The Road To Recovery: Healing From Lyme Disease And Other Biotoxins With Scott Forsgren

HHS 5 | Lyme Disease

Lyme disease and other biotoxins can be debilitating, causing life-long symptoms of chronic illness which could impact the heart. What can we do to fight back towards better health? In this episode, Dr. Jack Wolfson and Dr. Lauren Lattanza talk to Lyme disease survivor, health advocate and writer Scott Forsgren, FDN-P. Scott talks about his journey back to health after contracting Lyme disease, and he shares the steps you can do to take back your health from biotoxins. Tune in to get essential information that sets you onto the road to recovery.

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The Road To Recovery: Healing From Lyme Disease And Other Biotoxins With Scott Forsgren

This is your home for the 100-year heart. That is always our goal. Every episode is packed full of information, amazing guests, giving you the latest and greatest strategies to achieve the 100-year heart. The Healthy Heart Show is the name of this program and you’re in the right place if you’re interested in cardiac longevity and a 100-year heart. As always, I’ve got Dr. Lauren Lattanza here with me. Dr. Lauren, how are you?

Doing well. How’s everybody doing?

Everybody is great. I’m going to let you introduce our superstar guest. You’re going to love what this man has to say. Always understand that everything we’re talking about always links back to cardiovascular health and wellness, total body health and wellness. Dr. Lauren, take it from there.

We have a great show lined up for you. We’ve got Scott Forsgren FDN-P. Scott is a health coach, blogger, podcaster, health writer, and advocate. He is the Editor and Founder of BetterHealthGuy.com where he shares his journey through the world of Lyme disease, mold illness, and a myriad of factors that chronic illness often entails. His podcast, Better Health Guy Blogcast, interviews many of the leaders in the field and is available on his website at BetterHealthGuy.com, YouTube, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.

He has been interviewed on numerous podcasts and has lectured on his recovery from chronic illness at conferences on several online summits as well. He’s written for the Townsend Letter and many other publications. Scott is the Cofounder of The Forum for Integrative Medicine, which hosts an annual conference bringing together some of the top integrative practitioners to share practical tools for treating complex chronic illness. He serves on the Board of Directors of LymeLight Foundation, which provides treatment grants to children and young adults recovering from Lyme disease. Scott is grateful for his state of health and all that he has learned on his life-changing journey.

Welcome, Scott.

It’s such an honor to be here. Thank you so much.

You cannot heal in a sympathetic dominant place. You have to really work on that parasympathetic tone.

Scott, why don’t you tell us about your personal health journey with chronic Lyme disease and with mold-related illnesses as well?

I had a tick bite in 1996 in Northern California. I did not become ill right after. I didn’t have an EM rash but several months later, over the course of a few days, I had what seemed like the flu times 100. My symptoms were so bad over the next several months that I had moments that I wasn’t sure that I would even survive it. At times, that would have been an okay outcome. I had never experienced anything like it. I had head-to-toe burning sensations. This horrible neurological pain felt like a sunburn all over the body around the clock. I couldn’t get up and walk across the room without feeling like I had exhausted myself for the day.

I had balance issues trying to sit up in a chair or even lying in bed at night. I had to prop up pillows so that I mentally knew that I wasn’t going to fall onto the floor. If you look now at the list of symptoms of Lyme and mold, which overlap, I had the majority of them, dozens of symptoms, and yet it took eight years and over 45 doctors to finally get a diagnosis. Difficulty walking, balance issues, visual disturbances, floaters, Lyme squiggles, a fever that was persistent, that was based on many practitioners’ entirely psychosomatic, muscle spasms, fasciculations, tremors, light sensitivity, anxiety, OCD, high resting heart rate, and palpitations, the list goes on and on.

From 1997 to 2005, I went to about 45 doctors, neurologists, and infectious disease doctors. I did get diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome with fibromyalgia. At that time, the only thing you can find online was that chronic fatigue syndrome generally resolved in about ten years and that was not a reasonable or promising possibility. I kept searching. In 2005, I had a new medical doctor that sent me to an acupuncturist that, at the time, was doing electro-acupuncture according to Voll or a system of energetic testing. She was the one that said, “I would have your doctor test you for Lyme, borrelia, Bartonella, BCI or Ehrlichia.”

HHS 5 | Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease: Hopefully, we continue to learn new things because recovery from these conditions is still not straightforward and not always easy, in fact, rarely easy.

I thought that there was no chance that she was right and yet we did ultimately get confirmation of all of those through blood testing. That piqued my interest in energy medicine and expanding the toolbox beyond the conventional things that I knew of at the time. I started learning from Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt. It’s been quite a journey and a gift. As challenging as it has been, it certainly has changed my perspective on the world in many good ways. I’m fortunate, grateful, and blessed to be doing well. Since the diagnosis of Lyme and the whole journey started, it’s been over 25 years.

