I have to admit, creating this entire page devoted to explaining my treatment protocol and reasons for choosing it was an idea I got from my wonderful friend, Christina, over at Lady of Lyme. And while I could just send you to her site to read an excellent explanation about this protocol, I wanted to also share it here for two reasons: 1.) I want my site to be as comprehensive as possible, and 2.) The more places information that is out there on the internet, the more likely someone will be to stumble across it when they're searching Google (or other search engines of choice), and as we all know: information leads to knowledge, and knowledge is power, and power is one thing we all desperately desire when it comes to understanding this wild roller coaster ride that is Lyme & Co-infections. Hopefully the information below will be able to give you a basic understanding of the protocol I'm doing as well as how it works and why I chose this particular method, but if you have any further questions, feel free to use the site contact form to email me/ask questions and I'll answer when I am able.
What is my treatment protocol?
The treatment protocol I am using to treat Lyme and my main co-infections is the Series Therapy by DesBio. A short summary about a DesBio:
DesBio Series Therapy Kits work with the body’s natural immune response to develop an intelligent and targeted approach to controlling infections. Through a carefully selected progression of homeopathic dilutions, each DesBio Series Therapy Kit assists in up-regulating the immune system to promote healthy production of anti-bodies and to help relieve the specific symptoms associated with the offending microbe. [source]
So what does that mean? It means that DesBio Series Therapies work with the body in such a way that your body's immune system itself is doing the killing of the bacteria/viruses/other pathogens. DesBio is an immunological treatment, meaning it works to essentially retrain your immune system to recognize Lyme and other infectious organisms as invaders, which is necessary for those with chronic Lyme and co's because once these infections reach the chronic stage, our immune systems have not only been worn down and are unable to fight, but the infectious organisms have stealthily worked their way into every tissue in our body and have tricked our immune systems into thinking they're just part of us instead of something to attack (more on this below).
For an example of why/how this immunological treatment is so effective, let's talk about the Borrelia bacteria (Lyme) itself:
Lyme is a tricky little bugger. If I didn't hate its existence with every fiber of my being, I'd be tempted to give it accolades for basically being the genius of all bacterial organisms. The biggest thing we have going against us as far as Lyme itself is concerned (other than all the havoc it wreaks, symptom-wise) is that it actually evades the immune system. Unlike more common ailments like sinus infections, 24-hour viruses, or even the seasonal flu, which usually run their course and eventually go away due to the immune system kicking into fighting mode, Lyme actually has the ability to hide from our immune system. And to go a step further, the Lyme bacteria is smart enough that, as mentioned above, it tricks the immune system into not making antibodies to fight against the Lyme, which gives Lyme the ability to spread throughout the entire body and drill into/invade every tissue therein. This is why the symptoms for Lyme mimic so many other diseases (see here), because with its uncanny ability to hide from the immune system, Lyme invades every single type of tissue in the body: muscles, joints, ligaments, skin, brain, heart, and any and every other bodily tissue/organ/system we have.
This is why an immunological treatment like DesBio has been created. The goal, as mentioned above, is to get our immune system to recognize the Lyme bacteria (Borrelia) as a foreign invader and start to attack it. The immune system in the human body is much stronger than we often think, but in many cases, particularly in those cases where an individual has dealt with an infection (like Lyme) for an extended period of time, we need to be able to guide and coax our immune system so it knows what to attack and kill and what not to attack and kill.
The DesBio Series Therapy is designed with this concept in mind. Each dose of the treatment contains homeopathic nosodes/dilutions of an inactive form of Borrelia (or other co-infection) DNA. When you take each concentrated dose, your immune system will recognize that a new invader is entering your body and will create specific peptides and antibodies to attack all Borrelia organisms.
This phenomenon happens because, even though your body has long since stopped recognizing the Borrelia as an invader, when you take a concentrated dose of the Series Therapy, the sudden influx of Borrelia (even though it is inactive) alerts your immune system that something "new" has entered, and here's the cool thing: with each dose, as your immune system begins to recognize the Borrelia as an invader, it not only targets the Borrelia in the dose itself, but it eventually targets ALL Borrelia throughout your body, since they share the same DNA, and eventually your immune system starts to kill all Borrelia. Pretty cool, right? Yay science! :-)
What keeps Borrelia from simply deactivating the antibodies created when each dose of treatment is taken?
This is where things get kind of confusing (if they aren't confusing enough, already!), but stick with me because there's even more neat science-y stuff (that's a technical term) that actually makes a whole lot of sense. The short answer to the question of whether or not Borrelia will just deactivate the new antibodies that come as each dose of the Series Therapy is taken is yes, it will deactivate those antibodies, however it's not able to do this instantly. This is why the Series Therapy is designed to be taken in pulsed doses, typically every 3 days. The reasoning behind this is that right as the antibodies you've been producing have killed a round of Borrelia, they get deactivated, but then you hit it again with another dose (a different concentration than the previous dose), and the process repeats itself.
"I've been told that only antibiotics can get into the biofilm and/or cross the blood brain barrier? Can DesBio do that, and if so, how?"
You're right. Typically, when a combination of antibiotic therapy and cyst-buster prescriptions are used, they are able to penetrate the blood brain barrier and break through Borrelia's persistent biofilm form. But antibiotics are not the only method by which this can be achieved. DesBio can be just as effective as antibiotic and/or combination therapy when it comes to these matters for one very simple reason: antibodies can travel everywhere because they are in your blood, and this is also true for the peptides that are created, which means it can easily cross the blood brain barrier as well as penetrate the notorious Borrelia biofilms. There is literally nowhere in your body that is off-limits as far as the reach of antibodies goes.
So how exactly is the DesBio Series Therapy administered?
