Dear Stephen,
I’ve been following your core protocol for lyme for 3 months and feel dramatically better in terms of both pain and energy. I’ve now begun to reduce the dosages of each of the herbs to a maintenance level and so far continue to feel okay. However, I just had my CD-57 checked and it came back at 19. I’m told it should be at least 60; 200 is actually considered normal. Stopping treatment before the CD-57 is in the normal range supposedly increases likelihood of relapse. How much credence should I give to this number vs. my actual symptoms? Do you think I should remain on a higher dose of this cat’s claw until my CD-57 increases to normal levels? How long does it usually take to see the CD-57 increase if the cat’s claw is working?

Stephen’s response:
Everyone seems to respond differently to cat’s claw regarding CD-57 increases. You should primarily go on your symptom picture NOT tests, which are notoriously unreliable. They are indicators only but the final appeal must be made to how you feel. Some people get completely well and their CD-57 levels are still low. It is not uncommon for people to feel much better within 3-6 months, but many have reported a return of symptoms, often worse, if they stop the protocol too soon. I would keep the cat’s claw and knotweed high for another 3 months, lower the others to lower dosages and just pay attention to how you feel to modulate your intake. I would consider adding eleuthero tincture as I feel that also helps CD-57 levels.
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