How Climate Change is a Factor in Lyme Disease with Dr. Darin Ingels
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Did that title get your attention? The rate at which Lyme has grown is exponential and every year it seems to be getting worse with no signs of slowing down. So what is causing this increase? The World Health Organization came out with a paper suggesting that climate change is one of the driving forces behind this due to warmer winters where the ticks aren't being killed off, so they are able to repopulate. YEAR ROUND. This, along with many other factors is causing an influx of Lyme. There is approximately 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease in the US and about 65,000 new cases in Europe. And those are REPORTED cases (remember Lyme is often misdiagnosed) so we are not seeing these numbers slowing down.
In this episode, we talk with Dr. Darin Ingels about the environmental factors playing a part in the increase of Lyme disease, plus treatments for Lyme, how to PROPERLY get tested for Lyme disease, and the two very unique indicators that one might have Lyme disease.
Darin got interested in Lyme when he developed symptoms of high fever, joint pain, migraines, numbness/tingling in 2002, just 3 weeks before opening his own practice. When he saw the bullseye rash on his leg, he knew that it could only be one thing – Lyme disease (hint: the bullseye rash is one of the two indicators of Lyme).
There is a long list of symptoms when it comes to Lyme which is why it’s called the great imitator. It looks like a lot of other things and is why it gets misdiagnosed frequently. It's just very easy to confuse it with something else. Some of the symptoms may include (but not limited to): joint pain, persistent headaches, unexplained fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, persistent fatigue, numbness and tingling in your extremities, numbness or tingling on your skin, Bell's palsy (drooping of one side of your face), memory problems, coordination issues, balance problems, and/or behavior issues.
But there are two indicators that Dr. Ingels explained are unique to Lyme disease. The bullseye rash and migrating join pain. That means one day you could have pain in your left shoulder and the next day you have pain in your right knee. When you start to see this it’s best to test for Lyme. Oh and what makes Lyme even more fun is that only 35% of those with Lyme actually get the bullseye rash! We hope you sensed our sarcasm when we said it was fun…Lyme really seems to be a pain in everyone’s ass, or should we say in our joints..with the pain migrating constantly.
Tune in to hear Dr. Ingels discuss his struggles and successes with Lyme treatment, recommendations on labs to get properly tested and which diet is the BEST to follow for symptom improvements.
Dr. Ingels is a respected leader in natural medicine with more than 28 years experience in the healthcare field. He is Board certified in Integrated Pediatrics and a Fellow of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine. Dr. Ingels has been published extensively and is the author of “The Lyme Solution: A 5-Part Plan to Fight the Inflammatory Autoimmune Response and Beat Lyme Disease”, a comprehensive natural approach to treating Lyme disease. He specializes in Lyme disease, autism and chronic immune dysfunction. He uses diet, nutrients, herbs, homeopathy and immunotherapy to help his patients achieve better health.
Connect with Dr. Darin Ingels:
Tools discussed in this episode:
Medical Diagnostics Lab
Gen X Laboratories
International Lyme and Associated Disease Society
Fisher Wallace device
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Christine: Hello everyone and welcome to this episode of the 360 health biz podcasts. And today you have the beautiful and wonderful co-host is with the most is Kendra Perry and humble me, Christine Hansen, and we have a wonderful guest today, Dr. Darin Ingels. We're going to talk about Lyme. So we are super excited, lime not you know, the beautiful green fruit that you put into your Mojito but a disease, we're a little bit, I'm already feeling the summer over here so. But I'm super excited because we talk about this all the time, and we would like to know a lot more about it. So we think this is going to be a great episode for you guys out there too, and if you like our episodes, if you love it, then do the same thing as this wonderful, and express and Kendra is going to talk about because she left us a wonderful review.
Kendra: Yeah. So we have a five-star review from TM Narin, and I know who you are, and I really appreciate it. And the title of her review says, "I'm learning, and laughing." And then she says, "Great podcasts. I'm gearing up to start my online business, and I'm so happy to hear the tips from Kendra and Christine. What a great vibe. Love your energy ladies." I think that's kind of like our tagline, learning and laughing because that was pretty much of what we talk about. Good content, but we make a lot of stupid jokes along the way. We kind of like to take life too seriously. Right? That's how we roll, so that's pretty exciting.
Christine: All right. And so let me introduce it a little bit more to our wonderful guests. And if you want to know what we all look like, then don't forget to go to our website 360 health biz podcast.com and you can check out each episode and it has our video on that too.
Christine: So, and especially today, we're all pretty today for once. There's a couple of that I don't want you to look at, but this one you can. Let me introduce you to the beautiful, Dr. Ingles. So, Dr. Ingles is a respected leader in natural medicine with more than 26 years of experience in the healthcare field. He's a board certified in integrative for pediatrics and fellow of the American and the Academy of Environmental Medicine. Dr. Ingles has been published extensively and is the author of the Lyme solution a five-part plan to fight the inflammatory autoimmune response and beat Lyme disease. And I know for a fact that this has been published Internationally, so I still need to read it, but I'm super excited and I have it, I bought it. It's a comprehensive natural approach to treat Lyme disease and who doesn't want that. He specializes in the disease, autism and chronic immune dysfunction. And he uses diet, nutrients, herbs, homeopathy, and immunotherapy to help his patients achieve better health. So it's totally down our alley. So welcome. Do I have to say, Dr. Ingle? So can I call you Darren?
Dr, Darren: Darren will be fine. That's what my mother calls me.
Christine: Okay good. perfect.
Kendra: Welcome to the show. Darren, we're so excited to have you.
Dr, Darren: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Christine: All right. So we know that you started your career, and your story would just be chatted about it just before. Is that you got interested in Lyme kind of because you had to, right?
