New GMA Blog Coming Soon

It has been over a year now since Gordon Medical agreed to post the answers to patient questions on this blog, following a local presentation by Joseph J. Burrascano, MD and the GMA doctors. In that time, we have tried to work our way through the questions asked, and to bring you other information of interest.

The doctors at Gordon Medical, in addition to treating many patients with Lyme disease, also treat many other patients with acute and chronic illness, including Fibromyagia, mold illness, Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction, as well as many who have illness that doesn’t fit a specific category, other than chronic inflammatory illness. We have decided to expand our blog to one that addresses the full range of what we do. As we work to make the shift to the new blog, please forgive us if our attention is not fully on this one. It will be worth it in the end, as we hope to make it a resource for all patients in need of new thinking in treating their illness.

 

Feedback on the Inanna House Fundraiser

From Sara Donnelly

Running Rabbit Ranch and Vineyard

The first Inanna House Fundraiser was an amazing success. We were so honored and proud to have had the opportunity to share our vision with so many supportive people. The day started off chilly, but as the guests started to arrive, and the room began to fill, the abundance of loving hearts and hopeful souls warmed the room.

The bar was a great place to mingle as people became acquainted with each other. There
was wine, as well as yummy snacks. Lunch was served shortly after all guests had arrived. We were so thankful for the delicious food prepared by Arturo Cardenas of Portofino’s restaurant in Santa Rosa. His gluten-free, organic dishes were a perfect way to showcase one of the ways Inanna House will bring health to patients.

Inanna House Founder Mara Williams, Dr. Eric Gordon, and author of Out of the Woods: Healing Lyme Disease–Body, Mind & Spirit, Katina Makris were the featured speakers. Mara Williams spoke of her vision of Inanna House, and where it originated. ” These patients are so marginalized and mistreated in the conventional medical system. We want to provide a supportive and safe place for those with chronic Lyme disease to receive treatment while integrating the best of all health modalities to achieve optimum results for each patient. “

Mara Williams, Eric Gordon, Katina Makris

Dr. Gordon spoke of Lyme disease and the need to look at each patient individually, and how Inanna House would allow for this. He shared some of the notes from his talk:

You are here so you know this is important.

If this project is to be realized, to be more than a dream, it is going to take a series of small and large miracles and some wonderful energetic connections.

When Mara first spoke to me about her vision for a place to care for people with TBD (tick borne disease), I knowingly smiled and rolled my eyes. I have heard many plans of and been involved in some attempts at delivering comprehensive care to people in the past, and had seen them all fail when the money or energy ran out.

Mara was ahead of me in planning, she knew she needed an endowment. I knew the sum needed was large and so wished her luck. I realized that instead of discouraging her, my words just helped her focus and she came back with the breathtaking sum of 25 million, and instead of giving up she went out to start making it happen. That is when I got interested in being involved.

In order to succeed we need to attract lots of donors and to do that people need to know why this is so important. And why many well meaning physicians will shut you down when you mention the need to help those with chronic Lyme.

I am going to give you a brief overview of what is special about the needs of these patients and why most doctors don’t get it. There are lots of ways our bodies can be ill. Why do those with chronic Lyme, or as I like to call it, chronic complex illness, need their own place?
Why isn’t the standard hospital and rehab center good enough?

Hospitals have slowly begun to realize that people do better when there is some attention to the physical and emotional needs of patients and they do try to provide care above the utilitarian basics. There are some hospital-like settings in Europe and Mexico that offer something similar to what Inanna House  is hoping to do. These still don’t come close to the inclusiveness that is part of Mara’s vision. They are fairly expensive and generally have a well defined approach to healing that will serve some, but will not help if you don’t fit their paradigm.

If this was just a dream to give better treatment to people with chronic TBD it would be important, but what should be understood is that without facilities such as Inanna House many people will not receive appropriate treatment.

They will suffer and some will die.

Wealth almost always gets you better care, but usually even those without resources get the basics in America. Not so with Lyme. Even the wealthy get neglected when they have chronic Lyme disease. The failure of the medical system to comprehend chronic inflammatory illnesses that fall outside a few well defined diagnostic boxes is amazing. It is a product of our current medical and scientific educational system.

