Lyme Disease, Treatments And Two “New” Add On Diseases

Adult deer tick, Ixodes scapularis.
Image via Wikipedia

Short summary:  All three major diseases are treated by doxycycline.  If you’ve been bitten for a period of time longer than a few minutes, talk to your doctor. 

For anyone unfamiliar with Lyme Disease, it’s a blood borne disease that is carried by deer ticks and can be transmitted to humans.  The NIH has a decent explanation and pictures.  But Wikipedia does a great, in detail job of discussing the various ins and outs of the disease. 

The two “new” diseases are Ehrlichia and Babesia.  Neither is new to alternative doctors, but evidently some conventional doctors are talking about them more. 

For those unfamiliar with the controversy, every step of Lyme diagnosis is fraught with problems.  What species of tick can transmit?  We hear the mantra of deer tick, deer tick, but let’s walk down the path of that idea.  Dogs can get lyme disease.  Dog ticks bite dogs.  Dog ticks bite people.  I’ve included a study below where an Egyptian boy got Babesia from his dog

Next, how do you know you’ve been bitten?  Bull’s eye rash?  Not necessarily.  You may show no primary symptoms. 

How do you know you’ve got Lyme or the other two?  The CDC uses a five point testing.  If you don’t have all five, you don’t have lyme.  But Igenx runs the same testing and all the “alternative” testing for coinfections like Babesia and Ehrlichia.  They think you’re positive if you just have one marker. 

As a result, two groups of doctors are duking it out about what it means to have Lyme.  The ILADS doctors think that chronic lyme exists while the conservative groups claim it’s in patients’ heads. 

That conflict has progressed in favor of the ILADS group.  A few years ago the treatment for tick exposure was 24 hours of doxycycline (one dose).  Now patients are being given 21 days worth of doxycycline. 

But does doxycycline stop the illness?  It does kill off the blood borne lyme, but lyme is a spirochete (like syphilis) and seems to be able to do a variety of clever hiding tricks.  Doxycycline is still very helpful for chronic sufferers if they get rebitten, because it brings down the inflammation.  It works as well as IV antibiotics in most cases. 

My own take on Lyme is that the antigen produced by the spirochete generates an autoimmune cross-reaction in some patients.  Even in the absence of blood borne spirochetes, this antigen can be produced by the body’s own cells. 

I find that the focus on antibiotics, regardless of length of use, is distracting from other possible alternative treatments.  A number of herbs can kill the spirochete, and lack some of the long-term effects of the antibiotics.  It occurs to me that a rotating regime of herbs, antibiotics, and rest, based on a well-planned immune boosting lifestyle, would be the best plan.   

But then, I don’t do Lyme every day.  I keep up-to-date on Lyme through an ILADS colleague, Dr. Scott Mulliken, N.D., down in Scarborough.  The man does nothing but Lyme, and evidently it’s a thankless, difficult job.  (No, he didn’t pay me to endorse him, he doesn’t even know I’m doing it.  Say hi if you decide to go see him and let me know if he did a good job.) 

Keep yourselves slathered in essential oils, get the permethrin boots, and enjoy yourselves outside!  If you get bitten, call your doctor. 

I give a summary of some alternative research on Lyme treatments at my website: under What Do I Treat and Lyme Disease (Click Here). 

J Egypt Soc Parasitol. 2011 Apr;41(1):99-108.

Babesiosis in an Egyptian boy aquired from pet dog, and a general review.


Department of Tropical Medicine, Military Medical Academy, Cairo, Egypt.


Human babesiosis has been documented in many countries. It is a zoonotic protozoan disease of medical, veterinary and economic importance. In this study, a twelve years old boy was referred to the hospital with intermittent fever of unknown origin. On clinical, parasitological and serological bases the case proved to be babesiosis. The boy acquired the infection from his pet dog which was heavily infested with Rhipicephalus sanguineus and suffered a mild feature of animal babesiosis. The patient was successfully treated with Atovaquone plus Azithromycin without relapse for one month follow up. The pet dog was sent to Governmental Veterinary Hospital at Abbassia for treatment from babesiosis and tick infestation.


5 Replies to “Lyme Disease, Treatments And Two “New” Add On Diseases”

  1. I had to look up smaming, which is evidently the smashing of the keyboard with a hand to generate spam posts.

    Not only have I never heard of your blog, I have never visited your blog, and would certainly never smam any blog, including those of my extreme critics. Any perusal of my web history will bear this out. If someone claiming to be me is interacting on your blog, please let me know.

  2. Christopher Maloney,

    Thank you for reading my post and sharing it with others in your article post. I agree that Lyme disease is a growing problem and doctors should be more open minded about the possibility of Lyme disease as a diagnosis. I like your article and hope many people read it, especially doctors and nurses. Phelps County Public Health Department in Missouri has a Lyme disease awareness campaign going on and you can check it out on their website …

    Also, they give out laminated cards with the pictures of the ticks that are the most likely carriers of Lyme disease, and possible warning signs. This is most helpful to people in Missouri who are constantly outside.

    Thanks again for using my posting as a guide for others.

    Lori Calderas

  3. Dear Lori Calderas,

    Thank you for the information. My posting was generated using a combination of NIH and medline information, not from your blog. I link to other related blogs as part of an effort to create awareness. It’s great that we were both thinking of the same ideas.

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