The information in this thread is for educational purposes only, and as a launchpad for your own research. It is not intended to replace the advice of a Lyme-literate medical professional, who should be consulted in this matter.
I hope that others will chime in with their experiences with Lyme's disease and treatment protocols, and their effectiveness (or ineffectiveness). It could serve as a springboard for personal research, or possibly a road towards wellness that others can explore.
I'll kick this thread off with my own experiences with treating chronic, late-stage Lyme's disease.
But first, a few words about herbal alternatives that I would certainly try, if I had Lyme's disease today:
15 years ago, when Lyme's was not as well studied as it is now, herbal alternatives were being explored. Today, an herbal protocol developed by Stephen Harrod Buhner is available http://www.buhnerhealinglyme.com/
and is thoroughly discussed in his book, Healing Lyme.
His website is very informative.
He has authored other books about co-infections as well. http://www.buhnerhealinglyme.com/bookstore
Buhner reports that his protocol has good results: 75% recover completely, 10-15% are relieved of most or all symptoms, 5-10% are relieved of some symptoms, 5% have no response.
Also, there's this... http://www.buhnerhealinglyme.com/bas...effectiveness/
Here are some updates to his book, along with a list of Lyme-literate practitioners with experience in this protocol: http://www.gaianstudies.org/Lyme.html
This is what happened to me fifteen years ago:
I learned (the hard way) why Lyme's is called "The Great Imitator." It can mimic more diseases/disorders than anything else known to medical science. Because there is no known 100% conclusive
medical test to diagnose for Lyme's (too many false negatives), it is often diagnosed by clinical symptoms — and sometimes by the Herxheimer reactions (more on that in a bit). This bacteria is notorious for escaping tests (even multiple ones).
Years ago I had chronic Lyme's and didn't realize it; I thought it was this... or that... Before it was all over with, I was begging to be shot. Late-stage Lyme's is seriously bad juju.
Because there were no Lyme-literate docs around at the time that were within affordable travelling distance, I treated myself (fortunately with success). I learned of an unorthodox treatment from an online message board. One of the members was a doctor who had chronic Lyme's disease and performed a successful experiment on himself with a radical protocol. He posted day-by-day details about his journey with treating Lyme's. It sounded extreme but it made sense to me, and I was desperate enough to try it.
I followed the doctor's experimental protocol closely because it seemed to work so well for him. Part of my regimen included taking tetracycline for a period of 1 month, then discontinuing it. I would have taken Doxycyline (like the doctor did) if I could have... More on that later. Immediately after discontinuing the the tetracycline, I hit it with metronidazole (Flagyl) for a month. I repeated this cycle continuously for almost a year before I finally beat it. I waited until I was symptom-free for two months before discontinuing the meds.
I used fish meds for both drugs. I don't remember what the dosages were or the name of the message board, and I'm away from home (and my records). But some diligent time spent with Google may help with that.
The idea was to kill all of the Lyme bugs that were the spirochette form AND the ones that were hiding behind the blood/brain barrier in the cyst form. When Lyme is in the spirochette form it can be killed with doxycycline or plain tetracycline (the survivors end up in cysts and hide in the nervous system and the brain where the tetracycline/doxycycline can't reach them). The metronidazole can kill the cysts that are hiding behind the blood/brain barrier (spirochettes are unaffected by it). Over time, the repeated cycles of alternating meds cleaned up any and all "escapees."
Typically, a chronic Lymie may go through Herxheimer reactions when the bugs are hit with the right antibiotic at the right time for the spirochettes and for the cysts. The dead bugs are apparently very toxic, especially when they die in large numbers. Gaaah... for me it was so bad I thought they were going to lock me up, feed me fish-head soup and bones...and throw away the key. (Maybe I should have gone a little slower with it? One poster said that the Herx was too much for him, and he went med-free on weekends.)
It's been about 15 years ago since I did this, and I am happy to say it worked. Either I have been cured, or it has been one heckofa long remission. The track record of conventional treatments is rather poor for late-stage Lyme's, so I must say this is quite an accomplishment.
By the way, if you can't find doxycycline (it's getting scarce and ridiculously expen$ive), it is also available via BIRD meds (good stuff and the price is right). It's in powdered form, but can be easily transferred to empty capsules. I recently got some from Jeffers:www.jefferspet.com
(800) 533-3377 for a friend. Jeffer's also has metronidazole.
Doxy is much better than old-fashioned tetracycline. One of the reasons why I wanted the doxy is that a smaller dosage can be used to get the same results as a greater quantity of tetracycline. 15 years ago, I tried to find it in fish meds, and couldn't source it at the time.
Fortunately the notorious teeth-staining aspects of tetracycline will not affect adults. However it affects very young people who have not had all of their "adult teeth" in yet and will stain the developing teeth that have yet to emerge, which is why it is never prescribed for children.
The metronidazole can be harsh on some individuals. Fortunately I was able to tolerate it then (now, I cannot).
And now for the dry stuff: I am not making any health, medicinal or disease related claims in this post. This post is for educational purposes only, and are in no way intended to substitute for the advice of a health care professional, who should be consulted in all medical matters.