A Naturopath’s Perspective on Post-Lyme Disease Syndrome
Post-Lyme Disease Syndrome is the term used to describe the symptoms remaining after a patient has been treated for Lyme disease and co-infections with adequate antibiotics and/or natural antimicrobial therapies. The symptoms can include fatigue, joint pain and even neurological and cognitive symptoms. Post-Lyme Disease Syndrome is believed to be caused by an autoimmune response as a result of the original infection. Similar autoimmune reactions are seen with other infections including Guillain-Barre Syndrome and Reiter’s reactive arthritis. Symptoms may also persist after the infection is treated due to tissue damage cause by the infection during the active phase. An example of this is numbness or tingling that persists due to lesions on the brain.
Treating the immune system, and methods that help to repair damage, are often as important for patient’s suffering from Lyme disease to achieve optimal outcomes. Naturopathic therapies can be especially helpful during this phase of recovery. These naturopathic therapies can help to improve fatigue, decrease pain and inflammation, remove toxins and support tissue repair. Naturopathic intravenous therapies provide therapeutic doses of natural medicines that can help to regulate the immune system and promote healing.
Phosphatidylcholine is a fatty acid that is naturally found within cell membranes. Phosphatidylcholine can be administered IV and helps to repair cell membranes and increase cellular detoxification post-infection. This has been shown to help patient’s with post-Lyme syndrome with fatigue, numbness, tingling and can significantly improve cognitive functioning.
Another IV that is very effective for post-Lyme syndrome is curcumin. Curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory and can help to decrease pain, and reduce chronic inflammation. Additionally curcumin has the ability to help “re-set” the immune system through cytokine regulation. During infection this balance may be lost as the body mounts a response to help to fight the infection. However, after the infection has been treated, curcumin can help to restore balance and decrease the autoimmune response that contributes to post-Lyme symptoms.
Depending on your symptoms, other IV therapies our Calgary naturopaths may recommend are glutathione and alpha-lipoic acid. Glutathione is a naturally occurring anti-oxidant that is used to repair the liver and support detoxification. After long-term antibiotic therapy a patient’s liver may be strained and not detoxifying optimally, which can contribute to fatigue. Glutathione is also protective against oxidation in the brain and can help to heal neurological tissue. Finally, IV Alpha-lipoic acid may be used to promote nerve regeneration, decrease numbness and tingling and reduce nerve pain.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is also a powerful healing tool that can help patient’s suffering from post-Lyme Disease syndrome. HBOT increases tissue oxygen levels throughout the whole body. High levels of oxygen help to:
- Promote blood flow
- Decrease inflammation
- Regulate hormones
- Decrease pain
- Repair connective tissue
- Repair neurological tissue
All of these actions help a patient to return to a state of balance after a chronic infection such as Lyme or Co-infections.
Our Calgary naturopaths at the Nardella Clinic have extensive experience helping patients with post-Lyme syndrome. Our comprehensive therapies and years of experience help us to determine which naturopathic therapies are most beneficial for you to successfully continue on your path to health.