Lyme DiseaseWhat Is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness infectious disease transmitted to humans by a black-legged deer tick; these ticks may carry up to twenty diseases.

It was first reported in 1975 in the town of Old Lyme, Connecticut in the United States.

Thirty-nine children were diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and 12 adults were diagnosed of arthritis of an unknown cause.

Burgdorfer, a scientist who was studying Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, discovered the tick connection along with the bacterium, a spirochete, that causes Lyme.

The tick becomes infected after feeding on infected mice or deer.

The tick must be on the skin 24 to 48 hours to transmit the infection.

Wooded outdoor areas for camping and hiking are prime areas where these deer ticks can be found.

Domestic animals let out to roam the woods may also carry ticks.

Two of the bacteria species that cause Lyme Disease are Borrelia burgdoferi and Borrelia mayonii, and these are found in the United States.

The other two bacteria species are Borrelia afzelii and Borelia garinii. and theses are found in Europe and Asia.

There are five sub-species of Borrelia burgdorferi, and of these subspecies, there are more than 100 strains in the U.S. and 300 worldwide.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Lyme disease occurs in three stages: early localized, early disseminated and late disseminated. Symptoms will depend on the different stages.

Stage 1: Early Localized Disease

Symptoms will begin to appear within one to two weeks of being bitten by the tick.

One of the earliest signs is a bull’s-eye rash which means that the bacteria are multiplying rapidly in your bloodstream.

The rash occurs at the tick-bite spot and is a red spot surrounded by a clear spot with red edges. It may be warm to touch but will disappear in about four weeks.

The rash is called erythema migrans, and it is characteristic of Lyme; some people have a rash that is solid red, and others with olive tone skin may have a rash that resembles a bruise.

Stage 2: Early Disseminated Lyme Disease

This stage of the disease happens several weeks after the bite.

Bacteria is spreading throughout the body, and many people begin to have flu-like symptoms:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Sore throat
  • Vision changes
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Headaches

There may be rashes appearing in other areas of the body.

Neurological signs of Bell’s Palsy or numbness and tingling may occur.

Meningitis or the cardio conduction system may also be affected at this stage.

Stage 3: Late Disseminated Lyme Disease or Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS)

When the disease has progressed and not been treated in the earlier stages, then symptoms of congestive heart failure may occur because the disease spreads to the nervous system, heart and joints:

  • Severe headaches
  • Arthritis
  • Heart rhythm disturbances
  • Brain disorders involving memory, mood and sleep
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Focus and concentration difficulties
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Brain fog
  • Speech conversation issues
  • Numbness in extremities (arms, legs, hands and/or feet)
  • Loss of motor coordination
  • Severe muscle spasms
  • Meningitis
  • Intermittent paralysis
  • Sensory processing issues
  • Vision processing issues
  • Auditory processing issues

Lyme Co-Infections

Co-infections are extremely common in Lyme disease and can cause consternation in treatment because as one infection is diminished, a co-infection takes over, leading to “whack-a-mole” and a recurrence of symptoms or emergence of new symptoms.

These co-infections are important to consider and test for when testing for Lyme.

Some possible co-infections include:

  • Roundworms
  • Tapeworms
  • Threadworms
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Giardia
  • Amoebas
  • Clostridia
  • Herpetic viruses such as:
    • Epstein-Barr virus
    • Human Herpes Virus #6
    • Cytomegalovirus
    • Shingles
  • Parvovirus B19
  • Active measles (in the small intestine)
  • Leptospirosis
  • Pneumonia
  • Coxsackie virus
  • Chronic strep infections and their mutations
  • Babesia
  • Brucella
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Bartonella
  • Mycoplasma
  • Rickettsia
  • Bartonella
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Babesia

Babesia is a piroplasm parasite rather than an infection and can be passed on from a mother to an unborn child or through blood transfusions.

Blood banks do not screen for the presence of Babesia.

Cucurmin is anti-inflammatory with antimalaria compounds and can help attenuate Babesia symptoms such as :

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hip pain
  • Chest pain
  • Muscle aching
  • Excessive sweating (night sweats)

Bartonella

Bartonella is a form of bacteria that lives within the blood vessel linings of the body.

The bacteria move through red blood cells, making it difficult to destroy; consequently patients suffer from relapse of symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Problems with appetite
  • Strange rash like stretch marks
  • Lymph nodes may swell
  • May cause psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety

Ehrlichia

Ehrlichia is a general term to describe a host of bacterial diseases including anaplasmosis. Symptoms are similar:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • High fever
  • Fatigue
  • Severe conditions:
    • Low platelet count
    • Anemia
    • Kidney failure

Mycoplasma

These are very tiny bacteria – 4,000 of them can fit within a single red blood cell.

