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Episode 11
The Doctor's Farmacy: House Call

How To Recover From Chronic Lyme And Tick Diseases with Dr. Todd LePine

Open the Podcasts app and search for The Doctor’s Farmacy. If you’re viewing this site on your phone, you can just tap on the

Tap the subscribe button and new shows will be added to your library.

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Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases often go undiagnosed or are misdiagnosed. This is partially because Lyme mimics other illnesses such as the flu, manifesting as diverse symptoms including headaches, muscle aches, stomach ulcers, constipation, and joint pain, making diagnosing and treating Lyme very difficult. Left unchecked, Lyme symptoms can worsen, creating a long-running inflammatory response and autoimmune illness. Lyme disease, or borreliosis, is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which can proliferate to every area in your body. The good news is that with some work and effort, you can successfully treat Lyme disease.

In this episode, Dr. Hyman sits down with Dr. Todd LePine to discuss the Functional Medicine approach to identifying and treating chronic Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

Dr. LePine graduated from Dartmouth Medical School and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, specializing in Integrative Functional Medicine. He is an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner. Prior to joining The UltraWellness Center, he worked as a physician at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA, for 10 years. Dr. LePine’s focus at The UltraWellness Center is to help his patients achieve optimal health and vitality by restoring the natural balance to both the mind and the body. His areas of interest include optimal aging, bio-detoxification, functional gastrointestinal health, systemic inflammation, autoimmune disorders and the neurobiology of mood and cognitive disorders. Dr. LePine teaches around the world, and has given lectures to doctors and patients at American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), Age Management Medicine Group (AMMG), the University of Miami Integrative Medicine Conference, The Kripalu Center in Lenox, MA, and is on the faculty for American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M). Dr. LePine is the head of the Scientific Advisory Board for Designs for Health and a consultant for Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory. He enjoys skiing, kayaking, hiking, camping and golfing in the beautiful Berkshires, and is a fitness enthusiast.

This episode is sponsored by AirDoctor. We need clean air not only to live but to create vibrant health and protect ourselves and loved ones from toxin exposure and disease. Learn more about the AirDoctor Professional Air Purifier system at a special price at www.drhyman.com/filter

In this episode, Dr. Hyman and Dr. LePine discuss:

  • Why conventional medicine doesn’t acknowledge chronic Lyme disease
  • Why chronic Lyme and other tick-borne illness can present, or exist along with, conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue system, autoimmune issues, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and dementia, multiple sclerosis, SIBO and other gut issues, depression, and more
  • What syphilis can teach us about Lyme and other tick-borne illness
  • Conventional vs Functional Medicine testing, identification, and treatment for Lyme
  • Using botanicals, herbs, sauna, and sunshine exposure to treat Lyme
  • Can you get rid of Lyme?
  • Off-the-grid therapies for Lyme including stem cells, exosomes, hyperbaric oxygen, hyperthermia, ozone therapy, and peptides

For more information visit drhyman.com/uwc

I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did. Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD
Mark Hyman, MD

Guest

 
Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD is the Founder and Director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine, and a 13-time New York Times Bestselling author.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

 
Dr. Todd LePine

Dr. LePine graduated from Dartmouth Medical School and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine,
specializing in Integrative Functional Medicine, and has advanced clinical training through the Institute for Functional Medicine. He has been practicing Functional Medicine for over 15 years focusing on Optimal Aging, Bio-Detoxification, Gastrointestinal Health, Systemic Inflammation, Autoimmune disorders and the Neurobiology of mood and cognitive disorders.

Show Notes

  1. “7 Strategies To Tackle Lyme Disease”
  2. “Getting to the Root Cause of MS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”
  3. “The Myth of Diagnosis”
  4. “Innovative Treatments for Chronic Disease Not Available in the US”
  5. “My Journey to Functional Medicine”

Transcript

Dr. Todd LePine: (00:00):
The symptoms do not appear overnight. It’s a slow process. So it’s not like all of a sudden one day you’re going to feel bad.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(00:11):
Welcome to Doctor’s Farmacy, I’m Dr. Mark Hyman, and that’s farmacy with an F, a place for conversations that matter. And if you or someone you know is suffering from a chronic infection with a tick borne disease, such as Lyme disease, babesiosis, ehrlichia, bartonella, which is a big mouthful, otherwise known as chronic Lyme, then you should listen carefully to this conversation because it’s one of the most important conversations that doesn’t get had in traditional medicine.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(00:35):
And I’m here with my colleague, friend and partner at the UltraWellness Center, Dr. Todd LePine, a brilliant doctor went to Dartmouth Medical School, he’s board certified internal medicine. He’s someone who’s found functional medicine even before I did back in the early 90s. We go way back and worked together at Canyon Ranch. He teaches around the world, he’s a leading thought leader in the field of functional medicine and he’s just an all around great guy. And we are going to talk about Lyme disease, which we both have had, by the way, and are both doing pretty good.

Dr. Todd LePine: (01:09):
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(01:09):
So that’s the punchline, there is a way out. It’s not through the traditional doorway of six weeks or three weeks of antibiotics, and that’s it, and otherwise, you’re just a complainer and malingerer, right? Which is where our typical approaches is in Lyme disease. So, welcome to the podcast.

Dr. Todd LePine: (01:25):
Thanks, Mark. Thanks for having me.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(01:26):
Okay, so we both live in tick country here.

Dr. Todd LePine: (01:29):
Yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(01:30):
In fact I got one crawling on me the other day. I was planting my garden, like I’m working in my garden, got in the house, seeing my desk and I see one crawling, I’m like, “Uh” He didn’t attach yet but I was like, “You dirty little [crosstalk 00:01:40].”

Dr. Todd LePine: (01:40):
They’re coming out.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(01:40):
Yeah. So, first, let’s just talk about the elephant in the room. Is there something called chronic Lyme disease? And why does traditional medicine not think there is and think everybody is just a whiner and complainer with psychological issues?

Dr. Todd LePine: (01:59):
I think it’s the concept of what is a disease really. And Jeff Bland’s book, The Disease Delusion, is how we look at disease. And most doctors are trained to think that when you have an infection, you have a fever, you’re sick, you’ve got to take an antibiotic, lower the fever and then it’s done. And chronic Lyme disease is a stealth infection. And it’s as you mentioned before, it’s really not Lyme disease, it’s tick borne illness. And so you have to think not only could it possibly be borrelia burgdorferi, but other species of bacteria that cause Lyme, and other co-infections like babesiosis, bartonella and the others.

Dr. Todd LePine: (02:40):
So you’ve got to really think about what is it that may be driving these chronic type symptoms. And I have seen patients walk through my door with a 15 year history of, “Fibromyalgia” which is not a diagnosis is like a [crosstalk 00:02:55].

Dr. Mark Hyman:(02:55):
A chronic fatigue.

Dr. Todd LePine: (02:56):
A chronic fatigue.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(02:57):
It’s a symptom not a disease.

Dr. Todd LePine: (02:58):
Exactly. Unexplained autoimmune issues, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis. So just like syphilis, which is also a spirochaete illness, Lyme disease is the great mimicker. And if you know the history of medicine, way back when syphilis was very prevalent, it could mimic anything and everything and Lyme is the same thing.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(03:22):
That’s an incredible insight that people think Lyme disease, you get the bullseye rash, maybe you get arthritis, Lyme arthritis or Lyme heart disease, it’s acute illness. If you get neurologic Lyme, it’s a thing, they diagnosis it and they give people IV antibiotics. But there’s very little appreciation that if someone comes with Parkinson’s disease, or MS that you should be thinking about a tick infection. It’s not even on the radar for most doctors.

