Dear Stephen,
First of all, I’d like to express my gratitude for your work – it’s been such an inspiration!

I’ve been sick for a while – diagnosed with IBS, Hashimoto’s, lyme, CFS, fibromyalgia, mold toxicity, EBV, HHV6, parvovirus B19, mycoplasma pneumonia, as well as somewhat high levels of heavy metals (especially cadmium), neurotransmitter abnormalities and increasing levels of thyroid antibodies. I was bitten by a tick at 10 (when symptoms started), and finally diagnosed with lyme at age 16 – treatment was discontinued early due to the controversy and I was pushed in other treatment directions. I finally went back to a LLMD at 22 and have been in treatment for lyme for about a year with oral antibiotics, without much progress. My doctor believes the treatment is working because my CD57 went up (from 11 to 58, then back down).

Right now my worst symptoms are extreme fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath with very little exertion, worsening issues with short term memory and speaking, nearly constant chest pains, neuropathy, eye pain and blurred vision, panic attacks, swollen lymph nodes causing severe headaches, swelling and stiff neck, leg and joint stiffness, foot pain, as well as a lot of different kinds of pretty severe pain – I’ll stop there. All along I’ve suspected bartonella but have received no conventional treatment (though all bartonella-related symptoms seem to worsen on azithromycin, biaxin, red root, maybe the knotweed, etc.) I did start your lyme protocol and felt much better at first – but then a few months into it I started going downhill again (may have been due to extreme stress and/or a severe sinus infection. My doctor put me back on biaxin, which has been treating me pretty horribly. I want to stick to herbs as much as I can at this point, but what would you suggest? Should I try treating bartonella with herbs on my own and see what happens? Should I stick with the lyme treatment, or maybe address the viruses instead? I just ordered your book on fasting – do you think that would be a good place to start at this point?

Also, is there anyone you could recommend in the NJ/NY area? Thanks so much for bearing with all these questions!

Stephen’s response:
Given the complexity of your symptoms, it would probably be helpful for you to work with someone individually. In this instance I would recommend my partner Julie McIntyre ( She has treated that kind of symptom picture before and has had good success. I don’t know of anyone in that area that could give you the kind of attention you need and who can work to continually modify the protocol as your healing progresses. In general, however, I would begin with:

• cordyceps
• Baikal skullcap
• motherwort
• rhodiola

Tinctures, ¼ tsp each in water or juice 3x daily. (Try for the herbs.)

This to help with the fatigue, panic attacks, headaches, the various pains and stiffnesses, and shortness of breath.

It is a good beginning but you really do need to work with someone knowledgeable who can address the symptoms and give you regular support.
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