORLD BREEDS A TOXIC SOUP
A Texas study showed that the closer kids live to coal-fired power plants and the associated exposures to airborne mercury, the higher the rates of autism. Many believe mercury holds a special place among environmental toxins. “Mercury, in my experience, is the one thing that most fuels the growth of pathogens,” Dr. Lee Cowden of Texas stated. “It is found in greater amounts in the ocean and the air. It is slow to detoxify.”
And, it has a synergistic effect. “When you put mercury and lead together and it is not 1 + 1 = 2. No, it is 1 + 1 = 100 times more toxic,” Dr. Jeff Wulfman of Vermont explained. “Modern medicine tries to isolate one factor but there is never just one.”
Dr. Cowden believes the primary cause of autism is brain inflammation, pointing the finger of blame at a wide swath of toxic exposures. “We know the fetus becomes a dumping ground for the mother’s toxins. If the mother had mercury fillings, she downloads a lot of that mercury directly into the unborn child. In time come the co-contributors – the other heavy metals, fungal toxins, as well as the body’s own toxins produced by disease, electromagnetic fields (EMF), nutritional deficiencies, miasms, hormone imbalances (children with high testosterone levels are more likely to develop autism), ergots, neurotransmitter imbalances, and emotions.”
|“Pathogens only show up when there is a toxic environment for them to grow in. That is what we need to focus on.”
- Dr. Garry Gordon
It is worth repeating one item on his list; “the body’s own toxins produced by disease.” Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt of Washington reminds us that biotoxins secreted by the bugs usually make us sicker than the bugs themselves. When the level of biotoxins becomes high enough, people will be symptomatic. Throw an antibiotic at the bugs, chances are they just spit their biotoxins at you, making you feel sicker.
Dr. Klinghardt says many of the autistic kids he sees have kryptopyrroluria (KPU), also called HPU. “Basically, these kids are peeing out all their zinc,” he said. “The bugs figured out how to block an enzyme to make you pee out your zinc and disarm your immune system. It is genius! Some 300 enzymes are zinc dependent. If you have no zinc, the body substitutes cadmium or lead or aluminum or mercury. When the substitution is made, the child becomes highly toxic.”
Pathogens also attract metals. For example, the coxsackievirus B3 infection increases the intestinal absorption of cadmium.
ADDING EMF AND GMO TO THE EQUATION
Dr. Klinghardt pioneered the integration of low frequency magnetic and electric fields into his practice. “Any adult Lyme patient has had a preceding issue with mold,” he said. “We all harbor molds – Candida, aspergillus, etc. We are now exposing these molds to record amounts of EMF bombardment. Since 1995, with cell phones and Wi-Fi, the amount of EMF has gone up exponentially. This causes the molds to maximize their production. I worked with a key mold researcher in Switzerland who could measure the amount of mycotoxins produced on a daily basis. One culture we protected with a Faraday cage, the other we left in the room. Three weeks later, we measured. The unprotected culture had 600 times more mycotoxins.”
Dr. Klinghardt feels an important test for autistic kids is a mycotoxins urine test. “It is surprising how high the kids test. Many of us were looking at mold years before Lyme got so much attention. The microbes that lived in us symbiotically for tens of thousands of years are feeling under attack. This is what is creating autism, symptoms of Lyme, the learning disabilities, ALS, Parkinson’s, short term memory loss, insomnia – it all goes back to a few biotoxins in us produced in unprecedented rates.”
Every cordless phone, every wireless internet and cell phone, every refrigerator, and every nightstand lamp and clock radio – much modern day technology that we take for granted – is insidiously jacking up the rates of all manner of chronic disease.
“The only thing that I have ever been able to predict is that the mother who has an autistic child slept in a high EMF environment,” he said.
Bau biologist Vicki Warren of Tennessee also makes the connection between EMF and cellular health. She has seen many autistic children improve only after all electricity and radio signals were removed from their immediate environment while they sleep. “For whatever reason, a number of the Lyme and autistic kids are hypersensitive to electrosmog,” she said. “EHS – electric hypersensitivity – is recognized as a syndrome in UK and Sweden. There are two theories about EHS. First, the microbes within the body think they are under attack and so they start proliferating/replicating and producing toxins. Second, our healthy cells also feel like they are under attack so they lock down and close their cells walls which inhibits their ability to expel toxins and take in nutrients. So the healthy cells die off early and the bad stuff grows rapidly. It’s a double whammy.”
Our bodies are electric. But the energy from electrosmog is a very chaotic energy, not the same as what the body uses. “Every nerve impulse in the body is an electric current,” said Dr. Sandra Rose Michael of Florida. “Every cell is a mini-battery. When the body has the right energy, it will heal anything. When the cells have more energy, the first thing they do is clean house. True cellular regeneration is what we want to accomplish.”
Dr. Watkinson sees that many kids have a lack of connectivity in the brain. “These children are at risk in electrical environments,” he said. “There is always a Th1, Th2, Th3 disruption. They all have cognitive dysfunction, can’t compute what you tell them. You tell them to raise their hand or ask for a glass of milk. But they end up waving their arm and asking about the pink gorilla. They can’t complete the neurological connections.”
Genetically modified (GM) foods seem to be contributing to intestinal dysfunctions, and the bulk of the immune system is in the gut. Jeffery Smith, author of Seeds of Deception and Executive Director of Institute for Responsible Technology, pointed out that no safety studies were ever done on GM foods. “The FDA simply declared in May 1992 that ‘foods derived by these no methods do not differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way,’” Smith explained. “They promised us it was safe because plant genes do not transfer to bacteria in our intestines. But the genes put into GM crops come from bacteria so the natural safety mechanism is gone. We may be turning our intestines into living pesticide factories.”
The “FlavrSavr” tomato was the first GM food. “When they fed it to rats, the animals developed stomach lesions and died,” Smith said, noting the number of autistic children who have gut issues. Like EMF, he said, “GM food doesn’t have immediate, crisis-type warning signs. But we are playing roulette with our health.”
The invisible contributions of GM foods, chaotic electrical signals – and biofilms – are new areas of study, and potentially huge factors in human illness.
HIDING IN BIOFILM
Biofilm is a slimy matrix pathogens use like a cloaking device to hide from the immune system. The Lyme disease pathogen Borrelia, for example, creates biofilm. Entire colonies of pathogens take up housekeeping in patches of biofilm. Candida, for example, is usually in the mix, stimulating inflammation to provide food for the colony of bugs. And here’s the kicker: pathogens within a biofilm community are 100 to 1000 times more antibiotic resistant. That may explain why chronic Lyme suffers are not cleared of their disease after months, even years of antibiotics.
Biofilm requires formation of fibrin and hijacks the body’s safety net. Fibrin is part of the body’s attempt to stop pathogens. But when biofilm creates excess fibrin, the blood gets thick and is less efficient at carrying oxygen and delivering nutrients. “We found when we gave patients heparin for infertility, we saw a lot of chronic symptoms go away,” recounted Dr. David Berg of Arizona. That is because Heparin blocks the action of clotting factors in the blood which often addresses this hypercoaguble state. With less fibrin, the immune system may be better able to see the pathogens.
