This is topic How quickly do you have to catch/treat lyme to get rid of it? in forum Medical Questions at LymeNet Flash.

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Posted by Twinklette (Member # 10563) on :
I was bit in August and symptomatic in October this year. I went undiagnosed and had a zillion tests done and was finally diagnosed according to symptoms on Dec. 18 and started treating then. First antibiotics didn't work/allergic reaction, but now on 2nd set of antibiotics going on three weeks.

Have I caught the lyme soon enough to eradicate it from my body? I almost wish I would have gotten a rash to KNOW I had the lyme for immediate treatment. I keep fearing I won't be able to get rid of it. Trying to keep positive but it's hard considering all the scary stuff I've read here. I've had to monitor what I read as I freak myself out and get paranoid [Frown]

I'm currently on 1500mg amoxicillin/day (I am 5' and weigh 90lbs). Had to work up to it as my stomach has been a mess since my first antibiotic episode. Been doing this for a week and seeing my dr. on Friday to see if I'm continuing this regimen, adding anything, etc. What's frustrating is I have NO appetite at all and probably won't till this lyme is gone.

Thanks for any positive thoughts!
Posted by TerryK (Member # 8552) on :
You shouldn't go off abx until you have been symptom free for a few months. Have you been tested for co-infections? Typically you can't get rid of lyme until you have treated co-infections as well.

As far as catching the infection soon enough, I don't think anyone can answer that question. It depends on the individual and the health of their immune system, genetics, strain of infection, co-infections, adequate dosage and type of abx or other meds as needed for co-infections and probably other things as well.

The best thing you can do for yourself is get to an LLMD ASAP and learn as much as you can about tick borne illnesses. Go to the seeking doctor section of this website and find a highly recommended doctor and ask him this question. Get tested for co-infections. Incredibly important if you want to get well!!
Posted by JimBoB (Member # 8454) on :
Correction, you may not get your appetite back UNTIL you get off of abx.

They destroyed MY stomach also.

I don't know HOW you can take 1500mg of Amoxicilln a DAY?!?!?!

I have a real hard time doing over 500mg a day.

As far as WHEN is the IDEAL time to catch Lyme and get on abx, is usually 2 to 3 weeks after being bit.

I waited 5 months after seeing red spot on my foot, and could hardly walk. Took Cipro for 24 days, two a day, and felt good for about 8 or 9 months. Then it slowly came back and I didn't know what it was and my duck said it can't be Lyme because I was "cured". So I let it go for 5 years till I felt near death. THAT was 14 months ago.

Abx killed me to take. However, herbs do not. So I have improved by about 10 times over a year ago.

Jim [Cool]
Posted by SForsgren (Member # 7686) on :
I think anything longer than 3-4 weeks starts to cross into the "chronic" phase where it is much more difficult to fully erradicate the infection.
Posted by Virginia of Yore (Member # 3269) on :
Twinklette, I got antibiotics (abx) within a week of my only known tickbite, and I've still been battling this for years, though I am in relatively good shape now with few remaining symptoms. So don't be too upset about not catching it earlier-- "early treatment" doesn't always work either.

My docs first tried doxycycline, then amoxicillin on me, and I just kept getting worse till they used a combination of antibiotics (to hit Bb inside cells, outside cells, and in the cyst/cell-wall deficient forms.) We made real progress once I started using three types at once, but some people have to gradually work up to that much simultaneously, eg. if they have a higher germ load from lack of treatment.

In my opinion, your own immune system's health and the particular strain(or strains) of Bb and coinfections you get may have more to do with whether lyme becomes chronic, regardless of whether one gets "early" treatment.

If caught sooner, most docs would likely have given you early but inadequate treatment anyway, and you could still have had chronic lyme and just wouldn't realize that was what was causing many of your health problems. (Those same docs would then be falsely assuring you it "couldn't be lyme", even if you still had a positive blood test for it, and would likely try to tell you that you have other "trash can" diagnoses for which they can't explain the cause). Just be SURE you have a true LLMD treating you. Some people could do nothing and have few if any problems, because some Bb strains are much less virulent to start with.

The good thing to remember is that you CAN get gradually better with antibiotics and addressing your immune system health issues-- but whether anyone can ever be truly "cured" of lyme (short of a miracle from God), I don't know that anyone really knows at this point, despite claims to the contrary. You CAN get it under control if you give yourself time and don't get discouraged.

Lyme may be like a virus--once it's in your system, it's possibly there to stay, and you just have to build up your body so it can deal with it and keep it in check, and avoid the things that would be conducive to its further proliferation. Our bodies are quite amazing in what they can handle if we give them the right nutrients, rest, and exercise needed to do the job. (Well, that, plus avoid all the JUNK food and bad habits that weaken us!)

Pasteur once said something to the effect of, "The microbe is nothing--the terrain is everything!" The point is, we have to also make sure we aren't providing an environment in our bodies that is conducive to Bb's health & growth. That's why you must avoid the sugar and junk foods, exercise, rest, detox, etc. as well as use antibiotics as needed. (Antibiotics never really kill all of any organisms--they just help get the germ population down to a level that our own immune systems can then handle. That's why strengthening your immune system is so important.)

Good luck in your battle, and don't get discouraged in your efforts. You CAN get better if you keep at it, and there are lots of good people here willing to help you along the way. Think positive, look for the positive things you CAN do, and don't let fear and negative posts discourage you. Believe, keep learning, and work at getting better and you will in time. Having an illness like this can actually be a blessing in disguise--it can force us to correct a lot of bad habits sooner than most people might, and that can help our overall health in many ways.
Posted by Lymied (Member # 6704) on :
Hi Twinklette -

At this point I urge you to do a lot of research on coinfections to lyme. Amoxicillin is not the antibiotic of choice for most coinfections.

Babesia, Ehrlichia, Mycoplasma, and Bartonella are the most well known coinfections at this point. Babesia causes some very extreme symptoms such as air hunger, night sweats, day sweats, severe migraine and headaches, sharp shooting pains in the head, to name some.

Babesia must be treated with an antimalarial such as Mepron coupled with Zithromax to prevent resistance. As well, Arteminisin and other Chinese herbs have been effective in treating it.

Babesia will not be treated with antibiotics so it is extremely important to get tested. The tests are not always accurate though so if you are symptomatic it would be prudent to just treat.

Babesia, while most likely everywhere in the US, has been recognized as endemic to New England.

I would suggest you find a good LLMD. There is a great LLMD in CT who is studying incidences of MS and Lyme possibly being related. I cannot post names here but I would recommend you do some research and find an LLMD that you like.

Take care and I wish you luck in your healing process.
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