News reports have been flooding us with articles warning that the impending flu season may be the worst in years. Even though it is difficult to separate the facts from the hype, a close evaluation of the flu vaccine will reveal that serious questions must be raised about the recommendations that are routinely touted, namely high efficacy with little risk. Anyone considering a flu shot should become informed about the substances coming through that needle, and should be determined to investigate the safety and efficacy issues that are still unresolved.
The Vaccine Virus
Each year, a new vaccine is developed that contains three different viruses (one influenza B and two influenza A strains). CDC officials select the new viruses based on which viruses were prevalent during the flu season in China and Australia the previous year. The CDC admits that the viruses selected for the new vaccine are chosen on the basis of an “educated guess.” [i]
What’s in a Flu Shot?
The influenza virus is grown in “specific pathogen-free” (SPF) eggs. Eggs are tested for a variety of agents—usually between 23 and 31—to confirm the absence of those specific pathogens. Laboratories limit the number of agents that are screened due to the shear abundance of potential viruses and/or bacteria to choose from. In addition, screening for every potential agent would be cost prohibitive.[ii] If none of the tested agents are detected, the vaccine is reported as “pathogen free.”
However, it should be understood that there is a distinct difference between “pathogen free” and “specific pathogen-free.” In its July 1996 report, the Institute of Medicine acknowledged that “although it is not possible to produce a completely uncontaminated animal, it is possible to produce an animal [or egg] certified to be free of specific pathogens.”[iii] Viruses that are harmless to their animal host, however, may be potentially harmful to humans.
During the manufacturing process, antibiotics (neomycin, polymyxin B and gentamicin) are added to eliminate stray bacteria found in the mixture. The final solution can contain the following additives in any combination: Triton X-100 (a detergent); polysorbate 80 (a potential carcinogen); gelatin; formaldehyde; and residual egg proteins. In addition, many of the influenza vaccines still contain thimerosal as a preservative. Thimerosal (mercury) is being investigated for its link to brain injury and autoimmune disease.
Does the Flu Shot Protect?
There are no guarantees that the influenza viruses selected for the vaccine will be the identical strains circulating during a given flu season. In fact, it has recently been announced that this year’s flu vaccine does not include the strain that is being reported by doctors in the community called the “A Fujian” strain. Outbreaks have been reported in Texas, Colorado and elsewhere[iv] that involve strains that do not match the current flu vaccine. CDC tests have confirmed that more than 80 per cent of the 55 strains of influenza virus isolated thus far are the A Fujian strain. Even so, the CDC still maintains that the current vaccine could provide cross-protection against the new variant, but the fact is, no one knows for sure.
Moreover, the majority of illnesses characterized by fever, fatigue, cough and aching muscles are not caused by the influenza virus. Non-influenza viruses (e.g., rhinoviruses respiratory syncytial virus [RSV], adenoviruses, and parainfluenza viruses) can cause symptoms referred to influenza-like illnesses (ILI). Certain bacteria, such as Legionella spp., Chlamydia pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Streptococcus pneumoniae, have been documented as the causes of ILI.[v]
Notably, these microbes are not part of the flu vaccine. Unless an organism’s antigen is contained within the vaccine, there is no protection conferred by the vaccine. It is estimated that most adults will average 1-3 episodes of ILI, and most children will average 3-6 episodes. The CDC also admits that “many persons who have been vaccinated against influenza can still get the flu”[vi]
Targeting the Elderly
The flu vaccine is generally recommended for persons aged 65 and older, and those with medical conditions who could experience serious complications from the flu. Medical journals report broad differences in effectiveness for the elderly, ranging from 0 to 85%.
The CDC states that 90% of deaths from influenza occur among the elderly. Considering that nearly 65% of all deaths (from any cause) occur in this age group, it is nearly impossible to prove that flu shots significantly increase life expectancy in this group. The truth is that most people—young and old—will weather a bout of the flu without hospitalization or complications.
