As a doctor who specializes in treating patients with chronic complex health problems such as Lyme-Related Complex (which I discussed in detail in my last blog post) I always have more to learn. Until all my patients are all better I will always have more to learn.
A big part of my job is to continue to seek out new information on healing by attending conferences and (mostly) by reading, but obviously not everything I read proves to be useful. I find some teachers more helpful than others.
I have studied with many master homeopaths like Rajan Sankaran and brilliant experts in nutrition and functional medicine like Jeff Bland. But perhaps the biggest overall influence in my practice has been Dietrich Klinghardt MD PhD, who first taught me about Lyme-Related Complex in 2002. Most of the information in my last blog post on this was taught to me by Dr. Klinghardt. Now Dr. Klinghardt has made a new discovery that he believes is a game-changer in not only treating Lyme-Related Complex but in treating virtually all chronic disease.
To quote Dr. Klinghardt: “Lyme Disease is not a bacterial illness; it is an activation of retrovirus caused by the bacterial infection.”
Based upon a variety of data and recent clinical experiences, Dr.Klinghardt believes that retroviruses play a significant role in most chronic illness. The most notorious retrovirus by far is HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), which is considered to be the cause of AIDS. But there are hundreds (perhaps thousands) of other retroviruses and they have been implicated as causes of neurological disorders such as MS, Schizophrenia, ADHD and Autism, Rheumatoid Arthritis , Lupus and other autoimmune diseases, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and various forms of cancer including breast cancer, prostate cancer and lymphoma.
Retroviruses are so common that everyone has retroviruses, in fact we are born with them, but they can also be acquired. While most viruses are DNA viruses, retroviruses are RNA viruses that work via the enzyme reverse transcriptase to force a cell to create viral DNA which then can become integrated into our genome. It is estimated that 6-8% of our DNA is retroviral DNA which we inherit. These are called Human Endogenous Retroviruses. Retroviruses can also be acquired from insect bites and also transmitted from person to person. There is also evidence that vaccines are often contaminated with retroviruses, just one of many reasons vaccines are hazardous (this is a fascinating story- the person who discovered this, Judy Mikovits PhD, was asked to retract her findings after her research on this was published. When she refused to do that she was arrested and jailed and given a 4 year gag order by the court. She discusses this in her book Plague but summarizes her findings in this article):
Like all infections, the degree to which they affect us has a great deal to do with the state of our immune system. Thus, a healthy person has many retroviruses in their bodies but keeps them in a mostly inactive state that does not cause any symptoms.
When someone has poor immune function related to environmental toxins, vaccines, emotional stress and other chronic infections like Lyme and co-infections then retroviruses become activated and, once that happens, they become the main infection that creates symptoms. Dr. Klinghardt has found that treating retroviruses is the key to helping his chronically-ill patients recover.
One of the problems in assessing this is that there are no direct ways to test someone for retroviruses. There are a variety of lab test that show indirect evidence of retroviruses such as nagalase, though this is not a commonly available test and there can be other causes of elevated nagalase, especially cancer.
However, it turns out may of the treatments that help retroviruses are also effective for Lyme disease and tend to be safe and non-toxic so it appears reasonable to try these on an empiric basis even if we can not obtain clear evidence that someone has retroviruses as a significant component of their illness.
Some of the treatments Dr. Klinghardt has found most effective include Chinese (Baikal) Skullcap, Cistus tea, Broccoli sprouts, Selenium in the form of selenocystiene or selenomethionine, St. John’s Wort, Eklonia Cava (a variety of seaweed sold as Seanol or Fibrinol), Pantethine, Luteolin and a homeopathic preparation of a very old medicine called Suramin. As always, treatment is best individualized; not everyone will need all of these remedies and not everyone will tolerate all of them.
I could go into more detail but the purpose of this post is to provide a brief introduction and overview of this new approach. For details I refer you to this article by Dr. Klinghardt:
For even more detail on this including details on treatment see this video of a lecture from an autism conference. Be sure to click on the link below the video to see the slides that went with the talk as they are loaded with relevant information:
Also, here is an interview on this topic done by journalists Scott Forsgren for his superb website betterheathguy.com
I have always loved the term “medical practice.”
A good doctor should always be practicing, in the sense of trying a variety of treatments and approaches to see what works and what does not.
When I learn paradigm-shifting information from a trusted source I check it out by having my patients try it and see how my patients respond. I am just starting to try these treatments with my patients. As of this writing I just saw one of the first patients I started on elements of this protocol back after 3 weeks on it. Ken (who is OK with my using his name) has suffered from Lyme-Related Complex for about 20 years. With the treatments we have done in the past he has improved but he seems to have plateaued and was suffering from significant pain (also related to osteoarthritis) and fatigue. I was very pleased to see that he was feeling much better just 3 weeks into this regime, with less pain and more energy.
Like every treatment I have ever given I am sure it will help some more than others and it will probably take some time to assess how well it works, so I will be adding to this article in a few months with more information on my and my patients’ experiences.
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Most people think all doctors are rich, but I make less money than any doctor I know (despite the fact that I am fully booked 2-3 months in advance) as I spend so much time with my patients, strive to keep my rates affordable and see many people who are on Medicare, whose fees do not even cover my overhead. I do not own a house, live in a tiny rental and drive a 12 year-old used car. I exhausted most of my savings when my wife was terminally ill for 2 years.
I did not create this blog for fiscal rewards but I believe that it is good karma to give out a bit of positive energy in exchange for valuable information, so again, any donations would be truly appreciated. Maybe one in a thousand people who read this blog send any donations and I am grateful for that support, but YOU can help increase that percentage. Money I receive will be used for continuing medical education, buying equipment to help my patients and subsidizing care for those who are indigent.
Thanks and Blessings,
Randy Baker MD