Dr. Barter interviews Dr. Julia Greenspan, ND about acute and chronic Lyme disease, Lyme Literacy, and what to do if you’re bitten by a tick.
Intro [00:00:03] Welcome to the Fearless Health podcast with host Dr. Ann-Marie Barter. Dr. Barter is on a mission to help people achieve their health and wellness goals and help men and women live their best lives fearlessly. Dr. Barter is the founder of Alternative Family Medicine and Chiropractic in Denver and Longmont, Colorado.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:00:25] Thank you, everybody, for joining us. I’m your host, Dr. Ann-Marie Barter, and we’re here at Fearless Health podcast, and I’m very excited today as a very special guest. Her name is Dr. Julia Greenspan, and she runs a natural Papic clinic in New Hampshire called Green House Naturopathic Medicine. And she’s also written a book about Lyme disease, which sounds like it’s been the main specialty in practice. So thank you so much for joining us, Dr. Greenspan. We’re so excited to have you here today. Thank you so much. Well, I am very, very curious online. It sounds like you primarily treat Lyme disease in your practice, and I’m I’m curious, number one, on how you got into naturopathic medicine.
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:01:12] Well, originally I started off being a social worker, and so I used to live in Portland, Oregon, before moving to New Hampshire, and I was going to be a social worker and get my advanced degree of that. And then I just realized that wasn’t the past for me, and I realized I had all these books on my shelves, on natural medicine that I was reading for fun. And I happened to grow up in about 15 minutes from one of the oldest schools in the country for naturopathy, you know, to go to school in order to earn an acrobatic doctorate. And so it’s a four year postgraduate program. And so I did. My undergrad in psychology did some pre-med work, and in 2002 I entered I entered university four to get my naturopathy doctorate.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:01:54] Wonderful and what inspired you to go into naturopathic medicine, and I’m assuming you went to an hour to school up in Portland, Oregon, what’s the name of that one?
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:02:04] Yeah, it’s the National University of Natural Medicine. Yeah, it used to be the National College of Naturopathic Medicine when I was in school, so I still have to adjust to the fact that it changed its name. But I was that I was the 50th graduating class in 2006. So it’s been around for quite a while. Yeah. So what got me into natural medicine? I come from a background, my father is a pharmacist. He’s a retired pharmacist. My my grandmother was a pharmacist. My great grandfather was a pharmacist, and I worked in pharmacy early on in college. And I just knew that I knew I loved medicine, but I knew that that that path was not right for me. The conventional medical route, it just never quite felt right. And so natural medicine just felt more. I felt more of a connection, more of an inspiration from it and more hopeful with what it offered. And also, I love and naturopathic medicine that it can fit into so many different. I can I can weave in so many different modalities into one. I mean, we’re even taught how to do adjustments and provide chiropractic care. So, you know, in we, we can prescribe, we can do all sorts of physical medicine and lab work. And we’re taught, you know, we have four years of medical school plus residency. And, you know, so we’re taught the basic medical sciences exactly kind of how you would expect a traditional medical school to go, but also focusing in on herbs, homeopathy, exercise, you know, clinical nutrition specialties. When I was in school, I primarily wanted to do environmental medicine. So what I originally intended to do was, you know, specialize in I.V. therapy and collation and finding ways of getting toxins out of people so that their bodies would work better, which actually has worked really to my advantage when moving to a lineman Lyme endemic area, not realizing how much of an epidemic it was when I moved here that, you know, a big piece of treatment for chronic Lyme disease is is really, you know, helping people to detoxify and clear out their body so that all that training went to use it. Just not in what I expected. That’s awesome.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:04:15] Yeah, that’s amazing. So and it sounds like Lyme found you. You didn’t really find Lyme.
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:04:22] Exactly. It started showing up. One of my first patients was a pharmacist who couldn’t go to work. He couldn’t. Even I at the time, I had a small office that was up a flight of stairs. I had to move eventually because my patient population couldn’t go upstairs. And and so now I’m somewhere that’s accessible to individuals that have all sorts of limitations. But he I at the time, I just, you know, I just moved here. I grew up big again, grew up in Portland, Oregon. We don’t have ticks and have concern about Lyme disease like we do here, like here in New Hampshire. And so I told them to go to his PCP to get treated. And he came back and said that his PCP wouldn’t treat him, that he didn’t have Lyme, even though his test said it was positive. And so I, you know, at the time, I was not too keen on prescribing antibiotics. It wasn’t my comfort zone. Now I do more than I ever thought I would. I actually went into natural medicine to get away from prescribing medication. Kind of a, you know, rebelling against the family path there. But the you know, and here, because there are so few doctors that treat tick borne disease once you start doing it. People start to kind of come because they’re just there’s so many individuals that are getting sick and because of the political climate right now with the infection itself, it’s quite difficult to find doctors that will treat.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:05:43] So wow, and what do you mean the the political climate and finding doctors that will treat?