It’s great that you’re in a place of recovery but the fact that it took so long to get there. How many people are suffering from this? They’re like you. They’ve been doctor to doctor and they’ve been given label after label, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and they’re tried on different psych meds. People that suffer from cardiac issues, palpitations, heart attacks, etc. Unfortunately, for us, we’re not trained in becoming a doctor of cause. We are trained in finding the labels. It’s like, “Scott, you’ve got fibromyalgia and now we’re going to put you on Effexor, Prozac or some kind of psychiatric pharmaceutical for what is anything but a psychiatric diagnosis.”

I love that term, doctor of cause. That’s fantastic.

Since your diagnosis of Lyme and shortly thereafter having this mold illness, how has a model of recovering health emerged from your journey? If you were to start over, how would you approach recovery now?

Fortunately, I’ve been blessed by the universe to have been connected to some amazing people. Some of my mentors, Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, Dr. Neil Nathan, Dr. Simon Yu, Dr. Raj Patel and so many that have been the guides that have helped me put this model together in my mind. It’s not a protocol. It’s constantly changing and evolving. We’re learning new things. Hopefully, we continue to learn new things because recovery from these conditions is still not straightforward and not always easy, in fact, rarely easy.

Drainage is more about optimizing the body’s inherent ability to support the elimination of toxins.

The eleven steps that I think about in terms of how one might approach recovering and this could be Lyme, mold, or could be many things. It’s a fairly broad model. I always start step one with detoxification and drainage, optimizing and improving the terrain. That’s critical in our modern environment. Step two is looking at the external environment. If we have mold or high levels of EMFs in our environment, we’re probably never going to be healthier internally than the environment that we’re surrounded by.

Step three is optimizing sleep because it’s important for accelerating and potentizing our exponential healing. That’s critical to try to dial in early on. Step four is working on the mental and emotional contributors to our health. What traumas, conflicts, belief systems, those types of things do we need to explore? Step five is about the limbic system, retraining the limbic system, working with the vagus nerve, tonifying the parasympathetic nervous system. You cannot heal in a sympathetic dominant place. You have to work on that parasympathetic tone.

Step six is stabilizing the mast cells, working to reduce inflammation, and modulating the immune system. It’s not always about boosting the immune system. A lot of times, we have hyperactive or hypervigilant immune responses that we need to think about. Step seven is looking at core things like hydration, nutrition, the microbiome, gut health, and all of that foundational functional medicine piece there. Step eight is looking at the mitochondria. It’s important. The adrenals, though the mitochondrial conversation has even become maybe a more popular one. Certainly, some adrenal support. Kryptopyrroluria is another condition that’s common in chronic Lyme and many other conditions that I learned about many years ago from Dr. Klinghardt that also can be important.

It’s also looking at hypercoagulation. If you have thick or viscous blood, then lots of things in terms of oxygen, nutrient delivery, removal of waste, and all of those things are going to be impaired. Step nine is finally looking at the microbial overgrowth. Most people with Lyme think, “If I could kill something, I could be better.” I don’t think that’s ever the case. It’s broader than that. Step nine is looking at viruses, parasites, SIBO, fungal and yeast colonization, Lyme and co-infections, maybe biofilms. Step ten is the dental contribution, root canals, cavitation, amalgams, those types of things. Finally, step eleven is regeneration and restoration. After you’ve been on this journey for many years, what can you do to try and repair, regenerate, and restore the body?

Why don’t we take a step back and start with step one? You mentioned detoxification and drainage. What is the difference and why does this make this number one in your mind?

Detoxification is about binders primarily. When we have chemicals, pesticides, and heavy metals, what can we do to ensure that once they’re concentrated in the bile, they move through the gallbladder into the small intestine and eventually the colon? What can we do to minimize the reabsorption or enterohepatic recirculation of those toxins? The detoxification thing is the binders. It’s also reducing as many incoming toxins as possible. If you’re using personal care products, laundry products, and things that are adding to your toxic burden, then you want to eliminate those as much as possible, so you don’t have to detoxify those things.

In the detoxification realm, many binders out there are great. I like Cellcore Biosciences or Microbe Formulas products. I like Takesumi Supreme from Supreme Nutrition. Fortunately, there are more and more of these binders that we can use to support detoxification. Drainage is more about optimizing the body’s inherent ability to support the elimination or excretion of these toxins, the liver, the gallbladder, the kidneys, the lymphatic system, the extracellular matrix, the colon, the skin, the lungs. How do we optimize our ability to detoxify or excrete toxins as much as possible? Constipation is a piece of this conversation as well. If you’re constipated, you need to do what you can to support the body because constipation and detoxification do not go together.

