Is it ADHD or something else?

187: Can Lyme Disease be Cured? Treatments for Lyme – Dr. Richard Horowitz

Join us in today’s episode as Dr. Richard Horowitz delves into the complexities of Lyme disease, offering insights on treatments and hope for recovery.

Recent statistics show that approximately 14.5% of the global population has been exposed to Lyme disease, reflecting an alarming 1 out of 7 people affected. Lyme Disease, often referred to as “the great imitator,” is a complex and elusive tick-borne infection not only presents with a variety of symptoms that can resemble those of other diseases but also poses diagnostic challenges, often leading to misdiagnosis and delayed treatment. Understanding the complex nature of Lyme Disease is therefore essential for both healthcare professionals and the general public to effectively recognize, diagnose, and manage this growing health concern. And so, today's episode revolves around the question: “Can Lyme disease be cured?” I’m honored to be joined by the esteemed Dr. Richard Horowitz who sheds light on treatments and instills optimism in our journey toward wellness.

Lyme disease, its symptoms, and treatments, with a focus on mental health issues.

The journey through tick-borne infections, particularly Lyme disease, is filled with complexities. Lyme disease is also known as “The Great Imitator” as it mimics other illnesses, making it difficult to diagnose and treat. Its similarities to syphilis show how infections can mess with our bodies. Amidst a wide range of chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, autoimmune conditions, dementia, and even long COVID, distinguishing between these illnesses becomes crucial to help people get the right treatment. It's important to recognize that individuals can also experience both Lyme disease and long COVID, though there are notable differences between them. While Lyme disease symptoms tend to fluctuate, long COVID symptoms are typically persistent, affecting daily life. Long COVID often involves symptoms like loss of smell or taste and organ damage, which may not be as common in chronic Lyme cases. The hallmark of chronic Lyme is migratory pain, as highlighted in research, distinguishing it from other conditions that cause similar symptoms. However, the complexity arises when viral infections, such as Epstein-Barr and herpes virus 6, reoccur alongside Lyme disease. In practice, according to Dr. Horowitz, addressing Lyme disease often involves treating multiple infections concurrently, with a focus on biofilm disruption for effective management. In my experience as a mental health provider, I've observed a significant connection between Lyme disease and psychiatric issues. Patients, even those without tick-borne illnesses, often struggle with mental health due to the traumatic nature of their illness journey. Bartonella and Borrelia-related diseases are particularly noteworthy for driving severe psychiatric symptoms. Thus, while mental health problems can arise from various factors, acknowledging the role of tick-borne infections is crucial for providing comprehensive care within the mental health community.

Lyme disease diagnosis and treatment, including multi-faceted approach to healing.

The challenge in diagnosing tick-borne infections lies in the failure of many doctors to recognize their diverse presentations. However, the reality is that these infections are not inherently difficult to diagnose despite their complexities if doctors take thorough clinical histories. For instance, symptoms such as day sweats, night sweats, fevers, and unexplained cough can signal Babesia infection, while Bartonella may manifest with distinct stretch marks and neuropsychiatric symptoms. Recognizing these patterns is therefore crucial for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. Dr. Horowitz's 16-point MSIDS model highlights the interconnected factors contributing to the symptoms of tick-borne illnesses. These factors include inflammation, infections, gut issues, toxins, nutrient deficiencies, and sleep problems. In fact, his recent article shows how long COVID and chronic Lyme share common drivers like infection and inflammation. Despite diagnostic challenges, thorough clinical histories and proper blood tests can help identify these illnesses. I want to emphasize that diagnosing tick-borne illnesses isn't as simple as a single test result. It's a clinical diagnosis requiring a skilled and trained provider. Unfortunately, there's a lack of education among healthcare providers about recognizing the signs and symptoms, leading to misdiagnosis. Even as a psychologist, I've seen the importance of a detailed history in identifying these illnesses accurately. So trust your instincts and seek help if you're not improving, especially in areas where ticks are prevalent. Dr. Horowitz adopts a comprehensive approach to improving patient health, as outlined in his books, including the national bestseller “Why Can't I Get Better?” His latest work, aimed at a broader audience, simplifies his intricate methodology. In his articles, on the other hand, he discusses precision medicine and the role of the MSIDS model (Multiple Systemic Infectious Disease Syndrome), which recognizes multiple underlying factors contributing to illness. His upcoming book further delves into the complexity of modern chronic diseases and the need to address multiple contributing factors. I highly recommend exploring his extensive works as well for further insights on this topic.

Lyme disease and its treatment, including dapsone use.

