Bottom Line/HEALTH:I’m going to ask you this because somebody asked it, and I think we’ve talked about it but I’m going to ask it specifically—what is chronic Lyme disease complex?
Dr. Richard Horowitz:I don’t particularly use that term. The term that I use is Lyme MSIDS. Many doctors use different terms to describe this. The CDC does not like the term “chronic Lyme disease.” They’ll call it “post-treatment Lyme disease,” and they don’t know what it is—if it’s an autoimmune reaction, we just don’t know. I call it Lyme MSIDS because I’ve discovered that tick-borne co-infections—Babesia, Bartonella, microplasma—they’re making people sick, as are environmental toxins, and not getting to sleep, and mineral deficiencies, food sensitivities, all the things that we discussed. So I call it Lyme MSIDS because it reminds doctors that if you’re not getting better, there may be all of these overlapping factors that are keeping you ill. It kind of makes the patient of the doctor think, “Oh yeah, there’s this 16-point model. I’ve got to go looking to find out why I may not be getting better.”
Bottom Line:If there’s one thing for people to remember or to take away from this conversation, it’s the complexity of Lyme disease—it is not a single fever and you’re done…or sores and you’re done. But the complexity of what the disease does to you, the co-infections, and also the impact and the interaction with what’s going on in their bodies.
Dr. Horowitz:Correct, I mean, when they did the studies, Lyme affects your body, it affects the terrain of your body. All the studies were to take an antibiotic to kill the bugs, but the bacteria are affecting your body, so if you have food sensitivities or a zinc deficiency or you’re not sleeping or you’re stressed, it affects how your body responds to the infection, and this was completely left out of the studies. It’s very important to go through this MSIDS model map piece by piece, and the co-infections are hugely important. I find that Babesia, this parasite, spread as far as Lyme. I would say the vast majority of my people come in with Babesia, Babesia duncani, Babesia microti—they’re very sick from this parasite. It’s like having malaria and Lyme at the same point, and it’s those malarial symptoms that tell you it’s there. But cat-scratch fever, microplasma, and these co-infections are making people as sick as Lyme disease, and people really need to know that.