Dr, Darren: Yeah. I developed Lyme disease back in 2002 when I was living in Connecticut. Ironically it was about three weeks before I was set to open my own practice. So as I was getting geared up, getting all the furniture and the fixtures, and everything in order, I started getting very sick. I had a very high fever and joint pain. I felt like my back was broken, a migraine headache, the worst I've ever had in my life. Numbness, tingling, the whole gamut of symptoms. And I had meningitis when I was in college. I thought I had meningitis again. And as I was getting ready to go to the hospital, someone had noticed I had a big bullseye rash on the back of my leg. And I said, oh, okay, well now I know what it is. So I underwent treatment. And after a few days, I have actually felt fine. But since I was opening my own business, I was doing everything, very long hours.
Dr, Darren: And after about eight months of keeping up with that schedule, I started to relapse, started getting joint pains again and started getting the [00:22:24]Thyropathy. So I said, I did this before and it was fine. So I went back on treatment, which at the time was Doxycyline, and it didn't help. And then I changed the antibiotics, and it didn't help. And I went through nine months of changing antibiotic protocols and actually got a lot worse. So I lost 30 pounds. My Gut was a mess and I just really wasn't feeling well. So I was fortunate that I found a doctor in New York City, his name is doctor Jiang, he's a Chinese medical doctor and herbalists, and he started treating me with Chinese herbs.
Dr, Darren: And really after about three weeks of following that protocol, I was 80 85% improved. So it was kind of my reminder that I need to go back to my nature pathic roots, and really start taking better care of myself, eat better. I followed his protocol for quite a long time, and it took about two years after that time to feel like I got my health back, but eventually got to the point where I was living symptom-free. So I just really started applying what I was doing to myself, to my patients and sound that they were improving faster than what I'd been doing before.
Christine: Kendra you were going to say something, I think.
Kendra: Yeah, I was just going to say, it's interesting because all the people that I've talked to who have Lyme like, yeah, they go the antibiotic route. And I feel like a lot of them aren't aware that there might be a different way. And so what you're saying is that you went 100% natural after you kind of gave up on antibiotics and that was able to actually get rid of the Lyme infection. Correct.
Dr, Darren: Right. And now having done this for 20 years, I've seen so many people who've gone down that path, and for people who've gone down that path. If it's worked for you, great. What I'm saying is the people who've tried that path and it hasn't worked and they ended up worse for the wear. So I just want people to know that there are other options and for people who've studied herbs, you now know how powerful they can be. But in my world now, Lyme treatment is so much more than just about killing the bug.
Dr, Darren: It's really a comprehensive approach to the person, and the way I think of Lyme is that it really just becomes a catalyst for all these other things that happen in the body so it can disrupt your immune system, it can disrupt your endocrine system. And we start seeing thyroid problems, adrenal problems, reproductive hormone problems, all these other types of immune issues. So it's not really just about killing the bug, that's now actually a very small part of the treatment. It's really about addressing all these other factors that get disrupted when you get exposed to Lyme. So when I wrote my book, it was a sort of a top to bottom. How do we go through everything and trying to get the body and better working order? It's really ultimately about fixing the terrain.
Christine: So let me just ask you a question to get back to basics. So Lyme, I knew that there was Lyme disease, right? Also because I see it in my clients, or my clients come to me and they told me that they've been diagnosed, but that they are cured. And I use air quotes here because they did the antibiotic regimen. So Lyme, what I knew about it is just the tick is the first thought that I have, being bitten by a tick and getting Lyme. Right. I thought. Okay, so the tick bites you, and it's something in there that is then infecting you. So it's not a virus, it's a bug. I didn't even know that.
Dr, Darren: Yeah. So Lyme is actually a bacteria, it's called Borrelia. And there is the first strain that we identified back in the 1980s, early eighties it was called Borrelia Burgdorferi. We have now learned that they're about a hundred strains in the North American, about 300 strains worldwide of Borrelia. We don't even know how many of those strains actually can cause Lyme disease. Our best guesses that there's probably somewhere between 10 and 12 that seem to do most of the damage. And what's interesting is that if you go to different parts of the world, the strain of Borrelia that's more dominant is different. So the strains we see here in North America are different than the strains we see in Europe, which are different than the strains they see in Africa and so forth.
Dr, Darren: So there are different variations of Borrelia around the world. This speaks a little bit to why testing becomes so problematic because the testing out there really is only looking for Borrelia Burgdorferi. So unless you start ordering tests for these other strains of Borrelia, and again, we don't even have testing for really all of them. It's very easy that if you happen to get a different strain of Borrelia that it doesn't show up on the test, your test looks negative and the doctor dismisses you and says, "Oh yeah, you don't have Lyme disease." Well, it's possible that your test is negative only because you've got a different strain of Borrelia.
Kendra: Wow, that's so interesting. So how common is Lyme disease? And I'm guessing it's probably hard to know for certain if a lot of people are getting misdiagnosed, but I feel like how I perceive Lyme is something that's very rare. It doesn't happen very much. But is it may be more prevalent than I think it is.
Dr, Darren: Well, I think it certainly depends on where you live in the world. When I was living in Connecticut and the Northeast part of the United States, the central Midwest part of the United States are endemic for Lyme. We know that's where the bulk of the cases come from, but it's now been reported in all 50 states in the United States. We now have about 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease in the US and about 65,000 new cases in Europe. That's what's reported. We know it's unreported, so I don't know that we really have a true idea about how many people actually get it every year. But I mean in reality, we are talking about millions and millions of people worldwide living with Lyme disease. And we do know from the World Health Organization that that number keeps increasing.
Dr, Darren: So the rate at which Lyme has grown is really been somewhat exponential and every year it gets worse, and really no signs of slowing down. I think the World Health Organization came out with a paper suggesting that climate change really is one of the driving forces because no ticks aren't being killed off, there. so they are able to repopulate. When I was living in Connecticut, we kind of dependent on our cold winters to kill off the ticks. Well, we've had pretty warm winters and the ticks don't go away, and there's even a couple of studies that show that the techs can get under the leaves and survive the snow. So-
Christine: It's so creepy.
