by Dr. Bill Rawls
There’s great debate over whether Lyme disease can ever be fully cured. Get the answer, plus learn what it takes to ease symptoms of chronic Lyme naturally.
Question: Can Lyme disease ever be truly cured?
Can you ever really be cured of Lyme disease? It really depends on how you define “cured.”
I was diagnosed with Lyme disease and my life was devastated around age 50. I’m now age 60. I’ve been using herbal therapy continually for 10 years. I’m living a normal life. I’m doing all the things that I would want to do at this age and more. I’m doing things that I missed out on in my 50s. I’m doing things that a lot of people can’t do in their 60s. My health is quite good. From that point of view, I would say, yes, I’m cured.
But have I gotten rid of the microbe? Have I eliminated borrelia or other microbes from my system? The answer to that is, probably not. There’s even evidence to wonder if we ever eliminate any microbes from our body.
We look at some other microbes out there, like Epstein-Barr virus — most people have heard of that one. It’s the cause of mononucleosis. Actually, 95% of the world’s population is carrying Epstein-Barr virus in their bodies along with many other viruses. There are nine different herpes-type viruses that are related to Epstein-Barr, and most people are carrying at least a few of them. There are many microbes that we retain in our body.
Very interestingly, there was a study several years ago where they took people that had symptoms of Lyme disease, had had a negative Lyme test, and had been treated for six to nine months with antibiotic therapy. It was a relatively small study, but in about a third of those people, when they did special cultures to pull out the smallest amount of the bacteria, even though they had tested negative with the standard testing for Lyme and hadn’t had antibiotics, they still found borrelia in their system.
This is true with a lot of microbes. Everybody is familiar with the big Ebola outbreak and catastrophe several years ago in Africa. Well, there were a lot of people that died, but there were some people that survived, and they are healthy today. Very interestingly, they’re finding the Ebola virus in their bodies. It has not been eliminated.
There are a lot of different reasons for that. Some of the microbes that come with Lyme disease are very sneaky. We call them stealth microbes, and they have really remarkable ways of persisting in the body despite the immune system, antibiotics, or pretty much anything that we throw at them. That’s one aspect.
There’s other evidence that the immune system actually holds onto certain kinds of microbes for memory. This is new research that we’re just starting to understand. The body keeps these things almost as a reference point for future encounters with that particular entity. As far as eliminating borrelia from our systems, that’s a really hard question to answer. I’m assuming it’s probably not possible.
The other thing about it is, our whole microbiome is extremely complex. We have somewhere between 20,000 to 40,000 different species of bacteria in our microbiome. Not all of them are friendly. In fact, we carry a lot of things in our system that aren’t particularly friendly at all. Our immune system keeps those things suppressed. Keeping a healthy immune system and going about a healthy lifestyle is important.
I depend on herbal therapy to keep my immune system healthy. I take a regular assortment of herbs, including suppressive anti-microbial herbs, every day and have been for 10 years. I seem to be getting just a little bit better every year.