- Last Updated: 27 April 2013 27 April 2013
It pains me to see how many different maladies people struggle with on a daily basis only to later find that they were improperly diagnosed and that something could have been done to help their condition sooner. This was what happened to me for a long, eight years. Once I finally was diagnosed and properly treated, the improvement has been remarkable.
MS, ALS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and a host of other diseases are, in my opinion, "labels" that are attached to someone that may actually be suffering with chronic Lyme disease. That was certainly my experience.
Healthcare professionals suggested that I had MS, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and a host of other "labels" that in my opinion often mean that the practitioner has not looked deeply enough to find the actual cause of illness.
MS is very real. Fibromyalgia is very real. CFS is very real. All of these conditions are very real and the struggles that they pose to those that suffer with them are many. Where I differ though in my thought process from many others is that I do not think that one should stop with these "labels". With appropriate medical guidance and lots of detective work, I do believe that any of these conditions can be treated. I believe that they all have a cause, or more likely, multiple causes. I believe that Lyme disease is in many cases one of the causes of these neurological diseases. I have heard MDs suggest that MS may actually be caused by or triggered by Lyme disease in over 50% of cases.
Looking more specifically at MS, it is my opinion that MS can be triggered by an infection with Borrelia burgdoferi, the causative agent in Lyme Disease. It may also be caused by a host of viruses such as HHV-6, HHV-8, CMV and others. Mycoplasmal infections are implicated in some cases of MS. Bottom line in my experience is that stopping at the label "MS" may be missing an opportunity to improve one's current state of health.
MS is in fact an autoimmune disorder and is a very serious condition. My belief (and maybe I will be proven wrong) is that almost all, if not all, cases of MS are triggered by an infection. It is also my opinion that there is a genetic component involved and that someone else that has the same combination of microbes may be entirely unaffected and live a perfectly healthy life. For others, this genetic predisposition combined with a combination of infectious organisms may trigger an autoimmune response that results in MS (or an MS-like presentation).
A compelling research study entitled "A Geostatistical Analysis of Possible Spirochetal Involvement in Multiple Sclerosis and Other Related Diseases" was conducted by Megan Blewett and was published in 2006. It compares the prevalence of MS and of Lyme Disease by geographic region. When you take the resulting distributions and compare the two, the result is a near-identical map. The study suggests a common spirochetal cause for both Lyme and MS. The details can be found here.
Other good sources of information suggesting a link between MS and Lyme can be found here.
I'll briefly relay a personal story about a friend that was diagnosed with MS. I worked with her for several years and knew that she had been diagnosed with MS. She was on heavy MS drugs to keep her symptoms under control. After I was myself diagnosed with Lyme disease and began attending conferences and researching these illnesses, I suggested to her that I questioned her MS diagnosis as the end of the journey and felt that she should look further into causes for her condition. I suspected infections that had not previously been diagnosed.
Having been aware of the potential link between MS and Lyme, I finally convinced her to dig deeper. Through energetic testing, it appeared that she did in fact have indications of Borrelia, Bartonella (a common Lyme co-infection) and a host of viral and parasitic stressors. This was enough for me to convince her to look further. She sought out further testing to confirm or deny what I had suspected. The results were consistent with Lyme Disease. Sadly, shortly after she started working with an LLMD and began antibiotic treatment, she felt worse and decided to go back to her MS drugs and stopped all Lyme treatment.
Another concern that I have with those diagnosed with MS is that it is often the case that steroids are used to help control the symptoms. If one has an infectious origin to their MS condition, steroids only further suppress the immune system and allow these infections to become more aggressive and problematic. I am of the opinion that taking steroids in absence of proof of a lack of an infectious component is unwise and potentially further risks one's health.
All of this has been such a journey for me and for so many that I have met along the way. I have met several people that once had an "MS" diagnosis only later to find that there was a more clearly identifiable potential cause. With that new understanding, a whole new world of treatment options were now available and improvement once again a reality.
If you are reading this and you have an "MS" diagnosis or any other diagnosis where the true cause is unknown, consider looking further into potential causes of your illness. If you have accepted the diagnosis which you currently have, I truly hope you are finding options that work well for you. If you, on the other hand, believe your diagnosis to be a "label" and not the true cause, I urge you to continue your search for answers with great vigor. I did and I am a different and better person for having done so.
One eye opening book is "Healing Multiple Sclerosis" and though it does not focus much on Lyme disease, I think it is definitely worth a read.
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BetterHealthGuy.com is intended to share my personal experience in recovering from my own chronic illness. Information presented is based on my journey working with my doctors and other practitioners as well as things I have learned from conferences and other helpful resources. As always, any medical decisions should be made only with the guidance of your own personal medical authority. Everyone is unique and what may be right for me may not be right for others.