Archive for the ‘Lyme’ Category

A- To – Z Guide to Lyme Treatments: Webinar With Dr. Rawls  Reserve Seat Here

Live Webinar: The A -to- Guide to Lyme Treatments With Dr. Bill Rawls

Wed. Sept. 18th 8pm EDT

Chronic Lyme disease is often lumped in the “mystery illness” category because it’s so challenging to diagnose and treat. In fact, there are dozens of conventional and alternative Lyme remedies available — and tons of debate about which ones work best and whether the costs and side effects are worth it.

So once you know or suspect you have Lyme disease, how do you determine which treatment options will deliver the best results, safely, and without costing a small fortune?

Join a live webinar with best-selling author Dr. Bill Rawls, who knows firsthand what it’s like to struggle to find a cure for Lyme disease, as he reviews and rates more than 26 different chronic Lyme treatments, both mainstream and uncommon.

You’ll learn which remedies to try and trust, which are best avoided, and how to make the right decisions for your health any time you’re considering a new treatment regimen.

PLUS: Don’t miss an exclusive gift for those who attend the live webinar, and have your questions ready for a LIVE Q&A on chronic Lyme treatments with Dr. Rawls.

In this webinar, Dr. Rawls will also discuss:

  • The effectiveness of medical treatments such as antibiotics, hyperthermia, stem cell therapy, and UV light blood irradiation
  • Bee venom therapy, CBD oil, ozone and rife therapy, and other alternative remedies for Lyme disease
  • Whether lifestyle habits like a ketogenic diet, rebounding, qigong, and yoga can offer significant relief
  • Dr. Rawls’ grades for 26+ different treatment options based on their efficacy, safety, and cost, plus how to apply these three key criteria in your life
  • Numerous insights during the live Q&A with Dr. Rawls




Kids & Lyme Disease, Part 2. Common Cognitive Symptoms & How They May Present In School



Summer is over and schools are back in session. As your kids adjust from spending summer days outdoors to being in the classroom again, have you noticed anything different about their behavior? Are they, for example, having trouble focusing? Is it harder getting back into the school routine this year? Are they suddenly forgetting about homework assignments? Do they seem more easily irritable than usual? Are they so exhausted they’d rather hang on the couch than play with friends after school?

It’s easy to dismiss any of these changes as momentary blips—and sometimes they aren’t more than that. But if this isn’t your child’s typical behavior, he or she may be suffering from a tick-borne infection like Lyme disease, which can take several weeks or months after a tick bite to develop. Meaning a tick bite that either went unnoticed over the summer, or even one that was treated, could result in symptoms now. With that time delay parents might not so readily connect the child’s symptoms to a tick bite. This opens the door for the disease to advance from an acute to disseminated or late stage form before it’s even detected.

Early stage Lyme disease is usually diagnosed based on physical symptoms, such as a bulls-eye rash, fevers, headaches, tiredness, joint, muscle pains, etc. But Lyme can also cause many psychiatric and cognitive symptoms that can be easily missed or confused with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, gastritis or learning disabilities.

kids lyme disease_common cognitive symptomsUnlike adults, children with Lyme disease often can’t always explain what feels wrong. They suffer when their bodies hurt, when they can’t get enough sleep at night, when they struggle in school, when they don’t feel like playing. Typically, says Daniel Cameron, M.D., M.P.H., children and adolescents suffering with Lyme disease will often have intense headaches that can last for days, mood problems, and they may experience an inability to engage in activities they once enjoyed. A happy child can become sad or weepy, an active child can become passive, a calm child may start acting aggressively for no reason.

On the other hand, some of the symptoms can be so subtle, Dr. Cameron says, that parents and clinicians can mistakenly blame behavioral or cognitive symptoms on a variety of factors such as the child’s developmental stage, mononucleosis, depression, or even spending too much time on cell phones. Too often, and this can be tragic, it can take years of misdiagnoses and misunderstanding before parents know what’s troubling their child, and by then the disease has become chronic.

