Ketamine infusion for Lyme disease: Does ketamine help Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is common in Annapolis and other nearby regions of Maryland and Virginia. Chronic Lyme disease symptoms, including chronic pain, are a major issue for Maryland residents, especially in Anne Arundel County.
Ketamine for Lyme disease works to reduce muscle and joint pain, as well as helping with depression. Chronic Lyme disease is, for many, a chronic pain condition. Patients with protracted Lyme symptoms have ongoing issues with fatigue, joint pain, and muscle pain.
Ketamine infusion therapy has been demonstrated to be an effective component of chronic pain management for post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS). PTLDS is a chronic pain condition characterized by ongoing symptoms long after antibiotic treatment has been completed for eradicating the Lyme bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi or Borrelia mayonii.
How did doctors know that intravenous ketamine would help Lyme patients? In addition to being used successfully in OCD treatment, PTSD treatment, anxiety treatment, and for treatment resistant depression and bipolar disorder, IV ketamine also works well for neuropathic pain, complex regional pain syndrome, and even migraine headaches.
In fact, the severe pain associated with chronic Lyme disease syndrome has been compared to fibromyalgia. Ketamine researchers already knew that IV ketamine infusion worked well for resting pain sensors and pain signals in chronic fibromyalgia pain, so it made sense to study ketamine’s efficacy in post treatment Lyme disease syndrome.
Ketamine IV therapy helps right away with short-term pain by helping the patient to dissociate from their pain. And, ketamine therapy helps by balancing the neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA, reducing inflammation of the nervous system, and generally reducing the pain level associated with CNS sensitization.
Does ketamine-assisted psychotherapy also provide relief to patients suffering with chronic lyme-related symptoms?
Imagine being in pain for months, or even years after a Lyme infection. In addition to the mental and physical torture, many doctors refuse to believe that long-term symptoms after antibiotic treatment are possible.
Lyme patients must also suffer with the stigma of not being believed. They know that the pain and fatigue are real, but doctors, friends, and family members doubt the symptoms and lose patience.
Many Lyme sufferers also develop a mood disorder and require depression treatment as well as pain management. In order to get optimal results from ketamine treatment, psychotherapy must also be a component of the treatment plan.
Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy helps with mental health issues related to chronic Lyme. In addition to relieving the joint pain and muscle aches, patients report an improved mood and a more positive outlook.
As the healing process moves forward with each ketamine intravenous infusion, talk therapy helps the patient to better understand their personal ketamine experience. Ketamine promotes dendritic growth, improving connections between neurons in the brain.
Effective psychotherapy assists the patient in guiding brain growth and healing in the most positive manner. Talk therapy works synergistically with ketamine infusion to provide the greatest possible healing from chronic Lyme syndrome.
Are there chronic pain conditions similar to post treatment Lyme disease syndrome that respond well to ketamine therapy?
Chronic Lyme disease syndrome symptoms that occur long after antibiotic therapy has been completed include fatigue, joint pain, and muscle pain. Doctors are not able to demonstrate that a patient has this condition with any medical test.
Epstein Barr virus infections can cause similar chronic symptoms, long after the initial infection. While there may be evidence of the past infection, doctors cannot order a test that shows the infection is still causing symptoms.
There are other conditions that cause long-term symptoms that doctors often refuse to treat because they cannot prove the condition is present with a test. Fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivity are conditions that doctors may fail to diagnose.
Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a condition that can be tested for with a tilt table test, but many doctors are unfamiliar with it, and it cannot be seen on a blood test. Patients often feel as if they are victims of gaslighting by their doctors and families.
The patient is told that they are not sick when they know with complete certainty that they are sick. There are also protracted withdrawal syndromes from quitting certain medications too quickly, such as benzodiazepines and antidepressants. Like chronic Lyme, protracted withdrawal patients often suffer long-term with fatigue and pain.
How does a doctor know that ketamine infusion is the right choice for treating chronic Lyme pain?
When a patient presents to a ketamine clinic with a complaint of chronic pain the doctor or nurse practitioner will take a complete medical history. Then, they will conduct a physical examination and review past medical records.
A patient who has pain in a large joint, such as a knee, and the pain migrates from one joint to another, may have a history of Lyme disease. If they also have ongoing fatigue, the practitioner may suspect Lyme even more.
The patient may remember a tick bite in the woods, a bulls-eye rash, and then a course of antibiotics to treat the Lyme bacterium. Or, the patient may only have the symptoms of Lyme, but past doctors missed the diagnosis.
After completing the exam, the doctor or nurse practitioner will have a better idea of the problem and how to best help with a series of ketamine IV infusions. Ketamine will help with the pain, and ketamine combined with therapy will help with depression and anxiety related to post treatment Lyme disease syndrome.
Should the patient be treated with antibiotics for the chronic Lyme infection? While there is some disagreement on this topic, most doctors agree that antibiotics will not help with chronic Lyme.
Why do so many people have Lyme disease in Annapolis, Maryland?
Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness in Anne Arundel County, according to the Anne Arundel County Health Department. The black-legged tick that spreads the disease is found on deer, mice, pets, and in tall grass and wooded regions.
Because of the frequency of Lyme infections in Annapolis, it is important that doctors test patients who have Lyme symptoms and possible exposure to a tick. Patients who suffer from chronic Lyme infections will likely benefit from ketamine infusion therapy and ketamine-assisted psychotherapy.
Fortunately, Annapolis is the home of the Mood Center, the premier ketamine center in Maryland, serving patients in Maryland, Virginia, and the Washington Metropolitan Area. If you believe that you have a new Lyme infection, please see your doctor right away.
However, if you have been diagnosed with Lyme disease, and you have chronic pain symptoms and fatigue as a result, please call the Mood Center. Our doctors and nurse practitioners are prepared to help you to overcome Lyme symptoms and get back to living your life.