Dr. Sponaugle Healed His Daughter Of Chronic Lyme Disease
Dr. Sponaugle’s Perspective
Alexa, my 21 year old daughter is now a healthy and happy young woman. However, when she was 13 years old, she contracted Lyme disease and became quite sick. Truthfully, she suffered more from her “Lyme disease treatment” than she did her Lyme disease infection. At that time, I was not treating tick borne infections, my practice was focused was on using Integrative Medicine to treat Brain and Neurological disorders. Therefore, my wife Kimberly and I sought the expertise of a prominent Florida Lyme disease doctor. He was extremely knowledgeable regarding Lyme disease. Problematic, his excessive antibiotic treatment almost destroyed Alexa.
I remain thankful that Alexa’s passionate LLMD diagnosed her with Borreliosis, and multiple co-infections; Babesiosis, Bartonellosis and Ehrlichiosis. He was hyper focused on using “drugs for bugs.” With no expertise in Integrative Medicine, Alexa’s doctor could not effectively enhance her immune function, therefore his treatment relied solely on antibiotic therapy.
His ability to treat antibiotic-induced depression and anxiety was poor, in fact, he wrongly assumed the Lyme disease infection was the primary cause of Alexa’s new onset psychological symptoms. His solution for detoxification of bio-toxins was Cholestyramine, a nasty medication that is rather ineffective, as compared to Intravenous Detoxification. Furthermore, while Cholestyramine does bind and remove lipophilic bio-toxins from the intestine, it also removes good fatty [lipophilic] molecules, for example; EPAs, DHAs, Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Vitamin E etc.
With disregard for the ultimate destruction excessive antibiotic therapy treatment was causing Alexa, her LLMD continuously “pulsed” and “juggled” four to six different antibiotics a day. After the first six months of excessive antibiotic therapy with ineffective detoxification protocols, Alexa became much more “toxic” and much more “sickly.” She developed a myriad of antibiotic-induced disorders; Heart Burn, Esophageal Reflux, Leaky Gut Syndrome, Depression, Anxiety, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia and multiple hormonal deficiencies.
Alexa’s personality changed dramatically, our once cheerful Alexa developed an obsessive “worry” type of anxiety followed by intermittent panic attacks. Alexa developed social anxiety, yet before treatment she was a social butterfly. She fell into a depression she described as a “black hole.” Her chronic fatigue worsened every month and she could no longer participate in family sports, this was particularly unsettling because Alexa was arguably the best athlete in our family.
After one year of antibiotic therapy treatment, Alexa developed significant antibiotic-induced Gut Toxicity.
Alexa became so toxic she was essentially bedridden! She rarely navigated from her bedroom to our kitchen. I stood back and watched, feeling rather hopeless as her father, especially since I was a physician. My wife knew that I could better treat many of Alexa’s antibiotic-induced psychological symptoms than her LLMD. Kim asked me to participate in Alexa’s care, sadly because I was not an LLMD, I refused to intervene in Alexa’s treatment.
By 2008, I had already determined many foundational principles of the “Gut–Brain Connection.” My Brain Chemistry research had revealed that antibiotic-induced deficiencies of Serotonin and Taurine were causing a surge of depression and anxiety in Americans. Having correlated these neurotransmitter deficiencies with SPECT Brain imaging in my patients, I knew Alexa’s depression and anxiety was derived from excessive electrical activity in two specific brain regions, her Deep Limbic System and her Anterior Cingulate Gyrus.
To learn more about my Brain Chemistry research and the Gut-Brain Connection, read the chapters I wrote for two of Brenda Watson’s bestselling books. In these chapters, I explain the underlying Biochemical mechanisms by which Gastrointestinal Dysbiosis can cause severe Depression, Anxiety and even Panic Disorder.
If you like learning like most of my extremely well read patients, I suggest you purchase both of these books. They are extremely informative and contain interviews with several brilliant physicians.
You should also watch this PBS interview I gave with intestinal expert Brenda Watson*. In the interview, I explain how antibiotics in our food and water supply are causing a drastic rise in psychological and neurological disorders. I also explain some of the Biochemical Mechanisms of the Gut-Brain Connection.
