Archive for the ‘Pain Management’ Category

Study Shows Dead Lyme Debris Persists in CNS Despite Antibiotics and Causes Inflammation

Primary Human Microglia Are Phagocytically Active and Respond to Borrelia burgdorferi With Upregulation of Chemokines and Cytokines.

Greenmyer JR, et al. Front Microbiol. 2018.


The Lyme disease causing bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi has an affinity for the central nervous system (CNS) and has been isolated from human cerebral spinal fluid by 18 days following Ixodes scapularis tick bite. Signaling from resident immune cells of the CNS could enhance CNS penetration by B. burgdorferi and activated immune cells through the blood brain barrier resulting in multiple neurological complications, collectively termed neuroborreliosis. The ensuing symptoms of neurological impairment likely arise from a glial-driven, host inflammatory response to B. burgdorferi.

To date, however, the mechanism by which the bacterium initiates neuroinflammation leading to neural dysfunction remains unclear. We hypothesized that dead B. burgdorferi and bacterial debris persist in the CNS in spite of antibiotic treatment and contribute to the continuing inflammatory response in the CNS.

To test our hypothesis, cultures of primary human microglia were incubated with live, antibiotic-killed and antibiotic-killed sonicated B. burgdorferi to define the response of microglia to different forms of the bacterium. We demonstrate that primary human microglia treated with B. burgdorferi show increased expression of pattern recognition receptors and genes known to be involved with cytoskeletal rearrangement and phagocytosis including MARCO, SCARB1, PLA2, PLD2, CD14, and TLR3. In addition, we observed increased expression and secretion of pro-inflammatory mediators and neurotrophic factors such as IL-6, IL-8, CXCL-1, and CXCL-10. Our data also indicate that B. burgdorferi interacts with the cell surface of primary human microglia and may be internalized following this initial interaction.

Furthermore, our results indicate that dead and sonicated forms of B. burgdorferi induce a significantly larger inflammatory response than live bacteria. Our results support our hypothesis and provide evidence that microglia contribute to the damaging inflammatory events associated with neuroborreliosis.



The study in the following link corroborates the above study in that it did not find active CNS infection with Lyme encephalopathy:

The following short video shows phagocytosis in action.  For those of my vintage, think of Pac Man gobbling up things in its path.  This is exactly what our immune cells (macrophages or white blood cells) do.  Notice that “special digestive enzymes” shred the bacterium into pieces.  This is why enzyme therapy can help Lyme/MSIDS patients – both digestive and systemic enzymes can help in numerous ways – one of which is by shredding the bacteria, and cleaning the blood of debris.  According to the above study, this debris is very probably ONE reason we have high inflammation, pain, and symptoms.  Anything you can do to clear out that debris is helpful.

Immune Cells Eating Bacteria (Phagocytosis)

Animation by: Fusion Medial Animation ( Microscopy by: Timelapse Vision (

This video describes the structure and function of microglia.

By Matt Jensen. Created by Matthew Barry Jensen.


For more on Enzymes:

Lactoferrin, an iron-binding milk glycoprotein has also been found to help due to borrelia’s ability to hijack our plasminogen system allowing it to penetrate tissue barriers:

DMSO & MSM may also help certain patients due to their anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, oxygenating, free radical scavenging, detoxifying, and antiparasitic properties.  Please read this article to understand both substances better.

And, as always, please work with your medical practitioner and discuss ALL treatment ideas.  There are medical contraindications on nearly every substance and you need to be privy to them.

Low-Dose Naltrexone For Lyme: Living With Lyme Podcast


Episode 30: Using Low-Dose Naltrexone For Lyme Disease Treatment

Cindy Kennedy, FNP, is joined by author Dr. Darin Ingels, who discusses his experience with using low-dose naltrexone as a treatment for Lyme disease.
Dr. Ingels is a respected leader in natural medicine, with more than 26 years experience in the healthcare field. He received his bachelor of science degree in medical technology from Perdue University and a doctorate of naturopathic medicine from Bastyr University. He has worked as a clinical microbiologist/immunologist and he is board certified in Integrated Pediatrics and a Fellow of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine.
Dr. Ingels has been published extensively and is the author of “The Lyme Solution: A 5-Part Plan to Fight the Inflammatory Autoimmune Response and Beat Lyme Disease,” a comprehensive natural approach to treating Lyme disease. He specializes in Lyme disease, autism and chronic immune dysfunction. He uses diet, nutrients, herbs, homeopathy and immunotherapy to help his patients achieve better health. For more information, see his website.
Please know that LDN will not “treat Lyme/MSIDS” in an anti-microbial sense.  It will help with symptoms.  We found it very effective but it will not kill pathogens.  For more on LDN, please see second link below.
For more:

Oklahoma Legalizes Medical Marijuana

Oklahoma voted to legalize medical marijuana

A big win for medical marijuana advocates in Tuesday’s elections.

By German Lopez, Jun 27, 2018

Voters in Oklahoma on Tuesday elected to legalize medical marijuana, which makes the state the 30th to allow the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Oklahoma State Question 788 allows individuals 18 and older to obtain a medical marijuana license with a board-certified physician’s signature. Minors can get a license but will require the approval of two physicians and their parent or legal guardian. A new office in the Oklahoma State Department of Health will enforce regulations, including licensing for dispensaries, growers, and processors.

The measure is also relatively unique in that it doesn’t tie medical marijuana to any specific qualifying conditions, which will likely make it easier, compared to other states, to obtain pot for medicinal uses.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, 56 percent of voters supported medical marijuana, while 43 percent opposed it.

A 2017 review of the research, from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, found that marijuana is a promising treatment for chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and multiple sclerosis.

The evidence of marijuana’s efficacy for other medical conditions is weak. That’s not necessarily because pot is ineffective for treating those conditions, but because supporting research is simply nonexistent or lacking. One big reason: federally, marijuana remains illegal for any purpose. For years, the federal ban has imposed harsh regulatory hurdles on research about pot — in large part allowing studies about marijuana’s risks but not its benefits. That’s made it difficult for researchers to gain a better grasp of the drug’s potential medical benefits.

Despite the limited research, 30 states, including Oklahoma, have now moved forward with medical marijuana, buoyed by popular support for cannabis’s medical use and growing evidence that it provides at least some relief for patients.


For more:

Caffeine More Dangerous Than Cannabis

 Approx. 2:30

According to Dr. David Bearman, in 1988 after a two rescheduling hearing, the DEA’s chief administrative law judge recommended rescheduling Cannabis to a schedule II substance.  He also said it was one of the safest therapeutic agents known to man & that it was safer than eating 10 potatoes.

According to two well-known addictionologists, Dr. Jack E. Henningfield (National Institute on Drug Abuse) and Dr. Neal L. Benowitz (University of California at San Francisco), Cannabis is less dangerous than caffeine.

 They ranked six psychoactive substances on the following five criteria:
  • Withdrawal — The severity of withdrawal symptoms produced by stopping the use of the drug.
  • Reinforcement — The drug’s tendency to induce users to take it again and again.
  • Tolerance — The user’s need to have ever-increasing doses to get the same effect.
  • Dependence — The difficulty in quitting, or staying off the drug, the number of users who eventually become dependent
  • Intoxication — The degree of intoxication produced by the drug in typical use.
The tables listed below show the rankings given for each of the drugs. Overall, their evaluations for the drugs are very consistent. It is notable that marijuana ranks below caffeine in most addictive criteria, while alcohol and tobacco are near the top of the scale in many areas.


The rating scale is from 1 to 6. 1 denotes the drug with the strongest addictive tendencies, while 6 denotes the drug with the least addictive tendencies.


Substance   Withdrawal   Reinforcement   Tolerance   Dependence   Intoxication

Nicotine           3                         4                       2                     1                   5

Heroin             2                          2                       1                     2                  2

Cocaine          4                          1                       4                     3                   3

Alcohol           1                           3                       3                     4                  1

Caffeine          5                          6                       5                     5                  6

Marijuana      6                          5                        6                     6                 4



Substance   Withdrawal   Reinforcement   Tolerance   Dependence   Intoxication

Nicotine             3*                       4                     4                        1                6

Heroin                2                        2                      2                        2               2

Cocaine              3*                      1                      1                        3               3

Alcohol               1                        3                      4                        4               1

Caffeine              4                        5                     3                         5               5

Marijuana          5                        6                     5                        6                4

*equal ratings

A neurobiologist shows the under explored potential of cannabis to address opioid addiction:


For example, previous research shows that cannabinoids have a stronger effect on inflammation-based chronic pain, while opioids are particularly good at relieving acute pain. Problematically, opioids can quickly lead to a deadly addiction.

“If you look at both drugs and where their receptors are, opioids are much more dangerous in part because of the potential for overdose. The opioid receptors are very abundant in the brainstem area that regulates our respiration so they shut down the breathing center if opioid doses are high,” says Dr. Hurd. “Cannabinoids do not do that. They have a much wider window of therapeutic benefit without causing an overdose in adults. However, children have overdosed from consuming edible marijuana so that’s something to consider when making decisions regarding medical use.”

…..Accumulating evidence suggests that cannabinoids could have long-lasting therapeutic effects.


You may not be aware that medical cannabis is legal in 28 states and the District of Columbia, yet the DEA classifies cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance, the same category as heroin, yet there is no toxic or lethal overdose effects of cannabis.  No one has ever died from cannabis.

You may also be surprised to learn the United States Department of Health Services owns a patent on cannabis:

The Patent covers the use of cannabinoids for treating a wide range of diseases. Yet under U.S. federal law, cannabis is defined as having no medical use. The patent (US6630507) is titled “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants”. It was awarded to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in October 2003. It was filed in 1999, by a group of scientists from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), also part of the National Institutes of Health.

Even the U.S. government’s own NIH researchers concluded:  “Based on evidence currently available the Schedule 1 classification is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking.”

For a video guide on the science of cannabis & opioid information:

If you want to learn more on the medicinal uses of cannabis:

Airing FREE June 20-27, 2018 Register here: The Sacred Plant: Healing Secrets Examined is a groundbreaking 7-part documentary series centered on the most powerful and potent healing plant on earth.

7-Part FREE Series About Medical Cannabis

Ty Bollinger: Season 2 – Healing Secrets Examined Docuseries

Airing FREE June 20-27, 2018.

Register here:

The Sacred Plant: Healing Secrets Examined is a groundbreaking 7-part documentary series centered on the most powerful and potent healing plant on earth. This series will be available to you absolutely FREE online from June 20-27, 2018.

What is The Sacred Plant? Cannabis sativa. Its natural and non-toxic healing powers have been used for 5,000+ years to prevent, treat, and even beat hundreds of medical conditions and disorders. Including Cancer, PTSD, Autism, Seizures, Dementia, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, Anxiety, and hundreds more with no harmful side effects, which are common with pharmaceutical drugs.

Through the stories and expert advice of global health leaders, doctors, scientists, patients, and survivors…you’ll discover The Sacred Plant’s miracles and misunderstandings. The stories you’ll witness will inspire and move you. If you or a loved one is suffering right now from a debilitating disease or chronic condition, it’s important that you get educated and empowered on The Sacred Plant. It could change and even save your life and the life of a loved one.


How LD Takes a Toll on Children in School


By Sandra Berenbaum, Lyme-literate psychotherapist co-authored “When Your Child Has Lyme Disease.”

How Lyme disease takes a toll on children’s schooling

Lyme disease can drastically impact a child’s education. One of the biggest problems involves sleep—both too much and too little. Some children may sleep many more hours than is common for others their age. But from what I have seen, for most young Lyme patients it is just the opposite. They cannot get enough sleep and what little they get is of poor quality.

Some children completely reverse their circadian rhythms. They stay awake all night and sleep during the day. Those around them may see this as a behavior problem and assume the child is staying awake to defy the parent. But for the great majority of children with Lyme, the sleep problems are, in fact, caused by the disease.

