At Florida Detox & Wellness Institute, Dr Rick Sponaugle is proving that many patients develop alcoholism, OxyContin addiction or Xanax addiction while attempting to self-medicate the following disorders caused by mold toxicity:
Dr. Sponaugle was recently informed by the mold toxicity lab in Dallas that he is the top mold toxicity doctor in North America.
The lab director, Dr. Hooper, was amazed that Dr. Sponaugle could diagnose mold toxicity with a 98 percent accuracy when other physicians using their testing average only 10 percent accuracy.
Dr. Sponaugle explained that he has correlated the brain scans of mold toxic patients with their brain chemistry patterns and mold toxin levels.
Similar patterns occur in patients suffering Benzene toxicity from the Gulf OIl Spill whichn is less common than mold toxicity.
Dr. Sponaugle also explained that he had personally suffered mold toxicity, Trichothecene toxicity, which has enhanced his ability to recognize the mold toxicity patient.
Dr. Sponaugle further explained that he has been correlatelating brain neurotransmitter profiles with other indirect biomarkers of mold toxicity for years.
Among these biomarkers – elevated immune markers [C3 A and C4 A ] and severe central hormonal suppression [pituitary hormones] including the following; Growth Hormone, MSH, ADH, TSH, ACTH, FSH and LH.
Dr. Sponaugle says that many patients suffering opiate addiction and Xanax addiction use drugs like Oxycontin and Xanax to “calm their anxious brains.”
These patients normally test positive for HLA-DRBQ genetics, genetics that disallow effeicient removal of mold toxins from their body and brain.
Supposedly only 24 percent of Americans have HLA-DRBQ genetics, however, Dr. Sponaugle diagnoses this genetic disorder in 80 percent of his patients.
This genetic abberation is found more commonly in patients of Irish, English, Scandinavian, German essentially northern european descent.
The immune system of patients with HLA-DRBQ genetics does not “tag” fatty toxins as abnormal or “foreign” to the body, hence, these patients do not efficiently remove mold toxins from their brain and body.
In fact, patients with HLA- DRBQ genetics remove mold toxins and other fatty toxins, 468 percent less efficiently, than other patients.
While the symptoms of mold toxicity are many, Dr. Sponaugle says specific symptoms are the driving force as causation of drug addiction and or alcoholism. Initially, patients notice insomnia, then they develop anxiety as well as insomnia. As the brain accumulates higher levels of the mold toxins, Glutamate and PEA, two very strong electrifying brain chemicals, become elevated producing excessive electrical activity in the brain, worst case scenarios develop bipolar symptoms.
Patients self-medicate their brain’s upregulated “electrical voltage” with calming drugs like alcohol, Oxycontin like medication and benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Klonopin.
Dr. Sponaugle has treated many mold toxic patients whose glutamate levels were so high that they exibited bipoolar symptoms and in fact, were sadly diagnosed bioplar by unknowing psychiatrists before coming to Dr. Sponaugle’s clinic. Two young male patients were, in fact, misdiagnosed by University of South Florida psychiatrists as schizophrenic, the university psychiatrists were, of course, naive regarding mold toxicity.
Fortunately, Dr. Steven Stahl of Scripts University in San Diego, recently wrote in his new book on Bipolar and Schizophrenia about the possibility of excessive glutamate, noy just excessive dopamine, being the cause of these disorders. While Dr. stahl did not make the connection with excessive accumulation of mold toxins as the causationn of excessive glutamate production, it is astep in the right direction.
Dr. Sponaugle has found excessive glutamate levels in 9 of 10 patients previuosly diagnosed bipolar, a condition felt by most to be derived from excessive dopamine production, hence, the majority of the medications for Bipolar are dopamine blockers. Dr. Sponaugle recently treated a paranoid 22 year old male who had been misdiagnosed by University of Miami Psychiatrists as bipolar and schizophrenic. When Michael failed to get better after six psychiatric admissions to the University of Miami Psych ward, his parents brought him to Florida Detox for Dr. Sponaugle’s evaluation.
Michael’s history consisted of living in a mold infested apartment on Miami Beach for just six months before he began to develop paranoia. He tested positive for high levels of the Trichothecene Black Mold toxin and Ochratoxin which is produced by Aspergillous Mold. Michael quickly responded to Dr. Sponaugle’s intravenous toxin removal program, his paranoia abated after just one week and after three weeks of treatment his depression and anxiety were gone.
Because mold toxins shut down hormonal production in the brain’s pituitary gland, patients suffer severe depression and severe chronic fatigue. Pure adrenaline [epinephrine] can not activate it’s receptors in the brain and body without cortisol, cortisol deficiency is common in mold toxic patients. Dopamine can not activate the D2 dopamine receptor [happy receptor] in the brain’s pleasure center with0ut adequate testosterone and thyroid hormone, both of these hormones are deficient in mold toxic patients.
Patients who suffer mold toxicity utilize opiate pain pills for the opiate induced dopamine hit in their dopamine deprived pleasure center, this temporarily treats their depression. They also benefit from the relaxing “calcium channel blockade” effect of opiate pain pills which brings quiescence to their “over electrified” brain.
While mold toxic patients experience severe depression and fatigue, they also feel like their brain is “hot wired” or plugged into an electrical outlet. Over time, as the mold toxicity worsens, patients begin to feel, from a physical perspective, as though they have a 25 pound cement block attached to each leg. Their body feels weak, lethargic and in slow motion, yet, their brain is overelectrified, anxious, irritable and often they exibit rage.
On the outside, 36-year-old Stephanie looks perfectly normal. But this single mother of four has a secret. “I’ve been taking Vicodin 12 years now,” she says. “Nobody ever would realize that I’m addicted to painkillers. I lead a normal life. I get up, I go to work, I pay my bills, I do everything I have to do. I started taking the Vicodin for legitimate menstrual cramps, and that feeling was a little euphoric. And if I took two, then, OK, I got a little bit more laundry done. Then the Internet came. I could just take them and take them and have more shipped.
“I became completely addicted within the last year,” she explains. “I don’t feel anything from the painkillers anymore unless I don’t take them. A normal dosage would be five milligrams. I take about 30 10-milligram pills a day, the equivalent of almost 60 pills a day. On a typical day, I take four pills before I get out of bed. And then I get my son up, I get my coffee, I get him breakfast, I take three more. Then I get everybody off to school, myself to work, and that’s when the cycle of three pills pretty much every three hours begins. When I get home and things are stressful, I would take more.”
Since Stephanie started keeping track of how many pills she takes she has watched the number go up. “I’m spending about $500 a month on the painkillers. I do my job as a mother, and I do my job as an addict. I do them both very well.”
She starts to cry. “You know, ‘junkie’ is a horrible, dirty, disgusting word, and that’s how I feel. I want the painkillers to go away. I want Stephanie back. It’s been so long, I don’t even know who the real her is. I cry all the time. I’m just so tired of being ashamed. Sometimes I just lie on my bathroom floor and I just sob. I worry about dying. I know that I’m killing myself a little bit every day. Dr. Phil, my secret addiction to painkillers has taken over my life. Can you please help me before it’s too late?”
“There was a time you would get high from it,” observes Dr. Phil, “but now, you don’t even get that. They’re only significant to your experience in their absence.”
Stephanie agrees, explaining that she has tried to quit on her own and has even purposely arranged to run out of pills during the weekend, knowing she couldn’t get more until the following week. But she’d always wind up giving in to her addiction. “I got so sick … and I started to sweat. And I started to get horrible pains in my head and in my stomach, and I just got so ill that I had to go to the doctor. And because I do have some legitimate medical things, they wrote me a [prescription.]”
