- Lyme Disease and Aspartame Disease are tragically conjoined
Twins. Aspartame can cause Lyme disease and the Lyme treponema can cause
the same hyperautoimmunicity and resultant hyperautoimmunity destructions
that aspartame does. American medicine unfortunately overlooks the basics
that have long been known about Lyme Disease.
- Aspartame can activate Lyme Disease in people who have
the infection but would not experience Lyme Disease because unimpaired
by the ill effects of aspartame the Lyme treponema would without hazard
be eliminated by a competent immune response. In addition, I think those
who have had Lyme Disease and achieved a "cure" may experience
a relapse upon exposure to aspartame or other sensitizing agents even though
the Lyme treponema has been eliminated from their body.
- Lyme Disease has been known under other names in the
British Isles for about a hundred years. The British and continental
experience could also serve well as a learning model in the US. The other
reason that an apparent lack of understanding exists on these topics in
the US is that the US has defacto, virtual full control of the press by
the government and the establishment to protect the undefendable Aspartame
in spite of constitutional provisions to the contrary. Whether with respect
to Aspartame Disease or Lyme Disease "hypersensitivity" and hyperautoimmunicity
can be used interchangeably to describe the particular immunologic disorder
engendered in either case whereby the human immune system is left so impaired
that it can readily be stimulated to a severe autoimmune attack on the
human organism itself: "hyperautoimmunity". One of aspartame's
hyperautoimmunity damages is chemical hypersensitivity, poly or multiple
chemical sensitivity syndrome, "aroma sensitivity" etc.
- To save words this article will use hyperautoimmunity
to denote disease and pathology caused by autoimmune attack deriving from
hypersensitivity/hyperautoimmunicity. The common ground/common immunologic
event shared by aspartame and Lyme Disease is that the hypersensitivity
that is induced is largely caused by denatured human protein interacting
with the human immune system in either case. This leads to striking interactivity
between the two diseases on one hand and similar therapeutic hardships
for the afflicted patient on the other. It is about equally hard to find
a competent medical caregiver for either condition in the US because the
available information just isn't put to the attention of most physicians
in a credible manner. To treat either condition effectively requires a
large measure of courage as well as independent expertise even though the
treatments are logical, simple, safe and avail the patient immense benefit.
- It seems quite overlooked that the hyperautoimmuninicity
stimulated by the treponema and the resulting hyperautoimmunity are the
major cause of the various symptoms of Lyme Disease. This explains why,
what usually might be considered an adequate antimicrobial approach for
more straight forward infectious processes is found to be inadequate for
Lyme Disease. It can also explain why that from the earliest experiences
with Lyme Disease in the US until the present time that the patients most
grievously afflicted by Lyme Disease and who are urgently in need of treatment
for it are highly likely to be serologically negative and test negative
for Lyme Disease. Experienced centers that treat significant volumes of
Lyme disease cases have coined this phenomenon "sero negative Lyme
disease" because a majority of the patients most grieviously afflicted
by Lyme disease are indeed sero negative.
- One such clinic performed a follow through search for
live organisms on their cases and were able to culture Lyme treponema in
91% of sero negatives. Remarkable confirmation because isolating the organism
is a highly technical task.
- Three known biological mechanisms explain sero negativity
in active Lyme disease.
- First: Since hypersensitivity/hyper autoimmunity is
the pathophysiologic mechanism the damages can be produced rapidly and
in response to a minuscule innoculum. Second: Hypersensitivity results
from production of abnormal amounts of abnormal IGG which forms an "IGG
blockade" to sero positivity.
- Third: The highly pleomorphic profile of the Lyme surface
antigens can totally omit various antigens. For example, the immunologically
dominant and often tested for Osp A has been found to be persistently lacking
in some regional phases of treponemae. If your immune system can mount
an appropriate and adequate response, you may test positive and be able
to eliminate the disease without damages and the disease will often be
self limiting; completely cured without antimicrobial therapy of any kind.
If you lack that kind of immunocompetence you likely will not produce
a positive titer in any case and your immune system may be diverted to
attacking your own body with autoimmune destruction while not affecting
the Lyme treponema at all.