Dr, Darren: A lot of the natural predators for ticks like possums, that population is dwindling. So the things that would normally get rid of ticks aren't getting rid of ticks and the tick population is able to expand. And then we've got some other research showing that birds are carrying those ticks from one region to another. So I think that's why we see over the last couple of decades, it used to be sort of that Northeast corner of the US, well now it's down the entire Eastern Seaboard. It's on the West coast, and we just see it pushing inward. So it's just one of those things where we're seeing more and more cases. But again, I don't think we have a really good handle on how many people are living with Lyme. But it's a lot.
Kendra: Yeah. We had Dr. Evan Hirsch, I'm the show a couple of weeks ago, and you know him oversees of course as well as a part of the mindset community that I talked about before and he said it's tricky because a lot of people are misdiagnosed. So because the symptoms are so tricky, sometimes they are often misdiagnosed as being having arthritis, or any joint pains, or anything like that. So can you talk a little bit more about that because I think it might be interesting that, if you see a client, or a patient and you kind of see their symptoms, but you also know that it's not necessarily what you would think at first sight, and why that might actually be Lyme because there're some particularities to it that way.
Dr, Darren: Yeah. Well, we call Lyme the great imitator or the great mimic. It looks like a lot of other things and again I think this is part of why it gets misdiagnosed quite frequently. It's just very easy to confuse it with something else, there're two things that are very characteristic to Lyme that is really unique, and we don't think of any other condition. One is the bullseye rash. There is no other condition that we know of the causes that Bullseye rash, there's a lot of other skin rashes of course, and you can have other Lyme rashes that's not a bullseye rash, but when you see that target lesion or bull's eye rash, that's a pretty telltale sign again. We've not identified anything else that mimics that.
Dr, Darren: So the bullseye rash is one. The other thing that's very unique to Lyme is what we call migratory joint pain. So one day it's my right shoulder, the next day it's my left knee, and then it's my right ankle and then it's my left elbow. When you start to see the joint pain that seems to kind of migrate throughout your body. Again, there's no other condition that we know of that causes that. There's a lot of other conditions that cause inflammatory arthritis but not that migratory nature. So those two signs, when I hear about that from someone that's a big red flag that Lyme is probable, beyond that the symptoms can be often quite vague. But we talked about joint pain, persistent headaches, fever that's unexplained, chills, swollen lymph nodes, persistent fatigue, numbness and tingling in your extremities, or anywhere in your skin. You can get Bell's palsy, which is kind of drooping of one side of your face. Again, memory problems, coordination issues, balance problems, behavior issues.
Dr, Darren: We see that a lot in children. People will start getting what I kind of called newly acquired dyslexia. Where they start transposing letters and numbers. People complain their handwriting gets worse. I will see sleep problems its taken a lot of endocrine problems. People all of a sudden become hyperthyroid for no reason. So it's a pretty wide range of symptoms. I think for me when I hear about things that are neurological and arthritic, that combination together for me again is a red flag that I investigate, and at least do the testing to see if Lyme is part of the problem. Because again, I think there are very few things that cause neurological problems and arthritic problems. Lyme and other infectious agents have the capacity to do that. But Lyme certainly at the top of that list.
Kendra: Let me ask you this. Do you get Lyme will you always see that bull's eye or does sometimes-
Christine: That was my question.
Kendra: We're sharing a brain, Christine,
Dr, Darren: I know it's really interesting actually. If you read the CDC website, they say something like 70 to 80% of people who get infected get that bullseye rash. But the research does not corroborate that at all. And the actual incidence of getting that rash is probably somewhere around 30%. There is a lot of variation in the research I've read anywhere from 20 to 40%. So we'll say 30% is an average. So realistically, less than half the people who get infected get that rash. So again, for people who get that rash, that's a pretty reliable marker. They'd been exposed. But the absence of the rash certainly doesn't exclude the possibility of Lyme. And I think that's the bulk of the cases that I see, is people have no recollection of a tick bite, no recollection of a bullseye rash, but they all of a sudden start developing all these mysterious symptoms, and they've had a thousand tests and everything keeps coming back normal again. That's my red flag that we should investigate Lyme or some other type of tickborne illness.
Christine: And there are other things that can come with the Lyme other than the Borrelia. Right? There's like the co-infections.
Dr, Darren: Yeah. There's a lot we call co-infections and I swear every time I go to a Lyme conference, that list gets longer. So we know like a lot of the ticks up the wing when they found that something like 33 to 37% of those ticks carries something else other than Lyme. So things like Bartonellemia, which is a bacteria, Babesia which is a parasite, Anaplasma, which is a bacteria, rocky mountain spotted fever or Ehrlicia. One of the latest ones is called plasmids virus. It's actually a virus. Obviously, it can be very deadly, caused a few deaths over the last few years between New York, Massachusetts.
Dr, Darren: So it's very challenging when you've got a patient who has these collections symptoms. I would say, well, what do you test for? And we try and do as comprehensive testing as possible. Fortunately, we do have labs out there that provide that, but you really kind of have to take a good detailed history, really know what's going on with the patient, where their exposure has been, where they've been traveling to. That might help narrow down what you need to look at. But in reality, when I test people, I'm not just testing for Lyme. We're going through the gamut of a lot of the common co-infections as well.
Christine: Okay. So talk a little bit more about that because that's where Kendra and my eyes are lightening up writing the tests. So give specifics where exactly, which labs do you prefer because I'm thinking we talked about this before like we love some book, we don't even test for it, the doctors just send them straight to Germany because there are more specialized facilities there. But is there like a way where I'd say, I have a client coming to me, and they say I've been tested but it was negative, which I'm sure it pretty much was it, I'm pretty sure some of my clients still had that. What do I do? Like, do I have to tell them to ask the doctor to send me a prescription with exactly the strains. Is there an International lab where could send it to? Is there one in the states where I could see to find something? How do you do it? How do you test in?