Pointing out that Stephanie takes four pills before she even gets out of bed, Dr. Phil says, “As you sit here right now, you’ve taken 10 of those pills … So, we’re not talking to you, we’re talking to the drug.”
“I suppose, yes. Absolutely,” she says.
“Tell me why you’re here today. Why here? Why now?” Dr. Phil asks.
“I don’t want to do it for my kids. I don’t want to do it for my health. I know that I’m killing myself literally every single day,” says Stephanie.
“Why have you given yourself permission up until now to do this?” Dr. Phil asks.
“There was a period in my life where really I couldn’t have cared whether I lived or died,” says Stephanie. “I was going through the end of a bad marriage. And you know, I was just I guess self-medicating just to make that part go away.”
“You have four children. You don’t have the right to not care whether you live or die. Do you understand that?” he asks. “You’re taking anywhere between seven, 10, 20, 25 of these pills, and then you’re getting in that minivan and driving on the street with your kids in the car. You don’t have the right to do that. And you know what else? My family’s out there on those streets! … Just because you decide you’ve got a crummy marriage doesn’t mean you can get in a 5000-pound missile under the influence and drive around the kids in the neighborhood.”
Dr. Phil continues: “What happens if you wake up, and one of your children is sick? I mean, really sick, and you’re jacked up on Vicodin? You think you’re going to be thinking well, making good decisions, responding well? Have you deluded yourself into thinking that you’re a high-functioning addict and so it’s no problem? What you are is a junkie.”
“The same as someone in an alley who’s taking pills that they steal from a store. You’re just smart enough to do it over the Internet. But there’s no difference in the effect that it has on you and there’s no difference in the fact that you are robbing your kids of their mother and you don’t have the right to do that,” says Dr. Phil.
“And by the way, how much money do you make a year, just roughly?” he asks.
“About $22,000,” she says.
Dr. Phil turns to his previous guest, Susan, who works as prostitute and worries that she won’t be able to take care of her kids by having a normal job. “About $22,000 a year, and she’s raising four children. It can be done,” he tells her.
He turns back to Stephanie. “You’ve got yourself in a real pickle, but I am going to help you. And I’m going to tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to offer you a plan of intervention beginning right now. Today. OK? And you can take it or leave it —”
“Take it,” Stephanie interjects.
“But I will not negotiate,” says Dr. Phil. “I have some representatives here from Florida Detox and they’re going to accompany you to the airport, and you ain’t going home. You’re going to Florida. You’re going to Florida Detox where there is an amazing program that can detoxify you from this drug in your body in about three hours.”
Stephanie cries. “Thank you,” she says.
Dr. Phil expands on what she can expect from the Florida Detox staff. “They’re going to do some psychological testing for you to make sure that you’re where you need to be. Then you’re going to go under a general anesthesia, and your body is going to get treated to detoxify you cellularly so you don’t go into all the reactions that you’ve been having. And then they’re going to monitor you for a day to make sure that your body is doing what it’s supposed to do to get these drugs out of your system.”
Dr. Phil reminds her that there is no easy fix. “This is a lifestyle. I am going to search your house. We are going to kill all of your Internet accounts. We’re going to make people know who you are so you cannot get these drugs, alright? Because it just absolutely cannot happen.” As for her kids, he informs her that Choice Care Nannies will provide a fully-screened nanny to assist her father in taking care of her children while she’s gone.
And finally, Dr. Phil introduces Stephanie to a surprise guest. It’s Dr. Ireland, a pastor from a church that she has visited.
“I know you,” she says as he joins her on stage with some final words of support.
“Stephanie, first, I want you to realize that secrecy and darkness is the basis for being trapped,” says Dr. Ireland. “And when you let the cat out of the bag of your addiction, it now frees you to get healing and walk through a process to wholeness. And our church family, we’re 5,000 people behind you. We’re going to help you.” He offers to help Stephanie with childcare, personal counseling and with her faith. “I just want you to know we’re there for you.”
Dr. Phil Refers Another Inspired Wife and Mother to Florida Detox
On October 28, 2005, the Dr. Phil show featured a follow-up story of Stephanie’s successful treatment from Vicodin at Florida Detox and how another wife & mother was inspired by her story; and took action to help herself, and her family.
“My life is a living hell,” says Cara. “I am addicted to painkillers. I have been taking too much Vicodin since 2003. I have been suffering from chronic pain for over four years. When my husband went to Iraq as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom, the stress of that made the chronic pain more intense. I’ve been reduced to what feels like a junkie.”
“I currently buy all my medication online,” explains Cara. “It’s very easy to do. I think what I’m doing is probably illegal. I don’t want to think about it.” Cara knows that her addiction is taking away from her role as a mom. “The other day, I wouldn’t even go to lunch with my son because I was waiting on a delivery.”
But everything changed when Cara saw the previous guest, Stephanie, on the show. “I recorded the show. I just watched it over and over again. Stephanie inspired me because her story was mine. I had a light bulb moment when Dr. Phil told Stephanie about Florida Detox. I could see that there was a way to get help. I was ready.” As Cara packs her bags, she explains, “In a couple of days, I am leaving to go to Florida Detox. I’m sick and tired of the pills running my life. I fear that if I continue down the path that I’ve gone, I will lose my husband, my children, everything.
“Cara speaks with Dr. Phil after returning from Florida Detox. She has been clean for two weeks. “I am doing my best. I feel so much better. As Stephanie said, once the chain is lifted, you have the freedom to get well. And that’s where I am right now,” she says.
Dr. Phil reiterates to Cara and Stephanie the importance of meetings. “I have to say to both of you, sobriety is a lifestyle, it’s changing the way you think and feel, what you breathe into your life. It’s every aspect of being different, and those meetings are a critical, critical part of that. I don’t think you have a chance of success if you don’t start making that a lifestyle. If you have to get a babysitter, whatever you have to do, you have to take care of your children’s mother. And I do not believe you can do it without meetings.”
Dr. Phil informs Cara that Florida Detox is going to waive her fees. “That’s one less pressure you’ve got.”
I have received a lot of very thoughtful and interesting responses to the video blog I posted about the recent study on NFL players and dementia. Here is one from Dr. Rick Sponaugle, Medical Director of Florida Detox and Wellness Institute, that I would like to share with you:
“I have utilized Dr. Amen’s brilliant research and SPECT brain imaging in my addiction practice since 2004. Since then, I have treated many NFL and college level football players who developed Oxycontin addiction from their football injuries.
I encourage all of my professional wrestlers and football players to undergo SPECT imaging at the Amen Clinics a month or so after drug detoxification. Every football player and professional wrestler I have treated for opiate addiction, if they played through college level, NFL or WWE, came back from the Amen Clinic with really ugly, traumatic brain scans.
Most of the players suffered severe temporal lobe damage and subsequently exhibited rage issues, often with spontaneous panic attacks, some with depression. Their wives insisted that they suffered more from their husband’s rage issues, while some of the players considered the rage an occupational advantage, eventually they all admitted it got them into trouble. The players also think that it is normal to experience “deja vu” once a week, not once a year. [Read about temporal lobe trauma in Dr. Amen's Book, Healing Anxiety and Depression.]
With the tremendous advantage I have gained by intense study of Daniel Amen’s research, I have proven that these addicted football players and pro wrestlers, were in fact, using Oxycontin, more for the purpose of quiescing the mini-seizures in their damaged temporal lobes, than for treating their physical knee/back pain.
When treated effectively with high dose pharmaceutical grade GABA or anticonvulsant medication, the players/wrestlers no longer crave or “need” Oxycontin, nor do they abuse alcohol for its GABA A receptor effect.
