Written by Dr. Diane Mueller
Chronic Lyme Disease Treatment in some ways is like acute Lyme Disease treatment, but with more complicated layers. The main difference in many ways between acute versus chronic Lyme Disease Treatment comes down to the number of tissues and organs that are impacted. Lyme Disease, caused by the bacteria, Borrelia, is spiral in shape resembling a corkscrew. This shape allows it to burrow deep into tissues and cells. In addition, it also has a flagella (tail), which allows it to go even deeper. Because of this, in many ways the difference between acute and chronic Lyme comes down to how many different tissues have been invaded.
In acute Lyme (treated in the first 3 months), the symptoms tend to be mostly flu like symptoms, rashes, or joint pain. Occasionally people can have more severe symptoms, such as neurological problems, cognitive problems and severe headaches in the acute phase. Mostly people if they catch Lyme early, feel like it is just the flu.
Now, once Lyme is chronic, it can cause all sorts of symptoms that can be quite scary. (see our blog Lyme Disease Symptoms for more information). The antibiotic drugs or herbs that are used for the treatment of Lyme disease are important in both the acute and chronic stages of Lyme. The biggest difference when it comes to chronic Lyme Disease treatment is how long the herb/drugs are used and the number of organs/glands that have been impacted that will need to be repaired.
In this article we want to discuss a different part of chronic Lyme Disease treatment which is treatment for the chronic coinfections. Coinfections are other diseases that are transmitted when we get bit by insects. Common coinfections that many people have when they have Lyme include: Babesia, Bartonella, Anaplasma, and Ehrlichia. There are also viruses that can be contracted.
Bartonella is a bacteria that is transmitted via insects. It can cause a wide range of symptoms, which can complicate the Lyme Disease picture. For Treatment of Bartonella, consider azithromycin, clarithromycin, rifampin, methylene blue, and cipro. We have had great luck with the use of methylene blue. If you use this, make sure to test for a G6PD deficiency. In addition, it is an MAO-I drug so be careful with other drugs that influence serotonin. Many times, bartonella treatment works best when two of these drugs are combined.
If you use herbs for bartonella, smilax is our absolute favorite and works really well.
Li T, Feng J, Xiao S, Shi W, Sullivan D, Zhang Y. Identification of FDA-Approved Drugs with Activity against Stationary Phase Bartonella henselae. Antibiotics (Basel). 2019 Apr 29;8(2):50. doi: 10.3390/antibiotics8020050. PMID: 31035691; PMCID: PMC6628006.
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