Dr. Carsten Nicolaus has been treating tick-borne diseases from his clinic in Augsburg for many years. Over that time, he’s seen many different variants of chronic Lyme disease, and has helped hundreds of patients in their constant battle against the disorder. However, it’s not always simply Lyme disease that Dr. Nicolaus and his team are up against. Many people think that Lyme is one singular condition, but in fact, the Lyme bacteria (borrelia) can infect a person simultaneously alongside other viruses, as well as weakening the immune system and leaving the patient vulnerable to further infection from other sources. This is why it’s incredibly important to treat all co-infections of Lyme disease at the same time, something that Dr. Nicolaus and his team have become specialists in.
Lyme disease was discovered and named in 1975 in America, and was quickly noticed by doctors all over the world. However, throughout the 1980s, only borrelia, the bacteria that causes Lyme, was the focus of doctors’ testing, diagnosis and treatment. So it was with Dr. Nicolaus, until some years later, a patient incidentally presented themselves with symptoms of both borrelia and chlamydia pneumonia, a type of bacteria that causes lung problems, and is transmitted through the air as opposed to through tick bites. As Dr. Nicolaus treated the patient, he realised that his treatment plan was having a positive effect on both the chlamydia pneumonia infection and the Lyme infection, and that they both could be treated simultaneously. Chlamydia pneumonia remains an extremely common co-infection for Lyme disease patients in Europe; more than 80% of patients with Lyme disease have c.p. or reactivated c.p.
But unfortunately for Lyme sufferers everywhere, it is not the only co-infection out there. While Lyme is extremely debilitating in and of itself, co-infections remain a real danger for patients. The disease usually comes with a minimum of four to five co-infections, and contracting Lyme on its own is a rarity, with no more than 5% of cases falling into that bracket. Not recognising and treating these co-infections can have disastrous results for the patient’s prospective treatment plan, and can lead to numerous problems and issues, including relapses, reignition of symptoms, worsening of symptoms and false positives on tests and diagnosis.
When it comes to co-infections, the threat to Lyme patients is twofold. The first danger comes from the tick bite, which transmits the initial borrelia bacteria; often, ticks carry multiple viruses that can enter the body upon successful feeding, and this is usually the case. These co-infections are not as dominant as the primary borrelia infection, but can expedite symptoms and inflame the immune system in conjunction with the Lyme virus. The second danger comes when the borrelia infection has progressed to its chronic stage, unnoticed. Physical symptoms at this juncture may be slight, but the immune system will be undoubtedly severely compromised, leaving the doors open for infection from a number of other sources. This could even include food – if a patient drinks unpasteurised milk, there is a risk of contracting TB (tuberculosis) via the cattle that produced it. A healthy immune system would be able to fight back against these kinds of everyday attacks, but because the immune activity of the Lyme patient is already under stress, it leaves the door wide open for other viruses to invade more easily.
Dr. Nicolaus’ clinic differentiates between these two types of infections – tick-borne co-infections and separate viral infections – and knows the importance of treating all of a patient’s particular issues as one. If a patient has a relapse of Lyme disease symptoms, the most common cause is an underlying co-infection that hasn’t been noticed or treated properly. The result can be a never-ending circle of relapses and short periods of good health, followed by descents into debilitation. In Dr. Nicolaus’ experience, Bartonella is a very common co-infection of Lyme, and is a constant source of relapse for patients, as many of the main symptoms overlap.
All of these various forms of co-infection are very hard to test for, which is why long-term treatment alongside knowledgeable practitioners is a necessity. The benchmark for Lyme disease should be a sustained period of good health, unmarred by relapses; short-term recovery is insufficient as a treatment success indicator, as all co-infections have to be eradicated for the patient to return to full health on a permanent basis. However, the borrelia infection is the most important one to treat as it is so demanding on the immune system. Once the primary Lyme infection is under control, the patient’s immune system has a chance to recover and fight back against some of the weaker co-infections.
Often, Lyme-illiterate doctors will only prescribe antibiotics to deal with the borrelia Lyme infection, and assume that it will clear up all facets of the infection. This is simply not the case, as antibiotics are often not sufficient enough for all symptoms and co-infections. Through years of experience, Dr. Nicolaus and his colleagues know that immune dysfunction and inflammation are critical aspects of the Lyme disease process, and must be treated with a very specific herbal plan alongside a run of antibiotics.
Make Well provide a number of all-natural supplements that aid in the treatment of chronic diseases such as Lyme. Only when all co-infections are identified and treated effectively can a patient have a chance of returning to full health.