Alcohol and Oxycontin “like” pain medication, eventually shut down pituitary gland function, creating multiple hormonal deficiencies that are causative for increased pain sensitivity, depression, chronic fatigue and disorders like “Leaky Gut Syndrome.
Hopefully after completing his NFL study, Dr. Amen will commence a study on professional wrestlers and soccer players.” — Dr. Rick Sponaugle
Hear What Former NFL Players Are Saying About the Amen Clinics
In the wake of the recent NFL-commissioned study on brain injuries and the ensuing media storm, I thought you might be interested to hear what an actual NFL player has to say about our program here at the Amen Clinics. If you have been keeping up with my blog, then you probably know that we are currently conducting one of the largest brain-imaging studies on retired NFL football players.
Using sophisticated imaging techniques our goal is to visualize the brains of NFL players to characterize the damage incurred by playing professional football and to provide treatment strategies to improve the players’ brain function and improve their lives.
One of the retired players we scanned for the study is Harry Carson who played for the New York Giants from 1976-1988. Harry was diagnosed in 1990 with post-concussion syndrome and has been dealing with the effects of brain trauma ever since. He recently wrote a blog encouraging other former players to participate in the study:
“If any of you are wrestling with neurological issues that you are aware of or may have been brought to your attention by a loved one I would strongly encourage you to take advantage of the Amen Clinic’s free offer. If you don’t want to do it for yourself, please consider doing it for your families.”
To read the full text of Harry Carson’s blog on the Amen Clinics, click on one of the following links:
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The privacy and confidentiality of any information you provide to Florida Detox® concerning drug or alcohol abuse is legally protected, beginning with your first phone call or email. We are also extremely careful and confidential regarding difficult family situations, and can work with you in any capacity to send information or converse privately.
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Dr. “Rick” Sponaugle has been recognized throughout the world as a leader in the integration of modern brain science into his addiction treatment model. He has been featured in the national media spotlight on such shows as the Dr. Phil show, Suzanne Somers show, Ricki Lake show, CNN Anderson Cooper, FOX News, ABC News, CBS News and NBC News and PBS.
Suzanne Sommers Show – Do you have an addictive Brain?
Dr. Phil Show- Dr Phil Refers Single Mothers to Florida Detox Video
PBS – Dr. Rick Sponaugle on the national PBS broadcast of “The Road to Perfect Health” – with digestive care expert, Brenda Watson, C.N.C.
ABC News – Can Antidepressants Make Teens and Some Adults Suicidal?
ABC News – Detox from Opiate Painkillers While You Sleep – Video
CNN Anderson Cooper – Revolutionary Addiction Treatment – Video
Fox News – New Detox Technique for Pain Pills – Video
Rikki Lake – Advanced Heroin Detox – Video
ABC News- December 2010 – “Imagination diet- Thinking about eating those holiday treats will kill your cravings”
Located in suburbia Tampa Bay Area, Florida Detox® & Wellness Institute is approximately 20 minutes from Tampa International Airport and 12 miles from world famous Clearwater Beach. You and your family will enjoy your stay in our community located on the Gulf of Mexico.
The staff at Florida Detox® & Wellness Institute is friendly and courteous. You and your family will be treated with dignity and respect. Our patients frequently comment on the friendly atmosphere, clean facility and excellent medical care.
Howard – Maryland Dr. Sponaugle reversed Howard’s Parkinson’s Disease.
Lad – Michigan Dr. Sponaugle reversed Lad’s Parkinson’s Disease.
Watch Lad’s First Video Testimonial
At Florida Detox & Wellness Institute, we use our Brain Wellness Program to diagnose and treat medical disorders that cause Parkinson’s Disease.
Parkinson’s Disease is the most common serious movement disorder in the world. It is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, the first being Alzheimer’s.
The disease involves loss of neurons in the specific area of the brain that controls motor movement, the Substantia Nigra.
The Substantia Nigra brain region is the brain’s motor region, it is modulated by or “runs on” the neurotransmitter, Dopamine.
Parkinson’s Disease is caused by the gradual death of dopaminergic neurons in the Substantia Nigra. These nerves are rich in the neurotransmitter dopamine, loss of these nerves and means loss of Dopamine.
Cause of Parkinson’s Disease
There has been a long standing debate as to whether Parkinsonian symptoms are simply caused by dopamine deficiency, a loss of dopamine receptors, or a reduction in dopamine receptivity.
Dopamine receptivity is the ability of dopamine molecules to “fit” on and activate nerve receptors. When dopamine receptors undergo a change in their geometric shape, because of toxic insult, dopamine can no longer activate the receptor, the key no longer fits the lock.
Dr. Sponaugle’s clinical research has proven that most Parkinson’s patients suffer from both, dopamine deficiencies and reduced dopamine receptivity.
Dr. Sponaugle’s Parkinson’s patients
The Parkinson’s patients treated by Dr. Sponaugle have all had genetics for the COMT Val 158 Met enzyme polymorphism. The COMT gene is derived from a Valine – Methionine substitution at the 158 position on the chromosome.
This gene produces an overactive COMT enzyme, the enzyme that metabolizes or “breaks down” dopamine in the nerve synapse, the region between two brain neurons.
Patients with the “super” COMT enzyme, metabolize Dopamine too quickly with a resultant reduction of Dopamine activation throughout the brain. The prefrontal cortex and motor regions are particularly sensitive to dopamine deficiency.
Amino Acid Deficiencies
Patients with both, genetics for a “super” COMT enzyme and concomitant Intestinal Dysbiosis can suffer severe Dopamine deficiencies.
Intestinal Dysbiosis, the overgrowth of pathogenic Candida Yeast and Bacteria is becoming more common in American because our food, especially milk and poultry, has been heavily laden with antibiotics since World War II.
Gut Dysbiosis with associated inflammation of the intestinal lining of elderly Americans causes subsequent deficiencies of the amino acids, Phenylalanine and Tyrosine, which are precursors to the manufacturing of dopamine. Amino acid testing in all of Dr. Sponaugle’s Parkinson’s patients has demonstrated severe deficiencies of phenylalanine and tyrosine that rarely can be corrected with oral supplementation.
Reduced Dopamine Receptivity
Tyrosine is also a necessary precursor for the manufacture of thyroid hormone, thyroid hormone must be at optimal levels to ensure dopamine receptivity
While Dr. Sponaugle has diagnosed COMT genetics and phenylalanine/tyrosine deficiencies in every Parkinson’s patients he has treated, the majority of these patients were already taking L-Dopa medication when they came to Florida Detox & Wellness Institute.
Most of the Parkinson’s patients taking L-Dopa medication had excessive dopamine levels in the range of 2,000 where as the majority of Dr. Sponaugle’s non Parknson’s patients have dopamine levels less than 200.
If Parkinson’s patients continue to suffer symptoms in spite of excessive dopamine levels ranging @ 2,000, yet, Gastric By-Pass patients [severe malabsorption] with severe dopamine deficiency, dopamine levels as low as 49, suffer no Parkinsonian symptoms, it would appear that the etiology of Parkinson’s is more likely reduced dopamine receptivity derived from damaged dopamine receptors.
Neurotoxins Damaging Dopamine Brain Receptors
Howard is a 72 year old retired Navy Physicist from Maryland who recently had total reversal of his Parkinson’s Disease within just 4 weeks of Dr. Sponaugle’s Brain Wellness Program.
Howard’s son, Steve, a high ranking intelligence officer in Washington, D.C. was the first non family, Lyme patient treated at Florida Detox & Wellness Institute in June of 2009 (see Steve’s story on our Lyme Treatment page).
When Howard first came to Florida Detox, he suffered classical Parkinsonian tremors, shuffling of his feet, dys-coordination, brain fog, depression and memory loss. Sadly, a man with a genius IQ was now suffering with severely diminished mental cognition.