Factory medicine is designed for and is brilliantly effective in the acute stage of most illnesses. Think war injuries. That’s where big intervention medicine has its roots. Asclepius tended the Greeks at Troy before he was made a demigod – this is good stuff – it will save your life. The miracles of modern medicine are mostly based on battlefield medicine. Not many vaguely healthy people die of infections anymore- that used to be the main cause of death. Same with major injuries – get to the hospital and even if you are fairly mangled they can put you back together. Our hospitals were developed on the strict hierarchical structures of the army. The biggest change is that for awhile the doctors were the generals and now the accountants and statisticians are.

Where modern hospital medicine shines brightest is when people are in critical condition or suffering from acute illness or trauma, medicalese for “it just happened.” With an acute appendicitis the hospital and surgeon is a good bet, but they are useless for preventing the problem and not much help for recovering well.

With acute Lyme (acquired within the 6 weeks), it often responds quickly to oral antibiotics and probably herbs, as well. In many people their own unaided immune system will do the trick. But many people are not diagnosed with Lyme within 6 weeks of being bitten. The tick is not seen, symptoms don’t develop, or they are not specific enough to cause suspicion of Lyme disease. The disease is there, but no one notices it yet, or at least it is not identified. If the person’s immune system is not strong enough to keep the infection under control, or another stressor leads to the infection coming out of hiding, it is already well entrenched.

When we get past acute Lyme disease to Lyme disease that has been around for 6 months and more – we are now in the land of chronic Lyme.

Black and white.

Chronic  Lyme is not the land of black and white diagnosis or treatment protocols. Tick borne diseases when they persist don’t fit the military model of health care at all. This is where patients fall through the cracks in the current health care system. Because the illness is not understood, patients are marginalized, stigmatized, mistreated, or left untreated at all.

Every patient is different – there are people who will respond beautifully to IV antibiotics and others who will crash and burn.

What is right for one is poison to the other.

This is one reason chronic Lyme is poorly understood.

Now is when Hygea – healthy living and health promoting environments are needed to balance the Aesclepian modern hospital. This is about balance- we need both acute intervention and supportive care- which is more important depends on the situation and the individual patient. With Inanna House, we are offering both.

Katina spoke about her personal journey with Lyme disease and how she found hope and healing using Homeopathy. After the lectures the floor was opened for questions, and there were plenty to go around.

Feedback from a Lyme patient who attended the event:

Oh, wow. It felt so good to be surrounded by such incredible human beings! The energy was so positive and supportive in the direction Inanna house is moving in with regard to treating Lyme Disease. The speaker panel was down to earth and spoke with such heart. Hearing Mara and Katina’s stories moved me to tears. They have such courage, and conviction. I know a lot of us have similar life experiences with having Lyme disease. It was held in the place where the wine tasting bar was. Beautiful knotty pine walls made it a cozy & inviting atmosphere for me. Thanks again for your part in helping me get there.
-  Rayeanna

Inanna House is so thankful for all those that pulled together to throw an amazing event. The food and wine were delicious, the speakers were knowledgeable and entertaining, and the guests were fun and encouraging. Inanna House is proud to be part of the Lyme community.

Plans for the next fundraiser are already in full swing. If you would like to help out and get involved, go to www.InannaHouse.orgto contact us, we would love to hear from you!

A Special Thanks to Our Sponsors and Helpers!

Rick and Laura Wilson of Running Rabbit Ranch and Vineyard
Arturo Cardenas of Portofino Restaurant
Siduri Wines
Novy Family Wines
Highway 12 Vineyards and Winery
Kai West Photography
Grazia Bianchi Salon
Neil Nathan MD
Wine Country Sanitary
Party Tents and Events
Sunset Linen and Uniform
Speakers: Mara WilliamsDr. Eric Gordon, and Katina Makris
Helpers: Cindy Stoesser, Thora Graves, Amy McCarthy, Kay Massell, Erl Williams, Marcia Stagnaro, Sara Donnelly

Inanna HouseInanna House is the vision of Mara Williams NP. She sees it as an oasis of peace, health, and healing for those with chronic Lyme disease. Inanna House will be a residential facility for those who are debilitated by chronic disease, and in need of intensive therapy. The treatment would be designed to address all aspects of healing, including the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and energetic. Mara is the author of Nature’s Dirty Needle: What You Need to Know About Chronic Lyme Disease and How to Get the Help To Feel Better, the parent of a chronic Lyme patient, and a health care provider at Gordon Medical Associates.

