Post subject: Steroids and Lyme Disease a recipe of disaster
Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:56 am
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:42 pm Posts: 2808 Location: USA
Steroids and Lyme Disease a recipe of disaster
Doctors tell you that steroids (cortisone, prednisone, etc.) only cause side effects after many years of use. But new research shows that permanent damage is immediate and devastating. Studies show that steroids can cause permanent, debilitating effects after a single dosage. Inflammation contributes to more pain, disease, and disability than any other condition.
Far from being a wonder drug 'cure all', steroids cannot cure one single condition. All they do is suppress your body's ability to express a normal response. In a few instances, this type of suppression will give the body a chance to heal itself. But more often, the effect is immediate, devastating and permanent damage. And we are only now realizing just how quickly damage can occur. Despite what doctors say, that steroids only have side effects after many years of use, there is no such thing as a safe dose. Full article at this link: http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/steroids.htm ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A must read article regarding Lyme and steroids: http://www.lymenet.de/literatur/steroids.htm
"Steroid Disaster" is a term coined by the pioneer of Lyme Treatment, Dr. Burrascano (see link at bottom of page).
Corticosteroids supress the immune system, the last thing a Lyme patient needs is to lower immunity. Can you imagine, your body trying hard to fight off the spirochete bacteria and suddenly and immunosuppressants is introduced, "freezing" your immune system, rendering it unable to battle, giving great advantage now to the Lyme bacteria to spread and go wherever it wants and it does!
Corticosteroids can last in the body for months, usually around 6 months. With LD this gives many months for the bacteria to spread, possibly cause damage & according to Dr. Burrascano the prognosis can be much worse.
Many Lyme patients (such as myself) triggered LD with cortisone shots, pills, inhalers, etc. I can tell you, it is a nightmare I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
It is important to list on all medical charts and pharmacies that you have an allergy to corticosteroids. If surgery is in your future or an unexpected ER visit, make it known without a doubt you do not want any corticosteroids due to "allergic reaction".
It is imperative to NEVER take corticosteroid for pain if you know you have a bacterial infection. Some bacterial infections are so severe that a shot of cortisone could kill you, although that would be unlikely with Lyme, but rule of thumb, bacterial infections and immunosuppressants do not mix!
If you ever do any shots to relieve pain, tell the Md to leave out the steroid and use lidocaine or procaine only should be safe, ask your LLMD. Many Md's mainstream Md's are shying away from corticosteroid use, I noticed this when I was searching for pain relief and 2 doctor's were extremely hesitant and then refused to give me corticosteroids of any kind. I didn't know I had LD at the time and looking back, I was hell bent to get a cortisone shot, I was hurting! I found the Md that would do it and basically I can only tell you the pain that followed I never knew existed. Like a grenade had gone off internally and shrapnel flying, every part of me hurt, every tendon, muscle and nerve scalp to feet. I write this at 3.5 years after those shots were given to me. I have a long, long way to go...if I ever recover. Scary and extremely painful is my world, so I warn you PLEASE don't risk corticosteroids.
Having had steroid injections before realizing I had LD, I consider myself lucky to be alive today, so much "exploded" in me, I am amazed as I sit and type this I am able to do so. So many who have used corticosteroids wish they never had, but didn't know better, it has activated lyme, disseminated it and made it much harder to treat, not to mention again PAIN that you could not imagine!
The main thing always overlooked that is most important - corticosteroids release dormant viruses (we ALL have dormant viruses residing in our spine) especially if IV, trigger point injections or facet joint injections are done near the spine. Mine were in the shoulder blade area. Viruses released as well and spread everywhere in my body 4 in all, they can make pain much worse and mixed w/Ld a nightmare. We have all been exposed to viruses in our lifetime through saliva, contact with others infected or even airborne, for instance Chicken Pox reactivated can be something entirely different, shingles, shingles can be localized or systemic (internally and body wide) Mono from the Epstein Barr virus reactivated can cause pain and neuropathy just as an example. You have dormant viruses, it is fact. Once released they can be dangerous. If you have had corticosteroids at all, especially if you have pain that is not manageable, insist upon viral testing.
Know how to read a viral report, if either the IgG or IgM show out range you ARE infected w/viruses, many doctor's only look at the IgM (meaning active - IgG meaning past exposure) and may be wrong. There is much argument in the medical community as to the meaning of IgG...IgM is clearly active, IgG positive tests, the line blurs as to whethr you are actively infected or not.
An ID MD at Standford explains that doctor's often are mistaken in believing that the IgM needs to be positive to prove active infections. More information is here under our viral link. Also what viruses to test for: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=55
An extremely high profile LLMD (lyme literate Md) who worked with HIV patients in the 80's has told me personally that "the IgM must be positive for active infection". I must admit both Md's make valid points.
Dr. Burrascano makes it clear in his treatment guidelines that steroid treatment is detrimental, these are excerpts from his guidelines:
"More evidence has accumulated indicating the severe detrimental effects of the concurrent use of immunosuppressants including steroids in the patient with active B. burgdorferi infection.. Never give steroids or any other immunosuppressant to any patient who may even remotely be suffering from Lyme, or serious, permanent damage may result, especially if given for anything greater than a short course. If immunosuppressive therapy is absolutely necessary, then potent antibiotic treatment should begin at least 48 hours prior to the immunosuppressants. The severity of the clinical illness is directly proportional to the spirochete load, the duration of infection, and the presence of co-infections. These factors also are proportional to the intensity and duration of treatment needed for recovery. More severe illness also results from other causes of weakened defenses, such as from severe stress, immunosuppressants medications, and severe intercurrent illnesses. This is why steroids and other immunosuppressants medications are absolutely contraindicated in Lyme. This also includes intra-articular steroids." (definiton of intra-articular: situated within, occurring within) See page 12 paragraph 3 for this quote in Burrascano's treatment guidelines. http://www.ilads.org/files/burrascano_0905.pdf
An easy explanation. Your immune system are the "soldiers" of your body constantly standing by to attack any foreign invader. When an immunosuppressant is used, it is like killing off or knocking out most of your "army", now your body is open to all foreign invasion and while your immune system is knocked out, those invaders can go anywhere, your heart, liver, brain - everywhere. Steroids to a lyme patient are like kryptonite to Superman.
Dr. Burrascano listed the ways to wellness - rules to live by at the Hope to Heal Conference in '06 as folllows: General Lifestyle for CLD (Chronic Lyme Disease) • Do NOT overdo • Rest is enforced • No caffeine - impacts sleeping even at small amounts - sleeping is CRITICAL • Balance, balance• No alcohol - more toxicity • Stay hydrated - drink lots of water • No smoking - one cigarette every 3-4 months can impact your recovery • Vitamins do NOT feed spirochetes • Exercise is critical • No steroids
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