Cathy, a young, healthy, and active adolescent, had an array of chronic symptoms for about 6 months: fatigue and shortness of breath, memory issues and concentration problems, headaches, light sensitivity, joint pain, cough, appetite swings, gas & bloating due to certain foods, red eyes, blurred vision, excessive sweating or night sweats and mood swings. About this time, she also began experiencing vibratory sensations which gradually became constant. She described these as a continuous internal vibration (like a bee buzzing). It started in her arms, moved to her legs, and eventually her entire body. It was so severe that she was unable to sleep due to the continuous vibrations.
Cathy’s parents took her to over 10 doctors. She had blood work, cat scans, spinal taps, EKG’s, EEG’s, and an upper and lower endoscopy. No one was able to find the root cause of the problem. She was evaluated by a neurologist who initially suspected possible demyelinating disease (Multiple Sclerosis) and recommended an MRI which turned out to be negative.
Finally, another doctor did more tests and took the time to see what the other doctors had missed. Cathy was diagnosed with Lyme disease. This doctor put her on 30 days of antibiotics and said she would be back to normal. Unfortunately, when the 30 days of antibiotics were over, she started to nose dive again.
With the environmental changes to global ecosystems in recent years, emerging pandemic disease outbreaks are more common and regular. Ebola, West Nile, and Lyme disease are some of the vector-borne diseases which are transmitted through ticks, fleas, black flies, and mosquitos. A vector is a carrier and transmits the disease along with bacteria, viruses, or parasites from animals like mice, rats, and squirrels to humans when they bite.
Lyme disease is the number one spreading vector-borne epidemic in the United States and Europe. The diagnosis can be evasive if the doctor has no prior experience with treating it since Lyme can “imitate” Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, autoimmune, and other psychiatric disorders. A person may have it but not any symptoms and through blood transfusion, maternal-fetal transmission, or even sexual transmission unknowingly give it to someone else. There are many patients who can’t get prompt diagnosis and treatment and become chronic to the point of not being able to go to school or can’t work.
Lyme disease can manifest as an acute or chronic illness. Acute symptoms include flu-like symptoms with fevers, fatigue, swollen glands, sore throat, nausea and vomiting, headaches, stiff neck, and photophobia (light sensitivity). In addition to these, chronic signs include neurological syndromes, autoimmune diseases with inflammation, chest pain and palpitations, depression and other psychological issues, painful eye syndromes such as conjunctivitis, retinitis and others….
Many other bacteria, parasites, and viruses can also be transmitted by fleas, mosquitos, and ticks. These are generally referred to as “co-infections” of Lyme disease. The majority of patients with chronic Lyme disease have at least one co-infection. A person with a co-infection generally experiences more severe illness, more symptoms, and a longer recovery. One of the more common co-infections is Bartonellosis.
Bartonella bacteria live primarily inside the lining of the blood vessels and the resulting infection leads to a disease called Bartonellosis. Ticks are the greatest source of human Bartonellosis infection, often accompanied by Lyme disease. Several species of Bartonella cause serious diseases in humans such as Cat Scratch Disease which can be transmitted to humans either by a tick or flea bite, or the scratch of an infected cat. Patients may suffer relapses because Bartonella periodically cycles into red blood cells, which may provide a protective niche for the bacteria and tests for the bacteria may be negative one time and positive another. This further complicates detection and diagnosis.
One of the other problems with treatment has to do with the lack of total consensus within the medical profession that Lyme disease even exists. Many doctors refuse to accept the fact that the Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, sequesters and hides in deep-seated tissues, such as ligaments, tendons, bone, brain, eye, and scar tissue. The usual treatment is a course of antibiotics for 2 weeks but is really only effective if caught in the first stage, if at all. Since the bacteria may have already spread throughout the body by the time treatment is sought, symptoms may disappear only to reappear later.
Cathy came to us with all the symptoms of late-stage Lyme disease. Through various in-depth testing, we discovered she had two common co-infections of Lyme disease, Bartonellosis and Babesiosis. Through comprehensive testing, we found she suffered from immune dysfunction, inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, various nutritional and enzyme deficiencies, toxicities (heavy metals, mold), and endocrine abnormalities.
Over the course of 2 yrs we established an individualized protocol with the aim of addressing infection, lowering inflammation, and restoring immune balance.
Today Cathy lives as a young and vibrant teenager once again.