TOXICITY RELATED IMMUNOSUPPRESSION AND LYME DISEASE
Internal toxicity is like a swamp
DISEASE RESULTS FROM CHANGES IN MICROBIOME
Inflammatory diseases are now being recognized as associated with shifts in microbiome composition and not typically due to any single pathogen. Inflammatory diseases result from alternations in the complex microbial communities found inside out body (Proal, Albert, & Marshall, 2014). Disease causing microbes are capable of living inside immune cells and altering these cells’ ability to identify and kill microbial invaders.
Chronic Lyme disease is a complex problem equivalent to cancer which cannot be cured by antibiotics or targeting the pathogen directly. Factors such as heavy metals, toxins and immune suppression must be addressed in an overall approach, much like treatment of cancer.
Chronic Lyme disease is also known as multiple systemic chronic infection syndrome (MSCIS) and involves multiple infections including viruses, parasites, bacterial, spirochetes, fungi, and mold. These infections further immune deficiency, damage mitochondria and lead to multiple disturbances in physiology. Antibiotic therapy often leads to biofilm formation, disturbance of gut microbiology and acidic conditions allowing for growth of mold, fungi and parasites. Silver nanoparticle therapy provides broad spectrum antimicrobial therapy, immune and inflammation modulating benefits and biofilm disruption, making it effective in treatment for MSCIS.
Toxic tissues are not able to mount an immune response. Bacterial DNA and antibiotics can remain lodged in tissues, damaging mitochondria and preventing the body to heal. Computer and microwave emission of electromagnetic fields (EMF) can weaken the immune system by adding to the increasing burden of toxins accumulating in our society over the past 40 years.
The glymphatic system is a brain wide pathway the removes fluid waste products through an exchange of cerebrospinal fluid with interstitial fluid. Glial cells called astrocytes form conduits to move the toxins out of the brain through veins and into the deep cervical lymph nodes. During sleep brain cells shrink by 40% increasing the space for toxin removal. If waste is not removed at night during sleep, neurodegenerative disease is a result. Lyme is a noted neurological pathogen and the glymphatic system must be optimized in addressing treatment for Lyme. Deep Purple from Biopure contains powerful antioxidants to help with detox, along with homeopathic drainage and lymphatic massage to reduce toxic loads on the central nervous system.
The hormone melatonin has been shown to remove mercury, aluminum, cadmium, viruses, parasites and bacteria such as Lyme from the brain through the glymphatic system channels. Melatonin induces sleep and is the most potent antioxidant used by the brain to heal itself.
Environmental exposure to aluminum is increased by exposure to glyphosphate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup used to harvest wheat. Aluminum and glyphosphate disrupt the detoxifying enzymes called CYP450 which plays a role in the production of melatonin. Glyphosphate also disrupts the production of the amino acid tryptophan by gut microbes. Tryptophan is needed to produce melatonin. This disrupted melatonin production impairs the brain’s ability to detoxify. Seneff, Aluminum and glyphosphate (Swanson & Li, 2015) Mercury toxicity leading to suppression of the immune system can result in an inability to clear Lyme infections. Mercury exposure is associated with reduced cytokine release from immune cells called T cells in response to Lyme infection. (Ekerfelt, Andersson, Olausson, Bergstrom, & Hultman, 2007)
L FORMS ARE UNDETECTED BY CURRENT BLOOD TESTS
L forms are cell wall deficient (CWD) bacteria which have mutated, making them resistant to antibiotics and, because they are without cell walls, they are undetectable by blood tests (Blaney et al., 2009).
The clinical importance of CWD bacteria are not typically addressed in treatment as they do not grow on routine bacteriological media. L-forms are resistant to antibiotics that act on the cell wall of bacteria. These bacteria will not necessarily show up in lab cultures because they are very difficult to grow. Finally, the L-form bacteria can change forms and become ‘stealth’ bacteria by setting up housekeeping inside the immune cells which scavenge them, making them cell parasitic bacteria. The problem is that the immune system cells phagocytes, after successfully engulfing the L form bacteria, are unable to kill them.
BIOFILMS AND LYME DISEASE
Biofilms form when there are enough bacteria present to reach a critical mass called quorum sensing. Quorum sensing bacteria then are able to use signaling molecules to communicate with each other from cell to cell. This chemical communication, via signaling molecules throughout the biofilm, provides a competitive advantage because these bacteria are collaborating for activities such as finding nutrients. Biofiom formations help the pathogens to grow more rapidly and fight off competing bacteria, and this same biofilm provides protection against the body’s natural immune system responses and the effects of antibiotics (Annous, Fratamico, & Smith, 2009).