That’s great information. I was going to ask you about the sauna and I love your take on that. Whatever modality, people would do. Would you agree that we should start slowly? Number two, what do you think about the role of massage and maybe some of the people that are lymphopractors or some of the lymphatic specialists that are out there?

HHS 5 | Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease: If we have mold, if we have high levels of EMFs in our environment, we’re probably never going to be healthier internally than the environment that we’re surrounded by.

Low and slow is the right way to approach this, particularly with natural interventions. You can titrate things up slowly. That may not be the case with some pharmaceutical interventions. That’s one of the reasons that I tend to like a lot in the natural tools where we can increase things slowly. You don’t want to promote Herxheimer reaction if people are having a die-off reaction. I’m not of the thought process that you need to suck it up and push through. That’s not necessarily the best way to approach it. The body is telling you that you are either being too aggressive with what your interventions are or not doing enough support for detoxification and drainage.

Lymphatic drainage can be great. One of the things that I dealt with in my journey was a frozen shoulder as well after having fallen down some stairs and that led to a whole series of things. Lymphatic drainage was fantastic for that and also for broader detoxification support. You can walk every day and also get some good lymphatic support. It doesn’t necessarily have to be super complicated but I do love the idea of incorporating some bodywork and some lymphatic support in this journey as well.

Constipation and detoxification do not go together.

I love that you like the gentle approach because there are many sensitive patients and many people that are so ill. If you push them, they’re going to feel worse and maybe not stay on board. Using homeopathics, herbs, and those gentle approaches are critical for many of these patients.

Just because something might be gentle, it doesn’t mean that it’s not effective. I’ve seen herbal formulations that are available now that one drop can put someone in bed having a die-off reaction. People are sometimes drawn to do the big guns, the antibiotics. There is a time and a place for that in some cases but I don’t think it’s necessarily a correct perception that herbs and homeopathy can’t also be potent interventions in this realm.

Now we move on to improving the external environment. How do we do this and why is it important?

We can take supplements all day long but if our external environment is our kryptonite, we will never again regain our superhero status. It’s critical that we’re looking at mold, for example. Honestly, at this point, the mold exposure is probably as big or bigger than Lyme and co-infections for people dealing with Chronic Lyme over a period of time. You also look at the fact that most people with Chronic Lyme are somewhat treatment-resistant.

At some point, if you dig into their history, you can find mold and Lyme. One may have come first and set the stage for the other. Maybe they had Lyme and co-infections for 30 years but their immune system was fine until they were in a moldy environment and had some immune dysregulation and suddenly, they have Lyme disease. The opposite could happen as well. There is immune dysregulation that happens from mold that leads to a lot of these chronic microbial issues.

The first thing that you can do is start out potentially with self-testing. This is not a great solution but it is a good early exploration, things like the ERMI or Environmental Relative Moldiness Index from Mycometrics or Envirobiomics. Using plate testing from ImmunoLytics can be an adjunct to those. It’s not a replacement for the ERMI but it’s another way to get some insights. Ideally, if you think you have a mold issue or even if you’re chronically ill and you don’t know that your environment is safe, the ideal scenario is you get an indoor environmental professional that comes and does an inspection and not somebody who’s going to come in and do air testing and say, “Everything looks good.” It needs to be someone that’s been trained and understands the chronic mold-associated illness and knows how to work with people that have a much higher bar for how clean the environment around them needs to be.

Some of the urine mycotoxin testing has proven to be helpful. RealTime Labs, Great Plains, and Vibrant, there’s a number of them now, they’re not perfect but there is value to seeing over periods of time how much mycotoxin is coming out of the system. Could some of that be from foods and normal healthy excretion? Sure. If the levels are high, you can generally draw some conclusions about possible environmental contributions to mycotoxin excretion.

Let me ask you this because obviously, you’ve talked to a lot of people and as you said, the prospect of moving from one house to another is very daunting. How do we decide who has to get rid of everything, their clothing, personal memorabilia, or maybe pictures, things that can’t be cleaned? If you’ve got grandma’s old China, that can be easily wiped down and there are different products and stuff like that but things that bind these mycotoxins and other bacteria, protozoa, other biochemicals, or non-biochemicals, how do we decide to what level we need to go?

It’s going to be individual. It’s going to depend on how the person responds to remediating their environment. In some cases, it gets into the limbic system arena as well. There may be some people that need to start over in a fresh environment, putting as many of their belongings as possible in storage, having a completely clean space for a few months, and then slowly reintroducing things.

