The People's Perspective on Medicine

Show 907: Ticks, Fleas & Mystery Disease

Joint pain, brain fog and chronic fatigue may all be symptoms of a difficult-to-detect Bartonella infection.
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Ticks, Fleas & Mystery Disease

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Most people are familiar with tick-borne diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or Lyme disease. But other diseases transmitted by ticks and fleas and biting flies may be flying under the radar. One such organism is called Bartonella.

More Than Cat Scratch Fever

Bartonella is known as the cause of cat scratch fever, but its significance is much greater. New research suggests that it may underlie many hard-to-treat conditions. Joint pain, brain fog and chronic fatigue may all be symptoms of a difficult-to-detect Bartonella infection. Might you have Bartonellosis?

This Week’s Guests:

Edward Breitschwerdt, DVM, is Professor of Internal Medicine at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He is a co-director of the Vector Borne Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, which has been testing animals for vector borne infections, including Bartonella, since 1984. He is chief scientific officer at Galaxy Diagnostics. He  spoke to us previously in 2010 about other tickborne diseases.

B. Robert Mozayeni, MD, is a rheumatologist specializing in chronic inflammatory diseases with neurovascular as well as rheumatic manifestations. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Translational Medicine Group and chief medical officer of Galaxy Diagnostics.

The article published by Drs. Breitschwerdt & Mozayeni was in Emerging Infectious Diseases in 2012. Here is a link to the full free article.

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photo credit: John Tann via photopin cc

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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Very interesting conversation. I was introduced to cat scratch fever 43 years ago when my then 2 year old daughter was scratched by a stray cat. She developed an egg size swelling on the back of her neck. The doctor immediately told us it was cat scratch fever and no treatment was advised.

I had a difficult delivery of my son in 1987 and required two blood transfusions. I was never the same after that and began developing a lot of the symptoms described in connection with bartonella. But I never could get a diagnosis. Fibromyalgia was a new topic then but I didn’t fit the profile although muscular skeletal pain and horrendous fatigue were daily experiences.
In 2004 I developed sarcoidosis which at first was thought to possibly be tuberculosis. Simultaneously, I had other symptoms (vomiting, sinus congestion) which my pulmonologist did not recognize as sarcoid. I became somewhat better after a couple of years and it was assumed the sarcoid was gone. Yet I remained feeling ill and exhausted, with a lot of pain issues considered to be arthritic.
In Oct. 2010 my cat bit and scratched my hand which immediately swelled. My hand turned purple and I couldn’t use it. Red lines went up my arm. Went to the ER that night and was treated with antibiotics. The ER doc said I had an abnormally rapid response to the bite.
That same month I developed what seemed like the sinus infection from hell (without mucus though). My pain level was excruciating – like a taser was going off inside my head behind my nose and between my ears. I developed very loud tinnitus. I also have inexplicable burning, tingling pain in my legs and back that is similar to the electrocuting pain in my head and sinuses.
Several months after the bite I developed shingles with a painful episode of post herpetic pain during which I was unable to walk unassisted.
I have had antibiotics numerous times since then but I will only feel better for a day or two and then I return to the wretched state of pain, congestion, fatigue, memory loss, etc. I’ve seen all sorts of useless doctors and have spent thousands of dollars with no answers, although a recent MRI ordered by a compassionate allergist showed sinusitis and inflammation of sinus lining.
I’ve been taking strong antibiotics for over a month and I have lessening of pain, some very good days, and am able to breathe freely at times. A breakthrough, but still only a 25% improvement. I’ve been told in no way could my symptoms be from a mere sinus infection and I should forget looking for a diagnosis.
I’m adding this next detail only because it might be helpful to others: my cat has a touchy stomach and had always been a daily vomiter. No vet could find anything wrong with him but he wasn’t extensively examined because in all other ways he was robustly healthy. Several months ago his vomit changed and became very smelly like feces. I switched his food again (always gave him the healthiest, grain free food I could find) and now he eats boiled chicken with a tiny bit of taurine sprinkled on it. His vomiting has essentially stopped.
I take good care of myself – eat healthy, maintain a healthy weight, live in natural beauty and have a great marriage. Until I heard this interview I thought I was doomed to a painful life forever, but now I have hope.
Sorry for this long comment. Thank you so much for this interview. It gives me a new paradigm to consider and explore.