Dr, Darren: Yeah. So, again, depending on where you live, sort of dictates for me which labs might be best because not all labs are available in all areas of the world. So for those of us living in the United States, I use a lab called Medical Diagnostic Labs in New Jersey. I like them because they offer Lyme testing and co-infection testing, but for here they bill insurance so for people it's nice that their insurance actually pays for something. So I like them. Also If you ever have a tick on you, you can take the tick and you can send it to them, and they'll take the tick, so you can find out if the tick can cure Lyme or any of those co-infections. Gen X is another great lab in Palo Alto, California.
Dr, Darren: They offer the gamut of Lyme and co-infection testing. They're a great lab, they just don't bill insurance outside of Medicare, which is our national insurance. If you lived across the pond, in your neck of the woods. Armin lab is a great lab, I know a lot of people in Germany use Armin. So Armin labs is a little bit different because all the other labs out there are doing antibody testing. [in audible]Our testing. So PCRs looking for fragments of the DNA of the organism. Armin lab is actually looking at a cytokine response. So it's actually looking at a different part of the immune system. So one of the advantages of that lab is that if someone has any kind of immune issue or immune deficiency where maybe they don't have a good antibody response, the Armin labs isn't looking at antibodies.
Dr, Darren: It's looking at cytokines. So you can still have an appropriate cytokine response and not an antibody response might still pick it up. And I've had some patients that have done testing through some of the labs here in the US. Their previous lab was negative. Now they do Armin and they're able to identify some of these things. So Lyme is a clinical diagnosis. I think it's really important. People understand that the piece of paper just there to kind of help validate our suspicion. But we treat people, we don't treat pieces of paper. So if all these tests come back negative and we've ruled everything else out and people have the symptoms of Lyme, I would still treat them. I think every practitioner finds the labs that they like to work with you. That's what works for you.
Dr, Darren: I mean I think they all offer good testing because if you look at the sensitivity and specificity of these labs versus just the run of the mill reference lab, it's much better. But I think between, MDL, Gen X, Armin, those are the three I probably use the most. Again, there are other labs out there that offer testing, so find what works for you. But what I would suggest is that don't just rely on your regular reference lab for their test kits just don't seem to have the sensitivity that we want or specificity to give you reliable results. And I've had plenty of patients over the years that went to quest, and a lab corp and got a test done. It was completely negative. We ran it through a lab that specializes in Lyme and now it lights up like a Christmas tree. So there is some validity in using a lab that does better testing.
Kendra: Are you familiar with the vibrant wellness tickborne panel? I've had a few people kind of pointed me in that direction.
Dr, Darren: Yeah, it's pretty new. They've only been really in that profile I think for a handful of months, in fact, I just got a work report yesterday on that patient. On paper, it seems to be fine. I don't know what technology they're using, what test kits they use. I haven't investigated it yet, on paper it seemed to look fine. I was a microbiologist before I was a doctor, actually used to do Lyme testing for a living. So it's changed a lot since I was in the lab 30 years ago. But I do have a pretty good sense of lab testing, and how things are validated. Some of the tests I'm a little bit concerned about is some of the DNA technology. There's a couple of labs out there that do purely DNA.
Dr, Darren: I think there are some inherent problems with that, where there's at least a couple of labs that I'm not sure that they go through the process of validating their primers. So with DNA technology, the way it's done is that you've got a thing called the primer. What a primer does is it tags, a certain part of the genetic sequence that says this is Lyme or this is Babesia. This is whatever you're looking for. Well if you can imagine there's a lot of overlapping genetic code in microbes. So whatever you've tagged is actually specific to that organism. So there's a whole process you have to go through to validate that primer.
Dr, Darren: And if you use unvalidated primers, it's very possible that you think you're finding Lyme, but you could actually finding something else. So if the lab doesn't really spend the time and money and use validated primers, your results would be speculative. So I'm a little hesitant to use some of the labs that use. Pure DNA technology just for that reason. And I've seen some reports come back where they come back testing positive for everything. They have Lyme, and Bartonella, and Babesia, and are looking at Anaplasma. Well, just realistically I think it's highly likely [inaudible 00:21:33] carry all of that.
Dr, Darren: I mean it's not impossible, but it seems unlikely. So yeah. I think I'd rather stick with some of the labs that don't necessarily do only that. That's something you could use in conjunction with some of the other things, but looking at the immune response tells us a little bit about activity, tells us a little bit about how your immune system is responding. So again, at the end of the day, Lyme is ultimately a clinical diagnosis. You have to use your best clinical judgment. But I think we all feel better when we've got something on paper that helps support our treatment because of course, we don't want to put people through unnecessary treatment either.
Christine: Totally. That would be my next question actually. So obviously if you want to read about the whole treatment people have to buy a book, that is obviously the first thing. But if we would just to condense it a little bit and say, okay, through my journey I've learned that this and this, this may be is really key, and it's something that has been really helpful to my clients. So let's even say if I have someone here in Europe and I think I have a suspicion and I'm just like, okay I want to put a part of the protocol, I really want to focus in the Lyme as well because I think that is a reason why you're feeling the way you do. Because I mean Kendra and I, we both have our niches but in the end, very often the way that our clients feel doesn't have to do with our niche actually.
Kendra: Yeah, totally.
Christine: It doesn't have anything to do with our niche, it's just a side effect of the underlying cause. Right. So what would be a couple of things that you'd say to practitioners, if the suspected, even if you cannot test for it at this moment, here is one or two things that you can try with your clients and see if it makes a difference? And if it does, that might be a very well indicate that you should dig deeper into Lyme.
