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Ask the Wellness Educator
Taking Supplements to Fight off Lyme Disease
What are some good supplements to take to fight off Lyme disease? My doctor retired and my first appointment with my new doctor isn't until February. I made some progress while being treated with antibiotics, but I've had to quit taking them and am in a quandary about what to do while waiting to see a Lyme-literate doctor again.
Karen Helberg

Dr. Jen's Answer:
Dear Karen;
I'm sorry to hear you are dealing with this complicated disease, but it is good news that you found a doctor who specializes in the condition. It is important to work with a practitioner who has experience and can customize a treatment based on your specific needs because of the complexities of the disease.

Since you are not taking antibiotics during this waiting period, it would be wise to try Artemisinin and/or Cat's Claw extract. Both have antimicrobial activity to kill off the burgdorferi bacteria and they support the immune system to help the body fight it effectively. Cat's Claw, or Uña de Gato, should be started at low doses and increased slowly according to directions. You may need to take it for a few years to completely resolve the infection. Allergy Research Group makes a liquid formula called Prima Uña de Gato, which is free of TOA, a naturally-occurring constituent in the herb which can counteract the herb's effectiveness. Artemisinin can cause gastrointestinal distress, such as diarrhea, so you may want to try a low dose initially to see how your body reacts. You can also add Argentyn 23 Silver Hydrosol to the regime, as it is antimicrobial and has been shown to kill the bacteria.

Probiotics are especially important during treatment because of the possibility of a related candida infection and the intensified need to support the immune system in the intestinal tract. If candida overgrowth is present it would be important to treat it. You can request the candida protocol from a NEEDS Wellness Educator for specific recommendations. There are many top-quality options for high dose probiotics that we recommend, such as Innate Response Formulas' Flora 200-14 7 Day Intensive or Nature's Way Primadophilus Optima Max Potency 100 Billion.

You may experience "die-off" reactions (such as chills, joint pain, brain fog, and fatigue) as the herbs kill the bacteria, and if this happens, fiber may be helpful to minimize the side effect. It is also recommended to decrease the dosage of the antimicrobial products until the reaction subsides.

Dr. Jen Morganti, NEEDS Wellness Educator

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