Because some of their symptoms, such as irritability, joint aches and difficulty concentrating, can mirror “growing pains,” legitimately sick children are often overlooked, told that their problems are “all in their heads.” Parents and teachers may suspect the child or adolescent is simply trying to avoid schoolwork, daydreaming, or acting up, when, in fact, one or more insidious tick-borne illnesses might be the cause.

If a child’s behavior is out of character that could be a clue that Lyme disease needs to be seriously considered,” says Dr. Cameron. “Too many kids in schools today are needlessly suffering without a proper diagnosis.”

It’s important for a child to get tested for Lyme disease when unusual symptoms manifest. If you suspect your child may be suffering from Lyme symptoms, he or she should see a physician who is trained to evaluate, diagnose and treat tick-borne disease. The impact Lyme symptoms have on a child can be quite devastating and should not be underestimated.

ALSO READ: Kids and Lyme Disease, part 1: Physical Symptoms in Early-Stage Lyme Disease

Kids and Lyme Disease–Cognitive Symptoms: Helpful Resources



Great article and reminder.  For more:


“Herxing”: Why Does It Occur?

By Galaxy Lab

“Herxing”: Why does it occur?


A New Complication of Lyme Disease; Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)


ejbps, 2019, Volume 6, Issue 8, 464-468.

Year: 2019


Barbaros ÇETİN*

Dokuz Eylül University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology, Izmir, Turkey.

*Corresponding Author: Barbaros ÇETİN


Lyme borreliosis is well known multisystem disease and can produce a wide array of neurological abnormalities in humans. It can effect both the central and peripheral nervous system. Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) a leading genetic cause of infant death, is a neurodegenerative disease characterised by the selective loss of particular groups of motor neurones in the anterior horn of the spinal cord with concomitant muscle weakness. Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is also a neuromuscular disease caused by abnormally low cellular levels of the ubiquitous protein SMN. Recent study finds connection between ALS and SMA. Respiratory failure due to bilateral diaphragm palsy as an early manifestation of ALS. Diaphragmatic paralysis and respiratory failure as a complication of Lyme disease. Lyme –associated diaphragm weakness from phrenic nerve palsy is rare. One of the rarest manifestations of phrenic nerve disorder is neuroborreliosis. I report two cases.

  1. When she was 2 months baby, she had diagnosed with SMA. After three years, her LTT-Borrelia test result is positive. CD57+/CD3-(NK cells) % 0.48, (20 mm 3 ), very low. C3 Compleman test result is low. Her mother’s (38 years old), LTT-Borrelia test result also positive. It is documented that transplacental transmission of the spirochete from mother to fetus is possible.
  2. 13 years old son. He had diagnosed Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EDMD),when he was 6 years old. He had, LTT-Borrelia positive test result, after 5 years. His father lyme test result was positive, when he was 57 years old.

Eventually, these results reveal the need for consideration of Lyme borreliyosis in patients diagnosed with SMA for the first time.

People who are diagnosed with SMA, DMD, ALS and similar neurodegenerative diseases have a great benefit in performing Lyme tests.



I highly doubt that SMA is a “new” complication of Lyme disease – but rather is newly published information. Again, with all the under reporting going on, we haven’t a clue about prevalence in patients.

This article also highlights congenital transmission of Lyme disease – something the CDC doesn’t even recognize to date:

Which brings up the potential of sexual transmission as well:

It continues to battle me why authorities will not do the appropriate studies on much needed practical issues such as sensitive testing, appropriate treatment, and whether or not Lyme/MSIDS can be transmitted by numerous means:

Latest Paper Reviewing The Proposed IDSA Guidelines on Lyme Disease and Psychiatric Illnesses  Go here for full paper)

