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Biofilm: A Shield Lyme Disease Hides Behind
- Lyme disease can be a difficult disease to diagnose and treat. However, it can become even more difficult to remove Lyme from your body if this bacterium starts to protect itself with the use of biofilms.
- Biofilms are slimy combinations of various substances which attach to the wall of a cell and act as a “blanket” for Lyme disease to hide behind.
- Some research suggests that attacking Lyme disease with antibiotics after a biofilm has formed might be particularly ineffective. Not only will the antibiotics fail to get rid of the bacteria, but they may also build up the strength of the biofilm over time.
- Biofilms can form anywhere throughout the human body. When a biofilm forms to cover Lyme microbes, it may end up shielding those microbes from detection. This means that when tests are conducted to find Lyme, they could end up showing false negatives.
- In order to get rid of Lyme disease that is protecting itself behind biofilms, you need to first get rid of the biofilm through heavy metal detoxification.
- There are solutions that can be used to break down biofilms within the body, which mean that Lyme disease has nowhere to hide. Rather than simply remove the biofilm and allow pathogens to move freely around the body, it’s best to use something that will destroy the biofilm and kill the pathogens underneath.
Lyme Hides Behind Biofilms
Lyme is a dangerous condition that can seriously impact your quality of life, sometimes for many years.
There are many potential causes of chronic Lyme. For instance, some experts believe that co-occurring conditions like mold illness might have a part to play. Lately, however, one of the most recent concerns has been linked to the connection between Lyme disease and biofilms.
Research confirms that biofilms could cause serious problems when it comes to recovering from Lyme.
In breakthrough discoveries, researchers found that biofilms may be the reason that people with Lyme struggle to recover quickly. According to the CDC, there are around 300,000 people in the U.S. that are diagnosed with Lyme on an annual basis.
A recent study from the University of New Haven suggests that Borrelia spirochetes generate particularly aggressive biofilms that can make the bacteria 1,000 times more resistant to antibiotics. Citing research from the University of Toronto, microbiology experts have commented that it appears as if the Borrelia bacteria enters the blood of the body. Once it is in the blood cells, it crawls along vessels and finds a place to breach. The bacteria can then bind to gelatinous tissues in the nervous system, joints, and heart linings.
What is a Biofilm?
Just like humans, bacteria are rarely solitary creatures. Often, a single bacterium will not float around freely in the body. Instead, it will create a community with other bacteria. This is how a bacterium protects itself. It’s much more difficult for the human immune system to fight back against bacteria when it joins forces.
A biofilm is simply a structured community of bacteria. When bacteria are located close to a surface, they join up to make a protective coating. This coating consists of various molecules joined together like glue. The glue keeps the bacteria in one spot, and stops them from spreading out around the body.
As the biofilm continues to grow and develop, new sites appear that attract additional pathogens. Thanks to biofilms, several species of bacteria can form together to cover a specific surface.
Human beings come into contact with biofilms on a daily basis. Although only some of these biofilms are potentially dangerous, they can sometimes cause serious problems. For instance, have you ever gone a few days without washing out the inside of a reusable water bottle? If you have, then you might have noticed that a slimy film begins to form on the inside. This is simply the development of a biofilm. The moist interior of your water bottle can instantly become home to millions of bacteria.
In the case of Lyme disease, mucous-like biofilms typically protect the spirochete, which is the corkscrew-shaped bacterium known as Borrelia burgdoferi. Borrelia burgdoferi can generate this slimy substance within your body after it’s been transmitted.
As you suffer from the various conditions and symptoms that Lyme causes, such as sweat, headaches, and depression, biofilms begin to form. The greater the biofilm grows, the more the Lyme can hide underneath the substance, and protect itself from the immune system and antibiotics.
Interestingly, within a biofilm, Borrelia burgdoferi can communicate with its own bacteria species, as well as other species of bacteria. Borrelia can also swap and receive genetic information such as drug resistant genes. During a reproduction cycle, the substance can create drug-resistant strains of itself every few generations. This evolving state of Lyme within biofilms could explain why years of antibiotics often fail to remove Lyme from a chronic sufferer.