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:05:50] So there are a lot of limitations set by the Centers for Disease Control in regards to Lyme that are quite restrictive and a lot of opinions about what Lyme looks like, what it should look like. It kind of gets placed in a box with very rigid walls that, you know, a tick has to be attached for certain amount of time. Or you can’t catch Lyme, which I don’t I don’t agree with. Medications sometimes should only be like one or two capsules. If you have a brand new bite of that, all you need is one or two cups of docs, a cycling which I don’t agree with or patients will be given like maybe more of a like if they come in, either with a tick bite or a positive test, they’ll be given two to three weeks of a medication and start to get better. But then as soon as the medication stops, all the symptoms come back. And a lot of times they’re told, Well, we already treated you. So now you have another problem. We need to get you set to a rheumatologist or an endocrinologist or some other specialty because it can’t be Lyme anymore. But time and time again, when people come to my office and I and I treat them, I test them. They still have a positive test and I treat them. They get better. So it’s it’s just it’s sort of a belief about what what line really is in beliefs around that one line really just is a disease, and it really isn’t about a belief, it’s about what’s going on. You know, it’s about the observed data, the subjective data of the patient, their symptoms that they’re experiencing. Objective data. Things we can see on labs, which isn’t always easy with Lyme, but another tick borne diseases labs are quite difficult to, you know, to have that work out perfectly all the time. But when you live somewhere like here where you know, you literally will walk out to just go get your mail and you could, you know, find ticks were crawling on you. It’s much different than, you know, people who occasionally go out and go camping. I mean, this is a real big problem here. People just literally just living in their homes and being infected with minimal, you know, minimal exposure outside, not even being like super rugged or outdoors people. They just are just going to taking their dog for a walk, you know? So, you know, compared to the increased exposure, if somebody really rugged and outdoors all the time and camping and out in the elements, or if their work has the mountain, the elements all the time, like a landscaper, for instance. So anyway, I probably got a little off topic there, but I’ll I’ll read it in a little bit.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:08:23] So really, when these patients are presenting into your office that have been maybe lightly treated for Lyme like a little bit or not really at all, somebody is not saying that they have Lyme. How are these patients presenting because it doesn’t sound like they are necessarily presenting with the quote unquote bullseye rash how we’ve been used to identify Lyme from a presenting factor?
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:08:53] Yeah, I have rarely seen Bull’s eye rashes in my in my practice compared to the amount of people I see sick with Lyme and a majority of the people that I treat have no idea that a tick even attached at all. I’m not just a doctor who treats lying, but I’m also a patient. I had tick borne disease. It’s been about six years since I’ve treated, but it took me two years to recover from Lyme disease and from another co-infection called Babesia. And I’ve never pulled a tick out of my skin in my life, and I’ve never had a ring and I was treating Lyme disease before I found out I had it. So I was well aware of, you know, just seeing enough patients come in over a couple of, you know, two to three years before I acquired Lyme in my in my practice, I’ve been in practice for about 12 or 13 years now. So the. But that being said, only about, I would say, even just in the circles, you know, I belong to a collection of doctors, all of the from all over the world that belong to an organization called Eilat’s that has a different treatment philosophy and a set of guidelines than the CDC in this in regards to Lyme and not so much in being at adversity with the CDC, but just a different way of going about it based on what’s been observed in the office, you know, in the doctor’s office. And so basically, you know, even I would say that a majority of doctors will agree that we only see, you know, the am rash or the bull’s eye rash showing up about maybe 30 or 40 percent of the time that there’s a tick bite. And it’s so individualized and has so many factors involved in that with how the person’s immune system is going to respond to a tick bite. Yet, you know, it’s very variable. And also, the bull’s eye rash is can look very different. They don’t have to be these big circles with a white in the center. It could be something just like a slight irritation and redness very, very small circle, just right around the lesion that might, without a tick there would look like a spider bite or a mosquito bite, but they tend to last a little bit longer and persist. Then then you would see a mosquito bite persisting. And that, of course, if you start to see symptoms along the lines of like headaches and joint pain and neck pain, fever, flu, neurological symptoms that start to creep up, then you know you got to start questioning if the bite actually was a tick, even if you didn’t see one. But as I said, a majority of my patients, they end up being chronic Lyme disease patients because they didn’t even have the tick bite to begin with is sort of a gift to get the, you know, if you’re going to get the biotech, it’s sort of a gift to be given a bull’s eye rash because then you get alerted to go get care immediately or address it and you get more attention, you know, right away instead of not even knowing and then having months or weeks or months go by and having no idea that you know you’ve been infected and you might just think you got the flu.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:11:41] Right, and I want to briefly just go through what a cute maybe what to do in a cute lime exposure and then definitely get into the chronic because I think many more people fall into the chronic issue because they don’t get the treatment of any right off the bat. So let’s say you find a tick on your body, and they can certainly vary in size. And I’ll let you go into that. But let’s say you find a tick on your body. Can we talk about maybe the misconceptions of number one, what to do? Number two, what not to do?
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:12:15] Yeah, OK. Well, let’s see. The first inclination is going to be to like, rip it out and pitch it and get, you know, like, throw it down the toilet, step on it, burn it, you know, all sorts of crazy, panicked. You just got this thing that’s alive taking out your skin. And most people have a panic response and just want it out and aren’t thinking clearly. So the proper way to remove a tick if it’s found is obviously, first of all, stay calm. And because the calmer you are and the more efficient you are at pulling the tick out, the the less likely you are to transmit infection. I mean, chances are that’s already if it’s going to happen, it probably already has happened. But so what happens when a tick bites is that it basically enters into the skin, sort of pulls the skin open and injects a mouthpiece into the skin almost like a needle to try to find a lead into your blood supply because it basically it feeds off the blood. And as it does that, it’ll take in some blood, into its stomach and into its guts. And then it will basically over time, it might kind of almost like a it’s going to get gross, but it basically it’s a