The immune system recognizes a bug by antigens, proteins on the outer membrane. “So what if the bugs didn’t produce outer membrane proteins (OMP)? These bugs don’t,” said Dr. Anju Usman of Illinois. She reported that biofilm uses fibrin, iron, calcium, and magnesium to create its lattice. She reports success dismantling biofilm with EDTA, nattokinase, and serrapeptase.
Should we deprive sick patients of iron, calcium and magnesium because they make up biofilm? “Magnesium is very necessary; it also happens to be one of the building blocks used by biofilm,” said Dr. Garry Gordon of Arizona. “The risk to benefit ratio doesn’t make sense if you pull out the magnesium. When you are low in magnesium, it ties into greater death rates.”
HOW MANY BUGS ARE BAD?
Dr. Wulfman said diagnosis of chronic infection is difficult. “Classic Lyme disease – the person had no prior infection, got a tick bite – I don’t see that as much anymore. I am not comfortable with ‘Lyme disease’ to cover this entire spectrum of illness related to Borrelia. As we see more coming out about the ubiquitous nature of organisms in people today, I see us and the community of microbes within us, and our immune system, trying to manage that. It is a constant tug and pull.”
Perhaps we need to reconsider the conventional wisdom about infections. “Autism kids are 16 times more likely to have bacterial/viral infections than neurotypical children,” said Dr. Wulfman. “I believe most all of the kids on the spectrum have some form of fungal involvement. As well, in my experience about 80% seem to show bacteria on the stained blood smear.”
The idea that a large variety of different pathogens are responsible for a long list of illnesses is further defined by the idea that a few biotoxins, produced in unprecedented rates, are causing a wide variety of different manifestations of disease.
Dr. Stephen Fry of Arizona, known for his research into biofilms, thinks the day is not far off when his team will identify a single microorganism, hiding in biofilm, that is responsible for symptoms associated with many expressions of chronic disease, including autism and Lyme disease.
|“As we see more coming out about the ubiquitous nature of organisms in people today, I see us and the community of microbes within us, and our immune system, trying to manage that. It is a constant tug and pull.”
- Dr. Jeff Wulfman
“We looked at the blood from various patients under the microscope and we find signs of this one microorganism in many samples from patients ill with chronic Lyme,” Dr. Fry said. “It is an elongated microorganism in the biofilm that stains like bacteria, and looks like bacteria in people who are sick. We’ve mapped three of its genes so far.”
How could one bug cause so many different diagnoses and symptoms? “In the biofilm community, there is a soup of pathogens where they all hide,” he explained. “Any one of those pathogens may not be why you are sick. For example, just about everybody over 35 will test positive for Epstein-Barr virus, but people usually are not sick from it. So not every bug in the biofilm soup is causing symptoms. Symptoms may vary based upon a person’s genetics, environment, and pathogen genotype.”
We live in a symbiotic relationship with our community of bugs. For example, eradication of Helicobacter pylori may have had the unintended consequence of unleashing an asthma threat even as the risk of gastric ulcers and cancer declined. Sometimes it is a matter of how much bacteria is on board. So the aim of treatment may not be necessarily about eradicating all the bugs.
Whether we are sick or well depends upon how strong we are in relation to the pathogenic load within us.
HEY PROFESSOR PASTEUR – MOVE OVER!
Western medicine is based upon Louis Pasteur’s germ theory of disease: germs invade pristine territory and we fight back vigorously with killing agents. Yet even Pasteur changed his tune in his lifetime. He admitted on his deathbed that the terrain was more important than the pathogen, but by then the medical textbooks had been written, setting the stage for warfare with pharmaceutical weapons of mass destruction.
Now, the AMA reports that prescription drugs are the third leading cause of death in the United States. And the superbug MRSA shows us again that pathogens will supersede our weapons of mass destruction in their quest for survival.
“The terrain is everything, the pathogen is nothing,” Pasteur finally concluded. That explains why one person is extremely symptomatic with Lyme disease and other is not. And why one kid develops autism after vaccinations and another does not. The French-American microbiologist Rene Dubos was more on target with his concept that most diseases occur as a result of multiple assaults acting simultaneously, as opposed to a single event.
Dubos’ concept mirrors the idea that manifestation of chronic diseases represents the straw that breaks the camel’s back. One too many environmental assaults and the immune system gets overloaded.
“The more chronic parasitic infections someone has, the more weak/toxic/depleted they are, and vice versa, so it spirals,” Dr. Wulfman explained. “Plus you can get a new infection from the outside, and a present infection can be reactivated.”
“Perhaps autism is merely a disease of the biological terrain that will one day supersede the out-dated germ theory of disease,” suggested Mary Coyle, DiHom, of New York. “At some point, we have to consider that pharmaceutical meds, after time, weaken the patient so that the pathogens get the edge up. Yeast and microbes are actually there to heal the body.”
Along with the germ theory came the quest for a diagnosis, a label that that tells the doctor what the fix is.
It is telling that it is harder to come by a good diagnosis. Donna Jackson Nakazawa documented that an autoimmune patient sees, on average, six doctors prior to receiving an accurate diagnosis. Lyme disease patients have absolute horror stories about getting a diagnosis, as evidenced in the movie, Under Our Skin. Autism is easier to diagnose, but comes with so many variations. And none is easy to “fix.”
Dr. Wulfman feels smart pathogens necessitate a different approach to doctoring. “We need to avoid the ‘tyranny of tests’ where the doctor makes a declaration about that person. Our testing is not that great. The way some people are treated is unconscionable; they are told ‘This is the way it is.’ I don’t think medical professionals can say that. There is no cookbook.”
|“The microbes that lived in us symbiotically for tens of thousands of years are feeling under attack. This is what is creating autism, symptoms of Lyme, the learning disabilities, ALS, Parkinsons, short term memory loss, insomnia…”
- Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt
Dr. Gordon agrees. “We are all hoping for the magic bullet, some pill that will take us out of the morass of ill health. But that won’t happen,” he said. “We would love to have a test for all toxins, all hormones deficiencies, but in many cases, we don’t have great tests or they are very expensive. And that is not really important. Pathogens only show up when there is a toxic environment for them to grow in. That is what we need to focus on.”
The primary underpinning of a healthy terrain is a healthy diet. But processed, devitalized food is a big part of the problem. The primary source of calories consumed in USA today is GM corn syrup. Next is white flour. Some 70 years ago, Otto Warburg was awarded a Nobel Prize for figuring out that cancer cells use a lot more sugar than healthy cells. Today we see that pathogens also use a lot of sugar. Carbohydrate cravings for bread, pasta, chips, and cookies are common among autistic children.
Although some people are proponents of raw food, Dr. Klinghardt suggests that we may be too weakened now for much of it. “I lived in India for 2 years and any kind of raw food made me sick – parasites, inflammatory bowel,” he said. “It took me 20 years to get stabilized. So be warned about the raw food thing. The book that really needs to be written about autism is about getting the food into the kids without a struggle so they will want to eat it. The kids’ senses are so derailed from what their needs are. If you let them select, they will eat sugar from morning to night.”