Mycoplasma infection is one of the primary causes of rheumatoid arthritis.

They can cause pneumonia and have been linked to:

Mycoplasma often provoke autoimmune issues and can be linked to magnesium deficiency. Symptoms of infection can include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF)

This tick-borne infection is caused by an interaction with the bacterium Rickettsia; the illness can be spread through the bite of various infected tick species including the Rocky Mountain wood tick.

Symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Vomiting
  • Conjunctival injection
  • Lack of appetite
  • Abdominal pain

This fever can be fatal if not treated within the initial few days of symptoms. These patients do not do well with sulfa drugs.

Epstein Barr Virus (EBV)

Up to 95% of the world population may be infected with EBV – a virus found within the herpes family. EBV uses DNA methylation to hide from the immune system and stays within the resting memory B cells.

B cells change with the immune system, protecting the virus and allowing it to proliferate without being detected.

Symptoms can include:

  • Spleen enlargement
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Possible jaundice

Human Herpes Virus-6 (HHV-6)

HHV-6 is a herpes virus discovered in the mid-80s and is active in almost all Lyme disease patients.

Even though HHV-6 is a co-infection, it is really an opportunistic virus waiting to strike.

Symptoms can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Neurological symptoms
  • Concentration issues
  • Memory issues
  • Possible connection to cancer through protein P53

What Your Doctor May Tell You About Lyme Disease

Your child’s doctor will probably want to know the specific symptoms your child has experienced and your child’s complete medical history.

Some doctors may not even consider Lyme disease or will misdiagnose it; this is a very common scenario.

If your child has autism, PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections) or PANS (Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome), it is most likely your doctor will not consider Lyme disease as comorbid with these diagnoses.

Typical Western Medicine Treatment of Lyme Disease

Your child’s doctor may typically address your child’s behavioral and emotional symptoms with psychotropic pharmaceuticals such as anti-depressants.

However, anti-depressants typically have a “black box” warning against these medications by children because they can increase the risk of more aggressive behavior and suicide ideation.

More forward-thinking Western medical doctors now understand that PANS and Lyme disease are typically caused by a pathogenic infection and/or acute environmental toxic assault.

To that end, typical treatments include:

Antibiotics

Antibiotics must often be given over several weeks or months to see improvement.

Many children require multiple rounds of antibiotics, and some stay on antibiotics prophylactically for years.

However, recent research has shown that antibiotics severely alter, often permanently, the microbiome in the gut, which is where most of the body’s immune system is.

In essence, giving antibiotics may “win the battle, but lose the war” because they can alter the body’s immune function and often cause an overgrowth of fungus, such as from Candida albicans.

In addition, antibiotics only work against bacterial infection, so they won’t help in the case of viral, parastic or fungal infection as well as environmental toxic assault.

Steroids and NSAIDs

Both steroids and NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) have been documented to reduce symptoms in children with Lyme disease, which is a clue that inflammation is part of what’s behind the child’ symptoms.

However, long-term use of either of these kinds of pharmaceuticals is hard on the body and can cause strain on the liver’s detoxification process as well as lead to nutritional deficiencies, thereby potentially leading to additional symptoms further on down the road.

In addition, steroids can disrupt the microbiome in the gut, which can lead to more symptoms later on.

Testing for Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease Specific Testing

If your doctor considers Lyme disease, they will likely use a common medical blood test that checks the antibodies to whatever Lyme disease bacteria your child has.

The Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay (ELISA) is recommended by most doctors for Lyme disease, and the Western Blot antibody test is also given to confirm the results of the ELISA.

Your child may have to do other tests such as an MRI, EKG or spinal tap, depending on the areas affected by the Lyme disease.

Conventional lab tests are not always reliable, however; for a more accurate lab test, consider the test from I-Genex Labs.

It is important to note that titers are NOT always indicative of an infection.

Titers are often only moderately elevated, or not elevated at all in some children with Lyme disease.

Because lab tests are not always reliable, the diagnosis of Lyme disease is a clinical diagnosis.

This means that your healthcare provider may base his or her diagnosis on your child’s history and symptoms.

PANS Specific Testing

Because PANS (Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome) is the broader umbrella under which Lyme disease falls, additional testing may need to be done to check for:

  • PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections)
  • Specific viruses, especially herpetic viruses such as Epstein-Barr virus and herpes simplex viruses
  • Pathogenic bacterial infection, such as Staphylococcus aureus
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection
  • Influenza infection
  • Heavy metals and other toxins
  • Mold toxicity with a test from Mycometrics: mold-toxicity and Lyme symptoms are often the same. However, it is possible and common that a person with Lyme disease also has mold toxicity.

