lyme disease
Lyme disease, or borreliosis, caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which can proliferate to every area in your body, is the most common American tick-borne infectious disease. It often goes undiagnosed or becomes misdiagnosed, and is considered a minor acute illness by the mainstream medical system. That becomes a real problem when you consider that in America, up to 300,000 new cases a year of Lyme disease diagnoses have been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an increase of up to 10 times what researchers previously believed.

Lyme disease sufferers go through a living hell, not recognized for suffering the from the actual disease they have and often being accused of having a psychological disorder or "faking it". Today on the SOTT Talk Radio Health and Welness show, we take a deep look at this mysterious and devastating disease.

Running Time: 01:14:00

Download: MP3

Here's the transcript of the show:

Jonathan: Welcome everybody. My name is Jonathan. I'll be your host for today. Today is October 23, 2015 and a beautiful fall day outside. Joining me in our virtual studio from all across the planet we have Doug, Erica, Tiffany and Gaby. We have a full compliment today.

All: Hellos.

Jonathan: Today we are going to be talking about Lyme disease or Borelliosis. Lyme disease is the most common American tick-borne infectious disease but often goes undiagnosed or becomes misdiagnosed and is considered a minor acute illness by the mainstream medical system. It's been an interesting problem recently, because there are up to 300,000 new cases a year and because of this misdiagnosis that often happens is Lyme disease sufferers go through quite a tumultuous experience. They're not recognized. Sometimes they're told that they are either faking it or they have some kind of psychological problem. It actually is somewhat similar in that regard to Morgellon's which we had talked about in the past. It seems that people who suffer from Lyme really have to fight to get recognized and get the treatment that they need because they're diagnosed with a bunch of other things that are not accurate and the treatments don't work so they really go through a problematic process.

So, let's jump into it today. Erica has a recent article about Lyme that she's going to share with us and then we'll get into the details about the condition after that.

Erica: In the news this last week a Lyme advocacy group are saying, that the Center for Disease Control violates the law. They have made a point to write a document and have used federal law to support their claim that the Infectious Disease Society of America, IDSA and the Center for Disease Control need to change their guidelines, that they are grossly out of date. The petition is called; End Parental Treatment of the IDSA Guidelines for Lyme disease and it was filed with the CDC's bacteria disease branch on Wednesday, October 14.

The petitioners are exercising their First Amendment right to petition the government for redress of grievances along with a more specific right added by the Administrative Procedure Act which provides interested persons with the right to petition for the issuance and amendment or repeal of the rule.

So, they basically claim because of the restrictions imposed by the critically flawed IDSA guidelines promoted by the CDC, thousands of critically ill patients are harmed by misdiagnosis and as Jonathan was mentioning, denial of medically necessary treatments. The CDC's failure to provide equivalent exposure for more recent guidelines from the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society compounds the harm by omitting information about evidence-based treatment that could help these severely ill patients recover from this devastating disease.

In addition the advocates want to know does the CDC, a public agency tasked with protecting the health of US taxpayers, promulgate the idea said guidelines as policy particularly when it can be demonstrated that the guidelines authors disallow, ignore or reject the very body of scientific evidence that contradicts their narrow view of the disease; so basically this idea of conflicts of interest.

On a side note, there was an article that was carried about a month ago called; Chronic Lyme's Disease-The Silent Epidemic the Government Chooses to Ignore. Gaby had mentioned it on one of our past connecting the dots shows, but it happens that the people that have done these IDSA Lyme guidelines have direct conflicts of interest. This is reported by Lyme disease, the CDC's Greatest Cover Up and What They Don't want you to Know. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has investigated the IDSA panel members for possible violation of antitrust laws and conflicts of interest and in the particular of the 14 panel authors of the first edition guidelines, six of them or their universities held patents on Lyme or its co-infection. Four received funds from Lyme or co-infection test kit manufacturers and four were paid by insurance companies to write Lyme policy guidelines or consult on Lyme legal issues. Nine received money from Lyme disease vaccine manufacturers and some of the authors were involved in more than one of these conflicts of interest.

So, it's like the gatekeepers. They claim that it's not really a disease, as Jonathan has said; it's all in peoples' heads. And there are doctors out there who have had effective treatments. As we'll talk about later in the show, they're usually marginalized, called quacks or even sued, taken to court, having their medical licenses revoked. It's a pretty disturbing picture when you think about it, especially as Jonathan quoted; more people are affected by Lyme than HIV and breast cancer, up to even 400,000 people.

Doug: Yeah, it's pretty crazy. If you look at the IDSA guidelines, they say that Lyme is only an acute issue and that it's not a big deal and that a 14-day course of antibiotics takes care of it, which is just crazy when you think about it. They completely deny the idea that there is actually a chronic condition that's associated with this. It might be that in certain acute situations, if it's caught early enough, that kind of quick antibiotic protocol might be effective, but they completely ignore all the scientific evidence as well as the anecdotal evidence that there is a more serious problem here.

Tiffany: Well they say it's hard to get and it's easy to treat, which of course is not true. I think Erica and I were talking about this a while ago. We can't understand what the issue is with Lyme's disease. It's not like it's the expense. There are other chronic diseases, or diseases that require a lot of treatment that aren't treated in this way. It kind of reminds me of what Jonathan said earlier, the whole thing about Morgellon's. It has this untouchable-ness to it and I can't figure out why. It's not like drug companies wouldn't make money because drug companies make money off of AIDS or diabetes when those are all chronic conditions and they're not being pushed aside or assuming you're wrong, it's all in your head that you have AIDS. I don't understand.

