There are three types of patients who “have Lyme disease”. My experience is that only a small percent of patients who have Lyme disease both actually have it AND that it’s the Lyme that needs to be treated. In the rest, it’s actually something else, and this is part of why treatment so often fails or doesn’t last.
The three types of Lyme patients:
Type 1: They don’t have Lyme disease.
They don’t have Borrelia (the bacteria associated with Lyme disease) or the co-infections, or they have it but in negligible levels, with no real impact on health.
This person may identify with the diagnosis, because the symptom picture and the life experience fits, the tests are shoddy (see discussion of Western blot below), and/or they may never have had access to a practitioner who would believe them, consider Lyme as a viable option, or test them; so while it's unknown whether they have it, it may be the most viable explanation for their symptoms.
It’s also possible that through mosquitoes, spiders, and other vectors, everyone has been exposed and has the bacteria at some level in their body, but that it may be kept fully in check by a healthy immune system and balanced communities of normal bacteria.
This person, who doesn't have Lyme disease, could even have gotten a test that says that they do, which rolls into the second type:
Type 2. They have the bacteria associated with Lyme disease and maybe in pathogenic amounts, but it’s not why they’re sick.
This person may have a formal diagnosis via the Western blot. The Western blot tests antibodies, which the body produces as a defensive response to exposure to something that could make you sick. The problem here is that Borrelia attacks and kills the cells that produce the antibodies. So if someone has a full blown Lyme infection, their Western blot test is likely negative.
If the Western blot is positive, that means that the person has been exposed, yes, but the immune system is either fighting it and may not need any help, or have already fought it off (type 1). In either of those cases, if someone is severely ill, Lyme probably isn’t why they’re sick.
Type 3. They have Lyme disease, and it needs to be treated.
My experience, confirmed by Dr. Klinghardt’s 30+ years, is that this group ranges from only 10-30% of people who think (maybe their practitioners believe it too) that they have Lyme.
While there are some people who get bitten by an insect, develop symptoms, take antibiotics for two weeks and never have another problem (this is the purest kind of type 3), those are not the Lyme patients that I see. I see the other kind: those for whom the conventional model did not work. Usually the patient has been through several rounds of antibiotics and often 20+ doctors without any significant or lasting relief.
These cases are a different breed. They’re a mix of type 3 and 2 (Lyme is a problem, but it's not the only one), and while antibiotics, either herbal or pharmaceutical, can be a useful tool at the right time, they are not going to cure the patient because there is something bigger and deeper going on that hasn’t been addressed, usually more than one thing. What these problems are is highly individual and they range from physical: structural, toxic, nutritional, dental, and genetic issues, to electromagnetic and emotional ones, to false mental constructs or unhealthy connections with others in our world, to deep transgenerational or archetypal problems. These issues together have weakened the patient’s system so much that it is no longer able to effectively resist the Lyme bacteria, or in the case of type 1 and 2 patients: other infections, toxicities, structural degeneration, and other issues.
In all three types, the answer is the same: while we can all think of big health problems that affect us all, the key is to find the individual reasons that a person’s vitality is blocked (as via the combination of ART, clinical history, labwork, and physical exam that we practice) and even while supporting the whole system, to focus treatment on those. With this method, sometimes the Borrelia or co-infections do need to be addressed directly with an anti-microbial treatment, but often, by restoring the balance and vitality of the patient, their own immune system removes it.