Basic Information and Overview
- What is Lyme Disease?
- How is Lyme Disease Spread?
- How is Lyme Disease Diagnosed?
- How is Lyme Disease Treated?
- 4 Forms of Lyme B. Burgdorferi
- Early Stage Symptoms
- The Key to Early Diagnosis
- Later Stage Symptoms
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- 3 Steps, in Brief
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease (Ld), often misspelled, ‘Lime’, is named after the town of Lyme, Connecticut, where a cluster of cases were identified in 1975. Ticks infected with Lyme disease were actually present in Massachusetts in the 1920s and 1930s. Lyme infected ticks from Long Island, New York, were collected in the late 1940s to early 1950s.
Then in 1975, a cluster of cases brought formal recognition of the disease. A number of children and some adults in the town of Lyme, Connecticut, mysteriously showed up with what looked like rheumatoid arthritis. The disease was named after the town. In the United States, it is most prevalent in the north-east and northern mid-west. However, now Lyme disease has spread across the country. (1)
Other names are sometimes used because it is a bacterial infection that can be caused by over 300 different strains of the genus, borrelia, found worldwide. It is also called Borrelia, Borreliosis, Lyme Burgdoferi or Lyme Arthritis (because arthritis is one of the symptoms). In the United States, Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) is the predominant cause of Lyme disease and the name is also often used. In most European cases, Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii are implicated.
The organism responsible for Lyme disease was identified in 1981 by Dr. Willy Burgdorfer. Since then, it is often referred to as Borrelia burgdorferi (B. burgdorferi, or Bb) after its discoverer. (2)
How is Lyme Disease Spread?
The bacteria can be spread by several means but the most common way is by tick bites. Now, Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the Northern Hemisphere. It used to be that ticks were the only method of spreading. However, there have been new reports of lyme spirochetes in biting flies, as well as mosquitoes.
There is also now evidence of sexual and breast milk transmission – though these routes are still being established. The story is getting worse! Recent studies reveal Lyme disease is now transmitted:
- By human-to-human transmission, including from mother to fetus. (3)
- Spirochetes have been found in semen, vaginal fluid. (4)
- In tear ducts, sweat, and mothers’ breast milk. (5)
- The CDC found Lyme bacteria live in blood that has been purified for donation.
- If you have Lyme, you will be told not to donate your blood. (6) (Blood banks do not screen for Lyme.)
- Dairy cattle have been found by researchers at the University of Wisconsin to be infected with the Bb bacterium, which raises the question of whether milk or other products in our food chain may be a danger.(7)
The number of Lyme disease cases in the United States has doubled in the decade since 1991 – and doubled again the last decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are nearly 325,000 new cases each year – making Lyme disease an epidemic larger than AIDS, West Nile Virus, and Avian Flu combined. Now, a new, more accurate test will surely greatly increase the number of diagnosed cases.
How is Lyme Disease Diagnosed?
There are no clinical Lyme disease tests at this time that can first diagnose a patient with the Lyme disease bacterium. They are also unable to show that a patient is now free of the bacterium. Therefore Lyme disease has to be a “clinical diagnosis”. This is based on observing signs and symptoms, along with travel conditions, to help form a diagnosis.
This presents huge problems. The biggest problem is that lyme disease very often goes undiagnosed – which is not very good because it allows it to progress. Even worse, it is often wrongly diagnosed for other conditions – including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome!
How is Lyme Disease Treated?
The treatments for Lyme disease vary. The key considerations depend on how quickly the diagnosis is made and how it may have progressed into the organ systems. Of course, if diagnosis and treatment can occur early in the course of illness, it is much better. Late or inadequate treatment can make it more difficult to treat and even cause disabling conditions.
Lyme disease presents a host of challenges. Once the corkscrew-shaped spirochetes enter the bloodstream, they can cause a wide range of constitutional, musculoskeletal, and neurological symptoms. B. burgdorferi’s spiral shape aggressively embeds itself, usually first in the joints (most people complained of arthritis in the Connecticut cluster). Then the spirochetes typically go to the muscles and tendons, and can go into the heart and brain.
There are no definitive treatments at this time. Failures have occurred with all standard protocols. In a majority of cases, symptoms can be eliminated with antibiotics. Oral antibiotics can be sufficient in the early stages of the infection. For long-standing Lyme disease, intravenous antibiotics have been found to respond best.
This situation lends itself strongly to the natural use of monolaurin. We will include clinical studies on monolaurin’s effect on lyme bacterial infections in other articles. The advantages of monolaurin are that monolaurin can be used for very low cost and doesn’t interfere with other standard treatments.
4 Forms of Lyme B. Burgdorferi Make it Tough:
- Spirochete: a spiral-shaped bacterium responsible for the initial, rapid spread of the infection throughout the body and various organs thanks to its highly-mobile, drill-capable shape.
- Cyst form: is a symptomless, protective, survival-oriented form. It is elusive, difficult to identify in laboratories, and nearly impossible to kill – except for our Monolaurin, Enzyme & Detox protocol. It often lies dormant waiting for a stressful event to trigger it back to the spirochete form.
- Biofilm communities: again, another protective form by coating itself, or many bacteria, so that the immune system and antibiotics can’t get to it. It stays active, though a slower metabolism. Again, our protocol can handle it.
- CWD or cell-wall-deficient– can hide inside cells, including immune system cells, to avoid detection. Over time, the population of cell-wall-deficient bacteria tends to increase. This accounts for many of the most severe symptoms and organ dysfunctions associated with Lyme disease. CWD is sometimes called L-form. Our ‘maintenance’ protocol can kill them when they emerge from the cells.