- The hyperautoimmunicity engendered by Aspartame and/or
Lyme Disease is probably the "blocking factor" that immunologists
are looking for to explain why serologic Lyme Disease testing often does
not work. Thus, for many people with negative Lyme titers, it is a devastating
disease with intolerable consequences arising from its not being vigorously
and thoroughly treated. Of the 53 laboratory tests currently available,
none yield accurate negative results. Lyme therapy experts can only say
that hopefully we will have therapeutically significant testing available
in the future but that at present we simply do not.
- The destruction arising from leaving undetected Lyme
Disease untreated may be immediately evident or may occur in the near or
distant future as is also true of its close cousin syphilis. Yes, Lyme
Disease can be spread venereally and in several other ways. So a "bite"
may never have occurred and the classic "erythema migrans" rash
may never be observed. In the long term, how does and how can a miniscule
and fragile micro-organism like the Lyme spirochete survive the attack
of the human immune system? The spirochete's microscopic, near bacterial
size and wormlike proportions with relatively large surface area should
make it readily subject to immune destruction after the 10-60 days or so
it usually takes for the immune system to mount an adequate response to
a new foreign protein.
- Being a matador is a good analog to the "bait and
switch" games the Lyme spirochete plays with the immune system to
prevent an appropriate immune response from destroying it. The bull fighter
would be quickly destroyed if the bull could simply get a horn in him and
remain unrestrained to finish the job. The matador achieves mastery of
the situation by inciting the bull to charge him and then by avoiding bodily
contact, changing the bull's charge into a near miss which only wears
the bull down leading to more and more destruction of the bull. The matador
also has a red flag that he can manipulate with various wiggles and waves
to further confuse and disorientate the bull and engage the bull in self
- Because of their small size and shape and mobility the
treponemae cannot depend on thick cuticles, secretions of defensive mucoid
shields, or encapsulating themselves as other larger parasitic organisms
do, to protect themselves. They would be completely destroyed by any competent
immune attack. The treponema much like the matador can accomplish only
avoidance. They use two (2) mechanisms; "game playing" and
being "fast on their feet". They play the game of "let's
you and him fight" with the human immune system and body, getting
the body itself to be the focus of the immune attack rather than the treponemae.
It accomplishes this by making the major known immunologically dominant
constant component of its surface a human protein, only slightly denatured
called Osp A. Osp A is nearly identical to a human protein called LFA-1.
The very small difference is just enough to elicit immune system response
with destruction of the treponemae in the immunocompetent but eliciting
hyper auto immunicity in those with lesser immune competence in this regards.
Aspartame likewise creates denatured human proteins of the body's own
tissues with no healthy alternative insofar as hypersensitivity is concerned.
- Lyme vaccines, presently available, are based on Osp
A and it is stated the immunoglobulins produced enter the tick's digestive
tract as it bites thus destroying the Lyme organisms before they can ever
reach the human body. Not surprisingly, some people have accused the Osp
A vaccines of having caused severe knee damage by stimulating destructive
arthritis. This correlates well with the fact that Lyme arthritis almost
invariably affects the knees but other joints with less frequency. This
pattern reflects the tremendous physical stress imposed on the knees inherent
to knee kinesiology. Osp A is considered an "arthrogenic antigen".
- The immune difficulties are further complicated by the
fact that the spirochete can constantly keep changing which genetic information
it expresses in its surface proteins. This "gene surfing" is
very analogous to the matador confusing and agitating the bull with his
red flag. Even as the human immune system may attempt to self correct,
different antigenic pictures demanding immediate destruction are presented
on the organism's surface - again and again - faster than the immune system
can mount an effective response against it. Thus in the less immuno-competent
the human body itself becomes the only readily and constantly available
target for immune attack and destruction.
- A comparable example is the situation with "flu"
vaccines. If the flu virus strain mutates, even slightly, the antibodies
elicited by the vaccine just aren't effective against the flu bug. Lyme
Disease damages and some of aspartame's damages are hyperautoimmunity destruction
based on inappropriate immune response to denatured human protein.
