Stopping the Lyme Disease Cycle

The Interconnected Roles of Hormones, the Immune System, and Yeast

lyme disease merry-go-roundPatients with chronic Lyme disease have weakened immune systems which may allow intestinal yeast to overgrow. Antibiotics, the mainstay of Lyme disease therapy, destroy the beneficial gut bacteria which keep yeast overgrowth in check. Yeast, in turn, depresses the immune system even further. It also binds up estrogen, making it unavailable to the cells that need it the most. Thus patients with Lyme disease may get sicker and sicker due to a compromised immune system, hormone imbalance, and yeast overgrowth.

Dismounting the Lyme Disease Merry-Go-Round

A low sugar, low carbohydrate diet can kill off yeast while strengthening the immune system. Acidophilus and other anti-yeast supplements like aged garlic extract can help as well.

Adrenal and Thyroid Factors in Lyme Disease Treatment

Marlene Kunold, a German practitioner who specializes in the treatment of Lyme disease, believes that healing may be incomplete until the adrenal and thyroid glands are adequately supported. Researchers have found that the adrenal glands have a positive effect on immunity. And natural killer cells, part of the immune system’s first line of defense, are more active when thyroid function is optimal.

Estrogen Imbalance and the Importance of Progesterone

Dr. William Hrushesky believes that estrogen dominance may decrease the activity of natural killer cells and other immune system components. Low estrogen levels may do the same thing. Progesterone may help offset estrogen dominance but may cause yeast overgrowth in susceptible individuals. It is important that patients with Lyme disease have access to medical professionals with knowledge of hormones, the immune system, and yeast.

  • Burrascano JJ Jr. Advanced Topics in Lyme Disease – Diagnostic Hints and Treatment Guidelines for Lyme and Other Tick Borne Illnesses. 16th ed. Bethesda, MD: International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society; Oct 2008.
  • Strasheim C. Insights into Lyme Disease Treatment: Thirteen Lyme-Literate Practitioners Share Their Healing Strategies. South Lake Tahoe, CA: Biomed Publishing Group; 2009.
  • Applied Health. Hormones Do Effect the Immune System. Reprinted from Applied Health Journal, 118.
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