Dr. Todd LePine: (03:50):
No, exactly, yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(03:51):
But in functional medicine, we do think differently.

Dr. Todd LePine: (03:53):
Yeah. And if you actually, going back into the history of understanding syphilis, there used to be primary syphilis, which is the acute infection and then you would have secondary and tertiary syphilis. It would appear years down the road as dementia and tabes dorsalis and problems with balance and all different kinds of things. So you’ve got to have a broad understanding of how these things affect the body and then the immune system.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(04:16):
So maybe it’s not chronic and acute, maybe its primary and secondary Lyme.

Dr. Todd LePine: (04:20):
Exactly. That’s another way, it’s about how you want to word it. Exactly, yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(04:24):
So what is the typical approach thinking about Lyme disease? And how did traditional doctors diagnose it, and treat it, and what is the general perspective?

Dr. Todd LePine: (04:36):
The general perspective, and I think this is the CDC criteria is basically you go to your doctor and you get a what’s called a two tiered testing. First was the ELISA screen test. And the ELISA is just a screening.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(04:49):
An antibody test.

Dr. Todd LePine: (04:50):
It’s an antibody test. Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Antibody. And if that’s positive, then you were then reflexively go to a western blot test which is supposed to be more sensitive, and also it’s more expensive. And the standard of how you diagnose Lyme disease is this two tiered approach. And the unfortunate thing is, if that’s negative, which 50% of the time it is, you are going to be missing Lyme disease in a lot of your patients. So you might as well flip a coin. So I almost don’t even do that. If it’s positive, and you have a clinical history, then it’s helpful, but 50% of the time, it’s not going to be helpful.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(05:24):
And most of the time acute disease. I mean, I remember working in [Kentucky 00:05:26] in the ER, and I remember seeing so many patients coming with Lyme disease, but they had acute Lyme, they had a fever, they had joint pain, they had a rash, you give them antibiotics, in three weeks, they’re fine.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(05:35):
And the truth is a lot of people will get Lyme disease and get treated and they’re fine, or they get it and it’s not an issue. And I think that there’s a subset of patients that are uniquely susceptible to the adverse consequences of these tick infections, whereas others are more resilient. Do you find that too?

Dr. Todd LePine: (05:50):
Absolutely. And you bring up a really good point. In fact, I just had a paper about people who have mannose binding lectin deficiency. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that, Mark.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(05:59):
That’s a mouthful. Yeah, I heard about it.

Dr. Todd LePine: (06:01):
So, right. So I’m actually, it’s relatively new to me. And there’s a condition which is mannose binding lectin deficiency, which you can draw on a routine lab test. And people who have this are more susceptible to developing infections like urinary tract infections and upper respiratory infections and lo and behold chronic Lyme disease. So now I’m starting to actually check for this in my patients. Other patients-

Dr. Mark Hyman:(06:24):
Are you finding it?

Dr. Todd LePine: (06:25):
Yes, absolutely. The other thing that is also, I don’t [inaudible 00:06:30] exactly sure the mechanism for it, but patients who have hypermobility source of a form of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, and for whatever reason, those patients tend to have it a little bit more difficult to eradicate. And that may be related to the fact that Lyme is predisposed towards going towards connective tissue, and if you have a connective tissue disease or a mild form of it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(06:54):
So what’s the typical approach? Traditional medicine they just give them three weeks antibiotics and you’re done?

Dr. Todd LePine: (06:59):
Yeah, I mean, the traditional approach is anywhere between one week to a month of antibiotics, and then you’re done, and it’s the end of discussion. I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve gone to-

Dr. Mark Hyman:(07:10):
And if you’re still sick afterwards the doctor goes, “Well, it can’t be Lyme.”

Dr. Todd LePine: (07:12):
Exactly, or and then they call that post Lyme syndrome. There’s a whole diagnosis called post Lyme syndrome where your testing may be negative, you still have symptoms despite the standard of care treatment, and you fall into this nebulous category. Is it a ongoing immune reaction? Is it the body’s still trying to fight the infection and you’re not seeing it on the lab testing, etc?

Dr. Mark Hyman:(07:37):
Yeah. And so what is the approach to post Lyme syndrome in traditional medicine?

Dr. Todd LePine: (07:42):
There is none.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(07:43):
There isn’t?

Dr. Todd LePine: (07:44):
There is none. It’s, there really is no treatment. I mean, that’s where patients are fatigued, they make it Provigil. If they’re having problems sleeping, they’re going to throw Ambien at them. If they’re depressed, they’ll get some Prozac.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(07:56):
Polypharmacy.

Dr. Todd LePine: (07:57):
Polypharmacy and that’s iatrogenic imperfecta, one of my favorite terms. So most of the time-

Dr. Mark Hyman:(08:04):
What does that mean, Todd?

Dr. Todd LePine: (08:05):
Yeah, that basically iatrogenic is the doctor does it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(08:08):
It’s caused by a doctor.

Dr. Todd LePine: (08:08):
Right. So a lot of times, Mark you and I have seen it. Patients come into us and the problem is the doctors are treating them. So number one is you stay away from doctors.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(08:18):
Oh, yeah it’s true. Some of them.

Dr. Todd LePine: (08:21):
Yeah, some of them. Exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(08:21):
Yeah, so it’s really a very problematic issue. And I would say if there was one condition that I could erase from the planet, it would be tick borne illness. It is one of the biggest scourges on humanity ever.

Dr. Todd LePine: (08:35):
Absolutely.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(08:36):
And it causes so much suffering-

Dr. Todd LePine: (08:38):
Needless suffering.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(08:39):
Needless suffering. It’s so under diagnosed, it’s not well appreciated by traditional medicine, and it’s really real. And it does masquerade as all these other problems. So you mentioned a few of them, but it can cause all sorts of autoimmune diseases. It can cause all sorts of gut issues. It can cause all sorts of neurologic issues and mood issues. It can cause like you said, neurodegenerative diseases. It can cause chronic fatigue syndrome, Fibromyalgia, depression, dementia. I mean, I had a guy come in with Capgras syndrome where he mistakes everybody for somebody else. You don’t know who your wife is and you have these weird… He had like neuro Lyme.

Dr. Todd LePine: (09:13):
Neuro Lyme, yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(09:14):
And about three other co-infections, and we treat them with antibiotics. And he got better.

Dr. Todd LePine: (09:18):
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(09:18):
I had another patient who had all these MS symptoms, and she saw the best doctors in Cleveland Clinic. And they’re like, “No, you have MS.” And she ended up having Ehrlichia, which is one of those tick borne infections. I gave her doxycycline for six weeks, and then like, all their symptoms went away. And I don’t love antibiotics, but-

Dr. Todd LePine: (09:37):
Sometimes you have to use them.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(09:40):
Sometimes you have to use them. And I think having an open mind to who those patients who are just not getting better, there’s a whole subclass of them, who really struggle with these chronic issues, that are undiagnosed, that nobody can figure out. And there’s a lot of approaches to this. So we do different kinds of diagnostics here and functional medicine has a very different approach. How would you define the approach for functional medicine?

Dr. Todd LePine: (10:03):
The approach for functional medicine is actually listen to the patient. I think the best thing you can do is take the time and you can’t do this in five or 10 minutes. As you well know, Mark, you have to really be astute, you have to listen really well, and you also have to do the clinical experience where you’ve seen a lot of patience and you can put the pieces of the puzzle together because this is like… this is not a 50 piece jigsaw puzzle, this is 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(10:25):
Yeah, often, right?