Ticks are prevalent worldwide, with recent statistics from BMJ Global Health indicating that approximately 14.5% of the global population has been exposed to Lyme disease, reflecting an alarming one out of seven people affected. The CDC's updated estimate of Lyme cases, now surpassing 620,000 individuals, underscores the magnitude of this worldwide epidemic, with uncertainties persisting due to evolving data collection methods. Despite the widespread impact, awareness and understanding among healthcare providers often lag behind, leading to misdiagnosis and inadequate care, particularly among vulnerable age groups such as children. Access to appropriate healthcare for tick-borne illnesses also remains a challenge in many areas, as disbelief and lack of expertise hinder proper diagnosis and treatment. The existing divide in treatment standards between medical organizations further adds to the problem, leaving patients caught in a frustrating cycle of seeking effective care. Dr. Horowitz's ongoing research and collaboration with the ILADS Treatment Guidelines Committee aim to address these shortcomings and provide updated guidelines informed by clinical practice. However, the overarching issue remains the lack of training in medical schools to effectively manage chronic tick-borne illnesses amidst evolving scientific understanding, highlighting the urgent need for improved education and awareness in the medical community. For the latest updates on Lyme disease treatment, I recommend referring to Dr. Horowitz’s recent article published in the journal “Microorganisms” in September 2023. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the article:  By sharing his findings and advocating for further research, he aims to pave the way for better treatment options and improved outcomes for Lyme disease patients worldwide. And so, he plans to submit his latest article to Lyme groups by the end of this year, which discusses the effectiveness of dapsone treatment in chronic Lyme patients. However, there is still a pressing need for randomized multicenter trials to establish dapsone's efficacy conclusively.

Using pulse antibiotics for chronic infections, including biofilm infections, and addressing mold exposure.

The reason behind pausing antibiotics in the treatment of chronic infections like Lyme disease and Bartonella lies in the understanding of biofilm infections. Biofilms are protective layers formed by bacteria, making them resistant to continuous antibiotic treatment. By pulsing antibiotics – administering them intermittently with breaks in between – biofilm formations can be disrupted, allowing antibiotics to effectively target and eliminate the bacteria. This approach has shown promise in addressing various chronic infections, including prostatitis, otitis media, sinusitis, lung infections, and gastrointestinal infections. In the dapsone protocol, antibiotics are initially used to reduce bacterial load, followed by pulsing to target biofilm formations, leading to long-term remission in patients, provided that all contributing factors are addressed comprehensively. Dr. Horowitz emphasizes the importance of addressing mold as a contributing factor in chronic illness, particularly in cases where patients do not respond adequately to conventional treatments. Despite its common occurrence, mold exposure is often overlooked in medical assessments, requiring awareness and proactive investigation. There is thus a need for comprehensive evaluation and intervention strategies to optimize health outcomes.

Healing tick-borne illnesses, including Lyme disease, using integrative medicine approaches.

Through the 16-point MSIDS model, Dr. Horowitz maps out the interconnected sources of inflammation and downstream effects, emphasizing the role of infection, immune dysfunction, and inflammation. He stresses the limitations of conventional blood tests and advocates for proper testing and understanding of biomarkers associated with each aspect of the MSIDS model. Dr. Horowitz advocates for an integrative approach to medicine to address the complex needs of each patient. He emphasizes the importance of functional medicine in treating chronic illnesses, recognizing its ability to fill gaps left by traditional medical approaches. I personally agree with Dr. Horowitz (lyme disease specialist) on this but while we acknowledge the necessity of evidence-based practices, let us also take into account the rich history and scientific backing behind integrative modalities such as herbs and essential oils.

Lyme disease treatment and training for practitioners.

Dr. Richard Horowitz (lyme disease specialist) delves into the issues within the medical sphere concerning Lyme disease and associated conditions like PANS/PANDAS. He underscores the significance of his 16-point model as a vital tool for both practitioners and families in terms of diagnosis and treatment. He stresses the necessity of accurately interpreting test outcomes, highlighting that successful healing often hinges on addressing multiple contributing factors rather than a single approach. As for physician training, Dr. Horowitz notes that he has personally trained over 300 doctors in the MSIDS model and dapsone combination therapy in recent years. He suggests that those seeking trained practitioners can reach out to his office or explore organizations like ILADS ( which provide information and resources to connect individuals with healthcare providers versed in these approaches. For any concerns or inquiries, you may reach out to Dr. Horowitz via email ([email protected]). Looking for science-backed guidance and resources to support your overall well-being? Explore more tools and support at With a focus on evidence-based approaches, you'll find valuable insights and practical strategies to enhance your health and wellness journey. Discover more of Dr. Horowitz's research and publications by visiting the following links:

Here are more resources to help you:

➡️ Join our FREE Natural Parenting Community to receive science-backed resources for your child and family. Join here.

➡️ Get help from Dr. Roseann and her team. Apply here. 

➡️ “Is it ADHD or something else?” Take the quiz. 

error: Content is protected !!
Scroll to Top

Download Your Copy

147 Therapist-Endorsed

Self-Regulation Strategies

for Children

A Practical Guide For Parents

147 therapist endorsed self-regulation strategies for children a practical guide for parents
Skip to content