October 28, 2013

Lyme Disease, Part 4

Articles by Dr. Erdman are for informational purposes, and are not to be taken as specific medical advice.

Lyme disease is a difficult condition to diagnose. Testing is often ordered incorrectly, or the tests ordered are not the best available.

Most commercial tests designed to detect chronic infections are based on measuring your body’s immune reaction (the presence of antibodies) to the microbe. The problem with Lyme is that the primary cells it infects are white blood cells themselves. Why is this a problem? Because if white blood cells are infected, they lose the ability to produce antibodies, which is what the tests are looking for. This is a false negative test result.

There are direct blood tests for the co-infections associated with Lyme, such as Babesia. But, the blood tests have difficulties too. For example, the FISH test for Babesia is done on blood, but it lives primarily in the central nervous system, joints and connective tissue. It doesn’t live in the blood stream, at least in significant amounts, so it is easily missed when looking in the blood.

Dr. Klinghardt, an expert on Lyme, relies on his initial workup of the patient for a tentative Lyme diagnosis. He then treats for 6 to 8 weeks, then does a Western Blot to measure for an immune response to the treatment.

The gold standard for testing the blood is done by the IGeneX lab in Palo Alto, California, and Fry Labs in Arizona is used for direct microscopy testing by Dr. Klinghardt.

IGeneX lab testing is different than other labs in that they test for two different antigens instead of just one. The Western Blot test and the FISH test for Borrelia are done at this lab by Dr. Klinghardt.

Bartonella, another co-infection, is tested by Fry Labs, because they look for it in the blood, where it usually does not live. If they find it there, then it has over whelmed its normal host sites in the nervous system, and is spilling into the blood.

Another indirect test for Lyme is the CD57 test. CD57 is a specific group of natural killer cells, made by the body, that become particularly damaged by the Borelia (Lyme) spirochete. Therefore, if the numbers of these cells drop ff, it is an indicator of the presence of Lyme. This is because Lyme is the only known infection to suppress the production of the CD57 killer cells.

Dr. Klinghardt has very specific treatment protocols for his approach to Lyme. You can go to his website at www.Klinghardtacademy.com/Lyme-disease.

You see, the conventional treatment of Lyme disease using long term antibiotics can be effective. This approach disrupts your gut flora, which exposes you to many other pathologies.

A more natural approach is possible, says Dr. Klinghardt. An approach that treats the whole person, eliminating toxic metals, molds, electrosmog, insulin resistance and other toxicities can not only help you recover from Lyme, but help you resist a host of other maladies such as cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.

One other distinction I must make is that of where you get your information on Lyme disease. The IDSA, the Infection Disease Society of America, publishes a guideline for Lyme disease. Its authors claim Lyme is easily cured in 2 weeks with antibiotics, with some cases rarely needing a full 28 day course. They also claim there is no evidence for chronic Borrelia infection. They do not take all the current literature into account, and are not a good source of information.

There is a much better source of information. A group called ILADS, or the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society, is by far the best and most responsible group. Visit them at www.ILADS.org. You must look for an ILADS trained doctor at the very least.

Another good source of information is put out by the IGeneX labs. This can be found at www.LYmeDiseaseAssociation.org.

Upon embarking on this series of articles on Lyme, I was contacted by one of the first people I remember who, after much misdiagnosis, was finally diagnosed with Lyme. He has become an expert on Lyme, and its treatment. Mr. Doug Stettler, who has given me permission to use his name, runs the Central Pennsylvania Lyme Disease Support Group. They meet the first Wednesday of the month at Evangelical Community Hospital at 7:00 p.m. You may call him at 570-286-6918 for more information. As a disclaimer, I do not know precisely all of the information they put out, but I believe he has more contacts and knowledge of where to proceed than I do, simply because he has gone through the process himself. I am in the information gathering stage of my search into Lyme disease, so I don’t have great answers on direct treatment locally at this time. I’m still learning, just like you.

I hope this series of articles has pointed you in the right direction in looking for answers about Lyme disease. Like I said, I’m no expert. I’m always learning new things, and I hope I never need to experience Lyme, in order to talk about it with some knowledge. This series of articles has spawned the most interest of any I have written. Thank you for reading “2 Cents 4 Health."