“Food and drink are one of the major overlooked and ignored contributors to chronic disease that I see,” said Dr. Wulfman. “We have an epidemic of omega-3 deficiency. Demineralized soil means crops are sick, fatigued, and kept alive with fertilizers and pesticides… and so are we. Never has there been the excess of sugars, never the level of toxins or the numbers of vaccinations before. And there is a ubiquitous heavy metal load underneath this. Metals in people today are many thousand times higher than in ‘ancient’ man. Never has there been the progressive immune challenges and chronic parasitic infections. This is the perfect storm.”
THE MAKINGS OF A PERFECT STORM
Every speaker at the LIA conference contributed elements to the “perfect storm” breeding chronic disease:
Vitamin D upregulates some 3000 genes that keep us healthy, but the conventional wisdom scared us away from the sun. Obese people need a lot more vitamin D because toxins are held in fat cells. Until recently, sunscreens only blocked UVB which we need to make vitamin D; UVA causes cancer. So sunscreens actually contributed to cancer. – Dr. Joseph Mercola of Illinois
Everyone born today has 1000 times more lead in the bones. As the mother creates a fetus, the calcium from the mother is used to make bones in the fetus but the lead is in the bones and it is downloaded too. – Dr. Garry Gordon
The Environmental Working Group’s study of umbilical cord blood shows that a steady stream of industrial chemicals, pollutants and pesticides crosses the placenta. An average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants were found in umbilical cord blood samples. – Dr. Toby Watkinson
The birth history of sick children is often complicated. “I am amazed at how much heavy metal toxicity little children have at 5-6 years of age.” – Dr. Ann Corson of Pennsylvania
Allergies are often unresolved bacterial infections. – Dr. Watkinson
Half your immune system is wasted if it is trying to handle something it is sensitive to like gluten. – Dr. Gordon
Viruses can be a primary infection, but their activation (vs. dormancy) may be secondary to immune stressors/weakening brought about by underlying bacterial infections, toxins, etc. – Dr. Wulfman
Acidic pH is very common, encouraging proliferation of microorganisms and reducing cellular energy. – Mary Coyle, D.I. Hom. of New York
There is a high prevalence of familial thrombophilia where at least one family member has an autism spectrum disorder. – Dr. David Berg
Pesticide exposure impairs cognitive development. – Vicki Warren
These kids have a shopping list of issues that are inter-related to the nervous system. The nervous system will sometimes sacrifice certain functions to make other functions work. Photons of light run our biochemistry. The nervous system is a holographic communication and can be treated with light. – Dr. George Gonzalez of California
GENE CHANGES, GENE TRANSMISSION
Parasites, a marker of persistent infection, are survival specialists. “To survive, pathogens have to alter the human immune system,” Dr. Wulfman explained. “We can see some of the complex ways they do that. They create inflammation to help break up tissue which they consume. Then there are complex competitions between the parasites within the host. Parasites use quorum sensing to detect what other bugs are there, how many, and then adjust what they do. They have the ability to make biofilm. And they can alter gene expression and suppress host immunity.”
Epigenetics is reshaping the way scientists look at traditional genetics. We are finding that chemical exposures, toxins, and infections – mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence – can drastically alter how the genes behave or express themselves. These changes may remain through cell divisions for the remainder of the cell’s life and may also last for multiple generations. A study out of China in 2003 on tuberculosis, for example, found cells infected with TB organism changed 473 new expressions of genes.
“When you hear about genes then, is this the cause or a marker?” Dr. Wulfman asks.
|Whether we are sick or well depends upon how strong we are in relation to the pathogenic load within us.
Duke University’s Dr. Randy Jirtle is shaking traditional hallowed halls with research into changes that can be inherited during cell division that alter the function of genes without changing the hardware, or the DNA sequences. So what is the implication for a common chemical from plastic like bisphenol A (BPA), a relatively strong estrogenic compound which can alter the epigenome? “Jirtle found that this environmental toxicant caused hypomethylation,” said Dr. Gordon. “BPA has been found to cause an epigenic change in mice from lean to obese. Jirtle also found nutrient supplementation of the mother helped to counteract the BPA-induced hypomethylation.” It gives new meaning to the concept that food is medicine. Nutrition is not a big item in med school and that is a big part of the problem. Early nutrition affects adult metabolism in humans and other mammals, potentially via persistent alterations in DNA methylation.
Mapping genes is not of much interest to this group. Many have been there, done that. It’s a curiosity, but not particularly useful. The more interesting questions revolve around whether today’s perfect storm will ripple through forthcoming generations. The science of epigenetics tells us that toxins are trans-generational. The old expression, “You are what you eat,” is giving way to, “You are what your mother ate.”
Dr. Klinghardt advises that you look at the genes last. “Not at the beginning, and not instead of some other tests,” he advises. “You can never get a Lyme patient well unless you start with detoxification. That is also true of all chronic diseases. I learned to look at the whole family. We detox first, then address infections.”
Dr. Gordon, a leader in the field of detoxification, agrees. He points out that, “The world wants to do a test on you, then sell you something based on the results. But it’s a bad model. And it’s too complicated and expensive. The easiest place to start is with colloidal silver to knock down the pathogen load, and zeolite to remove the metals. We need tools in our toolbox that do not harm us.”
STRESS OF CHRONIC DISEASE IS UPON DOCTORS AND PATIENTS
Intelligent pathogens adapt to changes in their environment. Lyme disease, for example, used to be a “tick borne disease.” No longer. According to Dr. Cowden, it is now transmitted through mosquitoes, fleas, sexual intercourse, blood transfusions, trans-placenta to fetus, breast feeding, and via poorly cooked meats. “So rather than ask your young patients if they’ve ever had a tick bite, ask if they’ve had a mosquito bite,” advised Dr. Klinghardt. “Look at the mother for clinical signs of Lyme disease and its co-infections. Most of the autistic children are cases of Lyme disease contracted congenitally.”
“A sick planet produces sick kids,” said homeopath Mary Coyle. “These kids cannot detox what they downloaded as a fetus from their mothers, plus what they get on their own. The stress is us. We are exposed to ongoing stress on a daily basis. Pesticides, chlorine, carpet glues in school every day. So you have to keep cleaning them up. My kid was too sick, the cells too full of toxins, for the gluten-free diet to help him recover. You need to get to the subtle energy fields before you go to the biochemical level.”
Cleaning up the environment and the diet are not easy subjects to teach, and not easy for patients to integrate. “The vast majority of our culture has traded health for convenience,” said Dr. Mercola. “We need to learn not to buy things that move us toward disease instead of health. And we need to prepare foods from scratch.” Dr. Wulfman asks some of his patients to keep a food diary. He finds some parents have made the switch to gluten-free pancakes, cereal, and cookies, but still fail to realize that those foods are not loaded with vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Switching to a gluten-free diet is not the same as fixing fresh, home-cooked meals. He advises his patients to grow their own garden, even a small box type.
