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ARTICLE -- “The Real Me is Returning” | Lyme Disease & the Gerson Therapy

Discussion in 'Lyme Disease and Co-Infections' started by Wayne, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

    Ashland, Oregon
    I just read this relatively short article on one man's successful treatment of his Lyme Disease. It's always encouraging to read improvement stories like this:

    “The Real Me is Returning” | Lyme Disease & the Gerson Therapy

    My name is James and I’m here to share a Gerson Therapy story concerning my recovery from Lyme disease.
    A couple years ago I would not have had the strength or desire to stand up to tell my story. But now that I’m well on my way to a Gerson recovery, it’s important for me to pay it forward and make a difference in someone else’s quality of life. I’m simply a local volunteer with nothing to gain from sharing my story but perhaps some good karma.
    I want to help educate others who do not have cancer but would benefit from the Gerson Therapy. The Gerson Therapy is perhaps best known as a cancer treatment, but can also help people like me, who suffer from chronic, non-malignant diseases.

    What is Lyme Disease?

    For you who are unfamiliar with Lyme Disease, here is a quick rundown of what it is, and how it affects the body:
    Back in 1977, the people of Lyme, Connecticut discovered a correlation between a deer tick bite and a life-disrupting illness.
    These ticks have the potential to administer an infectious bacteria calledBorrelia burgdorferi. Borrelia burgdorferi is a spirochete that has the ability to proliferate in all areas of the human body. It has the ability to suppress and hide from your natural immune system, and to transform itself into a protected dormant state when under attack by antibiotics.
    Originally, the general symptoms consisted of a big, round red bullseye-shaped rash, followed by flu-like symptoms like fever, headache and stiff joints.
    The typical prescription for Lyme is 30 days of antibiotics and the expectation that the illness would just go away, and you could just go back out into the world and enjoy your life.
    However, many people are not healed after a mere 30 days, especially if the disease is not caught right away. My story turned out to be far more complicated, as this bacterial infection went untreated for many years, and became a chronic disease.

    How it Started

    In 1989, while living in Connecticut, I remember getting a bug bite. I did not notice a tick embedded in my skin, so I dismissed the rash as a simple spider bite that I had picked up while raking leaves. It was fall, so the symptoms that followed seemed like just a seasonal flu. Following the brief illness, everything cleared up and my life continued as usual.

    I have always been competitive in athletics, jogging and cycling on the weekends. Over the years, I started to suspect that these activities were taking a toll on my body. The aches, the pains and the fatigue were getting worse over the years. I figured I was just getting older.
    What I didn’t realize was that I was developing neurological problems that were gradually interfering with my life. Things like ear ringing (tinnitus), forgetfulness, confusion and lack of drive.
    I thought I was treating my body right. I took supplements, ate what I thought were well-rounded meals and exercised. Yet these symptoms kept getting worse. Little did I know I was digging my own grave…
    I was eating lots of toxic processed foods which included meat, dairy, gluten, salt, sugar and, to wash it all down, lots of diet soft drinks that were filled with aspartame. I was working unprotected with chemicals and metals, which were being absorbed into my body.

    Fast-forward to 2002.

    I participated in a 24-hour mountain bike race and ended up with flu-like symptoms that lasted three weeks. After that, my body produced new major symptoms seemingly every month.

    It was then that I began the typical Lyme patient story. I saw five different doctors, who all said they could find nothing wrong, and told me they were unable to help me. So, I began to do my own research online. I came up with many possibilities.
    Illnesses that matched my symptoms included: rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), lupus, Alzheimer’s, dementia, Gulf War disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease and Lyme disease.
    Because I recalled that bug bite I got while living in Connecticut, I started with Lyme. So, I found a special lab in Palo Alto and an LLMD (Lyme-literate doctor) and confirmed my research. I tested positive, and was diagnosed with Lyme disease.

    What to do?