- It is no surprise then the two diseases can, and often
do, produce identical problems. It should likewise be possible, once a
pattern of autoimmune destruction has been established in either case,
that the persistent hyperautoimmunicity (after the situation has been quieted
down) will produce the same disease pattern as at least part of the response
when hyperautoimmunity is reactivated by either agent. Exposure to aspartame
can cause the Lyme disease process to recur after the Lyme organism has
been eliminated from the body. Likewise the Lyme organism can cause recurrence
of the hyperautoimmune destruction caused by aspartame such as the Persian
Gulf Syndrome and the others already mentioned.
- The chemical hyper reactivity engendered by either disease
can yield recurrences of either upon exposure to other noxious chemicals
at levels undetectable to "normal" or unafflicted individuals.
Therefore, in those already immunologically deranged by aspartame, Lyme
Disease will often be atypical: lacking the usual 10 to 14 day incubation
period etc because immediate autoimmune hyper reactivity already exists
and is already subject to an immediately fulminant and virulent response
to very low doses of the treponemal antigen.
- This mutual synergism/activation phenomena between aspartame
poisoning and Lyme Disease persists so that the activation of Lyme destruction
is possible at almost anytime amongst the large segment of our population
sensitized by aspartame exposure. Even pollen seasons and fungal blooms
with airborne spores now are problems of severe hyperautoimmunity for the
hypersensitized and can be expected to produce full blown autoimmune destructive
processes without treponemal reinfection nor exposure to aspartame itself.
- This ill considered knowledge is not new to medicine.
One classic medical case of destructive hyperautoimmunicity is Lupus Erythematosus
known to be stimulated to reoccur upon exposure to various chemicals, many
of them so innocuous as to be included amongst commonly used medicines.
- The need for higher doses of properly selected antibiotics
used for a much longer term than in most infections reflect two aspects
of Lyme infection. The treponemae are somewhat larger and more complex
organisms than most pathogenic bacteria and are thus harder to eliminate
for that reason alone. Moreover, an appropriate immune response is an
essential component of the successful treatment of any infection. Without
it there is little hope of cure. This brings us back to the Lyme "matador"
and its "switch and bait" defense and its fast footed "antigen
surfing" to further disrupt immunologic competence. This antigenic
"channel surfing" can completely prevent the immune system from
destroying the treponema on one hand while continuing to promote aggravated
hyperautoimmunologic damages on the other.
- In addition to the usual anti microbial actions, the
high dose long term antibiotics needed appear to assist the immune system
with two (2) important mechanisms. The first as is stated by some experts
is that it "roughs up" the treponemal surface allowing the immune
system a better chance to differentiate Osp A from human antigens and focus
an immune attack on it since the human cells are more resistant to damage
from the appropriate antimicrobial agents. Secondly by inhibiting and
slowing treponemal metabolic processes it can slow down the "mutation"
of surface genetic expression so the immune system can "catch up"
and properly identify the pathogen for destruction and in conjunction
with the antibiotic eliminate the treponemae. Since the treponemae are
independently of each other "mutating" their expressed surface
antigens it only makes sense that it will take some time for the immune
system to catch up to all their various expressed forms and eliminate them
- In all hyperautoimmunity diseases, cure depends on avoidance
of the inciting stimuli as one of the keystones of achieving a measure
of good health. In Lyme Disease, that includes successfully eradicating
of Lyme organism and avoiding the other mentioned immunologic stimuli.
This explains much of the confusion surrounding the clinical response.
Some patients require prolonged antibiotics but get well only after the
antibiotics are stopped. Very likely the antibiotic itself or some other
substance given with it such as a preservative dye or capsule coating,
ie methyl cellulose, was keeping the hyperautoimmunity fully activated.
Most experts who regularly treat recurrent Lyme Disease now prefer a
60 day antibiotic regimen.