Gaby: For me it reminds me of the debate that happened with peptic ulcers and H-pylori. There was an incredible resistance to accepting the fact that it was caused by these bacteria. Treatment is very easy. If you give the protocol of antibiotics for two or three weeks, people recover and they won't have those problems where they end up on the surgery table with a perforated ulcer. So, those incidents are kind of in the past, part of medical history, at least for young people. There were speculations that there were conflicts of interest because if people get treated for this bacterium and they don't develop the need for chronic drugs like pump-inhibitors like, Omeprazole, and other drugs, they become more independent. They literally heal. So that's another possibility, that if people realize that all these severe autoimmune diseases or chronic conditions are caused by bugs and that there is alternative treatment and mainstream treatment for this that is very cheap - antibiotics are very cheap actually - people may heal and they will not need long-term super high tech diagnostic tests like amoebiasis to diagnose, the consequences of Lyme disease in your neurological system. You won't need many such drugs, immunotherapy drugs that can cost in the thousands of dollars per vial. So, when you compare that with a box of antibiotics that can cost $20, it wouldn't be too bad.

Doug: Yeah.

Erica: Well one of the things the CDC may have upped the amount from originally 30,000 new cases of Lyme each year and then they upped this amount to 300,000 with this potential for a vaccine. So these same conflicts of interest in the IDSA, this idea of patenting the virus or the bacteria and then having this miraculous vaccine to come out - I think it was Baxter Industries that was working on it. If our readers are interested there's an article that came out in 2013 on TruthOut called, More corruption within the CDC: Lyme Disease Community blows the whistle. They talk about this vaccine and how that may be why the CDC changed its numbers.

Doug: I think it's a lot of competing interests going on here, but I know a lot of the people are pointing at the IDSA guidelines, that they're not calling it a chronic issue, has more to do with the insurance companies and their way of attacking these doctors. They're basically saying that they don't want to pay for the treatment that these people are going through. They don't want to pay for long courses of antibiotics that these people require. So, by saying it's only an acute issue and it only takes two weeks of antibiotics, in some cases they're denying hundreds of thousands of dollars of treatment that these people actually require.

Jonathan: Well let's get into the history of it for a little bit. Tiff, do you want to talk about that? I know we don't have time to spend, but we can get a brief overview.

Tiffany: Well it was originally thought to have originated in North America in a place called Old Lyme, Connecticut where there was a big blow-up of cases in the 1970's. But there was an article on SOTT called, Lyme Disease Bacterium Came From Europe Before Ice Age. Some researchers at the University of Bath and their colleagues in the United States studied the evolutionary history of the Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes that's carried by a tick that causes Lyme disease. So, they studied that and they looked at these housekeeping genes and they found 33 different combinations of these genes. It showed that the Borrelia spirochete originated in Europe, but it's been present for a long time in North America.

So, I guess it's a lot older than people think that it is. I think Doug; you had some information regarding that?

Doug: I watched a really interesting interview with Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt with Mercola and he actually had some interesting things to say about the history of these spirochetes. He thinks they've been around for a very long time and that if you look through history you can actually find incidences. He mentioned a community in Germany where the women who work out in the fields always seem to end up with swollen knees and arthritic joint conditions but it's not nearly as virulent as it is today. He talks about how there's a possibility that Mozart and Beethoven were suffering from these types of diseases and even Napoleon.

But he seems to think that something has changed recently to make it more virulent. It is affecting humans in ways that you didn't really see in history. I wouldn't say it was benign, but it was less severe than it seems to be now. People weren't as debilitated as you see develop these days.

Tiffany: That kind of applies to the whole Plum Island conspiracy, speaking of virulence. In the early 1950's there were scientists - if this is true or has any merit whatsoever - some scientists are said to have come over with Project Paper Clip after the Second World War and they conducted all of these experiments with infectious ticks. So, that's something to consider.

Gaby: That's interesting because Gulf War Syndrome originally researched from veterans that came back sick and the research was pioneered by Garth Nicolson who speculated it was an infectious agent because it was then transmitted to families from veterans. And he finally pinpointed the agent, Mycoplasma fermentans. He also speculated it would be transmitted by ticks but also through contaminated vaccines and so forth. There's a lot of controversial material here.

The other thing I find interesting about the history is that Borrelia burgdorferi is a spirochete and it's very similar, like a copy so-to-speak, of Treponema pallidum, the agent of syphilis and the disease that it causes is very similar to syphilis. It can be transmitted congenitally, mothers to their offspring. It can be transmitted sexually; so not only by ticks. It can cause neurological disease but also transmission through all tissues and so forth. So, that is interesting as well.

Doug: There's been a lot of evidence lately that it spreads in ways not generally recognized. In the mainstream they say the only way you can get it is from a tick bite. But there are lots of cases where they've found people with no evidence that they've had any kind of tick bite. Entire families come down with the disease even though maybe only one of them was bitten by a tick or there's no evidence of a tick bite. There's some evidence that it might actually also be spread by mosquitoes and spider bites. This is all very controversial because the IDSA and the mainstream medical association says that no, this is not the case. It can only be transmitted by ticks.