Dr. Todd LePine: (10:26):
And you’re not going to do 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle in five minutes. It takes a while.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(10:34):
My wife can do it in like half an hour.

Dr. Todd LePine: (10:35):
Yeah, right.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(10:36):
She’s good.

Dr. Todd LePine: (10:38):
So you’ve got to really listen well, and then a lot of the confirmation of the Lyme is, in my opinion done by advanced testing, like the test that I really like and we use here is the ELISpot testing, which basically is checking for the immune systems response to the bacterium.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(10:59):
But how’s that different than an antibody test which is what traditional medicine uses?

Dr. Todd LePine: (11:02):
Right, so exactly. So an antibody test is say for example, you get a polio vaccination, you are going to develop polio antibodies. Okay, if I test you right now for polio antibodies, you have polio antibodies, does that mean that you have polio the disease? No. In chronic Lyme, some patients don’t develop antibodies so that those antibodies will actually go away over time. So the antibody test is negative, especially in chronic Lyme. And if somebody has had the disease and the antibodies are positive, does that still mean that they still have disease or is the disease gone away? So you’re sort of up in the air, you’re in this nebulous area.

Dr. Todd LePine: (11:39):
And that’s why I think combining the clinical history with some of the more advanced testing like the ELISpot test, where you actually take the person’s blood, expose it to the antigens, the proteins that the tick has or the other co-infections that are there, and see the live cells immune response to it. So this is based upon Memory T cells in the production of compounds like interferon gamma.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(12:04):
It’s your innate immune system.

Dr. Todd LePine: (12:04):
Your innate immune system, your primary-

Dr. Mark Hyman:(12:07):
So there’s like two kinds of immune systems. There’s one that’s like the old ancient immune system.

Dr. Todd LePine: (12:11):
And you’re born with it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(12:12):
And that just reacts to everything, and it’s like carpet bombing. And that’s why maybe the symptoms are so bad with this. And then there’s the antibody, which is more like the smart missile are called adaptive immunity that actually targets specific bugs. So it’s a memory cell so like you get a memory cell to measles when you have the measles vaccine, so you don’t get measles. This is different. This is just more of like a widespread immune response. And you can’t measure through typical tests. That’s why this ELISpot is so unusual, and helps us to determine what’s going on.

Dr. Todd LePine: (12:38):
Exactly. And one of the other test which I also use, and again, it’s not really this test by itself is not diagnostic of Lyme, but the CD-57 which is the natural killer cell, and we measure the overall level of the natural killer cells in patients. There are many conditions that can cause low natural killer cell function. So things like chronic Epstein-Barr virus may do it, HIV virus, cancer, etc. But Lyme is also one of those. So if a patient comes in with symptoms consistent with chronic Lyme, and they have low CD-57 count that up to the threshold for their probability of having chronic Lyme clinically.

Dr. Todd LePine: (13:15):
And then we also do the natural killer cell function test, which is not only the level of the natural killer cells, but are these cells actually able to do their thing? Are they able to kill pathogens?

Dr. Mark Hyman:(13:25):
That’s really important, I think, I have this theory after seeing so many hundreds and hundreds of these patients. Is that Lyme in these chronic infections are kind of like AIDS in a way. They suppress the immune system.

Dr. Todd LePine: (13:38):
Absolutely.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(13:39):
And they hijack it and it makes your body unable to fight it. So what I’ve been finding, I don’t know if you see this Todd, but so many of these patients don’t just have chronic Lyme, but they have a whole host of other things that destabilize your system. And it may be things that the body could handle when they’re normally everything else is okay. There’s heavy metals, there’s gut issues, there may be mold issues, there may be nutritional factors. So there are all these things that are complex web of causative factors that don’t get untangle with traditional medicine and sometimes you need to treat all these things to get people back to normal.

Dr. Todd LePine: (14:14):
Absolutely, yeah. And you bring up a really good thing. So that patients who have chronic mold. So anybody who’s out there, and if they have the diagnosis of mast cell activation syndrome, if they have the diagnosis of POTS, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome where when you get up your heart rate goes up high. If you have other symptoms, like dysautonomia, which is part of POTS, if you have these types of things go along with someone who’s got chronic Lyme, they sort of go together.

Dr. Todd LePine: (14:47):
The other one, which we see a lot of is also a small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. I actually went to a talk given by a gastroenterologist and all of a sudden he was seeing all these patients with SIBO. When you and I went on our training, I never used to see SIBO. I mean you have somebody with irritable bowel but SIBO is now rampant.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(15:03):
Yeah, it’s true.

Dr. Todd LePine: (15:03):
And interestingly-

Dr. Mark Hyman:(15:04):
It’s really true

Dr. Todd LePine: (15:05):
Exactly. Interestingly in patients who have chronic Lyme disease because Lyme bacteria is neurotrophic, in other words, it heads towards nervous tissue, it affects nervous tissue and also connective tissue that you get what is termed Bell’s Palsy of the gut.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(15:20):
Yes.

Dr. Todd LePine: (15:20):
Which is, Bell’s Palsy is when your face gets paralyzed.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(15:23):
And that’s one of the symptoms of acute Lyme is you’ll get a paralysis on your face, and your face will go limp.

Dr. Todd LePine: (15:27):
In fact, one of my first cases of severe case of Lyme disease when I had a private practice was a patient who admitted to the hospital with acute Bell’s Palsy that was caused from Lyme disease. And the term Bell’s Palsy of the gut. So any patients who are out there, anybody who has refractory bad, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, think of Lyme because this gastroenterologist, it got on his radar so he started checking all of his patients for Lyme and lo and behold, they had it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(15:55):
Yeah, and I had a patient who had a different syndrome but she had severe constipation. She could only go with colonics and heavy duty medication and turns out she had Babesia which is another tick infection, and that is known to cause autonomic dysfunction of the gut a paralysis of the gut, essentially. Which is what she was suffering from. Which was fascinating, right?

Dr. Todd LePine: (16:18):
Wow, yeah, it is.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(16:19):
So we see we see all these variable presentations and we do have a questionnaire we use called the [MIDSQ 00:16:23] questionnaire which is, Multiple Immune Deficiency Symptom Questionnaire, and it helps us to make track of all these very weird symptoms that people have. I’ve got tingling, I get palpitations, I get headaches, I’m achy, I’m this and that, and you get this whole list of symptoms and if people have a high score, it’s likely that they have some issue.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(16:46):
Now it may not be 100%, buy your odds are higher, and often people won’t remember having a tick bite, they won’t remember having a bull’s eye rash, they won’t remember an acute infection

Dr. Todd LePine: (16:56):
And you can live in Hawaii and have it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(16:57):
Yeah, it’s everywhere. I live in Arizona [crosstalk 00:17:01].

Dr. Todd LePine: (17:01):
Exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(17:02):
It’s everywhere. And it’s global.

Dr. Todd LePine: (17:05):
And just like with the COVID virus, we see that the vector for the spread of the COVID virus is the airplane. It’s not a mosquito, it’s an airplane, right? And how many of us travel and fly in planes? We go all over the place. There’s also a theory-

Dr. Mark Hyman:(17:17):
So that’s why it’s good that the airlines have shut down.