- The picture is further complicated by governmental bureaucracy
which often requires a positive Lyme titer prior to treatment as a "community
standard of practice". This is highly dangerous to those afflicted
with Lyme Disease for several reasons
- 1. The titer is negative in two thirds of cases of
active Lyme Disease. 2. Even a larger percentage of cases are negative
after antibiotic administration. 3. Active Lyme cases who have ever once
had a positive response to antibiotic therapy almost never exhibit a positive
titer thereafter. 4. The worst cases of Lyme Disease most frequently do
not have a positive titer. 5. At best the titer will not turn positive
for 10-60 days which is too late for those already having pre-existant
autoimmunity - pre-existing hyperautoimmunicity.
- The Lyme sufferer must therefore quickly find a physician
who is knowledgeable of Lyme Disease and its treatment (rare) and rarer
still possessed of the courage to defy bureauacy and proceed with adequate
therapy! Even more rare would be to find such a physician also possessed
of knowledge of hyperautoimmunicity chemical hypersensitivity and aspartame
- The need for immunotherapy may vary and techniques are
varied. A universally applicable one is to maintain a proper mineral balance
for immune system function. I prefer kelp selenium - 200 mcg per day
because in addition to selenium it contains copper and a whole host of
trace minerals from the sea. Sea Sel is one brand with which I am familiar.
- A case to illustrate the above follows: The subject
is a 61 year old male, retired physician and patient who had previously
been poisoned by aspartame; low calorie Kool-Aid in 1983. The problems
encountered following the original episode included a toxic cardiomyopathy,
classic symptoms of methyl alcohol poisoning, depression and Lou Gehrig's
symptoms which cleared fairly well after discontinuing aspartame. He was
left with striking hypersensitivity and hyperautoimmunicity. Typical of
chemical hypersensitivity, the patient was otherwise free of symptoms
when in pristine environments and thus would be relatively non-reactive
to an infrequent inadvertent exposure. If the the hypersensitivity was
flared by other exposures eg aspartame, it could cause violent pathologic
reactions to even a minimal subsequent chemical stimulus. His reactions
included everything commonly associated with hypersensitivity eg diabetes,
neurodenenerative disease or any allergic or auto immuno phenomena depending
on the inciting stimulus and the status of his hyper autoimmunicity at
the moment. Sounds confusing to some, but a situation well known to those
so afflicted and physicians who care for them. As experienced allergists
say "in the hypersensitive individual 'allergy' can produce any symptoms
of any disease process in any system in the body".
- The subject was selected by two ticks as dinner while
walking across a rest area in Lincoln, Nebraska in August 1995. The ticks,
undetected by him, attached themselves to the back of one of his knees.
The pain was soon noticeable and at the end of his shift his wife noticed
the ticks and removed them. The atypical local reactions continued to
be extreme, with painful swelling and reddening. Flu like symptoms with
fatigue, joint pains, muscle aches and headache rapidly ensued - again
an atypical immediate response due to this aspartame induced hypersensitivity.
The symptoms increased in severity over the next 36 hours until his arrival
in Portland, Oregon, where the subject presented to the Veterans' Administration
Emergency Room with meningismus in addition to the other findings. He
was treated for Lyme Disease with Doxycycline,100 mg twice daily for 14
days (most experts would give Doxycycline for 20-30 days at this juncture
and for a 260 lb man,100 mg dosage twice daily is a questionably inadequate
- A Lyme titer was negative at that time. The response
was very beneficial and the subject took no further thought about the Lyme
episode after this. Over the ensuing years, the chemical hypersensitivity
flare ups progressively worsened: arthritis (especially in the knees) as
well as various neurological sequelae and dermatologic manifestations etc.
When in contaminated environments his blood sugars became progressively
elevated but fell to normal when in pristine environments, only to again
elevate and require vigorous insulin and oral agent treatments to control
them when chemical exposures occurred.
- By late 1999 the arthritis took a turn for the worse
and "joint mice" manifested themselves in both knees. These
are osteocartilaginous loose bodies broken free from the articular surfaces
that can slip in and out between the knee joint and the bursae under the
skin at times. When in the joints, these were quite damaging and painful.