Dr, Darren: Well, I think initially you got to go very basic. And the first thing I always look at with my patients is the gut. The gut is so critically important for your overall health, and since up to 80% of your immune function that comes from the gut, if that's not functioning well, everything else you do, it's going to be harder to get the results you want. So I think just very fundamentally, go back, make sure everything in the gut is working the way it's supposed to. Are people digesting their food, assimilating their food. Is there any element of gut inflammation? So I think you can start with that foundational stuff. And of course, there's a lot of nutrients to help support gut repair is that whether you're using probiotics are glutamine or digestive enzymes or butyrate. It's kind of whatever your patient needs to take that. So I think between focusing on the gut and diet. Diet is enormous and I can't sort of understate how important that is for patients because I've seen plenty of people who take antibiotics, or if they're doing something very proactive to treat the infection, but they're not making a lot of progress, and we kind of go back through their diet and their gut and it's like, well their gut is mess. They're eating like crap. And you're not really that surprised since you're not getting better.
Dr, Darren: So I talk a lot in my book about specifically an alkaline diet and an alkaline diet for people who aren't familiar. It's just eating foods that support your tissue, being really in a more alkaline state except for your skin, your stomach, your bladder. And for women, the vaginal area, which is very acidic to protect against outside invaders, the rest of your tissues, pretty alkaline. So when you eat foods that really break down into a more alkaline state that allows those cells to function the way they're supposed to. So all the enzymes work the way they're supposed to. And surprising when I was writing the book, I was doing all this research looking on an alkaline diet. And of course, I've known about it forever. And there are books that have been written for decades. But surprisingly, I only found three studies on an alkaline diet. It's not something actually been very well researched at all. Apparently-
Christine: Yeah, I say that all the time.
Dr, Darren: I was really surprised. Now, however, the three studies that were done were all very positive and they found it helps facilitate tissue repair, nerve repair, bone growth. So there's a lot of positive things that happen by following an alkaline diet and having tried different diets with my Lyme patients over the years. I mean we've tried, you know, Autoimmune Paleo, and we've tried Keto and we've tried Candida Diet and so forth. I found that this diet is the most sustainable and easy to follow, people will actually stick with this.
Dr, Darren: And I think if we kind of go back to our true Paleo forefathers, this is the way they truly ate, we mostly a plant-based diet. We killed when we could, we did eat animal protein but it wasn't the bulk of our diet and of course, we didn't eat junk food, and we didn't eat anything that was sort of came in farming much later. So we really try and stay away from foods that are very acid forming in the body. So that's dairy products, that's junk food, that's coffee, things of that nature. So the coffee is the one that kills everybody because they love coffee and-
Christine: Tell me about it.
Dr, Darren: I can speak tone it-
Kendra: Get right down right before this call.
Dr, Darren: No, when I was in the throes of Lyme, I was a regular coffee drinker and I found I would drink coffee my neuropathy would flare up, and if it got worse I would stop. It would get better. I started again and we get worse. I mean, so I tried it a few times and it was pretty consistent. Even just a couple of steps was enough that would flare me. So this concept that, well it's only a little bit, well it depends on your sensitivity level and I think a little for some people is too much. So I tell people when they start this just tell the line. I know it kind of sucks, but follow the program and if you can stick with it you're going to get the best results out of it. And now realistically over time as people improve, they can be a bit more flexible with the Diet. But when you're initially starting it, it's better just to kind of stick to the program in that way that you're going to get the most benefit from it. So I think if people really start focusing on diet gut first, then you can start moving into more therapies that get into actually treating an active infection. And again, I'm a big proponent of using herbs. I mean, I've probably written one antibiotic prescription in a decade. I just don't find the need for it.
Dr, Darren: I think herbs are extremely powerful if you know how to use them in the right way. And fortunately there's a lot of companies out there that make really great herbal products, so you don't have to put everything together on your own. And if you're trained in herbs, you can use companies that put these formulas together that really are effective at treating Lyme. All these co-infections, unlike when you use antibiotics, you have to know what your treating because the protocol for Lyme might be different from Bartonella, which might be different than but Babesia and so forth. The beauty of the herbs is that a lot of the herbs kind of cover all of it. So you have to make a very little variation with all of the co-infections.
Dr, Darren: There are some cases where we know these herbs a little bit more effective against Babesia, this one's maybe a little bit better against Bartonella. But by and large, I was at a conference with Dr. Lee Cowden and he's got a whole protocol and the heat developed with neutral medics. And he kept talking about a lot of these herbs being keep herbs, k e e p, keep herbs. Keeper herbs and I finally asked him, I said, I don't really need to keep herbs. because well it kills everything except people. I'm like, okay. I guess that makes sense. So a lot of these herbs they're good against bacteria and viruses and fungi and parasites. So again, we're covering kind of a pretty broad base, but what I like about the herbs too is that we don't see the same level of gut disruption that you get with antibiotics.
Christine: Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. I feel bad for Lyme people because some of the people I've spoken to, they've spent a year on like all these antibiotics and you're just like, oh my God. Like, you're sure, maybe you can get rid of the Lyme, but like what is done to your system? Like you're going to have to now recover from antibiotic use. Right?
Dr, Darren: Well exactly. And I think when I was doing some of the research and my professional experience, people need to understand that when you're on antibiotics, of course, you're compromising your normal microbiome. And we always think of the gut. But remember your microbiome is more than your gut microbiome. You've got the skin microbiome, bladder microbiome. Yeah, we've got a microbiome everywhere now. So it's disrupting that whole ecology of your system. We also know that a lot of antibiotics damage your mitochondria most of the time patients I work with are tired. Well, it's going to be really hard getting your energy back if your mitochondrial damaged, that's the powerhouse of the cell is literally what creates energy.