Each round of DesBio comes in a box which contains 10 vials. The vials, as mentioned above, vary in dosages, with vial 1 containing the highest dilution/lowest concentration) of Borrelia DNA (or whichever co-infection series you're taking), and then vial 10 containing the highest concentration/lowest dilution. Each round is designed to last 30 days, with one vial taken orally every 3 days. Since everyone responds to treatment differently, though, your doctor may advise spreading these doses out over a longer period of time to reduce the severity of herx reactions. When doing multiple rounds of the Series Therapy, you will take vials 1-10 for the first round, then the next round you will reverse the order and take the vials backwards from 10-1, and you'll continue this alternating order until you have finished each specific Series Therapy.
Many of the DesBio Series Therapies are exactly the same as far as the method of taking them described above, however there are a few less common series that have slightly different administration directions. If you find a doctor who utilizes DesBio Series Therapies, he or she will be able to guide you on individual series and create a treatment plan tailored for your specific needs.
Why I personally chose DesBio Series Therapy
As we've established, every single person responds to treatment differently. Some people with chronic Lyme and co-infections respond very well to long-term, high-dose antibiotic treatment and achieve long-lasting remission via that route. Others may go a completely natural route, using only homeopathic remedies, herbs, natural vitamins, and holistic practices, and many people see great success/achieve remission/healing with those methods, as well. More often than not, when speaking with others who are fighting chronic Lyme and co-infections, you'll hear that a mixture of conventional medicine (eg. prescriptions, antibiotics, etc.) and holistic/alternative/homeopathic medicine is used. The number of treatments available are so numerous, and everyone's body is dealing with different infections and responds differently to each type of treatment--it would be near-impossible to find two people who use the exact same dosages of the exact same medications/herbs/supplements/detox regimens.
When I first received my official Lyme diagnosis, my body was at a point where it had been abused by countless medications for over a decade, and as a result of that, I had developed a severe case of leaky gut syndrome, malabsorption, nutrient/mineral deficiencies, and a systemic candida infection that had completely overtaken my intestinal flora to such an extent that I basically had no good bacteria in my gut (which is where 80% of your immune system resides). Good bacteria is absolutely essential for healing and for every bodily function to take place as it's supposed to, and when you have such an imbalance of bacteria, it's imperative not only to kill off the bad bacteria overgrowth, but to replenish the good bacteria and reestablish a solid foundation for your gut.
The thing about antibiotics is that yes, they destroy bacteria, which is excellent as far as getting rid of Lyme & co-infections. However, when it comes to antibiotics, they can't distinguish good bacteria from bad bacteria, so they just kill off every bacteria they can find. Obviously for someone with such a big problem with leaky gut and candida overgrowth (along with H. pylori and other intestinal bugs), killing off good bacteria simply wasn't an option, because with the immense lack of good bacteria I had, it would have been impossible to take enough probiotic supplements to counteract the full-scale bacteria killing I would get from antibiotics. At this point in my life, my body is also very sensitive to just about everything, so even if we weren't thinking about the bacteria issue, I personally do not have a strong enough body to tolerate antibiotics or the many side effects that come with them. I learned this more than even when I was mandated by my insurance company to take a 30-day course of doxycycline (100mg a day, so just about the lowest dose you can take, and a dose that doesn't even begin to actually kill Lyme), and in the spirit of full disclosure, I'll tell you that every single morning I took the doxy, I ended up with my head over the toilet, losing all contents of my stomach and/or dry heaving, depending on if it had been a morning on which I had physically been able to eat, and then could not leave the bed for almost an entire month.
If I had it to do over, I wouldn't have taken the 30 days of doxy, but at that time in my treatment journey (October of 2013) I was still 2 months out from my first appointment with my current wonderful doctor, and far too often there is so much red tape we have to go through (mandated by insurance companies, individual doctors, or even sometimes family members, although thankfully my family has never doubted me), so we were doing what we had to do at that point. Now, however, I couldn't be happier with my doctor, with our plans to continue DesBio Series Therapy for all of my co-infections (first finishing up EBV, then will be doing the Series Therapies for Bartonella, Mycoplasma Pneumonia, and finally Lyme).
Other treatments I am doing
Like most Lyme patients, I have an entire toolbox of herbs, supplements, and essential oils that I take/use on a daily basis just so I'm able to keep my system functioning as best as I can, and I mention these throughout my main blog entries as well as my treatment blog entries. I'm also taking diflucan to treat the persistent system candida infection that simply refuses to go away. I use many different forms of detox, including daily coffee enemas, burbur detox drops, magnesium foot baths, and many other methods.
I also recently (as of 11/17/14) have started receiving LDA (low-dose allergen) injections. This is a topic I plan to follow up on/explain more fully at a later date, as well as keep a log of my experiences with LDA on my treatment blog page, so be looking there for more updates, hopefully soon.
I guarantee you there are things I have forgotten to mention here, or maybe things that I've mentioned but that aren't explained as well as they need to be, so again, if you have any questions, please feel free to use the site's contact form to message me (or email me) if you have any questions about anything you've read on my site.
Above all, I personally believe that God has already started the healing process in my body, it's just gonna take a while to be completed. I may not know the exact date of my healing, but I try to daily put my trust in Him, because He knows the very date and time, and I fully believe the promise found in Philippians 1:6--that He who has created a GOOD work in [me] WILL carry it to COMPLETION till the day of Jesus Christ (emphasis mine).
With this page, I wanted to explain the primary treatment protocol I am/will be using to treat Lyme and several co-infections, and why I decided to go with this particular approach to treatment. For information about my personal experiences with any/all treatments I do, feel free to check out my Treatment Blog and/or use the site's search function.