Monday, July 28, 2008
Am I Lyme Literate?
I have been accused of not being Lyme literate by a lay person who has her own web site and blog. She feels I am misleading people. I don't know if it is appropriate to defend myself; but like most physicians, my ego pushes my in this direction. She claims that Lyme is transmitted by breast feeding. This makes no sense to me and I have seen no scientific evidence to support this. Lyme can not be found in body fluids and it not transmitted by the gastrointestinal tract. Infants who have Lyme probably got it through the placenta. There is science to support this. She claims that samento is a crucial part of Lyme treatment. Many patients who come to me have used this extensively. It may have modest benefits but has not cured anyone. I have no problems with patients using this as an adjunct, but to date there is no science to support its use. Mr. Buhner has written a beautiful book about Lyme. The science of Lyme infections is well described and documented. He offers herbal therapies, but no science to back up the use of these therapies. It has been reported that the Cowden herbal protocol helps Lyme patients. This is a difficult and expensive therapy. Again, it lacks scientific support. The Top Ten Treatments by Rosner is filled with mistakes and misinformation. The Marshal protocol refutes the importance of treating non cell wall, intact spirochetes. Marshal is a PhD, not a MD. His treatment was initially used for sarcoidosis not Lyme. He claims only a 30% success rate with Lyme. Plaquenil is not an anti-cyst drug as stated. The vitamin C and salt therapy is questionable and has helped very few patients. The same can be said of the rife machine. Dr. Burrascano is without question one of the best Lyme docs. he recommends a plethora of supplements. Apparently he cured himself without taking these supplements and used high doses of Ceftin. I can't list all the supplements here but they include: alpha lipoic acid, co-enzyme Q10, Carnitine, magnesium, multivitamins, methyl-cyocobalamin(which is an expensive form of vitamin B12) omega-3 supplements and a host of other supplements. If you take all these things you end up taking a medicine chest full of supplements. There is no scientific evidence to support any of things. I, my patients and family members have recovered without these things. To the best of my knowledge, Dr. Stricker and Dr. Jemsek do use these things and they are arguably the best Lyme docs in the country. I see many patients who have had their fillings removed; been tested for every parasite in the book; had saliva tests for cortisol levels; been treated with a plethora of herbs and alternative therapies, who ultimately come to me because they have not gotten better. I disagree that stage three Lyme is not curable. Many stage 3 Lyme patients have been cured or at least put into long term remission. Chronic Lyme is still outside the mainstream box. I use therapies which have some proven benefit or least are based on clear logical principals encompassed both in the art and science of medicine. Some patient have been treated with what I consider dangerous therapy like intravenous hydrogen peroxide and colloidal silver. These treatments have been given by the best known "LLMDs". These same doctors who once used the Marshal protocol now load patients up with vitamin D not understanding the immunology of this compex hormone. I see patients who have not gotten better with other docs and I am willing to take on very difficult patients. I treat patients with severe Lyme and all its known complications. I do not claim to be the best Lyme doctor. I welcome positive feedback. My intention is to write a patent's guide to Lyme from a physicians perspective. I like questions because they help me in this regard. Patients should be aware that there are as many opinions as their are LLMDs. Lyme patients need to become Lyme literate themselves and seek a variety of opinions and opinions. I have no agenda in writing this blog. I find it therapeutic and I hope it helps some patients. During an office visit I do have time to cover the vast the details of the science and controversies of Lyme disease. I hope this forum helps with the educational process. I also welcome feedback from patients which I find very helpful.