When the subject went to the VA Emergency Room he was belittled by being
offered only psychiatric care even though he had properly and efficiently
explained the meaning of all terms used. All competent medical personnel
should be able to understand the term "joint mice" and shouldn't
have to have it explained but, in this case, even explanations couldn't
avoid an attack on his sanity, in spite of the fact these erosive processes
are classical findings of knee arthritis from recurrent Lyme disease and
the patient had previously been treated in that same emergency room for
Lyme symptoms from tick bites. This was only one of several such denials
of real medical care and attempts at intimidation this doctor was subjected
to for blowing the whistle on aspartame.
- This bold denial of any real therapy was contrary to
the specifications by the Lyme Disease Foundation and the CDC (Centers
For Disease Control) that Lyme symptoms must be treated because of the
tragic results of leaving them untreated. The knees needless to say,
thanks partly to their diligent neglect continued to worsen. By Spring
2000, the now chronically stimulated hyper auto immunity/chemical hypersensitivity
had so worsened that a brief Spring pollen bloom caused a devastating "flu"
- The diabetes blood picture usually resolved in the summer
in Portland when the pollen and fungal spore blooms were past and the weather
was dry and warm and the severe industrial pollution was relieved because
the inversion layer effects in the Williamette Valley had cleared allowing
the atmospheric pollutants to be rapidly carried away. This would usually
allow the discontinuation of all hypoglycemic agents for the summer -
not so for the summer of 2000. The blood sugar picture worsened.
- Other symptoms rapidly ensued. His knees became severely
disabled. Then the left ankle turned to "mush" and lost ligamentous
integrity. Other joints began at times to show arthritic inflammation,
tenosynovitis of the shoulders occurred. Synovitis of the neck became
a permanent feature. In recurrent Lyme Disease this occurs in continuity
with an autoimmune cervical meningitis. The subject who never bruised
at insulin injection sites began to show strikingly symmetrical bruising
in neat circular patterns centered around each and every injection site.
Polymyalgia and fibromyalgia symptoms ensued. Then extreme weakness and
fatigue was accompanied by cranial and upper cervical nerve problems with
partial numbness of the right side of the face and partial facial nerve
paralysis of the left nares with dilation and fasiculation so rapid and
persistent that the subject felt compelled to check his pulse to make sure
this wasn't an aneurysmic phenomenon. The check revealed the nasal fasiculations
were just that and didn't coincide in any way with pulse rate, rythymn
- Carefully reviewing his own medical history for a clue
(his physicians at the VA had not) revealed he had almost every symptom
of recurrent Lyme Disease. This included, by now, various types of radiculo
neuropathies throughout his body but particularly striking from the cervical
nerve roots. His neural paralysis of the right chest from an episode of
the plague contacted while medically serving an orphanage in Vietnam in
1968 worsened to the point he was experiencing severe right shoulder pain,
weakness and trouble with his right hand control. His previous experience
with the apparently poorly trained and possibly improperly motivated personnel
at the Portland VA ER led the subject to go to the public library and on
the internet to do a ten year review of the medical literature on Lyme
disease, Ehrlichiosis and related topics. A few hours well spent before
his futile visit to the Portland VA ER where he was denied treatment of
any kind on the basis that "they wouldn't treat Lyme Disease there"
capped off with the lie they couldn't draw a Lymes titer there - both
untrue and irrelevant to the subject's misery state and highly damaging
- Going back to his medical cabinet, untreated by the VA,
he luckily found a supply of Doxycycline tablets unused from a previous
facial injury and was able to take them 200 mg twice/day for 5 days until
his scheduled urgent care visit at the VA. On Doxycycline, the blood sugar
levels dramatically dropped to normal. The bruising and platelet difficulties
quickly resolved, the arthritis improved incrementally day by day until
almost his usual functional level for the first time in months. The polymyalgia
and cervical synovitis cleared dramatically. The facial and cranial nerve
problems resolved, the fatigue lifted. During the 5-6 day period until
his appointment he was inadvertently away from the Doxycycline for one
day and Lyme symptoms began to relapse while he was unexpectedly caught
out of town on a trip.