Please remember that is quite possible, and often common, for a child to have multiple infections simultaneously, so it is a good idea to test for all of the above triggers before deciding on a course of action.

Another Way to Think About Lyme Disease

Maternal Inheritance

Many cases of Lyme-induced Autism Spectrum Disorders and Lyme-induced PANDAS and PANS are occurring because a whole generation of women have been misdiagnosed with other autoimmune conditions instead of Lyme and are passing the infection on to their children in utero and during childbirth.

Umbilical cords, placenta, fetuses and newborn infants have been found to have the same pathogens and co-infections causing Lyme.

Here are some of the overlapping symptoms of babies and children with Lyme, autism, PANDAS and PANS:

Lyme in these children can make them more fragile and vulnerable to environmental triggers such as injury or reactions to toxic exposures, environmental exposures (EMF smog) and co-infections.

If your child has Lyme disease, we recommend that the child’s mother be tested for it as well.

Autoimmune Disorder

Lyme disease is an autoimmune disorder caused by an inflammatory infection.

The strength of a person’s immune system is the most important factor in fighting this disease.

The stronger the immune system, the more successful the battle.

According to Columbia University Medical Center, not everyone who tests positive for the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria will experience symptoms of Lyme; infection depends on the strength of the immune system.

Even the worst infections may not test positive for Borrelia burgdorferi; it might take the first treatment to show positive for Lyme. This is known as the “Lyme paradox”.

Ticks can transfer numerous diseases through co-infections. Sixty percent of ticks carry more than one disease-causing pathogen.

Testing for co-infections is not always reliable, and therefore, an evaluation of symptoms and patient histories can help with diagnoses.

Each pathogen transmitted through a tick bite develops its own set of unique features and symptoms.

It’s important to understand the unique complexities of each infection found with Lyme disease to know which co-infection might be present.

Ticks host hundreds of different microbes and co-infections are a strong possibility.

This is the reason why Lyme disease is so difficult to treat because of the potential for co-infection.

A survey of over 3,000 patients with chronic Lyme disease found that more than 50% were affected by co-infections and at least 30% suffering from two or more infections.

Co-infections are the reason why some people remain chronically ill even after being treated for Lyme disease.

Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance is extremely high with Borrelia burgdorferi and co-infection microbes; the longer the bacteria remain, the more resistant they become.

Antibiotics destroy the microbiome, which are the intestinal flora that strengthen the immune system.

Antibiotics in general kill both the bad bacteria and the good bacteria, thereby suppressing the immune system.

Antibiotics increase infections from Candida and other fungi, reducing immune function and increasing antibiotic-resistant infection.

A recent study concluded that at least one-third of pediatric antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary and that antibiotics are responsible for about 70,000 visits to the emergency room by kids in the United States.

Immune-System Strengthening

Lyme disease cannot not be treated successfully without strengthening the immune system.

Borrelia burgdorferi can exist in biofilms, microbial colonies that can withstand antibiotics and the immune system – a sort of “blanket” for Lyme disease to hide behind.

Microbes cycle between cell wall and cystic forms, often clumping together and hiding behind biofilms so they do not get detoxed out of the body naturally.

When looking for a practitioner, find one who is a Lyme specialist that focuses on strengthening the immune system, understands co-infections and biofilm and treats the patient, not the disease.

For help in finding such a practitioner, consider our practitioner directory.

A Lyme Checklist to Start

Lyme disease gameplan:

Find a practitioner that can help your child heal the gut microbiome, rebuild and strengthen the immune system, and address nutritional deficiencies.

We advise caution on seeking out “Lyme-literate” doctors who use antibiotics to treat Lyme because antibiotics may improve symptoms in the short term while destroying beneficial bacteria that are necessary for long-term immune function; many Lyme-literate doctors have their patients on courses of antibiotics for years at a time.

Instead, we recommend working with a practitioner that treats the whole child to:

Heal the gut:

The first step is to heal the gut – the gastrointestinal tract and its microbiome – which is the hub of the good bacteria (probiotics) in the body.

By healing the gut, the immune system can be improved because 70% of the immune system is found in the gut.

Mothers who use preconception antibiotics may have babies with serious gut issues, which can lead to behavioral problems and developmental delays.

A baby’s microbiome can be disrupted by a mother’s poor diet, antibiotics, NSAIDS and usage of birth control pills because mothers transfers their poor microbiome to their baby.

Antibiotics kill bad bacteria but also good bacteria (probiotics) as well as white blood cells, which protect the immune system, in the process.

