Lyme Disease and Naturopathy

Lyme disease is an infection caused by a bacteria called Borellia of which there are many types. Borellia is a spiral shaped bacteria that is transmitted through ticks and may also be able to be transmitted from person to person.  Lyme disease is becoming more and more prevalent in Australia and is something Katherine treats commonly in her practice.

Diagnosis of Lyme disease is very difficult because the blood tests available are not 100% reliable. The symptoms of Lyme disease are many and can vary from person to person. There are many symptoms of Lyme disease that occur in other conditions and it is often misdiagnosed.

People with Lyme disease are also prone to numerous co-infections, which come with their own symptoms that can overlap with Lyme symptoms. These co-infections can come from the same tick bite as the Lyme bacteria, or they can occur due to the depletion of the Lyme patient’s immune system.

Lyme disease commonly presents with the following co-infections

  • Bartonella
  • Babesia
  • Mycoplasma
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Chlamydia
  • Rickettsia

These can range from one to many. It is also very common to see Lyme patients with viruses and overgrowth of organisms like candida.

Naturopathy for the treatment of Lyme disease

Naturopathy is an ideal therapy for patients with Lyme disease due to the complexity of the condition.  As well as targeting the Borellia bacteria and co-infections using herbal immune enhancers, antimicrobial and antiparasitic herbs, treatment looks at the recovery of the whole person, and can include:

  • Anti-inflammatory support
  • Adrenal and nervous system support
  • Digestive support
  • Biofilm breakdown
  • Detoxification (to prevent Herx reactions)
  • Hormonal support
  • Energy support

Katherine has never seen 2 patients with Lyme disease that have had the same presentation. The bacteria will affect each person in different areas. Treatment is varied depending on symptom picture, co-infections and other blood markers which show how the body is responding.

Naturopathy alongside conventional antibiotic or antiprotozoal treatment

Many patients with Lyme disease will receive naturopathic treatment alongside their conventional antibiotics. This can help to improve the effectiveness of antibiotics, reduce Herxeimer reactions and support the body in healing and recovery.

Katherine is happy to work alongside your LLMD to work towards the best outcome for you.

For more information about Lyme treatment for you as an individual, ask Katherine a question here.

To make an appointment with Katherine at her Brisbane clinic, call 07 3367 0337.

Bacterial Biofilms and Chronic Disease

There is a lot of mounting evidence for the role of bacterial biofilms in the persistence of chronic infections and the associated conditions that they cause or exacerbate. Bacteria are becoming increasing resistant to antibiotics and attack by your immune system. The reason for this is that bacteria are evolving to thwart efforts to kill them.

Many bacteria will lose their cell membranes – making them impermeable to certain antibiotics. Perhaps an even more effective defense is that of biofilms – where the bacteria group together, sometimes with other types of bacteria and create a natural biofilm – a cover made from proteins that very effectively protect the bacteria from attack.

Within this biofilm, bacteria are safe from attack from your immune system and any herbal or medical antibiotic therapy. This can lead to very slow progress for the patient and a long drawn out treatment time, if they are able to get on top of it at all.

What conditions are biofilms associated with?

This is nor a complete list – nearly any bacterial infection has the potential for biofilm creation.

Lyme Disease – The spiral bacteria Borellia is difficult to eradicate due to the presence of biofilms.

Chronic Sinusitis – some studies have shown up to 80% of patients with surgery due to chronic sinusitis have evidence of bacteria within biofilms.

Mouth and teeth problems – plaque is a biofilm, harboring bacteria, which can lead to cavities and gingivitis

Chronic wounds – bacterial biofilms in wounds can prevent wounds from healing.

Cystic fibrosis – Individuals with cystic fibrosis have bacteria colonizing in the lungs from a young age. Early on Staphylococcus aureus and Hemophilus influenza can form biofilms but in later stages Pseudomonas aeruginosa is more virulent. P. aeruginosa is associated with mortality in cystic fibrosis.

Recurring urinary tract infections – recurring UTIs may be due to the presence of biofilm on the bladder wall, preventing effective treatment of the infection.

Chronic fatigue syndrome and Fibromyalgia – CFS  and FM can be associated with many different bacterial infections, many of which can remain virulent with biofilms.

 How do you treat biofilms?

Treatment to breakdown biofilms is essential in and disease which involves chronic infection. In my patients I use a biofilm breakdown protocol which can involve the use of specific enzyme therapy to ‘digest’ the film, along with specific herbs which have been shown to be effective in targeting biofilms.

Fortunately, herbal antibacterials and antifungals do not have the same problems as antibiotics around bacterial resistance, and a targeted biofilm attack protocol along with specific antibacterial or antifungal treatments is usually very effective in bringing down levels of overgrown or infectious pathogens.

If you’d like to know if Katherine can help with your particular condition, ask her a question or call 07 3367 0337.

 

This is a great video about biofilms with some imagery on how they work…

 

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