Tiffany: That reminds me of the Black Death when they said, "Oh, it's only transmitted by fleas". It could turn out to be something that we discover years from now. "Oh, it really wasn't spread by tick bites."

Gaby: Yeah, history repeating. I think, even related to the history, one piece of indirect evidence that it's not transmitted necessarily by ticks, is that Dr. Willy Burgdorfer, the one who discovered the spirochete under the microscope from patients with Lyme disease. He contracted the disease and what happened is that an infected rabbit got urine in his eye and he experienced the symptoms almost immediately and he developed a bull's eye rash under his arm just a few days after that incident. So he was infected with infected urine!

Doug: Wow!

Jonathan: Gaby, that might be a good segue into an overview of Lyme's. Can you fill us in on what the symptoms are and how it presents?

Gaby: I have a very nice overview here by Dr. Jay Davidson who wrote a book called, 5 Steps To Restoring Health Protocol: Helping those who haven't been helped with Lyme Disease, Thyroid Problems, Adrenal Fatigue, Heavy Metal Toxicity, Digestive Issues, and More!. He says that Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi but he reminds us there are over 100 different strains of Borrelia in the United States alone and more than 300 worldwide. Researchers now believe that mosquitoes, deer flies, black flies, horse flies, fleas, and lice carry and transmit Borrelia. Deer, birds, mammals and rodents can also be carriers of Lyme. Research from the University of Wisconsin shows Lyme's spirochetes in the blood, synovial fluid, colostrums and urine of cows and horses. Experts like Dr. Ray Stricker say, that migratory birds are a big contributor to the worldwide spread of Lyme's disease.

We carried an article on SOTT this week that shows precisely this to be the case and that some of these migratory birds actually came from Central America. It was called, Pathogen-carrying neotropical ticks ride migratory birds into US. This explains why Lyme's disease is found on every single continent except Antarctica. It can even be contracted via dead fragments of the spirochetes. So, to illustration the problem which Erica was also sharing with us on the connecting the dots article, according to a new published school study by the CDC, the median duration of an episode of Lyme's disease is 363 days at an average cost of $100,000 per patient. So that's just a basic overview.

Then we all know there are two main forms of Lyme's disease, the acute Lyme's disease which can be very easily treated with doxycycline which is an antibiotic. When given right away it has a fairly good chance to stop your problems with Lyme's disease right there in the act. But if no antibiotic treatment is given, then a person can develop what is called chronic Lyme's disease. This is what the CDC and the biased researchers that don't want to recognize to exist. It typically turns into a form of chronic autoimmune disease over time which makes it very difficult to deal with. The problem is that people usually don't experience the symptoms right away with acute Lyme's disease and only 30% of Lyme's disease patient develop a bull's eye rash.

And then we have a catastrophe, so to speak, because Lyme's disease is pleomorphic which means it takes on different shapes at different stages when it develops in the chronic stage and even adjusts as a result of changes in the environment. So, this is why Lyme's disease is called the new great imitator or the great mimic. There are three different forms of Lyme's bacteria; the spirochete which has a spiral form, the cell wall deficient form and the cyst form. If the Lyme's bacterium is not in spirochete form during transmission, there will be no bull's eye rash.

The spirochete form is the classic form of Lyme's disease that goes into your joints and tissues but it's not a spirochete when it grows in the blood. When it's in the blood you can also find the cyst form which is the spirochetes joining themselves up and morphing into a little ball. These create the form that is very resistant to stress. Antibiotics are not useful to treat this form because they don't cross the blood brain barrier very well and it can actually exacerbate the situation. I think it's a good analogy when it's sometimes compared to a storm. There is a storm created when you treat something with antibiotics and there's a lot of destruction and sometimes when it comes to chronic Lyme's disease, you really need to deal with every single possible form, spirochete, cysts and cell wall deficient form, and biofilms as well. Biofilms are basically a strategic force, like a defence system that different bacteria get into, like a castle so to speak, so they can defend themselves against antibiotics, stress and any attack.

So, treatment can be very prolonged, difficult and may contain several different things other than antibiotics and it can last between six months and one year, sometimes even more. So, that's a general overview about treatment. I think that it's very important we have something recommended by Dr. Stricker, a tick kit as part of an emergency first aid kit because it comes with a tick removal bite, which can help remove a tick. That's very handy. And also you can send the head of the tick to a lab and it comes with the price of the kit. They will analyze it for you to see if there is Borrelia or other co-infections there. So, I think that's a very good idea, to have an emergency kit.

Tiffany: Well that's the thing. A lot of people are bitten by a tick but they don't notice it. Sometimes the tick is so small - I think I read somewhere that it can be as small as a poppy seed and you might not even know. But say you feel a bite on your leg or somewhere and you just absently reach down and scratch it, you're not thinking, "Oh Lyme's disease" but you could have just knocked the tick off that you could have saved and taken somewhere to be tested. And the fact that you mentioned, that people don't always get a bull's eye rash so they could have Lyme's disease and not really know it. They just know that they feel bad for some reason.

Gaby: Yeah, I think it's very important and I think it costs $20. It's not very expensive. I will have that kit if I were living in a high endemic area.

