Article by Dr. David Jernigan
It may seem that I am 'anti-antibiotic treatment'; however, the reality is that there is a time and a place in which antibiotics can be beneficial for some people.
Antibiotics are definitely not a solution I recommend if at all possible to avoid, due to the many, very real, direct, and unavoidable adverse effects on the integrity of the body, not to mention the potential for side effects and allergic reactions.
I am amazed at how many people already know they are allergic to at least one class of antibiotic. The problem I have seen repeatedly is that a worsening of symptoms is expected by many doctors as an indication to them that the medicine is working -- the proverbial 'Herx' reaction.
But how does one know when it is a true adverse reaction to the drug? Many, if not most, people we have tested were allergic to the antibiotics they were using. Keep in mind that it doesn't mean that the antibiotic isn't killing bacteria, but many patients are experiencing adverse symptoms that have nothing to do with a Herx. In the same manner, every single asthma sufferer I have tested has been allergic to their inhaler, and the inhaler tested as a toxic substance to the body, yet the inhaler still worked for them as a bronchial dilator. It might be a surprise to you to know that the leading type of drug-causing adverse reactions is antibiotics. As reported in the scientifically referenced article, 'Death by Medicine,' by Gary Null, PhD, et al., the leading cause of death in America is adverse drug reactions. It is reported that approximately 800,000 people die yearly, due in large part to adverse reactions and conventional medicine's philosophy of care.
Over one million hospital admissions in the United States are due to adverse drug reactions. In one year, in the United States alone, over three million pounds of pure antibiotics are used on humans. This is enough antibiotics to give every man, woman, and child in the US ten teaspoons of pure antibiotics per year. Now, consider that many Lyme disease sufferers have been on at least two different antibiotics at a time, at an average dosage of 600 mg each per day. If one has been on antibiotics at this dosage for one year, this means that a full pound of pure antibiotics has been consumed.
My question is, how many more pounds of antibiotics will it take, especially when research has shown that at times bacteria are known to be able to mutate around an antibiotic within the first 20 minutes of taking the first pill? It the bacteria have already mutated around the antibiotic, then switching to an intravenous form of the antibiotic, which is a favorite tactic, will do little good.
As mentioned in 'Lyme Toxins: the Primary Cause of Your Symptoms,' (Townsend Letter, April 2007), certain classes of antibiotics can activate bacteriophages, viruses. An astonishing new finding was released by John Travis in Science News (July 2003;164). Travis reported that research performed by John F. Prescott found that certain antibiotics, such as the fluoroquinolones, the class of antibiotics that includes the name-brands and generic brands of Levaquin™, Cipro™, Tequin™, and Avelox™, actually are known to trigger a type of virus called bacteriophages (viruses that can infect bacteria), to change the genetic sequencing of the bacteria, causing the bacterium they have infected to start producing toxins. These viruses can act as genetic delivery vans, invading bacteria, such as spirochetes, and often lying dormant until activated by a change in the host (your body) environment. Once activated, these viruses insert their toxin-generating genes into the bacterial chromosomes. These viruses can turn basically harmless bacterium into killers through this genetic sequencing of toxins (Travis 2003).
So now we see that not only are these toxins released through the die-off of bacteria, and not only can antibiotics actually increase the production of the toxins, but these viruses can cause the bacteria to rupture spilling their toxins into the body (Waldor 2004). Other antibiotic classes need to be studied in this same manner to verify their safety. Some people only feel good if they are taking the antibiotics. This is possibly due to the fact that some antibiotics work by impeding the growth of bacteria without actually killing them. Again we see an unacceptable solution, since this leads to years of dependency upon antibiotics. This is justified by some, due to the relief the treatment provides, even though it is but again simply a drug-induced illusion of health.
One may ask, 'Is there a time when antibiotics are okay to use?' My answer is yes. Antibiotics have saved many lives since the advent of penicillin. However, in chronic Lyme disease, it is the opinion of some that the antibiotics should only be used at the time of the initial diagnosis for approximately four months. My opinion as a doctor specializing in restoring the optimal integrity of the human organism, I would never recommend antibiotics for chronic Lyme disease.
I have seen too many people overcome Lyme without antibiotics and without severe Herx reactions. As a doctor, I give no one a guilt trip for using antibiotics. Everyone must walk their own road and make their own choices.
When treating someone who is taking antibiotics, I simply work to counteract any adverse effects they may be causing, while providing the body with the true correct care it needs to heal. The prevalent thought seems to be that the human body is dumb and needs our help to 'fix' its problems. The reality is that the world's most astute and celebrated physicians cannot fix even the simplest paper cut, much less a serious illness like Lyme disease. Most physicians specialize in creating drug-induced illusions of health. The human body is not dumb. The body needs the physician to see his role as a being a facilitator in the process of restoring the body's optimal design so that homeostasis can be reestablished and true health can follow. Source: Townsend Letter: The Examiner of Alternative Medicine, April 2007