For my patients with chronic Lyme disease that I treat here at The Healing Arts Partnership or through our One-to-One Medical Consult Service I am asked if they will get well and when it will occur. Research on this is non-existent or limited at best. So here are answers based on my experience.
Q. Will I get well with treatment?
A. Yes, 90% of people do improve. Unfortunately 10% do not or may even worsen during treatment. It is not clear why 10% of people do not improve. My Lyme literate medical doctor colleagues have similar experiences. In addition at the beginning of treatment it is nearly impossible to tell who will recover.
Marty Ross MD Discusses Getting Healthy.
The video is a Lyme Byte from our webinar Conversations with Marty Ross MD recorded on 09/24/2013. Read our Lyme disease treatment guidelines The Successful Treatment Recipe mentioned in the video.
Q. How long will I need to be treated?
A. In chronic Lyme disease (over one year of Lyme infection) an average length of treatment is 2 years. This is an average and some respond more quickly than others. For example, some may recover in 6 months while some may require 3 or more years.
Q. When will I start to feel better?
A. Based on one unpublished research study, 30% of people have notable improvement by 3 months, 60% by 6 months, and 90% by 9 months. I have somewhat quicker results in my practice. Notice that I wrote a “notable” improvement. This does not mean that a person is well, but rather starts to show some improvement. The take home message here is that it takes time.
One other point, often at the beginning of treatment a person will get worse. This is due to a Herxheimer die-off reaction. Read Herxheimer Die-off Reaction: Inflammation Run Amok for more information about this and the steps you can take to improve it.
Q. How much will I improve?
A. Improvements can range up to 100%. At the beginning of treatment it is often hard to predict which person may get full recovery. Unfortunately, the infection does appear to create a degree of permanent injury in some.
Q. How can I speed my recovery and provide the best chance of getting well?
A. Recovering from Lyme requires more than killing germs with herbal anti-microbials or prescription antibiotics. In my experience, you must take steps to correct many problems caused by Lyme that suppress the immune system. To improve immune function it is essential that a person follow the first 9 steps outlined in our Lyme disease treatment guideline: The Successful Treatment Recipe. This Lyme disease treatment guideline includes the same time proven steps Dr. Tara Brooke and I provide for our patients.
To support the immune system and to recover from Lyme one must:
- get sleep,
- lower inflammatory cytokines,
- use an adaptogen to help the immune system deal with stress,
- correct hormonal imbalances,
- take essential micronutrients and vitamins,
- treat yeast overgrowth in the intestines, detox, and
- kill Lyme germs and the coinfections.
- You can read about each of these steps and the rationale for addressing them in The Successful Treatment Recipe.
by Marty Ross MD