Can Lyme Disease Be Cured?

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Lyme Cure vs Remission

I am often asked if it is possible to cure Lyme disease. Based on my experience in my Seattle practice, the odds of curing Lyme depends on when treatment is started. Some are cured while others go into Lyme disease remission with treatment.

Definition of Terms

  • Cure means never having Lyme disease symptoms again once treatment is stopped. In a cure the immune system and herbal or prescription antibiotics work together to rid the body of any Lyme germs.
  • Remission means a person is well or greatly improved from treatment, but the Lyme germs are still living in the body. In remission, the immune system works alone or with help from nutrition, supplements, healthy lifestyle, and possibly germ suppressing doses of herbal or prescription antibiotics to keep the remaining germs under control. With remission, there is always a chance the Lyme germs will become active again causing a relapse.

Marty Ross MD Discusses If Lyme Can Be Cured

This video was recorded during Conversations with Marty Ross MD on 6/6/19. Read the full article below the video.

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Treatment within 30 Days of Initial Tick Bite

Studies show that 80 to 90% of people, who take a two to three week course of antibiotics within 30 days after a known acute tick bite, do not develop chronic Lyme disease.(1,2) Based on my experience, these people are cured of Lyme disease - they will not have further problems with Lyme disease, unless they get a new tick bite.

For the best chance of cure in acute Lyme, I found doxycycline to works best in my Seattle practice. But if a person cannot take doxycycline, cefuroxime or amoxicillin is an option. These are the three antibiotics recommended by the United States Centers for Disease Control and the Infectious Diseases Society of America. In my experience, I find these work better in an acute setting than herbal antibiotics at getting a cure.

Lyme Treatment Begins 30 days to One Year After Tick Bite

In my experience some of these people get cured from Lyme infection and some will go into remission. There are no studies that predict who will have the best outcome here. The closer treatment is started in time to when the tick bite occurred provides the best chance of cure.

Treatment for Lyme Starts One Year or More after Tick Bite

In my opinion and experience, only a rare person in this group goes on to cure Lyme disease. Most people go into remission. In remission, the germs still live in a person, but the immune system keeps them under control.

About 85 to 90% of people treated with long term antibiotics and methods to boost the immune system, can go into remission. For the best chance of reaching remission I suggest following the first 12 steps in The Ross Lyme Support Protocol. These steps

  • get rid of coinfections,
  • boost the immune system,
  • support the adrenal and thyroid glands, and
  • decrease the Lyme germ load.

How to Stay in Lyme Remission

There are steps to take that increase the chances of staying in Lyme remission. For more information see Finished? And How to Prevent Relapse.

Hope for The Future

There is new research directed at finding a way to rid the body of Lyme. This research is focusing on how to treat what is called "persister Lyme". It is possible as more effective persister regimens are developed, that more people will get cured from Lyme no matter when they start treatment. For more information about persister Lyme and current treatment options for this situation read: How to Treat Persister Lyme. What Works? 


The ideas and recommendations on this website and in this article are for informational purposes only. For more information about this, see the sitewide Terms & Conditions.


View Citations

  1. Fallon BA, Sotsky J. Conquering Lyme Disease: Science Bridges the Great Divide. New York: Columbia University Press; 2018.
  2. Aucott JN, Rebman AW, Crowder LA, Kortte KB. Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome symptomatology and the impact on life functioning: is there something here?. Qual Life Res. 2013;22(1):75–84. doi:10.1007/s11136-012-0126-6 (View)
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About The Author

Marty Ross, MD is a passionate Lyme disease educator and clinical expert. He helps Lyme sufferers and their physicians see what really works based on his review of the science and extensive real-world experience. Dr. Ross is licensed to practice medicine in Washington State (License: MD00033296) where he has treated thousands of Lyme disease patients in his Seattle practice.

Marty Ross, MD is a graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine and Georgetown University Family Medicine Residency. He is a member of the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), The Institute for Functional Medicine, and The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M).

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