Dr. Klinghardt finds it takes a great deal of patience to teach. “I have more recoveries by percentage than other practitioner I know by simply addressing the issue of avoiding EMF while sleeping at night. But I find it takes an autistic family three years to hear me on the issue.”
Dr. Gordon points out that it is frustrating for patients that the medical profession has been slow to put the pieces of the puzzle together. “Your doctor probably does not know, for example, that we all have some form of toxoplasmosis which increases your uptake of heavy metals. When you are infected with Chlamydia pneumonia, you are more likely to become a sick person. Many doctors don’t know enough about mycoplasma. It isn’t a question of whether you have Lyme or not. You have a total load of pathogens. Know that they are adversely affecting you and probably your children and their children.”
RESPECTING MOTHER NATURE
Dr. Wulfman said he learned a lot from organic farmers. “What shows up when there is poor soil, inadequate water, etc., is infection. The weaker the organism, the more vulnerable to virus, bacteria, parasite – whatever.”
Our bodies are walking Superfund sites. And our world is not getting any less toxic. The California Medical Association forecast that the scale of industrial chemical production is expected to grow four-fold by 2050. Add to that, the expected increase of electrosmog, and the marketing push for genetically modified foods.
“The stuff we give these kids squirts right through them because they don’t have the right bacteria in the gut,” summarized Dr. Gordon. “You can’t overcome, can’t kill all the pathogens because they are coming in every direction. We need to focus on what we can do to keep the bad stuff out.”
Book: Myth of Alzheimers, by Peter Whitehouse
Book: Plague Time-the New Germ Theory of Disease, by Paul W. Ewald
Book: UltraMind Solution, by Dr. Mark Hyman
Book: Square Foot Gardening, by Mel Bartholomew
 Glynn A.W., Lind Y., et al; The intestinal absorption of cadmium increases during a common viral infection(coxsackie virus B3) in mice. Chem. Biol. Interact., 113(1): 79-89 (1998).
 B Starfield, Is US Health Really the Best in the World?, Journal American Medical Association, July 26, 2000;284(4):483-5
Dr. Martha Grout dives into prevention, diagnosis and treatment options
by Martha M. Grout, MD, MD(H)
Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of a tick infected with a species of a spirochete known as borrelia burgdorferi. There are many species of ticks, but the species found commonly in the United States usually infects the joints, causing pain. Lyme disease may be masked in the body, because the organism hides behind biofilm, a slimy conglomeration of bacterial cells and proteins, and evades the notice of the immune system. To make a diagnosis, symptomatology is just as important as testing. If the immune system is unable to muster a response, then immunoserology tests will be negative, as if there were no infection in the first place.
A controversy exists regarding the treatment of what patients experience as chronic debilitating symptoms. Allopathic medicine calls them post-Lyme syndrome, or dismisses the idea of Lyme out of hand, often prescribing antidepressant medications in an effort to help their patients feel better. Homeopathic medicine calls these debilitating symptoms chronic Lyme disease. As a result, treatments are quite different.
Remember that foreign organisms can only thrive in an environment that is weakened. If the body is toxic because of exposure or inability to get rid of toxins, it is more susceptible to infection. If the body is magnesium-depleted, which most of us are, then it is much easier for organisms to form biofilm to hide behind.
Some patients can be treated with oral or intravenous antibiotics for a period of months or years. Those whose disease is treated successfully have not stopped with antibiotic treatment. They have eliminated chemicals and food additives—any foods to which they are sensitive. Most have eliminated gluten (wheat products) and dairy (cow’s milk products) from their diets, as well as corn (high-fructose corn syrup, genetically engineered corn), soy (genetically engineered), eggs and citrus fruits.
Many have also undergone chelation therapy to decrease the amount of inflammatory heavy metals in their system or taken intravenous nutritional treatments until their intestinal tract was finally able to absorb the needed nutrients. The point is to decrease the total toxic load, so that the body has a better chance of finding and eliminating infectious organisms like Lyme and Babesia.
Several steps need to occur for the best chance at complete healing, including excellent nutrition—working with a practitioner well trained in functional medicine, to ensure that everything eaten is healthy; nutrient supplementation—test, and supplement with GMP-certified products, so the body has the nutrients it needs to operate efficiently. Removing toxins is a must—whether they be foods, heavy metals, chemicals or toxic relationships, because they all have the same debilitating effect on the body.
Guided imagery, biophotonic therapy, heat and light therapy and chelation therapy all help eliminate these toxins, and antibiotic therapy kills the organisms so that you can get on with your life. Exercise is also proven to improve the function of the immune system. It can be as simple as going for a brisk walk three times a week. All these modalities are important for healing. Antibiotics alone are insufficient, although they are almost certainly a necessary component.
Gratitude is another essential. Infection occurs because of some significant imbalance in our lives—in food, environment or relationships. It is never too late to take steps toward correcting these imbalances. Health is a process, a journey toward the light. A homeopathic or naturopathic practitioner can help to smooth the way.
Martha M. Grout, MD, MD(H), is medical director of the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine, in Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information, call 480-240-2600 or visit ArizonaAdvancedMedicine.com.
Lyme disease gives rise to the growing school of thought that we can never get rid of all the bugs that do harm; it’s about learning to minimize them and live with them.
Ixodes ticks, the principal vector for Lyme disease, were present in Massachusetts in the 1920s and 1930s. Ticks from Long Island, New York, collected in the late 1940s/early 1950s, were infected with Lyme. Then in 1975, a cluster of cases brought formal recognition of the disease. A number of children and some adults in the town of Lyme, Connecticut, mysteriously showed up with what looked like rheumatoid arthritis. The disease was named after the town. Eventually Lyme disease spread from the East coast across the country.
The organism responsible for Lyme disease was identified in 1981 by Dr. Willy Burgdorfer, and named Borrelia burgdorferi (B. burgdorferi), after its discoverer. It is similar in shape to the spirochete Treponema pallidum, which causes syphilis, the scourge.
Mankind’s earlier experience with a disease caused by a spirochete was syphilis, the scourge of Europe for hundreds of years. Syphilis was called “the Great Imitator” because its symptoms mimicked so many other diseases. The same is true with Lyme.
The number of Lyme disease cases in the United States has doubled since 1991. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are nearly 325,000 new cases each year – making Lyme disease an epidemic larger than AIDS, West Nile Virus, and Avian Flu combined.
Lyme disease presents a host of challenges. Once the corkscrew-shaped spirochetes enter the bloodstream, they can cause a wide range of constitutional, musculoskeletal, and neurological symptoms.
B. burgdorferi’s spiral shape aggressively embeds itself, usually first in the joints – when the cluster of Lyme cases showed up in Connecticut, most people complained of arthritis. Then the spirochetes typically go to the muscles and tendons, and can go into the heart and brain. Lyme spirochetes are also pleomorphic, meaning they can change shape, making it hard for the immune system to detect them, and hard for anything you throw at them to destroy them. The strength of one’s immune system often dictates the severity of symptoms. The longer symptoms go untreated, the more intractable they can become.
