Lyme Disease can be a long-term, chronic illness that is sometimes accompanied by other co-infections, keeping matters complicated. Chronic Lyme disease often manages to evade many kinds of treatment, including long-term antibiotic therapy. Luckily, ozone therapy has many benefits for the treatment of Lyme disease and any associated co-infections. This article will explore the use of ozone therapy in the treatment of Lyme disease.
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is caused by a bite from a tick infected with the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. If you are bitten by an infected tick, the symptoms will typically appear within 3-30 days after the bite. On occasion, the infection can remain dormant much longer than this, even up to years later. Not everyone who is bitten will develop Lyme Disease, but if you do contract the bacterial 0infection, you can experience a wide variety of symptoms.
In fact, many people with Lyme find themselves experiencing severe brain fog, fatigue, muscle weakness, all manner of digestive issues, joint pain, neurological dysfunction, and many other difficult-to-place symptoms without knowing the culprit behind it all.
Here are some of the symptoms you may experience with Lyme disease:
- Rash that looks like either red patches or bruising, often resembling a bullseye shape
- Fever or chills
- Muscle and Joint pain
- Swollen Lymph nodes can occur
- Numbness and Tingling
- Anxiety or depression
- Dizziness or fainting spells
- Facial Paralysis in some patients
What is Ozone Therapy?
That being said, ozone is one therapy that may significantly reduce the bacterial load in patients with Lyme disease. It also has the potential to improve symptoms where antibiotics and even antimicrobial herbs cannot.
Ozone as a medical treatment has been around for years. It was primarily used as a surface disinfectant and a treatment for wounds and infections. Nowadays, its therapeutic health benefits are much more far-reaching.
So, what is ozone? Ozone is a form of oxygen therapy in which there is an extra oxygen atom placed alongside the 2 oxygen atoms that normally make up the oxygen molecule. You may recall from high school science class that ozone is the layer that protects us from the sun’s UV radiation (like sunscreen for the earth). While toxic to humans and animals when inhaled, it is highly beneficial when delivered intravenously.
Indeed, ozone goes an extra step beyond oxygen in its therapeutic activity. Once it has absorbed O3 into the bloodstream, the body quickly uses that third oxygen molecule and creates lipo peroxides, oxidized fat molecules, that go on to stimulate the immune system and initiate ozone’s beneficial effects. Additionally, the remaining O2 molecules provide extra oxygen systematically throughout the body.
What Are the Benefits of Ozone Therapy for Lyme Disease?
Let’s discuss how ozone therapy specifically benefits patients with Lyme disease. Ozone therapy has a two-pronged approach. It kills the bacteria and modulates the immune system, which is typically suppressed or inappropriately activated due to chronic infection. It also targets brain fog, which tends to be a common symptom of Lyme disease patients.
Here are some of the following benefits of ozone therapy for Lyme disease.
While it appears contradictory due to its stimulatory effects on the immune system, ozone actually lowers inflammation systemically and locally where it is applied. This anti-inflammatory ability is likely due to a combination of oxygen exposure and regulating specific inflammatory pathways in the body.
Improves Brain Function
Ozone therapy can restore and boost cognitive function. In addition to the extra oxygen supply, the lipo peroxides created when ozone hits the bloodstream can cross the blood-brain barrier. When this occurs, they stimulate mitochondria in the brain to “wake up” and create antioxidants and ATP, the energy source for our cells.
Reduce Microbial Load in Chronic Infections
In addition to stimulating the immune system, ozone is a potent antimicrobial. It may be so effective because of its two-pronged approach – killing bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc., and provoking the immune system to simultaneously attack and clean up the infection. This double effect makes it a powerful ally in treating chronic infections like Lyme, Epstein-Barr virus, and candida.
How is Ozone Therapy Administered?
Ozone can be administered in many different ways. Some common methods include ozone water, rectal insufflation, and major or minor autohemotherapy. There are also more intensive forms of ozone treatment, including 10-pass ozone or EBOO.
Major autohemotherapy involves a small amount of blood being removed from the patient and mixed with heparin, calcium, a small amount of saline, and ozone gas. The ozonated blood is then reinfused to the patient. The whole process typically takes about 45 minutes.
10-pass ozone is a process in which a larger ozone machine is used. This machine has a negative pressure system where it pulls blood from the patient’s system into a small glass chamber. The blood is mixed with a small amount of heparin and is infused with ozone in the glass chamber and then re-infused into the patient. This process occurs 10 times in one sitting. 10-pass ozone can take anywhere from 1 hour to 2.5 hours, depending on the flow of the vein being used in the patient.
At Peak Health Institute, we frequently prescribe various forms of ozone therapy. Nasal or ear insufflation of ozone is often used for sinus or inner ear-related concerns. For GI concerns, we more frequently use rectal ozone insufflation. When it comes to chronic disease, especially Lyme disease or its co-infections, we most often recommend MAH (major autohemotherapy) or 10 pass ozone, depending on the current state of the patient and their tolerance level.
Combining ozone therapy with UVBI (Ultraviolet blood irradiation), we can increase Ozone’s antimicrobial effects and improve the outcomes of ozone therapy.
Ozonated water can be taken orally and will be absorbed through your stomach and small intestine. This method is a great and simple way to infuse more ozone into your body.
Work with a Functional Medicine Practitioner
Lyme bacteria can and does target the brain, endocrine system, nervous system, musculoskeletal system, and heart, often leading to severe symptoms that can become chronic. Ozone therapy is particularly effective for helping protect and repair these systems. Ozone is best when utilized as part of an overall treatment plan. Lyme requires a multi-faceted approach, and ozone therapy is an excellent tool to apply to a comprehensive plan to restore health. If you want to learn more about ozone therapy and Lyme disease, contact our Lyme-literate functional medicine practitioners, and we will get you on the right path today!