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Greetings and welcome to my Lyme disease blog, a comfy cozy (and sometimes crazy!) place for cutting-edge information, encouragement and insight into the fastest-growing epidemic disease in the United States. In this blog you will find everything from bug-killing strategies to immune system and hormone help, as well as lifestyle and spiritual suggestions for healing from chronic illness involving Lyme disease. The information contained within this blog is based upon my own healing journey and what I have learned over the past eight years as I have been diligently digging and researching my way back to a better state of health. May you find it to be a source of hope, inspiration and wisdom in your own journey towards wellness.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Getting Rid of Gut Biofilm and The Critters It Protects

Biofilm is thought by some LLMD's to be one of those "snags" to healing Lyme disease. As mentioned in a previous post, sometimes bacteria and other microbes cloak themselves in biofilm, a polysaccharide matrix comprised of minerals, metals and other elements, to protect themselves from anti-microbial treatments, which prevents antibiotics and other Lyme strategies from being fully effective.

When biofilm exists in the gut, it also disturbs digestion and prevents normal flora (like acidophilus) from thriving. If you have persistent dysbiosis, mysterious gut pain, or a borrelia infection that simply isn't responding to treatments, consider the possibility that biofilm may be impeding your progress.

Unfortunately, medicine is still in its infancy when it comes to understanding biofilm and its role in Lyme disease. It is even less equipped to offer effective treatments that will break it down so that microbes can be accessed and eliminated.

Combining enzymes with heavy metal chelators (since the biofilm is comprised in part, of metals), and taking these on an empty stomach, is thought to be one potentially effective strategy for "punching holes" in the biofilm and thereby breaking down the bugs' protective polysaccharide blankies. Once this is done, then the Lyme sufferer can take anti-microbials to attack bacteria, yeast and other bugs. Subsequently, toxin binders can be ingested to clean up the mess left behind by the dead critters.

Tentatively, some of the enzymatic products that are currently being used for the hole-punching process include: SPS 30 (www.theramedix.net) and Mucostop by Enzymedica (www.enzymedica.com). Other enzymes that are being experimented with for Lyme sufferers with gut biofilm include: Lumbrokinase, Rechts-Regulat and serrapeptase. These latter enzymes, incidentally, are also widely used for hypercoagulation in Lyme. (So you might be able to kill two birds with one stone here; that is, break down biofilm while treating hypercoagulation).

Gut biofilm toxin binders, according to Dr. A. Derksen, a Lyme-literate N.D., include: fiber, clays, zeolites, chlorella, modifilan, apple pectin, butyrate, bentonite and activated charcoal.

A heavy metal protocol may comprise any myriad of options, which I have discussed (and will continue to discuss) in other blog posts.

In the meantime, how do you know if you have gut biofilm? Well, isn't that always the question in Lyme disease? We never seem to know what's wrong with us, do we?

My humble suggestion (which should never to be taken as medical advice! I'm just a researcher, not a medical expert), if you have any of the above-named conditions, and are actively chelating metals and treating hypercoagulation, would be to take your chelator, if possible, at the same time that you take your enzymes for hypercoagulation. After that, take your bug-killers, and over time, see if that seems to be more effective than the schedule that you used to follow for taking all of the above.

If you aren't chelating metals or taking enzymes already, deciding whether to treat for biofilm may be a tougher decision. In any case, I would advise seeking out a biofilm-literate Lyme doctor (which are bound to be even more scarce than LLMD's).

I don't know how seriously we should take the idea of biofilm and its role in Lyme disease. Perhaps more than we have been, but not to the exclusion of other roadblocks to healing, as there are often many. This is just another one you may want to consider.


Anonymous said...

I love this blog, Connie. I am on the GAPS diet and cannot take some of the toxin binder listed because they supposedly irritate an already irritated intestinal wall or actually could feed gut dyboisis. I saw butyrate on your list from Dr. Derkson and jumped for joy. Ghee is a big part of the GAPS diet and get this:

Also called clarified butter, it sounds deadly to the arteries, but actually has a rather positive effect on the cholesterol and HDL's (good cholesterol). In the intestines (B and AB's especially), ghee is converted to butyrate, a short chain fatty acid which both regulates the intestinal flora and promotes the health of the colon tissue. http://www.querycat.com/faq/abce192e80c8eaca234fe23b459f1285

Hoping the "converted" ghee also binds the toxins.:-) Your posts also brings me back to the idea that my digestive tract problems may indeed be Lyme based or at least biofilm based and it certainly doesnt hurt to consider that as a factor. Seems I'm addressing it and didnt know it.. good thing to know. Robin

Connie Strasheim (aka Killabugger) said...

Hi Robin,

Thank you for the compliment! I am glad the blog has been beneficial to you.

It must be frustrating to not be able to take certain toxin binders, so I'm glad you found something that could potentially work for you. I don't know much about the toxin binding capacity of butyrate, but since it was listed by Dr. D, it must be helpful (as she knows quite a bit about Lyme).

I did not know that ghee is converted to butyrate, but I do know that butyrate is good for the gut!

Regarding your cholesterol comment, there is now evidence that cholesterol build-up is not related to fats as much as it is to unhealthy carbs and even infections.

I hope that the ghee will also prove to be beneficial to you as a toxin binder. That might be a good question for an educated LLMD.

I wish you well in your healing! Thanks for stopping by. :)

monkey girl said...

Since I've started treatment I've noticed little bumps under my skin, on my arms, legs, etc... I'm using the Lumbro.....stuff while I'm on the Mepron and Zithromax for Babesia. My lyme doctor has mentioned biofilm and cysts. Are the cysts common?

Jim sherwood said...

Did you take this MMS and did it work and is it safe? Are you cured? The BIG Q is,'is it safe'? I can handle it if it does not work,but I do not want any more harm done....
Jim Sherwood