Dr. Eric Gordon has established Gordon Medical Associates as an internationally recognized center for the treatment of patients left out by the conventional practice of medicine. “My deep respect for the individuality of my patients is the heart of my practice.” Dr. Gordon knows there is an interwoven complexity to these illnesses. There is a layering of the body’s adaptations to environmental toxins and infections from pathogens that is unique to every person, depending on their genetic susceptibility, organ vulnerability, toxic exposures, medical history and life circumstances. The body’s various biological systems – immune, endocrine, neurological, gastrointestinal and so on – influence each other and are influenced by each other, both in the development and progression of illness, and also its resolution.

Katina Makris is the author of Out of the Woods: Healing Lyme Disease–Body, Mind & Spirit. At the peak of her career, Classical Homeopath and health care columnist Katina Makris was stricken with a mysterious “flu”. Only after five years of torment–two completely bedridden–and devastating blows to her professional and family life was Katina’s illness finally diagnosed as Lyme Disease. But diagnosis was only the beginning of her journey toward healing. Katina Makris’ vivid story offers practical information for diagnosing and treating the bacterial invasion, as well as powerful guidance for mending the broken spirit.

Mold and Lyme Together?

This brief clip is from the October Biotoxin Illness Conference in Santa Rosa. In the clip, Dr. Eric Gordon talks about issues with chronic Lyme, and how it might relate to biotoxin illness issues. Please forgive the movement in the video, the doctors were switching speakers, and the focus is not very good when the camera person is moving. The longer video this comes from doesn’t have this problem when a speaker is talking.

Dr. Eric Gordon is the founder of  Gordon Medical Associates. What Dr. Gordon emphasizes is listening to his patients. “I believe my patients. Their description of what is going on in their body is the most accurate way we have to assess what is going on with them. I interpret the information they present, and blend it with laboratory results and imaging and other tests to determine a protocol that is customized to their condition.”

If you are interested in learning more about Dr. Shoemaker’s work on mold illness, we have copies available of the DVD recordings from the October Biotoxin Illness conference held in Santa Rosa in October 2011. This 5 DVD set includes over 9 hours of talks with Dr. Shoemaker and the Gordon Medical physicians, as well as Power Point presentations and supporting evidence for the treatments presented. For more information, links to clips, or to order, look at Biotoxin Illness on the DVDs and Books page.

Inanna House Fundraiser Luncheon

Inanna House Fundraiser Luncheon

You are Invited to Attend!
Sunday, March 25 1:00-4:00 PM
Running Rabbit Ranch and Vineyard

Space is limited, so be sure to buy your tickets in advance.

Be a part of this exciting event, kicking off the fundraising for a revolutionary new idea in health care. In the current health care system there is no place to go for the millions who are ill with Chronic Lyme Disease. Chronically ill people need a place to receive supportive care that will help them undergo the treatment needed to get well. Based upon a new paradigm of healing and health care, Inanna House will integrate the best of all health modalities in one place to achieve optimum results for each client, which includes  body, mind, and spirit connection and reintegration.

Mara Williams, NPInanna House is the vision of Mara Williams, NP, author, health care practitioner, and mother of a chronic Lyme patient. Her dream is of a residence for debilitated chronically ill individuals.  A place to receive supportive therapies in many modalities and to start treatment with IV antibiotics in a safe environment. It is a program designed to address all aspects of healing * Physical, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual, and Energetic. Inanna House will offer an oasis of Peace, Health, and Healing for those with Chronic Lyme Disease

Inanna House is planned to  be the first facility of many to Inanna Housemodel the new paradigm. It is part of the vision that Inanna House be built around the world. Many of these centers are needed as millions are in need of help. It is time for a change, a different way. It is time for a new paradigm for true health. Inanna House will offer an oasis of Peace, Health, and Healing. A place where the frustration ends and patients are given a chance to heal in a safe and supportive environment.

Running Rabbit Ranch and Vineyard is the perfect setting for this wine country event. Located in Sonoma County, at the entrance to the Valley of the Moon, Running Rabbit Ranch and Vineyard is full of beautiful landscapes and sweeping views. There will be a gluten-free, organic lunch showcasing one of the ways the clinic will help return people to good health.

The speakers will be Mara Williams, NP,  author of Nature’s Dirty Needle: What You Need to Know About Chronic Lyme Disease and How to Get the Help To Feel BetterDr. Eric Gordon from Gordon Medical Associates, and Katrina Makris, author of Out of the Woods: Healing Lyme Disease–Body, Mind & Spirit. They will speak about Chronic Lyme Disease, the need for awareness, and Inanna House. There will be a raffle with great prizes. Proceeds from the event will go towards funding the creation of Inanna House.