    Without a question, I followed the LLMD’s advice. I took antibiotics by the handful for over a year, yet I didn’t feel any better. I finally said “enough is enough!” and made the decision to stop this destructive approach that was simply maintaining a level of mildly reduced Lyme disease symptoms.

    Six months later, my symptoms were back, but now stronger then before. The disease had progressed, and began to cut deeply into the quality of my life.
    On a scale of five, I went from a two to a one. I was so sick, but nobody knew because I still looked normal.
    My mental ability was degrading fast. I had only one good hour per day, which I eventually used to assemble a list of problems that I wanted to fix:
    My body was infected with Lyme disease. My blood was loaded with mold, fungus and parasites. My gut was bloated every day and I had sensitivity to foods. My diet was incorrect and I craved salt, sugar and carbohydrates. My body was limited in its ability to carry oxygen. My body was storing chemicals and metals in the soft tissues and bones. My body’s soft tissue and bones were sore and nothing seemed to help. My brain activity was failing and I was becoming a worrying person. My idiosyncratic pattern of what I did every day to get by needed to be broken.
    I was determined to fix these problems, so I did more research. Online, I found a pattern of references to Dr Max Gerson and his treatment for cancer. I watched the documentary The Beautiful Truth and decided to order Charlotte Gerson’s book Healing the Gerson Way.
    I read it once, then I read it again and took notes. I decided to give it a try.

    Going Gerson

    Right off the bat, I learned that my sick body had to be treated as a whole, not as a collection of symptoms. I didn’t know what the process was going to feel like, as extreme detoxification and hyper nutrition were new to me.

    I started slow. My first week, I took one coffee enema a day, along with a couple of juices, fresh fruits and salad.
    The second and third week, I upped my regimen to two enemas per day, with juices and following the diet.
    The second month, I started taking three enemas per day, with 6-8 juices, and following the diet.
    The third month, I started doing 3 to 4 enemas a day and started using the castor oil treatment once a week, along with the diet and juices.
    Ever since then, I typically do 4 enemas a day and castor oil three times per week, with the juices and following the Gerson diet.
    On a typical day, I would make and eat the Hippocrates Soup 1-2 times daily, usually accompanied by a salad and/or some other cooked vegetable dish.
    Within the second or third week, I started feeling results. My gut no longer felt bloated and my skin stopped hurting. I began to believe I was heading in the right direction. I was soon to realize this was the calm before the storm.

    Healing Reactions

    The days I did a castor oil treatment, it felt as though I had just eaten a large meal and all my blood was in the core of my body digesting food. My extremities were so cold that I would wear gloves and three layers of clothing (in sunny Southern California, mind you!).

    As I continued, relief became a long, drawn-out torture. Every inch of my body became ultra-sensitive. I wanted to be left alone and stay in a dark room with no sound and the heat set to 80 degrees. Yet, I forced myself to participate and stay engaged with life.
    These bodily sensations and a roller coaster of emotional feelings lasted for a year.
    I started using castor oil packs, saunas and clay packs and toughed it out. [Editor's note: While in this particular instance James found some relief using a sauna, the use of saunas is not recommended for patients on the Gerson Therapy due to the risk of electrolyte loss and dehydration.]

    Getting Better

    What I discovered was enlightening, and if someone had described it to me, I would have not believed them.