Jonathan: I was just going to say that was something that for me, from a lay perspective, while we were prepping for this show, I live in the northern United States and people are aware of it here. My brother had Lyme's years ago. A friend of mine actually has it right now and it's generally known that you want to watch out for tick bites, but it's not considered such a drastic thing. It's like, "Check your tick and if you get a rash then go in" but that's really the extent of any knowledge in the general population about Lyme's. For me, I had absolutely no idea that it was able to be transmitted by all these other means, so it's definitely something that people want to watch out for. You don't want to let the paranoia grip your mind every day, but you do want to be careful and watch for these symptoms.

Gaby: Yes, and even for those who don't have symptoms, some food for thought is that one of the Lyme's researchers, Dr. Klinghardt, that we mentioned, said that he hasn't seen any patient with Parkinson's, Alzheimer's who hasn't tested positive for Borrelia. So, a lot of these degenerative diseases that we might think are, "Oh, it's just part of getting old or a very bad diet, pesticides, toxicity", well these people are testing positive for Borrelia. It could be a manifestation of what we call Lyme's brain which is inflammation in the brain caused by several factors, one of which is Borrelia burgdorferi.

Doug: I think that's a really important point actually, that Dr. Klinghardt said he hasn't seen cases of these chronic illnesses that are thought to be autoimmune or some other cause of them, he hasn't seen a case that hasn't tested positive for Borrelia. So, when you think about the implications of that, MS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, all these diseases that they say, "It's the luck of the draw. It's your genetics", all these kinds of things. The possibility is that they are all caused by these sorts of infections.

And I think it gets back into the whole conspiracy angle of why this kind of information is being suppressed. Because you think about all the treatment protocols that people with these chronic conditions have to go through, all the immune suppressing drugs and all these expensive pharmaceutical protocols, there's a lot of money exchanging hands there. So, if it came out that, "No, wait a second. This is something that can be treated with an antibiotic protocol", that's good-bye to the cash cow, right?

So, I think that might be an angle on why this kind of information is so controversial and is being suppressed so effectively.

Gaby: One of the things that I find more disturbing is that Lyme's disease can mimic pretty much every single psychiatric disease to the point that you really have to make the differential diagnosis, not only psychiatric diseases but diseases like multiple sclerosis, you always have to keep in mind Lyme's disease. Of course nowadays doctors don't think about Lyme's disease. They've concurred treatments for psychiatric illness versus an antibiotic treatment where people can get better. There are reported cases of people with schizophrenia who, when they got antibiotics they felt better. We discussed this on an earlier show. And the same thing with multiple sclerosis; Lyme's disease can mimic every single symptom and sign of multiple sclerosis and there's no cooperation because multiple sclerosis you treat with immunotherapy, with corticoids, with steroids that actually worsen the infection. It causes the bacteria to spread more easily so the disease gets progressively worse while if you treat the same patients with antibiotics and they have a chance of recovering. Pretty bad neurological syndromes, they can recover. So, it's pretty disturbing in many ways.

Jonathan: Gaby, in your practice, do you see cases of Lyme's?

Gaby: No. And that's very interesting because I studied Lyme's disease as a part of any national board test and the impression I had was, "Wow! We should be really looking for this!" But there is then this stigma or the concept that Lyme's disease is just deer tick and it's just in certain areas, like you will think maybe some parts of the United States or northern hemisphere. I didn't realize that it was something that even migratory birds from Central America were carrying over the US. I never heard of Lyme's disease when I was in Costa Rica, for example. And to think that so many people I saw might have had it, it's crazy.

Doug: Yeah, it really is. While I was watching that documentary - I know Erica's going to talk more about this - but the documentary; Under Our Skin, it was showing all the different people and all these different manifestations of the disease and it just made me think of all the people who I know, who have some kind of autoimmune condition, or what's thought to be an autoimmune condition; MS, Parkinson's and Spondylitis, all these people thinking that it might actually just be an infection with these bugs and how these people could probably be helped if they saw a Lyme's literate doctor. It's kind of mind-blowing.

Gaby: And we have to keep in mind that blood tests nowadays are completely useless in the sense that you could have Lyme's disease and your tests can come back negative. Sometimes what can happen is that you can start treatment and then your immune system starts working up again and then the tests could show positive, but that's not necessarily the case. And this is something that biased researchers from the CDC don't want to admit. The blood test is negative, no problem. Whereas it's been demonstrated over and over again that especially with the new research that no; all the bacteria, not only Borrelia burgdorferi are there. Just to mention a brief mix of common co-infection, because nowadays it's not only Borrelia burgdorferi. It's a lot of other things, for example Babesia, which is a malaria-like blood parasite, Bartonella, which is the agent of cat scratch fever. There's also Ehrlichia and Mycoplasma, for example Mycoplasma fermentans; which is known to be one, if not the most difficult infectious agent to get rid of.

Especially Babesia causes a lot of psychiatric symptoms. You can have severe depression and try every single thing on the books in the world. You can be very strong willed and you will not be able to get over your psychiatric illness if you don't treat the infection.

Doug: Because like you were talking about Gaby, these different bacteria can take on different forms and they hid in different areas. I think that's one of the reasons why it's so difficult to detect because it's only detectable if it's in a very particular form. It can mutate into different forms, especially when it's protecting itself by entering into biofilms or it can hide in the joints. If you do a blood test, you're only going to pick it up if it's in the blood, which is not as common. It's much more likely to be hiding in tissues or hiding in the joints, hiding in the brain. It could be anywhere. I think that's one of the reasons why these blood tests can be so ineffective.

Erica: There was even an article carried on SOTT back in 2012, talking about how Lyme's disease can also hide in the lymph nodes.