Open AccessReview

Proposed Lyme Disease Guidelines and Psychiatric Illnesses

Department of Psychiatry, Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
Independent Researcher, Dorset BH23 5BN, UK
General Counsel Red Paladin, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Healthcare 2019, 7(3), 105; (registering DOI)
Received: 6 August 2019 / Revised: 3 September 2019 / Accepted: 4 September 2019 / Published: 9 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lyme Disease and Related Tickborne Infections)
The Infectious Disease Society of America, American Academy of Neurology, and American Academy of Rheumatology jointly proposed Lyme disease guidelines. Four areas most relevant to psychiatry were reviewed—the disclaimer, laboratory testing, and adult and pediatric psychiatric sections. The disclaimer and the manner in which these guidelines are implemented are insufficient to remove the authors and sponsoring organizations from liability for harm caused by these guidelines. The guidelines and supporting citations place improper credibility upon surveillance case definition rather than clinical diagnosis criteria. The guidelines fail to address the clear causal association between Lyme disease and psychiatric illnesses, suicide, violence, developmental disabilities and substance abuse despite significant supporting evidence.
If these guidelines are published without very major revisions, and if the sponsoring medical societies attempt to enforce these guidelines as a standard of care, it will directly contribute to increasing a national and global epidemic of psychiatric illnesses, suicide, violence, substance abuse and developmental disabilities and the associated economic and non-economic societal burdens.
The guideline flaws could be improved with a more appropriate disclaimer, an evidence-based rather than an evidence-biased approach, more accurate diagnostic criteria, and recognition of the direct and serious causal association between Lyme disease and psychiatric illnesses.View Full-Text
In plain English this means the latest Lyme Guidelines once again place too much emphasis on criteria used for surveillance (positive blood serology, EM rash, etc) and not enough on symptoms used for clinical diagnosis:
On top of this, the paper states the guidelines fail to address a clear causal association between Lyme disease and psychiatric illness.
If they are implemented as stands, we are in a world of trouble.

Please share with those in your sphere of influence. Suffering for 40 years is long enough.

What is a Lyme Disease Literate Doctor?


By Alain Mass, M.D.

A lot has been said and written about Lyme disease literate doctors who dare to go astray from the standard of care to diagnose and treat Lyme disease according to their own criteria. Blamed to over diagnose Lyme disease at the risk of missing the right diagnosis, doctors and media raise the concern  of useless and potentially dangerous antibiotic treatments. Who are these Lyme literate doctors? Are they pioneers, advanced-guard doctors or marginal, opportunistic, unreliable and potentially dangerous physicians?  

There is no specialty for Lyme disease other than that of  Infectious disease. In the absence of board certification, none is allowed to be called a specialist in Lyme disease. Hence, the vague term of Lyme literate doctor which literally means, according to the dictionary, able to read and write about Lyme disease. Who is a Lyme disease literate doctor? Whoever reads the medical literature on Lyme disease and gets educated about the disease and treatment can be called Lyme disease literate doctor. The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS), however, educates and trains physicians. 

When I was 3 years ago at the ILADS annual conference, a lecturer asked the audience full of hundreds of physicians: “ Who had personally Lyme disease or a family member with Lyme disease; raise the hand”. All the audience rose the hand. Where Lyme disease literate doctors come from is unfortunately an easy question. Physicians who have been directly involved in one disease, Lyme disease or not, tend to go straight to the source of knowledge, meaning the medical literature to get a better understanding but also to know all options of diagnosis and treatment. The main motivation, here, however, comes from a break in the trust in medical authorities because of treatment failure, disagreement with the diagnosis, especially when it involves a life-long psychiatric condition and treatment or a sentence of hopeless condition, often made of pain, handicap and medications for a family member, oneself or patients we really care for. 

The standard of care defines the proper method of diagnosis and treatment as it is established by the medical leading authorities and accepted by all. The Standard of Medicine, in turn, represents the professional medical conduct as transmitted by medical schools over the generations. The standard of Medicine does not require good results but thoroughness, rigorous methodology, devotion, care, and compassion. The standard of Medicine will stay forever.  The standard of care changes as science progresses. 

