What Makes Our Approach to Lyme Disease Different?
Sponaugle Wellness's therapeutic approach for treating Lyme Disease synergizes innovative, non-toxic protocols supported by the latest research with natural healing modalities from around the world.
Our multidisciplinary integrative medical team is specialized in methodical diagnostic and treatment procedures that trace your symptoms to the root cause and target the Lyme spirochetes, coinfections, and toxins from your cells while tending to your most troublesome symptoms so you can live without fear of flare and with faith, you'll get your life back.
"Our Research Has Shown "Chronic" Lyme Disease patients suffer from a combination of Mold Toxicity and Industrial Toxicity." - Dr. Rick Sponaugle MD
The average Lyme patient who walks into our clinic has seen 20 or more physicians, most of whom were not Lyme Literate or misdiagnosed the patient with one of the countless diagnoses mistaken for Lyme Disease.
Our Lyme Disease treatment protocols focus on a hybrid of conventional and alternative medicine that promotes holistic healing for the patient while addressing the underlying infections and toxicities.
If you’re like most of our patients, you already know a lot about Lyme disease. You might even be more informed than many medical doctors. Not only are you living with Lyme Disease, but you’ve spent countless hours poring over the latest treatment research in hopes of a breakthrough test validating your suffering or a novel therapy that will relieve you.
Perhaps you were only recently diagnosed after months or years of debilitating pain, fatigue, weakness, or frightening neurological symptoms. You wouldn’t be alone. Over 70% of Lyme Disease patients see four or more doctors before receiving a correct Lyme diagnosis. Many are accused of exaggerating their symptoms or are referred to a mental health specialist.
Even with a confirmed case of Lyme disease, you may have been excused. Unfortunately, to the mainstream medical community, Lyme disease is simply an illness that’s successfully cured with a couple of weeks of antibiotics. It’s an open-and-shut case in the minds of most physicians.
Serving as the last chance Lyme treatment center in Oldsmar, Florida, our practitioners recognize no two Lyme disease patients are the same. We respect every aspect of your journey to arrive at our doors and acknowledge you as an equal partner in care. We’re dedicated to unraveling the complexity of the most progressive Lyme disease cases, providing personalized care that considers your whole self...body, mind, and spirit.
Lyme Disease - Causes, Symptoms, & Research
The average patient who walks into Sponaugle Wellness has seen 20 or more physicians, most of whom were not Lyme Literate or misdiagnosed the patient with one of the countless diagnoses mistaken for neurological toxicities from lipophilic toxins such as trichothecene or infections such as Lyme Disease or Epstein-Barr Virus. Dr. Sponaugle believes that a healthy immune system does not allow significant Biofilm to “build up” in the bloodstream, as proven through the correlation of mathematical biomarkers for immune function and through hundreds of blood smears.
The longer a patient has unknowingly suffered from toxin-induced immune suppression, the higher probability he/she will have significant biofilm formation, leading to various neurodegenerative and autoimmune disorders. Most Sponaugle Wellness patients require simultaneous treatment for multiple medical conditions, including Biotoxin Illness, Tickborne Coinfections, Gastrointestinal Disorders, and Neurological Chemical Imbalances of the Brain.
Lyme Disease Program Testimonials
At Sponaugle Wellness Institute, we have successfully treated Chronic Lyme Disease patients from around the world. The majority of our Lyme Disease patients have previously undergone treatment by 20 or more physicians.
Mauryah from Canada (at right) arrived at our clinic in a wheelchair due to dizziness and pain. In 16 weeks of Dr. Sponaugle’s integrative Lyme Disease treatment, her brain was clear, and she was again running and exercising as she had in high school.
Mia from Australia underwent treatment for Lyme Disease at Sponaugle Wellness Institute and was out of her wheelchair in 12 weeks. She returned to Australia without her wheelchair and continued residual therapy for Lyme disease.
Should Antibiotics Be Used For Tickborne Disease?
The role of antibiotics in Lyme Disease treatment is undeniable, yet, its implementation demands judiciousness.
One aspect that sets Lyme Disease apart from many other bacterial infections is its ability to evade antibiotics through the formation of biofilms.
