I recently viewed "Under Our Skin" the award winning documentary film about Lyme disease by Andy Abrahams Wilson. The film exposes part of the hidden and controversial epidemic of Lyme disease and shows how our medical establishment is failing to address this serious condition. It interviews doctors devoted to research and treatment of the disease some who have been prosecuted or lost their medical licenses for prescribing long-term intravenous antibiotic therapy. It profiles seven severely ill patients struggling to find effective treatment. The testimonial section of the film where a succession of sufferers read off lists of misdiagnosis and occasions where they were told their symptoms were psychosomatic was particularly gripping. The film is beautifully executed with backdrops of lush, wooded landscapes in the Northeastern United States, an area infested with deer ticks that most commonly transmit the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. Wilson wanted to show the beauty of the natural world and the human spirit next to the horror of the illness and in this I think he succeeds quite well. He also succeeds in showing how our for-profit medical insurance system fails persons suffering from complex poorly understood health conditions like Lyme disease.
"Under Our Skin" however does not address some key issues in the Lyme disease controversy. One would think after viewing it that repeated rounds of antibiotics are the only effective means of treating Lyme disease. This in fact is not true. Alternative medical routes as practiced by Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, an expert in the field, one of whose patients was profiled in the film, effectively treat Lyme disease without the use of antibiotics. I have a personal experience with this as I was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2003 and was a patient at Dr. Klinghardt's clinic for three years when I was successfully treated for Lyme disease through a combination of alternative therapies that included intravenous therapy containing B & C vitamins, magnesium and glutathione (Meyers’s cocktail); heavy metal detox with the drug DMPS and alpha lipoic acid; antimicrobial herbs; infared saunas; lymph massages; and jaw cavitation surgery. I felt better after the treatments however the underlying source of stress on my system remained. In other words for me Lyme disease was a complication of my health condition not the root cause. I suspect that this may be true for others as well.
According to Dr. Klinghardt the spirochete (spiral shaped) bacteria Borrelia burgdoferi along with a variety of other species or co-infections are not only transmitted by ticks but also mosquitoes, fleas and gnats; and human beings can pass it to each other through an exchange of bodily fluids including sexual intercourse and nursing. These super bugs are virtually everywhere in our environment and if one looks hard enough one can find them in the entire population. This is one reason that diagnosis of the disease with laboratory tests is so difficult. The question is not who has the bugs but who cannot deal with the bugs. Lyme disease is an opportunistic infection that occurs in persons whose detoxification and immune systems are impaired and leads to a chronic neurological condition very similar to Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Syndromes. In many books and websites the three conditions are combined. This is no coincidence because the damaging neurological consequences of this disease and these syndromes are similar and the underlying cause of all these disorders may be the same. Klinghardt thinks the cause is poor detox genes but for myself it turned out to be an impaired ability to breathe: an air passage obstructed by my tongue that had my system compensating on less oxygen. Once that was treated with Oral Systemic Balance the systemic stress lifted and my propensity for developing opportunistic infections like Lyme, intestinal parasites, and candida went away.
The road to recovery from chronic Lyme disease is a difficult one with many patients failing to get better after long term antibiotics and alternative treatments. I suspect that as we fully understand chronic Lyme disease and its commonality with CFS and FMS we will find similar treatments that successfully address them.