Dr, Darren: So between wiping out your microbiome, disrupting your mitochondria. We have to look at the risk-benefit ratio. And I think here are the risk really outweigh the benefits. And when you look at the research, there's a lot of studies that show that when you've got chronic Lyme anyway, antibiotics just really aren't that effective. You might get a little bit of benefit, and I've seen this clinically, the people they're on antibiotics are feeling a little bit better the minute they come off antibiotics within days to weeks, they're back to square one. So you really haven't accomplished anything long term or there's just no benefit at all. I mean, I'll give you an example. I have one patient, I was working with a who had been working with another practitioner who's very well known in the Lyme world and uses a lot of antibiotics. She had been on antibiotics for 12 years continuously.
Kendra: Oh my God, how do you survive-
Dr, Darren: Has been hospitalized three times because of the antibiotics-[crosstalk 00:30:34].
Kendra: My body was a rack like, I couldn't tolerate them. I had an allergic reaction and then going into shock. So now we're going to use that again. But it destroyed my gut. Like I wasn't already just say no.
Dr, Darren: Considering the diversity of your gut in particular even if you take probiotics, it's not possible to repopulate everything that comprises your gut. It's a drop in the bucket. So when you look at animal studies, when they give an animal at least a mouse, one dose of antibiotics, it can take up to six months to repopulate the rack gut. So what happens for humans when we're on for weeks and months at a time or longer. This particular person was hospitalized three times because of the antibiotics because they were so toxic. So I hear this from people who've been on antibiotics, and they've done well if that's been your path, great. But again, I'm seeing the people where that hasn't been the case and they've actually not done well on antibiotics.
Dr, Darren: So, that's where I'm kind of coming from. But for people who even have acute Lyme, I've treated with herbs at works perfectly fine. We are able to get people through their acute stages again without causing a lot of damage to the gut or the Mitochondria. So at this point, I'm just not sure where the antibiotics fit in. My one patient that I did right antibiotics for, this particular person had a very longstanding case of Lyme. I actually use the lab called Fry labs. So Fry lab is very interesting. Stephen Fry is the medical director, he started doing a lot of microscopy and then what they do is take your blood, and they look under a microscope. And what's really interesting about it is that he's finding a lot of BioFilm in people's blood who've been diagnosed with Lyme.
Dr, Darren: BioFilm is not Borrelia. What he's finding is yeast, fungi. So it's almost like, the Lyme sets the stage that yeast becomes more problematic, but unless people aren't getting classic Yeast Infections. I mean, they're not getting itchy and for women vaginal yeast infections, oral thrush. They're having other types of problems, so we know that just no yeast can be much more difficult to kill than bacteria. It's a more complex organism and if it's varied in BioFilm, it may be even more challenging. So there is an antibiotic protocol of helping to break down BioFilm, get rid of the yeast. And the antibiotics I prescribed were actually more for the BioFilm. And then we used a Doxycyclin combination with an antifungal and these patients actually been responding very well. Having tried a lot of other natural things for a long time that really didn't provide any benefit. But I think in his case the Lyme was really the lesser part of the problem. It was probably this deep-rooted yeast that never had really been addressed. But that's my one case of antibiotics in a decade so. Fortunately, those people do pretty well with herbs.
Christine: Yeah. And we always say there's a time and place for everything, right? It's not about beating ourselves up if you need it, you need it. So Kendra and I whenever we interview people, we want to learn so much more. Right? So we're like, now I want to become an expert in this. I need to learn everything fast here. It's just to do about like we have to kind of submit. But if we have someone, where we really acutely suspect that they have Lyme, I don't have the energy at a one to read up on everything that has to do with Lyme. So how do you refer out? So would we tell them, for example, to connect with you? Is there like a community where we could say, check out this website and you will find a practitioner that is reputable in helping you with Lyme? How do you work with your patients?
Dr, Darren: Well, again, I have people who call me from all over the world and they're looking for someone local to work with. Certainly here on North America, there's a group called ILADS, the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society. And they do have doctors around the world that have members, so people who are part of this group have gone through more extensive training, online diagnosis, and treatment. Now most of the doctors who go to that training, they do use antibiotics as part of their treatment. There are some of those practitioners that do practice a bit more like me and focus more on natural substances, but at least you'll get something where most doctors tend to dismiss people who have Lyme so they can go to the ILADS website.
Dr, Darren: They don't post the list of doctors on the website, but you can email them and then they'll send you whomever you say, Hey, I live in Toronto or New York, and then they'll say, "No, these are people we know who are in the area." Again, I keep a very short list of just people I personally know whom I think they do a really nice job of treating Lyme, people are always welcome to contact my office and I can at least try and see if I know someone in the area. I do work remotely with people so people are really in an area where they just can't find anyone. Fortunately for the kinds of things we're doing, we can do remotely if it's about giving you guidance on diets and nutrition and herbs, that's done pretty easily through that format.
Christine: That's what I wanted to hear.
Kendra: I have a question for you, so the few clients I've had who've had Lyme and they want to work with me anyways. What I've noticed is that when I put them through a protocol and I do a lot of like gut stuff, I'm really big into mineral testing. They don't respond well like anyone else responds. They seem to be highly reactive. Like every time you try to give them something, they have this like crazy reaction and we just whittled down what they can eat and what they can take in. At some point you're like, I don't know what to do anymore. Why is that?
Dr, Darren: Yeah. There's something about being exposed to Lyme that makes a lot of people very hypersensitive to their world. All of a sudden they do have food allergies, they become sensitive to mold, and pollen, and dust, and chemicals. I can only imagine that we've got some research that when you get exposed to Lyme, it triggers really an autoimmune kind of problem. Well that TH2 pathway, T helper cell 2 that drives autoimmunity is the same pathway that drives allergy. So I think that by sort of up-regulating that part of the immune system, you're sort of accidentally developing all these allergies and sensitivities that you didn't have before. And I've seen that pretty consistently in my population as well. So in that case, again, it's really about going back and being very simple and very basic. You can't go in and throw the kitchen sink at these folks.
