11/15/11 Working while we wait

Posted by on Nov 17, 2011 in Dave's Blog | 2 comments
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So, today was not the day to get the results from the new Lyme disease test. Seems that if Chris does have Lyme disease the kind he has grows very slowly. His sample had something in it, but as of today had not grown any critters. It was placed along with other specimens that had something in it that had not yet grown into spirochetes.  So, it appears the little buggers are pleomorphic, that is they can take many different forms before they turn into recognizable spirochetes. Tests for the fast growing varieties have already been completed. Dr Burascano says that one variety took 10 months before it began growing. Wonder if that has something to do with the fact that Chris never had a Herx when he got IV antibiotic treatment.

Meanwhile, the DHEA test came back very low as Dr Z predicted. Chris’s level was 280 ng/dL. Dr Z explained that a score of 1636 is normal if you are 20. A score of 61 is normal if you are 90 years old. A person 36 years old should have a much higher level, around 1000. He recommended that we double up on the DHEA. Apparently Chris’ adrenal glands are hosed.

Then he gave us the results from the thyroid test. He said that while an endocrinologist would say his results were normal because his T3 and T4 levels were within normal limits,  Chris’ levels are not normal because of high levels of something called reverse T3(RT3). T4, a storage form of thyroid normally converted to the active form called T3. However, under conditions of stress or infection T3 converts to reverse T3 which binds the T3 receptor sites, in effect creating a functional hypothyroid condition. The T3 is unable to bind with those sites. This is indicated by a ratio of 4  between his T-3 and (RT3) and it is manifested in his low early morning temperatures. (His T3 was 78 ng/DL. His RT3 was 21 ng/DL, giving a T3 to RT3 ratio of 4.) He said the ratio should be around 12.  So he recommended gradually increasing T3 to lower the reverse T3.   He ordered a medication from a compound pharmacy that would reduce the RT3 by adding some T3. In accordance with a schedule Chris is to increase the dosage unless he gets rapid heart rate or until he has more energy. Dr Z said the Lyme disease and other infections inflame the pituitary gland which then can put out faulty signals to regulate thyroid and adrenal hormones. That is why he wants to start by balancing these.

Dr Z didn’t mention this but another manifestation of thyroid dysfunction could be rapid cycling, which is defined as more than four episodes a year. This reminded me of a talk given by psychiatrist Dr Katherine Falk at the Nutrients for Mental Illness in December 2009.  She said that in her experience all her rapid cycling patients had thyroid abnormalities. She treats excessive RT3 with a drug called Cytomel. She also said that besides infection, a diet of large amounts of soy can increase RT3. Mainstream doctors disagree with her.

It also reminded me of remarks made by David Hardy at that same conference. He argued the rather than manipulating small parts of this complex factory called the body,  giving sufficient resources would allow the body to correct imbalances. Chris is not taking EMPowerplus now and with the added factors of chronic infections and psychiatric drugs, trying such a global approach might be too risky now. Still, Dr Charles Popper who also spoke at that conference said that patients taking EMPowerplus had to reduce their thyroid medications because their own thyroid production improved.

Maybe I should get the tests. If my values are askew, perhaps EMPowerplus could normalize them. After all, it is enzymes that control these processes and EMPowerplus provides cofactors for the creation of enzymes. I suspect that having a son whose life is thrown into turmoil every few months might have some affect on my DHEA and thyroid function.

Chris told Dr Z that he still dreams he is Elijah the prophet and he isn’t sure that improving his energy level will solve that problem. When I told Dr Z that sometimes Chris ‘speech is slurred and often his memory is impaired he suggested that the 7 mg of Haldol a day may need to be reduced slightly. I told him I would talk to Chris’ psychiatrist about this.

Chris got an IV today containing calcium EDTA and DMPS. He said he tasted something in his mouth while it was being infused. He is to save his urine for 24 hours and send it off to Doctor’s Data. Then we will know the extent of heavy metals in his system. While he got the IV I enjoyed talking to others who were getting IV’s for different reasons. Several of the patients had Lyme disease that had not been diagnosed for 15 years or more.

On the way home Chris read an article in the Sacramento Bee about Brian Lungren, a 27 year old currently in Napa State Hospital. The story described his descent into psychosis. One factor may have been the death of two buddies he had been skiing with who died in an avalanche. Lungren had decided not to go down the hill with them. If stress can cause an increase in RT3, surely stress of that nature could do it as well.  The article describes a number of risk factors including abuse of drugs, but I wonder if anyone every bothered to see how his thyroid reacted to the loss of his two skiing buddies. The article focused on constraints on the early identification and treatment of psychotic patients. I’m all for identification of the biological factors that predispose to psychosis. I am also for treating the upstream biological factors when they can be identified. Having Chris out of the hospital and not psychotic is better than having him in the hospital and psychotic, but his biological disorders have not been adequately treated. I doubt that Brian Lungren’s biological disorders are being adequately treated either.

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2 Comments

  1. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  2. First, you need to identify the tick. If it proves to be a deer tick (aka: black-legged tick) officially refered to as Ixodes scapularis’, you can proceed with pursuing testing for Lyme, though any imbedded tick of this type found on you in an area where Lyme is a problem, should be considered a high-risk bite that most likely needs immediate antibiotic therapy (Don’t Wait for the test results, Olga! See your doc NOW!)As far as getting that Tick tested, either look up or call your local county’s Dept. of Health Human Services. Also, a call to the nearest University’s Co-op Extension Service is often fruitfull.There is usually atleast One lab in each state in the Northeast U.S. that will test the tick [for the presence of the Borrelia Burgdorferi bacteria] but they usually charge somewhere around $45 to $75/ tick often only accept the ticks via express shipment at the beginning of the week. You can usually order up a kit in advance to ship the sick tick to em.Don’t expect the results right away it takes a few days to over a week. That’s it!

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