Event Details

Date – Sunday Mar 25, 2012 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Price – $40.00
Location:

Running Rabbit Ranch and Vineyard (View Venue)
281 Somerville Rd
Santa Rosa, CA 95409
United States

For questions : Call (707) 337-5922 or email info@inannahouse.org

Buy Tickets Here!

Learn more about Inanna House:

Inanna House is currently a non-profit in the state of California. If you can not make this fundraiser, please feel free to donate toward Inanna House anytime.

Inanna House is  looking for videos and pictures for our Lyme Disease Awareness wall!

Email us your pictures and videos to be part of our upcoming project to raise awareness about Chronic Lyme Disease
Email Pictures to: pictures@inannahouse.org
Email Videos to: videos@inannahouse.org

Reading an HLA DR by PCR Test Using the HLA Rosetta Stone

During the Biotoxin Illness Conference in October 2011, Dr. Gordon promised to provide  help to people trying to read HLA test results. In the video here, he talks with Annemieke Austin, MD about how you decode the results based on the Rosetta Stone that can be found in the books Surviving Mold and Mold Warriors.

The video from the weekend Biotoxin Illness conference is available for purchase. The cost for the full 5 disc set is $125, plus tax and shipping. Call (707) 575-5180 or email Justin to order.

The 5 DVD set Of Biotoxin Illness: the science behind accurate diagnosis and effective treatment includes the entire weekend, with both the public and the medical professional day’s information. The Power Point Slides are included in the DVD, overlaid during the talks, and as separate PDF documents for you to read through at your leisure. The talks and resources on this DVD set will provide necessary information to diagnose the problem, treat the layers of dysregulation of the immune system, and to manage the environment to protect against further exposure.

There is  a CD with the full set of Power Points as PDF, including slides that were not seen during the conference, a full Syllabus from the conference, and a list of PDF documents that Dr. Shoemaker has collected as supportive documentation of his work. Of special interest were the question and answer panels with Dr. Shoemaker and the Gordon Medical physicians, providing a range of physician experience.

Dr. Eric Gordon is the founder of  Gordon Medical Associates. What Dr. Gordon emphasizes is listening to his patients. “I believe my patients. Their description of what is going on in their body is the most accurate way we have to assess what is going on with them. I interpret the information they present, and blend it with laboratory results and imaging and other tests to determine a protocol that is customized to their condition.”

Annemieke Austin, MD views her role as both a medical detective and a physician with excitement. The challenge to discover the underlying cause of illness and the search for answers is a privilege she approaches with great vigor.

Exercise and Reconditioning During CFS/Fibromyalgia (and Lyme!) Treatment

Exercise and Reconditioning During CFS/Fibromyalgia Treatment
Jacob Teitelbaum, MDBy Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

Dr. Teitelbaum has us given permission to reprint information from his website. While that website is focused on treating CFS and Fibromyalgia, Dr. Teitelbaum considers Lyme disease to be a factor in both illnesses, and the information he gives is often useful in treating Lyme disease as well.

Dear Readers,

When being treated for any debilitating illness, reconditioning is a critical part of getting well. Because of the body wide “energy crisis” seen in CFS/Fibromyalgia, most of you have found that you were unable to condition beyond a certain point (it takes energy to store energy in muscles—which is what conditioning is). Instead, the doctor would push you to exercise, and you would spend the next 2 days in bed feeling like you had been hit by a truck!

The good news is that as you do our proven effective “SHINE Protocol” (Sleep, Hormones, Infections, Nutrition, and Exercise AS ABLE—discussed at length in my book “From Fatigued to Fantastic!”), you will find that your body starts making the energy needed to condition. You will then be able to exercise more and more—and it will actually leave you feeling better and stronger.

To tailor a SHINE Protocol to your case, we invite you to do our educational “short program” computer program at www.Vitality101.com, which will analyze your symptoms to tailor a treatment protocol to your case. You can then begin many of the natural treatments on your own while working with a physician to add in the prescription recommendations (I recommend a Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Center physician—see www.fibroandfatigue.com for offices nationwide—they are trained experts and know how to get you well). Although we usually charge for the web site computerized programs, I have decided to make the short program available free, as our goal is to make effective treatment available to everyone!