Dr, Darren: You have to start very slow with everything. So whether its herbs or any supplement, start small work your way up, you have to establish tolerance first. Once you've established tolerance, then you can start increasing the dose. But for those people, in particular, I love Tri-Salts. It's probably my favorite supplement. It's a combination of sodium, potassium and calcium bicarbonate, and the bicarbonates something we've been using an environmental medicine for 60 years or longer.
Dr, Darren: What we know with bicarbonate is that's an alkalizing agent. So when you alkalize the body, you down-regulate that inflammatory response and allergic response. I mean, I've had kids having asthma attacks that parents can stop it by giving their child Alka Seltzer gold or Tri-Salts every hour. So we know that it has this capacity to do that. So for people who are constantly reacting to their world, this is just an inexpensive, easy way to start help down regulating that response so that they can just tolerate things better. Because you're going to have a hard time, with a lot of therapies if they don't tolerate it. So this is just a really nice way to kind of set the base to get them not so reactive. And then you can start layering in your other things as you feel like they tolerate it.
Kendra: So that was potassium bicarbonate.
Dr, Darren: Well Tri-Salts as a combination of sodium, potassium, and calcium bicarbonate there's actually two companies that make Tri-Salts. One uses sodium, potassium, and calcium. The other one uses sodium, potassium, and magnesium bicarbonates. So it's really for the bicarbonate more than the minerals attached to it. The amount of calcium, magnesium, potassium you get is relatively small. It's really more for the bicarbonate.
Christine: So that basically in effect helps break down the BioFilm and make them less reactive. Is that what you're saying?
Dr, Darren: No, it probably has very little do with the BioFilm. We don't exactly know. It's probably more about alkalizing the body and shifting the way the cell functions. But we've been using this for years and environmental medicine and we just know clinically it helps make people less reactive, reduces inflammation. Like, if someone tells me they went into Yankee candle shop, and they started getting a headache from the scent, I'd say try taking Tri-Salts every hour, and then their headache goes away. So does has seems to have some impact on down regulating that immune response. But beyond that, I mean no one, as far as I know, has ever done any research on it.
Christine: So interesting. I'm like blown away. You have like all these different levers in your head going like, okay, do this and this connection, this connection. So yeah,
Dr, Darren: The cheap way around that too is Arm and Hammer Baking Soda, Baking Soda sodium bicarbonate. We know the potassium by carbonate is more effective than sodium bicarbonate, but in a pinch, most people keep that yellow box in their fridge. So if somebody needed something, and they didn't have access, they can just pull out, take a little bit of that powder out of the box, mixing some water and start drinking. It doesn't taste great, but it does the job.
Christine: And so you could use it like an as needed. If somebody is having some flare up or reaction to something like you could try it every hour as needed, and it would reduce that response.
Kendra: Okay. That's so super cool.
Christine: That's going to be really helpful for some of my people.
Kendra: For sure.
Dr, Darren: Cheap and easy. I'm all for it.
Kendra: I like it. Definitely.
Dr, Darren: Well, people with Lyme they spend so much money on treatments. It's nice to have something that's inexpensive, easy to do, accessible. So this is a kind of a staple in my practice. Most of my patients end up on Tri Salt at some point just as a way of kind of down-regulating that inflammatory response.
Christine: I love it. Definitely.
Kendra: Interesting. All right. What haven't we talked about? We've covered a lot.
Christine: This is really good. My brain is starting to like whop.
Dr, Darren: Well, I think the other thing I would add that's important for people listening to this is, again we're thinking about the person as a whole. We have to really look at lifestyle as well. I think it gets overlooked a lot. And the mind-body connection is horribly important. When people have had any kind of chronic illness, it's very easy to get caught in the mire of not feeling well every day. And I think we spend very little time helping people with their mental aspects of dealing with a chronic illness. So I'm a big advocate for doing a few things to help improve that. One is to make sure that you have a support network there for you. And what ends up happening is that even if you've got family and friends, people say, "Oh how you feeling today Darren?
Dr, Darren: The knee jerk response is great." And deep down you're like, no, actually I feel pretty horrible. And you want to be nice, you want to be polite, you don't really think people want to know the truth. And so it's really hard sometimes when you're not feeling well to be able to share that even with some of your closest friends and family. So it's nice to have kind of an independent third party that can be part of your team, where you can just go and unload and be honest and it's okay. So whether it's a therapist support group you're involved with there's a lot of avenues to do that. But I think it's important that people have that space that they can really unload and be open about everything and not feel like they're burdening other people because again, your mind and bodies are very much connected, and it's just human nature to get caught up in that. So to have that safety net, I think it's very helpful. In addition, I think making sure that we get good sleep.
Dr, Darren: Christine this is right up your alley. The most people see once they get exposed to Lyme, and they may have been great sleepers before, but now they're terrible sleepers, whether it's difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep again with all the research out there on the importance of getting that deep restorative sleep. That's when neurons repair themselves. That's when the rest of your tissue repairs itself. How are you going to heal a damaged brain or a damaged joint, if you never get that deep sleep, and you're just getting under the radar and we know that a lot of the sleep medicines out there kind of get you under the radar but don't necessarily get you deep sleep. We have a lot of natural ways of okay ... We could have a whole another podcast just on sleep, but it's-
Christine: Actually, we've never done that.
Kendra: We should do that. Great idea.
Dr, Darren: Sleep and chronic illness. Then they go hand in hand and not just winding.
Kendra: No need to view absolutely.