Gaby: Yeah, that's right. The disturbing thing is not only in lymph nodes, it hides in the brain where it's more difficult to reach. That's why some of the doses of antibiotics needed are such high doses because it has to be able to breach through the blood brain barrier. Very difficult treatment and once they are able to reach say the lymph nodes or the brain, and stuff gets mobilized, that's when blood tests could come back positive. But that's not the usual treatment the doctor will think to give; "Oh, let's give very high doses of antibiotics in several combinations."

Tiffany: Well one thing that I wondered when I was looking through this Lyme's stuff is: what is the difference between the people who have an acute Lyme's infection and the ones where it turns chronic. Is it the same with almost everything else? How good the nutrition is overall, how strong their immune system is at the time when they became infected? That's what I'm guessing but I couldn't really find much on that.

Gaby: I recently read something interesting about, the acute phase is classically the spirochete. That's the one that can cause a bull's eye rash. It's a local infection versus a widespread systemic one. When it's acute and is localized, the bacteria take 12 hours to replicate and that's why treatment is started right away and it can pretty much take care of the infection right there more effectively. But once it's widespread it develops all these forms, biofilms, cysts, cell wall deficient and it hides in the lymph nodes, it hides in the brain and it can lay dormant for years without giving problems until a person has stress in their life or a crappy diet or other environmental factors and that could help manifest the disease.

Doug: Yeah. It was really interesting in that interview I was watching with Dr. Klinghardt, the first thing that he actually does in his treatment protocol is number one, clean up the EMF environment because apparently if you're being constantly bombarded with electromagnetic frequencies from things like; wifi, cell phones, cell phone towers, dirty electricity in the home - we've done a couple of shows in the past on that - if somebody is being worn down by these sorts of things constantly they have basically zero chance of healing.

One of the other things he does is cleans up the mould in the environment. It's less of an issue in Europe with their old style of construction, but houses in North America are these Petri dishes of mould. There are all these moulds hiding out everywhere, anywhere there's some kind of damp environment and that is constantly wearing on your immune system. Another thing he says is if you don't clean up the mould in the environment or get out of an environment that is mouldy; again you have zero chance of getting better.

So, I found it really interesting that these are the first stages for him. These are the things that you have to take care of first, just to give the person a fighting chance. Nutrition comes into that as well. Obviously if your diet is loaded with trans-fats and sugar and genetically modified foods, you don't have a chance. You can't actually get on top of these infections. You need to get it so your immune system is recognizing these things and actually able to fight for itself. I found that to be very interesting. Another thing he said is that in EMF environments mould can be up to 100 times more virulent. So, cleaning up the EMF environment is obviously the first stage, then getting rid of all the mould which might have been actually growing a lot more extensively because of its exposure to this radiation.

Erica: Frightening!

Doug: Yeah, it's very frightening.

Gaby: In fact people who report having very high rates of success treating chronic Lyme's disease do have a holistic approach. They not only use cures that destroy biofilms, nutritional supplements, changes in diet, less inflammatory diet, gluten-free, dairy-free, but they also detox for heavy metals; mercury, lead. They also support the adrenals. They treat insomnia. They promote meditation programs, psychological programs and they also have anti-microbials, antibiotic protocols. It's a very holistic approach. You literally have to try everything basically. But they do have success rates in treating Lyme's disease with people who were never helped before. Lyme's disease patients on an average in the United States consult 20-30 doctors and specialists before going to the right doctor, so to speak.

Doug: Jeez!

Gaby: Who do everything holistically; some people report having seen even 40 doctors. They come up with huge files of every single diagnostic test done to them, diagnosed with labels like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, ALS.

Tiffany: Syphilis.

Gaby: It wasn't until they thought of infectious agents; they found a holistic practitioner or a doctor that will actually treat them.

Erica: Yeah, Dr. Mark Hyman actually just recently had a video/informative article that came out in October about strategies to tackle Lyme's disease, Strategies to tackle Lyme Disease, just what you said Gaby, diet, dealing with other things like mold and parasites and the importance of repopulating good gut bacteria, good sleep and stress; the whole idea of functional medicine approach and looking at it from all the different angles, so not just one angle.

Jonathan: This makes me wonder about something we were talking about a little bit before the show, about why doctors would be ignoring these kinds of things. I know that there are a lot of doctors in the world who are studying, who are looking for new things, who are open to different kinds of treatments. Those doctors do exist. But we also refer to mainstream medicine in that way for a reason because there are also a lot of doctors who just go with the common knowledge. To me it's baffling that a doctor would tell somebody that they're crazy instead of saying, "Okay, well let's look into this." Bedside manner has completely gone out the window. I'm curious to hear what you guys think because we didn't get to talk about this very much before the show. What do you think are some of the reasons that they're not paying more attention to this possible involvement of these bacteria? Is it strictly money? Is it the status quo? Would it hurt their ego to admit that they were wrong? I'm sure there are many different causes, but I'm curious to hear what you think.

Tiffany: I think that's part of it and you mentioned bedside manner, and that's just assuming that they have much of a bedside manner in the first place. Doctors get worn down. People come in and they just really want answers. They want somebody to solve all their problems. I don't know how doctors deal with that, a lot of the time and that can be really difficult if you really don't know what is going on with that person. You don't want to look like you're stupid. You want to look like you have some authority and you have the answers. If a person comes in and they're demanding answers from you and you don't know what to say, you might go on the defensive and say that they're crazy or they're attention-seeking or they're drug-seeking or something like that, just to get them off of your back and get them out of your office.