I came in late on this show, but will listen to the entire thing. I was treated for bartonella years ago from a cat bite (the cat later died when the bartonella infected his heart according to a necropsy). This makes me really wonder about some of the symptoms I have and I will investigate further. Thanks for a great show.

Well, Mr and Mrs. Graedon, I’m very thankful to you both for what you do! Today, I listened to episode #907. The conversation led me to thinking about my doctor who has just diagnosed me with Rheumatoid A. He believes I should have a knee replacement at age 53. But he failed to realize, or has ignored that my pain is in both knees.
My thinking is that I need a second opinion and insist on the Bartonella test. I do have pains that shouldn’t be in my left knee. But,my right knee on the other hand I thought was due to fatigue from several falls in my classroom. These pains have been causing me to rethink my lifestyle and life expectations. Your opinions please!

I was scratched by a cat I rescued after a hurricane, I lived in Florida at that time. I think it was 1985 but can not find my medical file to prove the date. The scratch was on my left wrist and the lymph nodes under my arm pit swelled up the size of and egg.
The Doctors at that time told me there was no such thing as cat scratch disease, AKA cat scratch fever. This was EXTREMLY painful, I carried my elbow out even with my shoulder to prevent some of the pain. I became so depressed and exhausted that it seemed this would be what killed me….I was in my 30’s, the doctors were not sure what was wrong.
I was eventually given Keflex and the swelling in my arm pit was opened in the clinic and drained. The wound was to be kept open and allowed to drain, q-tip, swabbing with peroxide several times daily. I don’t remember how long or how much Keflex but I did recover and I still have a 1/2 inch scar in my arm pit from it.
I will be 65 this year and am wondering if my “old age” complaints aren’t part of this previous infection. Thanks for informing us of this emerging problem. I wonder if a sample of blood from me would be of any help for research, I live about 3 hrs from (Duke), Raleigh N.C.

I have been reading through these comments and I have not read anything about the use of Lauricidin to treat Lyme. I am currently taking it for Shingles and when I read about it online I was struck by the number of people who seem to have had great success using Lauricidin for Lyme disease (among other things).
I would be curious to know what you think about Lauricidin in general, but especially with regard to tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme.

Thank you so much for this info.
I was bitten by a large tick (not deer tick) about 8 years ago in the back of my head. I treated it as nothing to be concerned about but after 2 weeks was severly unable to keep my balance while in a turning motion. Nightly I woke up with severe knee joint pain that would not let me sleep. I have a fairly high pain tolerance but this was very persistent and the antibiotics which I had received for a 21 day dosage did not change any symptoms. (A Lymes test was not taken but Lymes was presumed). Not until I was directed by a homeopath to take 1/2 tsp of colloidal silver 3 times in a day along with olive leaf and molybdinum did I receive relief and retained energy. The leg pain returns when I have been exposed to further bites as while gardening (live in Wisconsin’s North) but the same homeopathic seems to help.

I’m scared. I took in two rescue kittens who were taken in by a private shelter. I was looking for a kitten for my furry feline buddy who has been with me most of her life. The owner of the shelter tugged at my heart and suggested I adopt a male and female who almost died and are fortunate to have their vision. She said that both were spayed/neutered, and there would be no medical expenses (obviously, I knew they would have to be kept up on their shots and see the doc if they got sick), and that they were “fully vetted”.
She said she’d waive the adoption fee she usually charges for vetted adoptions (I wasn’t worried about that — my heart went out to them and I believed her account of their history and she brought what appeared to be their medical records when I met her to bring them home.)
It was obvious from the moment they were in my car, that one or both was sick. I called this woman when we got home after realizing the little girl was sneezing up bloody mucus. The woman first told me that neither kitten had sneezed a bit. The next day I became more concerned, called her again, and she revealed that the female had to be taken out of her shelter and that they had problems with minor URI”s.
I had to to get them both in to see my Vet and still have them separate from my long-term kitty to keep her from getting sick.
Suddenly, fleas were everywhere. My senior kitty has never gone outside nor have we had problems with flees in this house where she has lived for the almost 16 years since I adopted her.
I talked to another woman who had supposedly worked more closely with the kittens (I did not get the full medical records — it was merely a summary sheet for each that was handed to me). The second woman told me that there had been a terrible flea infestation at the shelter this past summer. I saw on the summary sheets that neither kitten had been given flea medication for two months before I adopted them.
I’ve been working so hard and have all three on an expensive treatment program. I, however, am more sick every day. I’m bit all over my body — they bite me through my clothes, even. I believe there is at least one who has made a home in my hair. I have rashes and my hands are purple and leathery and I’m feverish, had a terrible headache, lose any ability to concentrate several times a day, and have nowhere I feel safe resting or sitting.
I’m calling my doctor as soon as the office opens — thank you for sharing this…I was going to hope for the best for fear my family would laugh at me!