    On castor oil days, my body eliminated a black, tar-like goo after administering the castor oil enema. The last colon push produced a feeling of relief that resonated through my entire body.
    I knew I was getting better. There were small but significant signs of improvement:
    My energy level improved and I no longer needed to sleep during the day. My focus improved and I could spend more time working. My inflamed joints shrank and became more flexible. My hair began to grow on the top of my head. My varicose veins on my legs began to shrink. My aerobic breathing reduced when riding my bike.
    It seemed like I was slowly walking backwards in time. All my Lyme disease symptoms, one after another, reappeared and then disappeared. In my eighteenth month on the therapy, I got a big, big reward: the chronic neck pain I had lived with for over fifteen years was no longer there. It had miraculously disappeared.
    Slowly, slowly, my neurological and psychological issues are diminishing. The real me is returning. These toxic brain issues are deeper in the body and hiding behind many cellular and chemical protective barriers. I believe it will take more time for the Gerson Therapy to fully drain these toxins out.
    In conclusion I can personally say that the Gerson Therapy is a full body restoration for Lyme disease.
    Today, I can write a list of what I’ve regained after years of struggling with Lyme disease:
    I have recovered from a toxic body,
    I am receiving the nutrition my body needs.
    I have restored damaged organs.
    I have restored chemical balance.
    I have restored my immune system.
    I’m well on my way to removing my neurological symptoms.
    Lyme disease rehabilitation without antibiotics is possible. I feel fortunate to have learned this important information, and the discipline to follow it through.
    My life has been given a second chance!
    madietodd, golden and Lou like this.
  2. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

    Midwest USA
    How many of us have $2400 to spend on a juicer? Or $11,000 for 2 weeks in their Gerson clinic which is strongly recommended?

    I'm all for healthy eating but I think bacterial infections need antibiotics not enemas. Who knew I was just putting the coffee in the wrong end!

    maryb, Tito, Lala and 3 others like this.
  3. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

    Ashland, Oregon
    Valentijn likes this.
  4. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

    Midwest, USA
    Four enemas a day! Is that good for the bowels?
    There must be juicers available for less than $2400.
  5. golden

    golden Senior Member

    Clear Light
    Great thread thanks.

    I was never going to touch another antibiotic in my life anyway. It took me many years on daily antibiotics to learn this. The damage they did to me was bad. Its good to know different ways.

  6. Lala

    Lala Senior Member


    What damage did antibiotics to you?
  7. golden

    golden Senior Member

    Clear Light
    Definately tinnitus and a pityful ongoing traumatic candida overgrowth right through my teenage years. Doctor did write in my notes 'appalling thrush ' however when i questioned the antibiotics as the cause she gave a knee jerk reaction and said it was my fault. (as she smiled and wrote out more anti-biotic prescriptions)

    This prevented me helping myself for a further few years. It was the anti biotics caused this.

    I didn't die from Anti -biotics, I am grateful for that.

    But there were a lot of symptoms which also could be from them or the M.E. I had most of these too :

    For the Consumer
    "Applies to minocycline: oral and topical kit, oral capsule, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release"
    Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction while taking minocycline (the active ingredient contained in Minocin) hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
    stomach cramps, diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
    flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
    pale or yellowed skin, weakness, dark colored urine, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
    fever, skin rash, bruising, severe tingling or numbness, muscle weakness,
    upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
    chest pain, irregular heart rhythm, cough, wheezing, feeling short of breath;
    confusion, vomiting, swelling, weight gain, urinating less than usual or not at all;
    headache or pain behind your eyes, ringing in your ears, vision problems;
    joint pain or swelling with fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, general ill feeling, unusual thoughts or behavior, and/or seizure (convulsions); or
    severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
    Less serious side effects of minocycline may include:
    dizziness, tired feeling, spinning sensation;
    joint or muscle pain;
    discoloration of you skin or nails;
    mild nausea, mild diarrhea, upset stomach;
    mild skin rash or itching;
    swollen tongue, discoloration of your gums; or
    vaginal itching or discharge.
    This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.For Healthcare Professionals
    "Applies to minocycline: intravenous powder for injection, oral capsule, oral suspension, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release, oral and topical kit"
    Gastrointestinal side effects have included abdominal cramping, anorexia, diarrhea, dyspepsia, dysphagia, enamel hypoplasia, enterocolitis, esophagitis, esophageal ulcerations, glossitis, nausea, oral cavity and tooth discoloration, inflammatory lesions (with monilial overgrowth) in the oral and anogenital regions, pancreatitis, pseudomembranous colitis, stomatitis, vomiting, and dry mouth.
    Pancreatitis has rarely been reported in association with minocycline use. Two case reports of cystic fibrosis patients who experienced pancreatitis while being treated with minocycline for acute bacterial exacerbations of respiratory disease have been published in the medical literature. The authors suggested that cystic fibrosis patients, as a result of the disease process, may be more susceptible to drug-induced pancreatitis. Additionally, in at least one case, multiple medications were being given concomitantly; therefore, a temporal relationship between minocycline and pancreatitis could not be proven conclusively.