Antibiotics don’t discriminate, causing the intestinal flora and good bacteria to be destroyed, leaving the immune system compromised and unable to protect the body from future infection.

Constant usage of NSAIDs, which are common anti-inflammatories such as Motrin, Tylenol and ibuprofen, in either the pregnant mother or child can result in leaky gut syndrome and/or SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Organism), which can lead to autoimmunity.

Leaky gut and SIBO can lead to an inability to absorb nutrients and minerals needed for the brain and the body.

If the gastrointestinal tract and the microbiome have too many pathogenic viruses, bacteria, yeast and/or parasites, then the vagus nerve may transport these pathogens to the brain, causing the brain to have imbalances in the neurotransmitters and delays in the child’s development.

A compromised immune system before three years of age can cause developmental regression or delays.

Chronic infections, such as Lyme disease, viruses, pathogenic bacteria and mold, compromise the immune system, causing excessive inflammation, disrupting development and affecting the brain and a child’s development.

Make dietary changes:

It’s important to eat a diet rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods – removing all sources of inflammatory foods.

Without removing inflammatory foods, we compromise our healthy and beneficial gut bacteria.

We wreak havoc with our immune systems and create an environment for systemic chronic fungal infections, parasites to multiply and infest our blood, and viruses and bacteria to spread infection throughout the body.

Is your child craving and eating primarily a refined carbohydrate, high sugar, trans-fatty acids and fast food diet?

Eliminate all processed foods, and eat a whole foods diet.

  • Eat whole foods
  • Buy organic foods
  • Remove all GMO foods
  • Remove all fast and processed foods
  • Remove all foods with:
    • Artificial colors
    • Artificial ingredients
    • Preservatives
    • Phenols
    • Salicylates
  • Remove potentially inflammatory foods such as
    • Casein
    • Gluten
    • Soy
    • Corn
    • Eggs
    • Oxalates
  • Strictly limit:
    • Sugars
    • Refined salt
    • Refined carbohydrates
  • Join the Feingold Association to learn more.

Eliminate oxalates:

Oxalates are inflammatory chemicals in the form of crystals that can form anywhere in the body.

These crystals are created when fungi-ike yeast or molds, and/or foods high in oxalate, sugar, gluten and casein produce oxalic acid.

This acid will bond to magnesium, mercury or calcium to form crystals that can accumulate to form large oxalate stones which have been found in the heart, nervous system and joints.

These crystals have sharp edges and can be painful, leading to headaches, fatigue, joint pain and kidney stones as well as symptoms of Lyme disease.

Eliminate high-oxalate foods such as

  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Tofu
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Rhubarb
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Chocolate
  • Leeks
  • Tea
  • Wheat germ
  • Parsley
  • Instant coffee
  • Citrus peel
  • Black pepper
  • Okra

In addition, omega-6 oils contribute to oxalate production. Examples of these oils include:

  • Peanut oil
  • Soy oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Canola oil
  • Corn oil
  • Other vegetable oils

Help with Oxalate Elimination

Calcium citrate and magnesium citrate bind to oxalic acid in the digestive system and eliminate them through the stool.

Lactobacillus is a probiotic that produces enzymes to break down oxalates.

Cod liver oil and other omega-3 fatty acids prevent oxalate crystal formation.

Vitamin B6 (P5P) and the amino acid arginine reduce oxalate crystal formation as well.

Include plenty of good quality fats, such as:

  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Avocados
  • Wild salmon
  • Organic chicken
  • Organic turkey
  • Grass-fed ghee
  • Pasture-raised eggs
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Essential fatty acids from:
    • Cod liver oil
    • Hemp seeds
    • Flax seeds
    • Evening primrose oil
    • Borage oil
    • Walnut oil
    • Almond butter (not peanut butter – too moldy and yeasty)

Include plenty of high-quality proteins with every meal, such as:

  • Pasture-raised eggs and chicken
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Wild-caught fish
  • Legumes
  • Nuts

Heal the gut with special diets such as:

Clean up your environment:

Environmental exposures, especially before the age of 3, are a significant factor that can contribute to neurological damage.

Exposure to the following are toxic to the brain and central nervous system:

  • Heavy metals
  • Pesticides
    • Organochlorine pesticides
    • Round-up, a pesticide containing glyphosate, can cause elevated levels of Clostridium difficile, a microbe that has been linked to autism and that can cause severe gastrointestinal symptoms, leading to inflammation. Glyphosate negatively affects the gut microbiome and mitochondria. Eating organic and non-GMO foods can reduce exposure to pesticides.
  • Phthalates
  • Flame retardants: Research at the University of California, Berkeley has shown that exposure to PBDE, a type of flame retardant, is associated with:
    • Neurodevelopmental delays
    • Inability to stay focused
    • Poor fine motor coordination
    • Lower cognitive abilities in school-aged children
  • Chemical preservatives
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • PCBs

Have you identified and removed possible toxic exposures in the home from purchased products, such as detergents, soaps, lotions, and other cleaning and personal care products?