See if taking a well-absorbed magnesium supplement (malate, glycinate, taurate, etc.) reduces your symptoms. I saw some studies which found they could turn anaphylaxis on and off by controlling the magnesium content in diet (of guinea pigs). Magnesium is required to break down histamines, and it is somewhat sedative in the immune system.

for more info on lyme you can watch the film “under our skin” available on netflix many hulu or online elsewhere. in that film it profiles a few lyme literate doctors the last of which is a washington state physician who treats lyme naturally (though that isn’t stated in the film). you can also google “healing lyme ” for some good information (including a book by the name) on various herbal lyme protocols. (there are many )

I’m glad to hear you found good docs and got better! It’s so important to share these stories. Thanks, T

MFK, I prefer not to list the antibiotics that I have taken for the same reasons Dr. B and Dr. M mentioned. The research indicates that effective antibiotic treatment may vary with the type of Bartonella, the stage of the disease, what other medical or health conditions an individual may have, etc.
It is important to emphasize that although antibiotics may be seen as a relatively “safe” class of drugs, there can be serious side effects alone, or when mixed with other medications/conditions. The antibiotics I was prescribed did appear to me to have slow the course of the disease and they were a well researched course of treatment.
It is important to consult/work with a medically trained and licensed physician with expertise with Bartonella. It is not easy finding physicians with this specialty, but it is not easy living with Bartonella either. Best of luck to you MFK.

Who is the MD in McKinleyville, CA that is treating with herbal protocol. The writer who spoke of this doctor mentioned they were much better after 3 months. What herbals is the writer using?

Thank you for sharing your story. It seems that the antibiotics recommended are not working for you. “I am not cured despite over a year of antibiotics, and the disease is progressively affecting other organs…”
Would you be willing to share what specific antibiotics you have been taking and how that decision was made? Also, are you using or have you considered using other possible remedies?
I am currently trying to get a doctor to work with me and order the tests from Galaxy. I have not suffered for as long as you have but am seeing the progression over the past year. Thanks for whatever info you can add.

I am also a Veterinarian who has been diagnosed via Dr. B’s lab as infected with Bartonella.
About 17 yrs ago I was diagnosed with “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” but recovered over a period of several years. My health remained unremarkable for a decade and I was a fully functional, highly motivated medical professional when, acutely, I had developed a non-familial, inflammatory osteo-arthritis in my hands. This arthritis rapidly progressed to other joints in my body bringing a halt to my career and stress to my life in general. Other early symptoms, fyi, were a severe long duration bout with pneumonia (no prior lung problems ever), fatigue and “brain-fog”.
After more than a year of consulting well-credentialed arthritis specialists, I did not have a causal diagnosis, only a list of symptoms. Furthermore, the primary recommended treatment consisted of immune suppressive drugs – just what a parasitic pathogen dreams of, lol. Then, a veterinary colleague pointed me to Dr. Breitschwerdt.
After a brief consultation and some coordination with my primary physician, Dr. Breitschwerdt’s lab provided an important answer – a positive diagnosis of Bartonella (I received this at no cost, but I strongly urge anyone tested or financially able to make a monetary donation to assist this important research.)
I have shared my knowledge of Dr. B’s work with many veterinarians, physicians and academic professionals. No one has disputed that there is solid science coming from Galaxy Labs and Dr. Breitschwerdt’s publications.
I feel as if I owe him my life, and certainly my sanity, because there is nothing worse, imo, than not knowing what was causing such a progressive deterioration of my body. I an not cured despite over a year of antibiotics, and the disease is progressively affecting other organs according the my physicians, but knowing your enemy is half the fight.
Dr. Breitschwerdt, is a hero in my opinion, because of his unwavering personal conviction and efforts to focus scientific light and attention onto this terrible stealth pathogen. Only now, several years since my diagnosis, has the general medical profession seemingly learned that Bartonella causes more than a self limiting lymphatic disorder.
Also, thanks to you, Joe and Terry Graedon, for your work and efforts to awaken our society to the reality of this and other related pathogens. Your radio show is aired on our local public radio station. The future of our country and our world is truly in the hands of dedicated individuals like Dr. B, Dr. M and yourselves, who work with focus and devotion to assist humanity.