After just 4 weeks of treatment, Howard had complete reversal of his Parkinson’s symptoms.
Dr. Sponaugle diagnosed Howard with severe neurotoxicity and several intracellular infections that also destroy dopamine receptors in the brain.
Howard’s testing revealed his brain was saturated with multiple industrial and environmental toxins. These toxins displace Omega 3 fatty acid chains from the structure of brain receptors, distorting their geometric shape, thus, reducing dopamine receptivity.
Parkinson’s Disease on the Brain/Body
PubMed Health says that the average age of developing Parkinson’s disease is most often after age 50. Like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders of the elderly.
With the onset of Parkinson’s disease nerve cells will begin to become damaged. Nerve cells use a brain chemical called dopamine to help control muscle movement. Parkinson’s disease occurs when the nerve cells in the brain that make dopamine are slowly destroyed. Without dopamine, the nerve cells in that part of the brain cannot properly send messages. This leads to the loss of muscle function (3).
The damage will worsen with age, and a variety of medications can be prescribed to help cope with the disease. All medications, however, only treat symptoms and fail to diagnose or treat the underlying cause of Parkinson’s disease or any other neurodegenerative disease for that matter.
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may include:
Difficulty starting or finishing voluntary movements
Howard had Lyme disease, but there are many other factors that must be taken into account. At Florida Detox and Wellness Institute we test for 250 biochemicals, hormones, vitamins, and amino acids, and in our experience there is always more that meets the eye. However, the Lyme disease correlation between neurodegenerativediseases is hard to ignore. In 2003 a study done by Virginia Commonwealth University, revealed that a 63 year old male patient had Parkinson’s disease and Lyme Disease. An aggressive treatment of antibiotics done by the Mayo Clinic produced extremely negative results – only further exacerbating the patient’s symptoms. He then died shortly thereafter, and a full autopsy report confirmed the presence of the Lyme spirochete.
In a study done on ALS patients by Martin Atkinson-Barr PhD, since April 1999, 150 ALS patients have tested positive on one or more of the diagnostic tests used to indicate Lyme Disease. Is it ALS or Lyme Disease?
At the Department of Neuropathology in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 14 autopsy cases of confirmed Alzheimer’s Disease, Lyme spirochetes were found in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid and, moreover, could be isolated from brain tissue. Thirteen age-matched control cases were without spirochetes.
1) CDC, The. “M.S., Parkinson’s, or Simply Lyme Disease?” Issues On Call. Image. Web. 24 Aug. 2011. <http://issuesoncall.blogspot.com/2007/12/ms-parkinsons-or-simply-lyme-disease.html>.
2) “Image.” Odec – Online Digital Education Connection. Web. 24 Aug. 2011. <http://www.odec.ca/projects/2004/mcgo4s0/public_html/t4/DarkSide.html.htm>.
3) “Parkinson’s Disease – PubMed Health.” PubMed Health. National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Web. 24 Aug. 2011. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001762/>.
Why Our Lyme Treatment Is More Successful At Killing Lyme and Other Tick Borne Infections?
At Sponaugle Wellness Institute, we have successfully treated many “chronic Lyme patients” without the harmful effects of antibiotic therapy. We have proven that all chronic Lyme patients suffer from a compromised immune system. Our natural Lyme treatment is focused on enhancing the kill power of our patient’s immune system, thereby enabling the patient to successfully overcome their Lyme infection.
Patients are labeled “chronic Lyme” by their doctors when they fail to get better after spending years on antibiotic therapy. They often undergo Lyme treatment from multiple doctors, many of America’s brightest and most renowned Lyme physicians.
Many of the Lyme patients seen below left their hometown, moved from city to city (Kansas City, Seattle, San Francisco), seeking Lyme treatment from renowned Lyme doctors. These Lyme patients spent thousands of dollars on Lyme treatment consisting of 3 to 6 different antibiotics a day, yet they failed to regain their health.
In fact, antibiotic therapy caused a downward spiral in the health of these Lyme patients. The following cascade of negative events was induced by antibiotic therapy:
Antibiotic-Induced Increased Resistance of Lyme Bacterium
Antibiotic-Induced Gut Toxicity Shuts Down the Immune System
Antibiotic-Induced Neurotoxicity Further Shuts Down the Immune System
Antibiotic-Induced Gut Toxicity Exacerbating Neuro-Lyme Depression and Anxiety
Increased Resistance to Antibiotics
Lyme and other tick borne microorganisms manufacture a polysaccharide matrix called biofilm. Biofilm is a protective shield used by these microorganisms to defend themselves from our antibodies and natural killer cells. Recent studies from the Center for Biofilm Engineering at Montana State University have proven that antibiotics will not fully penetrate the protective biofilm produced by Lyme and other tick-borne microorganisms. Not only does antibiotic therapy fail to produce a bactericidal kill, antibiotics induce bacterial mutations creating even more resistant phenotypes.
According to the American Association of Quantum Medicine, the more we use antibiotics to treat biofilm producing microorganisms, the stronger and more resistant they become. Furthermore, they suggest that biofilm producing-drug resistant microorganisms can only be conquered by enhancing the kill power of the immune system.
Antibiotic-Induced Gut Toxicity Shuts Down the Immune System
In fact, most of our Lyme patients became “more sickly” from antibiotic-induced gut toxicity. Their previous Lyme treatment, years of IV and oral antibiotic therapy, destroyed their normal intestinal flora [bacteria] causing severe gastrointestinal dysbiosis, intestinal overgrowth of pathogenic yeast and bacteria.
Prolonged antibiotic therapy killed God’s intended gut bacteria, Lactobacilllus and Bifidobacterium. The intestinal ph in these Lyme patients became more alkaline allowing excessive overgrowth of Candida yeast and the severely toxic bacteria, Klebsiella, Proteus and Enterobacteriaceae.
Candida mycotoxins and bacterial endotoxins destroyed their intestinal lining causing severe malnutrition and leaky gut syndrome, LGS.
Dr. Rick Sponaugle Brings Young Man
Out Of Lyme Coma
Story Written By: Father Jimmy Branch
John Branch, prior to contracting
University of Alabama and
placed on a feeding tube
John’s first day at
Sponaugle Wellness Institute
Enjoying life again – 12/12
A successful year of college, a cute girlfriend, and a sport truck – life was good for 20 year old John Branch. Youngest of 5 children, a secure family life, living at home, it takes a lot to rock your boat. Never sick, never any drugs…life was easy. However, a perfect storm of genetic and environmental conditions was brewing. Below the surface of our awareness, conditions that would steal and destroy John’s life, health and personality were coming together.
John’s athleticism hid the genetics which weakened his immune response to mold toxicity and lyme infection (HLA-DR genes for 25% of the population). He carried in his blood 10 times the level of toxicity for tricothecenes and ochratoxin, two of the invisible gases emitted by mold. Tricothecene has been used for bio-chemical warfare; It shuts down the entire immune system. His brain had been battered by 8 years of playing football, making his already sensitive frontal lobe even more vulnerable to infections and toxicity.
Storm conditions worsen. An infected insect bite on his neck and persistent rash, sent John to the doctor for a week of antibiotics. The antibiotics delay for 4 months, a meningo-encelphalitic event that was to announce this storm with absolute fear, trepidation and confusion. Photophobia, extreme headache, seizure-like tongue contusion, and out of control self-destructive behavior lands John handcuffed in a ambulance. “He’s on meth and going to jail,” announces the victorious deputy sheriff. An hour later, when John wakes up in the ER…un-aware of what had transpired, the cop capitulates, but still places him under the Baker Act for one night in the local psyche ward.