Lyme literate doctors approach the diagnosis of Lyme disease by history as described in the medical literature and with the basic medical methodology where each symptom is characterized according to its intensity, time, location, progression, response to food, medications or environment. A systematic review of all the organ-systems finds many symptoms that are also characteristic of Lyme disease, even though not spontaneously disclosed by the patients, maybe for the simple reason that they do not relate all of them to the same problem. Quite often Lyme disease patients approach a doctor with one, two or three symptoms. The review of systems most of the time reveals 10 or more other symptoms. Cognitive and psychological disorders like brain fog, memory impairment, new onset of difficulty focusing,  anxiety, new onset of OCD, irritability, depressed mood, etc… are rarely disclosed by patients. Not one symptom, aside from the bull’s eye rash (erythema migrans), is diagnostic of Lyme disease. The medical literature, however, does confer a strong correlation between certain symptoms like facial paralysis, headaches, migratory joint pain and Lyme disease. The pattern of symptoms is even more suggestive of the disease. Typical Lyme disease symptoms are unpredictable, intermittent, fluctuating, not affected by time, location or exertion and may improve with antibiotics.  It is the association of different organ-systems of such symptoms and the exclusion of all other possible medical conditions that, ultimately, allow Lyme doctors to consider Lyme disease despite the absence of a positive Lyme disease blood test. 

Since the early description of Lyme disease by Allen Steere, the triad of neurologic manifestations of Lyme disease, which combines meningitis, cranial neuritis, and radiculoneuritis, was already remarked as a clinical hallmark of this disease. I saw patients who were diagnosed with migraine by neurologists. I verified the Allen Steere’s triad if they had meningism (tension-type of headache with light sensitivity), cranial neuritis (facial numbness or paralysis, dizziness, hearing or visual disturbances), or radiculoneuritis (pins and needles feeling, numbness, muscular weakness, shooting pain..) None of the neurologists asked all of these questions. The patients admitted having some of these associated symptoms. The blood test confirmed Lyme disease. It is very common for physicians to order a Lyme disease blood test for joint pain and to rule it out based on a negative blood test. Maybe because physicians rely so much on the blood test that the need to ask whether the joint pain is migratory or not is felt not  so necessary. Most of the Lyme disease patients I saw, if not all of them, did not have a complete review of systems performed by their physicians. The reason is understandable. A thorough review of systems takes at least 45 to 60 minutes. Unfortunately, the health insurance-based medicine does not allow physicians to take time with chronic sick patients. How to connect the dots if there are no dots? The dots, however, exist but not sought.  

The diagnosis of Lyme disease, according to the standard of care, without a positive blood test, cannot be made. Patients see multiple physicians, leaders in their field and are left without diagnosis other than psychosomatic disorder or fibromyalgia. One patient saw eight infectious disease doctors. None of them thought of Lyme disease. A ninth one made the diagnosis of Lyme disease. No one thought of co-infections. She was also positive for Brucella and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  She was, however, already emotionally broken. She was sobbing trying to convince me that she was not psychiatric what many other doctors tried to convince her. 

Is it unreasonable to diagnose based on clinical grounds because of the risk of overdiagnosing? The current standard of care that follows the IDSA guidelines, endorsed by the CDC, that mandates a positive blood test result to authorize the diagnosis of Lyme disease is based on a study that was published in 1993 by Dressler and colleagues. (Western blotting in the serodiagnosis of Lyme disease. Dressler F, Whalen JA, Reinhardt BN, Steere AC., J Infect Dis. 1993 Feb;167(2):392-400). It is interesting to note that Dressler tried to prove the accuracy of the Lyme disease blood test by matching positive blood test with patients that he diagnosed based on symptoms. 