Rather than floating freely around the body, biofilms connect to a specific surface. They are similar to a blanket that spreads out and protects a collection of microbes. Usually, a biofilm will be composed of a range of substances. Those substances might include a number of trace minerals and metals, such as copper, mercury, iron, magnesium, and lead.
Antibiotics and the Biofilm Problem
Many doctors might attempt to cure Lyme disease with a range of treatment solutions, including a long-term dose of antibiotics. Unfortunately, one of the most recent discoveries related to Lyme and biofilms found that antibiotics could make biofilms even stronger.
The conventional treatment for Lyme disease is to use antibiotics such as Amoxicillin or Doxycycline for several weeks. In severe cases, the antibiotics can even be given intravenously. In cases where Lyme disease is caught and diagnosed early enough, antibiotics can be an effective treatment. The problem is that this disease is rarely caught early.
Due to the complex nature of Lyme, and the fact that it’s often quite difficult for doctors to pinpoint the symptoms, the prevailing idea that a few weeks of antibiotics will eliminate the dangerous bacteria might no longer be true. In the case of many Lyme disease sufferers, the bacterium will evade antimicrobial therapies, and lead to problems with inflammatory changes and immune responses in organs and tissues. After a while, this can lead to chronic symptoms.
Biofilms are starting to become recognized as the protective mechanism that cells use when they sense stress. That means that there’s automatically more biofilm formation in the human body when the cells in your system are treated with agents like antibiotics. Numerous studies have proven that the body does create more microfilms when antibiotics are used.
In certain cases, some scientists believe that antibiotics could actually feed the biofilm problem. They feel that once the biofilm has formed, it can become stronger with each antibiotic treatment, as it allows the microbes within to adapt and become resistant over times.
Ultimately, it seems that the initial round of antibiotics often used to treat Lyme don’t kill the bacteria, and that means that biofilms spread along with the spirochetes they protect. This could mean that the presence of antibiotics in the system acts as a message of danger to the bacteria, which remain hidden until the cost is clear.
The research community are starting to find that various other medications could worsen the presence of biofilms in the body. For instance, an international research team has found that Salicylic acid and aspirin can boost the presence of biofilms in the body, allowing bacteria to live within the system for longer.
How Biofilms are Impacting your Health
Interestingly, biofilms can form just about anywhere in the human body. Most of the time, bacteria particularly enjoy surfaces that are warm and moist, as they can offer a great environment for next-generation bacteria. Unfortunately, because these substances are resistant to antibiotics, it is very difficult to get rid of a biofilm once one has already begun to form.
Not only that, but biofilms have been found to wreak havoc with testing. This means that if doctors were not already having enough trouble pinpointing chronic Lyme disease and treating sufferers, the tests that are issued for Lyme might be useless if a biofilm has formed.
A false negative is a test result that suggests someone doesn’t have a disease or a condition when they actually do. This is a very common problem with Lyme disease. Often, as a result of misdiagnosis, many patients are given diagnoses of ALS, fibromyalgia, CFS, various psychiatric diseases, and many more. Now, experts are beginning to think that Biofilms could be contributing to this common problem.
A biofilm is perfectly capable of protecting bacteria like Borrelia from attacks issued by the immune system. Because the immune system cannot get rid of the Lyme, it lingers in the body for longer, causing additional symptoms and chronic problems. Often, the Elisa test and Western Blot test for Lyme works by using antibodies as an indication for the presence of Lyme disease.
Of course, the only way that the body will create antibodies, is if it notices that Lyme disease is present in the first place. If your Lyme is hiding behind biofilms, then no antibodies will be created, and your tests will lead to negative results. In other words, even though you might have full-blown Lyme disease, your doctor will not be able to diagnose this, or provide you with an appropriate treatment.