Figure 10.3 Biofilm protecting bacteria from antibiotics and immune system cells
MYCOTOXINS CAN CAUSE CO-INFECTIONS
Biotoxins are toxins created by living organisms. Mycotoxins are a type of biotoxins produced by molds and yeasts, which are both are fungal organisms. Some of the more common mycotoxins include aflatoxin, ochratoxin and trichothecene, which can be measured in a urine sample for those suspected of having a mold associated illness.
Stachybotrys is the most known pathogenic mold. It is black mold which produces the mycotoxin tricholthecene. It grows indoors and is best tested with dust sampling using ERMI by Mycometrics (Forsgen et al., 2014).
In addition to an acute allergy or infection, chronic symptoms can be caused by mold toxicity from external mycotoxin exposure or internal colonizing fungal organisms. Mold toxicity can damage the immune system as a result in uncontrolled outpouring of inflammatory cytokines producing the same symptoms seen in Lyme disease. Molds can also affect the endocrine system including sex hormones, thyroid function and adrenal function. Myotoxic exposure can lead to food allergies, chemical sensitivities and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) (Forsgen et al., 2014).
Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) have both been associated with mycotoxin exposure. Research shows that mycotoxins are a possible cause of mitochondrial dysfunction in CFS patients resulting in fatigue and cognitive issues. Many symptoms of CFS overlap with mycotoxin exposure, including abnormal cytokine profiles, autoimmunity, immune deficiency, endocrine abnormalities and oxidative stress (Brewer et al., 2013).
A disrupted intestinal immunity can result in dysbiosis allowing the entry of endotoxins into the bloodstream. The resultant low grade chronic inflammation can lead to mitochondrial damage and lowered fat burning L form bacteria interfering with the functioning of the vitamin D receptors and causing excessive production of the biphasic steroid 1-25(OH)2 D3. This in turn leads to autoimmune disease, and suppression of other nuclear receptors that signal for fat burning and detoxification signaling. The importance of balancing the gut flora and establishing the functional capacity of the VDR are paramount in restoring health and solving obesity.
CO INFECTINS WITH LYME DISEASE
- burgdorferi (Bb), Lyme Disease, can exist in at least two and possibly three different forms including a spirochete or spiral bacteria, a spheroblast or L form and a cystic form, possible the same as the L form (Burrascano, 2008).
Bb can also shift among the three forms during the course of the infection, making it necessary to cycle different classes of antibiotics during the course of treatment or to prescribe a combination of dissimilar agents. The cyst is able to remain dormant and cannot be killed by antibiotics which kill Lyme. When the environment is favorable to its growth, it reverts back to the spirochete.
Let’s consider how the nervous and immune systems react to an invading virus such as the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi (Bd) which is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Lyme disease is thought to affect 300,000 people annually in the USA alone (“Cardiff University T-cell modulation group,” 2009).
Over 250 peer-reviewed scientific articles demonstrate the causal association between Lyme/tick-borne disease and mental illness. Thousands of peer-reviewed journal articles demonstrate the causal association between infections and mental illness and inflammation (Bransfield, 2012).
Ongoing infection and inflammation lead to encephalopathy and gradually increasing mental symptoms. Cognitive symptoms begin as executive dysfunction and mild cognitive impairments and may gradually progress to dementia while emotional symptoms begin with insomnia, reduced frustration tolerance, irritability and dysthymia and may progress to anxiety disorders, depression, impulsivity and personality disorders and subsequently psychosis and/or suicidal and homicidal tendencies. Many of these symptoms appear to be mediated by immune mechanisms (Bransfield, 2012).
Lyme disease, caused by the bacterium Bb, has been recognized to cause multi-systemic signs and symptoms, including peripheral and central nervous system disease. Some immune mediated pathophysiology seen in Lyme disease is a failure to shift from Th1 to Th2 immune balance. The ongoing immune activation causes the cytokine storm in chronic Lyme. In these patients, the innate immune system is not turned off. Specific genetic types are more prone to this phenomenon (Newell et al., 2010).