    Esophagitis and esophageal ulcerations have been reported in patients taking the capsule or tablet formulations of tetracycline-class antibiotics. Most of these patients took the drug immediately before going to bed.
    *Nervous system*
    Nervous system side effects have included convulsions, headache, hypesthesia, paresthesia, sedation, vestibular reactions including dizziness and vertigo. Decreased hearing, tinnitus, benign intracranial hypertension (pseudotumor cerebri) in adults, and bulging fontanels in infants have been reported.
    In one reported case, a patient developed rapidly progressing liver failure after four weeks of minocycline (the active ingredient contained in Minocin) therapy for acne. The patient had discontinued the medication two weeks prior to onset of malaise. Liver transplantation was considered, although the patient slowly recovered without significant intervention.

    Other reports of immunologically-mediated progressive liver dysfunction have rarely occurred. In one case, a patient received a liver transplant following fulminant hepatic failure which was thought to be related to a 3 year history of daily minocycline therapy to treat acne. The dose of minocycline ranged from 50 mg to 200 mg per day. A second patient had been receiving minocycline therapy to treat acne for 1 year just prior to seeking medical attention for a "flu-like" syndrome. Upon hospitalization, it was determined that the patient was experiencing an autoimmune-mediated hepatitis, most probably related to minocycline. Resolution of symptoms occurred in both of these cases after minocycline therapy was discontinued and each patient had received appropriate supportive medical care.
    Hepatic side effects have included hyperbilirubinemia, hepatic cholestasis, increased liver enzymes, fatal hepatic failure, jaundice, hepatitis (including autoimmune hepatitis), and liver failure.
    Hypersensitivity side effects have included anaphylactoid purpura, anaphylaxis/anaphylactoid reaction (including shock and fatalities), angioneurotic edema, autoimmune vasculitis, drug fever, eosinophilic pneumonitis, erythema multiforme, fixed drug eruptions, hepatitis, lupus-like syndrome, myocarditis, pericarditis, polyarthralgia, pulmonary infiltrates with eosinophilia, rhabdomyolysis, serum sickness, serum sickness-like reactions, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, urticaria, and severe central nervous system-pulmonary hypersensitivity syndrome. Drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) including fatal cases have been reported. DRESS syndrome with persistent myocarditis has been reported in at least 3 cases. Hypersensitivity syndrome (consisting of cutaneous reaction such as rash or exfoliative dermatitis, eosinophilia, and one or more of the following: hepatitis, pneumonitis, nephritis, myocarditis, and pericarditis) has been reported. Fever and lymphadenopathy may be present with hypersensitivity syndrome. Death has been reported in some cases involving hypersensitivity syndrome.
    Pulmonary infiltrates, night sweats, fever and eosinophilia have developed in several patients receiving minocycline. These effects were also thought to be due to hypersensitivity to minocycline.

    Case reports have described a severe central nervous system-pulmonary hypersensitivity syndrome requiring high-dose corticosteroid therapy. Signs and symptoms have included dry cough, fever, ataxia, muscle weakness, numbness, visual abnormalities, abnormal brain MRI, seizures, pulmonary infiltrates, elevated serum IgE and erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and eosinophilia.

    Eosinophilic pneumonia with relapsing acute respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation and corticosteroids has been reported in a 54-year-old woman. Initial symptoms included dry cough, low-grade fever, fatigue, and dyspnea. Eosinophilia, elevated leukocytes, and C-reactive protein were noted. Fourteen days after being discharged and resuming minocycline, the patient developed rapidly progressive respiratory failure again requiring mechanical ventilation.

