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Treatment alternatives

MagazineJuly 2001 (Vol. 12 Issue 4)Treatment alternatives

If you believe you are suffering from Lyme disease, but are having trouble convincing your physician to take action, you may wish to read more about Dr Burrascano's guidelines

If you believe you are suffering from Lyme disease, but are having trouble convincing your physician to take action, you may wish to read more about Dr Burrascano's guidelines. You can either obtain a copy of his book or download an extract from it from the online library at www.lymenet.com .

Alternative medicine has not been proven particularly successful at treating chronic and severe Lyme disease. However, there are several things you can do to support your system as it fights the infection while taking conventional treatment.Watch out for Candida. Patients being treated with antibiotics can develop a yeast overgrowth. To combat this, take two high quality probiotics after each meal and follow a strict anti Candida diet, which contains no sugars. If you can tolerate dairy, you may include live yoghurt daily in your diet

Avoid caffeine, alcohol and smoking, all of which put your immune system under greater stress

Sleep as and when you need to

Supplements are a must, although improvement may not be noticeable for a few weeks. A good quality multivitamin and mineral supplement should be augmented by extra magnesium, 400-800 mg daily (helpful for tremors, headaches, twitches and cramps), and vitamin B-complex, at least 50-100 mg daily (to help combat neurological symptoms)

Increase essential fatty acid intake. To get a good balance, Dr Burrascano recommends 1000 mg of cod liver or other fish oil, or flaxseed (linseed) oil (rich in omega-3) four times daily, and 1000 mg of borage, evening primrose or blackcurrant seed oil (rich in omega-6) four times daily

Try coenzyme Q (Q10 or ubiquinone) to deal with symptoms related to poor heart function, stamina and immune response. Lyme patients need around 200-300 mg daily of standard brands, or 90 mg daily of pharmaceutical quality brands, divided into two daily doses

Treatment with homoeopathic nosodes made from Borrelia burgdorferi may be of benefit, says WDDTY panellist Patrick Kingsley. He cautions, however, that as with antibiotics improvement may be slow and, often, treatment is needed for as long as 40-60 days. Similarly, deer antler, cultivated and used throughout China and Russia, has been suggested as a possible therapy for Lyme disease (Townsend Lett Docs, 1991; 91/2: 154-5)

Whatever treatment you take, give it time to work. The Jarish-Herxheimer, or Herx, reaction is not uncommon in the treatment of Lyme disease. As the spirochaetes die during antibiotic therapy, they give off toxins, causing you to feel worse before you feel better. The Herx reaction is a normal and good result, and a sign that the treatment is working.


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