Some victims see a classic “bulls eye” rash from a tick bite, but more than half do not, according to ILADS, The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society.
Recent studies reveal Lyme disease is now transmitted by human-to-human transmission, including from mother to fetus. Spirochetes have been found in semen, vaginal fluid, tear ducts, sweat, and mothers’ breast milk. The CDC found Lyme bacteria live in blood that has been purified for donation. Blood banks do not screen for Lyme, but if you have Lyme, you will be told not to donate your blood. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin found dairy cattle infected with the Bb bacterium, which raises the question of whether milk or other products in our food chain may be a danger.
According to ILADS:
“After a tick bite, serologic tests (ELISA. IFA, western blots, etc.) are not expected to become positive until several weeks have passed. Therefore, if [a bulls eye rash] is present, treatment must begin immediately, and one should not wait for results of Borrelia tests. You should not miss the chance to treat early disease, for this is when the success rate is the highest. Indeed, many knowledgeable clinicians will not even order a Borrelia test in this circumstance.”
A good test to determine whether you have Lyme can be hard to come by. The Lyme spirochete can hide in the human body and fool the immune system into thinking it isn’t there by hiding behind a protein wall produced by the spirochete, called “biofilm.” So, antibodies are not produced, resulting in negative tests. The spirochetes can also morph into a different form, a cyst, which the immune system does not recognize.
The Western Blot test essentially makes a map of the different antibodies the immune system produces to the bacteria. It used to be that virtually every lab had accepted bands 22, 23, 25, 31, and 34 kDa as specific and significant, and reported them as positive for exposure to Borrelia burgdorferi. Then in 1994, the Association of State and Territorial Public Health Laboratory Directors set nationwide standards for Western Blot reporting and disqualified those bands as even being reportable. Currently among Lyme literate doctors, significance is associated with 41 kDa band, which appear the earliest but can cross-react with other spirochetes. In addition, there should be at least one of the following: 18 kDa, 23-25 (Osp C), 31 kDa (Osp A), 34 kDa (Osp B), 37 kDa, 39 kDa, 83 kDa and the 93 kDa are all species-specific, but may or may not appear during the course of the disease. 55 kDa, 60 kDa, 66 kDa, and 73 kDa are nonspecific and nondiagnostic. The 58 kDa band, on the other hand, is considered to be highly specific in Scotland and other European laboratories.[9a]
The ELISA Test (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbant Serum Assay) is automated. Many different patient samples can be performed by a single machine simultaneously. It may be convenient for the lab, but many consider the ELISA not sensitive enough to serve as an adequate screen, and there are many patients with Lyme who test negative by ELISA yet have fully diagnostic western blots.
A 2005 Johns Hopkins study, published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, claims that the CDC’s two-tiered testing procedure, use of both ELISA and Western Blot, misses 75% of positive Lyme cases.
Proving a persistent infection requires that you locate something in the blood. Since spirochetes leave the blood for body tissue, and tissue samples are something best collected at an autopsy, finding evidence can be tough.
Lyme-literate physicians generally prefer to use the IGeneX or Central Florida Research labs because their accuracy rates are better. But again, they are not perfect. Other tools can be helpful:
- measurement of the CD57 natural killer cell level, an immunologic marker that can be used to monitor treatment in chronic Lyme
- if neurologic symptoms are severe, a single-photon emission CT SPECT brain scan to see how much inflammation is present in the brain
Clinical diagnosis is key; even the CDC calls for objective physical findings.
THE GREAT IMITATOR
“Objective physical findings” however, run smack into The Great Imitator. That term was first used with syphilis because spirochetes affect people in so many different ways – their symptoms are all over the map. One Lyme patient can look like a case of rheumatoid arthritis, another like fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis, and yet another can look okay physically but obviously has cognitive issues. Lyme-induced psychiatric illness is sometimes indistinguishable from other psychiatric diagnoses.
In July 2005, football fans were stunned by newspaper stories that police found Florida State University quarterback Wyatt Sexton doing push-ups in the street and reportedly saying he was the “son of God.” Medical exams later found that Sexton was suffering from advanced Lyme disease. His physician, S. Chandra Swami, reported that the infection caused both neuropsychiatric and cardiovascular defects.
In March 2009, Reverend Fred Winters was confronted outside his Illinois church by a 27 year man. After fatally shooting Winters, the man pulled out a knife and stabbed himself repeatedly. The killer’s mother explained that her son got Lyme10 years earlier and it had triggered a series of erratic behaviors and mental difficulties.
New York pathologist Dr. Alan MacDonald found B. burgdorferi DNA in 1986 in seven out of ten autopsy samples from the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.[13,14] MacDonald was also the first to document B. burgdorferi in fetal tissue, meaning the infection passes from mother to child in the womb.
Infection with B. burgdorferi for a long time allows the bacteria to replicate and wreak havoc throughout the entire body. The bacteria hide inside nerve cells and destroy them from within. B. burgdorferi also burrows into tendons and ligaments causing inflammation in the tissues and the nearby bone. B. burgdorferi infects the brain causing swelling and interruption of blood flow. In some patients, the bacteria invade the heart, resulting in heart block and myocarditis, life-threatening cardiac abnormalities. That is why it is called a multi-system illness.
Lyme can be mistaken for an estimated 350 conditions, including:
|• Alzheimer’s disease
• amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
• chronic fatigue syndrome
• irritable bowel syndrome
• Bell’s Palsy
• memory loss
|• rheumatoid arthritis
• multiple sclerosis (MS)
• Parkinson’s disease
• various autoimmune disorders
Often, chronic Lyme patients get a diagnosis that actually hinders meaningful treatment when Lyme is the root problem. For example, when Lyme attacks the joints and a person receives a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, typically they are given a prescription for anti-inflammatory steroids. However, steroids suppress the immune system – exactly what you would NOT want to do if you knew you had Lyme. Also, we know that B. burgdorferi can induce secretion of aggrecanase, an enzyme that breaks down cartilage. Steroids do nothing for that.
Let’s look a little more closely at another diagnosis on the list: autism.
“The epidemics of Lyme and autism have gone from mild ripples in the water to roaring, all-consuming tidal waves, destroying thousands of lives and tearing apart countless families,” said Bryan Rosner and Tami Duncan, co-authors of the book, The Lyme-Autism Connection.
Duncan founded the Lyme-Induced Autism (LIA) Foundation in California. The LIA Foundation estimates the majority of children with autism may be also infected with Lyme disease. Informal studies put the number at about 30 percent; clinicians are reporting up to 90% of the children with autism testing positive for B. burgdorferi. At the LIA Foundation’s June 2008 conference, several experts suggested that at least 70% of the population has Lyme, and that it is being passed to children through congenital transmission, possibly through DNA. Dr. Dietrich Kinghardt said, “Most autistic kids have Lyme disease because most docs do not treat for Lyme first to knock it down enough that the white blood count can mount an attack and give you something to measure; that is why it is unknown.”