His perfect storm had manifested and was followed by months of catatonia, schizophrenia, autism, 9 months of different hospitalizations, psyche wards, and dozens of doctors. With health insurance, disability, hospital write offs and over $250,000 out-of-pocket, his bills exceeded $1,000,000. Our healthy, athletic son became a disheveled, helpless, mindless caricature of his former self.
He had been hospitalized at University of Alabama at Birmingham initially. Evidence of encephalitis was found in his spinal tap. Signs of infection demanded short term antibiotics, but no diagnostic lab could pinpoint the cause. This was to become the pattern for every hospital the next four years. When we notified UAB two weeks after our stay that John had two positive elisas and a 5 band, very positive, western blot from our local walk in clinic, they had a difficult time accepting the diagnosis. “There’s no lyme in the South,” one doctor explained. Part of the storm that formed for John, included a medical/political/insurance issue that can get you diagnosed a hypochondriac and your doctor persecuted like a quack.
In 2010, while on 9 months of daily IV antibiotics, John becomes cationic for 3 months. We learned to feed him with a straw adapted as a pipet until he was placed on a feeding tube. We eventually sought help at New York Presbyterian at Cornell. We knew of a lyme-psyche researcher at NYP Columbia and had hoped for some awareness of lyme, or at least better testing, at Cornell. I guess our dramatic story of driving straight from Florida to NY for help, got around the hospital. One of the neurologists sarcastically told us in front of 6 other doctors: “You couldn’t have gotten any closer to Brian Fallon (from Columbia) if you had driven to Miami instead of New York.” The months of oral and IV antibiotics, biofilm development, and tissue sequestration, must have hidden all the bacteria. John was serologically negative according to the primary lab tests and all of his symptoms were psychological. Psyche wards became our only “harbor of medical hope” for two years.
Psyche drugs were of little help. But the psyche realm offered electro-convulsive therapy. Those shock treatments woke him up for two 5 months periods…enough to regain his driver’s license, re-enter school, and buy some time for lyme treatment from non-traditional lyme doctors. Then he would relapse, not to a coma, more of a deep autistic-zombie-mute state. The psyche docs thought he was depressed. The lyme doctors saw infections by lab secondary markers un-known to traditional doctors. Finally, after 2 years, the psyche-ECT doctor gave up. The ECT worked only temporarily to detox John’s brain. Then we found Sponaugle Wellness Institute.
Dr. Sponaugle recognized, John had a toxic lobotomy. He knew what labs were necessary to identify John’s infections. He also understood how to penetrate the biofilms that were sequestering John’s mold, bacterial, fungal, and viral infections. With four years of immuno-suppression equal to that of an aids patient, John had developed several complications besides lyme and mold: babesia, bartonella, 6 viruses, FL1953 bacteria, candida fungus, morgellons, worms and parasites. From day one, Dr S. knew more about John’s brain than any neurologist or psyche doctor we had seen in the prior 4 years. We had seen several lyme literate doctors – very intelligent and caring doctors – but John’s case had pushed them to the limit of understanding and treatment because of his high toxic load and mental symptoms.
Presently, John is almost back to full-time functionality. If hadn’t been for Dr. S, we would have finally given up and settled for a lifetime of half-way houses, psyche drugs, and psyche wards for our son. As for most patients there, Sponaugle Wellness Institute was our last hope for medical help. Dr. Sponaugle is neither super human, nor angel, but God has given him understanding and tools that heal very sick people. We shall ever be grateful for his help through our “perfect storm” because we know there are thousands, just like John, who are still suffering and drowning in this nightmare of a storm.
Below is the before-after nutritional analysis of Teal Green, one of our successfully treated chronic Lyme patients.
Teal – Colorado 4 Weeks Lyme Treatment
“In 5 years of treatment for Lyme disease Dr. Sponaugle
has gotten me farther then any other doctor!” Teal – Facebook
Watch Teal’s Video Testimonial
Prior to arriving at Sponaugle Wellness Institute in a wheel chair, Teal was prescribed six different intravenous antibiotics everyday for four years. Not only did Teal suffer from severe antibiotic-induced malnutrition, she suffered destruction of her intestinal lining.
Seventy percent of the immune system is located in the intestinal lining. Our antibodies are produced in the Pyer’s Patch which is located in the intestinal lining. Lyme treatment consisting of mega antibiotics, through destruction of the intestinal lining, always down regulates the patient’s immune “kill power.”
Elizabeth – Wisconsin Lyme Disease and Mold Toxicity Causing Opiate Addiction
My name is Elizabeth Blume, I am 30 years old and was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. I would like to share my story as to how I ended up at Florida Detox & Wellness Institute. I’ll start by saying I believe that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we never know why, other times we are blessed and are able to connect the pieces. My family history is full of mental health issues and addiction. Both my mother and father came from very dysfunctional homes. They married at a young age and moved away to escape the life style their parents lived and promised themselves a better life. My uncle, my mother’s brother, was not nearly as determined to create a better life for himself. He moved to Florida as an alcoholic and drank himself to death along with his wife. They both passed away at Helen Ellis Hospital between 2008 and 2010 in Tarpon Springs, Florida. This is where fate came into play and my desperate mother who had been searching for years to help find help me the right help found Dr. Sponaugle’s clinic which at the time was located in Helen Ellis hospital. After a brief tour it was finally clear to my mother that his research and treatment would address not just the outer layer but look at the underlying chemical imbalances of the brain that caused my mental health issues and addictions. She was well aware that all the Psychiatrists, Addictionologists, OBGYNs and treatment centers, ext… were not able to help me.
Through most people’s eyes I look like I have had a happy healthy life. This is the farthest thing from the truth. As a child I can vividly remember waking up every morning full of anxiety and rage. I have specific memories of my mom trying to comfort me as I slowly crawled up the stairs to classrooms having full blown anxiety attacks. I was paralyzed with fear all the time. My life seemed to be a living hell. It still blows my mind that at such a young age I was so sick. As I mentioned I had severe anxiety and depression. I was also always fighting chronic sinus infections and was treated with tons of antibiotics. I would get better for a week or so then be sick again. This is where the vicious cycle of antibiotics would continue. Because of my absolute misery at age seven my mother was desperate for help to figure out why I continued to tell her every day there was something wrong with my body and brain. She found a family Psychiatrist who put me on Prozac. From then on I saw over fifteen different Psychiatrists and multiple specialists who seemed to want to help me. I was put on every psych med there was, some would work for a short period of time others gave me crazy side effects. I was then told “well it didn’t work for you, but let’s try this one and if you take this other one with it; it will help”. This process went on for years. I became more depressed and anxious to the point of not wanting to leave my own house. As you can imagine I was extremely frustrated and lost faith in everyone and everything.
With such frustration and constant pain I began self medicating with anything I could find. I was smoking pot at age thirteen to self medicate my depression and anxiety. At this age my hormones made things harder. A hormone imbalance complicated everything my doctors were already doing. As I grew older drove me to risky behaviors and heavier drug use. Every time I got high I felt great and in the beginning thought it was no big deal because it made everything feel ok. I became I got stuck in a group of “friends” who all had some drug that worked better that the prescriptions my doctors were giving me. Every psychiatrist had their own ideas about me without the proper knowledge they continued to prescribe me everything in the book and label me with a different diagnosis every time. I was hospitalized five or six different times always as dual diagnoses, meaning I was being treated for mental health, as well as addictions. This only made things worse.
It was a long five years of research and a few other cards that fate played in our families life that allowed me to be a grateful patient of Dr. Sponagle and his team at Florida Detox & Wellness Institute.
