Antibiotic Use in Lyme Disease: A Double-Edged Sword
Consequences of Extended Antibiotic Therapy in Lyme Disease
A defining characteristic of Lyme Disease, differentiating it from other bacterial infections, is the bacterium's capability to create biofilms, thereby evading antibiotic therapy.
This evasion mechanism, combined with the negative repercussions associated with extended antibiotic use—namely gut dysbiosis—results in an intricate cascade of physiological complications. These complications span neurological disorders and the manifestation of leaky gut syndrome.
Patients afflicted with Lyme disease often undergo a phase of decline following extensive antibiotic therapy. This is mainly observed in chronic Lyme disease patients, where prolonged antibiotic treatment suppresses the immune system. This systemic immune suppression bears significant implications for the patient's overall health and disease progression.
The Balancing Act: Antibiotics and Gut Health
The cornerstone of Lyme disease treatment is antibiotics. However, their prolonged usage can wreak havoc on the intestinal lining, the hub of approximately 70% of our immune system. This damage gives rise to a condition known as 'intestinal dysbiosis,' an imbalance in intestinal microorganisms.
Long-term antibiotic treatment wipes out beneficial intestinal bacteria, including Lactobacillus, a key bacterium that maintains an acidic intestinal pH through lactic acid production. This acidic environment checks the overgrowth of pathogenic entities.
Regrettably, after extended antibiotic administration, the intestinal pH shifts towards alkalinity, promoting the overgrowth of harmful yeast and bacteria such as Klebsiella, Proteus, and Enterobacteriaceae.
From Nutritional Deprivation to Leaky Gut: The Pitfalls of Antibiotic-Induced Gut Toxicity
The destruction of the intestinal lining frequently triggers severe malnutrition. This malnourished state detrimentally affects the production of natural killer cells, a type of lymphocyte reliant on certain essential amino acids. In the face of extensive antibiotic-induced damage to the intestinal lining, Lyme disease patients face a heightened risk of severe Leaky Gut Syndrome.
As Leaky Gut Syndrome intensifies, the immune system diverts resources to combat undigested food particles that "leak" into the bloodstream through the damaged intestinal lining. Usually, these particles are too large to traverse from the gut into the bloodstream.
Neurological Implications of Antibiotics
Research by Dr. Sponaugle has established a link between abnormal brain chemistry patterns and Lyme bio-marker CD 57 levels, in addition to abnormalities observed in the brain scans of Lyme patients. These investigations revealed that antibiotic-induced alterations in brain chemistry instigate excessive electrical activity in two distinct brain regions.
When these brain regions become severely overactive, patients develop depression and a “worry-worry” type of anxiety. When Chronic Lyme disease patients develop an overactive deep limbic center, they suffer from depression, moodiness, negativity, irritability, hopelessness, excessive guilt, and social anxiety and become more easily offended.
When Chronic Lyme Disease patients develop an overactive anterior cingulate, they become more argumentative, more stubborn, and hyper-focused on the negative, and they establish obsessive-compulsive worry.
Antibiotic-Induced Gut Toxicity Causes Increased Brain Toxicity
After Chronic Lyme disease, patients develop antibiotic-induced gut toxicity, mycotoxins, and bacterial endotoxins migrate from the gut to the brain.
These toxins are lipophilic and fatty in structure, so they are drawn to other fatty tissues on a molecular level. After migrating away from the gut, they deposit in the fattiest organ, our brain, which is 60 percent fat.
These neurotoxins inflame the brain’s white matter, the insulation on brain neurons called myelin, adding to the cumulative level of neurotoxicity, which is already significant from an accumulation of toxins in Lyme & Mold Toxicity patients.
Antibiotic-induced neurotoxicity causes further suppression of the immune system by “shutting down” the electrical current in the brain. This is problematic because the brain’s electrical activity stimulates cytokine activity. Cytokines are the chemical messengers that activate our natural killer cells.
When neurotoxins inflame the myelin sheath of brain neurons, they change the electromagnetic field surrounding the neuron, slowing the speed of the electrical impulse.
By this mechanism, neurotoxins essentially suppress the brain’s electrical activity. In a healthy brain, the electrical current rapidly jumps over the myelin on brain neurons.
However, when the myelin sheath becomes infiltrated with fatty neurotoxins from the gut and toxins from the Lyme disease spirochete, it fails to modulate immune function effectively.
Destruction of the Intestinal Lining
One of the primary reasons behind antibiotic-induced gut toxicity is the destruction of the intestinal lining, where 70 percent of our immune system is located. Prolonged antibiotic therapy kills our good intestinal bacteria, such as Lactobacillus, which produces lactic acid and helps maintain an acidic pH in our intestines to prevent the overgrowth of foreign invaders.
Malnutrition and Leaky Gut Syndrome
The destruction of the intestinal lining also leads to severe malnutrition. Essential amino acids, responsible for producing natural killer cells, become scarce, leading to a weakened immune system.
Eventually, Lyme disease patients may develop severe Leaky Gut Syndrome, causing the immune system to waste resources attacking undigested food particles that "leak" across the damaged intestinal lining into the bloodstream.
The Prudent Application of Antibiotics in Tickborne Disease
Antibiotics are unquestionably pivotal in Lyme Disease treatment. Nevertheless, their deployment calls for cautious deliberation. The capacity of Lyme Disease to dodge antibiotics by forming biofilms differentiates it from many other bacterial infections.
Together with the adverse effects of prolonged antibiotic use, such as gut dysbiosis, a complex cascade of physiological complications materializes, including neurological disorders and leaky gut syndrome.
Research conducted by Dr. Sponaugle at Sponaugle Wellness advocates a role for the usage of IV antibiotics in chronic Lyme patients, contingent upon the optimization of the patient's immune function and natural killer capacity.
This minimalist, targeted approach to antibiotic use minimizes the risks of side effects and antibiotic resistance and is a preventive measure against further gut dysbiosis and antibiotic-induced gut toxicity.
Antibiotic therapy can render a more “desired kill” of Borrelia spirochetes and expedite patient recovery when combined with a robust immune system. Conversely, withholding antibiotic therapy in Neurological Lyme Disease patients constitutes a significant misjudgment.
While antibiotics are essential in battling bacterial infections, their prolonged and aggressive use can carry unintended health consequences, particularly in gut toxicity. Chronic Lyme disease patients often witness a deterioration in their health following months of antibiotics.