The work in the limbic system has been important as well. There are some people that can remediate the environment and yet their limbic system is still tuned in to the low levels of mold. Maybe that is still in the environment that are overreacting or hypervigilant. Some people can also benefit from correcting the environment and also working with the limbic system to try and recalibrate or reboot.

I also think the more holistic the program that the person is doing, if you think of this as a bucket and symptoms being the overflowing of that bucket, how many drains can we find to open the bucket? The more drains we can find, the more people then will be able to maybe tolerate some of the lower level ongoing exposures. Those are a few thoughts there.

In step three, you are talking about optimizing sleep. In terms of the bucket and how do we regulate that, why does this come after the external environment?

HHS 5 | Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease: In the last couple of years, the mental and emotional stress that people are under is really significant. This is certainly an area that we need to really look at and to focus on to optimize our healing.

With sleep, it’s critical to facilitate healing. Everyone is going to be unique in terms of the order but EMFs are a significant contributor to insomnia. Ideally, we mitigate the EMF exposure, particularly in the sleep environment, as much as possible. That may go even further to thinking about dirty electricity to turning off the circuit breakers, possibly. There are electric fields that come out from the wall that can also impact our sleep.

There are many different tools in this realm as well. Supplements like melatonin or GABA, or 5-HTP or L-Theanine can all be potentially helpful. A lot of times, you have to look a little deeper at things like what’s the person’s blood sugar while they’re sleeping? Can you use a continuous glucose monitor? Is the blood sugar dipping? Are they getting a spike in cortisol to bring the blood sugar back up and they can’t sleep because now their cortisol is elevated? What’s their oxygen saturation? Are they having difficulty sleeping because they’re not getting enough oxygen? Things like weighted blankets can be helpful for some people.

Just because a treatment might be gentle doesn’t mean that it’s not effective.

Using tools like BrainTap is one of my favorites. It’s a headset by Dr. Patrick Porter that can help to get the body into a parasympathetic state. In fact, I talked to someone who said, “The problem I have with the BrainTap is I fall asleep and I wake up with the headset still on,” because it puts him out. Working as much as possible to optimize our sleep is incredibly important to facilitate our healing potential.

Over the years, people have mentioned to me and talk about hypoglycemia. I’m like, “Nobody has hypoglycemia except for the people who consume too many carbs.” When you eat too many carbs, especially before bedtime, your insulin spikes, and eventually, blood sugar drops and now you go into this survival mode where your body is cranking out cortisol to try and recover from that insulin dump if you will. It now leads to fitful sleep and that’s clearly a problem.

Talk to us a little bit about step four, mental and emotional health. Many have maybe been told that it’s all in our head. Can you shed some light on that for us?

This is not true of everyone but many people have had some emotional traumas or conflicts that maybe set the stage for the illness or they developed a chronic illness and were invalidated by the medical community that itself led to emotional trauma. Either way, we need to explore the emotional traumas, conflicts, and belief systems. What are the tapes that we’re playing? What do we think of in terms of deserving to be well? We all have emotional issues to work through and I don’t think that accepting that means that the illness is all in our heads, so to speak. There is a mental-emotional contributor to the development of the physical illness. It is important.

In the Lyme community, my observation has been, and this is me as well, the common pattern is type-A overachiever and perfectionist that maybe feel that they don’t always deserve to be well. It’s important to look at some of those things. Now, I’m happy to say that I’ve gone from a type A-plus to a type A-minus. Cultivating healthy relationships, eliminating toxic people, and finding joy. In Dr. Klinghardt’s 5 Levels of Healing Model, there’s this downward effect, meaning that the level three-piece is what we’re talking about here and the mental realm. If we do work on that level, those have powerful effects on the physical realm.

 I appreciate you pointing out some of those strategies to be able to help people because it’s easy. It’s like, “Move out of your house. Here’s the detox protocol. Get a massage and drainage. Make sure you get sleep and sunshine, and eat organic food.” When it comes to mental health and wellness and how people struggle from previous relationships or maybe childhood issues, we can get pretty exotic in our beliefs of how people suffer from mental illness in many different varieties of ways. What are your other recommendations? How often do you tell people, whether it’s a psychologist, a social worker, maybe other support groups? I’m a cardiologist at the end of the day. Some things are easy for me. Some things I’m not educated or experienced enough and I need to refer those people out for higher levels of care.

There are some therapists that work with people that have chronic illnesses like Lyme, mold illness, and those types of things. They’re not super easy to find. That’s probably maybe a better option than a more traditional psychologist or someone in that realm. It’s ideally wanting to find someone that understands these conditions because there is a physical aspect to them as well. Finding a resource that can be supportive is a great option. I agree with you, especially in the last couple of years, the mental-emotional stress that people are under is significant and this is certainly an area that we need to look at and focus on to optimize our healing.

