Archive for the ‘Inflammation’ Category

A Focus on Lyme Disease & The Cascade of Inflammation Podcast

Cindy Kennedy, FNP, is joined by Dr. Jaquel Patterson, who discusses why treating Lyme Disease, a multi-layered illness, requires a multi-system approach to treatment. Dr. Patterson has 11 years of clinical experience treating Lyme and other tick-borne infections.Dr. Patterson is a nationally recognized naturopathic physician and Medical Director of Fairfield Family Health in Fairfield, Conn. She has over 11 years of clinical experience with a focus on Lyme disease, autoimmune conditions, allergies, anxiety and depression and childhood developmental disorders.

She is an active member of ILADS, AAEM, MAPS and CNPA. She has served in many taskforces throughout the state on areas such as Person-Centered Medical Home and Integrative Medicine. She is the current President for the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and serves on the board of the Connecticut Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

Dr. Patterson has presented at large conferences like Annual World Congress Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) Venetian, and has appeared multiple times on television, publications and radio. She has been published in Real Simple magazine, Under Armour, Fitness Pal, Natural Practitioner, Naturopathic Doctor News and Review, and the Spa Dr., amongst others, and was asked to appear on the Dr. Oz show.

Dr. Patterson is also the Medical Advisor for Zycal Bioceuticals Healthcare. In addition to her naturopathic medical degree, she has her MBA in Healthcare Management from Quinnipiac University and has her undergraduate degree from Cornell University.

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How do you approach a patient with possible TBI?
Is there a need to improve immunity before going after the infections?
What are some go to therapies?
What are the best ways to reduce the cascade of inflammation?
Lyme can make an opportunistic environment for old viruses to rear their ugly heads.
How does Lyme and co-infections trick the body and become a continuous fight?
How can an infected person help turn their illness around?
How is it that people are misdiagnosed with ALS and MS?
What are the contributing factors for Lyme to be spreading around the world?
Along with awareness are there any other preventable options you suggest?
How to get more healthcare professionals on board with a Lyme diagnosis?

Latest Look at Lyme – Dr. Waters

latest look at Lyme july 2018Paper Here

Written by Dr. Robert Waters,


Waters’ 8 pronged approach to treating Lyme/MSIDS:  All of which are discussed in the paper above.

He also discusses typical deficiencies patients have and the importance of supplementation to boost the body’s ability to fight for itself.

For Doctor Waters’ presentation:

You can also watch videos, read published papers, and read newsletter on various topics.

Infectious Keratitis Caused by Rare and Emerging Micro-Organisms

2019 Dec 23. doi: 10.1080/02713683.2019.1708407. [Epub ahead of print]

Infectious Keratitis Caused by Rare and Emerging Micro-Organisms.


Purpose:  To provide a comprehensive review on rare and emerging micro-organisms causing infectious keratitis.

Material and Methods:  A literature search was performed using PubMed Medline, Cochrane Library Database, EMBASE and Scopus (1960 onwards), using the terms: keratitis caused by rare pathogens; mycotic keratitis; fungal keratitis; bacterial keratitis; infectious keratitis; infective keratitis; atypical fungal keratitis; fungal keratitis caused by rare organisms; fungal keratitis caused by rare ocular pathogen; atypical bacterial keratitis; bacterial keratitis caused by rare organisms; bacterial keratitis caused by rare ocular pathogen. All relevant articles were included in this review.

