What are chronic infections? Infections are caused by an invasion of the body by any external factor that causes damage. These invasions are caused by pathogens, which may take the form of bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, or prions.
Acute infections are usually fought off by the immune system, but chronic infections are not removed by the immune system, and can cause health problems for several months, or even years.
Chronic infections are characterized by the presence of flare ups and remissions. The pathogens are present in your body forever regardless if you are experiencing symptoms or not.
For example, if you had the chicken pox as a child, you will have the virus your whole life, but it will go dormant. When you get older, the virus can be reactivated, leading to shingles.
Based on our years of clinical practice and experience, we are guided by the principle that most autoimmune diseases are driven by chronic infections. This is why we don’t merely diagnose a disease, but we look for the underlying infection to get to the real driver of the disease.
Chronic infection examples frequently associated with autoimmune diseases include:
Not everyone who gets these infections will develop an autoimmune disease, usually in addition to the infection; some sort of genetic predisposition is involved.
So how do we approach the treatment of autoimmune disease with a chronic infection?
In the therapy of chronic infections there are 4 goals to achieve.
Can I be cured from chronic infections?
This is one of the most popular questions we get—can I be cured? Complete eradication of microorganisms or viruses causing chronic infections represents an almost impossible task. A more realistic goal of therapy is to induce a dormant state where the infectious process is minimally active and does not induce any clinical symptoms.
This is like the chicken pox example above, it is more likely that you will always have the infection, but a dormant state can be achieved where you are not experiencing symptoms. Tuberculosis is another common example.
How are chronic infections diagnosed?
When you are trying to find out what is wrong, you need confirmation from blood work. These results also provide a benchmark to look back on as you progress through treatment.
These are the baseline labs we start with:
Incorporate Antibiotic Therapy:
Antibiotics will be a part of your therapy especially in the beginning as you need to get the infection under control. Antibiotics are trying to suppress the proliferation of the offending microorganism. Untreated patients have a very large pool of microorganisms causing harm that their immune system can’t manage. When you take antibiotics this pool shrinks to a small enough size that your immune system can take over and remission happens.
People with chronic infections have microorganisms that go back and forth from dormant to active. Only active microorganisms are killed by antibiotics.
Antibiotics can be used in combination with other antibiotics and/or dietary supplements that have antibiotic properties.
There are several things to consider when choosing antibiotics:
Synthetic antibiotics vs herbal antibiotics: synthetic works faster and more appropriate for issues that need to get under control right away. Herbal antibiotics are a good rout for use on a non-emergent basis and people who prefer this option.
Synergistic antibiotic/herbal combinations: combining traditional antibiotics with dietary supplements can amplify the efficacy of the antibiotic
Single vs multi-antibiotic therapy: will one antibiotic work, or are multiple needed?
Route of administration: oral, intravenous, or inhaled
Frequency of antibiotic rotations: you can be on a preset schedule or rotate as one becomes less effective
Duration of antibiotic therapy: duration can often be from months to years
The following are two things to consider as you go through treatment that could interfere with the success of your treatment.
1. Eliminate interfering environmental factors:
2. Check and if necessary tune up: endocrine functions that should be monitored continuously to prevent the recycling of toxins.
If you would like to amplify the effectiveness of antibiotics, there are several dietary supplements that can be combined with
Common synergistic combinations of antibiotics and dietary supplements:
It is our recommendation that when dealing with an autoimmune disease, you always look for an underlying infection and treat the infection as well as the disease. Often times this means you are dealing with chronic infections that will take a long course of action to eradicate, but with the suggestions made here as well as patience, you can live symptom free.