    Late-onset drug fever (associated with fever, sore throat, abdominal pain, weakness, loose bloody stools, fatigue, 40-pound weight loss, ESR 99 mm/hr, CRP 5.0 mg/dL, and mild increases in liver enzymes) has been reported in a 15-year-old boy after 24 months of minocycline therapy for acne. One other case of late-onset drug fever occurred after 1 year of treatment. Other reported cases of drug fever generally occurred after 2 to 4 weeks of minocycline exposure.
    Lupus-like reactions induced by minocycline (the active ingredient contained in Minocin) have commonly presented with arthralgia or arthritis, myalgia or malaise, and positive ANA titer. Patients with highly positive anti-dsDNA antibodies have rarely been reported. All patients have recovered following discontinuation of the drug. However, several have required short courses of corticosteroids.

    Rare case reports of additional immunologic side effects have included necrotizing vasculitis and systemic reactions characterized by lymphadenopathy, eosinophilia, increased liver function enzyme levels, and dermatologic involvement. In each case, minocycline was discontinued and in some cases, corticosteroid therapy was necessary to assist in the resolution of symptoms.
    Immunologic side effects have included positive antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) titers, exacerbation of systemic lupus, polyarteritis nodosa, ANCA-positive crescentic glomerulonephritis, ANCA-positive vasculitis, and autoimmune hepatitis. Rare cases of necrotizing vasculitis and systemic reactions have been reported. Lupus-like syndrome (consisting of positive antinuclear antibody; arthralgia, arthritis, joint stiffness, or joint swelling; and one or more of the following: fever, myalgia, hepatitis, rash, and vasculitis) has been reported. Serum sickness-like syndrome (consisting of fever; urticaria or rash; and arthralgia, arthritis, joint stiffness, or joint swelling) has been reported. Eosinophilia may be present with serum sickness-like syndrome. Death has been reported in some cases involving these syndromes.
    Dermatologic side effects have included pruritus, alopecia, erythema multiforme, erythema nodosum, exfoliative dermatitis, fixed drug eruptions, maculopapular and erythematous rashes, photosensitivity, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, lesions on the glans penis, and vasculitis. Brownish or bluish-black pigmentation of the skin, bones, mucous membranes, teeth, tongue, nail beds, and structures of inner organs have also been reported. Minocycline (the active ingredient contained in Minocin) has rarely been associated with Sweet's syndrome (acute febrile neutrophilic dermatosis).
    Biopsies of pigmented tissue have shown granules within the cells which stained positive for iron. This pigmentation may fade over time following drug discontinuation.

    There have also been case reports of mucosal pigmentation associated with minocycline use.
    Musculoskeletal side effects have included arthralgia, arthritis, bone discoloration, joint discoloration, joint stiffness, joint swelling, myalgia, myopathy, and hypersensitivity-associated rhabdomyolysis.
    Severe acute myopathy associated with oral minocycline 100 mg/day occurred in a 17-year-old male after strenuous exercise. His laboratory values were: erythrocyte sedimentation rate, 33 mm/hr; C-reactive protein, 0.84 mg/dL; creatine kinase, 87,297 units/L; AST, 1307 units/L; ALT, 311 units/L; lactate dehydrogenase, 4935 units/L; aldolase 12.6 units/L; alkaline phosphatase, 145 units/L; GGT, 66 units/L. Muscle enzyme levels normalized and his symptoms resolved one month after minocycline was discontinued.