Results:  A total of 1232 articles matched our search strategy of which 124 articles were included in this mini-review. The rare and emerging bacteria causing keratitis include atypical mycobacteria, Nocardia spp., Chrysebacterium spp., Delftia acidovorans, Kocuria spp., Enterococcus spp., Bartonella henslae, Achromobacter spp. and others. The rare and emerging fungi causing keratitis include Pythium spp., Alternaria spp., Acremonium spp., Cladosporium spp., Curvularia spp., Bipolaris spp., Microsporidia spp., Pseudallescheria spp., Colletotrichum spp., and others. The clinical presentation of these cases is variable. While a few organisms produce characteristic clinical features, rest present similar to bacterial or fungal keratitis with variable response to routine treatment. A strong degree of suspicion is therefore essential for its diagnosis. Special investigations like polymerase chain reaction, gene sequencing, mass spectroscopy and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay are required for accurate identification of these organisms. Culture-sensitivity is extremely useful as drug resistance to routinely used anti-microbial drugs is common. Prognosis is usually poor for keratitis with Pythium spp., Pseudallescheria spp., Arthrographis spp., Purpureocillium spp., Kociria spp. and Achromobacter spp.

Conclusion:  Keratitis caused by rare and emerging micro-organisms must be suspected in cases where the infection runs an unusual course or shows poor response to standard anti-microbial drugs. Early diagnosis and timely treatment hold the key for good outcome.



Keratitis is inflammation in the cornea.  The following symptoms were found here:


Signs and symptoms of keratitis include:

  • Eye redness
  • Eye pain
  • Excess tears or other discharge from your eye
  • Difficulty opening your eyelid because of pain or irritation
  • Blurred vision
  • Decreased vision
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • A feeling that something is in your eye

Great read on Lyme disease also causing keratitis:

And here we see Bartonella affecting cats with keratitis as well as conjunctivitis, uveitis, blepharitis, and chorioretinitis:

For more:



What is Brain Fog & What Can a Patient Do to Get Rid of It?

by Jennifer Crystal


Writing a weekly blog post is a thrilling and rewarding process. I love connecting with readers like me over various aspects of living with tick-borne illness, and I’m grateful to be able to share my story. I’m also thankful to have the physical ability to write on a tight deadline, which I haven’t always been able to do. In my worst days of fighting Lyme disease and two of its co-infections babesia and Ehrlichia, I couldn’t write at all. This was in part due to the achiness of my joints, but mostly, it was due to brain fog.

So what is brain fog, exactly? What does it feel like? What can a patient do to get rid of it? Now that I have greater neurological clarity, I can offer some information and tips on what I’ve learned about this frustrating symptom.

What is brain fog?

Lyme is an inflammatory disease. When Lyme pathogens in the form of spirochetes cross the blood-brain barrier, inflammation occurs in the central nervous system. “Common neurocognitive problems include poor memory, slower speed of thinking, difficulty with retrieval of words, and impaired fine motor control,” writes Brian A. Fallon, MD and Jennifer Sotsky, MD, in their book Conquering Lyme Disease: Science Bridges the Great Divide. “The slower mental processing speed contributes to the patient’s experience of ‘brain fog,’”[i]

A Johns Hopkins study published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation showed that scans done on 12 patients with Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS) all showed a chemical marker for brain inflammation, compared with 19 healthy controls. In an article published by Hopkins Medicine, Dr. John Aucott, Director of the Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Research Center said: “What this study does is provide evidence that the brain fog in patients with [PTLDS] has a physiological basis and [that it] isn’t just psychosomatic or related to depression or anxiety.”[ii]

A patient with brain fog can experience delayed response times, making it difficult for them to write clearly or comprehend text or conversation. As Drs. Fallon and Sotsky explain, “Patients may have difficulty reading and find that when they move on to the next paragraph, they have forgotten what they [just]read before….Patients may have spatial disorientation such that familiar routes become suddenly difficult to navigate or appear unfamiliar… [Or] patients may have new on-set dyslexic changes, reversing numbers or letters when writing or words and phrases when speaking. They may confuse left and right and may find themselves making verbal errors that are uncharacteristic of them.…Other examples of cognitive errors might include placing the cereal box in the refrigerator or asking one’s spouse to please put the milk back in the radiator.”i

What does brain fog feel like?