THE POLYMORPHIC SPIROCHETE
Lyme disease starts with an attack of spirochetes. The tip of the Borrelia burgdorfei spirochete can spin and twirl until it stimulates the cell’s own enzymes to digest a part of the membrane, allowing entry. Once inside, the spirochete can lie dormant, protected from both the immune system and the action of antibiotics.
The cell division time of B. burgdorferi is very long compared to other bacteria. Strep and staph cells, for example, divide in less than 20 minutes. B. burgdorferi takes 12-24 hours to divide and this is a key reason Lyme is so hard to knock out. Most antibiotics are effective at the moment when bacteria are dividing because antibiotics inhibit the creation of a new cell wall.
When Lyme spirochetes encounter antibiotics, they can go into cyst form immediately. Most feel the cyst form is impervious to antibiotics, although some physicians have had success with metronidazle (Flagyl) and tinidazole and the non-drug, grapefruit seed extract.
Cysts are small sacs containing immature spirochetes. Eventually the sacs might lodge in tissue or travel the blood stream where white blood cells sense their foreign presence but have little ammunition to kill them.
Spirochetes have the ability to burrow into or between cells and hide, gaining protection from the immune system. Both B. burgdorferi and Treponema pallidum, the causative agent for syphilis, have highly unusual outer membranes; the molecular architecture of these membranes is responsible for their ability to cause persistent infection.
Ticks harbor more infections than just B. burgdorferi. Some of the most common are bartonella, babesia, ehrlichia, mycoplasma, chlamydia, anaplasma, and rocky mountain spotted fever. Sometimes, these co-infections are more common and more debilitating than B. burgdorferi.
A 2004 New Jersey study examined the prevalence of coinfections in Ixodes ticks that transmit Lyme disease and found the prevalence of B. burgdorferi infection was 33.6%, but the prevalence of Bartonella infection was 34.5%. Thus, Bartonella species were found more often in that geographical area than the Lyme spirochete in these ticks.
Dr. Garth Nicolson, PhD, well known in the Lyme community for his study of chronic intracellular infections, identified a variety of infections present in common chronic conditions:
|Condition identified by Symptoms
||Infections Commonly Observed
|Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
||Mycoplasma fermentans (and other species), Borrelia burgdorferi, HHV6, Chlamydia pneumoniae
|Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
||Chlamydia pneumoniae, Mycoplasma species, Borrelia burgdorferi, HHV6 and other Herpes viruses
||Chlamydia pneumoniae, Borrelia burgdorferi, HSV1 and other Herpes viruses
||Helicobacter pylori, coronavirus, Mycoplasma species
|Autism Spectrum Disorders
||Mycoplasma fermentans (and other species), Chlamydia pneumoniae, HHV6, Borrelia burgdorferi
|Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
||Mycoplasma pneumoniae (and other species), Chlamydia pneumoniae, Borrelia burgdorferi
Singer Daryl Hall of the rock group Hall & Oats had to cancel tour dates in 2005 because of unexplained fevers and tremors. At his girlfriend’s advice, he got tested for Lyme and found four co-infections. He went public with his story because he feels chronic Lyme disease needs to be acknowledged as a serious health issue.
“There are two very, very strong-feeling camps. One camp is really sure that if you’re bitten by a tick you get tests, medicine. But with the chronic disease, that won’t put a dent in it. It manifests in so many ways. It can lead to heart disease, depression. It can be so serious that people have died. It’s a battle,” said Hall.
Co-infections present their own set of challenges for physicians and patients. Agents used to kill B. burgdorferi may not even touch the co-infections. “Many an ‘incurable’ Lyme patient has discovered the existence of a second, lurking disease – ehlichiosis or anaplasmosis – only to be treated with doxycycline and, finally, get well,” author and Lyme patient Pam Weintraub documented in Cure Unknown-Inside the Lyme Epidemic.
See http://www.ilads.org/lyme_disease/B_guidelines_12_17_08.pdf and http://www.lymedisease.org/lyme101/coinfections/coinfection.html for specifics on the various co-infections.
BIOFILMS – A CLOAKING DISGUISE
One of the great advances in understanding Lyme will come from understanding biofilms, a cloaking device bacteria use to survive in adverse conditions. Drs. Eva Sapi and Alan MacDonald did the first clear work on a Lyme biofilm in early 2008. Lyme bacteria are capable of forming a slimy matrix over themselves that shields pathogenic bacteria from antibodies and white blood cells, the sentinels of the immune system. Biofilms are also notorious for their ability to withstand extraordinarily high concentrations of antibiotics that are otherwise lethal in smaller doses to their planktonic counterparts. Biofilms are well described with other bacteria such as dental bacteria, pseudomonas and E. coli. Biofilms have been seen in brain tissue. This may be why neuroborreliosis, or “neuro Lyme,” is so hard to cure and why it causes dementia.
Biofilm is comprised, in part, of heavy metals. Heavy metals are perhaps the most troublesome toxins because they have been found to feed and make up the biofilm that surrounds the spirochete B.burgdorferi. Combining systemic enzymes like serapeptase with heavy metal chelators is one strategy for “punching holes” in the biofilm. Garlic extract and heparin may help to break up the biofilm, as well. Once this is done, then anti-microbials can attack bacteria, yeast, and other bugs.
THE BATTLE OVER TREATMENT
Lyme disease causes incredibly deep-seated controversies, pitting patients against their insurance companies, and members of the medical establishment against each other. The 8,000-member Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) maintains that Lyme is hard to catch and easy to treat:
“Treatment usually involves 10-28 days of oral antibiotics and is highly effective. When Lyme disease is diagnosed and treated quickly, 95 percent of people are cured within a few weeks of treatment … There is no convincing biologic evidence to support a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease after completion of the recommended treatment.”
The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) describes itself as:
“a group of forward-thinking doctors who understand the complexities of Lyme disease … Undertreated infections will inevitably resurface, usually as chronic Lyme, with its tremendous problems of morbidity and difficulty with diagnosis and treatment and high cost in every sense of the word.”
ILADS contends that “persistent symptoms have been noted in 25%-80% of patients with Lyme disease after 2-4 weeks of antibiotic therapy.”
Key points of contention between the two groups are whether chronic Lyme exists, and whether antibiotics should be used long term. Some doctors have been hauled before their state medical boards for prescribing long-term antibiotics for Lyme patients.
The Lyme patient advocacy movement gained momentum in 2006, when IDSA updated its written guidelines for identifying and treating Lyme disease. Patients complained they were written primarily to spare insurance companies from having to pay for the long-term treatment of chronic Lyme. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal launched an antitrust investigation into IDSA. In May, 2008, Blumenthal stated that:
“My office uncovered undisclosed financial interests held by several of the most powerful IDSA panelists. The IDSA’s guideline panel improperly ignored or minimized consideration of alternative medical opinion and evidence regarding chronic Lyme disease, potentially raising serious questions about whether the recommendations reflected all relevant science.”