Step number five is retraining the limbic system and tonifying the vagus nerve, which is a buzzword anymore, and overall, the parasympathetic nervous system.

These steps can shift. It doesn’t mean that this couldn’t be earlier or later. If we think of the limbic system as the hypothalamus, the hippocampus, the amygdala, the fear center essentially, it’s the alarm center or the anxiety switch in the body. The limbic system controls so many things, the immune system, the endocrine system, the autonomic nervous system, which can affect blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, digestion, and many other things.

Lots of things can trigger a limbic system impairment. It could be exposure to mold, chemicals, pesticides, microbes, or physical, mental, and emotional traumas. If we think about a threat like a mold or Lyme disease, maybe as a tiger, at one time, having a strong response to get away from it is reasonable. It is a tiger. At some point, you’ve treated the Lyme and fixed your environment. It’s now the kitten walking outside the window. Yet, when your limbic system sees the kitten, it says, “The tiger is here and I need to have this same stress response or shut down type response.”

HHS 5 | Lyme Disease
How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can: A Total Self-Healing Approach for Mind, Body, and Spirit

My experience has been that tools like Annie Hopper’s DNRS or Dynamic Neural Retraining System or Ashok Gupta’s Gupta Program can be helpful tools to help recalibrate what you perceive to be a threat and what is an actual threat. I would say limbic system retraining has been one of the single most helpful tools that I’ve seen for people with these complex conditions, particularly if they’re restricted. They’re on five foods. They can’t walk down the detergent aisle at the store. They can smell their neighbors’ dryer sheets from the dryer and all of those kinds of things. Those people tend to have obvious quick responses. It doesn’t mean that people still won’t benefit from it if they don’t have those types of sensitivities.

BrainTap can be great in this realm as well for supporting the limbic system, vagus nerve, and nervous system. Frequency Specific Microcurrent is another tool that I love. We need to get that parasympathetic response to rest, digest, detoxify, and heal. If we’re constantly in that fight, flight, or freeze mode, we aren’t going to make a lot of progress. We have to calm the system to facilitate the healing response.

Step six is stabilizing mast cells. Reducing inflammation and modulating this immune response, why is this important?

Many people think that getting healthy is about killing bugs, particularly in the Lyme arena but it’s not the bug that makes the disease. It’s the host response to the bug. If the immune system is hyperactive, overactive, responding in an autoimmune type fashion, that’s likely creating a lot of the symptoms that we think of as our disease. A lot of that inflammation is driven by mast cell activation syndrome and by histamine.

Mold and EMF can be a major trigger for mast cells. In fact, Dr. Theo Theoharides, at one conference I was at a couple of years ago, mentioned that mast cells are ten times more activated in the presence of a cell phone. I was aware of mast cell activation and EMF but that statement coming from him hit me. That’s significant. A lot of the mast cell activation people are experiencing, there is probably a frequency and EMF component to it. Looking at things in this realm like triggers, mold, EMF, parasites, Lyme, environmental toxins, temperature changes for some people, any type of physical or emotional stress. While we’re working to stabilize the mast cells and reduce histamine, we also need to keep the focus on the triggers.

Mold and EMFs are two of the common environmental pieces that we need to mitigate in order to set the stage for healing.

Step seven is about optimizing hydration, nutrition, microbiome, and gut health. What tools do you find that are helpful here?

Hydration is important. Many people in this realm have low antidiuretic hormones. They’re drinking and peeing all day and still cellularly dehydrated. Electrolytes and trace minerals, putting some sea salt in the water, or maybe using different systems of structuring water like the natural action water system, there are lots of tools in that realm that can help to make the water potentially more hydrating. That’s the hydration piece. The nutrition piece is removing triggering foods. Most, if not everybody in this realm, needs to eliminate gluten.

Many people need to eliminate dairy. Sugar is not a good thing. High histamine foods are probably bad for many people in this realm. Making sure that what we do eat is highly nutrient-dense. I like my morning power shake with high-quality protein, fiber, phospholipids, healthy fats, flax seeds, chia seeds, and all of that has been helpful for me. We’re working to make sure that we’re getting hydration, good nutrition, and we’re supporting our microbiome and gut health.

I wonder if your opinion regarding bone broth in stimulating histamine is that a lot of people do bone broth preparations by using vinegar, specifically apple cider vinegar. If it’s that, that generates that histamine reaction as opposed to boiling the bones, which I have not found to cause problems and helps as part of the solution.