During a relapse of my tick-borne illnesses, I had a brain scan done that showed this precise type of inflammation, which made for a lack of oxygen to the left side of my brain. What did those symptoms actually feel like inside my head? In my post, Living With Lyme Brain, I likened brain fog to thick molasses that slowly pours into all the crevices of your brain, until it feels so full that it might explode out of your skull. When I was at my sickest, I felt this fog all the time and wished I could open a spigot to relieve the pressure.

As I got better, my brain fog dissipated, but it still returns from time to time. It can come on slowly, like mist settling over a valley, and can then build into an impenetrable cloud. I get it when I’m neurologically over stimulated: after watching a fast-paced TV show, while hearing loud music, or after reading for too long. “Too long” is defined differently for every patient; at my lowest points, one sentence was hard to comprehend. Eventually, I could read a short article in a light entertainment magazine. Now I can read a whole book, but I still need to pace it out, chapter by chapter.

If I read for too long, I feel pressure start to build, beginning at the base of my cranium and then spreading up over my eyes. Once my head gets full, I struggle to find the right vocabulary, and sometimes I invert my word order. When the brain fog builds to this intense point, it causes me to be very tired. A graduate school professor once joked, “Sometimes, without warning, Jen runs out of steam.” He was right. Suddenly, my eyes would glaze over and I’d zone out.

Sometimes brain fog comes on not from neurological overstimulation but from physical fatigue. When I exercise for too long, or push myself too hard before an afternoon nap, I feel brain fog come on even if I haven’t been doing anything intellectual.

Once I hit this level of fatigue, it becomes hard for me to think clearly. This doesn’t just mean losing the ability to read a book or grade a student’s essay. I get recurring thoughts and feel sensitive and sad. I ask myself, am I actually feeling upset about a situation, or am I just experiencing brain fog?

What I do about brain fog

Once I’ve determined I’m experiencing brain fog, here’s what has helped the most to alleviate it:

  • Antibiotics: To alleviate the symptom of brain fog, you have to eliminate the cause: spirochetes. Lyme is a bacterial infection that needs to be treated with antibiotic therapy. My brain fog did not get better until I’d been on enough antibiotic therapy to really get at the spirochetes in my brain. Due to Herxheimer reactions, the brain fog actually got worse before it got better, but long-term antibiotic therapy eventually cleared up my infection enough to check the inflammation in my brain. The appropriate antibiotic protocol, and length of treatment, is different for every patient. What worked for me might not work for you, so it would not help you to learn about my specific protocol. Please discuss your symptoms and treatment with a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD).
  • Anti-inflammatory medication: My LLMD put me on an anti-inflammatory medication that worked in conjunction with my antibiotic to get across the blood-brain barrier. This was a prescription medication, different than over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pills.
  • Herbal/nutritional supplements: Certain supplements such as essential fatty acids can help reduce inflammation in the brain. Talk with your LLMD about which supplements would be best for you.
  • Anti-inflammatory diet: For me, it helped to eliminate sugar and gluten from my diet. For others, it also helps to eliminate dairy. Some foods like certain green vegetables, nuts, lemon, ginger, and blueberries are known to have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Water: The more you can flush your system, the faster you will eliminate live and dead Lyme bacteria (just be sure to keep your electrolytes balanced; I do so with electrolyte-infused water).
  • Time limits: To stop my brain fog before it starts, I impose time limits on my screen and reading time. Even if I’m feeling okay after an hour of watching TV, I make myself take a break, so that the fog doesn’t suddenly come rolling in.
  • Rest: These days, the very best thing I can do when my brain fog flares is rest, rest, rest. This means sleep, but it also means just having some quiet down time lying on the couch or going for a short walk. Many people think of reading or watching TV as resting, but for a patient with neurological Lyme disease, that is not the case. We need quiet, calm activities like coloring, baths, or soft instrumental music. The idea is to shut your brain off—to get away from screens, noises, and other stimuli.