Dr. Todd LePine: (17:20):
Exactly. So, there’s a theory that Lyme may also be sexually transmitted. And I’ve had some privy to some people who have done some small studies on checking for the DNA of Lyme in sperm, and it’s been identified. So just like syphilis was actually sexually transmitted there. I think there are in some cases, Lyme may actually be sexually transmitted. So there can be transmission from the mother to the baby also.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(17:45):
Yeah, maternal fetal transmission.

Dr. Todd LePine: (17:48):
Maternal fetal transmission. So you really have to think about it. And just because somebody doesn’t live in an area, like the northeast of America’s, Lyme, Connecticut was where it all started. And the interesting thing about that is that it was an astute clinician who said all of a sudden, “I’ve got all these kids with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis,” which is a rare condition, you never see that. And he had a whole clustering of it. Then he said, “Well, why is this happening?” We just label it as juvenile rheumatoid.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(18:11):
That’s autoimmune disease, but it’s also infectious, right?

Dr. Todd LePine: (18:15):
Most autoimmune diseases, I think, probably have some type of infectious origin.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(18:19):
Or, because of microbes for example, in your gut.

Dr. Todd LePine: (18:21):
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(18:21):
So leaky gut and all that.

Dr. Todd LePine: (18:23):
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(18:23):
Hey, everybody, it’s Dr. Hyman, thanks for tuning in to The Doctor’s Farmacy. I hope you’re loving this podcast. It’s one of my favorite things to do and introduce to you all the experts that I know and I love and that I’ve learned so much from.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(18:34):
And I want to tell you about something else I’m doing which is called Mark’s Picks. It’s my weekly newsletter. And in it, I share my favorite stuff, from foods, to supplements, to gadgets, to tools to enhance your health. It’s all the cool stuff that I use and that my team uses to optimize and enhance our health and I’d love you to sign up for the weekly newsletter. I’ll only send it to you once a week on Fridays. Nothing else, I promise and all I want you to do is go to drhyman.com/picks to sign up. That’s drhyman.com/picks and sign up for the newsletter and I’ll share with you my favorite stuff that I use to enhance my health and get healthier and better and live younger longer. Now back to this week’s episode.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(19:19):
Tell me about a patient or two you had with Lyme disease and what you did to figure it out? Or a chronic… And when people say chronic Lyme I think that the term really refers to chronic Lyme and co-infection.

Dr. Todd LePine: (19:32):
Yeah, chronic-

Dr. Mark Hyman:(19:33):
And often people have multiple ones. I’ve had people have all four.

Dr. Todd LePine: (19:35):
Yeah, it’s-

Dr. Mark Hyman:(19:37):
Because the ticks can carry multiple bugs.

Dr. Todd LePine: (19:41):
Yes, exactly. I think the ones that you probably see the most, or at least in my experience I’ve seen the most are Lyme with bartonella and babesia. Those are probably the bigger co-infections. Bartonella as one is I think you’ve probably experienced this that can cause neuro psychiatric illnesses. So we had a patient in clinic-

Dr. Mark Hyman:(19:59):
At the UltraWellness Center.

Dr. Todd LePine: (20:01):
At the UltraWellness Center, exactly who was admitted to a psych hospital for psychosis and had Lyme and co-infections as a trigger for that. Just like, you know, it’s like syphilis can cause madness, while Lyme can cause madness too.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(20:17):
[crosstalk 00:20:17].

Dr. Todd LePine: (20:17):
Yeah, exactly. And it’s not on the radar of neurologists, it’s not on the radar of psychiatrists.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(20:24):
But everybody’s in their silos. And that’s what’s so different about functional medicine is that we look at the whole picture. We look at… I joke that we’re holistic doctors, because we take care of people with a whole list of problems, right?

Dr. Todd LePine: (20:35):
Exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(20:35):
And I think that that was unique about functional medicine, about the UltraWellness Center is that we don’t just take things at face value, we dig deep into figuring out the why and why people are suffering. So someone comes in with MS we’re not thinking, “Oh, you have MS,” we’re thinking you have inflamed nerves, why are they inflamed? And then what are the causes? It could be heavy metals, it could be a nutritional deficiency, it could be gut issue, it could be tick infection, it could be multiple things. So I would say if you know the name of your disease you don’t really know what’s wrong with you, you just know the diagnosis, but not the cause.

Dr. Todd LePine: (21:04):
Exactly, Mark. You hit the nail on the head. It’s called label it, treatments treat them. That’s really what’s happens in the field.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(21:12):
Name it, blame it, tame it game. That’s Sidney Baker.

Dr. Todd LePine: (21:14):
Exactly. Good old Sid. And so that approach where somebody comes in and you’ve got five or 10 minutes and then you just want to treat the symptom, whether it’s anxiety, constipation, here take your MiraLAX, see you later without thinking well what’s causing it? And I think that, I always go in to every patient with a Zen mind, like I have no preconceived bias.

Dr. Todd LePine: (21:39):
I think we all have some type of cognitive bias because I’ve seen that before, that kind of thing. It humbles me because every time I see patients I’m always learning.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(21:49):
Yeah, it’s really true.

Dr. Todd LePine: (21:51):
As much as I know, the more I know is the more that I know, I don’t know.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(21:55):
It’s so true. I feel like more and more ignorant the more I practice, more humble. And keep learning about things and learn from my patients because they’re the biggest teachers.

Dr. Todd LePine: (22:04):
And we call it practice, because you’re practicing. I mean, that’s what it is.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(22:08):
So tell us about some of these cases that you’ve had.

Dr. Todd LePine: (22:09):
Yeah, I had one case recently. It was a young girl in her late 20s. And she came to see me and she had, she was very organized. And she was also chronically ill. And I asked her, “When was the last time you felt well?” And she goes, “I can’t remember.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:(22:23):
Wow.

Dr. Todd LePine: (22:23):
And she had a whole laundry list of symptoms. She had brain fog, she had fatigue, she had insomnia. She had sort of acne type symptoms. She had a lot of bloating, she was having joint pains. And she had seen multiple specialists. She saw even a few integrative specialists and she was just at a standstill. And she came in with a very organized thick binder, it must have been five inches thick.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(22:52):
I call that chart [omegle 00:22:53].

Dr. Todd LePine: (22:53):
Chart omegle, exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(22:54):
A big chart.

Dr. Todd LePine: (22:56):
And actually because she was so organized, it really made my job easier, and I was able to take the time to speak to her and review all the records.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(23:05):
Yeah.

Dr. Todd LePine: (23:05):
And I saw that in her chart that she had a testing way back when for Lyme, but it was sort of equivocal and it wasn’t really addressed and treated properly. And, so I said, “I’m gonna put this on the back burner, let’s check your CD-57 count, let’s see what it is,” so I did did a standard approaches, a tour initially and empirically.

Dr. Todd LePine: (23:27):
And she also had limited resources in terms of spending money. But the one thing that flagged it was her CD-57 count was low. And as I said, that’s not a diagnostic one, but it makes me suspicious, the immune system is not functioning properly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(23:40):
Yeah, I was like, I’m going to check it, just to see because it’s a tick country. I’m like and I always feel tired, and I thought I was working too hard. And it was like 30, which normal’s like, 120. And I was like, “Wow.” And then I was like, “Uh.” And then I followed up with a tick test and it was like I had positive and a PCR positive. I just ignored it, but I didn’t look at it for like six months or [whatever 00:24:00], “Oh, my test came back. I wonder what happened to that test?” I was like, “Oh, shoot, I have Lyme disease.”

Dr. Todd LePine: (24:05):
Yeah, exactly right.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(24:06):
And I did PCR test, which we didn’t talk about, which is a test you can do to actually look at the live-

Dr. Todd LePine: (24:12):
Polymerese Chain Reaction.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(24:13):
And it’s what they’re using for COVID-19, which tells you if you have the virus but if it’s positive, you got it.

Dr. Todd LePine: (24:19):
Yeah, exactly. It’s pretty diagnostic. And so anyway, the testing that I ended up doing on her was the the T cell memory test, the ELISpot test. And that came back positive dramatically. Like she had say, there are a couple of the antigens and hers were beyond the measuring points. So she was having ongoing-

Dr. Mark Hyman:(24:40):
Really? Greater than.

Dr. Todd LePine: (24:42):
Yeah, greater than. They couldn’t measure it. And it was just a relief for her to realize that this is not in my head because she was starting to be treated like someone who had malingering syndrome. I mean, she was struggling to get an answer for all of her myriad symptoms that doctors just could not put the piece of the puzzle together.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(25:03):
Yeah, I always say, if you have a bunch of problems and symptoms, and you go to the doctor, and the doctor is like, “Well, your lactose are fine, I can’t find anything wrong.” It means one of two things, either you’re crazy, or the doctor is missing something.

Dr. Todd LePine: (25:16):
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(25:16):
And it’s nine times out of 10, maybe 99 times out of 100, the doctor’s missing something. And it’s because we’re not trained how to think this way, like we do in functional medicine, which is what we do here at the UltraWellness Center, and Linux. And we’re not trained how to navigate to the cause.

Dr. Todd LePine: (25:36):
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(25:36):
So we just like, “Oh, you’ve got this diagnosis, we know what drug to give you.” But we don’t really know how to think differently about this disease from the root cause perspective and how to restore health and that’s what we do. And you sort of saw the clues. You saw the smoking gun, which is a CD-57, you dug deeper, and then what did you do for her?

Dr. Todd LePine: (25:53):
Well, I actually put her on a course of doxycycline antibiotics and I actually combined that with Silver. I don’t know if you’ve used that?

Dr. Mark Hyman:(26:00):
Yes.

Dr. Todd LePine: (26:01):
But if actually… Silver turbocharges the effects of antibiotics. Some doctors actually give it intravenously, but I’ve had fairly good success orally. So I combined [crosstalk 00:26:12]

Dr. Mark Hyman:(26:12):
Argentyn 23

Dr. Todd LePine: (26:13):
Yeah, the silver salt, not the colloidal silver but the the nanoparticle silver, like Argenta 23 or I used to Silver cylinder in her particular case, I think they’re pretty much identical.

Dr. Todd LePine: (26:26):
And she had a very good response with that. And then I also added in some Artemisia which they use for malaria.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(26:35):
Yeah, it’s an herb.

Dr. Todd LePine: (26:36):
An herb, exactly. It’s an herb, exactly. And in fact, they actually won the Nobel Prize for that a couple of years ago. And that helps with the other forms because the tricky thing about Lyme is that Lyme can take the regular bacterial sparikital form, cell wall deficient form, and also the round body form, which is the more chronic [crosstalk 00:26:58].

Dr. Mark Hyman:(26:57):
Yeah, so they’re different forms.

Dr. Todd LePine: (26:59):
Exactly, yeah. And they the organisms can go into this stealth mode where for a while they’re sort of sitting-

Dr. Mark Hyman:(27:07):
They don’t want to get caught.

Dr. Todd LePine: (27:08):
They don’t want to get caught, exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(27:10):
By your immune system.

Dr. Todd LePine: (27:11):
Exactly. And Lynn Margulis, who was the wife of Carl Sagan wrote an excellent article about Lyme and round bodies.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(27:19):
Really?

Dr. Todd LePine: (27:20):
Yeah, you haven’t read that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(27:21):
She was incredible. She discovered the whole mitochondria connection [crosstalk 00:27:25].

Dr. Todd LePine: (27:25):
And the symbiosis theory, yeah. And she was a [proto 00:27:28]. She actually studied these very ancient bacteria and had a real good insight into these organisms. Because, it’s just like the COVID virus, the COVID virus does not kill people by itself.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(27:44):
No, it’s the immune system-

Dr. Todd LePine: (27:44):
It’s the immune system’s response to it, right. So it how intelligent, if you will, our immune system response is. And there’s a lot of people who get bit by a tick, and they’re otherwise healthy, they’re exercising and it doesn’t bother them at all.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(27:59):
Yeah.

Dr. Todd LePine: (28:01):
They’re sort of.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(28:01):
I think that is probably why I didn’t feel so bad. I think because I ate well, I exercise, I try to take care of myself and I was in an equilibrium. I didn’t feel awesome, but I thought, “Oh, this is just, I’m working too hard, traveling too much, not sleeping great, like whatever.” It just was, I sort of dismissed it, but I was like, “Oh, wow is it… this is real.” And a lot of our patients are struggling because they have other issues, too.

Dr. Todd LePine: (28:26):
Yeah. Well, and not only that, but the symptoms do not appear overnight. It’s a slow process. So it’s not like all of a sudden, one day, you’re going to feel bad especially, you may get bitten, your immune system deals with it. And it’s sitting in stealth mode for years or months, and then all of a sudden, your immune system is compromised because you’re not getting enough sleep. You’re burning the candle at both ends and then all of a sudden it can come out if you will and reactivate.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(28:53):
So what happened? You gave her antibiotics, you gave her [inaudible 00:28:56], you gave her…

Dr. Todd LePine: (28:57):
And then I put her on… I followed

Dr. Mark Hyman:(28:58):
Argentyn.

Dr. Todd LePine: (28:59):
My typical approach, and actually, there’s a great paper, I don’t know if you saw it about the use of botanicals. So these are herbs, which are oftentimes used just like antibiotics.

Dr. Todd LePine: (29:12):
Now, there are some doctors who will use antibiotics for months or even years. And I’ve actually seen some of these patients, and I think if you’re really sick, perhaps giving intravenous antibiotics can be helpful to cut down on the number of the organisms and to deal with acutely, but at the same time, a lot of antibiotics affect the gut microbiome, they affect mitochondria. So it’s a double edged sword.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(29:36):
Yeah, I mean, we used to work at a place called Canyon Ranch, which is a health resort and I call us resort doctors.

Dr. Todd LePine: (29:41):
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(29:41):
The doctors of last resort. So we often see the patient, who’s seen everybody else, come here, after they’ve done all these other things, including these two years of antibiotics, and they’re just a mess.

Dr. Todd LePine: (29:50):
Exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(29:51):
And we have to fix them.

Dr. Todd LePine: (29:52):
Yeah, exactly. And so there was a paper that just recently came out looking at the use of botanicals in patients with Lyme disease growing and then a non-growing forms of Lyme disease with a round body forms. And they found a variety of different herbs. The top ones were Japanese knotweed.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(30:14):
Which is actually has resveratrol in it, which turns out is a very-

Dr. Todd LePine: (30:19):
Very high resveratrol, yes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(30:21):
Healthy aging compound.

Dr. Todd LePine: (30:23):
Yeah. And then the other top one was cryptolepis. And then the other one was cat’s claw. And these are actually found in various formulations out there. There’s various treatments out there you might be aware of them. There’s the Cowden protocol, there’s the Bruner protocol.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(30:40):
So just to back up a little bit traditional medicine, three weeks antibiotics are done. Then there’s the group that uses like long term two years of antibiotics, which is a little out of the box. And then there’s the whole herbal protocols which you’re going to get into now. So what are the kinds of categories of herbal protocols? You mentioned Cowden. What other kinds of things?

Dr. Todd LePine: (30:57):
Yeah. There’s the Cowden Protocol, and then there’s the Bruner protocol, which is he’s an herbalist and he has his herbal tinctures. There’s a Byron white protocols. And then there’s a Dr. Zang protocol. And what I would say is that I don’t think-

Dr. Mark Hyman:(31:13):
He’s a Chinese doctor.

Dr. Todd LePine: (31:14):
Chinese doctor, yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(31:15):
Chinese herbs.

Dr. Todd LePine: (31:16):
Chinese herbs [crosstalk 00:31:17]

Dr. Mark Hyman:(31:16):
A lot of garlic.

Dr. Todd LePine: (31:18):
A lot of garlic, yes. Garlic is phenomenal.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(31:21):
Keep away Vampires and Lyme.

Dr. Todd LePine: (31:25):
And biofilms. Garlic is very powerful in biofilms. And it’s a great thing. I eat garlic almost every day. I really do.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(31:36):
Yeah, I do, too. But this is like a whole next level. I mean, you’re basically taking super concentrated garlic pills and if you live with someone or you have friends-

Dr. Todd LePine: (31:45):
You’ll know it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(31:46):
They’re going to complain. It’s time for, the moment I would say you could use perfume, maybe that’s it, I don’t know.

Dr. Todd LePine: (31:52):
Right. And I think the spirochaete don’t like it. They don’t like it either, they’ll crawl out of you.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(31:56):
What was that Zoolander movie where you had the new scented Cologne, garlic. That was kind of like what it is, garlic.

Dr. Todd LePine: (32:04):
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(32:04):
So what happened to this young lady?

Dr. Todd LePine: (32:09):
So she is in the process of recovery. She’s not 100% but she’s dramatically feeling better. And there is some thought also that when people have chronic Lyme disease that you never 100% get rid of it. What you do is I think you get the levels of the Lyme in the bodies down, and then you also improve the immune system, which is, we always do a lot of immune support, things like medicinal mushrooms, which have been shown to increase natural killer cell function.

Dr. Todd LePine: (32:38):
Exposure to sauna, infrared light therapy is also been helpful just also getting out into the sunshine. Vitamin D. I oftentimes will check vitamin D in these patients and they’re oftentimes low. And one of the things I tell my patients is that there is such a thing as healthy sunshine and sunshine exposure does more [crosstalk 00:32:59].

Dr. Mark Hyman:(32:59):
Put [some mask 00:32:59] on your face, and the rest of your body can be naked.

Dr. Todd LePine: (33:01):
Exactly, yeah. And there’s really very, very healthy benefits for immunomodulation with sunshine exposure, not just vitamin D, but sunshine exposure with ultraviolet radiation. Absolutely, yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(33:13):
Light is powerful.

Dr. Todd LePine: (33:14):
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(33:14):
So she got better?

Dr. Todd LePine: (33:16):
She is. Yeah, absolutely, is on her way to recovery. She’s relatively recent. So, but she’s one of many patients that I’ve seen. And in her case, hers was really interesting because she had this whole combination of POTS. She had hypermobility, so she had this Ehlers danlos type syndrome, which as I said is oftentimes associated with people who tend to get chronic Lyme. She had bloating, which is a form of bacterial overgrowth. So she had a lot of these types of-

Dr. Mark Hyman:(33:44):
She had to fix everything else.

Dr. Todd LePine: (33:45):
Exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(33:45):
The thing is with Lyme, with these patients we don’t just treat the Lyme, we treat their whole system. So whatever else is going on, heavy metals, gut issues, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal problems, we’ll sort those out and that’ll help them become more immuno resilient which is the goal.

Dr. Todd LePine: (34:00):
Yeah, resiliency, absolutely.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(34:01):
So, Todd, do you think that it’s possible to get rid of Lyme, chronic Lyme?

Dr. Todd LePine: (34:05):
I think if you get an acute infection, and you catch it early enough, yes. Are we able to get rid of bacteria or a virus? Our bodies are chimeric organisms. We carry around billions of bacteria inside of us along with various viruses. So we’re always-

Dr. Mark Hyman:(34:23):
Hundreds of viruses.

Dr. Todd LePine: (34:23):
Right. We’re always exposed to these organisms. So it’s our immune system.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(34:27):
We’re not sterile you mean?

Dr. Todd LePine: (34:27):
We’re not sterile, exactly, we’re not sterile. We have the skin microbiome, we have the oral microbiome.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(34:33):
Even more than that, we have all these other infections. We could have cytomegalovirus, and Epstein-Barr virus and we can have pneumocystis carinii bacteria. We can have all sorts of low grade TB and all these things that are hiding in us that are just sort of fine. They don’t bother us, but then when our immune system gets nuked by, let’s say, AIDS or by Lyme, which I think is the new AIDS it actually creates this havoc where we can’t cope with it anymore and that’s when things start to break down.

Dr. Todd LePine: (35:02):
Yeah, exactly. Absolutely, yeah. I mean, we do live in a symbiosis. We have bacteria on our skin, we have in our mouth, we have it in our gut, and along with viruses and when our immune system is immuno tolerant, in other words, it tolerates these organisms and they’re not in the wrong compartment, if you will. And that’s actually one of the other things that Lyme does. Lyme goes into the interstitial department, into the connective tissues.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(35:26):
Yeah, it hides out there.

Dr. Todd LePine: (35:28):
It hides out. Exactly, it hides out. That’s there… Yeah, exactly. And I think that’s why the people who have hypermobility tend to happen more because for whatever reason they’re connective tissues is not normal and perhaps the immune system can’t get in there as well.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(35:42):
I just, sort of, this whole question of can you get rid of it? It’s an open question and I tend to agree with you. It’s really about learning how to create immuno resiliency and put it down and often we’ll see these ELISpot tests come back negative, like once they get treated, they’re not really, the immune system is reacting to it anymore or maybe it’s gone, we don’t really know 100%.

Dr. Todd LePine: (36:01):
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(36:02):
But I just remember this patient I talked to this week who had Parkinson’s disease. And he also had multiple tick infections and Lyme disease. And the neurologist was like, that didn’t pick it up, didn’t notice it. And we’ve been treating him for years. And he was successfully treated for and I’ll get into that a minute. But as a neurologist like I’ve never seen a patient with Parkinson’s this long, who’s doing this great. You’re not getting worse, you’re stable, you’re regressed in your symptoms. It’s just incredible. And with him, he was tough. And if you’ve got these patients with these tough diseases like dementia or MS you kind of need more aggressive approach. It’s someone who has brain fog, a little achy, tired, insomnia is one patient. People with these more really serious conditions need more aggressive therapy.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(36:51):
And I don’t know if you’ve experienced it, but over the years, I’ve sort of really opened to what’s happening in the space and try to understand the kinds of therapies that actually are regenerative, that actually activate the body’s capacity to activate its immune system and to heal, rather than trying to clobber it with a drug or even an herb. And the herbs can be great. I use herbs and I feel like they work for a lot of patients. But I feel like there’s another class of therapies that’s emerging, that I think is where the money is for these chronic problems that are just resistant.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(37:28):
Now, a lot of times in functional medicine will get people better just using the basics, lifestyle, the basic, but there’s a group that just doesn’t get better.

Dr. Todd LePine: (37:35):
Yep.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(37:36):
And this group, and people have been sick for decades or are really struggling. And I’ve explored a whole bunch of different things. And what I’m finding is there’s a lot of therapies out there that are off the grid. And the three that are the most, I mean four that have the most seeming prominent and potentially effective are stem cells and exosomes, which are sort of [inaudible 00:37:58] to those stem cells that seem to help the body heal.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(38:00):
I’ve had a bunch of patients who’ve gone and done that, not by my recommendation, but as a functional medicine doctor, or any doctor, you should really listen your patient.

Dr. Todd LePine: (38:07):
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(38:07):
So when they come telling me this worked, that worked, I pay attention, especially when there’s nothing else that’s working, right?

Dr. Todd LePine: (38:12):
Exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(38:13):
Like, what did you do? Tell me about it? What did you do?

Dr. Todd LePine: (38:13):
Tell me about it, yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(38:15):
[crosstalk 00:38:15] What happened? Tell me about it? There’s-

Dr. Todd LePine: (38:18):
A lot to learn.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(38:18):
As opposed to most doctors who’ll say, “Well, that can’t be true.”

Dr. Todd LePine: (38:20):
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(38:21):
I didn’t learn about it in medical school.

Dr. Todd LePine: (38:23):
There was spontaneous remission.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(38:24):
Right.

Dr. Todd LePine: (38:24):
I’ve heard that so many times, [crosstalk 00:38:28] spontaneous remission.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(38:29):
I gave a talk at Harvard once, and this guy who invited me was a friend who’s a doctor at Harvard. And I was talking about an autism case that completely reversed. And there’s a pediatrician in the audience. And he’s like, “Well, it could just be spontaneous remission.” And then my friend got up and said, “You know, it may be but it’s weird that Dr. Hyman has had like five spontaneous remissions in his practice in the last month.” It was very funny.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(38:54):
So anyway, with these other treatments, stem cell and exosome’s one, I think hyperbaric oxygen is another. Because stem cells help your body heal and repair itself. Hyperbaric oxygen just puts oxygen under pressure, [hyper oxygen shot 00:39:06], which oxygen is a therapeutic medicine that can help kill infections. Basically, people say sunlight’s the greatest disinfectant, well, oxygen is one of the greatest disinfectant.

Dr. Todd LePine: (39:15):
Absolutely.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(39:17):
And so hyperbaric oxygen when you go in a tank, and you sit there for two hours, and you dive under underwater, with atmospheric pressure. Then there’s treatments that are being used in Europe and in Mexico, which are not available here.

Dr. Todd LePine: (39:30):
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(39:31):
And some of our colleagues like Jay [Lamar 00:39:33] is using this for ALS.

Dr. Todd LePine: (39:34):
Yes [crosstalk 00:39:36].

Dr. Mark Hyman:(39:35):
Which is hyperthermia. Which I personally experienced, because I’m always trying stuff. And I went to Santa Viva in Mexico. I did a podcast about this. I used hyperthermia, where they literally put me asleep, and they heated me up to 107 degrees. So I was toasty. And Todd’s like his eyebrows are going up. You’re still alive, yeah I’m still alive. I’m not a ghost and-

Dr. Todd LePine: (39:58):
Baked to a Krispy Kreme.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(40:00):
I’m cooked up good. Just a little hot dog bun, I’m fine, you can eat me. And then they gave me antibiotics for babecia which I had in Lyme at the peak of the fever. Because it flushes everything out. That’s what fevers do. That’s what I say. And so it’s hyperthermia treatment. And this patient of mine who had Parkinson’s went and did that. He said it was a game changer. All of his Lyme symptoms went away, his joint pain, his fatigue, all of these other issues. Parkinson’s got better.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(40:26):
So I think that can be a therapy, although it’s very controversial. It’s used a lot in Europe and Mexico. I still have patients who I have done everything I know how to do, and they just won’t get all the way better. And so they go there and they get better. Nine times out of 10, it’s impressive.

Dr. Todd LePine: (40:41):
So two thoughts here, Mark.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(40:44):
Yeah, go ahead.

Dr. Todd LePine: (40:44):
Because you’re getting my brain going. And that’s [crosstalk 00:40:48].

Dr. Mark Hyman:(40:48):
One more last thing.

Dr. Todd LePine: (40:49):
And you’re talking about hyperthermia. Well guess how they used to treat syphilis? They actually used to inject Malaria to patients to develop a high fever.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(40:55):
Really?

Dr. Todd LePine: (40:56):
That was old way of treating syphilis.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(40:59):
See?

Dr. Todd LePine: (41:00):
Yes, exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(41:01):
Everything goes around.

Dr. Todd LePine: (41:02):
The other clinical pearl and I learned this from a rheumatologist who ended up becoming a Lyme specialist because a rheumatologist sees a lot of rheumatologic conditions. Is she says ask your chronic Lyme patients when was the last time at a fever? Somehow another I think the… Her theory was that the organism hijacks the immune system such that your fever response doesn’t [crosstalk 00:41:22].

Dr. Mark Hyman:(41:22):
That’s so true.

Dr. Todd LePine: (41:23):
Exactly, it’s very-

Dr. Mark Hyman:(41:24):
[crosstalk 00:41:24] I remember when I had chronic fatigue syndrome, and I had Lyme which I didn’t know I had, it was years ago, I never got a fever.

Dr. Todd LePine: (41:31):
Exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(41:32):
I never got sick.

Dr. Todd LePine: (41:33):
Exactly. Exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(41:34):
Like I just never got that kind of [crosstalk 00:41:36].

Dr. Todd LePine: (41:38):
And that’s a very important question that I ask my patients was when was the last time you had a fever? And it’s like, “Years, years ago.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:(41:42):
It’s amazing, yeah. And the last therapy, which is something we do here at the UltraWellness Center, which is very controversial, but it’s used a lot in Europe. And actually there are countries like Italy and Spain and China that are now using it for COVID-19 very successfully, is ozone therapy.

Dr. Todd LePine: (41:58):
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(41:59):
And it’s been get around for a long time. It’s not very well known in the United States. Medical ozone therapy. We think ozone is bad. Yeah, because the ozone layer and [crosstalk 00:42:09]

Dr. Todd LePine: (42:09):
It’s like a negative connotation.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(42:09):
It’s bad for your lungs, and it’s terrible for your lungs and causes respiratory fibrosis, and scarring and hardening of your lungs, it’s not good. But when you do it intravenously, or rectally, it has a profound effect on one being germicidal, which kills the bugs because it’s an oxidant. And two, it activates your own body’s immune system to fight things and it activates your antioxidant systems. And when I was really sick, I did it, and I found the most extraordinary results from it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(42:39):
And I have had multiple patients who have used it, but actually I was hearing about this years ago from people. I kind of dismissed it.

Dr. Todd LePine: (42:46):
I did too. First time I heard it, like, “Oh, it’s crazy.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:(42:48):
Right. I heard about this [crosstalk 00:42:50] doing it and even as a functional medicine doctor, I was like, “Oh, that’s a little wacky.” And and yet these patients are saying to me, “You know, Mark the only time I really got better was when I did Ozone.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:(43:01):
And I was like, maybe it was something else,” I would dismiss it. But then when I got sick I figured it out and and I’ve been using it with these patients and it’s so remarkable. Now, I don’t know if it actually is curative, but it definitely knocks it down and it activates your immune. So it changes the equilibrium. So maybe, and then you don’t feel sick.