If you have now read the chapters I wrote on the Gut-Brain Connection, you are wondering why I abstained from treating my daughter. Because, when I attempted to discuss Brain Chemistry with Alexa’s LLMD, he insisted all of her depression and anxiety was derived from her Lyme disease infection, not from the antibiotics he was prescribing.
Deep in my heart, I knew better, but out of fear of being wrong, I foolishly chose to remain Alexa’s father and not her doctor, something I deeply regret and will never do again. My wife Kimberly and I painfully watched throughout the second year of Alexa’s lyme disease treatment consisting of multiple antibiotic regimens, while she became even more fatigued and for lack of a better word, “more sickly.” Kim and I know, from personal experience, what you parents go through when your child suffers with Chronic Lyme Disease, and the overwhelming fear that grips your chest when you watch the “Lyme disease treatment” make them worse.
Thank God for mothers. Mothers like my wife Kimberly, they always rise to the occasion; they read, they research, and they are relentless until they find quality treatment for their sick children!
I came home after work one night and Kim gave me that look – she said, “It’s been two years, she’s getting worse not better, you are going to take over our daughter’s care, period.” I began with a “but” and Kim said, “No buts, either we figure this out or she is not going to make it.”
My wife began performing intensive homeopathic and naturopathic research. Every night I came home to a stack of papers, research my wife had gathered that day, some of it, quite frankly, I initially questioned. Thankfully, because of my wife, I had already transitioned into Integrative Medicine. However, having initially trained in Critical Care Medicine, I remained somewhat skeptical.
However, the more naturopathic literature I read, the more it made sense! Why are we focusing solely on “drugs for bugs” and not on optimizing immune function? As it turned out, learning how to optimize Alexa’s “kill power” required extensive research and voluminous reading. The best studies, of course, were not from America, rather they were derived from European countries, especially from Germany. Ultimately, it became clear that toxin overload was the primary causation of Alexa’s inability to get better and, subsequently her inability to kill infections.
After reading thousands of studies on PUB MED, many from Germany, I surmised that Mold Toxicity was the primary cause of Alexa’s immunosuppression, not the Lyme disease itself. Alexa, like most of the Chronic Lyme disease patients I have since treated, was suffering immune suppression from severe Trichothecene toxicity.
Trichothecenes are toxic gases produced by Stachybotrus mold and other indoor molds known as Black molds. To learn more about Mold Toxicity and how Mold Mycotoxins shut down our immune function, go to our Mold Toxicity page.
My clinical research in thousands of Lyme patients has proven that one rarely sees a “chronic” Lyme patient, a patient who cannot effectively kill their Lyme disease infection, or their co-infections, unless they have the mold toxin genetics, genetics that render them unable to effectively detoxify mold mycotoxins.
Combining my wife’s research, my research, my experience treating Brain disorders, and the experience I gained through years of treating hospitalized Critical Care patients, we designed an Integrative Treatment for Lyme Disease. This mostly natural Lyme disease treatment is extremely comprehensive and ever evolving. It was derived through prayer, God’s guidance and hard work. The initial version saved Alexa’s life. Today Alexa is a healthy young woman with a bright future*. From our personal experience, we have chosen our mission statement.
*Sponaugle Wellness Institute cannot guarantee individual patient outcomes.
Treatment results will vary from patient to patient.
Healing Lives Creating Futures: Lyme Disease Cure
“”An early spring morning I woke up to get ready for another day in the seventh grade. But this day would change my life forever. I had no idea how to explain to my parents that I felt as if I couldn’t walk. As if something had been building up and finally burst. My knees felt as if the weight of my body would crush them. My mom was confused and maybe somewhat afraid, as she told me to stay in bed, she probably thought I was playing sick to get out of a big test day. I wish I had been.
After a week of climbing around and avoiding walking as much as possible, my parents scheduled an appointment with a physician who, in short, believed my knees were growing crooked. I was fitted for Velcro knee props, which would optimistically solve the issue at hand, by supporting proper growth of my legs and subdue the “growing pains.” I returned to school with my fancy new leg braces under my jeans. The pain remained in my kneecaps; the longer I stayed on them the more they swelled. I tried to give it my best go, but every day the routine became heavier. Upon seeing I was still struggling, my parents searched out another possible answer- an infectious disease specialist. My LLMD conducted blood tests to discover several infections had taken over my body. Lyme Disease was one of the dominant culprits, for which the treatment was a series of antibiotics administered intravenously. I finished the spring semester of my seventh grade year on the HomeBound program for hospitalized children, or otherwise, medically unsound to attend class. While undergoing my first round of daily antibiotic remedies, my body didn’t feel like my own. Small family outings fiercely consumed any energy I had stored up. Occasionally, brighter days would come and I felt like a normal kid, again. But it was short-lived, followed with intense consequences of inflammation, severe pain, and weakness within a few hours.
I was determined to get back my life, my friends and P.E. football games. It didn’t take long for the swelling to begin again. Lying to my parents, and myself, I ignored it. Pushing harder to achieve the right attendance to stay in school and not raise any questions. Classroom material was easy to understand but my memory was stifling. Often afternoons, I crashed to the floor of my room as my legs gave out beneath me, throbbing, burning, my mind on fire and screaming with anxiety. By the evening, I usually resided to my iPod and seclusion. The aching was relentless. My skin became more and more sensitive to clothing, touch, hot and cold. My eyes became more painful to light. My heart and mind were pined with the fear that this would be forever, that the pain was a part of who I was, driving me to anger, frustration and depression. I burned out my mind and my body. Yet, I pushed to finish out the year.
A couple weeks into my freshman year, issues and symptoms became even more evident. I could barely sleep, the pain and the worry stole away all of the rest I could get. My parents could see the truth and assembled new testing to find climbing Lyme numbers. So we tried a brand new series of antibiotics administered with gravity bags. A nurse visited once a week to place an IV catheter in one of my hands or forearms. The catheter remained in for at least five days, maximum one week. My hands and arms became so tender; all I could think about was protecting the IV sites so not to bruise them any more. My joints felt rusted, like a tin-man needing an oilcan. Attending school was more draining than ever and socializing felt like more of a liability than fun. Once again, I was pulled out of school, returning to the HomeBound program. Over and over, I watched the IV bags drain into my system, leaving me weak and nauseas sometimes dizzy, sometimes hopeless. A thick blanket of fog draped my mind and coated my thoughts with heavy affliction. I began to worry that I may not really get better. I begged God to help me accept whatever it would mean for my future. Many nights I lay, feeling like I wouldn’t wake up if I closed my eyes too long. One night I went to my mother, I told her I needed her to know that I was okay with dying. “I will keep fighting as hard as I can to hold on, but if it’s my time to go, I have to accept it.” She refused, and soon after requested the aid of my father’s doctoral experience and a medical learning curve.
I finished my high school years through online education, as they began researching and deriving natural treatments, slowly figuring out how to reverse the damage that antibiotics had produced and divvy out the Lyme disease once and for all. As we discovered a plethora of answers to the wellness troubles, mold toxicity was raining over us like a bad hurricane. It was the answer to more of my struggles than any of the infections, completely annihilating my immune system, destroying my nerves, healing cells, and brain function. After beginning my first year of college at 17, it seemed like a new wave of life. Only to fight that uphill battle again, this time with my father’s procedures, my body began to break open toxins and collections of disease that had been hiding from the antibiotics all along.
In the process of combating the toxicity, I have undergone a total of 10 years of various treatments, from antibiotics to wellness drips, countless IV insertions, 8 pic lines, leaky-gut syndrome, two intense cases of pancreatitis, sparing kidney infections, panic disorders, and severe depression. Today, I am 21 years old. I am a fighter and lyme disease survivor, healthier than ever and determined to achieve the best and brightest for the future ahead.*””
*Sponaugle Wellness Institute cannot guarantee individual patient outcomes.
Treatment results will vary from patient to patient.