Many patients get Lyme disease each year and Lyme disease antibiotics are the most commonly accepted form of treatment. Estimates run anywhere from 300,000 to 1,000,000 cases per year in the United States. While at least 80% of these patients get a rash or flu and then get better, there is a portion of patients who see their health crushed by long-term debilitating symptoms. Prominent symptoms include joint pain, muscle pain, headaches, fatigue, and odd neurological complications.

Antibiotics kill 90% of the infection and the immune system has to “mop up” the last 10%.

I recently finished reading Conquering Lyme Disease: Science Bridges the Great Divide by Brian A. Fallon, MD, and Jennifer Sotsky, MD, of Columbia University. They had an extremely interesting section about how antibiotics normally work. On page 146 they state the following:

“…since it is generally accepted that antibiotics eliminate the majority of bacteria, and rely upon the host to ‘mop up’ the rest. If the bacteria are able to evade host ‘mopping,’ then the logic of the scenario falters. It is not surprising, therefore, that experimental studies, using a broad spectrum of animal species (mice, dogs, monkeys) and a variety of antibiotics (doxycycline, amoxicillin, cefriaxone, tigecycline) have all shown a failure to completely cure the animals of B. burgdorferi infection.”

 The shocking truth about Lyme disease antibiotics

I was surprised to read that antibiotics don’t EVER cure 100% of an infection. They never have and never will.

I have been getting medical education or been in practice helping patients for over 15 years now, but in that time this topic has never come up. Not once, in the past 15 years has anyone told me that antibiotics don’t cure 100% of an infection. Remember that time you had strep and you took antibiotics? Yeah, the antibiotics killed 90% of the strep and your immune system handled the rest. Remember the time you were sick and the doctor gave you a z-pack (or any other antibiotic)? It killed 90% of whatever bacteria was making you sick and then your immune system handled the rest.

This information was so shocking to me that I emailed and called several other colleagues in the medical field to see if they knew this. I got a resounding, “Yes, Kyle, that’s how it works….didn’t you know that? Everyone knows that.”

It is generally accepted that antibiotics eliminate the majority of bacteria, and rely upon the host to “mop up” the rest.  If the bacteria are able to evade host “mopping,” then the logic of the scenarior falters.

Brian A Fallon, MD and Jennifer Sotsky, MD

Can we use Lyme disease antibiotics to kill more than 90%? Can we use them to kill the last 10%?

This is precisely what many different routes of Lyme disease antibiotic treatments attempt to do. While this can be part of the problem, it is trying to compensate for the immune system’s failure. Antibiotics/killers simply bring down the bacteria population to a point where your immune system can take over and rebalance you. The goal of all antibiotic/killer therapy is to reduce the bacterial load to a point where your immune system can win the war and return you to health.

If the immune system failed to “mop up” the last 10% of the Lyme infection, can we rehab the immune system to do its job?

This is the core problem in chronic Lyme disease. Lyme disease creates an imbalance in the immune system which allows it to stay in your body. This imbalance creates both an overactive immune system and an ineffective immune system. This means there is inflammation driving symptoms, but it’s not actually accomplishing anything and you can keep on being sick indefinitely.

Did the immune system fail or did the antibiotics fail?

At the core of chronic Lyme disease is the failure of the immune system to “mop up” the bug.  While antibiotics/killers may be part of the solution, ensure you are doing things to help restore proper immune system function, or else you will continue to have symptoms from the overactive yet ineffective immune system.

Support the immune system to “mop up” the infection

While there are many different ways we approach helping the immune system, one key component is getting natural killer cells to function again at a high level.

Ultra Immune and Immune Balance are highly useful in helping to reboot the effectiveness of the immune system.

Ultra Immune

Ultra Immune is formulated with Wellmune WGP, the most well-researched, single beta-glucan proven in human clinical trials to prepare and protect the immune system from repeated and ongoing stressors. Wellmune WGP is a highly purified, yeast-free beta-glucan extract derived from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It is standardized to contain 75% pure beta-glucan and is considered the most effective single nutrient to naturally prime immune cells. 

From priming and mobilizing key immune cells, protecting against immune challenges resulting from ongoing stress, increasing immune vitality and mental clarity, and protecting against exercise-induced stress, the benefits of Ultra Immune are vast.

Immune Balance

Immune Balance features a powerful combination of six mushroom extracts with an extensive history of use in supporting human health. This targeted blend of mushrooms contains specialized adaptogenic compounds known as biological response modifiers (BRMs). These unique compounds intelligently modulate immune function and strengthen the immune response to prolonged stress, fatigue, and microbial challenges. BRMs actively balance and train the immune system to maintain normal inflammatory balance, respond effectively against environmental toxins, and eliminate unwanted microbes. In addition, this formula is safe and effective for everyday use in a broad range of immune challenges.

This product provides adaptive, intelligent support to modulate and strengthen the immune response. It helps to strengthen the body, reduce fatigue, and improve stress resilience. In addition to those benefits, Immune Balance also helps you maintain normal inflammatory balance and trains the immune system to eliminate unwanted organisms.

Click the links or visit for more information on these immune-supportive products and many more.

Read More about Lyme Disease Antibiotics in our other article on the topic.

Antibiotics for Lyme Disease

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