Chronic Stealth Infections—Lyme, Candida, PANDAS/PANS & More

by Nov 15, 2018

About the Author

Dr. Jeanne Sandheinrich, D.C.

Dr. Jeanne Sandheinrich, D.C. is co-founder and an esteemed chiropractor at First Step Family Wellness. As a St. Louis native, she has a deep connection to her community and is passionate about providing exceptional care to her clients.

How Do I Know if I Have a Chronic Stealth Infection?

Unfortunately, most of the allopathic (traditional western) medicine does not recognize or understand chronic stealth infections; so often they are misdiagnosed or go untreated. It is possible you or a family member has been suffering from the effects of a chronic stealth infection and not even know it.

Common chronic stealth infection symptoms include:

  • Extreme fatigue (chronic fatigue)
  • Hard time losing weight (thyroid/adrenal function)
  • Food or chemical sensitivities (gut issues)
  • Anxiety/depression (gut issues)
  • Pain (fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, restless leg syndrome)
  • Nervous system issues (multiple Sclerosis, tics, sensory issues)
  • Any hard to explain symptoms

What is Chronic Stealth Infection?

They are called chronic stealth infections because they are hard to detect and hard to treat for the following reasons:

  • They hide underneath the surface, not being detected by the immune system. The bugs are smart. For example, Borrelia is a stealth pathogen that has 600 genes, where as a typical bacteria has only 6-15.
  • You can live with a lot of infections for a long time before the body is broken down enough to show symptoms. This can happen when the system is under a lot of stress: physical, chemical, or emotional.

The most common diagnoses that involve chronic stealth infections are Lyme disease and Strep (PANDAS/PANS). Lyme disease includes infections of the bugs Borrelia, Bartonella, Babesia, and Ehrlichia. PANDAS/PANS often involves children who fight recurring Streptococcus. Often the children with a PANDAS or PANS diagnosis have a Lyme component and other infections as part of the main issue.

Unfortunately for many people, the infections do not stop there. Some of the other infections that can go right along with the Lyme bugs and Strep are: Epstein Barr Virus, Candida albicans, mycoplasma, cytomegalovirus and the list goes on and on. One person can have many of these bugs hanging out in their system. This is why each person can present very differently with symptoms, and not one person can be treated the same way. This can become very complex and it is important to find a practitioner that is experienced and continues to learn about how to help the body deal with these infections.

How Does Someone Get a Chronic Stealth Infection?

There are many ways that someone can be exposed to these bugs. Most people hear about the tick borne illnesses and think that this is the only way to be exposed to some of these bugs. Along with tick bites, there are other ways of transmission:

  • Mosquitos
  • Spiders
  • Fleas
  • Sexually
  • Saliva
  • In-utero

This is how one person can have many of these infections at one time. It also seems like once the body has been opened to one infection, it opens the door and allows others to just flood right in.

Why Isn’t the Traditional Testing Accurate?

We would love to review any previous testing you may have had completed, but typically we have not seen accurate results from traditional testing. One reason this is the case is because many of these infections attack the immune system and don’t allow it to sound the alarm; which is how traditional blood work detects infection.

22 Reasons Your Lyme Test Is Wrong

  1. You were recently infected and tested before your body produced Lyme antibodies
  2. You took antibiotics before testing which co-opted the antibody response
  3. You were already on long term antibiotics for another illness
  4. Not enough “free” Lyme antibodies were detectable in your blood because they were all doing their job binding to the Lyme bacteria
  5. Lyme spirochetes were protected and hiding inside a biofilm colony
  6. Spirochetes were burrowed deep inside your body (i.e., cartilage, fibroblasts, neurons,etc.)
  7. Only small blebs were in your body, no whole bacteria which are needed for the PCR(polymerase chain reaction) based tests.
  8. No free spirochetes in body fluid on day of test
    Genetic heterogeneity (there are at least 300 strains of Lyme, 100 in the U.S). You might be infected by a strain of Borrelia that the test doesn’t recognize.
  9. Antigen variability: Borrelia can change its outer surface protein to suit its environment so the test will detect a “non-Lyme specific” antibody
  10. Spirochetes are in dormancy phase (L-form) with no cell walls so there is nothing for the immune system to attack with antibodies.
  11. Lyme’s surface antigens can change body temperature
  12. You have an immune deficiency (body isn’t producing antibodies)
  13. You have had a recent anti-inflammatory treatment which suppressed the immune system. (i.e., steroids, arthritis meds)
  14. Co-infections with Babesia (protozoa) which causes immune suppression
  15. Down-regulation of your immune system by your body’s own cytokines
  16. Lab error or poor technical capability/training to detect Lyme.
  17. You might have late stage Lyme. Lab test are not standardized for detecting late stage Lyme
  18. The lab tests might only have been approved for investigational use
  19. Lack of adequate reference points for the test (most tests only use a few genetic strains as reference)
  20. The revised Western Blot criteria fails to include important antibody bands (i.e., 31,34)
  21. CDC testing criteria is designed for epidemiological study, not clinical diagnostics

1st Step Family Wellness Testing Process

In our office in St. Louis we use two methods of testing for over 20 different stealth infections—galvanic reflex system and applied kinesiology (muscle testing). By using both methods of testing we are able to get the most accurate results.