  • Make sure your household products such as soaps, cleaning fluids and all self-care products are environmentally safe and clean
  • Buy organic and green building materials, carpeting, baby items, mattresses and upholstery to reduce overall PBDE exposure
  • Remove animals (both live and stuffed!)
  • Remove carpets
  • Use non-toxic cleaners
  • Use non-toxic building materials
  • Green your home

EMFs

Increasing exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) has created environmental “electromagnetic smog” that escapes no one and that can disrupt the body’s sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

You can reduce EMF exposure by:

  • Leaving your cell phone on airplane mode
  • Limiting all interactive screen devices and the TV
  • Turning off WiFi in your home, especially at night
  • Making sure your cell phone has an electromagnetic neutralizer attached to it
  • Requesting that your electrical provider change your Smart Meter to the old meter

Help your child detoxify:

  • Ionic foot baths can help detox unwanted pathogens and are easy to do with children
  • Infared saunas can detox heavy metals through the skin by sweating. However, this form of detoxification may not be suitable for young children who lack the ability to sweat.

Use digestive aids with your practitioner’s guidance:

Digestive enzymes and bile acids can help with digestion and malabsorption:

  • Betaine hydrochloric acid
  • Digestive enzymes with DPP-IV for gluten and casein intolerances
  • Proteolytic enzymes
  • Bromelain
  • Papaya

Do not microwave food (or even water) because natural enzymes are destroyed, reducing or eliminating nutritional value.

Add fermented foods and probiotics daily:

These foods can keep the gastrointestinal system and microbiome healthy and strong, which in turn will keep the immune system strong:

  • Kefir yogurts
  • Fermented vegetables
  • Umeboshi plums (very alkalizing)
  • Miso soup, if soy is tolerated

Some good probiotics are:

  • VSL#3
  • Gut Pro
  • Ohirra’s Live Cultured Probiotics
  • Garden of Life
  • Culturelle
  • Klaire Labs
  • Floramend Prime by Thorne Research – passes through stomach acid into the intestinal tract

Use the prebiotic inulin to populate the small intestine with good bacteria that can overtake bad bacteria that produce proprionic acid.

NOTE: When taking probiotics do not take at the same time as antimicrobials. Antimicrobials will kill the effects of the probiotic.

Ask your pediatrician to run some laboratory tests for:

  • For a more accurate diagnosis of Lyme disease, use I-Genex Labs
  • Mold with a Mycometrics test
  • Heavy metals with a heavy-metal hair test
  • Possible food sensitivities and allergies
    • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) IgG, IgA, IgE and IgM
  • Nutritional deficiencies in vitamins and minerals. The NutrEval by Genova Diagnostics Labs covers the following areas:
    • Malabsorption
    • Dysbiosis
    • Cellular energy
    • Mitochondrial metabolism
    • Neurotransmitter metabolism
    • Vitamin deficiencies
    • Toxin exposure
    • Detoxification
  • Bacterial and yeast overgrowth
  • Gluten and casein sensitivities
  • Organic acids: The organic acid test by Great Plains Laboratory for:
    • Yeast overgrowth (Candida)
    • Oxalates
    • Other microbial infections
  • Comprehensive Stool Analysis by Genova Diagnostic Labs to identify:
    • Malabsorption
    • Maldigestion
    • Altered gastrointestinal function
    • Bacterial/fungal overgrowth
    • Chronic dysbiosis
  • Neurotransmitters: Neurorelief (Neurosciences Laboratory) is a specialty lab that tests neurotransmitters to determine chemical imbalances in the brain
  • Genetic mutations such as MTHFR, CBS and SUOX, which may interfere with your child’s ability to detoxify.

The MTHFR defect in the methylation process means that the body is unable to excrete toxins and pathogens very efficiently due to reduced glutathione, which is the master antioxidant in the body.

If your child has the MTHFR defect, it is best to provide nutrient support for the methylation process through methylated B vitamins such as methylB12, folate and P5P; however, we strongly encourage you to work with a qualified practitioner to determine your child’s nutritional needs.

An effective way to support your child’s methylation process is through the skin, where there is maximum absorption of nutrients.