I don’t think peoplespharmacy will show comments that mention specific brands or doctors, because I have written several that were not shown. Your best bet is to Google “Lyme literate doctors” for a wealth of helpful information and websites.

Hi was wondering if you could tell me the herbal protocol they gave you? I’ve had lyme and co infections for 3 years now. also felt like I was poisoned and that death was imminent. Found a pretty good doc in redwood valley after 2 long years of insanity. He has me on 3 different antibiotics and a multitude of supplements, which finally after 6 months seems to be helping… But I’m interested in an herbal approach and I’m so glad you are feeling better!

My son has Bartonella Rash and has had it for six years. There was no mention of this on the show. Doctors kept telling us it was just stretch marks, but he was thin and the marks are deep, and colored red and purple all over him. Recently he has developed raised small bumps all over his back and arms.
Someone recently mentioned to me the possibility of this being Bartonella rash, caused by ticks or cat scratches. I looked it up and he could have posed for the photos I saw online. Unfortunately, I can’t find a doctor under my insurance that knows what it is and I don’t have the funds to go to a LLD that won’t take insurance.
My son rarely sleeps, is tired, has brain fog, memory lapses, foot and joint pain, tingling and numbness in his hands and is diagnosed as bipolar, which could all be related to the Bartonella rash from what I understand. Why wasn’t the rash mentioned as a more obvious symptom in some people?

I listened to your show about Bartonella shortly after hearing that a friend near Annapolis had been struggling with ever increasing rheumatic pain and fatigue. He had been making the diagnostic rounds which suggested that he might have Lyme disease or some auto immune condition. I called my friends this morning to alert them to Bartonella only to hear that he’d had a saliva test which had just confirmed him positive for the bacterium.
While a diagnosis isn’t a cure, I was pleased that mainstream medicine had picked up on it. I have forwarded my friends your podcast so that they can understand the scope of the problem and hear that there are doctors out there who are committed to finding the best treatment.
You are an amazing resource. Thank you for all the information that you bring forward that helps all of us who hear you make more informed decisions about healthcare.

There are a number of doctors in NC. If you contact ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society) they can give you information about NC physicians.

I’m always suspicious of people/companies who make $ off disease and people desperate for a treatment. BTW I don’t
actually have a good immune system at all as I’ve had serious cancer twice. My point was merely that all this is very complicated and the epidemiology is definitely not well documented nor is there sufficient research in this as in many diseases.

Kim, if you contact Galaxy Diagnostics (919-313-9672), they have several NC physicians whom they could refer me to if I did not find someone in SC. I spoke with Amanda and she also referred me to ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society) for physician referral.

