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Questions On Lyme/Psychiatry? Here You Go...

Posted by bleauberry on May 3, 2018, at 11:24:22

Below is an article posted online by Bill Rawls, MD, a Lyme expert. He sells his own herbal combos and doesn't get into meds much. But this article isn't about actual treatments. It gives excellent explanations and answers to the many questions that babblers have asked me. His answer are way better than mine.....

I have put this - *** - in front of every paragraph which I personally consider a very important point for babblers.

Lyme disease can manifest in a seemingly endless number of ways. While the spectrum of symptoms is similar for most sufferers, the worst of the bunch varies from person to person. ***And for those who have a predominance of neurological symptoms, the disease can feel especially debilitating and difficult to overcome.

***Thats in large part because neurological Lyme also referred to as Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB) is often confused with other serious neurological conditions such as depression multiple sclerosis and Parkinsons Disease, which can be scary and overwhelming. And because most doctors lack an understanding of Lyme disease in general, and especially of Lyme associated with a predominance of neurological symptoms, LNB often goes unrecognized.

So how to know if the symptoms youre experiencing do signify LNB, and where do you go from there to find relief? Keep reading for information that could provide the turning point in your recovery.

Understanding Symptoms of Neurological Lyme

***Everyone with Lyme disease experiences some neurological symptoms, but a specific composit of symptoms that constitute neurological Lyme is not well defined. Making matters worse, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), does not recognize LNB as a separate entity, and it doesnt acknowledge the existence of a chronic form of Lyme disease.

***The transition from acute to chronic neurological symptoms is not well defined, and it varies widely from person to person. Many people dont remember a tick bite and experience minimal acute symptoms. The range of symptoms includes both motor and sensory nerve deficits. On the list: headache, memory loss, brain fog, cognitive impairment, learning disability, anxiety, depression, limb pain, muscle weakness, and paresthesias (sensory loss and odd sensations on the skin).

***Symptoms of LNB are thought to occur from infiltration of white blood cells immune cells like lymphocytes and plasmocytes into the white matter of the brain and the spinal cord, otherwise known as the central nervous system (CNS). This is associated with an increase in inflammatory immune messengers, called cytokines, in cerebrospinal fluid.

***Loss of sensory and motor nerve function is thought to be related to demyelination of nerve fibers. Found in the brain and peripheral nervous system, nerve fibers are coated with a fatty substance called myelin. Myelin acts much like the plastic coating on a copper wire: it wraps around nerve fibers, thus preventing the nerve fibers from touching each other and shorting out when an electrical current passes through. If demyelination is severe enough, it can result in abnormal nerve conduction tests, similar to multiple sclerosis. (this happens in the mood center also)

Treatment for neurological Lyme is highly controversial.

Among physicians who do recognize and treat LNB, there is no absolute consensus on therapy. Some physicians recommend 1-3 months of combined intravenous antibiotic therapy, and some continue to treat patients as long as symptoms are present. Confusing matters more, some studies that suggest oral antibiotic therapy is as efficacious as intravenous antibiotics, but long term follow up for any therapy is limited.

***Central to the confusion is the fact that understanding of LNB and Lyme disease in general is clouded by reductionist science studying one variable in a vacuum, while ignoring all other potential influencing variables. The variable in this case: the microbe Borrelia burgdorferi, the primary pathogen behind Lyme.

An Alternative View of Neurological Lyme

***Anyone struggling with Lyme knows that the disease isnt caused by borrelia alone. Indeed, having coinfections with microbes other than borrelia is more common than not. The most common coinfections include mycoplasma, bartonella, chlamydia, babesia, anaplasma, ehrlichia, and rickettsia. And all of these pathogens have the potential to cause neuroinflammatory symptoms that are characteristic of LNB.

***Though all of these microbes can be transmitted by ticks, they can also be transmitted by other routes. For instance, bartonella is most commonly spread by scratches and bites from dogs and cats. Babesia can be transmitted by ticks and mosquitos. And mycoplasma and chlamydia are most commonly spread by respiratory or sexual route.

Often called stealth microbes, these microbes share similar characteristics:

***They often dont cause significant symptoms at initial infection.
They infect white blood cells and quietly spread to all tissues throughout the body, including brain and nerve tissues.
They are able to generate inflammation to break down tissues and gain access to nutrients.
They are masters at manipulating the immune system.
They grow very slowly.
They occur in low concentrations in the body, allowing them to blend in with other microbes.
The stealth microbes we know about may be just scratching the surface science uncovers new ones on a regular basis. Ticks and other biting insects can spread an enormous variety of microbes beyond the classic coinfections. Microbes can also be spread by oral routes, inhalation, intimate contact with other people, breaks in skin, and blood transfusions or contact with contaminated blood.

Some of these microbes are more concerning than others, but if your immune system functions are strong, youll never know theyre there. In other words, the chances that youve encountered and picked up a variety of stealth-type microbes at some point in your life are much higher than you might think. And youve likely carried them without even knowing it, because they can remain dormant in tissues for years without causing harm.

***This is true even with borrelia: People suffering from chronic Lyme disease typically dont become chronically ill immediately after a tick bite. Onset of illness can happen months or even years later it is typically surrounded by a perfect storm of stress factors that come together to disrupt immune system functions.

Ive often related it to a pot boiling over on the stove. If immune system functions are healthy, microbes can be present in tissues, but suppressed and not causing symptoms the equivalent of a pot of water on the stove being kept at a low simmer. But if immune system functions become disrupted, the pot of water starts to boil.

