by Dr. David Pollack
The spring season certainly starts the growth and prevalence of ticks in Long Island and the greater New York area. A new tick bite is not necessarily what has me concerned though. I have been practicing functional nutrition and holistic health care for well over a decade. In that time, you notice things. One particular phenomenon I have noticed is that when the seasons change, particularly just as winter turns to spring, Lyme disease infections and many similar infections and co-infections seem to reactivate. Many people with chronic Lyme disease, EBV (Epstein-Barr virus), HHV6 (human herpesvirus 6), CMV (cytomegalovirus), babesia, Bartonella and others have noticed this trend as well. With it, often comes joint aches and pains, severe fatigue, brain fog, inability to focus and get things done, digestive disturbances, and often significant anxiety. For some, it seems to come out of nowhere; many people do not realize these infections can reactivate. What is going on?
Let us break up these infections into two groups: bacterial and viral/herpetiform. Lyme disease, babesia and Bartonella are among the bacterial infections that sometimes cause lifelong symptoms. These bacteria have the ability to hunker down in our body when they are being attacked and destroyed by our immune system and antibiotics. To evade destruction when their life is threatened, many of these chronic bacteria can form into cysts with a protective coating and become impervious. In their cyst forms, antibiotics, our immune system and herbs have little-to-no effect. I have even read they can survive fire!
Viruses can survive in our body for our entire life. The main viruses we are concerned with are EBV, HHV6 and CMV. Just like chicken pox and shingles, these viruses are all part of the herpes family of viruses, though nothing to do with the sexually transmitted disease. These viruses have developed all sorts of mechanisms to hide and actually recruit our body’s internal systems to help them replicate. They even have mechanisms to turn down our immune response to avoid detection inside of our cells and their core, the nucleus.
Many of my patients that come in with one or more of these chronic infections are really not enjoying and experiencing life fully. Unfortunately, there is a sinister down side to not dealing with these pesky infections. Many chronic infections if not properly managed can lead to autoimmune issues such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (the most common thyroid problem); inflammatory arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, etc.); and less commonly, cancer.
Helping people boost and optimize their immunity and suppress and deactivate these parasitic organisms is of great importance. Being that the majority of our immune system is in our gut (70 to 80%), healing digestive problems and optimizing its function is paramount to successfully dealing with such fastidious parasites. I tend to utilize enzymes, herbs, acupuncture, detoxification, nutritional strategies, and many other complementary treatments and therapies.
With having a multiple-modality treatment approach, many people find far more significant improvement than they experienced with other previous treatments. It is so important that this isn’t just and anti-microbial, anti-
bacterial, anti-viral treatment. The primary focus is to improve overall immune function and then deal with the organism, otherwise the result will be poor. Great things are possible! Energy, focus and motivation can be achieved.
Dr. David Pollack, of Pollack Wellness Institute, located at 66 Commack Rd., Ste. 204, in Commack. For more information, call 631-462-0801 or visit https://www.pollackwellness.com/.