High histamine is one issue and high glutamate is another issue, potentially. There are maybe ways to make it so that it’s less problematic. If people are incorporating bone broth and feeling worse from it, that might be something to clue them into the possibility of that being a trigger for their system.

Is there one particular diet that you found that works best? You got the whole spectrum from vegan to vegetarian. I’ve historically been a paleo guy and now we’ve ventured into carnivore challenges and stuff like that. What are your thoughts?

I have had some clients that I’ve worked with where the carnivore diet was fantastic for their long-standing gut issues. Most of the people that I’ve worked with, low histamine has been the most helpful and there are lots of different low histamine diets out there. I work closely with Dr. Raj Patel. He and his colleague, Dr. Talia Hale, have a low histamine diet list that they’ve put together based on working with Lyme and mold. That tends to be the one that I see is the most helpful for people but everybody is going to be different. Some people need to consider other things like low oxalate, for example, or low sulfur for a period of time. It’s probably something to explore individually. Low histamine is the one that I’ve seen in the chronic Lyme arena that seems to have the most potential.

HHS 5 | Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease: Many people think that getting healthy is about killing bugs, particularly in the Lyme arena, but it’s really not the bug that makes the disease. It’s the host response to the bug.

Step eight, adding supportive interventions. Talking about maybe adrenal health and even more talking about mitochondrial support.

For me, mitochondria are something I’ve been interested in the past few years. It’s probably brought higher to the surface based on some of Dr. Todd Watts’ work. That’s an area that he focuses on. We know we need cellular energy to detoxify, function, or repair. I do like red light therapy in this realm. There are lots of red-light photo bio modulation devices that can be helpful. Basic things like CoQ10. I like Dr. Ben Lynch’s NADH CoQ10 sublingual product for getting some mitochondrial support.

The one caution here is if you look at the cell danger response model and you look at Bob Naviaux‘s work from UC San Diego, extracellular ATP is the danger signal in that model. If you’re still stuck in a cell danger response because you still have an infection, environmental issue, or whatever your trigger is for being in that hypometabolic shutdown state. If you aggressively support the mitochondria, you can make the person worse.

The more you learn, the more you realize you still have a lot to learn.

You have to slow and low to your earlier point, see how people respond to these things. We don’t want to stimulate detox reactions, for example, by supporting the mitochondria too aggressively, where those detox reactions can trigger the mast cells and increase inflammation. Not doing it too heavy-handedly but I do think there is increasing awareness that supporting the mitochondria can be helpful. Adrenals, people have talked about for many years but after years of chronic conditions are exhausting the adrenals. We can benefit from some adrenal support there.

Another one that I personally have had issues with over the years is hypercoagulation. If the blood is viscous or too thick because of chronic infections or heavy metals, mold, babesia, and these types of things create a big issue in terms of oxygen nutrient delivery. We need to think about things like Lumbrokinase or Boluoke or Nattokinase, for example. Some people may even need to do things like heparin or Lovenox. It depends, but there are panels that can be done to explore this realm. I do feel like it’s probably something that affects more people in the chronic Lyme and mold illness arena than have explored and understood this. It’s important to not be in a constant state of hypercoagulation if you’re attempting to recover from these conditions.

You mentioned a couple of different things regarding mitochondria. I want to pick your brain about what your thoughts are on IV Glutathione and IV NAD.

IV Glutathione can be helpful. I personally have used IV Glutathione along with IV Phosphatidylcholine and IV Sodium Phenylbutyrate. It’s the Patricia Kane approach to lipid restoration. It’s helpful. With Glutathione, we have other delivery systems now with some topicals, liposomes, and other things that if it’s difficult for people to access IVs, there are ways that you can get that support without having to do something that may be a little more invasive. For some people, it may be a good tool. I tend to be drawn to other ways to support it orally over the long haul rather than more aggressive short courses of IVs, which some people benefit from, but that’s my thought process.

Step nine, we said we’d get back to this and everybody has been waiting for the microbiome. How do we support the body with microbial overgrowth?

We’re talking about the heart borrelia, which is the spiral key involved in Lyme. It can certainly impact the heart. Bartonella, cytomegalovirus, and other viruses can play a role in terms of the heart. Chlamydia and pneumonia, for example, can affect the cardiovascular system and are interestingly also a component.

When we look at these mycoplasmas, chlamydia, and whatnot are found in the in-water damaged buildings as well, so a lot of these microbes certainly can affect the heart, but also affect us more broadly. Keeping the idea that we want to have the foundation in place before we start going after these killing strategies. Once we start supporting the body with these different pathogens, there’s probably an order here as well.