Immune disruption is most often caused by a combination of chronic stress factors such as poor diet, exposure to toxic substances like mold toxins, and emotional or physical stress. Sometimes, the tipping point is the infection caused by microbes that are acquired from a tick bite. But most often, the microbes are already present in the host, and they only become ill when other stress factors accumulate in their lives.

No matter what the initiating cause, however, when the pot reaches a full boil, its no longer an infection with one microbe or even a few microbes. Instead, its a disruption of the entire microbiome.

Once microbes start becoming active, inflammation increases and immune functions are further compromised, establishing what I call Chronic Immune Dysfunction (CID). In its weakened state, the immune system allows reactivation of viruses such as Epstein Barr virus (EBV), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), and other similar viruses all of which most people harbor in their tissues. These viruses are commonly associated with neuroinflammation, and they tend to complicate the picture of LNB.

Chronic Immune Dysfunction also allows opportunistic pathogens to flourish in the gut and elsewhere in the body. The inflammation they generate compromises the gut barrier, allowing microbes along with foreign proteins from food to pass into the bloodstream. This heightens systemic inflammation and can compromise the blood brain barrier, allowing microbes to pass into the brain and nervous system.

Making Connections to Clarify Diagnosis
***Chronic Lyme disease shares many symptoms with other chronic illnesses. This is especially true of Lyme neuroborreliosis and chronic neuroinflammatory illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimers disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinsons disease, and traumatic brain injury.

Not surprisingly, new sophisticated methods of microbial detection are showing potential links between these neuroinflammatory illnesses and many of the microbes associated with chronic Lyme disease.

***For instance, both mycoplasma and chlamydia have been closely linked to multiple sclerosis. Mycoplasma, borrelia, and chlamydia have been associated with demyelination. Parkinsons and ALS have been linked to borrelia and other microbes commonly associated with Lyme disease. Borrelia and other stealth pathogens have been found in the brains of patients who died of Alzheimers disease.

***The connections go well beyond Lyme disease microbes. Two recent studies are shedding new light on how closely disruptions in the microbiome are linked to neuroinflammation. One, published in Frontiers of Aging Neuroscience, evaluated the presence of microbes in the autopsied brains of deceased Alzheimers patients. The other, published in Scientific Reports, evaluated the presence of microbes in the autopsied brains of people who had died of multiple sclerosis.

Both studies used a new type of microbial testing called 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing, which enabled scientists to separate human cells from microbial ones, and positively identify microbes. They found that not only were microbes present in diseased brains in both studies, but the magnitude of their presence was astounding: The entire microbiome, with a full spectrum of microbes from the gut, mouth, and skin, were represented.

***(Equally interesting, the control brains from people who had died of other causes also had a full spectrum of microbes present. The main difference? Diseased brains had a much higher concentration of microbes, and a greater prevalence of microbes with higher potential to cause inflammation.

***I believe these studies are landmark, because they illustrate the close ties between disruption of the microbiome and chronic neuroinflammatory illnesses. Considered in this light, they also highlight the potential connection between Lyme neuroborreliosis and other neuroinflammatory diseases. This would suggest that Chronic Immune Dysfunction is central to the equation, allowing opportunistic pathogens of many varieties (not just those from ticks) to flourish, cause system inflammation, and create a vicious cycle of unending misery.

Ultimately, the type of illness a person might end up with depends on three key things: how the immune-disrupting factors come together; the types of pathogens they accumulated through life; and genetics (some people are more genetically at risk than others for these types of illnesses). Therefore, targeting individual microbes with antibiotic therapy alone is unlikely to restore normal health.

So what does restore well-being? Therapy that comprehensively addresses chronic immune dysfunction and widespread disruption of the microbiome.

How to Recover from Neurological Lyme

***When youre suffering from debilitating symptoms of neurological Lyme, its tempting to seek out medications that promise fast relief. Unfortunately, the place for drug therapy in chronic neuroinflammatory illnesses is limited. In fact, because neuroinflammation is so complex, targeted synthetic drug therapy often disrupts the healing process.

***Many medications suppress or disrupt immune system functions and inhibit deep sleep, which is absolutely essential for recovery. Anti-inflammatory drugs, including steroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents like ibuprofen and naproxen, disrupt immune functions and inhibit healing.

***These drugs have also been shown to inhibit clearance of beta amyloid, a proteinaceous substance associated with neuroinflammatory disorders that is the hallmark identifying factor of Alzheimers disease. Though short-term use of antibiotic therapy has shown limited benefit in some cases of dementia and MS, tolerance to therapy and relapse are inevitable with long term use of synthetic antibiotics.

This makes sense when you consider that LNB and other neuroinflammatory conditions are primarily associated with disruptions in the balance of the entire microbiome and chronic immune dysfunction as opposed to infections with specific pathogens. So while antibiotics initially suppress microbes in general, with extended use, pathogens arise in the gut and skin, gut and brain barriers are further compromised, and immune functions are further depressed, thus enhancing illness.

Instead, to overcome Lyme neuroborreliosis, you must approach it like you would another neuroinflammatory condition. The key components of recovery from any type of neuroinflammatory condition include:

Reducing both systemic and nervous system inflammation
Promoting optimal blood flow and vascular function
Restorating normal sleep
Supporting the immune system and restoring homeostasis
Enhancing healing and restoration of normal gut and brain barriers
Restoring balance to the microbiome of the gut and the entire body
That might sound like a lot, but in fact, finding lasting relief from neurological Lyme calls for a more measured, lifestyle approach one thats supportive of your immune system so that youre enabling your body to fight its own battles. Here, the five steps for putting this approach into motion.




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