It is also interesting to see the source of the rule of a minimum of bands to diagnose or to exclude Lyme disease. Dressler’s study, at the source of the current IDSA guidelines, writes: “we selected the minimum number of IgM or IgG bands needed to obtain 99% specificity”. Dressler’s study concludes: We conclude that the western blot can be used to increase the specificity of serology testing in Lyme disease”. Higher is the specificity of a test, higher is the chance to have only true positive but also the risk of having false-negative test results. In plain English, it means that not being able to confirm a disease does not mean that the disease does not exist. The IgM ratios of 2 out 3 and IgG ratio of 5 out of 10  are not relevant to the sensitivity but to the specificity of the tests and, therefore, cannot be used to rule out Lyme disease but only to determine who unquestionably has Lyme disease. The distinction is important because it authorizes the benefit of the doubt.  

In times of controversy or when the treatment fails to relieve the patient, or when the clinical judgment conflicts with the conclusion of studies, there is an ethical duty not to rely only on the position or titles of authors but on a critical reading of the full study. What were the criteria of inclusion, and of exclusion? and so forth. The groups chosen by Dressler’s study to represent the individuals free of Lyme disease came from random patients who visited a clinic for vaccination and from a group of chronic fatigue syndrome patients. No Lyme disease screening questionnaire was used to verify the absence of symptoms compatible with Lyme disease. Chronic fatigue is, however, a common symptom of Lyme disease and chronic fatigue syndrome  is still an ill-defined disease.

Over-diagnosing is a real concern but under-diagnosing is a concern, as well. What is more concerning is a question. The morbidity of a life-long psychiatric treatment, or pain-killers or anti-inflammatory drugs and the degradation of quality of life due to chronic pain and/or disability in long term may definitely be more concerning than a few months of antibiotics. The exclusion of all other medical conditions is an essential part of the diagnostic approach of Lyme doctors. In fact, a classic Lyme disease patient is a patient who saw 10 to 15 doctors with normal workup but without satisfying diagnosis or treatment. 

Some raise the concern that Lyme disease literate doctors, by overdiagnosing, may give unnecessary antibiotic treatment. While according to the CDC and IDSA, a positive Lyme disease blood test, in the presence of a few clinical manifestations suggestive of Lyme disease, is diagnostic of Lyme disease and justifies an antibiotic treatment, Lyme literate doctors will consider the diagnosis of Lyme disease only after a strong clinical correlation. A positive serological Lyme disease test only testifies of an immune response to the exposure of the Lyme bacteria that may have happened in the past. Lyme disease doctors have brought to clinical practice from medical research new knowledge of conditions that may imitate Lyme disease that are even not known to all infectious disease doctors like mold and heavy metal toxicities, environmental illnesses, porphyria, genetic-induced detoxification pathway blockages, electro-magnetic frequency hypersensitivity, PANDAS and PANS, mast cell activation disorder, limbic system dysfunction etc…. We arrive at the paradox where about 50% of individuals who truly suffer from Lyme disease have a false negative serological blood test for Lyme disease while some others have positive Lyme disease test but remain without symptoms or suffer from other conditions in combination or not with Lyme disease. Only a clinical correlation can make sense of a positive test.

Relying solely on blood test may lead either to deny an existing Lyme disease or to treat with antibiotics conditions that could have been treated otherwise.

If doctors help patients to heal, to take away the pain, handicap or any lingering mental suffering there is no place for controversy and for Lyme disease doctors. When, however, patients do not get better despite diagnosis and treatment given by expert physicians, when physicians admit not to understand, when patients get referred from specialist to specialist without resolution, when patients or parents refuse the diagnosis of anxiety, depression, psychosomatic or psychiatric disorder or of fibromyalgia, patients may then consider that other opinions exist. The use of antibiotics beyond a period of one month, strongly not recommended by the CDC, has to be weighed against the chronic use, sometimes for life, of painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs or psychiatric medications and the emotional burden of an ill-defined chronic disease in the absence of any satisfying diagnosis. 