There are some other immune pathological proceses associated with Lyme disease. The neuropsychiatric Herxheimer reaction appears to be an adverse immune reaction to treatment although the exact mechanism is not well clarified (Maloy, Black, & Segurola, 1998). Anti-neural antibody reactivity was found to be significantly higher in the Lyme patients with prior treatment and persistent symptoms. Over time, the Lyme spirochete Bb may be driving production of these antibodies (Stricker & Johnson, 2010).
Borrelia produces neurotoxins which cause symptoms of encephalopathy, ongoing inflammation, virus like symptoms in late Lyme and blockage of hormone receptors. Fibers such as Welchol pills can trap the neurotoxins before it is reabsorbed after being excreted via bile into the intestinal tract. Symptoms will flare in cycles of every four weeks and the symptoms are exaggerated when Bb is in a vulnerable growth phase and being killed off several days after onset of appropriate therapy. Repeated treatment failure is a sign of an immune deficiency. Absolutely no immunosuppressant treatment, especially local steroids or injections, should be used as this allow Bb to further damage the immune system and entrench itself without restriction. I use bentonite clay for my clients to absorb bacterial toxins and prevent Herxheimer reactions. Taken from a half hour before to two hours after food or medication, the fibers help clear the body of toxins.
No coffee or alcohol, low carbohydrates, enforced rest, food sensitivities must be ruled out. Sugar, flours soft fruits, fruit juices, starchy vegetables and artificial sweeteners are not allowed. Stevia is fine. Three meals per day and only carbohydrate free snacks can be taken at night. Blood sugar and insulin must be maintained.
Exercise is good, along with nutritional supplements. Lyme patients will not return to normal unless they exercise. Bp will eventually die if exposed to oxygen and are is also very sensitive to heat. Exercise can increase tissue perfusion and increase core body temperature. Gentle intermittent non aerobic exercise can also enhance T-cell function to kill the Bb. One hour sessions should include light resistance training with many repetitions or stretch and tone. Exercise days must be separated by 3-5 days of total rest and quality sleep. As stamina improves, less days of rest are allowed, but never consecutive exercise days until the Lyme disease is completely cleared because physical rest for recovery is essential for the healing process.
Co- infections need to be addressed including tick born bacteria, viruses, chlamydia and mycoplasmas (yeast and fungi). Multiple systemic infectious disease syndrome (MSIDS) must be addressed in chronic illness, including Lyme disease. There is more to chronic Lyme disease than Lyme alone (Horowitz, 2013).
There is a connection between those struggling with chronic Lyme disease and ongoing exposure to toxic molds and mycotoxins. Exposure to mold can make one more susceptible to Lyme disease and vice versa. Environmental exposures to toxic molds, biofilms colonization from fungal infections and immune system challenges must be addressed in addition to Lyme as contributors to both the severity and duration of the illness (Ritchie C. Shoemaker, 2010; Ritchie C. Shoemaker, Schaller, & Schmidt, 2005).
REVISED GUIDELINES FOR TREATING LYME DISEASE
Experts are proposing new treatment guidelines for Lyme disease (D. Cameron et al., 2004; D. J. Cameron, Johnson, & Maloney, 2014).
The 2014, an International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) evidence based treatment guidelines working group, led by Cameron, DJ, Maloney B and Johnson (with contributions from the entire ILADS board of directors and outside reviewers), indicated that the effectiveness of treatment for persistent symptoms following standard antibiotic therapy alone for Lyme disease to be lower than commonly believed.
In a well-designed trial of antibiotic retreatment in patients with severe fatigue, only 64% in the treatment arm obtained a clinically significant and sustained benefit from the additional antibiotic therapy, and results were substantially different from the effectiveness rates seen in the four NIH-sponsored retreatment trials using more varied approaches. The experts recommended that providers offer therapeutic options based on clinical judgment instead of a single approach and that antibiotic treatment may not always be the best way to treat Lyme disease. (D. J. Cameron et al., 2014).