A Serious Concern: Alzheimer’s Disease
Hugh Fudenberg, MD, an immunogeneticist and biologist with nearly 850 papers published in peer review journals, has reported that if an individual had five consecutive flu shots between 1970 and 1980 (the years studied), his/her chances of getting Alzheimer’s Disease is ten times higher than if they had zero, one, or two shots.[vii]
Dr. Boyd Haley, Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky, Lexington has done extensive research in the area of mercury toxicity and the brain. Haley’s research has established a likely connection between mercury toxicity and Alzheimer’s disease. [viii] In a paper published in collaboration with researchers at University of Calgary, Haley stated that “seven of the characteristic markers that we look for to distinguish Alzheimer’s disease can be produced in normal brain tissues, or cultures of neurons, by the addition of extremely low levels of mercury.”[ix] EMPHASIS ADDED
Does this prove that the mercury contained in the influenza shot can be directly linked to Alzheimer’s? No, absolutely not. But further research in this area is critically needed because the absence of proof is not the “proof of absence.”[x]
Flu Vaccine Now for Children
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) adopted a resolution effective March 1, 2003 that expanded the use of the influenza vaccine to include children aged 6-23 months. The recommendations also included vaccinating those aged 2 to 18 years who live in households containing children younger than 2 years of age.[xi]
The flu vaccine most commonly given to children is Fluzone, a trivalent vaccine grown in chicken eggs. Harvested with formaldehyde and containing the recommended ratio of 15 ug of each of the three prototype viral strains, each dose of Fluzone also contains 25 ug of mercury.[xii] The new CDC recommendations include giving the influenza vaccine to children beginning at six months of age and then annually, for the rest of their lives. Children less than age 9 receiving their first flu shot, two doses of vaccine are recommended, with a minimum interval of one month between the two doses. However, the CDC does not provide a direct reference to substantiate this recommendation.[xiii]
On June 17, 2003, the FDA approved an intranasal influenza vaccine for use in healthy persons aged 5–49 years. Flumist is a live-virus vaccine that can cause a litany of problems.
If you choose not to receive the flu shot, have a discussion with your doctor regarding other options. However, some simple and possibly quite effective things you can do for yourself to prevent the flu include: 1) avoid white sugar;[xiv] 2) exercise regularly; 3) get adequate sleep; 4) eat a healthy diet, omitting trans-fats; 5) drink plenty of purified water daily and 6) wash your hands. A common way people contract viral illnesses is by rubbing their nose or their eyes after their hands have been contaminated with a virus. The CDC states, “the most important thing you can do to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands.”[xv]
We are so used to taking medications—for prevention and treatment—that it is difficult to comprehend that these modest recommendations are really the most powerful ways to minimize the likelihood of getting the flu.
Making the Decision
You may decide to consult a physician who is schooled in alternative medicine to assess a variety of options for you and your family. What is most important, in the end, is to become as informed as possible regarding your options for keeping healthy and avoiding the flu.
[i] Sabin, Russel and Reynolds. Breakdowns Mar Flu Shot Program Production, distribution delays raise fears of nation vulnerable to epidemic. San Francisco Chronicle. Feb. 25, 2001
[ii] Charles River Laboratories, A Laboratory Animal Health Monitoring Program: Rationale and Development,’ (Winter 1990); Source: Internet address
[iii] Institute of Medicine Press Release: Federal Guidelines Needed to Ensure Safety in Animal-to-Human Organ Transplants. July 17, 1996.
[iv]CBS: The Associated Press. CDC Says Flu Season Is Going Strong in Parts of U.S., Vaccine Doesn’t Match Strain Doctors See.
[v] MMWR. November 9, 2001 / 50(44);984-6
[vi] MMWR Nov. 9, 2001/50(44); 984-6
[vii] Hugh Fudenberg, MD, is Founder and Director of Research, Neurolmmuno Therapeutic Research Foundation. Information from Dr. Hugh Fudenberg came from transcribed notes of Dr. Fudenberg’s speech at the NVIC International Vaccine Conference, Arlington, VA September, 1997. Quoted with permission.
[viii] The Relationship of Toxic Effects of Mercury to Exacerbation of the Medical Condition Classified as Alzheimer’s Disease by Boyd E. Haley, PhD.
[ix] NeuroReport, 12(4):733-737, 2001
[xi] MMWR. 2002;51[RR-3]:1-31
[xii] Package insert. Influenza Virus VaccineFluzone® 2003 – 2004 Formula
[xiii] MMWR. 2002: 51 [RR-3], pg. 19
[xiv] All forms of refined sugar depress white blood cells’ ability to destroy bacteria. See Sanchez A, et al. Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis. Am J Clin Nutr 1973;26:1180.
[xv]CDC—Handwashing: An ounce of prevention keeps the germs away.
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.