backwash effect that goes back into our blood stream. And so if ticks have fed off of usually ticks have fed off of other animals. So mice, you know, obviously bigger animals like deer, squirrels, raccoons, cats, you know, basically anything you know, if they can. Ticks live about two to three years. And so over that period of time, they they feed maybe two or three times a year. You know, sometimes only once a year, they can go a long time without eating, but they will feed off of something else. And then those microbes that have been picked up from other animals that are really not causing any illness within the animal. The other animals are, you know, passive like, you know, or a pathology for us. They create illness in humans, so it sits in the stomach of the tick. So you can imagine that with this backwash effect, I can’t find a better way to state that, except that. But I think it gets the point across. It goes right into our bloodstream. And it could be not just Lyme. There’s multiple strains of Lyme. So you know, there’s 50 known in the United States. To my knowledge, there might have been more that have been discovered since then and over 300 worldwide. And so plus also the co-infections that Busia or like iOS’s anaplasmosis Bartonella. You know, there’s there’s Q fever, Rocky Mountain, spotted fever. The list goes on and we don’t even know because there’s so much argument and so much kind of denial of of Lyme and kind of shoving it under the rug that, you know, more research could be done to really understand this in more depth. But the funding and the support really isn’t there on a larger federal level. So anyway, I don’t mean this to be confrontational against the medical establishment. It’s just really honest, the honest truth of what’s going on. So anyway, that being said, if a bite happens, it’s important to stay calm. I would I would definitely want to get a pair of tweezers. A lot of times sometimes tweezers will have like a little magnifying glass on them, or there’s two little cups that are like six scoops that have kind of a slice in it where you would slide it up underneath the tick and then be able to pull that out. And the tick would go into this little bowl. That’s sort of like a little like a little spoon, like a measuring spoon. And so but you what you want to do is a lot of times people, when they have the tick, they get really, especially if you’re pulling it out of another person and helping them out. And it’s like your child and you don’t want to cause harm. You’re nervous about hurting them or you’re scared out. There’s this, you know, kind of this pulling, but not really pulling kind of like, you know, you know, you’re not really yanking at it. So you got to figure the more you stress, the tick out and kind of pull at it and physically manipulate it, the more you’re risking infection being transmitted. Because if it’s back washing just on its own and you’re squeezing it and stressing it out, you can imagine that more is getting put into your bloodstream if it’s still attached. Other, you know, other things that have been done, you know, old wives tales and old remedies of like garlic on them and kerosene and burning them. And you know, all this stuff because you think that they’re just going to call them like back out and come out of the skin. If you do that to them, really, you’re just stressing the tick out even more and you know, they don’t. Come out that easily, it’s not once they get in there, it takes a bit of a process for tick the naturally be released from the skin. They’re pretty anchored in if anybody’s pulled out a tick, ever, you can tell how anchored in they are. You know when you’re trying to pull them out. So also will say that the latest thing that’s come across the internet is that people have come in with and asked a lot about our essential oils. And because there was a video that was going around on YouTube about, you know, just using essential oils locally on the chicken, and then the tick would just pull itself out and everything would be fine. And, you know, the tick would move on. And essential oils are very caustic. They’re very volatile, you know, they’re they’re beautiful medicine and they work in so many other ways for, you know, healing that, you know, obviously we don’t need to go into here, but we know, we know that. But putting it on top of the tick, I mean, if you were to put an essential oil in a, you know, a straight up, you know, essential oil into your, let’s say, in your ear, nose or in your eye, it would it would burn. It would be very uncomfortable. So you can only imagine putting it on the tick that it’s going to stress them out as well. So that’s not really effective way of of removing a tick. So in my, you know, in my professional opinion. So the best way to do it is to either take a tick scoop or a tweezer and get close down to the skin and you’re just going to be really assertive. You know, it’s just it’s going to get a good grip on it and just be real quick with it and pull. Now there may be mouth parts left in the skin or, you know, body part of the tick if you can reach the head. If you can retrieve the rest of that out, great. But don’t do it at the price of like ripping the skin apart and hurting yourself, the skin usually will naturally pull or kind of eventually bring that up to the surface and it’ll get pushed out. I know it’s gross thinking about leaving it in there. I can imagine, you know, most people would not like the idea of that. And also, you can go into a doctor’s office and get further assistance with getting it removed and even having the tick removed. In general, if you don’t feel up to doing that, getting into a doctor to have that removed now once it’s removed, sending it out for testing. So they’re a tick report. Gqom is one of the organizations affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Amherst. It basically you send it off and they if you don’t have to do anything to the tick, don’t put it in alcohol. Because if you put it in alcohol, you’ll then think that you’re doing like preserving it in order to send it off somewhere, you’re going to kill all of the bacteria. And so that’s going to make it useless. Little denature all the bacteria so they can’t see what’s inside the tick. And that can be really a lifesaving test that can be done because once you’re bit, it can take several weeks for antibodies or for symptoms to show up. But if you can go and send the tick out and you know, within three to five days business days, if what was inside the bug, that can tell you a lot about what you just got exposed to and get your medication right away.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:19:29] Does that change the medication based on potentially what the bat, what bacteria they’re carrying or the different strands of the Lyme disease?
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:19:39] So for Lyme? I’d say the acute treatment is typically DOCSIS cycling or Minocycline in the adult population and in then in the in the pediatric population, it’s usually amoxicillin or sustainer. And so that’s those are typical meds that would be used right away. If they’re I would say that medication would change if Bartonella was found in the body or Babesia. Those do do better with other types of antibiotics, and it would be really beneficial to know if the tick that was the tick that was carrying those infections to address them as soon as possible, too, because it gets more complicated and much more difficult for patients when there’s multiple infections involved at one time.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:20:22] And with an acute exposure, would you also do any sort of natural remedies and an acute exposure to support the system while they’re undergoing antibiotic therapy?
