The increase in tick borne disease has sparked interest in both traditional and alternative medicine communities regarding the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease. Transmission most often occurs through the bite of a deer tick carrying the Borrelia (Lyme) bacteria into an unsuspecting host. In some people this leads to an illness with multiple organs becoming affected by disease.
Normally when we think of “infection”, we imagine someone lying in bed with sweats, fever, and weakness. These symptoms appear when the bacteria or virus attacks the healthy body. When the body reacts appropriately against the invading organism or receives the correct antibiotics they should recover. This type of infection frequently results in a positive antibody test. Both integrative and traditional doctors question whether or not Borrelia transmission consistently results in the type of “infection” described above. If it doesn’t result in a classic infection, we wonder if a traditional antibody test will give consistently positive results.
When an organism infects a person, their immune system makes antibodies against it. This helps protect against future infections. When we perform a blood test to check for Lyme, we look for antibodies to identify whether or not a person’s immune system has recognized the Borriella bacterium at some point in their life. Both traditional and integrative doctors question whether or not the immune system is consistently able to recognize the Lyme-causing bacterium. Therefore, we need a different way to test for Lyme infection.
Borrelia is a corkscrew shaped bacterium. This shape allows it to wrap around its fellow bacteria forming a biofilm. The biofilm works like a family of penguins in a huddle. It shields itself from the immune system’s attempt to fight the bacteria like the penguins huddle shield them from the cold.
We can surmise that many people may have Lyme biofilms and live completely normal lives without any symptoms. However, there are a percentage of people whose immune systems see the Lyme biofilm as an “unwanted house guest.” This “guest” overstays their welcome, making the house a mess, playing music or video games loudly. In the body, people develop a variety of symptoms like feeling tired and achey, having brain fog or word finding issues.
Unwanted House Guest
Initially, the immune system of an infected patient may mount a defense against these “house guests”. Just like in our home, getting rid of an unwanted house guest can create a messy situation. When trying to remove these “guests”, you might yell or throw a glass and/or other objects which can lead to broken windows and damaged walls. In essence, self-inflicted and unintentional damage to your own home. This same problem can occur in some Lyme patients when their body has an over active immune response causing an increase in type and severity of symptoms.
Antibiotics: A Traditional Treatment
Once diagnosed, Lyme disease is traditionally treated with antibiotics. The idea is to help the immune system fight the bacteria. Antibiotics act like a SWAT team sent in to destroy the enemy, the infection. Most of us have experienced this approach with other illnesses such as strep throat, pneumonia, etc. If we think of using antibiotics as the body’s equivalent to a SWAT team, we realize it can succeed in eliminating the unwanted guests. Unfortunately, the team might be aggressive, taking out our grandmother and the guy fixing our plumbing or damage our home in the process due to the effective and aggressive nature of antibiotics. When antibiotics are used, there can still be a percentage of “house guests” who evade the team by hiding in the biofilm. For this reason, we don’t use antibiotics at the Chung Institute.
How our patients present with Lyme
At the Chung Institute, most of our Lyme patients are not in the early infectious stage. These patients do not have symptoms of an acute infection, such as fever. In fact, it is often the case that they never experienced symptoms of acute infection. In other words, the Borrelia that is “infecting” their body is not behaving like an infection at all. This calls into question the accuracy of the western blot test, which is frequently used to diagnose Lyme. At the Chung Institute, we rarely use this test in our diagnosis.
Our treatment methods
Our first goal in treating Lyme is to get rid of as many of the unwanted “house guests” as possible. We use herbals, ozone and bee venom. Some of the “guests” will hide in the biofilm, preventing complete eradication. Bee venom is especially helpful because it has the ability to pull Lyme disease out of the protective biofilm. The disease then becomes vulnerable to treatment with herbals and ozone. https://www.chunginstitute.com/service/bee-venom-therapy/
When we can’t completely remove the unwanted “house guest”, we try to find solutions to live more peacefully with them. We move them further away from your room or encourage them to lower the volume of their music or games. This is the second critical step in getting back to living a normal life for patients with chronic Lyme, helping the immune system live more peacefully with the “Borrelia house guest.” We use ozone as both a “guest” remover and an immune system trainer. We use a technique called low dose immunotherapy or LDI. LDI trains the immune system to be more tolerant of Lyme while maintaining a strong immune system in general.
At the Chung Institute, we use our autonomic response testing (ART) to determine which treatments are going to be useful for each patient. Every patient is unique, using ART allows us to create individual treatment plans for each patient. Using this approach tailored specifically to each patient has led to truly remarkable recovery in our chronic Lyme disease patients!