    Intravenous minocycline plus quinupristin-dalfopristin were associated with myalgia and arthralgia in 36% of neutropenic cancer patients (n=56).
    Renal side effects have included increased BUN, interstitial nephritis, and acute renal failure. High serum levels of tetracyclines have been associated with azotemia, hyperphosphatemia, and acidosis in renally impaired patients.
    Hematologic side effects have included antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-positive vasculitis, and eosinophilia. Tetracyclines have been associated with hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, agranulocytosis, leukopenia, and pancytopenia.
    Other side effects associated with tetracyclines have included fatigue, malaise, somnolence, fever, and discoloration of secretions.
    Respiratory side effects have included hypersensitivity pneumonitis, pulmonary lupus, eosinophilic pneumonia, pleural effusions, and relapsing acute respiratory failure. Tetracyclines have been associated with cough, dyspnea, bronchospasm, pneumonitis, and exacerbation of asthma.
    Oncologic side effects have included papillary thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer has also been reported during postmarketing experience.
    Endocrine system side effects have included a condition characterized by dark pigmentation (brown-black microscopic discoloration) of the thyroid gland. However, there was no clinical or laboratory evidence of thyroid dysfunction. The clinical implications of this pigmentation are unknown. Abnormal thyroid function has been reported.
    Genitourinary side effects have included balanitis (due to lesions on the glans penis) and vulvovaginitis. Minocycline (the active ingredient contained in Minocin) may have detrimental effects on spermatogenesis according to preliminary studies.
    Local side effects have included erythema and pain at the injection site.
    Psychiatric side effects have included mood alteration.
    Ocular side effects have included case reports of gray scleral pigmentation and macular pigmentation in elderly patients after chronic minocycline (the active ingredient contained in Minocin) use (5 to 12 years).Ads by Google

    Read more at http://www.drugs.com/sfx/minocin-side-effects.html#zAZLZDVVifSpZEIp.9
    Wayne likes this.
  8. golden

    golden Senior Member

    Clear Light
    p.s. and side effects are wildly unreported.

    My side effects were never reported. They were brushed off as my fault.

    I noted in A&E too a youngish girl just a few years ago. She had a hair line rash and breathing difficulties frok starting her anti-biotic course. Her mother told me she had never experienced anything like this before, and yet she was being told my medics that it was a panic attack and all in her head and on and on it goes...
  9. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

    Lyme - one of many suspected whether initial or latent, overcoming/crashing the immune system in the light of findings seems common to very many viral/bacterial infections. Is this the one and only - I doubt, but very happy to hear of treatment that improves.
  10. Lou

    Lou Senior Member

    southeast US

    Hi Ema,

    I don't know good or bad about enema replacement, but there are a significant number of Lyme sufferers that would disagree that their bodies' need antibiotics. A host of them believe quite the opposite, that antibiotics made them worse in the long run.
    golden, garcia and Wayne like this.
  11. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

    Midwest USA
    I would agree that there are WAY too many doctors keeping patients on antibiotics for too long. I think one should see improvement within the first 3-6 months and if not, then I would try another antibiotic. The stories of people on antibiotics for 5+ years and no better make me cringe. Clearly that was NOT the right antibiotic or better yet, combination of antibiotics.

    But I still hold my position that serious bacterial infections require the *right* antibiotic (and some herbals are still antibiotics) and not enemas! I don't believe it was the antibiotic in most cases that caused the most damage but rather the unchecked bacterial infection and collateral cytokine/inflammatory damage.

    Lala and Valentijn like this.
  12. garcia

    garcia Aristocrat Extraordinaire

    London, UK
    Question wasn't directed to me, but I'll add my two penneth in anyway.
    I have a chronic C. Diff infection from taking long term antibiotics which flares every time I take any further antibiotics. Also (more worryingly) due to the range of antibiotics I took, I now have a drug resistant helicobacter infection which has given me a stomach ulcer. Antibiotics can provide wonderful relief at first, but they are definitely a double-edged sword.
    Delia, golden, Wayne and 1 other person like this.
  13. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

    Ashland, Oregon

    Thanks for sharing your experience Garcia. I read a book many years ago by a naturopathic doctor. In it, he mentioned that the onset of chronic long-term health issues in his clients almost all always started after taking one or more rounds of antibiotics. --- It's not only long-term use of Abx that can be problematic, but relatively short-term as well.
    Delia, Lou and golden like this.

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