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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Babesia only

This 53-year-old male, formerly a serious athlete, has been sidelined since 2000 with a primary diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome. He suffered dehydration and hyponatremia, low sodium, after running a marathon, and has never been well since. His symptoms have included: severe fatigue, muscle pains, tendinitis and joint pains. Over many years he experienced significant ups and downs with reliable exacerbation every 4 to 6 weeks. During these episodes he had more fatigue and achiness, and felt more flu-like. He has never had any significant fevers, night sweats or air hunger.
He lives in an area were Lyme disease is endemic and spends much time outdoors. He has no recollection of any tick bites or EM rash. Testing for Lyme disease has been negative.  Co-infection testing has been negative except for a blood smear examination which showed the presence of intra-erythrocytic organisms compatible with Babesia species.

He has been treated specifically for Babesia and has improved dramatically over a 7 month course. Recently hyperbaric oxygen therapy was added and he has done even better. Of course antibiotics in Babesia programs also kill Lyme. 

People sometimes ask me: can you just have Babesia? In theory yes.   Infected Ixodes scapularis ticks can pick up an unpredictable “grab bag” of germs.  Any one tick will be infected with varied combinations of:  Babesia, Anaplasma, Rickettsia species, Mycoplasma species, Bartonella species, Lyme – a variety of strains, others?  Some ticks will be infected only with Babesia.  

Some suggest that hyperbaric therapy “feeds” Babesia, making it worse. This is not true. 

Recurring flu-like symptoms, ostensibly the calling card of Babesia have been gone for months. The cyclical exacerbations are gone.  He still suffers with fatigue but his pain is almost completely gone. He was recently able to participate in a sporting event without the severe consequences (utter exhaustion and horrible muscle pains) he has become accustomed to – and this is great.  

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