With a lifetime of professional animal health care work and outdoor activities and living in one of the ‘hot spots’ for Lyme disease, the topic of insect vectored disease is of great interest.
But Dr. Breitschwerdt’s comment that the animal hosts should be eliminated has several problems.
One, even if it temporarily reduces transmission rates killing everything off is never a long term solution as animals move around far more than humans can know or control so contact would continue somewhere, somehow.
Secondly, there are many many interactions between any combination of species in the natural world that create a web of life; remove the squirrels and years later you will notice a change in, for example, the regeneration of oak trees in an area. There are many other things that would be changed. If you believe the amount if knowledge we have of insect vectored disease is “1/3 of the iceberg”, what we know of the rest of the web of life is even less. Killing of parts of it to solve our problems always wrecks more than it fixes and we never figure that out until after it happens.
Thirdly, the bacteria may be capable of changing to changed circumstances faster than we can change their environment. Are we teaching them to adapt faster by forcing them to find new hosts? Why don’t we figure out ways to deal with the problem we have instead of creating a new one we won’t know even exists until later?
Fourth, there may already be more animal vectors we don’t know about yet. If we kill off what we do know about there is no assurance that will really solve anything. With past results from this type of behavior we can safely plan on it not working for long, if at all.
In general your interview was fascinating and what we in southwest Wisconsin are hurrying to learn about these diseases is both supported by your comments and enhanced. I look forward to hearing of your future work.

re: To the person who was treated herbally == can you give information about your treatment?

As a veterinarian I know from personal experience that this program will help physicians to be aware of the seriousness and prevalence of Bartonellosis, cat scratch disease. I would like it if a copy of this program could be sent to every infectious disease physician in the country. Then many CSD infected people would get the appropriate diagnosis and treatment, thereby improving their quality of life sooner than later.

Does anyone know of any doctors in North Carolina who are open-minded about testing for emerging infectious diseases implicated in chronic illness like Bartonella, Chlamydophyla, or Mycoplasma? I’ve been sick most of my life (I’m 50 now) and have had diagnoses of chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, POTS, mitral valve prolapse, asthma, joint pain, etc, etc. Mostly I’ve been dismissed and told I was depressed. Who wouldn’t be when you can’t function?
I’ve been very interested in these People’s Pharmacy shows about infections causing chronic illness.
If anyone knows of a doctor in North Carolina or a surrounding state willing to test for such infections, please let me know.

This program & the germ one you ran a couple weeks ago are so timely for me. I was diagnosed w/ seromegative spondyloarthropathy 7 years ago & have tried every drug possible & none of them have worked for me. I’m seeing my internist Friday & can’t wait to run this by him & getting some tests run for infections. THANK YOU!!!

My tick bite and subsequent flea infestation was followed by most of the symptoms… seemingly unrelated, but this discussion suggests otherwise. Joint pain, migrating muscle pain, shin pain, fuzzy brain, etc. I live in the SC Lowcountry too… would be interested in whether WJ has found someone to work with. Also would appreciate knowing more about the herbal remedies used by the doctors in McKinleyville, CA. And the naturopath who uses colloidal silver, which I have. Not crazy about a long-term regimen of antibiotics which I almost never use.
Thanks again Terry and Joe! You bring such excellent information and credible guests. I have been a listener for twelve years, since moving here. I share your information widely.

I have a dear friend who was recently diagnosed with Lyme Disease. He was also told there was no Lyme Disease in N.C. He went to the doctor a few days after a suspicious tick bite and was given Doxycyline and a steroid shot. He was tested for Lyme Disease and it came back negative. He then developed the shingles within a few weeks. The next few months his symptoms went from bad to worse with stomach issues, severe joint pain, exhaustion and horrible daily headaches. He was misdiagnosed and treated for salmonella with rounds of antibiotic.
Then he was misdiagnosed with neuralgia headaches and was given shots and a nerve block by a neurologist. When he went to the E.R. because he was so sick – the E.R. doctor basically blew it off. He went to a new integrative doctor who did bloodwork and his diagnosis was Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease does not show up in bloodwork until 14 days after you have been bitten – however, you do need to be treated with the antibiotic. The steroid shot he was given escalated the Lyme Disease.
It took 11 months for him to get a correct diagnosis. He is now going to a new group and is getting powerful I.V. antibiotics, high doses of vitamin C and is eating healthy. His immune system could not fight off the Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease treatment is very expensive and sadly, some doctors do not want to deal with it – nor insurance!!
My friend has co-infections with the Lyme Disease and they are trying to attack the bacteria in his body quickly. If you have a suspicious tick bite, go to the doctor. Wait out the bloodwork for a couple of weeks because you will get a false negative result if bloodwork is done right away. Shingles can accompany Lyme Disease as well.
My heart and prayers go out to this man and his family as this has been so hard to watch a healthy man become so very ill. The Lyme Disease group that he goes to is in Greensboro, NC and I do not know their name. The treatment is going to take time since he has had the disease for almost a year.
Lyme Disease is serious and debilitating. Check yourselves for ticks, especially this time of year. Save the tick once you remove it, write on the calendar the date you were bitten and keep watch for redness, swelling, bullseye redness around the area, extreme itching and fever at the site. My heart and prayers go out to anyone that has this disease.