I have invited our patient Lisa D, who was sent to us by Dr. Oz and appeared on the Oprah show, to write this issues article on exercise. She has learned how to get pain free, and go from fatigued to fantastic. She is also excited about showing others with CFS/Fibromyalgia how to do the same!

Adding “E” for “Exercise” to the SHIN Protocol to Make it SHINE

Article by Lisa D

Exercise is an important part of the SHINE protocol. As a former group fitness instructor, exercise was my passion. I absolutely loved to exercise. My world came to a screeching halt 7 years ago. My once busy nights filled with teaching fitness classes were empty and filled with doom, gloom, and pain from fibromyalgia. Although I never lost my passion for exercise, I thought my ability to exercise was almost non-existent. Boy was I wrong!

Last fall, I was one of eight individuals selected to be a part of Dr. Oz’s YOU: Staying Young Program featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show. As a part of the Staying Young program, I was supplied with a bag full of goodies including a pedometer. Soon after, I decided to start my exercise program. I put on my pedometer and took a walk. Day after day, I was truly amazed at the number of steps I accomplished each day. After a few weeks of daily walks, I noticed a change in my body. My cold hands had feet had started to warm. My pain had greatly diminished. For the first time in many years, my energy levels had increased dramatically. I felt alive again. What a wonderful feeling :-)

For many fibromyalgia patients, doable exercises include walking, Yoga, and Tai Chi just to name a few. Walking is an ideal exercise. It stimulates the hypothalamus and pituitary glands (both of which have a direct impact on fibromyalgia). This stimulation releases endorphins, which are considered “natural pain killers.” I also include a combination of Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates in my exercise program. These mind and body exercises provide strength for the body, mind and soul.

The key to a successful exercise program is to not overdo it. Get yourself a pedometer, a good pair of walking shoes, a Yoga mat, and a positive attitude. Start slowly and take one day at a time. Increase the intensity and duration of your program with caution. Everyday will not be the same. Record your accomplishments in a journal and be proud. You will be pleasantly surprised at the number of steps you can accomplish and the increase you will see in your strength and flexibility.

Self empowerment is all you need to get started.

Lisa D

I’d like to thank Lisa for her article, and offer a few tips to get you started safely:

1. Begin with light exercise like walking or even warm water walking (in a heated pool) if regular walking is too difficult.

2. Walk to the degree that you feel “good tired” afterwards and better the next day. If you feel worse the next day, stop a few days and then cut back.

3. Walk only as much as you know you comfortably can (or start with 5 minutes). Then increase by 1 minute every other day as is comfortable. When you get to a point that leaves you feeling worse the next day, cut back a bit to a comfortable level, and continue that amount of walking each day.

4. After 10 weeks on the “SHINE Protocol”, your energy production will usually improve considerably, and you’ll be able to continue to increase your walking by 1 minute every other day.

5. When you get to 1 hour a day (or 10,000 steps throughout the day if using a pedometer), you can increase the intensity of the exercise. Again, listen to your body, and only do what feels good to you. You’ll know the difference between how “good pain” feels versus “bad pain” or crashing. Overall, “No Pain, No Gain” is stupid. Pain is your body’s way of saying “Don’t do that!”

6. Do consider a pedometer. It makes it more fun to be able to see your endurance go up (set it for total steps you walk a day). There is even a recent pedometer study showing it to help ;-)

Unless it is cold, and the cold flares your pain, I recommend you get your exercise by walking outside, so you can get sunshine—your key source of Vitamin D. Many people with CFS/Fibromyalgia are Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D from sunshine (or supplements) will help improve immune function and will also decrease the risk of hypertension, diabetes, and cancer (low Vitamin D is responsible for over 85,000 cancer deaths a year in the US). Make a plan to walk daily with a friend, and somewhere that’s enjoyable (on cold days it could be in the mall). That way, you’re more likely to have fun—and stay with the program!

Welcome to getting your life back!

Love and Blessings,

Jacob Teitelbaum M.D.

Gordon Medical Associates is bringing Dr. Teitelbaum to the San Francisco Bay area this  fall to speak with local patients and physicians about his treatment protocols. Details will be available soon.

