because meds are more dangerous, have more side effects and sometimes they just make things worse
that said, i'm not against drus in this situation. we've all gotta do what we've gotta do to deal with lyme
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Carol in PA
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Many people have Lyme bacteria, but their immune system fends it off and they do not have symptoms, or not many symptoms.
Oral antibiotics kill bacteria in the gut. This is awful, because there are many good bacteria that help us digest food and make vitamins.
Killing off the good bacteria in the intestines means that yeast can proliferate, you get inflammation and "leaky gut syndrome," and you can develop allergic reactions, systemic yeast infections, and various nutritional deficits.
I took antibiotics in the past, mostly for respiratory infections, and now I wish I hadn't.
When I found LymeNet I was appalled at the number of people who were having digestive problems from antibiotics, yeast infections, and allergic reactions.
Early on I decided not to do antibiotics, if I could find some other way.
Having said all that, I realize that there are a number of people who have regained their health with antibiotics.
I believe I have had this my whole life. Lyme affects the HPA axis (hypothalamus - pituitary - adrenal glands) and I can see that my endocrine glands are out of whack.
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Because it's the only thing that helped me to get better. See my thread on Hansa Center Update for more information. I was on abx off and on for five years. I have late stage lyme disease (15 years) and abx about ruined my gut. Nothing worked and I was unable to tolerate almost every abx given to me except for doxy.
After being on natural remedies for almost a year I'm doing tremendously better now. If there was on piece of advice I'd give to anyone with Lyme disease (or any chronic disease for that matter) is, detox, detox, detox! Anyway, hope that answers your question.
I agree with Gary on the detox thing, that is a MAJOR component of getting healthy. I was dead set against antibiotics when I found out I had lyme a few months ago (had symptomatic late stage lyme for at least 8 years), but my gut told me I need the abx in order to get a jump start on this disease.
I combine homeopathics from a classical homeopath, and i work with an LLND that does endorse the use of abx in some cases (but would never force them on anyone if they wanted to go natural). She states "going natural" simply just takes a little longer. She also strongly believes in addressing the hormonal and gut disturbances and works with peeling away layers of lyme at a time. She doesn't start out aggressive...she introduces the abx to my system in small doses to see if I can tolerate them. So far so good
I also do a lot of the work myself. Bought a Sunlighten FIR sauna, doing water exercises twice a week to start out with. I get a few massages a month and work on myself with the Lymphstar pro to help my lymphatics move.
Whether a person goes on abx or goes natural I think it's important to always treat yourself with loving care and patience
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- For the most part, I have but with varying degress of success, mostly due to piecing it together as best I can with very little, having spent all my money on non-LL NDs earlier on. Big mistake.
I'm not saying that to get sympathy but if I suggest natural methods, having employed those for years, with only limited success, I need to explain the variables.
First, I've been ill since childhood and "mono" in college hit so hard and was never resolved. Looking back, I'm fairly certain that I had lyme and bartonella (the streaks that no one could explain), maybe babesia going back that far, too.
Now, for the most part, I'm relying on just one or two supplements and seeing my regular ND every other month for acupuncture and limited advice. With limited success. Seizures are less but I'm still homebound and typing a few links a day is all I can do, literally. My ears are so tender I cannot even use the phone or be around another person more than a couple hours here and there. I must eat alone. And, yet, I can walk and talk as long as there are no distractions. I could not even do that a few years ago.
Why did I "choose" natural? Mostly, due to lack of LLMDs in my state and the inability to travel, etc..
I also have 2 kinds of porphyria so, even if I had the best LLMD for all Rx, there are just so many Rx that I cannot tolerate - and that goes far beyond herx reactions. There is a porphyria link in the thread below if anyone needs more detail about that.
Other than porphyria, I have lots of inner ear issues and many Rx make that worse for me, even with liver support. My ears were very much damaged from decades of abx use, without the diagnosis of lyme or direction from a LLMD.
Candida was also a huge concern. Olive Leaf Extract was a huge help for the 2 months I could be on abx since dx with lyme. OLE helped to prevent candida for me. Previous attempts with abx over 20 years, on and off from so much illness (then undiagnosed, though) . . . candida had damaged my body terribly. Doctors never told me about probiotics but when I did find out, they were not enough.
I know that when one has money to do the very best, yes, the natural route can be much more successful than if it's a trial and error on one's own. Massage, weekly, should be included if at all possible. I had very good progress when that was used. Downhill off of it.
Since I've seen my share of egotistical "natural" folks who really knew nothing about lyme but sure thought they did, I offer these cautions:
� A "natural" route MUST include specific anti-spirochetal agents, anti-babesia agents, if babesia is an issue, etc.
� Be sure not to fall for the trap of thinking if you can just get the body stronger, it will take care of lyme. Of course, support matters greatly but just any old "natural" plan can fail. And even the best specific supplements can fail if not part of a carefully orchestrated plan.
� It is just as important when choosing a "natural" methods to find an ILADS-educated doctors as it is when choosing an allopathic (pharmaceutical) plan.
� Also know that many LL NDs suggest abx at times. The saving grace there is that they are also well versed in supplements to make abx easier on the body - and the alternatives to abx and when - and when NOT - to rely on those.
� A good LL ND also knows about other TBD and other stealth infections. Lyme is not everything and, again, just trying to get the body stronger will usually fail unless the specific agents of destruction are found and dealt with in very specific manners.
� "Boosting" the adrenals or "boosting" the immune system is never a good idea. A good LL ND knows that. A good LL ND knows the science of lyme/TBD enough and then how to BALANCE the body systems, taking all that into account.
� Pushing Detox can also be dangerous. Liver support and detox methods are very complex and it's a delicate dance. A good LL ND knows how to do that, and how to adjust along the way. For those on their own, study, study, study so that detox methods will work for you and not further overwhelm. Detox is absolutely essential, so learn the rules of the road and learn how to read the roadmap and signs.
� Reality. The bank balance.
Okay, I know all too well that all the cautions about it being "best" to work with a LL doctor can not always make that possible. So, after the links about how to find a LL ND, etc - there are many good literature links so that for those who just have no other choice, there are still things we can do for ourselves, as best we can.
That list is not a complete list but I think it is a good guide, one that would surely have helped me had I seen that back in '97 when first diagnosed (but after decades of serious illness).
I am very glad and fortunate that although no LLMD are allowed to practice in my state, there are many NDs and a few LL NDs. I love learning about herbs and have learned where they can fail and where they can shine.
Below are some links to help: ------------------------------
Frequent Contributor (1K+ posts)
Member # 15686
feelbetter, What a great question. What a great thread.
Why I decided not to go the abx route this third relapse (or fourth relapse depending on how you look at it)?
From 2003-2009, I saw 2 MDs, 1 Infectious Disease Specialist, and two LLMD's...was treated with abx for LD and Co...was very sick most of the time.
Finally in April 2009 I was considered well again and was off abx. One year later I relapsed again.
Reading Lymenet, as well as other Lyme Forums, of many people posting that they still had LD 10, 20, or 30 years later...relapse, after relapse, after relapse, and being very sick (having flashbacks of my past 7 years--that I would never get back)...I thought, "That could be me. I am ready to try something different."
My husband, Gary, saw MDs as well as two LLMDs but he never did get better from LD. He had no positive results from any of the abx treatments...including shots.
Thankfully someone on the forum shared about the Hansa Center in a PM to Gary and because there was no other options it became his last resort.
We thank God that what WE CALL "pulling out all the stops approach" to treating LD and Co. is helping.
No reason to rerun what that means exactly, as it is already on Gary's Hansa Center thread, which is the place I also share my "journey".