I too have many of the symptoms mentioned and have been unable to (as yet) find the cause. I’m also very interested in the comment by Bob S. about the herbal cure. How can I find out more about this?

Can you please tell me the herbs you were prescribed to overcome the Lyme?

There are many doctors who keep up with the rapidly changing information on testing and effectiveness of the many ways to treat people who have tick borne diseases. Just Google “lyme literate doctors” for a wealth of helpful information about how to find Lyme literate doctors in your area.

I was sick 3 years ago with the unexplained fever of 104 degrees for about a week. Then blurred vision, memory loss, foggy or delayed thinking, balance problems, muscle pain in calves, dry eyes. I have not been able to describe it successfully to any doctor or naturopathic doctor or chiropractor. I have improved quite a bit but life is still not as much fun as it used to be. I have good days and sort of bad. I still come and go with all of the symptoms. I have learned to live with it. Maybe now that I know what is happening someone can help me improve. It would be really nice.
Thank you for the show about Bartonella. It is nice to know that It it isn’t all those old people diseases that doctors have been mentioning. The most help I got was from a naturopath who gave me colloidal silver. I will be contacting her again.

I believe the conflict of interest is with the Pharmaceutical companies that make millions off of treating the symptoms of these diseases instead of finding cures. If they had cures for these infections then who would buy all their medicines on a weekly or monthly basis. Thank goodness for these doctors finding the reasons for all these illnesses instead of claiming they just don’t know why they are sick. How can so many people have idiopathic illnesses?

It foolish to think everyone’s system would handle an infection the same way. Even with the flu sometimes it kills a person and for some even when exposed to it don’t even get sick. You should feel blessed to have such a strong immune system.

To repudiate the comment regarding “conflict of interest” I do not see why the people with the most knowledge, research and data regarding bartonella should not be the ones leading the way with the best way to diagnose the disease, the opposite seems ludicrous.
Dr Breitschwerdt entered my family into his study at no cost to us. I know that he scrounges for research dollars to expand the knowledge base regarding bartonella and other vector borne bacteria. In this age, that struggle is heroic.
It is great that you have a very strong immune system and are able to fend off a bacterial infection. Not everyone’s body is capable of that. Hopefully you will never have to realize this for yourself or someone you care about.

Thank you for your response.
I have a daughter who has all the symptoms that you describe and her Dr has put her on Aderoll for the brain fog. She kisses and sleeps with the cat etc….how can I get in touch with the Doc?
Concerned parent

thank you for telling your story!
after battling with doctors/specialists here in NC who insist we don’t have lymes, I wonder if you’d be willing to share your doctors’ names in McKinleyville, CA.
I have lived in the woods for many years with the concomitant tick bites and negative test results and no treatment. Finally my blood tested positive for RMS 2 years ago and I received doxy, but after brief respite from symptoms my quality of life has grown close to nil. it didn’t occur to me that all this could be still tick related.
My pastor just called to tell me to turn on the radio.
I am presently on many meds with a diagnosis that doesn’t make sense. I, too, feel poisoned at a cellular level. . my family practice MD might be willing to try herbal treatments if she knew what/how/when. can you help us?

It’s a conflict of interest that these guys are running a presumably for profit lab to test for the Bartonella.
I’ve had Lyme living in tick infested central VA one time that I know about with the rash. I’ve prob been bitten 1000s of times. I can’t imagine that I haven’t picked up something else too from them but I’m basically ok. There must be so many factors involved.