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, is a board certified internist and Medical Director of the national Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers and Chronicity. He is author of the popular free iPhone application “Cures A-Z,” and author of the best-selling book From Fatigued to Fantastic! (Avery/Penguin Group), Pain Free 1-2-3 (McGraw-Hill), Three Steps to Happiness: Healing Through Joy (Deva Press 2003), Beat Sugar Addiction NOW! (Fairwinds Press, 2010), and his newest book Real Cause, Real Cure (Rodale Press, July 15, 2011). Dr. Teitelbaum knows CFS/fibromyalgia as an insider — he contracted CFS when he was in medical school and had to drop out for a year to recover. In the ensuing 25 years, he has dedicated his career to finding effective treatment. He will be coming to the San Francisco Bay area in the fall to speak with local patients and physicians about his treatment protocols. 

The S.H.I.N.E. Program

The S.H.I.N.E. Approach to Treating CFS/FM

By Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

Dr. Teitelbaum has us given permission to reprint information from his website. While that website is focused on treating CFS and Fibromyalgia, Dr. Teitelbaum considers Lyme disease to be a factor in both illnesses, and the information he gives is often useful in treating Lyme disease as well.

Jacob Teitelbaum, MDWhat is S.H.I.N.E.?

In his 30 years of clinical experience treating CFS/FM, and in his landmark study on Effective Treatment of CFS/FM, Dr. Teitelbaum has found that his S.H.I.N.E. approach is successful in the vast majority of patients. S.H.I.N.E. identifies the following five health guidelines when creating a treatment program for CFS/FM:

S =
SLEEP: Get adequate sleep, preferably eight to nine hours a night. Sleep replenishes the body’s energy and heals its muscles. Inadequate sleep will leave you exhausted and in pain.
H =
HORMONES: Get tested for hormone deficiency and treated if needed. Hormone deficiencies can contribute to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
I =
INFECTIONS: Get treatment when symptoms of infections occur. The lack of restorative sleep in CFS/FM leads to dysfunctional immune systems. Underlying viral, bacterial, bowel, sinus and yeast infections are common and can be a contributing cause or result of CFS/FM.
N =
NUTRITONAL SUPPLEMENTS: Optimal nutritional supplementation is essential. Many nutrients can be depleted as a result of CFS/FM. B-12, magnesium, Acetyl L Carnitine and glutathione, as well as your basic A, B, C and D vitamins need to be supplemented at a level that your average over the counter multivitamin cannot provide.
E =
EXERCISE: Exercise as able. After 10 weeks on the 4 steps above, you will be able to slowly increase your exercise-without being wiped out the next day!

SHINE ProtocolThe S.H.I.N.E. Treatment Protocol

The “S.H.I.N.E. Treatment Protocol” is an itemized list of all the common treatments for CFS/FM, both natural and prescription, that can be used by a patient or practitioner. A personalized treatment plan can be created from this list by identifying the underlying causes of CFS/FM, based on an analysis of the(a) patient’s particular symptoms.

Our free Symptom Analysis Program can evaluate your symptoms and automatically identify which treatments on the S.H.I.N.E. Protocol list apply to your CFS/FMS case. It asks a series of questions about your symptoms and analyzes your answers to determine the likely causes of your illness. It then “checks off” the treatments you likely need in the S.H.I.N.E. Protocol list. (For example, if you answer questions indicating you have dry skin, achiness and unusual weight gain, this could indicate a thyroid hormone deficiency. If so, the program might check off a treatment suggesting you begin taking Armour Thyroid.)

The result is a complete treatment protocol fully tailored to your specific symptoms.

What to Expect

It takes an average of six weeks to begin to feel the benefits of your treatment. During this time, you should chart important information about your treatment progress, such as dates when you start or stop individual treatments, and their effects.

For most of you, CFS/FM took months to fully manifest. It can also take several months to get well. Although the S.H.I.N.E. protocol gives you the fastest path to healing, keep in mind that total recovery can take several months to over a year. You should remain on the treatment program until you are feeling consistently well for six months or more (with no back-sides). After that, you can taper off the program by discontinuing one treatment every one to two weeks. The gradual tapering is recommended so that you can make sure a particular treatment is no longer needed. Although it isn’t usually necessary, any or all of the treatments can be used forever without harm. Many patients choose to continue several treatments long term after stopping the majority of them. Reading your body’s signals and taking your practitioner’s advice are your best tools in determining which treatments should be continued to remain well.

(You can download the Protocol as a 36-page pdf file if you’d like to see it.)

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Gordon Medical Associates is bringing Dr. Teitelbaum to the San Francisco Bay area this  fall to speak with local patients and physicians about his treatment protocols. Details will be available soon.