Antibiotic-Induced Neurotoxicity Further Shuts Down the Immune System
Candida mycotoxins and bacterial endotoxins migrate from the gut to the brain. These toxins are lipophilic [fatty]; therefore, they migrate to and deposit in the fattiest organ, the brain. The brain consists of 60 percent fat. The level of neurotoxicity Lyme patients suffer from the Lyme toxin, is greatly exacerbated by the additional accumulation of gut toxins in the brain.
Problematic, is that antibiotic-induced neurotoxicity, causes further suppression of the immune system in Lyme patients. The entire nervous system, particularly the brain, provides direct modulation and control of immune system cytokine activity. Cytokines, the immune system’s chemical messengers, are responsible for both activating and suppressing immune kill power.
When neurotoxins down regulate the brain’s electrical function, there is less electrical stimulation of cytokine activity. In a healthy brain, electrical current jumps over the myelin on brain neurons in rapid fashion. However, when the myelin sheath, which consists 80 percent of the “good fats, Omega 3 and Omega 6, becomes infiltrated with fatty neurotoxins from the gut, in addition to toxins from the Lyme spirochete, it becomes inflamed and ultimately scars causing a “slowing” or down regulation of electrical conduction.
Every month Lyme patients undergo antibiotic therapy they develop more gut toxicity which causes increased neurotoxicity, and subsequently, less cytokine kill power. This decreases their ability to kill Lyme and other tick borne infections.
Antibiotic-Induced Gut Toxicity Exacerbates Neuro-Lyme Depression and Anxiety
Dr. Sponaugle has performed extensive brain chemistry research in patients suffering from antibiotic-induced gut toxicity in which he correlated abnormalities on their brain scans with brain chemical imbalances and deficiencies. Antibiotic-induced changes in brain chemistry cause excessive electrical activity in two specific brain regions, the deep limbic system and the anterior cingulate gyrus.
Excessive electrical activity in the brain’s deep limbic system gives Lyme patients symptoms of depression, moodiness, negativity, irritability, and feelings of hopelessness and excessive guilt. They also become more easily offended.
When Lyme patients develop an overactive anterior cingulate, they become extremely anxious, they develop a type of obsessive compulsive anxiety in which they worry about everything. They also become more argumentative and hyper-focused on the negative.
To learn more about gut toxicity and the gut-brain connection, please read the anxiety and depression chapters on this website and the book, “The Road to Perfect Health” a bookco-authored by Dr. Sponaugle.
Dr Sponaugle’s Brain Research in Lyme Patients
Dr. Sponaugle’s sophisticated brain research in Lyme patients has proven that antibiotic-induced gut toxicity greatly exacerbates the depression and anxiety caused by Lyme. Antibiotic-induced gut toxicity dramatically changes brain chemistry and is arguably the primary causation of the severe depression, brain fog, chronic fatigue, anxiety, and panic disorders experienced by most Lyme patients.
Neurolyme and Excitoneurotoxicity
Lyme patients can suffer from severe excitoneurotoxicity. Excitoneurotoxicity is the extreme up-regulation of electrical current in the brain.
Fortunately, Kevin got addicted to OxyContin in his attempt to reduce the electrical voltage in his brain. Dr. Sponaugle diagnosed the underlying cause of Kevin’s addiction; Lyme Disease, Bartonella, Mycoplasma and Protomyxoa Rheumatica as seen on his Frye testing below.
Kevin – Maryland Lyme Disease – Bartonella – Opiate Addiction
If left unchecked, excitoneurotoxicity causes premature Alzheimer’s because the excessive electrical voltage eventually causes electrification of the brain neurons and premature destruction of brain tissue. Lyme patients who suffer from excitoneurotoxicity often say, “Dr. Sponaugle, I feel like my brain is going to explode!”
Fortunately, Dr. Sponaugle has the brain expertise to quickly balance aberrations in brain chemistry caused by Lyme and tick borne infections like Bartonella. Dr. Sponaugle’s ability to normalize the brain’s electrical voltage is a blessing for anxiety ridden Lyme patients.
More Chronic Lyme Success Stories
Jennifer – California Lyme Disease – Bartonella – Opiate Addiction
Jennifer was a successful runway model in California until age 23 when she suddenly became “very sickly.” Between ages 23 and 33, Jennifer spent over $1,300,000 at California Universities and California Wellness Centers attempting to get a proper diagnosis and regain her health. In October, 2011, Jennifer and her mother came to Sponaugle Wellness Institute as a last hope to determine what was robbing this young woman of her health.
Upon Jennifer’s arrival, Dr. Sponaugle reviewed her lab data and informed Jennifer that he suspected severe mold toxicity and potentially Lyme disease. Subsequent testing revealed Jennifer was suffering from severe Trichothecene toxicity, Lyme Disease and a severe Bartonella infection.
Dr. Sponaugle explained to Jennifer and her mother that the Trichothecene mold toxin down regulates the immune system’s “kill power” such that even young healthy women like Jennifer have no ability to kill tick borne infections like the Lyme Bacterium and the Bartonella bacterium.
At first, Jennifer and her mother were skeptical that a Los Angeles home could have a problem with hidden mold. Subsequently, they have found and remediated the hidden mold that played a pivotal role in Jennifer’s health issues.
The Lyme infection and the Bartonella infection were both causative for Jennifer’s daily headaches which were treated by California pain doctors with opiate pain medication. After 8 weeks of Dr. Sponaugle’s treatment for Lyme disease and Bartonella, Jennifer took her second picture. Had Jennifer’s mold toxicity, Lyme disease and Bartonella infection been properly diagnosed, Jennifer would not have lost her modeling career nor would she have spent $1.3 million on failed medical treatment.
Megan was a teenage model before she became sick from what doctors in Mississippi thought was just Lyme Disease; she suffered with severe chronic fatigue and anxiety, all typical Lyme symptoms. After years of failed antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease, Megan and her family came to Sponaugle Wellness Institute in July of 2011. Megan’s Lyme doctors had failed to recognize that she suffered from much more than Lyme Disease. Megan was suffering from severe black mold toxicity, her Trichothecene levels measured to be 25 times the government set toxic level of 0.2 parts per billion.
Dr. Sponaugle explained to Megan and her mother that antibiotics would never kill Lyme when Megan’s immune system was essentially shut down from the Trichothecene toxin. Megan underwent Dr. Sponaugle’s proprietary intravenous mold toxicity treatment followed by the Sponaugle intravenous treatment for Lyme Disease. Within weeks, Megan regained her health and she lost 60 pounds of the excess weight she gained when her endocrine system was shut down from Mold Toxicity and Lyme Disease.
Carol – New Jersey Lyme Disease – Severe Bartonella
Lyme Spirochete (Cystic Stage)
Carol came to Sponaugle Wellness Institute after she spent 6 years attempting to conquer her Lyme Disease. Carol was treated by the top Lyme doctors in New Jersey and New York. Her Lyme treatment consisted of 3 different antibiotics a day for 6 years, the antibiotics failed to kill Carol’s Lyme and further worsened her health. Carol’s Lyme specialists failed to diagnose Bartonella, Mycoplasma, and Protomyxzoa Rheumatica.
After ten weeks of Dr. Sponaugle’s Lyme treatment, Carol saw a dramatic improvement in her health as seen in her before and after pictures.
Sara – Connecticut Lyme Disease – Bartonella – Babesia
Sara suffered years of chronic fatigue from lyme disease before going to Sponaugle Wellness Institute. Sarah was treated by lyme specialists in New York including professors at Columbia Medical Center and NYC Medical Center.
Pat – Virginia Lyme Disease – Bartonella
Pat underwent 10 years of lyme treatment in Virginia before coming to Sponaugle Wellness Institute in May of 2012. Pat stated that two weeks of Sponaugle Lyme Treatment was more effective than his previous 10 years of lyme treatment from various Doctors in Virginia.