This interview is disturbing – yet enlightening at the same time. I dealt with insidious Lyme for over 20 yrs before was finally DX’d, then given very aggressive treatment in DC. Still, I have some physical/neuro symptoms. Now living in Lowcountry of SC, some MD’s seem reluctant to accept my history, and I continue to live an increasingly narrower, slower life. It has gotten to the point that listening to fast conversation is hard to follow; it more like hearing tumbling blocks fly by… i.e.: no comprehension. I used to be very active physically.
How can I find an LLD down here who could help both a Post-Lyme status person, plus consider this Bartonella phenomenon? Do you know of anyone? This is such a touchy issue. I would appreciate any suggestions.
Thank you. W

To the person who was treated herbally == can you give information about your treatment?

WR, I have quite a few things going on so it is hard to say which is causing my symptoms. But yes, I’ve had the brain fog, numbness and tingling, pain, fatigue, etc. Mine triggered an autoimmune response and I have an autoimmune disorder that causes my blood to clot. And this week I just found out about some other infections that I have.
Please have your friend get in to see a doctor…and keep pressing until he/she finds somebody that can figure it out. I had to go through several to find Dr. Mozayeni, but it was worth it. And while I am still going through some issues, it is not all doom and gloom. With the right treatment life can still be enjoyable.

We endured a medical community that could not offer answers to the CIDP our youngest son had developed. Through diligent research my wife discovered Dr Breitschwerdt and his research. We reached out to him and he responded back immediately that he wanted to get my youngest involved in his study.
When the results came back positive we still faced denial and scorn from the medical community here. We left this area and went to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where we would finally meet a neurologist who while did not accept bartonella as the cause, would at least not rule it out.
When we finally arrived at Dr Mozayeni’s office our youngest was not doing well on the standard treatment and had a host of other issues no one could explain. If it was not for the care of Dr Mozayeni we fear there was the real possibility of losing our son.
My older son and wife would also be diagnosed with bartonella. At this time the progress we have seen is amazing. If not for the research of Dr Breitschwerdt and the incredible care of Dr Mozayeni I do not know what would have become of my family. The neurologist in Cinn. would actually go on to co-author a paper on my family with both of them!
The doctors who continue to deny and ignore the research and results are a danger to public health.
We document our story at and have a wonderful, supportive community on Facebook as well.If you are suffering, please join us. No one should have to endure this alone.

Thank you for this interview! I was severely bitten by a tick about 7 years ago, and had to have it removed in an emergency room. Shortly thereafter I developed the classic red ring, and also my blood got very thick and I got atrial fibrilation. I asked all of my doctors (about 5) over the last years if I had Lyme disease, and they all said “No.”
About 8 months ago I accidentally saw the documentary “Under Our Skin” about Lyme disease and peoples’ interactions with their well meaning but frequently ignorant (about Lyme disease) doctors. So I literally forced my doctor to do a series of tests (Igenex), and was tested positive.
I spend a lot of time outdoors working and hiking in Lyme tick infested areas of Northern California, have had numerous bites, and in the last 2 years had severe vertigo, burning and tingling sensations all over, extreme anxiety, panic attacks, extreme sensitivity to chemicals, and generally feeling poisoned. Twice I went to the emergency room when I felt close to death, and wrote my will, not expecting to live much longer.
Nothing was found wrong with me. Then I went to a pair of doctors in McKinleyville, CA who are Lyme literate, and after only about 3 months I feel completely normal physically and mentally. This was done with powerful herbal treatments specifically for Bartonella, not antibiotics.
I am telling my story because just a short time ago I was planning to die, and now feel like an 18 year old again (I am 66). Don’t give up hope! But don’t expect your regular doctor to be much help. Find one who is Lyme literate.

Well, I first went through the initial tests back in 2009 and I will tell you that at the time none of the were covered by insurance. In fact, the appointment where I was ready to throw in the towel and say that I couldn’t afford anymore is when Dr. Mozayeni told me that they had found the infection. I have had several follow up tests since then and none have been covered by insurance.
I am currently undergoing another round of tests to see if it has come back. The tests are cheaper now then they were before. I don’t know yet if my insurance will cover them yet. Unfortunately insurance doesn’t usually cover things until they are proven…which means there has to be people that go through the process of helping it to be proved.