IDSA agreed to create a new review panel. In April, 2010, IDSA decreed that its controversial guidelines on Lyme disease will stand unchanged. The review panel agreed that all of the 69 original recommendations were “medically and scientifically justified” in the light of the evidence. The panel made a number of new recommendations that would revise the guidelines, but voted that the new revisions need not be considered until the next time the Guidelines are updated by IDSA.
Tina Garcia of Lyme Education Awareness Program, a non-profit in Mesa, Arizona, testified that the IDSA Practice Guidelines actually prevent patients in Arizona, the rest of the United States, Canada and Europe from receiving diagnosis and treatment. “The truth about the IDSA Guidelines is that they accommodate some of the Guideline authors’ collaboration with the CDC in the development of a Lyme disease vaccine. It would take years and years for vaccine clinical trials to be conducted if those developing the vaccines acknowledged persistent Lyme infection. That is an inconvenient truth for these vaccine developers. It would be great if a safe and effective Lyme vaccine was developed. However, it is inhumane to sweep so many suffering patients under the carpet and deny them treatment in order to bring a vaccine to market.”[24a]
On one hand, the CDC endorses IDSA’s guidelines. On the other hand, there is no rule that doctors must follow them. The problem is, as Blumenthal wrote:
|3 polymorphic forms of Borrelia Burgdorferi:Spirochete – spiral-shaped bacterium responsible for the initial, rapid spread of the infection throughout the body and various organs thanks to its highly-mobile, drill-capable shape
Cyst form – a symptomless, protective, survival-oriented form that is elusive, difficult to identify in laboratories, and nearly impossible to kill. It often lies in wait for a stressful event to trigger it back to the spirochete form.
CWD or cell-wall-deficient form – can hide inside cells, including immune system cells, to avoid detection. Over time, the population of cell-wall-deficient bacteria tends to increase. This accounts for many of the most severe symptoms and organ dysfunctions associated with Lyme disease. CWD is sometimes called L-form.
Each of these forms is able to convert to another form under the right conditions. Think of it as 3 different suits of armor.
Cysts convert to spirochetes usually in spring and fall as a proliferation tactic, to spread the disease to other tissues. The CWD The cell-wall-deficient form is used to survive treatments including cell wall inhibiting antibiotics.
“The IDSA guidelines have sweeping and significant impacts on Lyme disease medical care. They are commonly applied by insurance companies in restricting coverage for long-term antibiotic treatment or other medical care and also strongly influence physician treatment decisions.”
Meanwhile, many argue whether antibiotics should even be used extensively in cases of chronic Lyme. The first generation of Lyme-literate-medical-doctors (LLMDs) primarily used long-term antibiotics. In recent years, others have focused less on pharmaceutical agents.
The battle lines have been drawn; both patients and doctors get caught in the crossfire.
Antibiotics: There is much agreement that if you have just been infected, a course of penicillin-type antibiotics for at least 6 weeks is the best treatment. The idea here is to knock it out before it can mutate and burrow in to too many tissues. After initial infection, B. burgdorferi travels rapidly via the bloodstream, and can be found within the central nervous system as soon as twelve hours after entering the bloodstream. Early infections require full dose antibiotic therapy with an agent able to penetrate all tissues in concentrations known to be bactericidal to the organism.
But increasingly, it is months or years after the initial infection that people suspect or confirm they have Lyme. Borrelia Burgdorferi exists in three distinct forms: spirochete, cyst, and cell-wall-deficient (CWD) form. The polymorphic qualities of Lyme mean that when you throw an antibiotic at a spirochete, the organism can simply morph into its cyst or CWD form, and hide itself in a biofilm, to escape destruction. When the Lyme bug no longer senses the stress of antibiotics, it can morph again into the spirochete form and continue burrowing into new tissues.
Lyme patients report that B. burgdorferi is also able to outsmart many of the herbal remedies.
Vitamin D avoidance, pulsed antibiotics: Some people infected with chronic, subclinical infections do not handle Vitamin D the way Nature intended. Their bodies convert too much of it to a type of secosteroid known as 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin-D (1,25 2(OH)-D). That triggers a production of macrophages – soldiers with inflammatory ammunition to overwhelm the bacteria. But the soldiers cannot see the bacteria because the bugs are hiding behind a wall of biofilm. The host is left with lots of inflammation – an army dressed for battle who can’t find the enemy. Since soldiers will do battle, they attack whatever moves; it happens not to be the enemy. Oops.
So how do we find the hidden enemy? Can we give the soldiers better glasses? That would be years and years of antibiotics. Or, we perhaps we can destroy the enemy’s camouflage. That would be the biofilm.
When sickness takes hold, the body sometimes loses the ability to regulate levels of various things. For example, abnormally high serum copper levels have been observed in cancer patients with progressive tumors. Copper plays a big role in the formation of blood vessels. By depriving tumors of the copper supply they need to form new blood vessels, the growth of cancer can be slowed. In the case of Lyme disease, part of the problem may be abnormally high levels of vitamin D, causing excessive production of macrophages and their native inflammatory proteins. Researcher Trevor Marshall, Ph.D., developed a protocol to handle patients who bodies make too much vitamin D.
|Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction – a transient, short-term immunologic reaction commonly seen following antibiotic treatment of syphilis and less often in other diseases, such as borreliosis, brucellosis, typhoid fever, and trichinellosis. Manifestations include fever, chills, headache, myalgias, and exacerbation of cutaneous lesions. The reaction has been attributed to liberation of endotoxin-like substances or antigens from the killed or dying microorganisms, but its exact pathogenesis is unclear. Called also Herxheimer r.Dorland’s Medical Dictionary
First, patients avoid the sun and foods with vitamin D. Herxheimer (also called Herx) reactions may pop up as the immune system rights itself and begins to attack the infection and kill bacteria.
Second, if there is a great deal of inflammation, we use fairly large doses of an antiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) called Benicar® (olmesartan) to bring the inflammation under reasonable control. Then we pulse small amounts of antibiotics, each of which inhibits the formation of the biofilm proteins in a different way. Marshall found that after vitamin D levels are balanced and the inflammation is somewhat controlled, the immune system is then able to detect the foreign bacteria and deal with them.
Herbs and homeopathic remedies are also used extensively in Lyme treatments. Carnivora® for example appears to work through the immune system and acts as an antimicrobial and virucidal, with great safety. Intravenous vitamin C can be very useful for detoxification. Chlorella’s many benefits include the ability to bind toxic metals, increase glutathione production, bind neurotoxins, and serve as an overall super-nutrient. Zeolite can be helpful in removing toxins from the body. TAO-free cats claw, olive leaf extract, and colloidal silver are used like non-pharmaceutical antibiotics.
Energetic approaches: Homeopathy teaches us that everything in the world carries frequencies which are unique identifiers. Science teaches us that we can discover some of these frequencies by using measurement equipment like mass spectrometers. The treatment of physical ailments using energetic frequencies has been known for centuries. Examples are the laying on of hands and the use of infra-red sauna. Some frequencies are beneficial, some are harmful – an example of the latter would be microwave energy, which cooks our food (helpful) but can also damage our bodies (harmful). Certain frequencies are damaging to specific types of organisms, but not damaging to our own bodies – these frequencies can be used to good therapeutic effect.
