Article - When Life Hands You Lyme: Six Innovative Treatments for Lyme Disease
If you’ve been diagnosed with Lyme disease, chances are good you’ve been prescribed a 30-day course of antibiotics. That may be fine, says Dr. Adam Breiner—but it may not be enough to keep symptoms at bay. You may find the problems you’re having return a few weeks, months, or even years later.
According to Dr. Breiner, that’s because the Borrelia bacteria (which causes Lyme disease) likes to “hide out” in tissues where oxygen and therefore blood flow are reduced, such as connective tissues.
“Borrelia has also been found to create biofilms, which are like a walled-in city,” he says. “Bacteria can live here in safety until antibiotics are no longer in the body’s system. Then the Borrelia bacteria will reemerge, causing symptoms of Lyme disease to appear once again.”
So how should you treat Lyme disease? While Dr. Breiner is adamant that no one treatment is guaranteed to work for every patient, he describes six “alternative” approaches that consistently get great outcomes:
Botanical Medicine. No matter how advanced medical science becomes, never underestimate the powers of Mother Nature! Many antimicrobial herbs and herbal formula combinations have been shown to effectively kill Borrelia burgdorferi (the bacteria that causes Lyme disease) and other tick-borne pathogens.
“Herbs have an incredibly complex combination of phytochemicals that can be very harmful to certain bacteria, yet are harmless to people,” Dr. Breiner shares. “Even top PhD pharmaceutical researchers have a hard time creating such things in the lab! Incorporating botanical medicine into a patient’s overall treatment protocol can help prevent a resistance to medications such as antibiotics from forming.”
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is incredibly effective at killing Borrelia burgdorferi. In fact, one clinical study has shown that 75 percent of patients with chronic Lyme disease experience improvements in their symptoms while using HBOT. (Of this 75 percent, a quarter experience complete remission of symptoms!)
During HBOT, patients are placed inside a hyperbaric oxygen chamber with an oxygen concentration of 100 percent. The chamber is slowly raised between 1.5 to 2 times the normal atmospheric pressure, allowing more oxygen to enter the bloodstream and cerebral spinal fluid.
“Borrelia bacteria are microphilic anaerobes, meaning that they don’t like a lot of oxygen,” Dr. Breiner explains. “Under hyperbaric conditions, the concentration of oxygen can become great enough to kill Borrelia, especially in combination with antibiotic and/or herbal therapies. Furthermore, since HBOT reduces inflammation in the brain and other tissues, it can bring healing and resolution to many of the inflammatory side effects of Lyme disease, such as brain fog and other neurological impairments.”
EEG Neurofeedback. An electroencephalogram (EEG) is one of the most accurate tools to measure the functioning of the brain. As patients’ brain waves are read in real time, special software gives rewards—for example, audible feedback or making a movie brighter—when optimal brain wave patterns occur. This prompts the brain to subconsciously repattern itself.
“Neurofeedback can help treat the ‘brain fog’ from which many Lyme patients suffer,” Dr. Breiner says. “Certain neurofeedback protocols can even help boost the immune system, since the brain is the master commander of the immune system.”
Diet. Diets that are pro-inflammatory and depleted of nutrients (i.e., the average American diet!) cause imbalances in the body’s biochemistry. Specifically, says Dr. Breiner, the body will become more acidic and inflamed, and less oxygen will be available on the cellular level. Infections such as Borrelia burgdorferi thrive in these conditions. Borrelia bacteria and other co-infections common with Lyme then release their own toxins, which further disrupt cellular functions and chemistry. Enter nutritional intervention, which focuses on using supplements and a proper diet to restore biochemical balance.
“Blood tests and hair analysis can tell a clinician which nutrients are most needed for a particular patient,” Dr. Breiner explains. “These tests can also indicate how the patient’s body best metabolizes foods, and which type of diet will work best. Most Lyme patients will benefit from a low-glycemic, high-antioxidant diet rich in fresh organic produce. Patients should also be tested for hidden food sensitivities, such as to gluten, since these can increase inflammation.”
Homeopathic Medicines. Homeopathics are gentle yet effective medicines that use highly diluted natural substances to stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities. They can boost the immune system to more effectively fight the infectious pathogenic organisms that are contributing to the Lyme patient’s symptoms (including the Borrelia bacteria, viruses, and other co-infections). Homeopathics can also assist various organs in eliminating toxins.
“Homeopathics do not actually kill the organisms themselves, but send information to the body that tells it to ‘wake up’ and address pathogens via its natural immune responses,” Dr. Breiner comments. “The remedies chosen are tailored to the individual patient and may be updated on subsequent visits as organism levels change.”
Acupuncture. Traditional Oriental medicine such as acupuncture is rapidly finding its way into the mainstream—and for good reason. Dr. Breiner explains that electromagnetic energy (referred to as Qi) flows in “rivers” (or meridians) throughout the body. When certain meridians have too much or too little Qi flowing through them, the body becomes imbalanced. This can be corrected by tapping into acupuncture points where the “rivers” of energetic meridians tend to “well.”
“Lyme disease tends to create energetic blockages that can contribute to the patient’s symptoms and make them harder to treat,” Dr. Breiner shares. “For instance, many patients have blockages in some of the meridians that feed energy to the head, and may experience symptoms such as brain fog or headaches. These same energetic blockages can prevent medicines from reaching their intended destination. On the flip side, the toxic die-off of the Borrelia bacteria may have more difficulty exiting the body effectively. Opening these energetic blockages through acupuncture will often improve a patient’s symptoms and allow other therapies to work more effectively.”
Oh, and one other thing: Do the best you can to purify your body and live a healthy lifestyle. This is great advice for all of us—but especially for those whose health has been compromised by Lyme disease.
“It’s important to supplement antibiotics with natural therapies that promote whole-body balance,” comments Dr. Breiner. “When the body is overwhelmed with toxins, chemicals, viruses, and bacteria (which is a common state of affairs in the modern world), the organs of detoxification like the liver and lymphatic system become stressed and overtaxed. This makes it much less likely that they’ll be able to fight off Lyme disease and its symptoms.”