How to define a quack doctor? As long as the standard of Medicine is not respected, whoever may be the doctor, Lyme disease literate doctor or not, the question may be raised. Respecting the standard of care does not mean that the necessary time, thoroughness, and interest were given to the patient. Dismissing a chronic sick patient to his or her despair because of a negative blood test without a thorough review of systems is not in respect with the standard of Medicine. Clinical judgment based on a rigorous methodology and peer-reviewed medical literature may conflict with guidelines and did it in the past numerous times enabling Medicine to progress. Disdain and prejudice vis-a-vis healthcare practitioners may not ultimately help patients. Dr. Alexander Fleming wrote,

“Penicillin sat on my shelf for twelve years while I was called a quack. I can only think of the thousands who died needlessly because my peers would not use my discovery”.

The message of the Lyme disease literate doctors goes way beyond Lyme disease. In times of controversy or when the treatment fails to relieve the patient, or when the clinical judgment conflicts with guidelines, algorithm-based recommendations or the mere conclusion of studies do not suffice. Ideally, denying Lyme disease or criticizing Lyme disease literate doctors should be based on the same level of precise clinical description.  The best criticism against Lyme disease literate doctors would be to answer their questions other than by Lyme disease. For example, what other than Lyme disease may cause tension-type of headache with light sensitivity with intermittent pins and needles, numbness, weakness, poor balance, back pain along with migratory joint pain with intermittent mood and cognitive disorder that improve with antibiotics in a patient with a negative Lyme disease blood test but living in an endemic zone after exclusion of all other possible medical conditions?

Bertrand Russell wrote that evidence-based Medicine should remain our slave and not our master. In a similar vein, opposing a number of bands as sole criteria to diagnose  or not Lyme disease to a well constructed clinical case strong of the exclusion of all other possible medical conditions buries clinical judgment, the art and spirit of Medicine. Underlying the Lyme disease controversy is the conflict between science and clinical skills. What should prevail? Do physicians have the legitimate right based on medical literature of otherwise to discuss the science of medical leaders without being pointed out as quack or dangerous? Maybe the principal message of Lyme disease literate doctors is not specific to Lyme disease but is to say that the clinical diagnosis of Lyme disease is underestimated if not ignored because the clinical evaluation, in general, has been neglected in Medicine due to the constraint of time and has been supplanted by testing. A reliable clinical diagnosis takes time. Health insurance-based system does not allow physicians to practice Medicine as taught in medical schools with chronic or complex patients. There is no more time to spend with the patient, to listen, to go methodically through a review of systems that may take one hour. In these conditions, there is no time to research the medical literature for all cases and the blind trust in guidelines is a necessity until the patient becomes our spouse or ourselves, our child or a patient we really care for. 

Alain Mass, M.D.                                                                                                                                                                                                           Board Certified in Family Medicine Montebello, NY                                                                                                                                                                                                     Tel: (845) 623-0047



Wonderful article by Dr. Mass which points out the limitations of the health-insurance based system (managed care) which is not giving doctors the proper time required to make thorough and accurate diagnosis of chronic illnesses – which includes Lyme/MSIDS.  Due to this, doctors are relying on inaccurate testing which is missing many patients who are infected but test negative.

The health-insurance based system, which normally allows 10-15 minutes with each patient is not going to begin to have the time required by infectious disease doctors to delve into some of the issues Dr. Mass presents that imitate Lyme disease including: “mold and heavy metal toxicities, environmental illnesses, porphyria, genetic-induced detoxification pathway blockages, electro-magnetic frequency hypersensitivity, PANDAS and PANS, mast cell activation disorder, limbic and system dysfunction etc….”

Favorite quote by Dr. Mass:

“We arrive at the paradox where about 50% of individuals who truly suffer from Lyme disease have a false negative serological blood test for Lyme disease while some others have positive Lyme disease test but remain without symptoms or suffer from other conditions in combination or not with Lyme disease. Only a clinical correlation can make sense of a positive test.”


Welcome to the topsy-turvy world of Lyme/MSIDS.





Maine’s Senator Collins Holds Field Hearing on TICK Act

 Approx. 9 Min. Uploaded Sept. 5, 2019

Senator Collin’s Opening Remarks

Maine’s Senator Collins holds field hearing on TICK Act

You can watch a video recording of the hearing here:  Approx. 1 hour 20 min