Doug: I think it has a lot to do with even how we train doctors. You think about people who go into medical school. They're the people who are of high academic standing, people who study hard, who can memorize very well but very little is looked at in terms of social and emotional intelligence, that sort of thing. So, you get all these people going through medical school who might just be driven by the financial aspect, really. You don't test for things like bedside manner. It's just like, "how good are your academic scores?"

I'm not knocking on doctors because obviously there are some very good doctors out there, Gaby being one of them obviously [Laughter], but you end up with a lot of people who are basically just really good at memorizing and following protocols. So, if they're being given this information that's handed down from this authoritarian perspective and, "No, this is what Lyme's disease is and you don't look outside the box!" they don't question. There's no reason for them to. So, I think a lot of it comes down to that. Who are our doctors?

Gaby: I also agree with that.

Tiffany: I think it's also because it's very difficult to treat. I was watching one of Dr. Horowitz' YouTube videos. He's the one that wrote; Why Can't I Get Better, and the protocols that he is laying out, you just have to do all these differential diagnoses. It's not like you can have somebody in your office for five or ten minutes and you're like, "Okay, I know what to do." They have to come back and you have to keep trying different things and glutathione and this antibiotic and that antibiotic and you have to address the gut and all this different stuff. It takes a lot of time and effort and a lot of digging and I don't know if a lot of people are really willing to do all that.

Erica: If you're a Kaiser Permanente member, you're constantly getting a different doctor every time you go in, so they don't have the background information on your history or what your symptoms are.

Gaby: I agree with all arguments. It's the way the system is established and also because curiosity and inquiry is so discouraged. Only protocols can be followed and also the big influence of blood tests. "Oh the blood test came back negative so forget about it. You don't have Lyme's disease!"

Doug: Yeah.

Gaby: At least where I work, it is not financially driven. Doctors can really earn much less than a cleaning lady. [Laughter] But I do know they rely on protocols saying the idea of too much uncertainty that cannot be dealt with, like there is some kind of brain pain with that. And inquiry and open-minded research is not encouraged so patients in the end are the ones who have to pay the consequences. It's actually patients themselves that find alternative solutions and with a little bit of persistence and network support, they can find the solutions themselves. That's what I think.

Doug: It also has to do with the gatekeepers involved too. I'm thinking of the scientific journals and things like that. We've talked about the corruption of science in the past and the flawed studies that get accepted. These gatekeepers really are just that. They're controlling the information and what's allowed out there. The doctors out there don't have a lot of time so all they can really do is read headlines and abstracts of these studies and that's the information that they have to go on. So, I think that is another contributing factor.

Jonathan: Yeah. Obviously we're not going to fix the medical establishment in this podcast. [Laughter] I think one thing is patient involvement, if the everyday John and Jane could put more energy into researching what their conditions are and then when they go to a doctor, be open and honest and say, "Look, I don't have your training, but I'm also not an idiot and this is what I've read. Will you please take a look at it?" I personally don't have a lot of experience with trying to commit the doctor to look at my own research so I guess I can't really speak to that, but I've heard enough stories about people that are just turned away as well. So, it is an unfortunate situation but I think by and large, I know a lot of people personally who just go to the doctor, what they say is law, and then they do that thing and they don't think about it beyond that. But I think more patient involvement in the actual research of the protocols might help.

Doug: I think that's true. I think one of the problems there is when you're dealing with some kind of chronic infection, you don't have the energy.

Gaby: Yeah.

Doug: The idea of getting out there on the internet and spending hours looking for different articles and all this kind of stuff, these people don't have the energy to invest in this sort of thing. In those kinds of situations it's good to have an advocate, somebody who's there pulling for you, who's doing the research, who does have the energy to do this kind of thing. That can be indispensable. But I really feel for these people who don't have the health to do anything other than just get themselves into a doctor's office and even that is hell for them. It's a big problem.

Tiffany: Yeah, just watching the video, there was a guy who used to be a park ranger who said it got to the point where he couldn't remember where he was going in his car. And then there was the other lady who could barely walk most of the time. So, I see what you mean about people not being able to sit down on the internet and just google a whole bunch of stuff. These people are really, really sick.

Erica: Well that kind of brings us to mode of information for people to look into. We've been talking about this, Under Our Skin documentary, The Untold Story of Lyme Disease and I figured I'd just bring it up here because I wouldn't say I was Lyme literate before I watched this and when we had this discussion about having this show, I saw a trailer for it on one of the articles that we carried on SOTT that was mentioned previously. For anyone who's interested or who wants to not become an expert but just see what we were talking about, I really recommend this documentary. It was produced by Andrew Abrahams Wilson, back in 2008 and it actually ran on PBS. It won several awards, one being, Best Documentary Feature Film.

The whole premise behind them, Under Our Skin documentary is that this sickness is a canary in the coalmine. It's what is wrong with our medical system and it's a perfect storm of diseases. It's about two hours long but it starts similarly to the way we started today, with the history, how in 1970 the first case being in Lyme, Connecticut. It was actually called Miss Murphy's mysterious disease and they called it Lyme arthritis. Then it goes on to talk about how this whole idea of the corrupted medical system and it has extensive interviews with sufferers like Tiffany noted, the park ranger who actually, through his experience with Lyme disease, talked extensively about the ecological aspects and to not be afraid of going outside because of this.