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, is a board certified internist and Medical Director of the national Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers and Chronicity. He is author of the popular free iPhone application “Cures A-Z,” and author of the best-selling book From Fatigued to Fantastic! (Avery/Penguin Group), Pain Free 1-2-3 (McGraw-Hill), Three Steps to Happiness: Healing Through Joy (Deva Press 2003), Beat Sugar Addiction NOW! (Fairwinds Press, 2010), and his newest book Real Cause, Real Cure (Rodale Press, July 15, 2011). Dr. Teitelbaum knows CFS/fibromyalgia as an insider — he contracted CFS when he was in medical school and had to drop out for a year to recover. In the ensuing 25 years, he has dedicated his career to finding effective treatment.

Supporting People Who Are Ill and Surviving It Intact

Supporting People Who Are Ill and Surviving It Intact

Mara Williams, NPFrom Mara Williams, NP

As a Lyme literate practitioner and as a mother of someone with CLD (Chronic Lyme Disease) I want to share some insights I have gained in the last two years. Amanda has had active disease since she was 15. She is now 37. We have been treating her for almost two years. Before I became Lyme literate, I was like any other family member frustrated by the incredible variety of symptoms Amanda complained about. I kept telling her to get help for her emotional issues and to get on with her life. As a “knowledgeable” health care provider I just couldn’t put the array of problems together into a diagnosis that made sense. Amanda would sometimes rage, literally, with anger that was scary. She would get panic attacks and these increased in intensity and frequency as the bugs became further entrenched in her body. Antidepressants were ineffective. Amanda would complain of severe pain, total body pain, joint pain that would migrate, hip pain that made her feel like her bones were breaking, muscle pain, stomach pain, abdominal cramping, and headaches. Wow! It was overwhelming to hear about this and feel helpless to help. She has had horrific stomach issues and would throw up often and feel nauseous constantly. I attributed these symptoms to her inability to resolve her emotional feelings. Yet I believed she needed psych help to get over the pain, that these symptoms were related to the trauma of the rape she experienced at a young age. For many of her family members it was Amanda crying wolf over and over again. Her emotional lability pushed people away as did her rage. I was the person the rage was directed at mostly and eventually I just wanted to disengage from it all. I did not make the connection of Lyme until I became Lyme literate and then everything she had been saying for years made sense.

Initially, I felt guilt for not believing her and helping her to find help. Fortunately we have so much guidance now. But when we had to interact with the current health care system I thought that because I was “one of them” they would believe what she was experiencing, listen, and help. I was foolish to believe this. The disconnect between IDSA (Infectious Disease Society of America) guidelines and ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Disease Society) guidelines rang loud and clear. I became the drug seeking, interfering mother and my gravely ill daughter became a psych case.

Amanda lived about a mile from us at the beginning of treatment. As I have written before we had a hellish year of 17 ER visits and 7 inpatient hospitalizations before I took her home and started treating her. My husband and I give her medicine every four hours around the clock and have for over 6 months now. She gets IV hydration, nutritional support and antibiotics. We prepare her food, do her laundry, help her with personal care, and are helping to raise her 12 year old daughter. In-between all this we work and make time for our relationship. Hundreds of thousands, probably millions, are doing this across the globe. Imagine the impact this is having on the global economy, as well as the emotional costs for those involved.

The financial costs of treating CLD physically run into thousands of dollars a year and can go on for several years. People lose their homes, their jobs, their relationships. Insurance companies refuse to pay for something that “doesn’t exist.” The burden of this is great and those that have no resources suffer for years. Many simply give up.

For those with the disease, healing on all levels is necessary. This encompasses not only the physical but the emotional and spiritual. The disease is a message to change the way they have been living their life. As Katina Makris states so eloquently in her book, Out of the Woods, ” The more debilitated and stricken people are, the more time has been created in their lives for reflection and realignment with their life dreams and purpose. It’s not random that those who have the most to offer the world – those who are working hardest and have the most altruistic attitudes – can get hit the hardest by this illness as they push themselves so hard, with little self-recognition. We must learn how to love our very selves with true compassion, through the tender and tragic mercies of this insidious and erratic illness”. This aspect of CLD is as critical to address as the physical. The infections will not resolve without doing this work.

