What happens if you don’t stabilize before starting antibiotics?


Great Question! Lyme Borreliosis Complex (LBC) is a complex disease that does not behave like any other.

This infection has many components that work together to potentially disrupt practically every system in the body. LBC creates intense stress within the human body causing immunologic chaos, turmoil and ultimately significant dysfunction. In advanced cases, the immune system has ‘lost the battle’ and is just ‘making noise’ with only a small chance of regaining immunologic control by eliminating multiple primary and opportunistic infections.

Treatment at the Jemsek Specialty Clinic (JSC) starts with stabilizing – “centering” – our patients so that they can best benefit from antimicrobial therapy. The more centered and stable your system is, the better it will respond to antimicrobials. Some examples of system stress that we seek to stabilize include: oxidative stress, mood issues, pain, sleep disruptions, nutritional deficiencies, gastrointestinal dysfunction, cardiac issues, and hormonal imbalances among others. Our goal is to minimize the instability as much as possible. Your initial interview, exam and labs help us to identify your key stress areas so that we can create a proper plan of care.

Controlling stress is essential to treatment and recovery, given LBC’s biologic turbulence. JSC’s treatment strategy focuses on three main and interrelated components; decreasing the amount of infection in the body, organizing and strengthening the immune system to restore lasting immunologic control, and facilitating tissue healing, with healing only possible after purging the infections.

Unfortunately, when the infections die they do not go quietly. When exposed to antimicrobials, these infections cause an inflammatory reaction. This is known as the herxheimer reaction or “herxing.” Effectively killing these infections can potentially worsen any and all issues that the infection compounds. Some patients may develop new issues as layers of infection are exposed. This is another reason why it is essential to obtain optimal stability before starting antimicrobials. Treatment begins with the “centering” phase, and then depending on the body’s response, we progressively move through the treatment protocol. It is not uncommon to adjust support measures as we move through treatment to minimize stressors and maintain stability within the body.

Looking at the alternative, what would happen if we did not attempt to stabilize your system before starting antimicrobial treatment? It’s quite simple. If your system is fighting back a variety of stressors, then it will not be as efficient at maintaining a strong response to therapy. Additionally, the very symptoms that you are trying to ease may become more prominent, and new ones may surface. Ignoring stabilization before starting antimicrobials should be avoided at all costs. It’s clear that by stabilizing your system, prior to, and throughout treatment, you not only feel better, but your system will be able to respond more efficiently and effectively. To ensure success, stabilization is critical to your positive outcome!

Thank you for the great question!

The Jemsek Specialty Clinic Staff