Dr, Darren: But if you think about biologically this is where your body repairs itself and the more that you miss of that, the harder it is to feel well. Again, I know for my sleep, I mean I was never a great sleeper before I had Lyme but definitely, after Lyme, I became a much worst sleeper and with the interesting paradox here is that you're bone tired during the day, and you think you would just be exhausted. The night would come and you would just be zonked out, and then you're kind of in this tired wired state. So you've got this adrenal dysfunction, messing with your circadian rhythm, so you're not sleeping well, you're not sleeping deeply, but you're exhausted all day and it just becomes a vicious cycle. So my feeling is whatever you need to do to get good quality sleep.
Dr, Darren: And I think for most Americans anyway, a lot of it's about, put down the iPad make sure that when you're getting ready to go to bed, you're disengaging from all that stimulating activity. So I tell people an hour, and a half to two hours before you actually want to go to bed, no electronics, read a book by the candles, take a bath, do something that's actually going to get your brain in that right state. I've actually started using a thing called the Fisher Wallace device, which is a little machine that you clip to your ears, and it basically sends a wavelength through your brain that helps sort of down-regulated and turns it off. So for some people something like that can be helpful in it, do saying-
Kendra: I want that now I need it.
Christine: I can see like reminds me of the hot Ma thing. What is it that, yeah,
Dr, Darren: Actually, I just got it right here. This is a Fisher Wallace device.
Christine: Nice. And tell me what's it called Fisher?
Dr, Darren: Fisher Wallace. It's brand spanking new. I got my own one right here. Since there is a video podcast, I'll just get a quick show of what it is. This is it. It's really simple. It's just a little box, and it's got some wires on it. Then you can see these pads, but the pads up on your temples, on your ears, there's a couple of locations you can put it, and there are just two or three settings on it and you start off at the first set and see how it goes. And you can work your way up as you feel like you tolerate it, but you do two sessions twice a day. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes each session, but it just gets your body into a sort of a more relaxed state.
Dr, Darren: So for anyone who's got ADD, anxiety, insomnia, it can be very beneficial. And in the United States, this is an FDA medically approved device off and you can get your insurance to pay for it. But if your insurance doesn't pay for it, I think it cost seven or $800. But again, I've used it with a handful of people and they've been responding quite well. So for people who are tired of taking one more pill, this is a really easy thing that people can do to help induce a deeper sleep.
Christine: That's awesome.
Kendra: So what does it feel like, like when you put it on and you switch it on.
Dr, Darren: Yeah, it's a wavelength. It's really below your threshold. So it's not like you feel a buzzing or anything like that. You don't really feel anything. Do you feel the dampness of the sponge on your head? That's pretty much it.
Christine: Okay. And you can relax while you're using it or can you do.
Dr, Darren: Well, you could do other things with it. I mean, once it's attached, you could walk around and do things. I usually tell people just do it when you do kind of meditation while you're doing it.
Christine: Yeah, that makes sense.
Dr, Darren: Just to indulge it there on your phone, playing candy crush or whatever you do and just to sit there quietly put on some nice music, help your brain, help you. So trying to get into a bit of a meditation state probably helps that a little bit better.
Christine: I think I'm going to grab me, I love that.
Kendra: I'm someone who's never been a great sleeper. I go through periods where I sleep like a boss, but other times, I just go through these periods where I don't sleep well. So I've been looking for something like that, so I'm going to check it out.
Dr, Darren: Yeah. Yeah. I said I'm all for it. I think there's a lot of interesting devices out there. There's one called Alpha stem, which is kind of similar to the Fisher Wallace here's a few different devices I've seen at conferences that all kind of accomplish the same thing. But, the Fisher Wallace, I like it just because, again, it's pretty easy to use. There's not a lot of settings you have to navigate. You don't have to be a genius to figure out how to do it. Same thing with the Alpha stem. The office seems pretty easy. That one, you do have little clips that go on your ear lobes and you just literally turn it on. I mean, that's it. There are no settings to it. So there's some, a few easy devices out there that for people, again, if they've tried different supplements, things like Melatonin or five different herbs and if it's not really doing the job. So this may help you.
Christine: I'm over Melatonin. I'm just over it. I have an automatic I roll. It goes-
Kendra: Well, it doesn't work for everyone. That's for sure.
Dr, Darren: Well, people need to understand Melatonin's job is to get you to sleep. It's not going to keep you asleep. And for most of the people I see falling asleep is generally not the bigger problem. The bigger problem is they wake multiple times in the night. So Melatonin is not gonna do much for that anyway. So again, I like something like the Fisher Wallace, just that I think has a better chance of getting to that deeper restorative sleep. And again, that's where all that good tissue repairs going to happen.
Christine: Totally amazing. I'm so grateful that we had you on the podcast because it's been like a such a goldmine of knowledge, and the questions that can run I had and just like such good advice. So thank you so much.
Dr, Darren: That was my pleasure. Thank you for having me.
Christine: Kendra, do you have a last minute question?
Kendra: where you're like I just want to know where we can find out more about you. What's the name of your book and how can people connect with you online?
Dr, Darren: Sure. So the book is called the Lyme solution and that's available through Amazon or any major book retailer and they can find me online at Darren Ingles, nd.com. It's d a r i n i n g e l s. N D.com and we'd love for people to sign up for our newsletter. We've got a lot of great information about Lyme disease and other health related things and all of our social media tags are at Darren ingles nd, so you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so forth.
Christine: Awesome. I love it and it's so cool that you on social media so much. We do it again.
Dr, Darren: Well, we'll try.
Christine: That's another episode where we're going to talk about that.
Kendra: But social media, we need to talk about it. Yes.
Christine: All right but I think this was a pretty amazing, fantastic episode. If you guys out there thinks so too. And if you learned at least one new thing, which is not difficult in this one, then please head over to iTunes and leave us a five star review telling us how awesome we are, and will appreciate it and read it out loud, of course, for everyone to hear. So I think that's it for the episode today. So make sure that you switch on again in two weeks when we have our brand new spanking episode coming out. And Yeah, hope you have a wonderful day. Bye.