I generally like to think about some of the viral and retroviral pieces first, the endogenous retroviruses and the herpetic viruses. People generally seem to tolerate those types of interventions pretty well. Also, looking at the parasite and the gut things like SIBO, for example, maybe then moving into looking at the fungal colonization, the yeast issues, Lyme and co-infections, and possibly biofilm. If we look at the reactivation of viruses like Epstein-Barr, HHV-6, herpes zoster, all of these seem to be a component of Chronic Lyme and mold-associated illness, probably from immune dysregulation. Fortunately, there are lots of good herbal and homeopathic tools that we can use.

HHS 5 | Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease: If you aggressively support the mitochondria, you can actually make the person worse. You have to slow and low to your earlier point and see how people respond to these things.

We have companies like Beyond Balance, Byron White Formulas, and BioPure that have lots of different tools. They’ve put together Microbe Formulas and CellCore Biosciences. I like their foundation or Viread chem product. Things like sulforaphane, pantethine, selenium, or lysine. All can be helpful. Thinking about SIBO, which is very common. It’s amazing to me how many people now are dealing with SIBO type issues.

Beyond that, broader GI dysbiosis as well. Parasites are common in Chronic Lyme and mold-associated conditions. Sadly, the testing is poor. You may have to do some conventional testing. You may have to incorporate some different systems of energetic testing or electrodermal screening. When we’re starting to address the parasites, we also need to make sure we still have that detox and drainage piece in mind. As we’re killing parasites and fungal organisms like Candida, we could also then be releasing metals back into the system. It’s important that we’re not forgetting to keep that detoxification focus.

Limbic system retraining has been one of the single most helpful tools for people with complex conditions.

There is an aspect of SIBO that is bugs in the wrong place in the small intestine. There’s also this higher level, headwaters, neurological vagus nerve migrating motor complex type aspect that we need to look at as well. Beyond SIBO, people can have things like H. pylori, Clostridia, klebsiella, and so on. Things like Biocidin or MegaSporeBiotic can be great tools in that realm.

We then think about the yeast and molds, possibly from water damage, building exposure, fungal colonization. Aspergillus is one of those that can potentially be an issue. In that realm, fortunately, we also have lots of natural tools. MegaMycoBalance from Microbiome Labs is one I like. It’s nice that we have a lot of these tools now. As we talked about earlier, just because they’re natural, it doesn’t mean that they’re weak. They can be potent interventions.

Initially, you start with layering the focus. You don’t necessarily want to go after Borrelia, Bartonella, and Babesia all at the same time. That might be too much for people. You might layer things that are a little more targeted to specific types of Lyme-associated organisms. Eventually, go to a broader formula that is going to be something they can consolidate down to thinking then about, “Is there some benefit in maybe doing enzymes or even cistus tea for example to address some of the biofilms?” I don’t think that’s something you want to do super early. You want to be fairly far down the microbial support program dealing with as much of that as possible before you open Pandora’s box, so to speak.

I’m not getting too focused on that kill, battle, and eradication mentality. We’re probably not ever going to fully eradicate Lyme and co-infections. Many people have these and they do not have any symptoms at all. That’s empowering to know that we don’t have to get rid of every last microbe. We have more bugs in us and on us than human cells. At least for me, that was an empowering insight.

What are the harmonic frequencies? What are some tools that you use in that realm?

I work with a company in Vancouver called FREmedica. They have a wearable device called WAVE 1 that piggybacks frequencies to help support detoxification and support the body and dealing with a lot of Lyme-associated issues. That’s one tool that I have found helpful in this realm. It is something that I wear every day as a nice adjunct. There is a benefit. It’s not necessarily the solution for everyone. It’s not going to solve the mold in your environment and those types of things. There are often ways that we can incorporate frequency to help support the body. I also incorporate the Frequency Specific Microcurrent into my program as well.

Thank you. In step ten, I love this because it shows that we are completely holistic. You mentioned exploring dental contributors. Why don’t you touch on that for us?

My mentors in this realm have been Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt and Dr. Simon Yu primarily. They would have also put this earlier in a program like this. It is still a major focus for them. My understanding now is that Dr. Simon Yu tends to address the parasites and support and stabilize the body before getting into the dental interventions. In the past few years, Dr. Klinghardt has commented that people seem to do much better with dental procedures, recovery, and long-term benefits from those procedures if they first have addressed the endogenous retroviruses.

Amalgams can play a role. My caution here is I’ve seen lots of people that have had amalgams removed by dentists that didn’t take all of the precautions and were not biological. That was where their many-year chronic illness started. That can be helpful but I would urge people, if you’re jumping into dental work, make sure you’re coordinating that with the captain of your ship. Who is the doctor that you’re working with that’s driving your overall recovery? What’s the right time to do it? What’s the right support?