One of the real challenges for the patient is that often the agents employed to knock down Lyme and co-infections lose their efficacy over time. There may be an initial beneficial impact, inducing Herx reactions and improvement, but eventually the bacteria learn how to outsmart it. So, depending upon the severity of the case, many different approaches are used.
When treating Lyme, there is no perfect remedy for everyone. But the better shape you are in when you start treatment, the better the outcome will likely be. The shape you are in is determined in large measure by the integrity of your inner terrain.
INFECTIONS FROM THE TOXIC LOAD
The predominant focus in many treatment programs is the elimination of infection. Patients take antibiotics and other anti-microbial agents, but a holistic approach considers what factors set the stage for illness in the first place – what is the condition of the inner terrain.
The average person today has a high total body burden of pathogens. There are 10 times as many microbes within us as there are cells in our body. Some of those microbes play a good role, like bacteria which help digest food, but many are pathogenic, meaning they harm us.
The more toxic we become, the more pathogens are able take over. Various studies have shown that we all have a toxic body burden of heavy metals – lead, mercury, aluminum, and cadmium for example. Pathogens bind to and tightly hold heavy metals. Fungi such as Candida have an affinity for binding heavy metals. Stored toxins suppress the immune system, creating an environment where chronic infections flourish. An immune system weakened by toxins enables pathogens to take hold. To make things worse, the pathogenic microbes themselves are a producer of toxins in the body.
However, as heavy metals, fungi, and environmental toxins are removed, blood flow is enhanced. The microbes are less likely to survive in a body with adequate blood flow and optimal distribution of oxygen. Mold, fungi, and other microorganisms that may be making us unwell will not survive. The microbes lose their playground and our health recovers.
Beyond the damage that B. burgdorferi and co-infections themselves create, they prompt the body to create fibrin which protects the organisms from the reach of many therapeutic interventions by thickening the blood and providing the pathogens with a place to hide. Viscous (thick) blood reduces the body’s ability to get nutrients in and toxins out of tissues.
Fortunately, the reverse is also true. The more we can do to reduce our toxic load, the more capable our bodies will be of managing chronic infections which are universally present. An excellent way to begin to relieve the toxic body burden is with colon hydrotherapy. Chelation of heavy metals is a time-honored, useful therapy for reducing chronic inflammation. Amalgam dental fillings are an ongoing and significant source of mercury toxicity; partnering with a biological dentist is important for those who have mercury in their mouth.
The connection between mold and Lyme disease increasingly pops up in the literature. Mold mycotoxins can form 36-48 hours after water intrusion into drywall, insulation, carpeting or cellulose-filled materials; EPA reports 30% of USA structures have indoor mold. Mold spores contain potent nerve toxins or neurotoxins. When these spores are inhaled, about three out of four people can produce antibodies to the toxins and quickly eliminate them. But one out of four has a genetic makeup that does not identify the toxins as invaders and does not eliminate them effectively. The liver can send them to the digestive tract via the bile, but they are quickly reabsorbed back into the blood. The result is that continual or repeated exposures to mold toxins result in an ever increasing amount of these toxins in the body. When Lyme is also present, Lyme toxins also build up in the body the same way. Mold and Lyme toxins attach to fat cells and cause the fat cells to continually release inflammatory cytokines. The result is chronic inflammation, often with symptoms such as fatigue, pain, brain fog and out of control weight gain.
KEEPING THE GENIE IN THE BOTTLE
The disease can be controlled, but it can almost never be eradicated. It waits, like a genie in a bottle, for the right moment to pop out. Although some still want to dispute the concept of chronic Lyme, the abilities of latent bacteria are well documented elsewhere. People who had a childhood case of chicken pox can have a case of shingles, for example, much later in life. Shingles is a reactivation of the virus that has been in the body in a dormant form. The testimony of thousands of Lyme patients is that the genie comes out of the bottle when life delivers a major stress such as a death in the family, a surgery, or the loss of a career.
Most people with chronic Lyme seem to wrestle with it for the rest of their lives. The most successful learn to control it by avoiding foods which feed Lyme and its co-infections such as sugar, refined carbs, alcohol, gluten, and caffeine. They also use chelation to lessen the chronic inflammatory burden of metals and infections, and systemic enzymes to lessen fibrin and thin the blood. Cutting edge research is looking into the effects that genetically modified foods and EMF from cell phones and such may have on Lyme and its co-infections.
“Under Our Skin”
This excellent documentary walks you through Lyme’s biology, and its political and economic dimensions. The film consists in large part of interviews with people who have suffered from chronic Lyme disease. You can order the CD on line or watch it in my office.
See movie trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxWgS0XLVqw&feature=channel
To find out how to host a screening of the movie, visit http://www.underourskin.com/screenings_host.html
Cure Unknown – Inside the Lyme Epidemic, ©2008
By Pamela Weintraub
This senior editor of Discover Magazine interviews key players in the Lyme disease controversy. She also reveals her personal odyssey after she, her husband and their two sons became seriously ill in the 1990s. In many cases, doctors are woefully unable or unwilling to diagnose Lyme. Then, once-treatable infections become chronic, inexorably disseminating to cause disabling conditions that may never be cured.
The Top 10 Lyme Disease Treatments: Defeat Lyme Disease With The Best Of Conventional And Alternative Medicine
By Bryan Rosner
Lyme Disease is one of the most stubborn, treatment-resistant infections in the world and spreading rapidly on all continents. Recent research indicates that, in addition to tick bites, Lyme Disease may also be transmitted by sexual contact and bites from other insects. More difficult than diagnosing Lyme Disease is successfully treating it. In many cases, standard antibiotic treatment fails and symptoms persist.
When Antibiotics Fail… Lyme Disease and Rife Machines
By Bryan Rosner
“Written for people who actually have a case of Lyme disease that is not responding to conventional antibiotic treatment. Lyme disease sufferers want to know their options, not how to identify a tick.” Rosner speaks about the use of frequency-generating machines to kill infectious bacteria.
The Lyme-Autism Connection: Unveiling the Shocking Link Between Lyme Disease and Childhood Developmental Disorders
by Tami Duncan, Bryan Rosner
Science has found compelling similarities between Lyme disease and autism. At first glance, they may appear to be dissimilar conditions, new research increasingly shows that they are most certainly connect.
The Baker’s Dozen & the Lunatic Fringe: Has Junk Science Shifted the Lyme Disease Paradigm?
By PJ Langhoff
Midwest author and Lyme patient PJ Langhoff chronicles the politics, conflicts of interest, academic ties, research, and IDSA guidelines for Lyme disease. Third in a series, this book reveals key evidence offered during CT Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s anti-trust investigation into the Infectious Disease Society of America’s (IDSA) clinical practice guidelines for Lyme disease.
Public Health Alert
A monthly newspaper of the Lyme community, available by subscription. Past issues available on line at http://www.publichealthalert.org
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