I first thought about this topic awhile back, as I have had a few people tell me that they HAD Lyme disease, had their treatment (whatever their non-Lyme believing doctor gave them) and were wondering if they still had it as they still didn’t feel well after treatment. But the doctors said that they were all better! Or they felt better for awhile, and are starting to have reoccurring symptoms. OR, those who say they were reinfected with Lyme. So.. not eradicated to begin with or reinfection? Once you do feel better, is Lyme disease all gone?
I have done a TON of research on this topic and hit a brick wall. So many different beliefs on the matter. Most online sites only present the CDC aka “The Devils” belief that Lyme is cured in 30 days or less and that’s that. End of case. A lot of pages I have looked at go by this notion. Well, we know this isn’t true. Millions of people are suffering right now. I have discussed this topic with my LLND and know my DC doc’s thoughts on the matter. Googled away. Read some books, well, what I could of them. I am going to go with a big fat NO on this one, and I will explain why.
The CDC idea on the matter in their own words on their “Frequently Asked Questions” section when asked if it was true that Lyme doesn’t go away, “No. Patients treated with antibiotics in the early stages of the infection usually recover rapidly and completely. Most patients who are treated in later stages of the disease also respond well to antibiotics, although some may have suffered long-term damage to the nervous system or joints. Approximately 10-20% of patients experience fatigue, muscle aches, sleep disturbance, or difficulty thinking even after completing a recommended course of antibiotic treatment. These symptoms cannot be cured by longer courses of antibiotics, but they generally improve on their own, over time.”
This opens another topic that they refer to this as “Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome”, but another day, another blog.
By the way, the CDC recommends 2-4 weeks of treatment if you haven’t ever visited their visited their website.
So, their stance is that Lyme does go away, and with a quick treatment protocol at that. Kind of makes you want to throw them the middle finger, eh?
Off topic, but, once again, not remotely acknowledging chronic Lyme. Most of us experiencing chronic Lyme or if you have read my previous posts about the CDC having multiple members know that the IDSA members (who are responsible for the CDC guidelines) were heavily rewarded by not acknowledging Lyme as a serious long-term disease, so, it kind of tells you that there is no fact or truth to what they have to say on the matter. As many of you know, or have experienced, WAY, WAY more than 10-20% of patients are not better after their 2-4 weeks of treatment, which shouldn’t be enough antibiotics to treat Lyme to begin with anyway. Shame on you CDC and IDSA.
Many LLMD’s believe that Lyme never goes away, but with the right treatment plan, you can get rid of symptoms and the disease then goes into remission. The main focus here is getting your symptoms under control and keeping your immune system happy so you can remain symptom free.
It is nearly impossible to kill every little spirochete in your body, especially having chronic Lyme. Yes, it is true that many people do recover (at least symptom wise) with the short protocol, if you immediately noticed a bulls-eye rash (which is very lucky if you have one), or their Doctor happened figured it out right away.
Once the bacteria has been in your body for months, or years upon years, as many have experienced, the bacteria likes to get deep into all your tissues, your organs, your brain… everything. That is one reason why it is so hard to kill, other than the fact the little buggers are extremely smart and turn into biofilm and cyst forms to prevent attack.
An article was published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation about their research on mice and Lyme disease, that while antibiotics cured the infection, spirochetes antigens were found in areas adjacent to cartilage which is a condition that can cause swelling. Researcher, Brian Fallon, a Columbian psychiatrist who focused on primates found metabolic abnormalities continuing on in brains of patients with confirmed cases of Lyme, chronic, and post-treatment compared to healthy test subjects. This should tell you that it is probable the disease does not go away completely.
Fortunately, the Lyme bacteria is extremely slow growing. In fact, most bacteria types can be killed with 10-14 days of antibiotics. Lyme on the other hand, has a 4 week cycle. so, essentially, not knowing when it is going to grow, it is even harder as you have slim chances of killing the buggers each time around, and is why longer treatment is required as you have such a short window to attack. But, once you reach a symptom free or nearly symptom free state, it is likely that you still have the borellia burgdorferi bacteria inside you. Slowly and slowly reproducing. But once you get into that state of remission, you could quite possibly stay in remission, especially if your immune system is happy (all us chronics have an array of immune deficiencies).
If you get bit again by another tick, it is not necessarily “reinfecting yourself”. You are likely feeling the same symptoms you did or even more, possibly were infected with another strain of the disease as there over 100 in the U.S. alone, and let’s not forget about co-infections. You might have just had Lyme disease before, but the next tick gives you a plethora of symptoms because you might have just added Bartonella, Babesia, or several of the other co-infections to the mix.
I went researching on Igenex to see if there was any more light to the subject.They have a past and previous part of their test, IgG and IgM but said depending on how long you have had the disease and also depending on if your body is making antibodies to the bacteria or not plays a part in if anything will show up at all on the tests among many other factors. Poop. So not a huge help… then I went to ILADS website to see if I could delve some more…. and I had much better luck 😉
ILADS, International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society states, “Many patients with chronic Lyme disease require prolonged treatment until the patient is symptom -free. Relapses occur and retreatment may be required. There are no tests to currently available to prove that the organism is eradicated or that the patient with chronic Lyme is cured.“
And then I lastly stumbled upon Lyme Info, which states that there is no established cure for Lyme disease.
So there you have it folks! Would have to agree with the LLMD’s and ILADS. The ultimate goal here is remission, not a cure. Fight and fight hard to get there, continue to keep your immune system happy, and hope like hell you will stay that way.. symptom free. 🙂