Brain fog can be overwhelming. When you’re experiencing it, you might feel like the pressure in your head will never go away. With time, rest, and proper treatment, though, the fog eventually lifts so you can enjoy clearer skies.

[i] Fallon, Brian A. and Sotsky, Jennifer. Conquering Lyme Disease: Science Bridges the Great Divide. New York: Columbia University Press, 2018 (52, 314).


jennifer crystal_2

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.

Jennifer Crystal is a writer and educator in Boston. Her memoir about her medical journey is forthcoming. Contact her at




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Clarifying a Tragic Situation & Understanding Lyme Disease

Clarifying a tragic situation and understanding Lyme Disease

HamletHub and several other media outlets recently reported about a 21 year old Ridgefield male who was charged with assault on Friday, November 15.

We have since learned of this man’s plight and offer our apologies for any insensitivity on our part. This 2016 RHS grad has been dealing with the very serious, complicated, and often misunderstood symptoms of Lyme Disease and has been diagnosed with Bartonella and Babesia, both co-infections of the disease. We have also learned that his actions were the direct result of manifestations of this horrific illness. 

We would like to clear the air and explain more about Lyme Disease in order to let the community know that this man and his family, upstanding and longtime residents, have been battling a disease which, unfortunately, can have tragic consequences. We offer thoughts and prayers for healing for all.

According to a report published by the US Library of Medicine, Lyme Disease,  transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks, can be associated with various psychiatric presentations due to inflammation causing neurodegenerative changes (read more here) as was the case with this 21 year old, a warm, loving and hardworking member of our community who has absolutely no history of aggressive behavior. 

Please read more about Lyme Disease here. This is a disease we must not battle alone.


For more:

Mainstream medicine has yet to acknowledge and embrace the seriousness of this complex disease which often involves far more than just Lyme disease.  The wide spread systemic inflammation this causes is unbelievable.  They also have yet to acknowledge the effects upon the brain and behavior.

In this claims report, the #1 treatment sought by Lyme patients was psychological care:

Until mainstream medicine wakes up from its coma, Lyme/MSIDS patients will continue to be told they are just imagining things.

The Role of Host Response in Chronic Illnesses

The Role of Host Response in Chronic Illnesses

Anti-Inflammatories Help Major Depression

By Odelya Gertel Kraybill Ph.D.

Anti-Inflammatories Help Major Depression

New study suggests that anti-inflammatories can mitigate MDD symptoms

Posted Nov 11, 2019

Odelya Gertel Kraybill Expressive Trauma Integration

A new study* published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry asserts the efficacy of anti-inflammatories in treating major depression. This adds to the mounting evidence that there is a connection between emotional functioning and inflammation.

An increasing number of studies have shown that depression and/or bipolar disorder are accompanied by immune system dysregulationinflammation, and high levels of cytokines. Researchers have found that inflammation triggers depression, almost like an allergic reaction.  (See link for full article)



More and more is coming out on the role inflammation plays in chronic disease states and Lyme/MSIDS is no acceptation. These patients are full of inflammation and addressing that inflammation is an important aspect of treatment.

Of course, the first step is to address the pathogens which are causing this, the second step is to aid the body in detoxifying these pathogens, and the third step is to support the body by supplementing with the things our bodies are deficient in – which varies from person to person. But, the last factor is this addressing the burgeoning inflammation caused by the war brought on by pathogens.

Here are some things that have helped me in my journey.  I pray they help someone else out there as well.

(Please read about melatonin in the first link under the comment section.  Melatonin is particularly good for the brain as it not only reduces inflammation but it protects the blood-brain barrier.)

For examples of effective Lyme disease treatment:  Please remember Lyme is the tip of the spear and patients are often coinfected with numerous pathogens all requiring different medications.  This is why effective treatment is overlapping in nature and given for a much longer duration than a few weeks.  This fact has not been accepted and embraced by mainstream medicine and until it is, patients are required to be treated by ILADS trained professionals who understand this complex illness.  For a great video on this: