Archive for the ‘Treatment’ Category

5 Reasons Why You Should Care About Lyme Disease

“The fact is, everyone should care about Lyme disease. Here are five reasons why.”

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Some people may think, “Oh, I already know about Lyme disease. You only have it if you see a bull’s eye rash.” Or, “I don’t need to worry about Lyme disease, because I don’t live in New England.” These are myths about Lyme disease that are all too commonly heard. The fact is, everyone should care about Lyme disease.

Here are five reasons why:

  1. If you spend time outdoors, you are at risk.

Lyme disease used to be known for its prevalence in New England, as well as the fact that it is carried by deer. Both of those things are still true, but what people don’t always realize is that infected blacklegged ticks that carry Lyme disease are found across the country and world. Some ticks carry other diseases that are endemic to certain areas of the country, such as Heartland virus and Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness (STARI). Moreover, in addition to deer, ticks also feed on other mammalian hosts such as mice, chipmunks, and birds. They don’t just live in the woods, either. They like to hide in tall grasses, leaf piles and on brush. Anyone who spends time outdoors is at risk for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, and should take important precautions.

  1. Your children and pets are at high-risk for Lyme disease.

Do you have kids who like to play outside? Do you have pets who run through the woods? They are both at high-risk for contracting Lyme disease—and, your pets can bring ticks into your home, which can then infect you and your family. Children ages 3-14 are at the highest risk for Lyme disease, since they love to roll in the grass, explore in the woods, etc. Complications for both children and pets can be severe if Lyme is not detected and treated immediately. Like adults, children can develop cognitive issues, mood changes, sleep disturbances, and prolonged fatigue that can significantly impact their ability to focus in, or even attend, school. Here are specific prevention measures you can take for your kids and for your pets.

  1. If not treated early, Lyme disease can become seriously debilitating.

Most cases of Lyme disease that are treated immediately can be cleared up with a course of antibiotics, but some 10-20% of patients go on to experience persistent symptoms. And that’s for patients who are lucky enough to see a bull’s eye rash or whose doctor quickly recognizes their clinical symptoms. About 50% of people never see a bull’s eye rash, or any rash at all. Others present nebulous symptoms such as fatigue, or take months to develop other symptoms such as joint and muscle aches, fevers, and neurological impairments, which are often misdiagnosed; Lyme is considered “The Great Imitator” because its symptoms can mirror those of other conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).

  1. Diagnosis and treatment can be complicated.

Lyme disease testing is notoriously faulty, since it only can detect antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi (the pathogen that causes Lyme disease), not the bacteria itself. Many patients either get misdiagnosed, as described above, or not diagnosed at all. Their Lyme disease then progresses to later, more complex and systemic stages. It then becomes more difficult to treat. Treatment can also be complicated by co-infections that require different treatment—some doctors don’t know to test for co-infections in addition to Lyme disease—as well as an individual’s immune response. Each person’s case of tick-borne illness is different, and requires an individually tailored protocol.

  1. Ticks DON’T ONLY carry Lyme disease.

As mentioned above, ticks can carry other illnesses, commonly referred to as co-infections. Some of these include babesiosis, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and possible bartonella. Some require different treatment than Lyme disease (for example, babesiosis is a parasite that is treated with anti-malarial medication). They also can be more difficult to get rid of, even when caught early. If you have Lyme disease and have not been tested for co-infections, you may only be fighting half the battle.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 476,000 people are diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease every year. That’s more than breast cancer and HIV combined. Lyme and other tick-borne diseases are a serious health threat. The more people are aware of Lyme, the greater chance they’ll have of taking good preventative measures and/or getting accurately and efficiently diagnosed.


Jennifer Crystal

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own. Jennifer Crystal is a writer and educator in Boston. Her work has appeared in local and national publications including Harvard Health Publishing and The Boston Globe. As a GLA columnist for over six years, her work on has received mention in publications such as The New Yorker,, CQ Researcher, and Jennifer is a patient advocate who has dealt with chronic illness, including Lyme and other tick-borne infections. Her memoir about her medical journey is forthcoming. Contact her via email below.




Here’s some more reasons why you should care:  The information within this article is imperative to understand why patients are not believed, diagnosed, or treated within mainstream medicine unless they are lucky enough to have a bull’s eye rash and a tick dangling off their arm.  (Even then, people are sent home packing and told to “wait and see.”)


Strength in numbers: How biofilms outfox antibiotics

Bacteria are vital for survival, but when they form communities, they can wreak serious havoc and pose a threat to our health.

When bacteria flock together and form a community, this is called a biofilm. Found all over the planet — from desert rocks to the surfaces of buildings — biofilms are an integral part of nature.

Biofilms are tricky beasts because they have a tendency to become resistant to all manner of efforts employed to eradicate them. This spells bad news for anyone with conditions such as cystic fibrosisperiodontitis, or chronic wounds as medical implants and catheters are hotspots for biofilm formation.

But why are biofilms so persistent, and what are doctors and scientists doing to outsmart these clever microbial communities?

What are biofilms?

“Biofilms are one of the most widely distributed and successful modes of life on Earth,” says Prof. Hans-Curt Flemming — director of the Institute for Interface Biotechnology at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany — in a 2016 article published in Nature Reviews Microbiology.

(See link for article)


For more:

Dr. Rawls’ Lyme Treatment Guide

Dr. Rawls’ Lyme Treatment Guide

A-to-Z Lyme Treatment Ratings: From antibiotics to herbal therapy, ozone, and more, find out how Dr. Rawls rates these popular Lyme disease treatments.

As a physician, I often get asked my opinion on various Lyme treatments. While herbal therapy is my preference for the majority of those with chronic Lyme disease, I’m always learning and educating myself on different treatments and therapies that might make it easier for people to get their lives back. Based on my research, experience, and medical opinion, I developed a rating system to evaluate potential treatment options according to safety, efficacy, and cost.

Dr. Rawls’ Lyme Treatment Guide

More Treatments Coming Soon!

In the coming weeks, look forward to treatment additions like colloidal silver, essential oils, stevia, IVIG, methylene blue, peptides, and SOT therapy.

Sign up for our RawlsMD newsletter to find out when new treatments are added.

To evaluate the potential success and pitfalls of various treatments, I use a grading system based on my research, experience, and medical opinion. My criteria includes:

    • Cost: What are the out-of-pocket expenses for a particular treatment?
    • Efficacy: Is there any evidence the treatment works?
    • Safety: What’s the potential for the treatment to cause harm to the person who’s using it?
    • Ways to administer: What’s the route by which the treatment is given to a person?

Using my rating system, I’ve created a treatment guide so that you can learn about and compare a variety of treatments and therapies. You’re likely to hear some success stories with nearly every intervention or modality on this list. But measuring your options according to efficacy, potential risks, and cost, in partnership with your healthcare provider, will go a long way in helping you make the best decisions for you and your recovery.

Bill Rawls, MD
Medical Director and Cofounder of

Dr. Bill Rawls is a licensed physician with over 30 years of experience and a leading expert in Lyme disease, holistic health, and herbal medicine. In the middle of his successful medical career, Dr. Rawls’ life was interrupted by Lyme disease. In his journey to overcome it, he explored a wide range of treatments – from conventional medicine to an array of alternative therapies.

In the more than 10 years since his recovery, Dr. Rawls has helped thousands of patients to recover from chronic illness and maintain wellness. He is the author of the best-selling book Unlocking Lyme, and the Medical Director of and Vital Plan, an online holistic health company and Certified B Corporation®.


How to Overcome Chronic Lyme Disease

Aug. 1, 2018

Dr. Bill Rawls overcame chronic Lyme disease with herbal and natural remedies. He reveals the 5 essential elements for recovery here. Learn more about Lyme disease and Dr. Rawls’ story:…

Dr. Rawls recently came out with a nifty coinfection chart worth looking at as well.



I would dispute a few items on the treatment ratings. I’ve done many of the treatments listed and have found antibiotics to be cheaper and more effective than herbal treatments for both myself and my husband. Dr. Horowitz has found that herbs alone have about a 70% success rate in his office (if I’m remembering correctly). Not many doctors write books on their clinical experience so when they do, I take note.

Please understand I’m not dissing herbs here – just talking brass tacks about money, time, and efficacy. I still use herbs to this day for various issues and know they have helped many patients, but to my knowledge there is no magic cure – including herbs, or I’d be using it. Savvy, layered treatment focused on all forms of borrelia and taking coinfections into account as well as detoxification, immune system imbalances, gut health, diet, exercise, sleep, stress, and more is crucial on this journey. It truly is as individual as the person.

For more:

Many are having wondrous results with disulfiram, unfortunately I had to quit it as it caused psychosis for me (not fun, and a $30 drug ended up costing me $20K due to a week long hospital stay because I went completely nuts).  Dr. Horowitz has also had good success with the triple Dapsone combination on some of his most refractory patients.  I’ve heart there are many side-effects and the need to supplement to mitigate those effects, but for the right patients it may prove to be the thing that helps the most.  Regarding liposomal essential oils, my husband and I are currently taking liposomal oregano oil in our Bartonella treatment of Clarithromycin/rifampin, along with garlic, monolaurin, and stevia.  Time will tell on this treatment.  

Go here to listen to Dr. Frid’s clinical experience using liposomal essential oils.  (Unlike antibiotics, she finds LEO’s most effective when pulsed).  I found them cheapest on her website.

Public Hearing: Consumer Access to Complimentary & Alternative Health Practitioner Bill on July 29 in Wisconsin

A public hearing has just been scheduled for Thursday, July 29 at 9:00 am for the Complementary and Alternative Health Care Practitioners Exemption bill (SB 98/AB 86) in the Assembly Health Committee!  Write to your own legislators asking them to support the bill. 


Then, please prepare and submit testimony in support of the bill too (details below). 

When passed, Wisconsin will join eleven other states in protecting the thousands of wonderful complementary and alternative practitioners who are providing great services to health seekers in Wisconsin.  This bill already passed unanimously out of the Senate Insurance, Licensing and Forestry Committee on April 1 and it passed the Senate, as amended, on a unanimous voice vote on April 14.  

To refresh your memory: It was introduced last session (2019 AB 546/SB 492). It passed the Assembly Health Committee, the Assembly floor and the Senate Committee on Health before stalling in the Senate due to COVID-19. Unfortunately, this legislation was moved aside and was not addressed before the end of the legislative session.  

What the Bill Does:

SB 98/AB 86 is a bill to protect your access to services provided by practitioners of complementary and alternative health in Wisconsin such as herbalists, traditional naturopaths, nutritional consultants, homeopaths, Reiki practitioners and many more.  This exemption bill will make it possible for practitioners to provide their services without fear of being charged with practice of medicine without a license as long as they avoid a list of prohibited acts in the bill such as the use of prescription drugs, or puncture of the skin, and as long as they give out proper disclosures.

What you can do:

1. Take Action here to send a message of support for SB 98/AB 86 to your personal legislators.  Please take the time to write a personal note on your letter as this will have a greater impact with the legislator or send the letter we have provided. Start building a relationship with your personal Senate and Assembly Representatives. 

2. Call your legislators to leave a message reiterating your support of SB 98/AB 86.  Identify who your legislators are here by entering you address in the box under “Who are my legislators?” and click “Find your Legislator”.  Use their contact info to leave a message with each office letting them know why you support SB 98/AB 86.  Note: if your legislator is a sponsor of the bill, say Thank You!  Current sponsor and cosponsors of the bill include 14 Representatives (Dittrich, Horlacher, Kitchens, Murphy, Mursau, Schraa, Skowronski, Wichgers, Zimmerman, Callahan, Edming, Sortwell, Moses and Rozar) and 3 Senators (Felzkowski, Kooyenga and Bernier). 

The message for your personal legislators:

“As a constituent of [Senator/Assemblymember] [Insert Legislator’s Last Name] I want [him/her] to know that I support SB 98/AB 86, a bill Protecting Consumer Access to Complementary and Alternative Health Care Practitioners.  AB 86 is scheduled for a hearing on July 29 in the Assembly Health Committee.  Please tell the [Senator/Assemblymember] that I want [him/her] to please vote yes on the bill when it is heard on the floor of the [Senate/Assembly].  [Insert your own brief reason why you support access to complementary and alternative health care (i.e., I depend on complementary and alternative health care for myself and my family and I want Wisconsin law to protect my rights as a consumer to a free and educated choice in health care providers.)] Thank you.” 

3. Prepare Your Testimony for the Committee. It’s so important for legislators to hear from the public on a bill.  Your story could be just what a legislator needs to hear in order to vote in favor of the bill.  Written testimony should be given to the Committee in person but we can collect your written testimony and deliver it the day of the hearing.  Please send it to and and we’ll deliver it to the committee for you.  Note: Due to COVID restrictions and the size of the hearing room, the committee is requesting written testimony over in-person testimony.  They are not allowing virtual testimony at this time.  Therefore, your written testimony is that much more important.  A few sentences about why you support SB 98/AB 86 is all that’s needed.  Please draft and submit it asap. 

4. Spread the word about SB 98/AB 86.  Please forward this email to your friends and family so they can Take Action to support SB 98/AB 86 too. THANK YOU for your commitment to Health Freedom!  If you have questions, contact us at   

Now more than ever it is important that we use the tools that are available to us as Americans. Your donation makes a huge difference in our ability to educate, foster and mobilize with people like you in states across the country. Together we can create the laws “we wish to see in the world”. Laws that protect our rights to make choices about our own health and the health of our children. 



I’ve put in a call to NHFA regarding not being able to have my information sent to ask my legislators to support SB 98/AB 86. I keep getting “Error code 500, try again later.”

I will try again later, and so should you if you get this code; however, hopefully my alerting them of this will help matters get resolved.

Since Lyme/MSIDS patients have such a hard time receiving medical treatment, it’s imperative alternative practitioners are free to help patients obtain treatment.

Babesia in a MS Patient  Go Here for Podcast


babesia microti in MS patient

Welcome to another Inside Lyme Podcast. I am your host Dr. Daniel Cameron. In this episode, I will be discussing the case of a 54-year-old male with a 12-year history of multiple sclerosis who was diagnosed with Babesia microti.

Haberli and colleagues describe the case in the journal Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.1

Babesia microti, a tick-borne pathogen that infects red blood cells, can cause severe disease in immunocompromised individuals. This patient was immunocompromised due to multiple sclerosis (MS) and the immunosuppressive drug he was receiving, ocrelizumab.

Disease Modifying Therapy

Ocrelizumab (sold under the brand name Ocrevus™ in the US) was approved in 2017 for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). It is a humanized anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, which targets mature B-cells that contribute to demyelination and damage to nerve cells.

Ocrelizumab is a disease modifying therapy (DMT) approved to treat both primary progressive MS and relapse-remitting MS. Ocrevus™ can cost just over $65,000 per year if not covered by insurance.

The patient was prescribed Ocrevus™. 

“The use of ocrelizumab has been associated with increased risk of infections involving upper respiratory, gastrointestinal, and urinary tracts, in addition to herpes simplex reactivation,” wrote the authors. 

“Data from one randomized clinical trial has shown a statistically significant increase in the incidence of malignancy among ocrelizumab users compared to placebo and interferon β1,” they added.

Rituximab, a medication with a similar mechanism of action, has been associated with rare infections in non-MS patients including severe or relapsing Babesia microti infections, the authors wrote.

MS patient fails treatment

This is the first published case of Babesia microti in a patient treated with Ocrevus™.

The 54-year-old man had been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, hypertension and had a 12-year history of relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis.

He was hospitalized with malaise, fever, fatigue for one week and episodes of syncope. He failed treatment with 4 different disease modifying drugs ─ glatiramer acetate, natalizumab, dimethyl fumarate, and fingolimod.

The man refused further therapy and was lost to follow-up.

6 years later, MS symptoms worsen

Six years later, the man’s MS symptoms worsened and he was prescribed Ocrevus™.

Four months later, he was hospitalized and treated for possible sepsis. He had unexplained thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count).

Tests positive for Babesia microti

As part of his sepsis work-up, the patient was tested for tick-borne infections with PCR test results for Babesia microti returning positive.

The man was treated with 500mg daily azithromycin and 750mg twice daily atovaquone. 

“At week 8, his therapy was discontinued due to complete resolution of pancytopenia, negative B. microti PCR, and negative Giemsa-stained blood smear,” wrote the authors.

There have been other cases of Babesia microti patients treated with Ocrevus™.  

“There were five babesiosis cases associated with ocrelizumab reported between June 2018 and August 2020 on the FAERS database,” the authors wrote.²

“There were two females and two males with an age range of 45 to 51 years old, and one female 65 to 85 years old, all of whom had serious events without reported fatalities,” wrote the authors based on a review of the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) public dashboard.

The following questions are addressed in this podcast episode:  

  1. What is Babesia microti?
  2. How do you diagnose Babesia?
  3. Is testing accurate?
  4. How severe is Babesia?
  5. Are there asymptomatic cases of Babesia?
  6. Why do immunosuppressive drugs pose a risk to Babesia patients?
  7. What are the risk factors for symptomatic Babesia?
  8. What is a disease modifying agent?
  9. What is Ocrevus™?
  10. What was the treatment for Babesia?
  11. What is the significance of 8 weeks of treatment with Babesia?

    Thanks for listening to another Inside Lyme Podcast. You can read more about these cases in my show notes and on my website As always, it is your likes, comments, reviews, and shares that help spread the word about Lyme disease. Until next time on Inside Lyme.

Please remember that the advice given is general and not intended as specific advice to any particular patient. If you require specific advice, then please seek that advice from an experienced professional.

Inside Lyme Podcast Series

This Inside Lyme case series will be discussed on my Facebook page and made available on podcast and YouTube.  As always, it is your likes, comments, and shares that help spread the word about this series and our work. If you can, please leave a review on iTunes or wherever else you get your podcasts.

  1. Haberli N, Coban H, Padam C, Montezuma-Rusca JM, Creed MA, Imitola J. Babesia microti infection in a patient with multiple sclerosis treated with ocrelizumab. Mult Scler Relat Disord. Feb 2021;48:102731. doi:10.1016/j.msard.2020.102731
  2. Ezequiel M, Teixeira AT, Brito MJ, Luis C. Pseudotumor cerebri as the presentation of Lyme disease in a non-endemic area. BMJ Case Rep. 2018;2018.



This case brings up a very important point: MS can be caused or exacerbated by tick-borne infections. Immune-suppressing drugs are contraindicated for people with TBI’s. The only caveat to that is if they are used in conjunction with antibiotics.

I can’t help but wonder how many other patients are out there with this exact same scenario.

For more: