Typical sign of Babesia
Babesia: Understanding the parasite and co-infection of Lyme disease.
Written By Candace Ray
I was asked to compose an article about Babesia for a Facebook group. It is for our use and was written with the understanding that it is done with healing in mind. Where possible I let you know what doctor said what. I cited where I used direct quotes. Other information is basic generally accepted as facts. Please do not use this article in place of a doctors opinion. Use it as I am as a way for me to learn. Also know that as soon as you write something it changes. As of 5/15 the Klinghardt cocktail has changed. He has updated it to include detoxing Aluminum. Read this with an open mind and realize it is just information and you need to research on your own. What I want you to learn mostly from this article is how you need to research the entire subject. Really learn as much as you can to make an informed decision. While reading this learn mostly how detailed I researched about Babesia. Understand the importance of totally understanding Lyme and its co-infections. By understanding you are one step closer to healing. As with everything I feel you need to find the information on your own and understand it. Write your own article and begin the healing journey!
It is imperative that you realize that any parasite, disease, bacteria, infection or imbalance is not a one-dimensional matter. If you have Babesia you probably have many other body imbalances. Even though several protocols are listed it is important to treat the entire body not just the aliment. It is wise to strengthen the body so treatment will be faster, more successful and have less “herxing”. Many experts are now stating that you should start treatment by strengthening the gut prior to starting Lyme and co-infections treatment. Things to address prior to treatment but are not limited are mineral imbalances, genetic mutations, heavy metals, hormones and yeast. You are your own advocate. You decide where to begin treatment. The end goal is to be healthy happy and keep reinfections from occurring. Decide on a treatment path and adjust along the way.
Babesia is extremely different from Lyme in that it is a malaria type microscopic parasite and Lyme is a bacterial spirochete. Babesia affects the red blood cells. When learning about Babesia or any of Lyme co-infections take it slow. Use this article as a starting point. The important thing is to start researching. Nothing with Lyme disease treatment goes fast. Pace yourself. Read this article, digest the information, highlight parts, and reread, research things you do not understand then make a plan. Your individual answer for addressing Babesia will be unique to you. Personally I tried 5 different treatment approaches over many years. I was only recently successful. I did not give up and eventually I found a treatment that is working well. I found that treating the body first worked best for me and think it was a key factor in beating Babesia. In my opinion it is as much the protocol as much as it is the body’s ability to fight.
What is Babesia:
Babesia is a malaria type infection that often accompanies Lyme disease. One can be infected with Babesia by the same tick that infected you with Lyme disease. Many Lyme disease patients have more than one tick borne infection. One study indicates over ½ of Babesia sufferers also have Lyme disease. (7 )Babesia can be passed by tick bite and by the blood supply. (Think transfusions) There are over 100 strains of Babesia. However for the most part there are 3 forms that can be tested for. If you have Babesia and Lyme, Babesia could make all of your Lyme symptoms up to three times worse. Individuals who present malaria symptoms (Malaria symptoms include night or day sweats, air hunger, cough not associated with anything else) in addition to Lyme symptoms should consider testing for Babesia. Individuals who are also not getting better with Lyme treatment should be tested for Babesia.
The parasite that causes Babesia invades and then destroys red blood cells. Babesia cause malaria type symptoms that can be relapsing chronic or even fatal. The following 75 symptoms are presented so you can separate Lyme symptoms from Babesia symptoms. The symptoms in bold are both a Lyme and a Babesia symptom. Circle all that apply to you. See how many symptoms you have. The ones you have circled that are not in bold are symptoms you have that are more related to Babesia. Because you probably acquired Babesia at the same time as Lyme symptoms are going to be hard to decipher. Doctors are going to be really looking for the malaria symptoms when trying to determine if Babesia is an issue.
High or low fever
Inability to concentrate
Dental problems/Pain sudden or entire jawbone
Imbalances without vertigo/dizziness
Dry eyes/ sore eyes
Pain in tooth
Neck and back stiffness
Random shooting pains
Sensitivity to light
Tiny red spots on skin
Blood in urine
Elevated liver enzymes
Symptoms flare every 4-6 weeks
Lower body fat
Abnormal sensations hands and feet
Difficulty with directions
Fatigue, often with inability to sleep
Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and belly pain
Unusual weight gain
Sensitivity to light, touch, sound, smells
Arm and leg pain
Reaction, mood change, additional symptoms, insomnia, anxiety depression rage after taking a malaria drug.
One symptom of Babesia is the Raised red spot. This is a picture that clearly shows the raised red mole like spot.
Testing for Babesia
I reading I have found that you may test negative for Babesia but after you start low doses of treatment and are tested again you test positive. The test are looking for antigens to the bacteria. Babesia tests like Lyme test can be unreliable and unable to detect the infection in some patients. Experienced doctors will diagnose and treat based on exposure, history and symptoms. Testing includes indirect laboratory testing such as VEGF, TNF-a, IL-6, IL-1B, ECP and sudden drops in MSH or natural killer cell numbers such as CD57, CD 56, CD3 and CD4 in response to malaria or Babesia medication. Dr. Horowitz recommends using a panel approach when testing; a Giemsa stain, a Babesia immune-fluorescent assay, IFA for Babesia Microti, an IFA for Babesia Duncani, WA1, a PCR looking for the DNA, polymerase chain reaction, a FISH testing. Be prepared with your symptoms and as much information as you can prior to your doctors’ appointment.
The following insert is from ILLADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Association) website.
“Diagnostic tests are insensitive and problematic. There are at least thirteen, and possibly as many as two-dozen Babesia forms found in ticks, yet we can currently only test for B. microti and WA-1 with our serologic and nuclear tests. Standard blood smears reportedly are reliable for only the first two weeks of infection, thus are not useful for diagnosing later infections and milder ones including carrier states where the germ load is too low to be detected. Therefore, multiple diagnostic test methods are available and each have their own benefits and limitations and often several tests must be done. Be prepared to treat based on clinical presentation, even with negative tests.
· SEROLOGY- Unlike Lyme, Babesia titers can reflect infection status. Thus, persistently positive titers or western blots suggest persistent infection.
· PCR- This is more sensitive than smears for B. microti, but will not detect other species.
· ENHANCED SMEAR- This utilizes buffy coat, prolonged scanning (up to three hours per sample!) and digital photography through custom-made microscopes. Although more sensitive than standard smears, infections can still be missed. The big advantage is that it will display multiple species, not just B. microti.
· FLUORESCENT IN-SITU HYBRIDIZATION ASSAY (FISH)- This technique is also a form of blood smear. It is said to be 100-fold more sensitive than standard smears for B. microti, because instead of utilizing standard, ink-based stains, it uses a fluorescent-linked RNA probe and ultraviolet light. The Babesia organisms are then much easier to spot when the slides are scanned. The disadvantage is that currently only B. microti is detected. (1)
Protocols as of 2-15
Once you determine you have Babesia next you need to find the best protocol for you. Because protocols are constantly being updated and changed I have given just a brief overview of some of the Babesia protocols. This information is given so you can then research and determine exactly what is best for you. Babesia is difficult to treat and it can become resistant to certain antibiotics. If one protocol does not get you feeling 100% better switch the protocol. What ever you do, do not give up! Try one and if that does not work try another one. Eventually you will wear down Babesia and you will get the upper hand.
A componation of Atovaquone/Mepron and Zithromax or Biaxin is a common treatment. This combination currently is said to have less serious side effects than quine and clidamyacin. Eating fatty foods when taking mepron increases the absorption of mepron. Mepron has the nick name liquid gold. It runs about $1,000 for a 2 week supply. Costs have been reported to go as high as $3,600 per month. Check into Bridges to Access program to help cover costs if you have a modest income. Check out this website http://www.bridgestoaccess.com/medicines/medicine-list.html The duration of treatment has recently been increased to a minimum of four months, often requiring 9 months to eradicate the organisms. Some sources say it can take 5 years of treatment and relapses are fairly common. Babesia is becoming antibiotic resistant to Mepron. My thoughts and after using Mepron on 2 separate occasions with little improvement I would say to prepare well prior to treatment and make sure you use your money wisely. Coartem, Malarone and Artesunate are used in some cases, especially when patients develop Mepron resistance. Allina is the latest expensive drug used to treat Babesia. It runs around $1,000. I purchased mine from Canada where it was compounded and ran around $300.00. (Mikes Marine Pharmacy, Canada. I am giving the name only because you will probably ask. Use this information at your own risk.) Generally several antibiotics are given at the same time. I joined a Facebook group for Mepron and Babesia to research for this article. At the time of this writing I question the ability of Mepron to effectively treat Babesia. There are many reasons why Mepron or other antibiotics may or may not be effective. It could work in your case. Functional medical doctors will tell you that antibiotics kill 88% of bacteria and that they wipe out all bacteria good and bad. Herbals only kill bad bacteria. When you are sick it is especially important to make good decisions. This article is not designed to make your decision for you but to give you information to lead you to finding what is best for you. Dr. Horowitz has had some success in reducing or eliminating Babesia symptoms by adding herbs like Cryptolepis sanguinoleta, Artemisia annua, and an extract of turmeric called curcumin (curcumin is better absorbed when taken with fatty acids) to their treatment. Artemisia annua contains a compound called artemisinin, primarily in the upper third of the plant. In China, high doses of artemisinin, 800mg to over 1 gm/day, have been effective for clearing the malaria. Similar to artemisia, turmeric contains an anti-malarial compound. Curcumin also kills the malaria parasite and Babesia.
Herbal Protocols--- Please research this information on your own. This is given simply for information proposes. It will become outdated almost as soon as it is written.
A-BAB- effective on 14 different strains of babesia. A-BAB also helps by activating the immune system and helps with other co-infections and helps control yeast, malaria, parasites. Ingredients Gou Teng, Cat’s claw, noni, Sam Bong, Neem, Curcuma Xanthorrhiza Yarrow. (3)
Klinghardt Lyme Cocktail (KLC) This is an old cocktail and is constantly being updated.
This protocol is a portion of Klinghardt’s Lyme protocol. At one time it could be used to treat Babesia. This protocol treats liposomally. This means that the delivery system is better because it is able to bypass the acids in the stomach for better absorption. This remedy is based on 150 lbs body weight. The dosage has to be adjusted according to the weight of the child. (5)
200-400 mg Artemisinin, 100 mg OSR (glutathion), 10 ml Phopsholipid Exchange in blender at high speed to make liposomal artemisinin (detox, anti-viral, anti-Babesia, anti-Lyme, biofilm breaker)
· D-galactose : 5 grams (increases ATP dramatically)
· 10 -20 drops 20 % Propolis Tincture (anti-viral)
· Quintessence (Lyme, Ehrlichia, Bartonella) =5 energetcally enhanced anti-Lyme herbs (S.Buhner)
· 15 ml Rechtsregulat (enzyme mix to break biofilm)
· MicroSilica 100 mg
· Co-curcumin (Ayush Herbs): 1 tsp plus pippli 2 caps (pepper to increase absorbtion)
· Vit C powder 2000 mg
· Acai powder (anti-microbial, ant-oxidant) 1 tsp
· 1⁄2 glass grapefruit juice (important for artemisinin absorbton)
· 1⁄2 glass water
· Mucuna powder 1 tsp (increases L-Dopa for language and motor development)
· GSE 10 drops - grapefruitseed extract ( anti-microbial, anti-biofilm)
· freeze dried garlic 4 capsules
· Energized Neem: 2 caps three times/day
Cowden: includes Enula and Mora or often Mora and Artemisinin (2) Read more at this website. http://tagudin.typepad.com/files/cowden-article-reprint.pdf
Burhner: Sida acuta, Alchornea cordifolia, and Cryptolepis sanguinolenta blend for the treatment: ¼-1/2 tsp 3x daily. You could as well do ¼ tsp of each of these three tinctures 3x daily. Burhner uses woodland essence tinctures. You can also use just one of those herbs; first choice is Sida acuta, second is Cryptolepis sanguinolenta. “Stephen no longer recommends artemisinin or artemisia for babesia infections. It can work, but whatever you are treating, Sida acuta will work better, especially for babesia or bartonella.” (1)
Salt C protocol- This protocol is unique as it is simple and very inexpensive. Sea Salt helps the body’s digestive system and adds minerals to the body. Even though the minerals are in very small portions I think they help balance the body. Vitamin C is good for so many reasons. Vitamin C naturally bumps up the immune system. More information on the Salt/C protocol can be located in the file section of this group site. The basic protocol is as follows. Body weight in pounds/10 = total daily consumption in grams, or 1 gram of Salt, and 1 gram of Vitamin C for each 10 pounds of body weight.
Use pure salt (sodium chloride) without any additives such as Aluminum, silica, or iodine. You make your own Salt capsules by using vegetable gel caps, size “00”. I “00” capsule equals 1 gram. You can use Real Sea Salt, Himalayan, Celtic Salt or Sea Salt, however research what you are using and make sure it is all natural. To buy the book or learn more about this protocol please go to this web site. http://www.fettnet.com/lymestrategies/welcome.htm This protocol has good results against Babesia however they do offer some add-ons to the protocol: Colloidal silver, ozone, artemisinin, neem as well as Spiro and Chlorella. (4)
Artemisinin has been rejected by all international major malaria groups as a treatment as of 2014. Artesunate has replaced it in combination with a synthetic anti-malaria medication.
When supplementing with glutathione and glutamine be careful they can increase the number of babesia parasites and should be used with caution and slowly to prevent increased symptoms and anxiety. When treating with Mepron stop COQ10.
When treating for Babesia don’t forget to detox. Good ideas can be found here http://tagudin.typepad.com/files/cowden-article-reprint.pdf
Information on treating Babesia.
Amazing website that gives a great Babesia checklist from James Schaller. Go to page 65 for Babesia. http://www.personalconsult.com/free/Checklists2012.pdf
use these articles! If I felt them worth to cite I feel they are worthy to read!
(1) "Buhner Healing Lyme." Buhner Healing Lyme RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2015. http://www.buhnerhealinglyme.com/the-protocols/
(3) "Byron White Formulas: A-BAB." Unravelling Complex Chronic Illness. N.p., 20 July 2012. Web. 09 Feb. 2015. http://www.gordonmedical.com/unravelling-complex-chronic-illness/protocols-offered-at-gordon-medical-associates/guidebook-for-the-byron-white-formulas-table-of-contents/byron-white-formulas-a-bab/
(5) http://www.klinghardtacademy.com/images/stories/powerpoints/klinghardt%20lyme%20cocktail%202010.pdf and a similar one is found here http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=10&ved=0CFgQFjAJ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fandreannarainville.com%2Fdocs%2FKlinghardt_Antimicrobial_Cocktail_Recipe.doc&ei=jhvZVLSFJ7OPsQTN4YH4CQ&usg=AFQjCNE642XvVSbdmjb9CIIamc5qXR1ZJA&bvm=bv.85464276,d.cWc
(7) "Babesiosis - American Lyme & Tick Borne Disease Foundation." Babesiosis - American Lyme & Tick Borne Disease Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2015.
I am not a doctor. Any information you read should be addressed with your doctor. This information was gathered to help others begin to understand the co-infection Babesia but is not an official document. Use it to start you looking for answers. No one associated with this article can be held accountable.
How do I share what I am feeling without sounding like a whiner? Gosh, I have struggled with how to convince my friends that I am not sick. I am not lazy. I am not unsociable....I just have Lyme disease. As much as I do not want to let Lyme define me, it has affected my life.
Here is a great article about how to deal with a friend or loved one who has Lyme Disease. Share this with someone you know who is struggling. There is even a printable version. So You Know Someone with Chronic Lyme Disease: A Guide to Their Struggle.
MTHFR for Beginners
Do you need to look into this further?
What is MTHFR? Why is it important? Could you have the MTHFR gene? Approximately 44% of the population is heterozygous (2 genes one from each parent) and another approximate 12% are homozygous (only one gene) for the MTHFR mutation. The percentages could actually be higher. It really depends where you get your information.
Begin by taking the following quiz. Circle every item that describes you or any member of your family that is a blood relation. Go back as far as you can. Include parents, grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Great Aunts and Uncles, Cousins, Nephews, Nieces. Circle all that apply and more than once if necessary even if some of them are similar. The more circles you have the more you need to look into this issue. This quiz is meant to open your eyes to MTHFR issues that could be affecting your health.
DIY MTHFR QUIZ
Increased Heavy Metals
Addictions: smoking, drugs, alcohol, food
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Congenital Heart defects
Deficits in childhood cognitive development
Migraines with aura
low HDL, cholesterol issues
Post-menopausal breast cancer
Type 1 diabetes
Asthma, Shortness of Breath
Hardening of the arteries
Miscarriage or stillbirth
Problems with heavy metal toxicity include
Now are you starting to see how MTHFR might be involved in your health? Most doctors do not routinely test for this gene mutation. This is why it is so important for you to be aware of MTHFR.
Here is a brief overview that describes what it means to have the MTHFR gene mutation. MTHFR stands for the mehylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene. It is located on chromosome 1 and is responsible for making the MTHFR enzyme. This enzyme is essential for processing amino acids. At this point it is important to understand why amino acids in general are so vital. Amino acids are considered the building blocks that make-up protein. Amino acids make up 75% of the human body and are essential to nearly every bodily function. Every chemical reaction that takes place in your body depends on amino acids and the proteins that they build. In the body, adequate protein intake is vital for virtually everything from healthy muscles, ligaments, tendons, organs, glands, nails, hair, nervous system function and the making of most body fluids. Besides water, protein comprises the largest portion of our body weight. The MTHFR gene converts folate (vitamin B9) into a usable form, which is needed in the reaction to convert the amino acid homocysteine to methionine. Methionine helps with metabolism and ultimately breaks down fat. It can also help with the removal of heavy metals from the body, which ensures that the liver, kidneys, and bladder remain healthy. This amino acid preserves artery function and maintains healthy nails, hair, and skin. Additionally, it is essential for muscle growth and energy. That MTHFR converts folate into a useable form. The useable form is then needed to make dopamine, norepeniphrine, serotonin and glutathione (which is your body’s main detoxifier). Excessive homocysteine can lead to cardiovascular disease and thick blood and is often associated with infertility. Ninety eight percent of autistic children have a MTHFR mutation. MTHFR is not the sole issue with Autism, but it certainly could be a significant contributing factor when one starts to think about the role of toxicity, such as mercury exposure, and the body’s diminished ability to clear toxins with reduced glutathione. This is why any one with an autoimmune disease needs to look at their genetics. If you have this gene you probably have way too much homocysteine in your body. Your diet adds more folate in a form that you cannot break down increasing homocysteine and suddenly the scales are tipped against you. You need to balance the scales to maintain a healthy immune system and fight disease.
There are different mutations of the MTHFR gene. There are 2 we generally identified and tested for. C677T and A1298C. Each one will affect your health differently. Some mutations are minor and some will affect your health immensely. It's possible to have just one gene from one parent (heterozygous), or two genes with a different gene from each parent (compound heterozygous), or two genes one from each parent but the same gene (homozygous). The MTHFR gene mutation has varying degrees of possible implications. The order of potential severity from least to most:
1. A1298C (One A Copy - A1298C Heterozygous)
2. A1298C & A1298C (Two A Copies - A1298C Homozygous)
3. C677T (One C Copy - C677T Heterozygous)
4. C677T & A1298C (One Copy of Each The C & A - Compound Heterozygous)
5. C677T & C677T (Two C Copies - C677T Homozygous)
Fortunately, this mutation, and its subsequent effects, can be bypassed by using a methylated form of folate (L-methylfolate), which readily crosses the blood-brain-barrier. What you cannot make you give the body so it can function properly. This is a simple definition but is not always a simple fix. MTHFR is a complex issues and treatment will depend on your genetic makeup.
Two great people to follow and look up on “youtube” are Dr Ben and Dr Amy Yasko.
This paper is provided for general information only so you can show it and discuss it with your medical practitioner. I acknowledge that I have been advised to discuss this with my medical practitioner.
A letter dedicated to individuals with Lyme disease or MSIDS, or multiple systemic infectious disease syndrome.
Dear Lyme victim,
Healing is within you. Repeat, Healing is within you. You have the power to heal. Wellness is achieved by a positive attitude and by the simple fact that your body was designed to be disease free and balanced. The human body has an innate ability that provides immunity. The body can protect itself against foreign material called pathogens. The body has the ability to heal. To achieve wellness you need to bring balance back to the body. You can do this.
You need to know that Lyme does not define you. Often times one becomes overwhelmed and has no idea where to search or what to do when faced with Lyme disease. Often you can’t find or can’t afford the highly specialized doctors you read about. By joining this group you have taken your first step to wellness. You can beat this disease alone and within a budget. The key is to not get overwhelmed. Address one piece of the puzzle at a time. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and your condition is beatable.
The feeling of being alone can be overwhelming especially when you look so perfectly normal. Most people don’t really see you. They do not see the red inflamed rash on your neck and chest or if they do they just think wow you got some sun. They don’t look in your eyes to see the fog or glassy appearance. The extra pounds they see as normal and not associated with disease. They don’t notice your hair falling out or how you need to take a break when walking a flight of stairs. Lyme disease affects us on the inside. Family members even sometimes join the “it’s all in your head” thinkers. The Lyme community is working to bring awareness but until everyone understands the enormity of the disease you will need to work a little harder. It is challenging but it can be done. Look for support through groups like this and surround yourself with individuals who can help you on your journey. The bottom line is that this disease forces you to develop the inner strength you will need to beat Lyme disease into remission.
You need to educate yourself. You need to own your wellness and health. You need to become responsible for yourself and become your own advocate. No doctor or specialist can do this for you. You need to do it! You need to learn and understand everything about the disease. This is not overwhelming when done slowly. Slow and steady is the key to winning the race. Start by looking in the file section. And reading all the files that interest you. There is a lot of information there by people just like you who are on the same journey you are.
Once you decide to become your own advocate you need to make a plan and chose a direction. I found that you can beat the disease but if you do not treat the whole body Lyme and its co-infections can come back. If you treat in the right order you will lessen Herx symptoms and make the healing journey shorter.
You have been given a journey that can make you stronger, healthier, and freer, with better friends and a better quality of life. Take the challenge. You can heal your body knows how, you just need to help and support it so you can overcome this disease.
One who suffered and successfully reached success against this terrible disease that use to describe me.