Post Edited (nefferdun) : 7/20/2009 9:40:58 PM (GMT-6)
Hi Julliam, welcome to the board! I have not read the other replies yet, so I apologize if I repeat information already posted.
I am sorry you have Lyme, but it is good you have been diagnosed. Many people are bitten by ticks without knowing it. They are tiny, they inject a numbing agent so you cannot feel them on you, and they often go in hard-to-see places. Although a bulls-eye rash is a definite sign of Lyme disease, only about 50% of people who have Lyme ever get a rash.
It is very important to see a knowledgeable doctor. Many doctors do not understand Lyme and treat with outdated protocols. Besides Lyme, ticks can also transmit several co-infections including Babesiosis, two types of Ehrlichiosis (HME & HGE), Bartonella, and Mycoplasma. Many people who have Lyme are co-infected. It may affect treatment choice and progress. It is important to be tested for these by a Lyme reputable lab such as IgeneX in Palo Alto, CA.
If you need a doctor recommendation, you can email me at email@example.com
200 mg of Doxy daily is not strong enough for Lyme. I believe the recommended amount is 300-600 mg daily with 400 mg daily often prescribed. There are some important tips about taking Doxy. Do not have any dairy, magnesium, or iron products within two hours of taking it or it will not be absorbed properly. If it makes you nauseous, eat something substantial and non-dairy before taking it. Avoid the sun. You can get a severe burn in minutes even when wearing sunscreen. Do not lay down for at least an hour after taking it, or you can ulcerate your esophagus. This is very painful. Drink a full glass of water when you take it for the same reason. Whenever you take antibiotics, make sure you take high-quality acidophilus at least two hours apart from the meds. This helps to replace the good bacteria and prevent yeast overgrowth. The best kind to get are refrigerated and have a high culture count. Most health food stores have them.
Three weeks of treatment is not long enough even if your infection was diagnosed within two weeks of the bite. From what I understand, six weeks of the proper dose antibiotic is the minimum treatment time for an infection caught within two weeks of the bite. The antibiotics kill the bacteria when they are reproducing which is estimated at four weeks. Six weeks of treatment will cover one growth cycle. If symptoms are still present, further treatment is warranted. A longer infection needs longer treatment. Early infections are the easiest to cure. Getting the proper treatment now may reduce the chance of long-term complications.
Be aware of the Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction (herx). Often when people who have Lyme take antibiotics, their symptoms get worse or they get new ones. When the antibiotics kill the bacteria, toxins are released making them feel worse. It can be scary when it happens, but it is a sign the antibiotics are working. This is probably why you feel worse. During treatment, it is important to document your symptoms daily. One way to do this is to list the main symptoms you have with a numerical rating of their severity from 1-10. Over time when you review this, you can see when your herxes occur and how you are responding to the meds.
It is also important to learn as much as possible. I recommend reading Dr. Joseph Burrascano's 2008 Diagnostic Hints and Treatment Guidelines For Lyme and Other Tick Borne Illnesses at http://www.ilads.org/lyme_disease/B_guidelines_12_17_08.pdf He is one of the top Lyme doctors in the country, and many Lyme doctors follow his protocols. He discusses antibiotics and doses starting on page 18. I also recommend the books "Everything You Need To Know about Lyme Disease Second Edition" by Karen Vanderhoof-Forschner and "The Lyme Disease Solution" by Kenneth B. Singleton M.D.
Hang in there okay? Good help is available.