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:20:37] So, absolutely. So typically, what’s given with the antibiotic is a probiotic. So we want a high potency probiotic. So we’re talking about one that’s going to have like a hundred and fifty, typically 100, like 120 billion per capsule, you know, or upwards if you whatever product you’re using. But you want to get about 100 to 200, maybe upwards of 300 or 400, depending on your digestion and how sensitive you are to yeast overgrowth and things like that, you would want to do that while on the antibiotic. Also, homeopathic work really well and are helpful after an acute exposure lead. Them is one of the main ones that gets that gets acknowledged quite a bit as being used right away for a tick bite. So the and then also you can go really, you know, with herbals take really high doses of herbal medications as a natural antimicrobial as well. And, you know, put yourself sort of on a protocol using both in order to try to treat it. Most people, though, with the brand new tick bite, just choose to do keep it as simple as possible because it’s brand new. They might not be as symptomatic and just, you know, and honestly, once it’s after a tick bites, it does take time for the infections to get acclimated into the body. They’re very vulnerable, so you can clear the infection quite easily if it’s caught soon enough or address soon enough. So we can’t help the fact that tick bites happen where people don’t know about it and you know, and there’s just no way to avoid that, that’s just going to happen in. But what’s really frustrating to me as a practitioner is when it’s pretty clear, you know, when a tick bite comes in, if somebody was to step on like a dirty needle in the middle of a park or on the beach, you know they would be on. I’ve I’ve had patients that have had that happen, and they’re on several months, just basically on just basically barely touching a needle. They’re on an antiviral and antibiotic. They’re being micromanaged like crazy and tested for every disease under the sun, which you know is valid. But now you have something in nature that’s a dirty needle. And here that we know carries diseases, we know a majority of them do. And to just tell someone to wait and see if something comes up can wait several weeks. It doesn’t make sense to me when people usually will recover from being on the treatment, even if they don’t choose to do antibiotics, at least take doing some sort of anti-microbial treatment internally to treat the infection, to avoid, you know, much more suffering later in many different ways. So it’s really frustrating to me when I have patients who are turned away, especially who are, you know, walk in with a positive test from the tick itself that they were just bit by. And and because they’re not manifesting symptoms, they’re turned away quite often from treatment and told to come back if something happens. And I just I don’t that that’s just not how I choose to practice. It’s just the but it’s it is an issue and it’s a big problem, you know, and I think most states have that that issue that that and a lot of times actually the ones that are most vulnerable, the states that they don’t think ticks are actually there, you know, like really, they’re not here. We don’t have problems with that because it’s even in Oregon where I’m from. It’s like people are getting bit more and more things because of environmental change, because of temperature change. The winters aren’t as intense and ticks can really survive some stuff like they, you know, they can. They can get nested underneath the snow here in New Hampshire and in an Arctic blast like we had last year and when it was 20 below zero. And I thought, that’s OK, for sure, it would be like we would have the lightest spring ever after that. And it was like actually probably one of the worst springs I’ve ever seen with ticks so they can really survive their survivors. And but a lot of times also now, you know, animals are migrating and carrying them birds. And so there’s a there’s a lot of different factors and we’ll continue. It is starting to be seen more and more in other states and it is actually a lot of people don’t think of it in the Midwest, but it’s quite high in Ohio and Michigan and Minnesota.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:24:42] Oh yeah. And are there any other ways to transfer Lyme other than with ticks?
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:24:50] So there are there. The research does show some, you know, merit in the idea that it is sexually transmitted. Yeah. Or that it can be. I don’t think that that’s in my personal opinion. I don’t think that’s like a hundred percent like. That’s because the reason why that conversation even started is because Lyme Spier kids, you know, are anatomically and a lot like syphilis, which is an STD, a sexually transmitted disease. And and even the stages of the disease process, you know, having a like an acute primary stage. And then eventually, the longer it stays in the body, it can create neurological symptoms just like syphilis does. But the basically the research that did some of the research protocols are the research publications. That are out there. They’re small samples. So they took maybe, you know, 10 to 15 couples, but they did find similar strains in the couples, and one could argue that that that maybe they were just living on the same property and got bit by the same ticks. But I think there was enough information there. And they also do find it’s more difficult in partnerships sometimes that, you know, if they’re not using protection during the treatment time, that there can be this passing back and forth or can be harder for couples to get better. It’s a prolonged treatment. You know, a lot of doctors have just noticed that there’s a prolonged treatment time. If patients continue to like, you know, patients in a marriage per se, that would be using protection, you know, or otherwise married or not. But that that they tend to have a more difficult time in a prolonged illness and it that it’s actually been shortened by, you know, them using a barrier method for a period of time during treatment in order to avoid that transmission back and forth. So that that is something that that’s a way I know that there’s been some speculation it has been cultured in breast milk. And normally, line would not be something that would be ingested and contracted that way. It doesn’t really live in the atmosphere that way. It wouldn’t make it through your stomach acid. But if you’ve got an infant with a pretty naked, very new, very, you know, you know, their digestive track is especially then just literally newborn is so immature that it could potentially be passed through breast milk to the baby as well, and it also can be passed in utero. So that’s also another factor there. So a lot of pregnant patients that I treat, we end up doing cord blood at the time of birth, testing the cord blood for the infections.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:27:23] That’s that’s smart. That’s incredible. And then what are you seen? So in switching gears to chronic Lyme? How are these patients presenting into your office?
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:27:38] So most of them come in and they’re they’re scared because they they’re scared to sit down with me because they think they have to defend themselves and explain everything. And they’re so used to having to do that. And also, they’ve come in. They’ve already been to most a majority of my patients. New patients to sit down with me have already been to see at least, you know, 10 doctors. And those are specialists in endocrinology, gastroenterology, cardiology, you know, rheumatology and neurology. And so and they’ve had to tell their story each time. And maybe that, you know, many times it’s met with compassion, but yet not I can’t help you, but I’m sorry that you’re sick. You know, and I can offer you this for pain management or symptom management, but not, you know, not really wanting, not not agreeing that Lyme is or tick borne disease could be the cause of the problem. And and so when they come in, they they’ve, you know, they’re a little overwhelmed. They have their big binder and they have all their labs and every place that they’ve been. And they usually come in with a family member who is going to be the note taker or the one that’s going to be the one that can explain or talk if they can’t talk or if they get tired, if they get confused. A lot of times at this point, you know, when I see them, they’re they’re neurologically compromised. So they have a hard time with concentration and focus or get emotionally overwhelmed. And eventually, over time, they realize that I’m not. I’m going to. I’m going to listen and believe, you know, and they don’t need to. They don’t need to feel that way here, you know? Right. But that that I get it. But it takes a little bit of time for that sort of wear off. But most patients come in symptom wise that are chronic. You know, I always tell patients like, you know, it’s tick borne disease. If you’ve got issues going on in multiple organ systems, you know, you’ve got at the same time you’ve got cardiology, you’ve got cardiovascular things happening, neurological things happening like numbness, tingling, dizziness, you know, loss of function, you know, of a limb like weakness, difficulty walking twitches, tremors, cardiovascular issues like hypertension, heart palpitations that just weren’t there. And then all of a sudden just showed up. A lot of times you’ll hear the story that they were fine. And then all of a sudden they remember, just like I woke up this one morning and I haven’t been right since. And nobody can tell me what’s wrong because they’d never found a tick on them, right? So they just kept going to doctors and getting medication for this or that or this symptom that came up a lot of times. Unfortunately, people come in already on some form of a, you know, being given some form of an antidepressant or an antagonizing medication because they’re told that they really they’re the problem truly is just more of an anxiety issue and psychosomatic meaning that they just kind of, you know, their their anxiety or their emotions are creating the symptoms for them merely by stress. And and so that happens quite often, too. Yeah. Yeah. And. And oftentimes, I mean, they they they are stressed and they they they probably do need the anti-anxiety medication and the antidepressant, but not not in a way that it’s being presented, you know, right now.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:30:48] So and it’s so common. Yeah. So and then they’re also presenting, I think, some of the very random symptoms of lying that are chronic Lyme that I think are interesting are ringing in the ears. Eye floaters correct them that you wouldn’t think about that would be associated with a chronic disease insomnia.
