CISRA’s Synergy Health Newsletter

Issue 8. Lyme Update: Some Promising New Approaches (2005)

by J. C. Waterhouse, Ph.D.

The basic information in the previous article is still accurate (Lyme Disease and its Relation to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Psychiatric and Rheumatic Disease, 2002 ), however, I have learned a number of additional things since I wrote it that may prove useful to others. Although many patients do report improvement with extended use of antibiotics for chronic Lyme Disease, for many, the improvement is inadequate, or relapse occurs, even with long term intravenous antibiotics. In my own case, I used various oral antibiotics in several combinations at high doses for 2 years and did not improve significantly. I also used Mepron for 3 weeks for the parasite, Babesia microti and did not improve (in fact, the Mepron had a negative impact, in that I developed a sensitivity to it and it took a very long time to excrete the Mepron after I finished taking it).

However, the good news is that there is a newer treatment approach that is showing great promise in Lyme Disease. I have used this approach, called the Marshall Protocol, for the last 8 months and have been having much greater success than previously. The approach uses a specific type of immune modulation, together with low doses of certain antibiotics, to more effectively kill the cyst forms of bacteria hiding inside cells. Some believe the cyst or cell wall deficient (CWD) forms of the bacteria are the true source of the chronic symptoms of Lyme Disease, as well as a variety of autoimmune and other unexplained inflammatory syndromes. The Marshall Protocol (MP) was developed by Trevor Marshall, Ph.D., for sarcoidosis, but has recently been showing promise in other diseases thought to be caused by these CWD forms of bacteria.

In this update, I also want to provide my current perspective on some other topics mentioned in the 2002 article. With regard to testing methods, although Igenex Laboratory probably still provides the most sensitive tests for Lyme Disease likely to be covered by insurance, I think the Bowen test is probably actually more sensitive in detecting Borrelia infection ( It may be true that some people who consider themselves fairly well may still test positive on the Bowen test, however they will typically have low titers (and it is possible they may have some mild symptoms, or develop symptoms later). It appears that you can use the titers (or concentrations of bacteria) found with the Bowen test to monitor the level of bacteria in your body.

However, if you want to use your financial resources most efficiently, another strategy might be to skip individual tests for bacteria and instead test for vitamin D metabolites. The two vitamin D metabolites that need to be measured are 1,25 D and 25 D, and for accurate results, you must use a lab that freezes the samples for transport (for more information, see Issue 7 or The ratio of 1,25 D to 25 D are used in the Marshall Protocol (MP) to indicate the level of inflammation occurring due to infection by CWD bacteria, which include Borrelia burgdorferi, as well as many other species of bacteria.

Unfortunately, many studies are reporting low vitamin D levels and recommending vitamin D supplements, as a result of measuring only the inactive precursor form of vitamin D (25 D). As occurred in my own case, this practice of measuring the wrong type of vitamin D can lead to problems in people with certain inflammatory conditions. My level of inactive precursor 25 D was low, while my active, 1,25 vitamin D hormone was elevated, and contributing to my symptoms. The 1,25 vitamin D hormone may be elevated in patients with low 25 D because infected macrophages are causing an excessive, unregulated conversion of 25 D to 1,25 D. The high 1,25 D can directly cause many symptoms, as well as help the bacteria to increase and can actually lead to bone loss.

As for testing for other coinfections, Dr. Marshall believes that early evidence suggests that various coinfections will be eliminated by the immune system as you recover using the MP. Thus, if you do the MP, you may also choose to forego individual tests and treatments for tick-borne coinfections.

As for guaifenesin, which I mentioned helped my fibromyalgia in the past (for details on the protocol, see earlier issues in this newsletter, I still think it can be helpful for people, but it should not be used when on the Marshall Protocol. In fact, my experience indicates that the lowering of excessive levels of 1,25 vitamin D when on the MP, makes the guaifenesin unnecessary.

With regard to reducing food allergies/sensitivities, I still think this can be very helpful to many people. I find that those with chronic illnesses usually need to do more than just one or two blood tests to discover all their food sensitivities. This is true for a number of reasons, including the fact that the level of reaction usually varies depending on the amount of exposure to the food, supplement or chemical. I find that the most useful and cost effective method of detecting reactive items is the pulse test, which you can read about in Issue 5 and the Issue 8 articles. Since writing the article for Issue 5, I have found that I can successfully use the pulse test for delayed food sensitivities, but will often tend to detect a pulse reaction more easily during the withdrawal reaction phase, 12 to 48 hours after I stop eating the food, as described in Issue 8.

For those who lament having to alter their diet, it is quite encouraging that many people on the MP find that when they treat the infection, their food and chemical sensitivities disappear. Apparently, for these people, the overreactions to foods and chemicals are a result of the immune imbalance due to infection.

For those who suffer from frequent colds or gastrointestinal or respiratory flus, I also want to point out that I have found two preventive measures that have completely halted my previously very frequent infections (see Issue 7).


Editorial Note (2008):  See later issues of this newsletter for more on these topics.

Written by synergyhn

October 29, 2008 at 2:03 am

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