Treatment Considerations with Elizabeth Large, ND

Elizabeth Large, NDTreatment Considerations with Elizabeth Large, ND

Question:
What do you do for someone who cannot tolerate antibiotics due to severe allergic reactions to several drugs?

Answer from Dr. Large:
Since I tend to work with people who are sensitive, I am used to people who can’t tolerate antibiotics. It might be due to allergy or it might be also a severe die-off that looks like allergy. Either way, the patient must begin with gentler herbal remedies that treat that particular infection. This will lower the infectious load on the system and possibly calm the immune system making it less reactive. If the reaction wasn’t allergic in nature, then the patient has toxicity issues and the reaction is due to an overload on their detoxification system. When you add in antibiotics, the download is too great on detox pathways that are already overloaded and the body reacts by becoming more toxic and inflamed.

Integral to the treatment is reducing the load of the infection, supporting the immune system with targeted supplements or IV therapy, supporting detoxification in the lymphatics, liver, gall bladder and kidney and cellular detoxification with aiding methylation. If the person is suffering from extreme allergic hypersensitivities of all kinds such as food, chemical and environmental, this person has an upregulated TH2 (antibody-mediated) immunity. Underlying infection (viral, parasitic, bacterial, fungal) and intestinal inflammation is one of the key causes of this. I typically use a combination of diet, treating GI infection and re-balancing the gut ecology to calm down the immune system.  I find that a Paleolithic diet can do wonders for Lyme patients. This involves little to no grains and sugars, plenty of vegetables and greens, minimal fruit and organic meats.

Question:
What is the best diet with Lyme? What to eat? What to eliminate?

Answer from Dr. Large:
I find that the best diet for those with Lyme is an anti-inflammatory diet. Some patients have responded very well to the GAPS diet who have a very inflamed GI tract. However, I do often remove the fruits from the GAPS diet at least in the beginning. For others a modified Paleolithic diet which reduces grains, sugar and dairy and adding plenty of healthy fats and protein at each meal. Since the majority of people are not allergic to vegetables or meats, this reduces any possible allergic load on the body, lowers insulin levels and prevents feeding the microbes.

Question:
What does infrared sauna do?

Answer from Dr. Large:
Far infrared Sauna (FIR) is a wonderful approach to detoxification. FIR penetrates into the subcutaneous fat where toxins are stored stimulating discharge of toxins through the sweat. . Studies show that FIR promotes excretion of heavy metals, pesticides and solvents. Since toxins in the body reduce glutathione levels , disrupt cellular methylation thereby suppressing our immune system. Many with Lyme comment that they don’t sweat. For these people FIR is especially important. I recommend that patients begin with 5 minutes and work up gradually to 30 minutes per day, 3-5 x per week.

Question:
What can be done for nausea? I have been treated for 3 years. I had the whole gamut. I did really well for 6 months after treatment. About 5 months ago I started in a downward spiral. My problem is I can’t tolerate any antibiotics. Now I throw up everything. I am nauseous all of the time, even without antibiotics. what is causing this persistent nausea? My gag reflex is really bad, this has been going on for more than 2 months.

Answer from Dr. Large:
Chronic Lyme can cause inflammation of the vagus nerve, one of the longest and most complex nerves in the body. Common symptoms of this nerve impairment include: high blood pressure, shortness of breath, palpitations, vomiting, hoarseness, frequency of urination, difficulty swallowing and GI motility dysfunction.

If vagal nerve impairment is ruled out, I would focus on treating  the  liver  and  gallbladder.  The  origin  of  the  nausea must  be  assessed  such  as  gastritis,  gall  stones, cholecystitis, enlarged  liver and/or underlying gut  infections. Nausea is often caused by congested detox pathways in the liver and consequently toxic bile in the gallbladder. I also look at dysbiosis (microbial imbalance) and intestinal permeability. My intent is to increase bile production, flush the gall bladder and improve liver detoxification. Often this treatment has  to be  introduced gradually as it will cause the liver  to back up even more, increasing nausea. However, if the patient  finds the right dosage, nausea usually begins  to decrease and will disappear over time.

An underlying bacterial/fungal/parasitic infection may be contributing to the problem and must be dealt with by treating the infection with natural or prescription medicines. A  “Leaky Gut” with increased permeability due to infection causes the bacterial/fungal/parasitic endotoxins to be absorbed into theblood stream  increasing  the  filtration needs of  the  liver. It  is important  to reduce this toxic load as well  as support  the liver  and  gallbladder. Often the place to begin is the gastrointestinal  tract. Underlying infections create disturbances in the gut ecology and liver.

Dr. Elizabeth Large practices at Gordon Medical Associates, specializing in Lyme, chronic fatigue, chronic digestive, immune, and endocrine disorders. Before she began specializing in the last two years, she practiced naturopathic family medicine with children and adults. Her passion is healing complex illness through natural medicine, diet, and mind/body medicine. She offers free classes on Thursdays at GMA.