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:31:13] Am I correct? Yeah. Yeah, so frequent waking through the night, you know, exhausted or getting a full night’s sleep and waking up and feeling like you hadn’t. A lot of times people have really horrible nightmares as well that come along with it, that are not typical. Of course, the joint pain and the joint pain typically is going to move around. If I can usually distinguish like something like that would be just a typical arthritis like an arthritic knee, just because it’s the overused or there was some sort of injury, you know? Is that OK? Is it the same knee every time? And is it when you do the same thing every time? That, to me, is more of an osteoarthritis, you know, versus live is going to be like it shows up randomly and then it’ll be like one knee and then I’ll move to a hip and then it’ll move to your ankle. And then or it will be multiple joints at one time and then it’s unpredictable. So another thing is people will. Another frequent comment is that I feel older than my grandmother. You know, they’re walking slower, you know, a hard time with sensory input. So concentration, a lot of times kids who are diagnosed with ADHD or, you know, even even slightly on the, you know. And again, this is trending more into something that’s more controversial. But you know, more of the autistic behaviors as well may become more severe, even though they may be slightly on the spectrum. If they can track Lyme, it can make that even more difficult for them. But most of the time, it’s going to be kids that have, you know, intense fatigue and mental emotional issues, an inability to concentrate. They’re going to have a hard time in school. Kids, kids present usually knees, bellies and heads. So, you know, they’re going to and these are younger kids like under the age of 10 or, you know, even like five and under. And they’ll complain, you know, they’ll kind of say, I hope my leg hurts and then they’ll, you know, maybe they sit down for a little bit and then they’ll be up running around again. And so parents can easily sort of miss that and and or just think, Oh, they’re just trying to, you know, a lot of times it’s like the parents feel guilty after they find out that it is lying when they finally, like, hear it to so many times and then they bring their kid in to be tested. But they’re like all. They’ve been saying this for so long, but I just thought it was because they didn’t want to go to bed and they were trying to get out of like this or that. They, you know,
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:33:27] I think it can be very confusing as a parent.
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:33:29] And I always tell, I always tell parents that, you know, kids like especially five and under like, they’re just going to tell it like it is. And if it hurts, their leg hurts. Even more like an adult or an adolescent is going to be more thinking in terms of like, all right, they can milk this, you know, like, you know, we’ve all done like at our moment where we really exaggerate something because we didn’t want to do something or kind of made something worse. I know I have when I was younger, but the but the you know, with kids, they’re just so raw and so honest that if a three year old is like my head hurts and my stomach hurts and they’re saying it not just once, but, you know, over a period of time. And especially if you have found a check on your child, but then didn’t think, you know a lot of times here too, there’s sort of an apathy because it’s been six have been here for so long in this area and it’s like, Oh, we used to pull this off ourselves. You know, somebody in their 50s or 60s, we used to pull ticks off all the time. It was no big deal. But the diseases have spread and the ticks much. It’s much more prevalent and they’re changing. And, you know, and so they’re they’re more present, but they’re sort of an apathy that, well, I pulled the tick. I didn’t see a ring. And so I think they’re fine. And so then time goes by and they don’t go to a doctor. They don’t take action because they didn’t see anything happen. And then now their child is starting to complain more frequently. But it’s probably been a couple of months of the tick bite, and maybe that’s not even remembered or even thought of as being connected. So from a pediatric perspective, that’s that’s very common.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:34:55] And with the Chronicle, I oh, excuse me. What the chronic Lyme, how is the treatment different?