Such sleep problems can contribute to profound fatigue. Blogger Jennifer Crystal, who writes extensively about the experience of having Lyme disease, describes it this way:

The fatigue of tick-borne diseases…is a crippling flu-like exhaustion, one that leaves muscles not sore but literally unable to function; one that makes the body feel shackled to the bed; one that makes the effort of lifting one’s head off the pillow seem like a Herculean feat. There were times, at my lowest point of illness, when I …felt too tired to breathe.

Pain And Other Symptoms

Another symptom that interferes with education is pain. Children with Lyme may have migraine-like headaches, joint pain or gastrointestinal disturbances. One of my young clients would spend up to two hours in the bathroom at a stretch, crying in agony, as her mother tried to comfort her. This unpredictable symptom made it impossible for this child to attend school. She needed homebound instruction until, with proper medical treatment, this problem cleared up.

Sensitivity to light and sound makes school intolerable for some students with Lyme. The noise of children in the halls and cafeteria may be overwhelming. For some, even the sound of a pencil scratching on a paper is too much. Fluorescent lighting in the classroom can cause burning eyes, blurred vision, or severe headaches. Furthermore, children whose brains have been affected by Lyme disease may find it extremely hard to process information and organize their time. They may have problems involving short-term memory and word-finding.

In my practice, I have not met a child with Lyme who wanted to get out of going to school when healthy enough to do so. The children I see want to attend school and to connect with their peers. Before getting sick, some had been active in sports, music, or drama. Even the quiet or shy children had found their circle of friends and their place in school.

The picture changes when Lyme symptoms emerge. At first, there might be subtle backsliding, as school attendance and performance gradually decline. After the child has been diagnosed, the parents may realize that problems at school are due to the disease and not her failure to try her best.

Unfortunately, many schools do not understand the link between the illness and academic performance. It can be useful to help educate district personnel about Lyme disease, to minimize the level of misunderstanding between the school and the family.

Addressing School-Related Problems
Here are some of the school-related problems that children with Lyme may experience:
  • Attendance—Sometimes the child is too ill to be in class. Other times, there are medical appointments that cannot be scheduled after school. Some schools have firm attendance and lateness policies that don’t make allowances for such circumstances. For children with a documented medical need to be out of school, it is important to establish a 504 plan or an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that includes a waiver of the attendance and tardiness policies.
  • Length of school day—The regular academic day is too long for many children with Lyme. Some schools may agree to a shortened day but want the child to start early in the morning when the other students arrive. That rarely works for students with the sleep problems that are typical of Lyme. They often wake up later and take longer to get ready. A shortened day, starting late, may help them stay in school and better absorb the material.
  • Bathroom access—Children with gastrointestinal symptoms must be free to go to the bathroom as needed. They should not have to ask the teacher’s permission first. This meets a physical need and avoids embarrassing the student. Some schools will easily provide this kind of support for children who need it. They may even allow the child to use the bathroom in the nurse’s office to avoid the more public student facilities.
  • Access to a quiet room—Students suffering from sensory overload or headaches need a chance to escape to a quiet place. This might be the nurse’s office or a room off of the teacher’s lounge. Taking a break like this may protect the rest of the day and avoid the need for the child to leave school early or go on homebound instruction.

No two cases of Lyme are exactly alike, with identical symptoms and challenges. There is no blueprint for educating a child with Lyme disease. Complex problems call for complex solutions.

Excerpted from “When Your Child Has Lyme Disease: A Parent’s Survival Guide,” by Sandra K. Berenbaum, LCSW, and Dorothy Kupcha Leland. Published by Lyme Literate Press. Berenbaum has a psychotherapy practice that focuses exclusively on Lyme disease patients and their families. She is a member of ILADS and advises a number of Lyme patient advocacy groups. Her website is



Great article.  If children suffer in school, adults are suffering in the work-place and have unique issues and problems to consider.

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Gender & Lyme: Is Tick-Borne Disease Different For Women?