According to experts, there are many reasons for the high number of false negative blood tests in patients with Lyme disease. The fact that bacteria often live in biofilms away from the immune system is one of the biggest problems that doctors face. Borrelia is also capable of getting into the lymph nodes and changing the “germinal centers“. Because this means that cell indoctrination is affected, it often leads to misdiagnosis.
Getting Rid of Biofilms: The Overlooked Step in Treatment
Much of the information on the internet today regarding the treatment for Lyme disease does not address getting rid of biofilms. Biofilms can act as a protective shield around micro-organisms and bacteria. This makes it far more challenging to attack the Lyme, as the antibiotics cannot get through the film.
To get rid of the microbes that are hiding behind a biofilm, it makes sense that you would need to get rid of the “blanket” that is holding these substances together. In other words, if you want your Lyme disease treatment to be effective, you need to get rid of the biofilms that are shielding it. Heavy metal detoxification can degrade biofilms by binding the metals that are responsible for pathogen aggregation. Another solution would be to use essential oils.
Biofilm allows Lyme to hide itself and stop itself from being destroyed. This is also a problem for people who suffer from yeast infections. For instance, one study found that a group of anti-fungal drugs given to treat Candida were ineffective when biofilms were present.
In fact, that study discovered that 72 hours after the biofilm development, the Candida cells became increasingly resistant. This research indicated that the resistance to drugs that is encouraged by biofilm development becomes more significant over time.
If eliminating biofilm is the only way to get rid of Lyme, then it’s worth noting that there are five methods that can be used to inhibit biofilms. These are:
- Block Quorum Sensing
- Obstruct Attachment of Biofilm Colonies
- Restrict Swarming of Pathogenic Organisms
- Employ Drug-resistant Pump Inhibitors
- Use Bactericidals and Bacteriostatics
Quorum sensing refers to the way that bacteria communicate. One species of bacteria in the body can take the role of the primary bacteria. When this happens, other bacteria follow suit. When the primary bacteria are killed, the rest choose a new species to be the main, and so on.
There are products that can be used to work against various bacteria, viruses, parasites, and yeasts. There are even certain products that can inhibit the way that biofilms form. Additionally, natural substances can sometimes be used as a cure for biofilms, such as apple cider vinegar or rosemary oil. Research suggests that rosemary oil is particularly effective at dealing with Candida biofilms.
A Few Options for Eradicating Biofilms
As mentioned above, enzymes can be used alongside heavy metal detoxification to attack biofilms. Common herbal anti-fungal used in the treatment of bacteria and yeast, such as black walnut, oregano oil, and olive leaf can be useful. However, by themselves, these enzymes typically won’t do the trick.
In order to get to the Lyme that is causing your condition, you need to first break down the biofilm that protects the bacteria. The process can be seen as similar to trying to get past a security guard. It’s possible to get around him, but you need an approach that allows you to overcome the initial challenge, before you can tackle any other problems.
Antibiotics, anti-fungal, and natural cures for Lyme therefore need to be paired with something that can disrupt biofilms.
For instance, essential oils could be the new antibiotics when it comes to fighting back against Lyme disease and biofilms. A range of studies have begun to discover that essential oils have been able to tackle bacteria when antibiotic resistance was in place. The essential oils that I recommend for biofilms include:
- Black pepper
Another agent that has been researched as a biofilm disruptor is NAC. NAC is otherwise known as N-Acetyl Cysteine. This substance is a kind of amino acid and antioxidant, that also has antibacterial properties. The substance has been tested on a range of bacteria and has been shown to be effective.
Perhaps the most important lesson to take away from this article is the knowledge that destroying Lyme disease is not always as simple as it seems. Even if you do have your Lyme diagnosed effectively, you may find that the antibiotics that are used to treat it are not successful in removing the bacteria completely from your system.
If biofilms are allowed to form, then Lyme can use this substance to hide in your body for months, and even years at a time, leading to inflammation and chronic conditions. With that in mind, it is important to consider a holistic approach to treatment that not only tackles the Lyme, but considers the need to get rid of biofilms too.