What if there was a therapy that could greatly improve, if not resolve, the symptoms of multiple chemical sensitivity, Lyme disease, or mold illness? Imagine if this therapy was very well tolerated, reproducible, highly effective, and extremely cost-effective. Sound too good to be true? Well-read on…
Unfortunately, in just a few decades, we have seen an explosion of modern-day chronic illnesses, ranging from autoimmune disease, inflammatory gut disorders (IBS/Crohn’s disease), chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), to neurological illness (Autism, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis and ALS). Many of these diseases can be traced back to a dysregulated immune system–or one that is either overactive or underactive. If the immune system is underactive, a person may become fatigued with a virus such as the Epstein-Barr virus, as it creates inflammation throughout the body. If the immune system is overactive, it can inappropriately overreact to everything, from perfumes, cosmetics, and various foods to many other substances. This can lead to a complex constellation of symptoms that can be extraordinarily difficult to diagnose and treat. This scenario causes frustration not only for those who are suffering from complex chronic conditions but also for their healthcare providers that are left with limited options for treatment.
If the immune system is determined to be overactive, often the solution is to try to suppress the immune system with things like steroids or biological medicines such as Humira. If the immune system is underactive, the focus is on stimulating the immune system with various medications like IV IG or gamma globulin. Unfortunately, these treatments are not without side effects and can be extraordinarily expensive.
It is well known that toxins and infections are often found to be the root cause of many of these conditions. However, more often than not, the treatment plan is to attempt to kill the pathogen through aggressive treatment such as antibiotics, herbal treatments, etc. This can lead to severe aggravations in the patient, detox or Herxheimer reactions, etc. The same principle applies if a toxin is involved. Trying to aggressively detox heavy metals using chelation therapy, for example, can overwhelm one’s detox pathways and can therefore severely compromise the health of the patient.
Therefore, although short-term gains may be made, attempting to rid the body or kill a target pathogen and or toxin ultimately doesn’t work and could make things much worse.
Part of the problem is that pathogens such as Borrelia Burgdorferi can evade the immune system and persist for long periods in the body. Borrelia has the ability to hide from the immune system by remaining in a dormant state (L form) and hide from the immune system, often in biofilms. The immune system then becomes ‘confused ‘because it has all of the alarm signals of infection but can’t actually detect the pathogen. Sometimes this can lead to a situation where the immune system may inappropriately attack its own tissues, leading to autoimmunity. For example, certain bacterial pathogens such as Klebsiella and Proteus are known triggers of rheumatoid arthritis. Yet, the standard of treatment is steroids and biological medicines (which can only address the symptoms). Additionally, the immune system can remain overactive long after the initial threat has been resolved. We see cases like this in long covid, post Lyme syndrome, and mold illness. The result is something called Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS), where the body remains perpetually inflamed despite multiple interventions. It probably comes as no surprise, therefore, that one of the general reasons for chronic fatigue is immune dysfunction, secondary to chronic pathogenic activity.
So herein lies an important point: much of what we think of as chronic illness today is simply due to chronic immune system over-activation. In such a state, the body has lost tolerance to various foreign invaders (or pathogens) and/or foreign substances or antigens. The body loses tolerance to multiple antigens, leading to chronic inflammation and disease.
Low-dose immunotherapy (or LDI) attempts to solve this problem by presenting the immune system with extremely low levels of various foreign pathogens or toxins or allergens (otherwise known as antigens) so that the immune system can more effectively tolerate these antigens. The immune system is then able to better ‘modulate’ in the sense that when antigens are presented at such low levels, it will not overreact. Many think that a specialized group of immune cells called ‘T Helper Cells’ is involved in assisting with creating immune tolerance.
LDI offers various mixes of antigens for specific disease states. For example, let us say that someone is suffering from environmental allergies with all of the resultant allergy symptoms (watery eyes, sneezing, etc.). There is an ‘ENV mix’ that contains multiple environmental allergens such as pet dander, bugs, and insects, tree pollens, weeds, grasses, molds, etc. An exact dilution of this mix has the ability to greatly reduce–or even eliminate–immune activations, symptoms, the need for allergy medicines, etc. This is similar to allergy shots but much less invasive and time-consuming. In the conventional model, one must see an allergist once or twice a week for allergy shots for weeks, if not indefinitely, until symptoms resolve. In contrast with LDI, with just a couple of drops under the tongue approximately every seven weeks, has the same ability to reduce symptoms with much fewer side effects.
Similarly, if one is dealing with multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), there are very few solutions. Avoidance of various chemicals can be problematic, as many of these chemicals are ubiquitous in the environment and hard to avoid. Steroids and similar medicines have side effects. LDI, on the other hand, offers a ‘Chemical Mix’ or ‘CHEM Mix’ containing literally thousands of individual chemicals in it. When given in the right dilution, the CHEM MIX allows the immune system to better tolerate various chemicals when exposed to them. We have had patients who have suffered for years with MCS receive almost immediate improvement with this mix.
There are many other beneficial LDI ‘mixes’ that we use. Probably the most common mix that we use is the FOODS LDI mix. This mix contains approximately 190 foods and has been helpful to calm down food sensitivity reactions that are so common today. On the pathogen side, the most common mixes that we use are the LYME, PARASITE, and YEAST Mixes, which are very good for calming down immune reactions associated with these pathogens. We have had patients who have suffered from Lyme disease for years and tried multiple therapies (including antibiotics) and were able to resolve the majority of their symptoms with just one LYME LDI treatment.
The URI Mix or upper respiratory mix is very effective for calming down reactions to strep bacteria and various upper respiratory viruses that cause upper respiratory tract infections etc. The GI Mix offers support for those suffering from chronic gut issues such as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. The UTI mix is very helpful for those who suffer from chronic urinary tract infections, interstitial cystitis, etc.
Unfortunately, many of those who come to visit our clinic are suffering from a multitude of chronic conditions ranging from mold illness to Lyme disease, to chronic gastrointestinal symptoms. Many of these patients also have histamine intolerance and or mast cell activation syndrome and cannot tolerate supplements or medications. LDI offers an excellent treatment option for these patients in the sense that it can treat multiple conditions at the same time without the use of supplementation or medications. In doing so, it calms down the immune overactivity and activation of the mast cells, which are so common.
While all of this sounds like great news, there are quite a few caveats to consider.
- Not everyone responds to LDI because not all disease states are caused by a loss of immune tolerance. For example, with mold illness, treatment with LDI might help the allergy to mold but not the toxicity of mold itself.
- It can take quite a long time (up to many months or sometimes years) to find one’s ‘core dose’ or dose that works best. If the dose is too weak there will be little to no treatment effect. If the dose is too strong, then one can experience ‘a flare’ or aggravation of symptoms.
- We have determined that LDI is more of an art than a science and takes a great deal of patience. If one has a severe loss of immune tolerance, one may need to theoretically stay on LDI for life, which can sometimes seem disconcerting and overwhelming to the patient.
- To address some of these issues, we have had to ‘go beyond’ LDI by treating what we call “interference fields”, or various areas of weakened (or depolarized) tissue. These ‘short circuits’ can create ‘immune confusion’. Treating these interference fields can greatly reduce the need for LDI. Additionally, we use an advanced biofeedback technique called the Autonomic Response Technique (ART) to accelerate the time it takes to find the effective LDI dose.
In summary, LDI is a game changer in helping to support many chronic conditions. Working with a skilled practitioner who is well-versed in LDI is recommended to get the best results. For more information regarding this important therapy please, do not hesitate to contact our office.
Martin Van Lear, APRN, MSN, ABAAHP, FNP-C, Tree of Light Health, LLC.