If you didn’t have the dental ligament removed and if you didn’t maybe have things like PRF or other things in there to support healing, you could develop a chronic infection that becomes a capitation. Looking at the dental contributors is important but I don’t think it’s something to jump into lightly because it can be a significant stress on the system depending on what needs to be done. You want to coordinate that with the primary captain of your ship or provider.

HHS 5 | Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease: We don’t want to stimulate detox reactions by supporting the mitochondria too aggressively where those detox reactions then can trigger the mast cells and increase inflammation.

Step eleven, last but certainly not least, we have regeneration and restoration. Tell us about this.

By the time we’ve gone through Lyme, mold, and all of the things that we’ve experienced that it certainly has taken a toll on our bodies. We need to look at what we can do to support regeneration and restoration. The phospholipids that we talked about a little bit earlier, whether that’s phosphatidylcholine or a phospholipid blend in your morning smoothie or doing some of the IV lipid replacements, can be helpful. Photobiomodulation can be a nice tool here for supporting the mitochondria and supporting the collagen for example.

Peptides are also another emerging tool for repair and restoration. Unfortunately, they’ve become a little more restricted by the FDA but there are still some peptide therapies that are available through practitioners that can be helpful. One of the things that I incorporated is a daily exercise with oxygen therapy. Using the LiveO2 system for about 25 minutes a day to get that deep oxygen support in the body to help restore as well. Those are a few things that you can do. There are certainly many others.

That restoration regeneration support, I haven’t so far in the Lyme and mold illness arena have been super impressed with some of the stem cell therapies. I explored those many years ago as well. I know they’re evolving. There are exosomes and other things. I’m open to the possibility that those become broader supports for people down the road. I haven’t seen it super helpful unless you’ve also done all of the other things. A lot of this is at the end because you need to unburden the body first. There may be some role for some of those things in the future as well.

There are so many great things to think about. One final question for you is, how do you live a heart-healthy life, Scott?

I do think that the daily exercise with oxygen therapy is certainly helping that oxygenation. I eat a highly nutrient-dense gluten-free diet with healthy fats and healthy protein. I work on supporting the mitochondria both with things like NADH and CoQ10 but also with photobiomodulation. I’m constantly working on reducing inflammation through optimizing the external environment, supporting detoxification.

It’s empowering to know that we don’t have to get rid of every last microbe, that we have more bugs in us and on us than human cells.

I use black seed oil, which can also be helpful in that realm for inflammation but also is heart-healthy. Things like electrolytes, for example, can also be helpful for the heart. It’s similar to what we talked through. It’s a broad focus on a lot of different things that also, fortunately, are healthy for the heart. Also, remembering a lot of those microbial contributors that we talked about, the Borrelia, Bartonella, the viruses, chlamydia, mycoplasma, and those types of things that also we need to consider in supporting optimal heart health.

Where can our readers find more of the information that you have shared with us?

I am involved with the LymeLight Foundation. That is an organization that has given out almost $7 million to children and young adults that need to access treatment care for Lyme disease that otherwise would not be able to. If someone reading is interested in either potentially applying for a grant or supporting the organization, they can learn more about us at LymeLightFoundation.org. My website is BetterHealthGuy.com. The last thing I would say is it’s important not to lose hope. Don’t give up. Much has changed in this realm of chronic Lyme and mold. The rate at which new understanding and new tools are coming on to the scene. It’s accelerating in a significant way. I want people to leave this conversation knowing that there is hope and that people can get well and to hold on to that.

Thank you so much for leaving with that message of hope. There is education coming out. I know that Dr. Jack Wolfson and I have learned so much from you. Thank you so much for your time and we will be speaking with you again, I hope.

Thank you so much, Dr. Lauren. It was fantastic. Be well.

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About Scott Forsgren

Scott Forsgren, FDN-P is a health coach, blogger, podcaster, health writer, and advocate. He is the editor and founder of BetterHealthGuy.com, where he shares his 24-year journey through the world of Lyme disease, mold illness, and the myriad of factors that chronic illness often entails.

His podcast “BetterHealthGuy Blogcast” interviews many of the leaders in the field and is available on his web site, BetterHealthGuy.com, and on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify. He has been interviewed on numerous podcasts and has lectured on his recovery from chronic illness at conferences and on several online summits. He has written for the Townsend Letter and other publications.

Scott is the co-founder of The Forum for Integrative Medicine which hosts an annual conference bringing together some of the top integrative practitioners to share practical tools for treating complex, chronic illness. He serves on the Board of Directors of LymeLight Foundation which provides treatment grants to children and young adults recovering from Lyme disease. Today, Scott is grateful for his current state of health and all that he has learned on this life-changing journey.

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