Lyme Disease: Diagnosis & Treatment

Lyme disease is an infectious illness that is transmitted to humans through a bite from an infected tick. Borrelia burgdorferi and less common, Borrelia mayonii are the bacterium’s responsible for this infectious illness. 

There are different stages of infection in Lyme Disease: 

Stage 1: Early Localized Disease 

The textbook sign of early local infection with Lyme disease is Erythema Migrans which means “migrating redness” which is an expanding rash which is only seen in 50% of the cases making it easy to be missed by many health care providers. Your health care provider should consider Lyme Disease if there is a skin rash which may or may not look like a bull’s eye, fatigue, flu like symptoms, headache, swollen lymph nodes, joint pain and/or muscle soreness after being outside i.e. camping, hiking.

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Stage 2: Early Disseminated Lyme

This stage typically occurs several weeks or months after the initial tick bite. Bacteria are beginning to spread throughout the blood stream, contributing to an increase in symptoms such as heart problems (palpitations, chest pain), facial paralysis (Bell’s Palsy), vision changes and mood changes are common. 

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Stage 3: Late Disseminated Lyme Disease (Chronic Lyme Disease)

In the event that Lyme disease isn’t treated in the aforementioned two stages and the bacteria have spread throughout the body many people develop chronic arthritis, cardiac and even neurological symptoms. 

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Joseph Burrascano, MD, a physician who wrote “Advance Topics in Lyme Disease: Diagnostic Hints and Treatment Guidelines for Lyme & Other Tick-Borne Illness,” offers the following criteria for the diagnosis of Chronic Lyme Disease: 

  1. Illness present for a minimum of 1 year
  2. Ongoing major neurologic involvement (meningitis, encephalitis/encephalopathy) or active manifestations (active synovitis)
  3. Active infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, regardless of prior antibiotic therapy (if administered). 

The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS), has adopted a set of treatment guidelines which is available at the hyperlink. 

Lyme Disease: The Great Imitator

Lyme disease which has also been referred to as the “Great Imitator.” The following list are illnesses that Lyme disease can mimic. 

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Attention deficit disorder 
  • Autism
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome 
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Encephalitis
  • Fibromyalgia 
  • Interstitial cystitis 
  • Irritable bowel syndrome 
  • Juvenile arthritis 
  • Lupus Meningitis 
  • Motor neuron disease 
  • Multiple sclerosis 
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder 
  • Parkinson’s disease 
  • Psychiatric disorders (depression, bipolar, OCD, etc.)
  • Raynaud’s syndrome 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis 
  • Scleroderma
  • Sjogren’s syndrome 
  • Thyroid disorders 

Diagnosis

Start with the following Lab tests:

  • CD57 Panel (Cellular stress) (HNK-1) (LabCorp: 505026)
    • The CD57 is not a test to detect Lyme disease as it is an immune marker that often times tends to be lower in the presence of Lyme disease. The lower the CD57 count appears to be generally the sicker the patient. 
    • Measuring the CD57 count is helpful for two reasons:
      1. Other illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis might mimic Lyme disease however; those illnesses will not cause a drop in the CD57, so this marker can help determine Lyme disease from other chronic illnesses which have similar presentations. 
      2. CD57 can be used to track treatment progress because it should return to normal levels as the infection improves. 
  • Complement C4a (Complement Stress) (LabCorp: 004330)

Herbal Treatment

  • Begin with 3 drops of the recommended herbals in a glass of water, twice a day. The herbals can be mixed in the same glass of water. Each day, add an additional 3 drops of each herbal, working up to 30 drops twice a day in 10 days. At that time, you don’t need to count the drops, but just use one dropperful twice a day. When an herbal has been worked up to one dropperful in a two-month period, and it is the one carried over to the next two-month period, you don’t have to start low – just continue at one dropperful twice a day. If the patient experiences adverse symptoms, it is probably die-off (that’s good). The patient should contact you and reduce the dosage until the die-off symptoms have stabilized. 
  • 1st two-month internal of herbal treatment.  
    • Begin with Cumanda and Samento and use these as directed for two months. Always start low (three drops twice a day) and go slow with any new herbal products.  
  • 2nd two-month interval of herbal treatment. 
    • After taking Cumanda and Samento for two months, discontinue Cumanda and add Banderol, and take Samento and Banderol for the next two months. When starting any new herbal product start low and go slow. 
  • 3rd two-month interval of herbal treatment. 
    • After taking Banderol and Samento for two months, discontinue Samento and add Enula, and take Enula and Banderol for the next two months. When starting any new herbal product, start low and go slow. 
  • 4th two-month interval of herbal treatment. 
    • After taking Enula and Banderol for two months, discontinue Banderol and add Houttuynia, and take Enula and Houttuynia for the next two months. When starting any new herbal product start low and go slow. 
  • 5th two-month interval of herbal treatment. 
    • After taking Enula and Houttuynia for two months, discontinue Enula and add Mora, and take Mora and Houttuynia for the next two months. When starting any new herbal product, start low and go slow. 
  • 6th two-month interval of herbal treatment. 
    • After taking Mora and Houttuynia for two months, discontinue Houttuynia and add Cumanda, and take Cumanda and Mora for the next two months. When starting any new herbal product, start low and go slow. 
  • Continue this rotating process indefinitely, removing one herbal product every two months and then adding another as previously detailed. 

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