He actually wrote a book called, Nature Noir about this ecological change. He even mentions it's the largest extinction in 64 million years. Many species are dying out. Viruses and bacteria are finding new opportunities and maybe that's part of the whole discussion as well. And then it did a lot to expose the financial ties between the CDD and the IDSA. Shortly after the movie came out in 2008 is when the CDC changed their numbers from that 30,000 to 400,000 and the idea of the vaccine and whatnot. They addressed a few of the problems with this whole illness and one of them that we've talked about being the biggest problem is diagnosis. The other one is the lack of Lyme literate physicians.

They mention Klinghardt, as you guys have and then they also mention two doctors that have had a lot of success in treating Lyme. One of them is Joseph Jemsek and he was a doctor in North Carolina. He tried to get the IDSA to change their medical guidelines for treatment of Lyme and it turns out that he ended up having his licence suspended for over a year. They said he was acting inappropriately. Interestingly enough, the complaints came from the insurance industry because they just really didn't want to pay for the extensive treatments, as we talked about.

Another doctor who's shown in the movie is a 79-year-old man, Dr. Jones. He's actually the leading paediatric Lyme doctor. He's treated over 10,000 cases of Lyme paediatric patients and he does do the antibiotic protocol. He talked a lot about this being transmitted through breast milk and possibly even while women are pregnant and for the last two years he's been under legal proceedings. He's appealing his case but you really see this whole idea played out in the movie, that the patients are being told, "it's all in your head" or "you're crazy". Almost every single person who talks about their experience in the documentary says they were told to go see a psychiatrist that, "It's not Lyme. You're crazy."

It's just heart-breaking, especially when you see the children that are suffering with this disease, how they just want to be normal. For me in particular, and I know for others, it really did a job of bringing all of this information into a cohesive fold. So, we were talking about searching the internet and people suffering from debilitating (Bad audio interference)

Jonathan: We're losing you there Erica. (Loud noise interference) That's pretty bizarre. Well we are definitely having some technical difficulties.

Gaby: Erica, maybe you should try calling again.

Jonathan: Well let's see. Everybody's muted and the sound has gone away.

Tiffany: Okay, I'm not muted anymore so it's not me and Erica.

Erica: There's a disturbance in the force!

Doug: I wonder if it's me actually. Did it stop?

Tiffany: It's stopped.

Doug: It's me. Hold on, I'll mute myself.

Jonathan: It's the CDC. [Laughter]

Erica: They're coming through loud and clear.

Tiffany: It's the Borrelia.

Erica: Well I'll just finish off because I wanted to add again, for people who are suffering from these types of ailments and want to learn more about it, I really recommend this movie. In this last year a sequel came out, Under Our Skin 2 called; Emergence and it's more hopeful. It's following the same patients who were in the first documentary back in 2008 and their treatments and a lot of them are overcoming a lot of these neurological issues and paralysis and different things associated with it.

I also wanted to mention in the film there was a woman named Dana Walsh who started a website. It's called; It's for Lyme sufferers and she does an excellent job charting her whole experience and she's very young and suffered fatigue and all these things and didn't know what was wrong with her. It wasn't until she saw several doctors that she started to get the help that she needs. So check it out!

Jonathan: Cool. If I'm not mistaken it's kind of hard to find the free version of Under Our Skin.

Tiffany: There's a version on Hulu (US only).

Jonathan: It is on Hulu.

Tiffany: It's got commercials though.

Jonathan: And it is of course available to order, if you want to order it through Amazon or if you want to buy a DVD directly on their site they have a store. We'll be posting the link in our chat.

Erica: When they made that movie, the response that they got was quite amazing. Many people said that the film literally saved their lives and they received many letters from viewers. So, that's why I offer it as something for people to check into because it really gives you an overview of what people are dealing with. Again, as we mentioned earlier in the show this whole idea of conflicts of interest and not having Lyme-literate physicians.

Gaby: Yeah and networking and promoting this material because the disease can be absolutely crushing. I saw the sequel. I think some of the physicians even got their practice back in fact, but they still got a lot of support from viewers all over the world. They still save a lot of lives, Lyme information that was shared. I think it's a highly recommended documentary, definitely a worthwhile watch.

Jonathan: Yes. And there is a sequel too right? Called, Emergence.

Tiffany: Mm-hm.

Gaby: Emergence, yeah.

Jonathan: Gaby, you said you were able to see the sequel?

Gaby: Yes. It's very touching because it follows up all the people who appeared in the first documentary that received treatment and what happened to them. It's really miraculous what happened to some of them, their recovery was extraordinary. And there's also a lot of the update research, especially what we talked about, that it's not only transmitted by ticks, but it's a sexually transmitted disease, it can be transmitted from mother to child and there is a lot of research on biofilms which explains why there is chronic Lyme's disease. So, it really makes justice to all the people who said, "But I have chronic Lyme's disease" and the CDC was saying, "No you don't!" Actually they are wrong. The CDC is looking really, really bad, very ridiculous as a scientific organization because their research is pretty much like, "You cannot deny that. Come on!" Yes, it's more hopeful.

