In this book, Dr. Ingels states that antibiotics aren’t enough in treating Lyme disease. Why? Because most physicians treat for too short of a time and because if antibiotics are used for longer periods such as months or years, which is common, then the patient is left with more health problems as a result.
A big part of the problem is that most doctors just aren’t well-educated on this insidious disease and how it can mimic hundreds of other chronic health conditions, especially neurological disorders, autoimmune disorders and mood/behavioral disorders.
Testing for Lyme Disease
Most doctors will follow the CDC’s recommendations when testing for Lyme. First, they’ll typically run an ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay) or the Lyme screen test. Then they may run the Lyme Western blot antibody test.
Dr. Ingels explains the pitfalls of these common Lyme screening tests, the main one being that these tests generate many false negatives, meaning that if the test is negative, most physicans will assume that you don’t have Lyme. However, this is often not the case. More experienced practitioners know that Lyme is really a clinical diagnosis, meaning that if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck even though the initial tests say that it’s not a duck.
In addition, it is very common that coinfections such as Babesia, Bartonella (cat-scratch fever), Anaplasma, Mycoplasma, Rickettsia (Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever) and Ehrlichia are not tested for.
There are more sensitive tests from companies such as IGeneX, Medical Diagnostic Laboratories and Galaxy Labs that can be used to better identify Lyme and its coinfections. However, insurance typically doesn’t cover the cost of these tests, especially if the diagnostic code is for Lyme disease. Learning how to read these test results is both an art and a science, so it’s best to work with a Lyme-literate practitioner, such as those that have been trained by ILADS, the , of which Dr. Ingels is a member.
Treating Lyme Disease with the Five-Stage Immune-Boosting Plan
Dr. Ingels has developed a five-part plan that uses a functional-medicine approach and utilizes his training as an environmental-medicine practitioner. The plan takes a whole-body approach because Lyme disease (and any chronic health condition) affects the whole body.
Repairing the Gut to Strengthen the Immune System
The gut is the main component of the immune system, therefore it makes sense to address its health first. Many people with Lyme as well as other chronic health condition have chronic gut dysfunction, which may be one of the reasons why they have their condition in the first place. Chief among these complaints is chronic constipation and/or diarrhea.
Gut problems stem from gut dysbiosis and inflammation, which can cause the vicious cycle of leaky gut. Dr. Ingels offers specific advice about probiotics, glutamine, digestive enzymes, fish oil, resveratrol and herbs, including specific names, brands and dosages of these supplements. Happily, he also mentions the use of colon hydrotherapy, otherwise known as colonics, as a therapy to help repair the gut.
Following the Immune-Boosting Diet
Dr. Ingels’ Immune-Boosting Diet combines knowledge of many gut-healing diets with the added twist of eating foods that increase the body’s alkalinity and omitting acid-forming foods. He developed the diet after implementing it for himself and realized that he felt much better with a more-balanced pH for reasons discussed in the book.
Organic foods are preferred, as they should be when looking to improve health, and the impact of food sensitivities and intolerances is addressed with his 17-food elimination diet; ours contains the top eight.
The only potential drawback to the diet is that it is a carbohydrate-heavy diet, although these carbohydrates come from whole gluten-free grains, fruits and vegetables. Individuals who are glycemically sensitive to carbohydrates may want to switch out some of these carbohydrates for the healthy fats he recommends.
Targeting Active Infection with Natural Herbs and Other Substances
This section of the book is worth its weight in gold, as Dr. Ingels reviews his top five herbal protocols for treating Lyme: The Zhang protocol (his “go-to” protocol), the modified Cowden protocol, Byron White formulas, the Stephen Buhner protocol and the Beyond Balance protocol. Because each person is different, not every person will respond the same to a given protocol.
Dr. Ingels offers specific advice about using an herbal protocol, such as how to begin, how to continue, when to change protocols and recommendations by age group. He details specific herbs used in each protocol and includes dosing recommendations. As always, though, we recommend working with a knowledgeable practitioner rather than going it alone.
Transforming Immediate Surroundings to Support Immune-System Health
Dr. Ingels is a Fellow of the American Academy for Environmental Medicine, and he puts his training to good use in this section. He explains how the body burden of toxins places added stress on the body, and he offers specific, nontoxic product suggestions for personal care, home and yard. He specifically addresses mold because as he writes “nothing looks more like Lyme disease than toxic-mold exposure.” He also points out that “people with Lyme disease seem to have a special sensitivity to mold and should take appropriate measures to minimize their exposure.
Reducing Stress Level and Getting More Sleep and Exercise
A body that’s in a state of stress cannot heal, so it’s important to lower stress levels and get better sleep. Stress is not only from emotional issues, but it can also come in the form of biological, structural, environmental, educational and physical stress (such as from vision, auditory and sensory issues). Dr. Ingels provides recommendations for specific supplements that can help with sleep as well as tools for managing stress in this section.
Treating Chronic Lyme
For the tough Lyme nuts to crack, Dr. Ingels discusses novel ways to boost the immune system such as:
- Ways to overcome chronic fatigue including recommendations for specific supplements
- How to overcome neuropathy with specific supplements, PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Frequency) and/or IVIG (IntraVenous ImmunoGlobulin)
- Taking control of the immune system with immunotherapies such as SubLingual ImmunoTherapy (SLIT), Low-Dose Immunotherapy (LDI) and Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN)
- Using homeopathy
If you could only buy ONE book to learn how to treat both acute and chronic Lyme disease, this is the book you should buy. Educate and empower yourself by reading this book, and you’ll save yourself a lot of time, money and frustration.
About Darin Ingels ND FAAEM
Dr. Ingels is a respected leader in natural medicine with numerous publications, international lectures and 30 years experience in the healthcare field.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology from Purdue University and his Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Ingels completed his residency at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health.
Dr. Ingels is a licensed Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine in the State of California. He is a Fellow with the American Academy of Environmental Medicine and Fellow with the Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs.
Dr. Ingels has been published extensively and is the author of three books, The Natural Pharmacist: Lowering Cholesterol, Natural Treatments for High Cholesterol and The Lyme Solution: A 5-Part Plan To Fight The Inflammatory Autoimmune Response And Beat Lyme Disease. He has also written a chapter on allergy desensitization for autistic children in Cutting Edge Therapies for Autism.
Dr. Ingels’ practice focuses on environmental medicine with special emphasis on Lyme disease, MS, autism, Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS and PANDAS) and chronic immune dysfunction, including allergies, asthma, recurrent or persistent infections and other genetic or acquired immune problems.
His practice is comprised of both children and adults. He uses diet, nutrients, herbs, homeopathy, and immunotherapy along with conventional medical therapies to help his patients achieve better health.
You can find out more about him and his practice at dariningelsnd.com