BRUCELLA, HERXING AND HOPE

The bacteria are called “Brucella.” The illness caused by those pesky bacteria is called “Brucellosis.” I have just completed week three of my Brucellosis treatment. Time files when you’re having fun (read with sarcasm). I have been uncertain how to effectively address this topic as there is not much info regarding Brucellosis in the Unites States. After all, this bacterial infection has supposedly been eradicated from much of the U.S., but somehow, I now find myself being treated for it. I know others that have tested positive for this infection. Perhaps it is not so rare after all.

 How is Brucella transmitted?

First, Brucella can most commonly be acquired by humans through the consumption of infected meat and dairy products. This infection is not limited exclusively to cows. Deer, chicken, bison and other animals can be carriers of this infection as well.

Almost makes me want to become a vegetarian. Bleh!

Second, the bacteria can also be transmitted when human skin wounds come in contact with tissues, secretions or excretions of infected animals.

Isn’t that a lovely thought. Yikes!

Third, if any of those infectious materials I spoke of in the previous two paragraphs become aerosolized (like a mist of spray coming out of a can), Brucella can also be inhaled.

That’s a little scary.

Lastly, it can be acquired through the bite of an infected tick and like all tick borne infections, if not caught and treated early, it can lead to a whole array of chronic problems.

What symptoms might someone who has been infected with Brucella display?

Some of the symptoms associated with an infection of the Brucella bacteria include weight loss, abdominal pain, joint and back pain, insomnia, depression, constipation and fatigue. Since these symptoms can often be indicative of other illnesses, the level of difficulty to accurately diagnose this infection is quite high.

How can Brucella be detected?

Brucella can be detected in a traditional manor by using a Brucella Antibody IGG/IGM screen. If the Brucella Antibody Screen is positive or equivocal, a Brucella Antibody with bacterial agglutination is done for confirmation. Brucella was detected in my friend using these tests.

Alternatively, Brucella was detected in me using the FDA approved device the Zyto Scan. I will eventually do a post on the Zyto Scan in greater detail, but suffice it to say I was initially a huge skeptic about the concept of biocommunication between my body and a computer. My Nurse Practitoner, along with one of the country’s leading Zyto Scan practitioners and I teamed up on a phone call to do a remote scan. The results were unbelievably accurate. Symptoms I had told doctors about, symptoms I hadn’t even mentioned yet and even previous blood work ALL showed up on my scan. In addition to confirming the areas I knew were problematic, the Zyto Scan also revealed a serious Brucella infection. My Nurse Practitioner compared my scan results to my clinical presentation and conferenced about my case with a leading physician in the treatment of tick borne diseases. She concurred that Brucella is one of the underlying co-infections that I am in fact battling.

Where might I have acquired this infection?

That is an excellent question.

I have not spent much time on farms or near farm animals in the United States, so that seems improbable. I am not a big meat eater and I do not enjoy cooking, so even more unlikely is the chance that an open wound I might have had came in contact with tissues or bodily fluids of an infected animal. What is however more realistic, is that I obtained this infection through one of two ways–a tick bite (and we already know I have had at least one of those suckers) OR from my summer spent in the Dominican Republic years ago where farm animals openly roam the streets and Brucellosis is more prevalent. Whichever the case may be, this is a question that will never have an answer.

How is Brucellosis treated?

Most people with Brucellosis will recover in 2 to 3 weeks even without treatment. In cases like myself where the illness has become chronic, Brucellosis is typically treated with a combination of two antibiotics for two or more months. For my situation, the combination we are using is 600mg of Rifampin once per day and 100mg of Doxycycline twice per day. These medications have to be taken at specific times so as not to interact with one another. Sadly, relapses are common.

My Treatment Protocol

Below, I have included my new treatment protocol. I have my alarm set to go off multiple times per day to remind me of when to take the lengthy list of medications, herbs and supplements.

Medication Schedule

8:30: Nature-Throid and homeopathic adrenal supplement
9:00: 600mg of Rifampin
10:00: Eat breakfast and take:
200mg of Hydroxychloroquine
B12
Methylfolate
B6
D-ribose
Brain/Nerve Cleanse if needed
Lymph drops
Vaccine Detox Drops
Vitamin C
Interfase Plus (for biofilms)
Glutamine
Ginko Biloba

12:30: 100mg of Doxycycline
2:10: Take Samento
2:30: Eat lunch and take:
Vitamin C
Vitamin D
K2
D-Ribose
Probiotic
Sacc B
Glutamine
Ginko Biloba
Lymph Drainage
Vaccine Detox
Homeopathic Adrenals

6:10: 30 drops of Samento
6:30: Eat Dinner and take:
Lymph Drops
100mg of Diflucan

9:00: 100 mg of Doxycycline
9:30-11:00: Bedtime
Querectin
1 Drop of Ashwaganda
Clonazepam
Soma
5-htp
GABA
Melatonin
Magnesium Glycinate

This phase of treatment has not been easy. About two weeks ago, I began to be hit quite hard with the dreaded “herx” reaction, where there is an exacerbation of symptoms as the bacteria begin to die-off. I have tried to continue with my usual detox protocol in an attempt to combat those symptoms (light exercise, detox baths, infrared sauna, etc.), but I am once again finding myself feeling very depleted. After having spent most of 2012 and 2013 being bedridden, depletion is a scary place for me to be. I am going to resume a more consistent acupuncture schedule as that has proven to be an extremely beneficial adjunct to my treatment. I will also try my best to remain hopeful and optimistic that this too can be conquered and continue to carry with me the belief that better days are yet to come.

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Although the past three weeks have been difficult, there is still the potential that this could be a positive turning point for me in my healing from Lyme Disease and it’s co-infections.

Are you battling Brucella? I would love to hear from you! As always, please feel free to leave me a comment.