Researchers identified in 2017 that Borrelia Burgdorferi has a low tolerance for high temperatures. More specifically, they discovered that at 102.2° F spirochetes became immobile, at 104° F they shed their outer membrane, and at 106.9° F for two hours, 100% of the bacteria died.
As many patients know, treating Lyme disease is not that simple. Utilizing whole-body hyperthermia alone is insufficient and is typically done in conjunction with a detoxification regime and combination antibiotic therapy. Overall, the therapy is a piece of the puzzle and can be a helpful, but expensive, step to achieving remission.
How Does It Work?
Patients will begin treatment by receiving an analgesic, or pain killer, before being sedated. There is no anesthetic used in this treatment protocol. Patients are then placed into a thermal chamber where they can be monitored in intensive care.
Infrared-A-irradiation is used to gradually increase their body temperature. During whole-body hyperthermia, a patient’s core temperature will be raised to 106.9°- 107.2° Fahrenheit and held at that level for 2-3 hours.
Patients will simultaneously be treated with a combination antibiotic therapy composed of Ceftriaxone, B-Lactam, and Metronidazole. The high temperatures actually increase the effectiveness of antibiotics and allow them to more easily penetrate cells.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are some of the side effects? During treatment, patients may experience a drop in blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, and sedation complications like aspiration, respiratory depression, lung edema, burns or lesions, and cerebral seizures.
- What happens next? As Lyme-causing bacteria die off they release toxins that may require further detoxification before the patient can begin to feel better.
- Are there any contra-indications, or reasons to not do this treatment? Hyperthermia may be dangerous if you have kidney insufficiency, severe lymphedema, thrombosis, inadequate cerebral circulation, pronounced bone marrow depression, pronounced cardiac/pulmonary insufficiency, or acute infection.