Lyme Disease and salt therapy
Long-forgotten research suggests a secondary bacterium behind Lyme disease
by Fiona McDonald -from sciencealert.com - Dec. 16, 2016
( continued) But let's step back a second here to go over some of the background info. In the late 1970s, just 18 months before Borrelia bacteria was named the cause of Lyme disease, tick expert Willy Burgdorfer was confident that he might have found the culprit - a different tick-borne bacterium called the "Swiss Agent" - now known as Rickettsia helvetica.
By 1981, Burgdorfer had changed his mind, and was convinced that Borrelia
was behind Lyme disease. In 1982, he published his results in a seminal paper in Science that set the foundation for our understanding of Lyme disease.
Burgdorfer died in 2014, but medical journalism site STAT has recently been given the archives of his old research papers, including letters, lab notes, and blood test results - and they suggest that he never quite gave up on the idea that the Swiss Agent bacterium could be involved in some way with Lyme disease.
"Scientists who worked with Burgdorfer, and reviewed key portions of the documents at STAT’s request, said the bacteria might still be sickening an unknown number of Americans today," writes Charles Piller for STAT.
In response to the new evidence, the CDC is now using molecular techniques to look for evidence of the Swiss Agent bacterium in 30,000 samples from people suspected to have contracted tick-borne illnesses - something that will take several years to get results on.
So here's what was in Burgdorfer's notes that was so compelling. First of all, there was blood work showing that at least a dozen Lyme patients from the late '70s had been infected with Swiss Agent, and at least six others might have been infected with the bacteria. The records didn't make it clear how many Lyme disease patients had been tested overall, but it was enough for Burgdorfer to follow up with more trials. Those second set of trials contained some inconsistencies, and led Burdorfer to pursue Borrelia instead as the leading culprit for Lyme disease. But he wasn't entirely convinced.
Burgdorfer's notes also contain a letter he'd written to a Swiss colleague just a few months after discovering Borrelia which asked: "Do you feel that Rickettsia suisse [the name given to the Swiss Agent at the time] is the etiologic agent of (Lyme)? If so, how would you go about proving this?"
Early, handwritten drafts of that seminal Science paper also contained references to Rickettsia bacteria, which didn't make it into the final published version.
And researchers also found a handwritten note by Bugdorfer on top of a stack of documents saying: "I wondered why somebody didn’t do something ... then I realised that I am somebody." Piller explains for STAT:
"While the evidence is hardly conclusive, patients and doctors might be mistaking under-the-radar Swiss Agent infections for Lyme, the infectious disease specialists said. Or the bacteria could be co-infecting some Lyme patients, exacerbating symptoms and complicating their treatment - and even stoking a bitter debate about whether Lyme often becomes a persistent and serious illness."
Adding to the evidence is the fact that in Europe, experts have noted that Lyme and Rickettsia helvetica have co-infected patients in the past.
Rickettsia helvetica can be easily treated by antibiotics, but if it goes untreated, it can share serious - and sometimes persistent - symptoms with Lyme disease,Piller reports, such as fatigue, facial paralysis, muscle weakness, and severe headaches.
Given that right now researchers can't understand why some people respond to Lyme disease antibiotics and some don't, the potential of a secondary cause of the disease - or a co-infection - is incredibly promising.
In addition to the CDC's screening project, a Columbia University researcher, Ian Lipkin, is currently looking for other types of viruses living in ticks that spread Lyme, and is now seeking funding to expand his research to also hunt down the Swiss Agent.
"Everyone wants to get to the bottom of this," Lipkin told Piller. "All of this is critical to ... finding out why some people respond to antibiotics and some people don’t, and whether or not the antibiotics being used are appropriate, and trying to find ways to link different bacteria and different viruses to different syndromes."
Only time will tell whether we've been overlooking the Swiss Agent and its role in Lyme disease all this time. But either way, thanks to these old research notes, we now have the chance to get a better understanding of a disease that infects so many people each year, and that's valuable in itself.
Always consult with your doctor before embarking on any
Trip Advisor - Reviewed July 20, 2014
I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how grateful I am for having come to the Salt Cave in Naples in February 2014. I planned on coming in for a foot bath detox, but I accomplished so much more! I am a 45 year old active mother of four. Three weeks before my arrival at the Salt Cave I had been diagnosed with Lyme Disease, Heavy Metal Poisoning, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Adrenal Fatigue, Mycoplasma Pneumoniae and Epstein Barr. I went from doing all sorts of athletic competitions to becoming so fatigued in the Summer of 2013 that most days I was relegated to the sofa by 3pm in the afternoon. After 4 doctors and 7 months of testing I was diagnosed with the above 7 diseases. The latest doctor, although a holistic one, had decided I would need all sorts of medication, mostly to treat the Lyme Disease and the Adrenal Fatigue. I have never been a fan of medication, therefore I was searching for others ways to help myself, get and feel better. I decided to go to the Salt Cave, to get Salt therapy as well as try a foot detox for help with the heavy metals detoxification. Not only did I go through with those two therapies and continue to do them today, but I also was introduced to Dr. Morse’s herbal supplements. These supplements have been a life-saver for me. I have been taking them and the salt/vitamin C protocol for Lyme Disease, both suggested by Andrea and I am feeling amazing. I had to take 2 months and slow down on my intense workouts, but once May rolled around I was able to get back to working out with my usual vigor. In fact, in late June I competed in a CrossFit Fitness competition and came in 3rd place! I am amazed at what these supplements have done for me.
Thank you for helping me get well again!