Dr. Todd LePine: (43:23):
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(43:23):
So I think there’s these other therapies, whether it’s stem cells and exosomes, hyperbaric oxygen, hyperthermia, ozone therapy, that can help a lot of these really sick patients that are not getting better. What do you think?

Dr. Todd LePine: (43:35):
Yeah, Mark the other one to put in your black [crosstalk 00:43:37] is peptides, absolutely. Good friend of mine, Dr. Ed Lee, who I call him the peptide guru he’s opened up my mind to peptides. And unfortunately right now, and this is actually, I hope this goes out on the podcast is that right now the FDA is trying to take away peptides as a therapy for integrative doctors, and they’re going under the guise of the compounding regulations.

Dr. Todd LePine: (44:04):
These peptide therapies which are basically around 40 amino acids in length, specifically for Lyme disease and for immune function, there’s one particular peptide called thymosin alpha, which is amazing at immune modulation. So thymocin like your thymus gland. And early on in our life, we have very large thymus glands. And interestingly, who are the people right now who don’t die from the COVID infection? Children under the age of nine.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(44:36):
Because their immune system is so active.

Dr. Todd LePine: (44:38):
Exact… And it’s sort of, it’s intelligent and resilient is really what it is.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(44:42):
Yeah.

Dr. Todd LePine: (44:42):
Because, I mean, we always think of like, I’m going to make a stronger immune system. Well, that’s sort of like autoimmunity, where your body like overreacts. And I think that having a good response within your immune system, I call it an intelligent immune system response is directly tied in with thymus function. As we get older, our thymus gets less. And that’s one of the theories is that is that the active, healthy immune response in kids nine and under, they don’t die of COVID. It’s the adults [crosstalk 00:45:10].

Dr. Mark Hyman:(45:10):
It’s kind of causing immuno resilience or immuno rejuvenation.

Dr. Todd LePine: (45:14):
Exactly. It’s waking up the immune system. And so peptide, I personally have not used that in Lyme disease, although-

Dr. Mark Hyman:(45:22):
Yet.

Dr. Todd LePine: (45:22):
Yet, exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(45:24):
It’s coming, I can hear it.

Dr. Todd LePine: (45:25):
Exactly, yeah. So that’s another thing. And so there are other tools and there is no one size fits all. I think ozone, hyperthermia, peptides, hyperbaric oxygen, all of these things have their place.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(45:39):
You just said a very important sentence, not everyone’s the same. And I think this is my experience is that this is super customized based on the patient-

Dr. Todd LePine: (45:47):
Personalized.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(45:48):
… On what their illness and symptoms are, how they respond to different therapies. So we don’t start off with the big guns. We start with simple things which often will work for a lot of people.

Dr. Todd LePine: (45:58):
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(45:58):
But then we have a whole toolkit of things to work from that sometimes I’ll just use herbs, sometimes I will use antibiotics, sometimes I don’t, sometimes I’ll use ozone therapy first. It just depends on what I’m seeing. I think it’s really important for people to understand who suffer from these chronic problems that there is a solution, that there is a way to diagnose it, that there are a lot of novel treatments out there that are not being used by conventional medicine, and that people can get better from this.

Dr. Todd LePine: (46:22):
Right. And the big thing is and look at these treatments, these alternative treatments is really sort of the risk benefit ratio, what is the benefit, and how much risk is it?

Dr. Mark Hyman:(46:32):
Yeah.

Dr. Todd LePine: (46:32):
And hyperbaric oxygen is really pretty-

Dr. Mark Hyman:(46:34):
Safe.

Dr. Todd LePine: (46:35):
It’s very safe, exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(46:37):
And ozone is very safe. Peptides are safe.

Dr. Todd LePine: (46:38):
Exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(46:38):
Hypothermia, maybe a little more risky, but it depends on the risk benefit. If you’re super sick, and it’s not as risky maybe taking antibiotics for two years.

Dr. Todd LePine: (46:47):
Exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(46:47):
And stem cells are pretty safe if [inaudible 00:46:50] stem cells, exosomes are safe. So there’s a lot of these things that have a good benefit ratio. And I think, it’s really, it’s sort of an equation of, is there a scientific rationale for this? Is it, has some evidence of clinical effectiveness? Is it safe? And what are the costs?

Dr. Todd LePine: (47:08):
Exactly, yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(47:09):
And so we put that calculus together and we go, “Okay, well, these are the kinds of things we can try.”

Dr. Todd LePine: (47:13):
Yeah. And you’re like me, Mark, you always only, what is the scientific evidence of this, right? We always only, what’s the mechanism? How’s does this work? Because we’re intellectually curious, and we’ve been trained in biochemistry.

Dr. Todd LePine: (47:23):
And I always tell my patients, if swinging a dead chicken over your head cures you, that’s great. Because I don’t know how it works. But if it works, there’s no harm in it, it’s going to, swing the dead chicken.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(47:33):
Exactly. I haven’t used the chicken cure yet, but I’m going to put it in my toolkit. Well, Todd thank you so much for listening to this podcast, everybody and thank you, Todd for being on it. If you suffer from any of these problems, we at the UltraWellness Center here are very skilled and experienced in treating these complex chronic issues that nobody else can figure out.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(47:53):
We now do all our consoles virtually. We can see people in-house but they don’t need to come in and we do lots of treatments with ozone or other therapies, IV nutrition, I mean new peptides, and so forth. And we really do help people navigate this landscape from a very, I think balanced perspective. We’re not extreme, we’re very thoughtful, very methodical. And we look for the evidence where it’s there and we push the envelope where we can, where it’s safe. And we see some really remarkable turnarounds for people who’ve been really sick for decades sometimes.

Dr. Todd LePine: (48:23):
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(48:23):
So I’m just so happy that everybody’s listening to this and that if you know someone who has some kind of chronic mysterious illness, or has diagnosed with chronic Lyme or other co-infections, there is a way out. And sometimes it takes not the first person you see, not the 10th person you see, sometimes it’s the 15th person.

Dr. Todd LePine: (48:42):
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(48:43):
But I would not give up and I would not sign off on your life until you really dug all the… pull all the rocks and looked under them.

Dr. Todd LePine: (48:51):
And I’ll leave also, Mark with with a ray of hope. Because a lot of people who are like this don’t have a ray of hope. And I’ll always tell my patients, a little bit humor is always good, I’ll say there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not a train coming at you.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(49:03):
That’s a good one. We’ll leave you with that, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not a train, and there is hope. And I don’t want people to give up hope, because we really, we, you know… One of the most frustrating things I hear in medicine is we don’t want to give patients false hope. And I don’t think that’s a good statement. Because for the most part with functional medicine, there’s always something to do.

Dr. Todd LePine: (49:29):
Absolutely.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(49:30):
There’s always a way to improve someone’s health. You may not fix everything all the time, but you can definitely see dramatic improvements. And so I think this is really why we’re here, why we’re at the UltraWellness Center, and it’s why I do this podcast to help people understand that there are different ways of thinking about health and disease and and how to create a healthy humanity.

Dr. Todd LePine: (49:50):
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:(49:51):
So thank you all for listening. Thank you, Todd for being on the podcast. If you love this podcast, please share with your friends and family on social media. If you want to come see us, at UltraWellness Center, go to ultrawellnesscenter.com and you can go to the Get Started page and [it’ll teach 00:50:04] you all about what we do and how to get connected. And please share this with your friends and family. Leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and we’ll see you next time on the Doctor’s Farmacy.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

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