- This case history gives a striking picture:
- 1. getting virtually all the findings of recurrent Lyme
Disease; 2. the successful treatment by Doxycycline; 3. the temporary relapse
whilst off Doxycycline; 4. the complete resolution in response to the use
of the high dose Doxycycline and the greatly improved status of the subject
at the visit.
- This was the best, most objective information on the
subject's condition and needs that the VA physicians would ever have.
Instead of treating the patient the VA physician gave the subject a stern
lecture about treating himself - totally ignoring his interim misery and
pathology - only ordering a Lyme titer and refusing to give any other treatment.
- The subject's regular VA clinic physician also refused
to see him until January 2001, again boldly defying CDC regulations.
The subject was off Doxycycline for about a week until he could arrange
for help from better medical caregivers during which time all of the symptoms,
except the facial and cranial nerve problems recurred. Belatedly back
on Doxycycline, the problems began again to resolve somewhat but much more
slowly. No competent or caring physician would ever recommend interrupting
partially completed successful therapy of a complicated infectious problem
nor conceive of allowing immuniologic reflaring of a destructive hyperautoimmine
process as the VA doctors did. The botched therapeutic regimen was not
as rapidly effective now. The structural physical damage to the neck,
knees, ankles and peripheral nerves were allowed to progress unabatted
due to the diligent neglect by the VA physicians and so far that is not
promising happy results. This unfortunate scenario and the associated
Lyme literature research have served as the inspirations for this article
to illustrate some of the problems generated in our medical care systems
by its unwillingness to factor in the tremendous damages from aspartame
on a worldwide basis.
- Only acknowledgement of such damage would allow aspartame
sufferers to get adequate treatment and avoid tremendous damages to themselves
as well as to the financial structure of our medical care and compensation/pension
systems. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a classic case of destructive
hyperautoimmune disease: some cases even require the ultimate treatment
of hyper auto immunicity - immune ablation with chemotherapy and irradiation
followed by stem cell transplantation. The strong ties sometimes discovered
between this disease and Lyme Disease only serve to emphasize the auto
immune nature of the destructive processes of Lyme Disease.
- The name Lyme Disease comes from an episode in the Lyme
County area of Conneticut when physicians investigating a cluster outbreak
of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in the region discovered tick bites as
a common factor in all cases and conducted an epidemiological search for
a causitive agent and identified the Lyme treponema as a possible agent.
This unfortunately led to a "tunnel vision" approach focussing
on Lyme Disease as only a typical infectious disease which firstly ignored
that juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a very destructive hyper autoimmunicity
disease. The hyper autoimmunicity involved is a key to adequate understanding
of the nature and therapy of Lyme Disease. Secondly, the excellent information
to be gleaned from the British and European experience with the treponemae
and their treatment were and are by and large ignored. Thus pseudo scientific
approaches treating the very fallible lab tests instead of the very sick
patients have often gained the uppermost in physicians' minds with disastrous
results for the patients.
- The cardiac conduction system and the cardiac muscle
are afflicted by both aspartame and Lyme Disease. In Europe empiric pre
surgical treatment of dilated cardiomyopathy with antibiotic regimen for
Lyme Disease has in many instances resolved the problems without surgery.
The single largest category of patients awaiting cardiac transplantation
in the US relates to patients with dilated cardiomyopathy. Just think
of the possibility of avoiding many of those procedures if the issues of
possible Lyme etiology and Aspartame Disease are fully addressed in these
cases. Other issues arising out of aspartame toxicity are similarly expensive.
Over 10 years ago, Dr Hyman Roberts, a West Palm Beach Board Certified
Internist identified cases that wasted over $60,000 on unnecessary lab
and medical diagnostic procedures when aspartame ingestion was their only
correctible medical problem.
- James Bowen, M.D. c/o 1720 North Watts Portland, Oregon
97217 November 2000
- The following references were used in research of this
article. (For more information on aspartame see www.dorway.com and the
Aspartame Toxicity Center, www.holisticmed.com/aspartame)
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1 graph, Cooper,
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