Chronic Lyme disease is considered an autoimmune condition by most natural medicine practitioners. Although anti-biotics can be a helpful adjunct to treatment for those with chronic Lyme disease, my patients have taught me that alone, anti-biotics are not very helpful once Lyme disease is in the chronic stage. Many patients who have been diagnosed with Lyme disease (confirmed by Western Blot blood testing), will state that they do not recall a specific tick bite that might have led to their infection. A very common scenario in my clinic is that their symptoms most associated with chronic Lyme disease (fatigue, joint pain, foggy brain, muscle pain, bone pain, gastrointestinal issues, nervous system issues, anxiety, depression are among the most common), show up following a “traumatic event” ie: loss of a loved one, divorce, high stress time at work/with family/with friends, a motor vehicle accident, abuse, financial loss… Symptoms can show up gradually or all of a sudden in any order and progressively get worse with more and more symptoms showing up with time. Often times, conventional medicine tests for Lyme disease are considered negative and Lyme disease is ruled out given the high percentage of false negatives our current main-stream Lyme testing produce. Additional testing through IgenX, Neuroscience or Advanced Laboratory Services Inc. – all with their own specific way of testing for Lyme disease may be necessary to truly rule in/out Lyme disease.
Naturopathic Approach to Lyme Disease
A naturopathic approach to treating someone with Lyme disease is a multifactorial and complex process. I once heard someone say “if you’ve met one person with Lyme disease, you’ve met one person with Lyme disease”, meaning everyone’s symptoms and what works for them for treatment is always different and unique to the individual. One underlying theme that does seem to come up in every Lyme book, Lyme course, Lyme seminar I’ve ever taken is detox. So that may be where I start. If fatigue is the main issues, I may start with clinical nutrition for mitochondrial support. If heart burn is the main symptom, I may start with a gut restoration program. If new symptoms have recently shown up following a long course of anti-biotics, I may start with an anti-candidia plan. The treatment is slow and long as together we work to put health back into your most affected tissues, to support your immune system to best fight the bug and to support overall health.