Each of these forms is able to convert to another form under the right conditions. Think of it as different suits of armor. Cysts convert to spirochetes usually in spring and fall as a proliferation tactic, to spread the disease to other tissues. The cell-wall-deficient form is used to survive treatments – including cell wall inhibiting antibiotics.
Early Stage Symptoms
Lyme Disease is an infectious disease caused by a spirochete type bacteria – so named because it is a long, skinny ‘spiro’ snake-like shape. In its early stages, Lyme Disease is usually marked by one or more of the following symptoms:
- Flu-like symptoms, fever and chills
- A reddish rash on the skin.
- Muscle and joint pain
- Lymph node swelling
- Nervous system abnormalities.
The Key to Early Diagnosis
The key to early diagnosis is recognition of the characteristic lyme disease rash called erythema migrans. Erythema Migrans is a rash that forms a ring(s) that look like a “bulls-eye”. This ring is usually 3-4 inches in diameter. (A rash smaller than two inches generally doesn’t turn out to be lyme disease – unless it grows larger.)
This rash is observed in about 80% of Lyme Disease patients. The rash may appear on the skin within a day of the bite or as much as a month later. Common sites are the thigh, groin, trunk and armpits. The rash may be warm, but it is usually not painful. Left untreated, later stage manifestations can occur involving the joints, heart, and nervous system.
Later Stage Symptoms
Often, the first and only sign of Lyme disease is arthritis. The arthritis often appears as brief bouts of pain and swelling, usually in one or more large joints – especially the knees.
Sometimes, nervous system abnormalities are the only evidence of Lyme disease. These can include:
- Numbness, pain and meningitis.
- Mild abnormalities in liver functions
- Difficulty in breathing, pneumonia.
- Premature births, still-birth, miscarriage and neonatal deaths.
- Less frequently, irregularities of the heart rhythm may occur.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Some well-known doctors, specializing in Lyme disease, (included in our other articles) believe that Lyme Disease infections are much more common than currently believed – perhaps 10 times more! Because it is difficult to diagnose, they, and other groups, have argued that “chronic” Lyme disease is responsible for a range of medically unexplained symptoms. Common misdiagnoses of Lyme disease include:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
Misdiagnosis is especially common with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (as well as Lyme disease, itself). Many people have been experiencing relief with the nutrients in our “3-Step Program”. These people believe that Lyme disease is actually the cause of CFS symptoms. Either way, our 3 Step Program “does the job”.
3 Steps – in Brief
Step 1: Monolaurin
“Does the job” refers first to Monolaurin – the most essential step. It is what will actually kill Lyme’s disease! It is a derivative of coconut oil and is also prevalent in mother’s milk. It absorbs into the membrane of Lyme borrelia, weakening it until the membrane ruptures, killing the bacteria. It does this without harming other good bacteria because they have different membranes.
Step 2: Fibrin Dissolving Enzymes
One of the most exciting recent discoveries is that Lyme disease will build up protective barriers called cysts or biofilms. This is one of the major reasons some people have gone through years of antibiotic treatments without permanent results!
It is exciting because we have been able to design a special enzyme blend that will dissolve these protective cysts and biofilms. This allows the Monolaurin to act quicker and more completely in coming into contact and killing the disease. Search under Nutrient Blends #2.
Step 3: Our Heavy Metal Detox
The top Lyme-aware doctors also press the importance of removing heavy metals, especially mercury, from your body. Lyme disease uses heavy metals to help ‘paste’ in the biofilm protective barriers. Search Nutrient Blends #5 for the best heavy metal detox available to remove these heavy metals from those biofilms, causing them to dissolve quicker. Secondly, the detox will also help clear out the toxins released by dissolving the biofilms! This helps minimize any ill effects they can cause.
(Long Term Results – Maintenance)
One nasty ability of the Lyme bacterium is that it can also invade tissue and cells! When it is inside of cells, antibiotics, our immune system and monolaurin can’t get to it. The cell wall actually protects it. So, after getting rid of the active form of Lyme disease, many people take a “maintenance” amount of 1 scoop a day of monolaurin. Then, when Lyme spirochetes or bartonella come out of hiding, monolaurin is in the blood stream and can come into contact with it, killing it before it can become re-established. This helps prevent re-occurrences – a scourge of Lyme disease!
(Worth consideration, but not essential, are the multi-nutrients formula (Blend #7) we recommend to help the body’s own defense rise to join the fight. While more in the “good common sense” category than a requirement, it is worth considering if you are not already taking a good multi-nutrition product.)
- Kirby C. Stafford III, PhD; The Tick Management Handbook, Fall 2007.
- Science 216:1317, 1982.
- Dr. Alan MacDonald, Gestational Lyme borreliosis. Implications for the fetus. Rheum Dis Clin North Am 89; 15(4):657-77.
- Dr. Gregory Bach, Do.O., P.C.; Recovery of Lyme Spirochetes by PCR in Semen Samples of Previously Diagnosed Lyme Patients, presented by Dr. Bach at the International Scientific Conference on Lyme Disease, April, 2001.
- David Williams, MD; The New Great Impostor, Alternatives Newsletter, December 2004.
- Alan B. MacDonald, Plaques of Alzheimer’s disease originate from cysts of Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease spirochete, Medical Hypothesis, May 2006, Volume 67, Issue 3, Pages 592-600.