Second Opinion Magazine
Is Chronic Lyme Disease Real?
By A. J. Lindsley, Lindsley Chiropractic
The question of chronic Lyme disease is one I often answer in my office on a daily basis for my patients who have previously been diagnosed with Lyme disease and have been treated with antibiotics. Although they followed the standard of care for treatment and a course of antibiotics, many of their symptoms seem to persist for years after the initial diagnosis. Other patients may fall into another category that have symptoms associated with Lyme disease but have never been treated for Lyme disease due to the fact that they tested negative on the standard Western Blot test and did not have the bull’s-eye rash that is characteristic in some that have been infected by a tick. Often individuals seeking care by our medical system in these situations are told that all of their symptoms are in their head, and some are even referred to seek psychiatric help instead of the medical practitioner really listening to the patient and all of the symptoms.
One of the causes of chronic Lyme is the biofilms that bacteria and parasites are able to wrap themselves in during a normal course of antibiotic treatment, allowing many of the bacteria and parasites associated with Lyme disease to go hide wrapped in these biofilms, waiting for the immune system to become weakened before attacking again.
The truth about so many of these patients are suffering from a hidden case of Lyme disease is that the testing methods are not good enough to detect the chronic cases. A simple blood draw on a chronic Lyme disease patient may show they have made antibodies to the Lyme bacteria, but often the number of bands (five specific bands are required) to create a CDC (Center for Disease Control positive Lyme case) are not present. Chronic Lyme hides in the brain and joints, which is considered outside the blood stream. None of the testing methods that are standard actually test these tissues, and over time they turn into a chronic disease diagnosis with very little understand
Many of the bacteria and parasites associated with Lyme leave the blood stream and invade the joint tissue using the synovial fluid and cartilage as its long-term living quarters. These bugs secrete ammonia which is 46,000 times higher pH than our tissue. Our immune system recognizes these chemical toxins and reacts by creating superoxide and peroxide as part of our immune response to these invaders. Most of us have used peroxide on a cut because it is good at killing bacteria that may be in the cut. The body uses the same peroxide to help fight infections in our tissues. The problem becomes when we have a long-standing infection in our tissues (joint and brain tissue) with ammonia and peroxide reacting in these tissues, we often see the effects as many different diagnoses that are dismissed as part of the aging process.
Chronic Lyme exposure in the brain tissue often results in one of four common neurological diagnosis: MS (multiple sclerosis), ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis—Lou Gehrig’s disease), Parkinson’s, or some form of dementia. Many of these neurological processes are considered partially genetic but have a strong association with autoimmune issues where the body has become confused and overwhelmed to the point where it attacks itself. Slowly we are seeing the number of people with these diseases rising with no known cause and no real treatment. Today one in nine Americans (11 percent) at sixty-five years of age have a diagnosis of dementia, one in four (25 percent) at seventy-five years of age, and one in two (50 percent) at eighty-five years old. Currently 5 million Americans have dementia, and in twenty-five years 25 million diagnosed cases are predicted. Forget about nursing homes; we have a new business called memory care home facilities. Unless we begin to look for the chronic Lyme in the brain tissue and develop specific testing for these tissues, we will see these neurological diseases continue to rise and progress into younger and younger generations.
We are seeing, I believe, the same effects in chronic joint conditions. In the United States we are currently replacing over a million hips and knees per year! The prediction is 4 million joint replacements per year by 2035. Very few people are physically active enough to wear their joints out in a lifetime, so we have to ask ourselves what could be causing this extreme number of failures. Even more concerning is the number of non-contact sport injuries we are seeing in our young children. There have been over a million knee surgeries on children under the age of eighteen for ACL and meniscus tears in our young athletes. These injuries were unheard of just twenty years ago. I hear all the time in my clinic how these kids are pushed too hard in sports year-round. The truth is that a conditioned athlete does not get injured; an athlete with a hidden case of Lyme is chronically injured. Some of these injuries may be attributed to some trace mineral deficiencies but certainly not to overtraining.
Chronic Lyme, I believe, is the main factor involved in most of the “chronic disease processes” we are seeing affecting all generations and much earlier than ever before.
For more information, contact Lindsley Chiropractic Clinic & Natural Healing Center, 1565 195th Ave., Bloomer, WI 54724, 715-568-5058, www.lindsleychiropractic.com