Jonathan: Cool. We encourage everybody to check that out. Again, the link is While we're talking about Lyme's we also have the pet health segment today about Lyme's disease that Zoya recorded for us. I think we're going to go to that right now and then we'll come back and wrap up any remaining comments on this topic. So for now here is Zoya, with the pet health segment.

Zoya: Hello and welcome to the pet health segment of the Health and Wellness Show. Today's topic is Lyme's disease in dogs. Although in humans it is considered to be one of the most common vector-borne diseases in the US for example. And even if canine Lyme disease diagnoses are on the rise, there is a debate in the veterinary community as to the real extent of the problem. How many dogs are truly infected meaning that there appears to be a big difference between the number of dogs that test positive for Lyme and the ones that exhibit the actual symptoms.

For example, there are several states in the US that are considered to be infested with ixodes ticks or black-legged ticks. These are the type of ticks that transmit Lyme disease. So, several experiments and tests were conducted on dogs from this region and the tests indicated that 95% of dogs tested positive for Lyme but only 5-8% exhibited any symptoms. What veterinarians found was that a large percentage of dogs are seropositive meaning that they have the Lyme-related antibodies in the blood from exposure to the disease. However, they have no clinical symptoms of infection.

It's clear from the statistics the immune systems of seropositive dogs have identified the Lyme disease pathogen and mounted an appropriate, effective response. So, even though they test positive they do not become sick with the disease.

Now there was another experiment conducted at the University of Pennsylvania several years ago on Lyme disease in canines. In this experiment beagles were experimentally infected with the disease and none of the adult dogs got sick and in fact not one showed a signal symptom of the disease. Beagle puppies on the other hand, in the same study, showed about four days of transient symptoms of infection such as fever and lameness. After four days of on-and-off symptoms, the pups because asymptomatic, which means their bodies cleared the infection without help and they were fine.

The incubation period of the disease in the study was from 2-5 months. In other words, after being infected it took the puppies from 2-5 months to develop the mild transient symptoms of fever and lameness which lasted a few days. Their bodies were able to clear those symptoms quickly and completely. The adult dogs never exhibited any signs of Lyme infection, no rash, no flu symptoms, no cardio or immunological symptoms which is quite interesting.

So, as I already mentioned, only about five percent of dogs exposed to Lyme disease actually develop symptoms of the infection which includes fever, lameness, lethargy and shifting joint pain. These symptoms are quite successfully treated with the antibiotic doxycycline. It is also important to note that dogs that are positive for Lyme disease cannot infect humans. Infections in both people and their pets are being transmitted only by the bite of infected teeth.

So, what to do if your dog shows symptoms of Lyme disease? First you have to go to a vet and ask him or her to run a SNAP4Dx blood test. Dogs that test positive for Lyme disease with a 4Dx test are typically symptomatic. This test usually detects multiple vector-borne diseases, not only Lyme disease, so it can be useful to rule out or rule in certain other types of bacteria and parasites as well. Your vet may also do a urinalysis to find out if your dog is excreting protein in her urine. If the doctor determines your pet's symptoms are indeed from a Lyme infection, treatment with the antibiotic doxycycline should be instituted.

In a very small percentage of dogs with active Lyme infection, much smaller than the five percent that show symptoms, chronic Lyme disease can result in significant kidney problems and also autoimmune polyarthritis. The latter is a type of joint degeneration secondary to an undiagnosed, untreated Lyme infection. If you suspect your pet has symptoms of Lyme disease, it's important to have him seen by a veterinarian. It's also important to note that according to the experts, Lyme disease in cats is rare. If you live in a tick-infested region and are concerned about ticks on your cat, it's important to check her for ticks, just as you would a dog.

Many tick repellents are toxic to cats; so if you feel the need to protect your cat from ticks, you need to talk with your veterinarian about safe products.

Now here are some Lyme disease prevention tips. In the spring, summer and fall, avoid tick infested areas. If you live where Lyme disease is endemic or if you somehow wind up in a tick-infested area, check your dog for ticks twice each day. Look over his entire body including hidden crevices such as those in the ear and under his collar and underneath his tail. Use a tick repellent. There are natural anti-tick products on the market, however pay attention to the fact that most of the veterinarians in the US will recommend to use a chemical repellent. It's important to investigate the risks and benefits of any medication before you give it to your pet, as most have side effects.

There is a vaccine available for Lyme disease but natural vets don't recommend it. One of the most important things you can do to keep your pet safe is to create strong vitality in him by feeding a species appropriate diet. Parasites are attached to weaker animals. By enhancing your pet's vitality you can help him avoid the ill effects of a Lyme infection or any other opportunistic pathogen he comes in contact with.

So, this is it for today. I hope the information was useful and have a nice day.

Jonathan: I can never get over those goats. Thank you, Zoya for that, so much very good information. It's interesting that Lyme's is one of those things that can affect both humans and animals; so it's something you want to keep an eye out for with your pets, especially dogs. I guess we'll wrap up for today. We've covered the topic. We don't have a lot of further information on this for our listeners today. Do you guys have anything else to add before we call it a day?

Doug: No, I think we've covered.

Gaby: Just be careful and check yourself for ticks.

Jonathan: Yeah. We want to thank our listeners for tuning in, everybody in the chat for participating and be sure to check out the other two SOTT Radio shows, The Truth Perspective tomorrow, Saturday at 2:00pm eastern and then on Sunday also at 2:00pm eastern, Behind the Headlines. We will be back next week with another interesting topic on health and wellness. Thanks everybody.