Use nutritional supplements with your practitioner’s guidance:

The following supplements can help with symptoms of Lyme disease. We strongly encourage you to work with a qualified practitioner to determine your child’s nutritional needs:

  • Cod liver oil
  • Other omega-3 fatty acids such as:
    • EPA
    • DHA
    • Flax seeds
    • Evening primrose oil
    • Borage oil
    • Hemp seeds
  • CoQ10 to help with mitochondrial function
  • Phosphatidylcholine such as Body Bio PC, which has an optimum ratio of fats in the brain which the developer, Patricia Kane, believes makes the difference for children with neurodevelopmental disorders, dyspraxia, apraxia, seizures and fat-absorption issues
  • L-carnitine: This amino acid can help with muscle tone and speech
  • Cordyceps and maitake mushrooms
  • Mycophyto Complex by EcoNugentics: A mushroom complex for immune system
  • Coconut oil
  • Vitamin E: Be sure to get one with mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols
  • Active B complex
  • Vitamin D3
  • Zinc picolinate or glycinate: Too much copper toxicity contributes to neurological dysfunction. Increase zinc levels to offset copper. Zinc is important for the gastrointestinal system, the endocrine (hormonal) and the overall immune system.
  • Magnesium: This helps the nervous system, brain and muscles to calm down
  • Trace minerals with fulvic acid: These can help with muscle tone
  • Selenium: This mineral is important for detoxification
  • Methylcobalamin B12: This can help with methylation and speech
  • Folinic acid or 5MTHF: This can help with methylation and speech
  • Vitamin B6 (P5P): This can help with methylation and the nervous system
  • Vitamin A (anti-inflammatory)
  • Vitamin C (anti-inflammatory)
  • N-acetylcysteine: This helps with help with allergies, detoxification and methylation
  • Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
  • Epsom salt baths: This is an easy way to get magnesium into your child
  • Undecylenic acid eliminates Candida and fungal issues
  • Valerian root and passion flower improve sleep issues
  • Garlic, vitamin C, cat’s claw and olive leaf help boost immunity
  • Samento, guaiacum, oregano and clove anti-microbial herbs have anti-spirochete capacities
  • Cape aloe leaf supports elimination
  • Barberine kills bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites
  • Liposomal vitamin C is highly bio-available, strengthen the immune system
  • Bentonite clay and charcoal are powerful toxin removers
  • Ganodermo mushrooms are good for treatment
  • Olive leaf, St. John’s wort, pau d’arco, colloidal silver, zinc and systemic enzymes (proteolytic) all kill viruses
  • Biocidin kills fungus, Candida, viruses and bacteria
  • Samento, wormwood, barberry root, black walnut hull, oregano, garlic and clove antimicrobials help fight underlying infection
  • Astragalus, olive leaf and elderberry help stimulate the immune system
  • Nutrimedix has a line of herbal antimicrobials
  • Shillington’s Products include antifungal, antibacterial, digestive and heavy metal detox supplements
  • Himalyan salt lamps help to eliminate the negative ions in the room
  • Ozone treatment help to clean up Candida, fungus and bacteria

Use essential oils with your practitioner’s guidance:

Essential oils can be used for a variety of issues. They can be diffused, inhaled or used on the skin, although “hot” oils such as oregano need to be diluted in a carrier oil.

We encourage you to work with an aromatherapy practitioner for personalized information about your child’s needs.

  • Frankincense can be used to reduce inflammation and modulate immune reactions
  • Oregano applied with a carrier oil can be used as an anti-microbial
  • Marjoram can be used for painful muscles, and its antiviral and antibacterial properties can help calm down the nervous system
  • Juniper can be used as an antimicrobial, for detoxification, to increase circulation, to promote nerve regeneration and to help alleviate sound sensitivities
  • Peppermint can be used to decongest sinuses, soothe headaches, ease depression and ease sore muscles
  • Chamomile can be used to calm and relax the nerves as well as for its anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic properties
  • Melissa can be used to calm nerve disorders and emotional issues such as depression and anxiety as well as for its anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties

Prevent tick infestation:

  • Wear light color clothing with long sleeves in high-risk areas
  • Tuck your pants into your socks to keep ticks from crawling up your legs
  • When walking in wooded or grassy areas where ticks live, use a natural tick repellant on your clothing and exposed skin
  • Stay on the trail when hiking by walking in the center of trails to avoid high grass
  • Change your clothes after walking or hiking as soon as you get home
  • Wash yourself and always do complete self-checking when checking for ticks by thoroughly examining the skin and scalp
  • Don’t forget to check your pets for ticks
  • Always wear protective clothing
  • Maintain your lawn by keeping the grass short and make sure you dry your wood pile
  • Replace deer-friendly plants on your property

Essential oils that repel ticks:

  • Rose-geranium oil is highly effective at deterring ticks. Combine equal parts rose-geranium oil and coconut oil and apply regularly to your arms, neck, waist and ankles.
  • Lemon eucalyptus oil can be as effective as DEET in preventing both mosquito and tick bites. Mix 30 drops of lemon eucalyptus oil with 4 ounces of witch hazel or apple cider vinegar or vodka.
  • Citronella and eucalyptus oils along with oils of lavender, juniper, oregano and clove also are effective at repelling ticks but need to be applied more frequently than a chemical repellant. Combine the oils with equal parts of water or alcohol, shake and apply.