In treating Lyme’s Disease we must correct the malfunction of multiple body systems:
- Address brain, nervous system and genetic antibody deficiencies results within 12 hours to prevent complicating conditions due to the Lyme spirochete which if left untreated can invade the brain and every cell in the body/immune system (leading to depression, anxiety and cognitive disruption). IV: Sarsaparilla Root, specifically Smilax Glabae, which helps to bind neurotoxins and flush them out of the body. Sarsaparilla was used in the 1800s to successfully treat the spirochete bacteria syphilis. Available at http://hawaii-pharm.com/
- Treat biofilm-producing drug resistant microorganisms resulting from aggressive antibiotic therapy. Intestin-ol from Otho Molecular Products provides a blend of three essential oils that act in synergy to promote healthy microbial balance and immune support of the gastrointestinal (GI) flora by promoting balanced immunity, Intestin-ol contains potent thyme, oregano and clove essential oils. These have been used for centuries to promote microbial balance and to help protect the immune system from microbial stressors. The oregano oil used in Intestin-ol is standardized to contain up to 75% carvacrol, a powerful antioxidant and potent microbial balancing agent in the GI system. Essential oils from thyme, clove, and oregano interfere with the starting phases of Candida biofilm production as well as with mature biofilms.
III. Address leaky gut, VDR blockage and dysbiosis and other sources of suppression of the immune system. In addition to high potency probiotics, IgG Protect from Ortho Molecular Products is a highly concentrated (40%) immunoglobulin G (IgG) formula from colostrum extracts that provides essential nutrition for improved immune health. Colostrum naturally contains immune factors, amino acids, nucleotides and growth factors which provide several benefits to human immune health by functioning against pathogenic organisms.
- Provides Concentrated Immunoglobulins to Enhance Mucosal Immunity
- Stimulates the Body’s Normal Gut Repair Mechanisms
- Helps to Enhance the Elimination of Microorganisms
- Helps Maintain Microbial Balance
IV: Broad-Spectrum Antimicrobial: ACS 200 EXTRA STRENGTH by Results RNA is the only immune system support formula proven to achieve 99.9999% (complete) kill against 660 microorganisms; including Borrelia burgdorferi, Bartonella henselae, Powassan virus, Rhinovirus, Legionella pneumophila, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella bongori, Candida albicans & MRSA as proven via in vitro, kill-time studies.
Lyme disease involves broad cognitive decline and psycho-emotional elements in over 70% of patients, including anxiety, depression, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, nightmares, rage, impulsiveness and even suicidal thoughts (Rissenberg M., 1998). Lyme brain is caused by the Borrelia bacteria which can invade neurons and their supporting glial cells, leading to nerve cell death and demylelination, (a loss of the neuronal protective sheath) (Miklossy J, 2008).
Release of inflammatory cytokines by the immune system to counter the invasive Borrelia causes the most significant disruptions in the brain function. Inflammation results in lowered oxygen levels, increased coagulation and decline of the neuron function resulting in neurotransmitter imbalances.
Finally, Lyme and its related infections trigger the release of neurotoxins, particularly during treatment and die off, which can lead to exacerbations and strong Herxheimer reactions. Borrelia may release BbTox1, a toxin which increases ammonia levels resulting in further neuron poisoning (Bradford, 2006).
Natural options for treating Lyme include:
Teasel Root has anti-inflammatory effects which stops the progression of the disease and treat the secondary infections, often combined with prescribed antibiotics and has been successful in treating fibromyalgia.
Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng helps support the adrenals to enhance energy and mental clarity.
GABA neurotransmitter support for anxiety. GABATONE by Apex Energetics is a products that has worked well for patients. 5-HTP also supports serotonin balance, working along with GABA to calm and balance the brain.
Curcumin, containing aromatic turmerone to help repair and regenerate brain cells by up to 80% (Hucklenbroich J, 2014).
Methylated B12 and Acetyl-L-carnitine help support regeneration of the myelin sheath to restore cognition. Acetyl-carnitine increases norepinephrine in the brain’s hippocampus and serotonin in the cortex. It prevents age related decline associated with dopamine receptors and reduces depressive symptoms (Smeland OB, 2012).
Frankincense essential oil can be safely use internally or applied topically to the soles of the feet and temple area. Frankincense crosses the blood brain barrier (BBB) and penetrates into cells where the Lyme disease lives. It improves neurologic symptoms by increasing oxygenation, reducing inflammation and calming the nervous system.
Resveratrol (Japanese Knotweed) is a member of the buckwheat family and is a broad-spectrum antibacterial, very effective against Lyme-related spirochetes including Borrelia burgdorferi. It increases blood flow to areas harboring the Lyme spirochetes including the eyes, skin, heart and joints.
Support the body’s own immune system properly with high dose probiotics, maintain good sleep habits, maximize nutrition, avoid gluten and sugar, and exercise moderately but regularly. Close personal contacts should be screened for infections and treated.