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:35:02] So the treatment in my clinic, you know, it’s it’s sort of like I present to patients. I have a menu, you know, I have my menu of things that I do. And so I’ve got, you know, of course, antibiotics we’ve discussed. And I’d say a large portion of my patients are on them. It is controversial the treatment of using antibiotics. It’s always a patient’s choice and and it’s always done. You know, if the patient is showing signs that the antibiotics are not appropriate for them or causing, you know, the side effects from them or causing problems, they’re taken off. But there’s also with chronic Lyme, you know, even with herbal. So I also treat with herbal medications. So that’s part of my natural I think doctor it is, is, you know, studying our biology homeopathy. You know, we’re going to do stuff that’s going to support the liver, the GI detox pathways. The adrenals are a big one because the adrenal glands help support us on a daily basis to deal with your stress internally and externally in the world. So internal stress like with illness and external stress, if you’re trying to work while you’re ill and you’ve got, you know, you have a job that’s really or a household that’s very loud and busy and a lot of stuff going on and or things just going on in your life in general and the adrenal also help with sleep cycle. So you had mentioned why patients having a difficult time to sleep and a lot of times that’s because their dreams are fatigued or out of whack. So we support those those aspects of the person’s healing using also herbal antibiotics. A lot of patients choose just to do a natural medicine approach and not do antibiotics, which is fine, which is, you know, and for it and it works. I’ve seen it work beautifully. The one thing with Lyme, depending on whatever the patient choice choice is, is that it takes time. So I think the missed the biggest misconception and the hardest part for tick borne disease patients is that somehow it’s supposed to be done quick. Most of our illnesses that we deal with, you know, that we’ve had antibiotics for are things that we have to have a, you know, that were like infections that were treated for. Typically, we get our 10 days of antibiotics and it’s done like a respiratory infection and sinus infection, or UTI. And in this case, it takes a lot longer. But that’s the hardest part of treating the disease. So it can really trip people up and think that it’s not working. Something’s wrong, and it can lead to a lot of like jumping around from doctor to doctor or trying to find the the and also having people who know that they’re coming in contact with their families, telling them, you know, Well, why aren’t you better yet? You know, you should be done with this. Like, what’s wrong? What’s wrong with this doctor? You’re seeing what’s wrong with, you know, like, this can’t be right. And I would say the average treatment time for a chronic patient in my office is six months to a year and some longer. And then we also have the factor here that, you know, it’s not like chickenpox. So, you know, it’s like you get it once and that’s it. Of course, nobody gets chickenpox anymore, but the but it’s basically you could just I could get, you know, somebody who has chronic Lyme, get them back to living and having an amazing quality of life and then get better again and get reinfected. And then it’s not. And many times now that they know where to find me or they have a working relationship with me, we treat them much sooner. And ideally kind of get over the hump and have them not go into a full chronic state like they they were before. But you know, that’s that’s also the risk factor here, too, is that it’s not just a one time only thing and a lot of times the individuals that are really severely impacted and chronically ill. There have been more than one bite that, you know, if they’ve lived in this area in the New England area or in a tick endemic, you know, in an epidemic area that you know, they’d have to be so lucky just to have only have gotten one tick bite if they’ve lived there their entire life. So with the amount of ticks that are here, even on the playground at school soccer field, again, as I mentioned out, just being in your own backyard. So oftentimes it’s not just one bite that gets you there with the with the real serious cases. Yeah, over the years.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:39:08] So are you seeing a big treatment difference with how you’re treating antibiotics versus antibiotics with natural remedies or just natural remedies? Are you seeing a big difference on how quickly people are getting better or the quality of life back or that? What’s the breakdown between the two treatments, would you say?
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:39:34] It’s very individualized. Yeah, it’s very individualized. It really depends on what you know, what body it’s going into, and some people’s bodies are going to take in the natural medications and it’s going to work beautifully. And some people are going to have Lyme and they’ll get over it and like a month and a half or two months or a few weeks. And that’s it. Whereas other individuals have immune systems and genetics and all sorts of other factors that make it way more difficult. You know, one of the factors to with lime why it takes so long is trying to find the right remedy to be able to get access to it. Because why while you know, lime in particular, not just the not, you know, leaving out the cool infections, but talking about lime. They’re there skyrockets. They’re shaped like spirals, and they know they drill through tissue and they can go into body cavities that normally infections would not go into. And so they trigger a whole lot of, you know, different immune responses. The body’s not used to it not used to having to deal with most infections. They pretty localized or, you know, they’re not, you know, like a localized area on the skin or again in the sinuses or, you know, urinary tract infection and respiratory infections, even belly infections, you know, stomach aches and getting like food poisoning or something like that. They stay pretty localized, and this one migrates and can move through just about anything, and it can outrun our own immune cells. So it’s really the trick. And the, you know, the work with being a Lyme practitioner is trying to find the right protocol for the patient. And number one, if they’re coming in not wanting antibiotics at all because of fear, because there’s a lot of fear about using antibiotics. And it’s it’s justified if they’re not used appropriately or for the right reasons or not or not right for that person’s body. They can’t do harm, you know, anything can do harm if it’s not being used correctly. But I’ve also seen it work miracles for people time and time again. But if they don’t, if someone’s coming in and they’re not and they’re afraid of using antibiotics, then that is in a sense. I mean, not only I don’t pressure anybody to do anything, but, you know, if there’s a belief there that in a fear around it, you know, it just won’t work anyway. I really, truly believe that we can. We have the power to sort of reject, you know, they gave me an internal choice. Yeah. So it is sort of feeling out what that person’s like. OK, here’s what I do. You know, I also do energetic therapies here, reiki, you know, you know, hands on healing. And also other things as far as like IV therapy, I’m going to be starting to do stem cell therapy here, too. So there’s other things available here and also other things popping up all over the country and all over the world for other options for treatment that people can have access to now. But the you know, I would say the main thing is really finding the right combination for the person. So that’s kind of a difficult question to answer as far as like a straight black and white. But I would say a majority of my patients that I see choose for themselves to have antibiotics and natural medicine in combination. And then we just take it as it goes. And so I usually have I see people on a, you know, cyclical basis and I check in and if I’m seeing change happen, like if I’m seeing changes happening in their symptoms, even if that’s a little bit of a worsening of their symptoms, which is common with treating Lyme, it’s referred to as a horkheimer response that you know, that to me is I gave you the med and now the symptoms you had before I even treated, you got worse. OK, so we’re seeing something shift. And as long as they’re mentally, emotionally and physically handling it, OK, and they feel like it’s it’s OK, it’s safe. They don’t feel too overwhelmed. And I don’t feel the effects are, you know, are harmful. Then we keep going with the treatment until those symptoms clear out and things start to normalize. And that can happen. That response can happen whether you choose natural medication. I’ve seen people hurt or have a hard time, a reaction very intense from just using herbal remedies being that sensitive. So it really just depends on the body lands. And I guess is my really long answer to that question.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:43:38] Okay, I just want to clear something up when you say I be therapy, can you just can you expound on that? I’m assuming you’re talking about vitamin C therapy or something of that nature about. I just,
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:43:51] yeah, yeah. So natural medicine IVs. So I trained in that quite a bit in medical school, and I’ve been doing that in my practice since I opened it. But yeah, a lot of people look to get high dose vitamin C or vitamin vitamin combinations antiviral. It’s usually referred to the a light cocktail we do pushchairs, the vitamin pushes or a larger bag drips and then also things like phosphatidylcholine and, you know, amino acids, basically. Yeah. And then but also a lot of people, I also treat with IV antibiotics as well. So they’ll have a and they don’t receive that here in my office. That’s usually something where they work with a company and they actually able to administer this at home by using a pick line or report and sometimes depending on the extensive neurological issues that they have going on and again, their personal choice. You know, I do have quite a few patients that choose that option as well, and that was actually an option for myself that worked quite well when I needed it.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:44:52] And I mean, I really think you. Doing either liposomal or ID pushes of something is really important in chronic disease because a lot of those folks have got issues and they cannot absorb or assimilate, assimilate all those supplements. Exactly, exactly.
