Getting Healthy: Will I? When? How Do I?

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Predicting Lyme Disease Treatment Outcome: Q&A

A person with chronic Lyme has questions about will they get well and when will they recover. Research on these questions is non-existent or limited at best. So here are answers based on my clinical experience in Seattle, WA.

Q. Will I get well with treatment?

A. Yes, 90 percent of people do improve. Unfortunately, ten percent do not or may even worsen during treatment. It is not clear why 10 percent of people do not improve. In addition, at the beginning of treatment it is nearly impossible to tell who will recover.

Marty Ross MD Discusses Getting Healthy

The video is a Lyme Byte from our webinar Conversations with Marty Ross MD recorded on 09/24/2013 when Dr. Ross practiced in Seattle, Washington. Read my Lyme disease treatment guidelines, The Ross Lyme Support Protocol, mentioned in the video.

Q. How long will I need to be treated?

A. In chronic Lyme disease (over one year of Lyme infection) an average length of treatment is 2 years. This is an average, and some respond more quickly than others. For example, some may recover in 6 months while some may require 3 or more years.

Q. When will I start to feel better?

A. Based on one unpublished research study, 30 percent of people have notable improvement by 3 months, 60 percent by 6 months, and 90 percent by 9 months. I had somewhat quicker results in my Seattle practice. Notice that I wrote a "notable" improvement. This does not mean that a person is well, but rather starts to show some improvement. The take home message here is that it takes time.

One other point, often at the beginning of treatment a person will get worse. This is due to a Herxheimer die-off reaction. Read Herxheimer Die-off Reaction: Inflammation Run Amok for more information about this and the steps to take to improve this situation.

Q. How much will I improve?

A. Improvements can range up to 100%. At the beginning of treatment it is often hard to predict which person may get full recovery. Unfortunately, the infection does appear to create a degree of permanent injury in some.

Q. How can I speed my recovery and provide the best chance of getting well?

A. Recovering from Lyme requires more than killing germs with herbal anti-microbials or prescription antibiotics. In my experience, a person must take steps to correct many problems caused by Lyme that suppress the immune system. To improve immune function, it is essential that a person follow my Lyme disease treatment guideline: The Ross Lyme Support Protocol

To support the immune system and to recover from Lyme:

  • get sleep,
  • lower inflammatory cytokines,
  • use an adaptogen to help the immune system deal with stress,
  • correct hormonal imbalances,
  • take essential micronutrients and vitamins,
  • treat yeast overgrowth in the intestines, detox, and
  • kill Lyme germs and the coinfections.

You can read about each of these steps and the rationale for addressing them in The Ross Lyme Support Protocol.


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.

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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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