Learn about retained primitive reflexes:

Many children with Lyme disease may have retained primitive reflexes.

Find a therapist that is trained in integrating primitive reflexes, which can cause imbalances in the way your child’s brain performs.

See a chiropractic neurologist at a Brain Balance Center:

The Brain Balance program can help balance the right and left-brain hemispheres and make neural connections to extinguish primitive reflexes.

Lower stress levels:

Viruses, bacteria and other pathogens become more active when the body is in a state of stress.

By teaching your child ways to self-regulate with practices such as prayer, reiki, meditation, yoga, qi gong, tai chi and the Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping), they can become good advocates for themselves and become active participants in the recovery process.

Practitioners of techniques such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Retraining) and jin shin jyutsu can lower stress levels for your child, as well.

See a neurofeedback practitioner:

Neurofeedback is helpful for anxiety commonly experienced by children with Lyme disease.

Find a practitioner that can perform a QEEG (quantitative electroencephalograph) brain map first so you can understand how your child’s brain works.

See a sensory-integration occupational therapist (OT):

A child with Lyme disease typically has sensory sensitivities, and these OTs address a variety of sensory issues with a child using hands-on equipment.

This type of therapy calms down the nervous system to help integrate the senses; however, primitive reflex integration is typically not achieved with this type of therapy.

Ask about using brushing therapy to calm down the nervous system.

See a chiropractor:

A chiropractor can perform spinal cord adjustments, which can improve communication in the nervous system.

See a craniosacral practitioner: 

Craniosacral therapy can reestablish central nervous-system functioning.

These practitioners use approaches rich in vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile input and may also do oral motor therapy.

See a behavioral/developmental optometrist: 

Many children with Lyme disease have vision processing problems that may be causing problems with focus and concentration.

A developmental optometrist can check for convergence and tracking problems with your child’s vision.

He or she can correct these issues with vision therapy, lens and prisms.

Doing so can improve hand-eye coordination and school performance.

See an auditory therapist:

Many children with Lyme disease have auditory processing problems that may be causing problems with focus and concentration.

An auditory therapist can devise a listening program that is specific to your child’s needs.

Auditory Integration Therapy (Berard) or Sound Stimulation (Tomatis) can retrain the brain, calm down the nervous system, reduce sound sensitivities.

Find a therapist doing Brain Gym:

Brain Gym practitioner can have your child do exercises for sensorimotor coordination, self-calming and self-management.

See a homeopath or naturopath:

These practitioners can diagnose and treat Lyme disease so that the child’s immune, sensory, neurological and nervous systems develop without being compromised.

See a well-trained acupuncturist:

Acpuncture can help lower stress and anxiety associated with Lyme disease.

See a NAET or BioSET practitioner:

Children with Lyme disease typically also have food allergies and/or food sensitivities and intolerances.

NAET (Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique) and BioSET are two non-invasive methods of allergy elimination.

Still Looking for Answers?

We advise caution on seeking out “Lyme-literate” doctors who use antibiotics to treat Lyme because antibiotics may improve symptoms in the short term while destroying beneficial bacteria that are necessary for long-term immune function; many Lyme-literate doctors have their patients on courses of antibiotics for years at a time.

Find a practitioner that can help your child heal the gut microbiome, rebuild and strengthen the immune system, and address nutritional deficiencies.

Related Pages

Alexa and Sergio: Lyme and Autism

Emotional, Behavioral and Mood Symptoms

Lyme Disease in Children

Neurological Symptoms

Non-Pharmaceutical Treatment of Lyme Disease & Co-Infections with Lee Cowden, MD (webinar replay)

PANS PANDAS

PANS/PANDAS with Lauren Stone (webinar replay)

Sensory Processing Disorder

Undiagnosed Lyme Disease

Vision Therapy for Autism, ADHD, SPD and Learning Disabilities

References

Brorson, O., et al. Grapefruit seed extract is a powerful in vitro agent against motile and cystic forms of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. Infection. 2007 Jun;35(3):206-8.