Finally a program that deals with this complex issue!
Bartonella has ruined my life. I am not yet 40 years old and experience muscle twitches of varying degrees, neurological issues(tingling, numbness, and more), unable to speak at times, have cognitive issues, joint pain, and on top of all that I feel I live in what I call “crazy town”. I feel I will never be healthy again.
I was a tri-athelete but now my life has been diminished of so many aspects of “normalcy”. AND I have been on various antibiotics for over 2 years. I get better for a few weeks then wham I am further back then where I was before. I had someone ask me the other day if it is terminal and at times the pain is so bad I believe it is.
I am lucky to have a loving husband. But at times he too has had enough and hates what this disease has done to me. It has put a deep strain on our marriage and my kids just want to see me happy again.
I am grateful to have turned on the radio just at the right moment. Otherwise, I would have continued going down the spiral of self doubt and self hate.
Please keep educating people and maybe just maybe the CDC will see it as an epidemic.

Very interesting, but no mention of the costs involved in the extensive test procedures and whether they are covered by insurance, Medicare etc.

This broadcast was eye-opening and the information profound! My parents are in their late eighties and both have suffered tick bites. My dad has been diagnosed as having lyme disease, treated, and told it was cured?? My mom has a tick bite place on her leg which has never totally gone away after many years. They are told repeatedly by their family doc that “they are eaten up with arthritis” …his exact words. They experience all the classic symptoms mentioned. I know this because I spend a lot of time with them.
I myself have cats and dogs and have endured flea & tick bites, as well as biting flies. I too have all the symptoms mentioned and my doc is starting to tell me it is just part of getting older.
That answer does not satisfy me. I too would like to explore bartonella more thoroughly although it may be out of the question for my elderly parents. THANK YOU for opening my eyes wide on this matter.

What were some of your symptoms, ASB. I have a friend that complains of brain fog and is tired all the time. This person has unexplained abdominal pain, too. Has anyone else had these kind of symptoms that you know of?

Thanks for continuing to explore the crucial topic of emerging research on infectious diseases.

I have not seen a rheumatologist but several other specialists due to metastatic cancer 5x over 30 year period. For the past 7 years I’ve been experiencing vague symptoms that have increased in frequency and duration, and we haven’t been able to diagnose or treat without a more coherent picture of what is happening.
We have blamed a lot of the misery on many rounds of treatment for the cancer. However, several of the “weird” symptoms that were mentioned on your program fit my experience.
I really would like to explore the possibility of the bartonella (sp?) syndrome. Thank you so much for the program…ML

Thanks for airing this and helping to get the word out. I am a patient of Dr. Mozayeni’s and have had bartonella. He is an amazing doctor. If it wasn’t for him I don’t know what would have happened to me.
Every other doctor kept telling me that nothing was wrong and that I looked too good for there to be something wrong despite my symptoms.
I am so glad that I found him and was able to get treatment. Hopefully more doctors will learn about this and help the number of patients that are suffering.

Have you discussed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in relationship to Bartonella?
People’s Pharmacy response: Only in this show.

I live in Greensboro and hike regularly. Two of the friends I hike with have developed severe red-meat allergies. One of my friend’s doctor said it was related to tick bites. Can you discuss that?
People’s Pharmacy response: You will want to listen to a radio show we did on this very topic. Here’s the link:

Ticks do inflict some horrible conditions! I began having delayed anaphylactic allergic reactions to meat a few years ago and found out it was due to a tick bite! This is production of an allergic class of antibody that binds to a carbohydrate present on meat called galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose, also known as alpha-gal.
My symptoms, which always occurred in the middle of the night, included hives, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, abdominal cramping, sometimes diarrhea, and twice I passed out. It took me a while to figure out what was going on because I didn’t eat meat often, but this happened almost every time I did. Finally an allergist confirmed the meat allergy, but it was another year or two before I learned about a tick bite being the cause. Now my boyfriend has it too!
For more info…

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