I believe this applies to those of us that care for their loved one as well. It is a consuming experience that requires surrender to each moment to avoid burnout that can come with care-giving. The rhythm of each day is dictated by the needs of one person and it can be overwhelming. Some family members walk away when they decide they have done enough. Many choose to believe the mainstream hype that CLD doesn’t exist. But for those of us that are able to remain steadfast, hold love in their heart, the reward of watching health restored is amazing. It is worth every moment of exhaustion and frustration. I get to assist someone I adore in her transformation; and, like a butterfly coming out of her cocoon, I am witnessing my child coming back to life. The process is slow, agonizingly slow, but each small step is a gift. One of my mantras is “God gives nothing but good, either gifts or lessons, and really, they are the same.”  Another manta is “Everything is perfectly manifesting.” This reminds me to embrace the moment and learn so that I can shift my consciousness ever higher, and return to a place of peace and acceptance. Those who are desperately ill with CLD need their loved ones to be present and whole. Like the birthing of a child, a woman is alone with her experience of labor, yet she needs support while going through it. So does someone who is chronically ill, frail, weak, exhausted, and in severe pain. My daughter, who is so ill, is the same being she was before she became sick, working to heal from an all consuming disease, and she needs all the assistance we can give. I will be here until her healing happens and she can move forward in her life once again.

Blessings to you all…Mara

Nature's Dirty NeedleMara Williams, NP, has been a health care provider for almost 30 years. She has developed an expertise in functional, nutritional medicine; blending pharmaceuticals with nutraceuticals, utilizing science and nutrition to its best advantage to get the optimal effect and outcome. Mara is experienced with many chronic diseases, including Lyme disease and its coinfections, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, and various pain syndromes, inflammation, cancer, and adrenal fatigue. You can reach her at Gordon Medical Associates.

Mara is also the author of Nature’s Dirty Needle, and the blog Voyaging Lyme. She is very active in patient advocacy, and is currently working to put together Inanna House, a non-profit that would provide supportive, integrative care to those with Chronic Lyme Disease.

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.

Treating Lyme Disease with Frequency Specific Microcurrent

Gordon Medical finds that Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM) is a very useful modality in treating Lyme disease. Patients have a lot of questions about how works, and how it can be used. FSM  is an exciting new way of treating nerve and muscle pain and many other conditions using specific frequencies and micro amperage current. The practitioner applies the current using a battery operated unit with lead wires that attach to gloves, probes, or sticky pads that are then applied to the patient’s skin. Skilled practitioners use their knowledge of specific frequencies, along with the distinctive change in tissue that happens in the body when the right frequency is used.

Treatment can be done by a practitioner in a medical office, or may be prescribed for the patient to use at home with custom programmed units. Patients should always be well hydrated before treatment in order to best conduct the current, and to have a better chance of being able to detox any toxins that are released with the treatment.

Eric Gordon, MD and Julie Galvan, CMT, recorded this informal discussion about some of the issues they see in treatment of chronic Lyme patients. It won’t answer all of your questions, but will give an idea of how it is used in this office. They, with Neil Nathan, MD, will be teaching treatment of Lyme disease with microcurrent in the advanced training for FSM practitioners on February 18, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. We will be posting clips from that conference when they get back.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Dr. Eric Gordon is the founder of  Gordon Medical Associates. What Dr. Gordon emphasizes is listening to his patients. “I believe my patients. Their description of what is going on in their body is the most accurate way we have to assess what is going on with them. I interpret the information they present, and blend it with laboratory results and imaging and other tests to determine a protocol that is customized to their condition.”

Julie Galvan, CMT – As long as I can remember, I always had an insatiable curiosity about the body.  While seeking my degree in Modern Dance, I was introduced to bodywork. Shortly, I had a long line of people waiting at lunch, seeking relief from their aches and pains.   I did everything I could imagine; all kinds of stretching, moving, imagery, and self-talk, in concert with my in depth knowledge of anatomy and how the body moves.  By the mid-90’s I discovered CranioSacral Therapy.  This set a trajectory of recognition, acknowledgment and interaction with the intelligence each body has to heal itself.  I went onward to Lymphatic Drainage, Visceral Manipulation, and recently added Neural Manipulation and The Franklin Method to my bag of tools.  If this wasn’t enough, I became inspired and intrigued with Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM).  I now consider it my dance partner in bodywork.  FSM’s ability to tap into the intelligence of the body in a kind, supportive way, dovetails beautifully with the work I’ve practiced for so many years now.  I am grateful to have been invited to join the team at Gordon Medical and to have the opportunity to serve this group of amazing people.

In my off time I am mostly found spending time either with my family, or at a conference studying some new approach of the body/mind/spirit continuum.