Cantorna, M.T., et al. 1,25-Dihydroxycholecalciferol inhibits the progression of arthritis in murine models of human arthritis. J Nutr. 1998 Jan;128(1):68-72.

Cantorna, M.T., et al. Vitamin A deficiency exacerbates murine Lyme arthritis. J Infect Dis. 1996 Oct;174(4):747-51.

Feng, J., et al. Selective Essential Oils from Spice or Culinary Herbs Have High Activity against Stationary Phase and Biofilm Borrelia burgdorferi. Front Med (Lausanne). 2017 Oct 11;4:169.

Ferreira Maya, M., et al. Plant-based insect repellents: a review of their efficacy, development and testing. Malar J. 2011; 10(Suppl 1): S11. Published online 2011 Mar 15.

Hutschenreuther, A., et al. Growth inhibiting activity of volatile oil from Cistus creticus L. against Borrelia burgdorferi s.s. in vitro. Pharmazie. 2010 Apr;65(4):290-5.

Javid, A., et al. Hyperglycemia Impairs Neutrophil-Mediated Bacterial Clearance in Mice Infected with the Lyme Disease Pathogen. PLoS One. 2016 Jun 24;11(6):e0158019.

Kepka, A., et al. Serum carnitine concentration is decreased in patients with Lyme borreliosis. Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2016 Mar 4;70:180-5.

Lovegrove, M.C., et al. US Emergency Department Visits for Adverse Drug Events From Antibiotics in Children, 2011–2015. Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, piy066. 2018 Aug 23.

Lubke, L.L., et al. The antimicrobial agent melittin exhibits powerful in vitro inhibitory effects on the Lyme disease spirochete. Clin Infect Dis. 1997 Jul;25 Suppl 1:S48-51.

Socarra, K.M., et al. Antimicrobial Activity of Bee Venom and Melittin against Borrelia burgdorferi. Antibiotics (Basel). 2017 Nov 29;6(4). pii: E31.

Theophilus, P.A., et al. Effectiveness of Stevia Rebaudiana Whole Leaf Extract Against the Various Morphological Forms of Borrelia Burgdorferi in Vitro. Eur J Microbiol Immunol (Bp). 2015 Nov 12;5(4):268-80.

Troxell, B., et al. Manganese and zinc regulate virulence determinants in Borrelia burgdorferi. Infect Immun. 2013 Aug;81(8):2743-52.

Books

Buhner, Stephen Harrod. Healing Lyme Disease Coinfections: Complementary and Holistic Treatments for Bartonella and Mycoplasma. Healing Arts Press, 2013.

Buhner, Stephen Harrod. Healing Lyme: Natural Healing of Lyme Borreliosis and the Coinfections Chlamydia and Spotted Fever Rickettsiosis, 2nd Edition. Raven Press, 2015.

Buhner, Stephen Harrod. Herbal Antivirals: Natural Remedies for Emerging & Resistant Viral Infections. Storey Publishing, 2013.

Buhner, Stephen Harrod. Herbal Antibiotics, 2nd Edition: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-resistant Bacteria. Storey Publishing, 2012.

Buhner, Stephen Harrod. Natural Treatments for Lyme Coinfections: Anaplasma, Babesia, and Ehrlichia. Healing Arts Press, 2015.

Chutkin, Robin. The Microbiome Solution: A Radical New Way to Heal Your Body from the Inside Out.  Avery, 2016

Zhang, QingCai, et al. Lyme Disease and Modern Chinese Medicine. Sino-Med Research Institute, 2006.

Websites

Ampcoil for Lyme Disease

Bill Rawls MD: How I Recovered from Fibromyalgia and Lyme

Buhner Healing Lyme Q&A

Center for Homeopathy: Treating Lyme Disease with Homeopathy

Children’s Lyme Disease Network

Cowden Support Program

Dr. Cindee Gardner: Treating Lyme Disease Naturally & Effectively

Dr. Jay Davidson: What’s the Connection Between Toxic Mold and Lyme Disease?

Dr. Jay Davidson: Removing Parasites to Fix Lyme and Chronic Illnesses

Gordon Crozier DO: How This Doctor Finally Diagnosed His Lyme Disease

Homeopathy Plus: Homeopathy for Late-Stage Lyme Disease

Joette Calabrese: Protocol for Lyme Disease Using Homeopathy

Kent Holtorf MD: Innovative “Alternative” Therapies for Chronic Lyme Disease

Klinghardt Academy: The Treatment of Lyme Disease with Bee Venom

New England PANS/PANDAS Association

PANDAS Network

Videos

Bose Ravenel, MD: UnderLyming Factors in Autism – A Functional Medicine Approach