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:45:10] Yeah, and glutathione. Iona’s used her quite a bit. And so glutathione iwn is something that is something the liver produces that is an antioxidant and also a detoxify. And getting that into the body makes a huge difference. And there are. I was always taught for many years. I kind of held on to that edict that it was only supposed to be through the IV that you would give Google a file. But the formulations have come out now that are that are really, really well assimilated to be able to take this orally and liposomal form, meaning that it’s attached to fats and things that make it so that it can cross to the digestive lining much easier. But yeah, digestion and making sure the digestive tract is healthy is huge. Yeah. And if that’s not working, if you have leaky gut or we have a big, another big thing is food sensitivities. Patients with Lyme, will you know where they didn’t have them before, will start to develop gluten intolerance or even red meat. There are certain strains of Borrelia that create a red meat allergy like pretty severe allergy. So those are the things that come up. Yeah.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:46:12] And one of the thing I’d really like to touch on. You speak of doing reiki or energy work in your practice. Hmm. And I mean, you know, in seeing chronic patients or chronic diseases, people are so beaten down, they’re so tired. They’ve been through so much like they’ve had to put up, you know, they’ve had to justify themselves over and over again. And I just think they’re in a really fragile state now. You mentioned that you really work with trauma. It sounded like you worked with trauma a lot from the line. Is that what is that? Are you addressing that through homeopathic and through reiki primarily?
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:46:53] Well, most of it is also just I mean, I would say a small part of my visit is fitting all of the criteria and all the things I need to get as far as, okay, you know, how are your bowels moving? How are your symptoms? And I can get through that in a pretty efficient amount of time. Most of the time I spend with the patient in the office is counseling and helping them, you know, have a place where they can sit and cry. I go through Kleenex boxes like crazy here, and because it’s just a space that people can feel safe to just let it like, just let it go. But I do always ask about I typically ask about trauma history, and I have that on my forums and people come in because I do see a correlation that if somebody does have a pretty significant and especially if they haven’t, if they haven’t worked on it, you know, if they haven’t worked on it up until now, when they get sick with the disease, that is, you know, something where it’s there’s a stigma in the in the larger community, the medical community, socially, they’re not feeling helped there if they were victimized in any other way. Earlier on in life, then it’s like it reactivates that PTSD, that post-traumatic stress of being victimized all over again. And so they have a very big, you know, anxiety response because they’ve got those old programs from being harmed. You know, whenever that happen for them and now they’re sick again and trying to get help, trying to be heard, trying to be understood and and also feeling scared that this infection is not ever going to leave, that they’re going to, you know, they go and visit and they see you on videos on the internet and they get freaked out that this is, you know, that that this is detrimental and and it’s not to make light of it. It definitely can be very harmful if it’s not treated. But the there’s just a lot of fear that comes up. And if there is a background where that where those issues coming from, other situations were not addressed or, you know, treated, they didn’t have any, you know, they would sought out counseling or if you know, if they did and it just wasn’t all the way done or if they’re in a current traumatic situation, they’re in an abusive relationship. They’re in something that’s, you know, creating current trauma. And in the moment, you know, those are real big obstacles to healing. And so a lot of it is, you know, obviously, I also, you know, very much encourage people to get a professional counselor involved that they can work with and process this with as well. For me, the energy healing piece, I’ve been intuitive in one way or another, most of my life, and it didn’t really come fully into manifestation for me or something that I was comfortable with until I was in my 30s or 40s. And as it did, I’ve taken different trainings in different modalities. And so people do come and see me for that as well. And that is to to meet. For me, that’s just helping people be more in tune with who they are and helping them reconnect with themselves, whatever their belief system is, when. You know, spiritual or not. You know, and and helping them to, you know, process trauma through their bodies or bodies, hold that. And and it gets stuck and so memories can come up. You know, individuals like this chiropractic care or massage people will have memories that come up with getting a body adjustment or having a muscle worked on because, you know, it’s not just our mind that’s holding the memory. And if our bodies are holding that memory, then it’s going to impact our immune system and it’s going to, you know, make the make it make it more difficult to recover from the infection. So if somebody is open to to working on that, sometimes that feels like too much to deal with when you’re dealing with illness and everything else. So it’s just something I have available here and leave open to people to have access to. If that feels like it’s the right time and if that’s the direction they want to go, I just see it as more like a personal power, enhancing their own personal power and and feeling more in tune with that and feeling more like, you know, empowered. I guess this is the best word to use there
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:50:56] like that, and I completely agree. I mean, I always say the issues are the tissues. I very much believe that that, you know, especially when you lay hands or on somebody or they feel safe, it all comes rushing out and then they tell you, you’re the first person they’ve told that to or whatnot. So. Exactly. Pretty powerful medicine to just even put your hands on somebody. And it really does open a floodgate. And there’s definitely issues with that in chronic disease of unaddressed trauma.