MAY 5, 2018


by Jennifer Crystal

Every Thursday evening, three girl friends come over to eat ice cream with me and watch Grey’s Anatomy. Yes, that show is still on! Despite the fact that it’s been running for 14 seasons, it often makes some commentary on current social issues. In one recent episode, the Chief of Surgery, Dr. Bailey, checks herself in to the hospital because she believes she is having a heart attack. But because her tests initially come back clean—she suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and is under tremendous stress— she grows increasingly upset when her male doctors won’t listen to her, and her symptoms are written off as psychosomatic.

Does this scenario sound at all familiar?

Dr. Bailey’s experience is one that too many female patients go through—not just women with Lyme, but women with any illness. In her March 2013 New York Times article, “The Gender Gap in Pain”, award-winning health writer Laurie Edwards cites several studies that prove that women’s complaints of pain are much more likely to be dismissed than men’s. For Lyme patients, the complaints are not just about pain, but also about brain fog, word reiteration, forgetfulness, heart palpitations, insomnia, and that particularly nebulous one, fatigue. Because Lyme symptoms can seem idiopathic—meaning they arise spontaneously from unknown causes— and do sometimes encompass a psychological component, it’s easy for doctors to write them off as “all in someone’s head.”This especially occurs when faulty diagnostic tests can’t support what a patient knows to be true: that she is physically ill with an all too real pathogen. Women who appear in doctor’s offices wearing makeup or hairstyles that mask how awful they really feel are often told, “But you don’t look sick!”

If women are louder with their complaints, it’s only because they’re not being heard. A patient recently wrote to me to ask if Lyme is more common in women, because all of the other patients in the waiting room of a doctor she recently visited were female. Perhaps those females had legitimate tick-borne illnesses that had been dismissed longer than their male counterparts’, and they had finally made their way to a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD). Whatever the reason, medical research demonstrates that more men than women test positive for Lyme disease. A study by Dr. John Aucott of Johns Hopkins University found that when testing for Lyme—with tests that are, admittedly, less than 60% accurate—women’s and men’s antibody responses were different, and more men than women tested positive.

Does this mean more men than women actually have Lyme disease? That’s hard to know, since the tests are so unreliable. What it does mean though is that men have a greater chance of having their symptoms confirmed by clinical tests, while women face a greater uphill battle in getting accurately diagnosed. Some have to wander around for years—it took me eight years, battling both male and female doctors—to be taken seriously. Even on Grey’s Anatomy, the fictional Dr. Bailey had to collapse on the hospital floor before her doctors would admit she might actually be suffering a heart attack, and whisked her in to surgery.

In addition to more men than women being diagnosed with Lyme disease, women face different challenges from the illness. My own symptoms always increase during menstruation, when the hormones progesterone and estrogen diminish. I have a higher chance of getting a migraine than a male, and my fatigue and sleep disturbances are worse during those few days. Doctors and patients alike agree that many, many women say the same thing. Women also have to contend with the possibility of yeast infections from antibiotic treatment for Lyme. Yeast overgrowth can be a problem for any gender, as antibiotics not countered by probiotics and a special diet can cause intestinal yeast overgrowth, but women also have the added potential of vaginal yeast infection.  And of course, women who contract Lyme while pregnant must work with their doctors to manage their own health while trying to avoid passing the Lyme bacterium to the fetus; women who already have Lyme and become pregnant have similar concerns.

Don’t forget that ticks do not discriminate. They will bite anyone of any gender. But  women who get tick-borne illness as a result do often face discrimination when it comes to being validated, diagnosed, and treated by physicians. Once accurately diagnosed, women face different complications than men.

For now, women can’t do much about the fact that menses can worsen our symptoms, or that we are more susceptible to yeast infections, or that Lyme can affect pregnancy. We can, however, speak up for ourselves and for our illnesses. We can push back against doctors who won’t listen, or go elsewhere to find better medical care. We can also fight against the psychosomatic write-offs of Lyme sufferers. And we can share our stories, bonding together in a movement to earn validation and respect for all patients.

jennifer crystalOpinions expressed by contributors are their own.

Jennifer Crystal is a writer and educator in Boston. She is working on a memoir about her journey with chronic tick-borne illness. Contact her at