Testing takes about an hour per patient. Each patient is tested for all the current chronic stealth infections with available treatment.

1st Step Family Wellness Stealth Infection Protocol

Here at 1st Step Wellness, we take a different approach to helping the body fight and heal from chronic stealth infections. We want to build the body up so that it can fight these infections on its own. This is a multi-faceted approach and is completely customized for each person. This protocol is not an overnight fix. It does take time, but we have seen the results of great healing through the approach we take here are the office. We see the best results when the Stealth Pathogen Protocol is followed completely.

The Stealth Infection Protocol consists of six main components we use for stealth infection treatment– balancing the nervous system, healing the gut, detox, removing lymphatic congestion, targeting the infections, and personalized support.

Balancing the Nervous System

Balancing the nervous system is extremely important. We do this using specific chiropractic work and functional neurosensory work. The chiropractic adjustment is a key component to the body being able to heal because of its effect on the nervous system.

Our comprehensive chiropractic adjustment helps to balance the nervous system and allow the body to start the healing process. For more about visit our chiropractic page.

Functional neurosensory therapy is an integral part of the healing process. This is not started right away, but is added into the treatment protocol. This is important because it helps to balance how the brain perceives the world. Once this balance is achieved the body is no longer stuck in the fight or flight response.

Healing the Gut

Healing the gut is another component that you cannot bypass if you want complete healing. We have found that enzyme therapy is the main way that we are able to achieve gut healing.

Another key component to gut healing is the food we consume. You will find that we recommend a whole foods or Paleo diet. There may be other foods that we recommend removing that would be more specific to your symptoms or additional allergy/intolerance testing that we can run. We will be able to guide you through the process of making a lifestyle change with your food.

Total Body Detox

Detoxing the body is sometimes needed at the beginning of treatment. There are certain signs that a person is extremely toxic and a whole body 21-day detox might be recommend that the doctors have customized specific for their patients with complete meal plans, recipes and grocery lists too.

During the testing process, the toxicity is determined, and which detox process that will be best for the individual will be recommended. Some patients, especially children, only need partial detox of certain areas of the body and might not need a complete detox.

Removing Lymphatic Congestion

Removing lymphatic congestion is the most recent addition to our protocol. We have found that the lymphatic system is often clogged in many of us, but definitely in people with chronic stealth infections.

Most people just think of lymph nodes when they are sick, but this system goes all throughout the body and is critically important. The lymphatic system carries nutrients, especially fats and fat soluble vitamins, throughout the body and it takes the waste to the detox organs (intestine, kidney, lung, and skin) as well. So you can see if this system is clogged up how someone might have swelling in their limbs, show signs of fat deficiency, might not heal well, and are vitamin D deficient to name a few.

Targeting the Infections

Targeting the specific infections that are in the body is done by teaching the immune system how to recognize that the bug is living in the body. We use DesBio Series Therapy kits and homocord dropper bottles to teach the immune system to go into action against the bug and clear out the biofilm as the bugs die off.

You can give the body multiple bugs to go after at one time, but our testing will determine what bugs are priority and if your body can handle doing multiple at one time at the time of testing. We typically see that one person can handle between 3-7 bugs at a time.

  • The first month of treatment with the DesBio Kits is to ramp up the immune system.
  • The second month is for passive immunity.
  • The next 20 weeks is split up into 2 phases and is a deeper treatment to clear the bugs from the deep tissues in the body.
  • After the 6 month Series Therapy is completed, the body will now recognize the stealth bug if it were ever exposed again, and immediately jump into action fighting the bug on its own; this creates a level of immunity to these bugs after treatment is completed.

Personalized Support

We test the body for individualized supplements to support the body during the process of clearing out these infections. We support with nutrients like vitamin D and C, magnesium, fish oils, Methylated B vitamins, etc. We also use specific homeopathic support for the adrenals, liver, kidney, and so on. We will add in additional support as needed for specific symptom presentations like: sleep issues, anxiety, depression, bowel issues, thyroid issues, etc. Lastly, we use herbals to support the immune system and fight parasites. A targeted physician quality probiotic is recommended according to need as well.

What’s Next?

Contact our office to schedule your New Patient Exam, or if you are already an established patient your Chronic Stealth Infection Exam.

  • New Patient Exam – 1 hour consultation with the doctor
  • Chronic Stealth Infection Exam – 60-90 minutes with the doctor
  • Follow-Up Testing (monthly) – 30 minutes