Dr. Sponaugle’s brain expertise is invaluable in working with Lyme patients. Dr. Sponaugle immediately corrects brain chemistry abnormalities in Lyme patients; this greatly reduces their depression and anxiety within the first week. Dr. Sponaugle’s proprietary intravenous nutritional and toxin removal therapy quickly optimizes brain function and immune kill power, thus preparing Lyme patients for a successful Lyme kill.
Dr. Sponaugle’s Lyme Treatment
Dr. Sponaugle’s approach to treating Lyme patients is to optimize their immune function which requires optimization of every other body system. Having specialized in intensive care medicine, Dr. Sponaugle determined that effective treatment of sick patients requires expertise and knowledge of every system in the body; this assisted Dr. Sponaugle in designing his comprehensive Lyme treatment protocol.
Dr. Sponaugle uses herbal medicine he has formulated by pharmacies in Oregon in addition to natural intravenous therapy.
Initial Consultation- A Comprehensive Evaluation of Your Brain and Body Function
During your initial consultation, Dr. Sponaugle will perform a comprehensive evaluation of your brain and body function. Because the function or “kill power” of your immune system is dependent on other body systems, Dr. Sponaugle will analyze mathematical data to determine how well your immune system, and your other body systems are working. Your immune system’s “kill power” will be optimized using this mathematical data, not guess work.
After this extensive consultation, Dr. Sponaugle will design an individual treatment program including the proper staging of different therapeutic maneuvers. He will determine if he should first optimize the function of various body systems and detoxify your brain and body from environmental toxins, immunosuppressive toxins, before he begins his natural Lyme kill treatment. Based on our treatment of many “Chronic Lyme” patients, your previous Lyme physicians have not diagnosed significant environmental toxicity that is “shutting down” your natural kill power.
Your initial evaluation will begin with specialized DNA testing to determine genetic antibody deficiencies that predispose you to a compromised immune system. Measurement of your antibody levels, in addition to 200 different bio-chemicals, immune biomarkers and toxin biomarkers will assist Dr. Sponaugle in his evaluation of your immune function, neurological function including brain function, endocrine function and gastrointestinal function.
Dr. Sponaugle will perform an extensive analysis of your brain neurotransmitters with correlation to nutritional markers and amino acid levels. Brain chemistry analysis is worthless without a coincident nutritional analysis. Activity of these chemical messengers that modulate immune activity must be optimized for proper immune function.
Dr. Sponaugle will also perform an extensive evaluation of your endocrine system with analysis of the entire brain [hypothalamic] – pituitary – adrenal and gonadal [ovarian or testicular] production of hormones. Special emphasis will be placed on pituitary [brain] hormones and downstream hormones that activate specific cytokines. Amazingly, a thorough endocrine analysis on the Chronic Lyme patients Dr. Sponaugle has treated revealed severe deficiencies of the specific hormones that activate Interleukin 6 and other cytokine kill power.
Dr. Sponaugle will, as stated above, perform an extensive analysis of your gastrointestinal function because your gut provides 70 percent of your immune system. Through the utility of intravenous toxin removal and intravenous nutritional therapy, Dr. Sponaugle will enhance your immune system’s natural ability to kill the Lyme spirochete and other tick borne infections.
After your initial consultation, Dr. Sponaugle will determine exactly what must be done to optimize your immune system’s kill power and in what stages, staging is extremely important in producing successful kill of the Lyme spirochete and other tick borne infections. Dr. Sponaugle will design an individual treatment plan including the use of various herbals to optimize immune function, and the precise time at which we can begin your intravenous “Lyme kill” treatment.
Dr. Sponaugle will analyze multiple immune markers, not simply the CD 57 lymphocyte which is the specific white blood cell that is down regulated by the Lyme toxin. Through analysis of other immune markers and toxin biomarkers, Dr. Sponaugle will determine how much down-regulation your immune system has suffered from environmental toxins.
Dr. Sponaugle’s clinical research and research from Germany, has proven that many environmental toxins, particularly industrial toxins like Toluene and mold toxins like Trichothecene, suppress the immune system to a much greater extent than the Lyme toxin.
The toxin produced by the Lyme bacterium suppresses production of one white blood cell, the CD 57 Lymphocyte. However, German research has proven that the Trichthecene T2 mold toxin suppresses both the humoral [antibodies] and cellular components of the immune system. Trichothecene shuts down all bone marrow production. Dr. Sponaugle has diagnosed severe Trichothecene toxicity in the majority of the “Chronic Lyme” patients who failed to get better elsewhere.
Ninety percent of the “Chronic Lyme” patients previously treated by LLMDs were suffering from undiagnosed mold toxicity when they came to Sponaugle Wellness Institute. Their undiagnosed mold toxicity greatly compromised their immune function and played a role in their failed Lyme treatment.
Brain Toxicity and the Herxheimer Reaction
Dr. Sponaugle has measured the surge of “electrifying” brain chemicals that occurs during the Herxheimer reaction in hundreds of Lyme patients. Excessive toxin surge during an effective Lyme kill produces a surge of excitatory neurotransmitters that subsequently cause a surge of electrical current throughout your brain and body.
Using his brain chemistry expertise, Dr. Sponaugle has designed a protocol to block these specific brain chemicals from activating receptors on the brain and peripheral nervous system. This greatly ameliorates the suffering Lyme patients typically experience as the Herxheimer reaction.
It is the cumulative toxic load that actually determines how much excessive “electrical voltage” a Lyme patient will experience on a daily basis. Slow leakage of Lyme toxins from the cell wall of the Lyme spirochete causes elevated electrical voltage throughout the brain and body in Lyme patients. This is experienced by Lyme patients as anxiety and fibromyalgia, respectfully.
During a Lyme kill, the Lyme toxin is released rapidly from the ruptured cell wall of the Lyme bacterium. The temporary surge of Lyme toxins throughout the brain and body during a Lyme die off causes a surge of electrifying brain chemicals, this subsequently produces a severely “over electrified” brain which exacerbates anxiety and panic disorder.
Dr. Sponaugle prefers reducing your brain’s toxic load with his intravenous detoxification therapy before he begins intravenous Lyme kill treatment. This markedly decreases your Herxheimer reaction! Furthermore, intravenous removal of environmental toxins with our proprietary intravenous toxin removal therapy will up-regulate the kill power of your immune system further optimizing your ability to kill tick borne infections.
Brain Function and Your Immune System
Brain chemicals are neurotransmitters that modulate the electrical function of your brain and the body. These neurotransmitters also modulate the up-regulation and down-regulation of your immune system. Chronic Lyme patients always suffer deficiencies and imbalances of their neurotransmitters, thus, the kill power of their immune system is greatly compromised. According to data from Neuroscience labs, Dr. Sponaugle has performed 7,000 brain chemical analyses, 2,000 more than any doctor in Canada or America.
Dr. Sponaugle’s brain expertise is invaluable in treating Lyme patients, for optimization of immune function, ameliorating the Herxheimer reaction and for more effective treatment of the depression, anxiety and panic disorders Lyme patients experience.
Dr. Sponaugle performs an extensive analysis of the endocrine system because specific hormones modulate the activity of natural killer cells and other immune function. Furthermore, brain accumulation of the Lyme toxin down-regulates pituitary output of hormones that modulate the immune system. Most of the Chronic Lyme patients treated at Sponaugle Wellness Institute reveal a total shut down of their endocrine system on arrival.
The Lyme toxin destroys the intestinal mucosa, this wreaks havoc on the gastrointestinal system. Dr Sponaugle will perform an extensive evaluation of your GI function. He will perform a micro-analysis of amino acid levels and numerous nutritional markers.
