Lyme Disease Support Network

Trying to understand tick diseases


I have been recently diagnosed with four tick diseases including Lymes, Erlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, and recurring tick fever. Had been trying to fight it with herbals and homeopathy. Now, my doctor who specializes in Lyme disease wants me to go on antibiotics aggressively. I am dreading it as I think it will be very hard on my system. I had Lymes almost 20 years ago and was on meds for almost a year. Remember getting sicker before I got better. Appreciate the support line as it will be helpful to connect with others fighting this disease. Thanks. Diane


Hi Diane,
This is a tough one. I’ve been in a similar place a few years back… I had just been diagnosed with chronic Lyme aft several years of mysterious symptoms so I was desperate to get treatment going. I was hesitant to do aggressive abx but decided to give them a try. After several months of doxycyline and plaquanil I had to stop them because they were making me feel terrible. It’s a hard balance to strike because oftentimes you will feel worse before you feel better but after looking closely at how I was feeling, my doctor and I decided I needed to try a different course of treatment - the negatives were outweighing the positives. We tried some herbs that helped a bit along with hydrocortisone to help my adrenal fatigue and I started feeling better - but then I relapses after pushing myself too hard and we switched course and tried a new set of herbs based on the Buhner protocol. I’m happy to report that those herbs worked really well for me; I’ve been on them for 2 years and am close to remission. Long story short is that my advice is to perhaps reevaluate the herbs you are taking - the ones you are on may just not be right for you and there are many options out there -what works for others may not work for you and vice versa - there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for tick born illnesses. That being said, it takes patience and a good doctor to help you figure out the right course of treatment. Your gut intuition is important too and you should be able to have an honest conversation with your doctor about your reservations. If they listen and will work with you on tweaking your treatment plan, then great - even if you end up deciding to try abx, I’d say that a good doctor would help you come up with a responsible plan that encporates other treatments to offset some of the negatives that abx cause, like adding probiotics, Flagyl to prevent yeast overgrowth, low sugar diet, immune system support supplements, etc - but if they do not address and respect your concerns,then I’d say look for a new doctor. Having a doctor you can trust and who listens to you is very important and unfortunately there is a major lack of doctors that respect their patients! One of the most important things I have learned through all this is to advocate for yourself and fire doctors that don’t respect you!
And going back to your other question, yes, die off can make you feel worse than you did and it’s hard to figure out what is die off and what is lyme / but again, a good doctor can help you figure this out and can give suggestions on how to mitigate effects of die off (also Google it- there is lots of info out there!)
Best of luck!


Actually I did a post last year on die off supplements that work for me!


Thank you so much for your reply. I appreciate hearing your experience. I do trust my doctor. People travel from all over the state to see her. She specializes in Lymes and is an integrative health physician. I just retired and am traveling this winter so am not home. We thought that being in the south in the warm sun would help. My symptoms were getting worse so now she thinks I should try the regimen of antibiotics. She wanted me to take five different types; starting with one and gradually adding others. I was hesitant to start while I am traveling so she did listen and I am just starting one. I think I will try the whole thing once I go home in about a month. I will be 69 in June so I worry about my ability at my age to handle all the drugs. Maybe, prefer fighting it off naturally. I am now gluten free, dairy free, egg free, and avoid garlic to which somehow I have developed an allergy. I would rather do anything else than try the antibiotics. She insists that I should try since I have so many co-infections. I live in a senior cooperative and have been gardening in the woods in Minnesota. Love gardening but will now not go back there. Giving up the gardening. Too many deer and ticks. I will just garden on my deck which is on the second floor. Do not think there are any ticks up there. Thank you again. Nice to connect with someone who has been through it all.