This characteristic, coupled with the repercussions of prolonged antibiotic use such as gut dysbiosis, results in a complex interplay of physiological complications, including neurological disorders and leaky gut syndrome.
As Dr. Sponaugle's research at Sponaugle Wellness has shown, there is a place for the use of IV antibiotics in chronic Lyme patients once the body's immune function and natural killer power has been optimized.
Minimal, targeted use of antibiotics can also reduce the risks of side effects and antibiotic resistance and help prevent further gut dysbiosis and antibiotic-induced gut toxicity.
Antibiotic therapy will provide a more “desired kill” of Borrelia spirochetes and get patients home faster when supplementing a healthy immune system. It should be noted that withholding antibiotic therapy in Neurological Lyme Disease patients demonstrates a lack of judgment.
Antibiotics are essential in fighting bacterial infections; however, prolonged and aggressive antibiotic therapy can have unintended consequences on our health, particularly in the context of gut toxicity. Chronic Lyme disease patients, for instance, often become more debilitated after months of antibiotic treatment as their immune systems become suppressed.
The Complexity of Antibiotic Use in Lyme Disease
Lyme disease, a bacterial infection that stands apart due to its biofilm-forming capability, poses unique challenges for antibiotic therapy. This ability allows the disease-causing bacterium to evade antibiotics, leading to a multifaceted interplay of physiological complications, such as neurological disorders and leaky gut syndrome. Prolonged antibiotic treatment, especially in chronic Lyme disease, can lead to immune suppression, further complicating the patient's health trajectory.
The Optimal Use of Antibiotics in Lyme Disease Treatment
Antibiotics, while crucial in Lyme Disease treatment, must be used with careful consideration. Chronic Lyme disease patients often witness a deterioration in their health following months of antibiotics, mainly due to gut toxicity.
According to Dr. Sponaugle's research, there is a role for the usage of IV antibiotics in chronic Lyme patients, but only once the body's immune function and natural killer capacity have been optimized. This strategic approach minimizes side effects and antibiotic resistance risks while preventing further gut dysbiosis and antibiotic-induced gut toxicity.
The Intersection of Antibiotics and Gut Health
The role of antibiotics in Lyme disease treatment is undeniable, yet their prolonged use can lead to unintended consequences. Among these is the impact on gut health. Approximately 70% of our immune system resides in the intestinal lining, which can be severely damaged by extended antibiotic therapy. This damage disrupts the balance of intestinal microorganisms, leading to a condition known as 'intestinal dysbiosis'.
The Repercussions of Antibiotic-Induced Dysbiosis
Extended antibiotic use disrupts the population of beneficial intestinal bacteria, notably Lactobacillus, which aids in maintaining an acidic environment. This acidic pH acts as a natural defense mechanism against pathogenic overgrowth. Unfortunately, prolonged antibiotic use shifts the intestinal pH towards alkalinity, encouraging the growth of harmful pathogens. This imbalance can lead to damage to the intestinal lining, including the destruction of Peyer’s patches, a key site for antibody production.
From Nutritional Deficiency to Leaky Gut: Unraveling Antibiotic-Induced Gut Toxicity
Chronic antibiotic use can trigger severe malnutrition by damaging the intestinal lining, affecting the production of natural killer cells, essential immune system components. As a result, the risk of severe Leaky Gut Syndrome is heightened in Lyme disease patients.
Immune System Resource Misallocation in Leaky Gut Syndrome
In severe cases of Leaky Gut Syndrome, the immune system may divert resources to combat undigested food particles that "leak" into the bloodstream through the damaged intestinal lining. Under normal circumstances, these particles are too large to cross from the gut into the bloodstream.
Antibiotics and Their Impact on Neurological Function
Dr. Sponaugle's research highlights an intriguing connection between antibiotic-induced changes in brain chemistry and the overactivity of two specific brain regions. This abnormal brain activity has been correlated with Lyme bio-marker CD 57 levels and observable abnormalities in the brain scans of Lyme patients.
Gut-to-Brain Toxicity Migration
Once these patients develop antibiotic-induced gut toxicity, mycotoxins, and bacterial endotoxins can migrate from the gut to the brain. These toxins, being fatty in structure, can infiltrate the fattiest organ in the body, the brain, contributing to the cumulative level of neurotoxicity in Lyme patients.
Migrating from the gut to the brain, mycotoxins and bacterial endotoxins can deposit in the brain, inflaming the myelin sheath of neurons and changing the electromagnetic field around the neuron. This shift can suppress the brain's electrical activity, disrupting immune function and creating an imbalance of neurotransmitters.
Neurological Impacts of Antibiotic-Induced Gut Toxicity
After treating thousands of patients, Dr. Sponaugle's research has unearthed substantial connections between abnormal brain chemistry patterns and the Lyme disease bio-marker CD 57.
Dr. Sponaugle's research further identified abnormalities through brain scans of Lyme patients, illuminating the profound neurological footprint of this disease. A noteworthy revelation from this work is that alterations in brain chemistry instigated by prolonged antibiotic use can induce excessive electrical activity in two specific brain regions.
The heightened electrical activity in these regions profoundly affects patients' mental health. Severe overactivity in these areas can manifest as depression and a specific type of anxiety characterized by constant worry.
Furthermore, the research indicates that when Chronic Lyme disease patients experience hyperactivity in the deep limbic center, an array of distressing psychological symptoms can emerge. These symptoms can include depression, moodiness, pervasive negativity, irritability, feelings of hopelessness, excessive guilt, and social anxiety. Moreover, an overactive deep limbic center can also increase the propensity of patients to take offense more easily.
The adverse psychological impacts extend to Chronic Lyme disease patients exhibiting an overactive anterior cingulate. These patients may display enhanced argumentativeness, heightened stubbornness, a hyper-focus on negativity, and the development of an obsessive-compulsive worry pattern.
In essence, Dr. Sponaugle's research underscores the critical interplay between neurological alterations, specifically in the deep limbic center and anterior cingulate, and the psychological well-being of Chronic Lyme disease patients. These insights highlight the necessity of an integrated approach to Lyme disease treatment, considering the physical and psychological aspects of this complex disease.
Systematic Impacts of Antibiotic-Induced Gut Toxicity
Prolonged antibiotic use in Lyme Disease leads to gut toxicity and biofilm-associated antibiotic resistance and contributes to neurological complications.
Dr. Sponaugle's research at Sponaugle Wellness Institute has correlated abnormal brain chemistry patterns induced by antibiotics with specific brain region hyperactivity. This correlation draws attention to the multi-systemic impact of Lyme Disease and its treatment.
Correlated abnormal brain chemistry patterns with CD 57 levels and the abnormalities seen on the brain scans of Lyme patients. Dr. Sponaugle's research has proven that antibiotic-induced changes in brain chemistry cause excessive electrical activity in two specific brain regions.
One of the severe consequences of intestinal dysbiosis and the resulting gut damage is the development of Leaky Gut Syndrome. In this condition, the damaged intestinal lining allows undigested food particles, typically too large to cross into the bloodstream, to "leak" into the circulatory system.
This leakage prompts an immune response, leading to inflammation and potentially contributing to various chronic diseases. In patients with Lyme Disease, Leaky Gut Syndrome can cause the already compromised immune system to divert its resources to attack these foreign particles, thereby further weakening the body's defenses against Lyme spirochetes.
Biofilms: The Genesis of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
Biofilm, a resilient barrier secreted by bacteria, including Lyme Disease spirochetes, represents a formidable obstacle in effectively treating Lyme Disease. The sturdy structure of biofilm presents a tenacious defense that antibiotics grapple to overcome.
The Intricate Architecture of Biofilms and Antibiotic Resistance
The architecture of a biofilm is robust, characterized by a durable four-layered outer wall. This feature makes biofilms resistant to antibiotic penetration, a phenomenon deeply explored in the research undertaken by the Sponaugle Wellness Institute under Dr. Sponaugle's leadership. This research spotlighted biofilm's instrumental role in nurturing antibiotic resistance in bacteria.
The Pitfalls of Inadequate Biofilm Eradication
If antibiotic therapy is administered prematurely, i.e., before the complete eradication of biofilms, it may fail to achieve a bactericidal kill of the biofilm-protected organisms, such as Lyme Disease spirochetes. Premature administration of antibiotics might even provoke bacterial mutations, thereby producing phenotypes with heightened resistance to antibiotics.
Lyme Spirochetes: Evading Antibiotics through Biofilm Formation
Lyme spirochetes have mastered a survival strategy that involves evading antibiotics by forming protective biofilm structures. These structures provide a sanctuary for the bacteria against external threats, including antibiotic treatment.
Biofilms as Safe Havens for Bacteria
Due to their structural integrity, biofilms can withstand antibiotic penetration, serving as secure enclaves for the bacteria.
These havens facilitate the persistence and proliferation of the bacteria, thereby perpetuating disease activity and prompting episodes of disease relapse.
Antibiotic Resistance Induced by Biofilm Adaptations
The insufficient penetration of antibiotics into the biofilm stimulates adaptive responses in the resident bacteria. This adaptation leads to the development of antibiotic resistance, a key factor contributing to the challenges of treating Lyme Disease.
This process underscores the necessity of appropriate biofilm eradication before antibiotic therapy commencement to prevent further bacterial resistance and ensure an effective treatment course.
Lyme Disease & Gut-Induced Toxicity from Long-Term IV Antibiotics
The last three years of excessive antibiotic treatment rendered Carol essentially bedridden.
Carol’s story is a good case study for the concept that antibiotics are ineffective, if not worthless, in Lyme patients who have developed significant biofilm. Carol and her husband are one of the nicest couples I have met through 30 years of practicing medicine.
“Carol’s Lyme Disease Treatment made her worse than the Lyme Disease infection itself, much like my daughter, Alexa, who had the same experience in her treatment,” said Dr. Sponaugle. “Our Lyme disease treatment in 2012 was not nearly as advanced as it is in 2016, and I credit Carol’s amazing transformation – in just three months* – to the fact that she is truly a Christian woman who sincerely prayed for, and believed in her recovery.”
“Because Carol’s husband was a brilliant mathematician, he wanted, like me, to prove or disprove concepts with numerical data, not guesswork,” said Dr. Sponaugle. “Therefore he allowed me to perform testing precisely before and immediately after we used our “biofilm-busting” IV Infusions.”
“To prove many of my theories through clinical research, we have had to eliminate variables, perform biomarker testing with precise before-and-after time frames, and use deductive reasoning. Patients remain the best teachers if we pay attention,” Dr. Sponaugle said.
“Over that six-year period, she was prescribed multiple antibiotics. Most significant is the fact that she was prescribed four grams of IV Rocephin daily for three years. Unfortunately, the Rocephin was ineffective in killing the massive Bartonella infection.”
Patient: Carol from New Jersey
Background: Prior to finding Sponaugle Wellness Institute, Carol was treated for six years by the best and brightest LLMDs in New Jersey and New York. Over that six-year period, she was prescribed multiple antibiotics. Most significant is the fact that she was prescribed four grams a day of IV Rocephin for a total of three years. Unfortunately, the Rocephin was ineffective in killing the massive Bartonella infection seen within biofilm formation* on her blood smear.
Diagnoses: Lyme Disease, Bartonella, Mold Toxicity, Industrial Toxins
Symptoms: Chronic Fatigue (Bedridden), Brain Fog, Anxiety, Insomnia, Depression, Malnutrition
Teaching Point: Carol was the first patient in which Dr. Sponaugle was able to determine that Mold Toxins and Industrial Toxins are sequestered in Biofilm formations. Excessive antibiotics are not effective for Lyme Disease patients who have biofilm saturated with lipophilic Mold and Industrial Toxins that suppress the immune system and natural kill power of the body to fight off infection and disease.
At Sponaugle Wellness Institute, we believe truly “holistic” wellness treatment should not only heal the body, it should also heal the brain!!
The brain is our most complex organ. Optimizing brain function in sick patients requires extraordinary knowledge of brain physiology, modern brain science, and the expertise derived from treating thousands of patients with brain disorders.
We succeed where others have failed. At Sponaugle Wellness Institute, bedridden patients or wheelchairs for years have hope that they can walk again.
We cannot guarantee any treatment outcome or that every patient we treat will come out of their wheelchair. However, 35 chronic Lyme disease patients have left their wheelchairs at Sponaugle Wellness Institute.