Dr. Sponaugle will also evaluate bio-markers for pathogenic intestinal yeast and pathogenic intestinal bacteria that produce toxins which cause immune-suppression. He will also evaluate bio-markers for Leaky Gut Syndrome which causes and generalized gut toxicity.
Because Dr. Sponaugle’s initial medical training was in cardiac and intensive care medicine, he is adept at analyzing multiple bio-markers of your cardio-vascular system in addition to other cardiac risk markers that are often elevated in Lyme patients.
Tick borne infections, particularly Lyme and Bartonella, are notorious for causing cardiac arrhythmias, incomplete heart block and partial conduction delays in the heart’s electrical system. Even young patients commonly develop right bundle branch block and “heart rate variability” often referred to as “sick sinus” syndrome. When appropriate, Dr. Sponaugle will evaluate an echocardiogram, an ultrasound of your heart.
Click here to view Dr. Sponaugle’s Curriculum Vitae.
Dr. Marvin “Rick” Sponaugle is Board Certified in two specialties, Addiction Medicine and Anesthesiology. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Dr. Sponaugle is also a member of ACAM, the American College for the Advancement of Medicine.
Dr. Sponaugle is often invited to speak at physician meetings and national audiences on “Brain Chemistry and Addiction” and the topic of ”The Brain-Body Connection in Wellness.” Dr. Sponaugle was a guest speaker at the White House in 2008 where he met with Rubin Brasalis, Deputy Chief to President Bush. A list of Dr. Sponaugle’s past and upcoming speaking engagements can be located further down this page.
Dr. Sponaugle is the first addictionologist to correlate brain chemistry patterns with variations seen on SPECT Brain scans in addicted patients. He has matched these changes to specific drug craving patterns in his patients. This research has enabled Dr. Sponaugle’s patients to achieve much lower relapse rates because their drug and alcohol craving stops when their brain chemistry imbalance is corrected.
Dr. Sponaugle is also the first addictionologist to prove that imbalance of female hormones has causation in at least 60 percent of the addiction issues seen in middle age women. Dr. Sponaugle lectures on this phenomenon at national meetings and was a speaker on “Menopause Causing Alcoholism and Drug Addiction” at the annual AACC meeting [8,000 attendees] in Nashville, September 2011.
Dr. Sponaugle is the first doctor in America to determine a classic brain chemistry pattern caused by Black Mold Toxicity, the excessive accumulation of the Stachybotrus Trichothecene T2 toxin in the brain. Dr. Sponaugle’s research has clearly proven that changes in brain chemistry derived from hidden mold toxins causes craving for relaxing drugs and subsequently, alcoholism, Xanax addiction and Oxycontin addiction. Americans with HLA DRBQ genetics have difficulty removing these toxins from their brain and body.
Dr. Sponaugle’s clinical research has proven that there are hundreds of biochemical and medical disorders that commonly contribute to the drug and alcohol craving!! Yet, these treatable disorders are rarely diagnosed at America’s drug treatment centers. Since 1998, Dr. Sponaugle has attempted to change the paradigm of addiction treatment to a less judgmental, more scientific model – one that embraces the biochemical basis for addiction.
Dr. Sponaugle’s use of advanced brain science combined with integrative medicine principles for the healing of drug induced brain damage in thousands of patients has taught him how to more successfully treat multiple brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Autistic disorders, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Sponaugle is currently proving that these brain disorders can be more effectively treated with integrative medicine protocols than with pharmaceutical medications alone.
HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE: Dr. Sponaugle was born in Franklin, West Virginia. While majoring in chemistry at West Virginia University, Dr. Sponaugle was awarded the Alpha Epsilon Delta National Chemistry Honor Society, the Beta Theta Pi National Merit Scholarship and Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.
After graduating with the honor of PHI BETA KAPPA, Dr. Sponaugle accepted one of four scholarships given by the state of West Virginia to outstanding pre-med students for enrollment at the WVU School of Medicine. After receiving his MD degree at WVU, Dr. Sponaugle attended the University of Florida where he performed specialty training in anesthesiology, cardiac-intensive care medicine and pain management.
In 1985, Dr. Sponaugle began private practice in Tampa Bay. He has served as Chief of Anesthesiology for two Tampa Bay hospitals, Medical Director of three surgical centers and the Medical Director of the Watermark Pain Treatment Center.
While treating chronic pain patients in the 1990′s, Dr. Sponaugle became aware that patients treated for OxyContin addiction or Methadone addiction at America’s rehab centers suffered painful and dangerous withdrawal symptoms for weeks, further investigation revealed that barbaric detox protocols had not changed for fifty years.
Because of his ICU training, Dr. Sponaugle realized that the Oxycontin detox, Xanax detox and alcohol detox protocols used at America’s addiction treatment centers were dangerous, producing unchecked surges of adrenaline that reduced blood flow to the brain and heart for days/weeks.
In 1998, Dr. Sponaugle began designing safer and less painful alcohol and drug detox protocols using his cardiac anesthesiology skills and a computerized heart monitor known as TEE, trans-esophageal echocardiography. Dr. Sponaugle designed a relatively painless Oxycontin detox that protects blood flow to the heart and the brain. Dr. Sponaugle proved the extraordinary safety of his monitored and accelerated “rapid detox” protocol in 2007 when he treated a heart transplant patient from Kansas City who was suffering from an Oxycontin addiction of 3,200 milligrams a day.
Dr. Sponaugle has professed since 2000, that brain chemistry is the key to treating addiction. He is changing the paradigm of addiction treatment from a historical foundation of ‘talk therapy’ to a more scientific and fully integrated treatment model – one that treats the brain and the body together balancing brain chemistry through correction of multiple hormonal and nutritional deficiencies that commonly cause drug and alcohol craving.
Dr. Sponaugle’s clinical research has proven that there are a myriad of medical disorders that cause drug craving and addiction. Unfortunately, these medical disorders are misdiagnosed, constantly over looked at traditional addiction treatment centers because they still consider addiction to be a primary disease. How could they possibly know any better if they have failed to look, many fail to measure any laboratory values?
Dr. Sponaugle’s addiction research has proven that common neurotoxins derived from indoor mold in water damaged buildings, petroleum products, paint thinners, nail polish remover change brain chemical patterns causing anxiety and insomnia and hence, subsequent addiction. Matching a brain chemistry pattern that is an indirect biomarker of excessive toxin accumulation in the brain, Dr. Sponaugle has diagnosed brain toxicity as a leading cause of Oxycontin addiction in teenagers and young adults.
Through proper diagnosis and treatment of underlying medical disorders in addicted patients, Dr. Sponaugle has produced an extremely low addiction relapse rate of only nine percent at six months post detox.
Dr. Sponaugle accepts referrals from doctors throughout North America including University Medical Centers and Dr. Phil. He has been featured on numerous national media including the Dr. Phil show, Ricki Lake show, CNN Anderson Cooper, FOX News, ABC News, CBS News and NBC News and PBS.
Dr. Sponaugle recently co-authored the amazing health reference book “The Road To Perfect Health – Balance Your Gut, Heal Your Body with renowned natural health & nutrition expert Brenda Watson, C.N.C., N.D. and Leonard Smith M.D. who is associate professor of Integrative Health at the University of Miami School of Medicine.
You can purchase “The Road To Perfect Health” through PBS using the link here! 100% of your donation goes to WEDU-West Central Florida’s PBS Station.
We are proud to announce that Dr. Rick Sponaugle was featured in the October 2011 edition of Life Extension Magazine. This is a great honor as Life Extension is one of the most prestigious Anti-aging and Wellness Institutions in America. They are the nation’s leader in research for Anti-aging and Longevity Medicine.