This is the tough question that each diagnosed chronic Lyme patients must ask themselves. Chronic Lyme is considered when you have gone undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Lyme spirochetes can enter the tissue and organs of the body, including the brain within days. Therefore, any untreated case may result in chronic Lyme and immune suppression.
There are many natural protocols on the market today. I have talked with many Lyme patients who have had success using different protocols. Each body is different, therefore, each treatment plan should be tailored to the patient and affordable. Many insurance companies will not cover antibiotic therapy beyond the CDC recommendations, so this may limit your treatment options. This is why many Lyme patients end up becoming excellent health researchers and activists for the Lyme community. There are many great organizations that support Lyme patients. Please visit the Take Action section.
Many Lyme patients find themselves on a combination of natural and antibiotic therapy. LLMD's are discovering many natural supplements, herbs, and such that assist the body in ridding itself of the various forms of Lyme (bacteria, cyst, biofilm).
I tested CDC IGM positive for Lyme in April 2013 using the IGENEX Western Blot IGG, IGM blood test. I had positive bands on the Labcorp Western Blot, but not enough to be CDC positive. My doctor ran both tests simultaneously.
*If you are new to Lyme, a good resource is ILADS.org for information regarding treatment guidelines and testing guidelines. Lyme is ultimately a clinical diagnosis because the testing is not 100% accurate.
I was very sick at the time of diagnosis (read my story in the blog) so when my then LLMD prescribed oral Ceftin, I was hesitant to take it. My body was in such poor shape that I didn't think I could tolerate the antibiotics. I worked on gaining my strength and switched doctors. I chose a world-renowned LLMD in Washington, DC. From my very first visit with him, I trusted him and his expertise. Because it was determined that I had probably had Lyme for a very long time, I knew the recovery would not be quick and easy, but I liked the approach of my doctor. Because a SPECT scan showed low blood flow in my brain (indicating brain damage), and brain infection, I chose to go the IV antibiotic route. At this point, my memory was poor and I was having difficulty communicating. As a former professor, not having my mind work the way that I was used to was difficult for me. I felt vulnerable, scared, and alone. I would stutter, forget words, and slur my speech. One particular difficult moment was when I called my husband at work crying because I could not remember how much our babies weighed at birth. My personal opinion is that if you have Lyme or co-infections that have entered your brain and are causing cognitive issues, antibiotics are crucial to regaining health. I have always avoided taking medications for any reason, so this was a huge decision for me and one that I did not make lightly. I am so happy that I did though.
My treatment protocol was a combination of oral and IV antibiotics, mixed with anti-malarial medications and natural supplements. I had a PICC line inserted on December 17, 2013 and began treatment on the 19th. I was on various protocols (he switched my antibiotics around) for 9 months. Antibiotics were pulsed. Pulsing means, taking medications for so many days on and then having an "off" period to detox and recover.
*You will have regular lab work conducted to make sure everything is ok. Taking high doses of probiotics in imperative to prevent candida or Cdiff.
I was on IV antibiotics for 9 months, but the actual treatment days were something like 60-75 days. After IV's, my doctor switches to an oral antibiotic protocol. I am currently on a maintenance of one week per month, three days per week.
There are many natural remedies that people have used to get well from Lyme and company. I will list some of these treatments, but you need to seek the help of a medical doctor or naturopath who specializes in Lyme to assist you. I use some natural therapies alongside my treatment and I know many who do the same. Also, I think once you are finished with antibiotics, remaining on a natural regimen is important to maintaining your health. These are some natural treatments that I have read about or heard about from others.
Disclaimer: This page is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat any condition. Seek professional medical advice before treating Lyme Disease.