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:51:29] Yeah, absolutely. Very powerful work. And as you mentioned to it, I do use homeopathy and flower essences or, you know, other modalities to kind of help that process through and help ease, you know, the anxiety. And sometimes people also just need an anti-anxiety medication or antidepressant, depending on how intense, especially if it’s like a war trauma and people are having serious PTSD, the PTSD flashbacks that are really, you know, inhibiting their ability to function and go to work or, you know, live in a healthy way. You know, I think it depends on the severity of the situation, what’s required in order to help someone find their ground again.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:52:06] Yeah, exactly. So I guess the big, you know, the final question is, how do you prevent getting Lyme disease? What would be some tips on preventing that?
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:52:23] So yeah, the so prevention. So again, sometimes you know, the reality is that sometimes even with all everything lined up and doing all the perfect and right things, you know, ticks can be as small as a speck of dirt nymphs, which is the teenage version of a tick, are very, very tiny. And despite doing all of your best efforts, you know there still might be transmission, so you still got to be on top of and really advocate for yourself if symptoms start to come up, even if you don’t see a tick on you. I oftentimes say that like acute Lyme disease is on the tick. As far as like the responsibility is on the tick or, you know, feeding off of us chronic Lyme disease is more of a manmade issue because if we catch it early enough or acknowledge it, or even consider it as a primary concern and like what we would call a doctors call a differential diagnosis, like if we look at all the possible diagnoses, if someone comes in with symptoms living in an area, especially with an epidemic, there should be the first thing on the docket because it’s like the easiest thing to treat before you’re talking about putting someone on long term medication for pain or prednisone, or some sort of a, you know, medications for different rheumatoid conditions or anti-inflammatories, but for self-protection. Typically, what I tell patients to do, there are companies or you can get a hold of your own, but permethrin, and I know that that is for a lot of individuals, you know, kind of a concern because of the toxicity around it. But typically it’s only meant to be used to treat clothing. It’s not meant to be put on the body like as far as like in a liquid form or anything that would absorb and it’s going to be put on and dried onto clothes. There are companies that you can send the clothes out to. Insect Shield is one of them and they will treat it with permethrin and you can get about 90 washes out of it. And this can be like, you know, really life altering, especially for patients of mine that have worked in nature reserves. You know, they’re just covered in like 80 ticks a day. And also they treat their clothes with this and there’s nothing. It also works with black flies and mosquitoes as well. Now, typically what I tell people is to wear that clothing because where where I live, this is such an issue that you know, it’s I just, you know, as much as my purist environmentalist, my Oregonian, any last liquid and no chemicals. And you know, if you got it, you got to look at the, you know, the the risk to benefit. So then I usually tell patients to put the natural things that are, you know, oil based geranium eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint. There is also, you know, like if you make your own formulation or you buy one that’s more natural based in herbal or really the essential oils because ticks get detracted from us because of our because of the smells. And they really don’t like the smells of those really potent essential oils that detracts them, so they’ll be less likely to feed on you, but they need to be applied over. You know, you can’t just put it on once, then go out for the whole day you if you want to reapply because those oils do lose their, you know, their Senate senses, they lose their potency with the smell. They they just evaporate off. So you do need to reapply. There is also a substance by Sawyer, and it can be found on Amazon quite easily. And it’s it’s got a active ingredient in it that’s derived from black pepper called picaridin. And you want at least 20 percent concentration of that. And if you fire it, you can go online and Google. I get I don’t know what they would put on the table, but Consumer Reports did a a test with multiple tick repellents and found that this one was the most effective. So they took what they did. They took volunteers or researchers, and they sprayed like an arm with DEET and with a lot of the natural products, different ones that are on the market. And then with the particular one, I just spoke of the and the black pepper derivative, and they had them put their hand in a box with the with mosquitoes and with ticks and basically terrible. I know, but they are yet, but they judge the effectiveness of it, of how far the bug would stay away from you. And they found that the bugs stayed the furthest away from this one. So and it’s the winner. Yeah, so that one and it’s, you know, being from black pepper and it’s got a citrus in it, it’s probably the most effective and closest to the natural, a natural treatment that you could use. And then other people find creative things to do. They’ll put, you know, like dog collars like flea fruit, like flea repellent collars on like their ankles when they’re out and about. And but you other people like typically you tuck your pants into your socks. You wear really light clothes so that you can see them pull your hair up, you know, put up in a hat. But I would really also just have your clothes that you’re going to use outside and be out and about doing stuff in that, you know, you’re going to be exposed. Come in right away. I definitely would likely take the clothes off, maybe jump in a shower real quick and rinse off and then do a thorough body check. That’s going to be the most effective is kind of head to toe having help from your family, you know, to check the areas you can’t find or see in. And of course, parents with their children checking them from head to toe
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:57:37] and check your pets right
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:57:38] and your pets.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:57:40] You can bring them into the bedroom and they can get. Oh, yes, I mean,
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:57:44] that’s how I got it. That’s how I got it for my cats. I lived in the city, and then when I moved to the country, I was like, Go be free, go outside and they stay behind ticks. And of course, they go into your bed because they cats go everywhere. But yeah, that the pets are a big one, especially if people they think if they treat the dog or the cat, that they’re safe. But really, what happens is that sometimes the tick knows not to feed off the dogs, you know, and they’ll kind of hitch a ride and then come into the house and then fall off, but still be hungry. So you’re actually more exposed sometimes with treating your pet because they won’t feed off the pet that you’re the next in line here, the next meal. I will say that the Seresto collar I’ve seen be the most effective patients have said and I and I’ve noticed that even with personal friends and stuff and even witnessing. But their dogs were from one season to the next with wearing the Seresto collar, which I think lasts about six to eight months.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:58:39] The answer? See, I’ve never heard of it.
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:58:41] It’s an s cat, Seresto, and they are again. You know, I always think of Amazon for selling stuff, but I’m sure that veterinary clinic, too. But those have seem to be the most effective for dogs. I don’t. I’m not sure if they make one for cats. I don’t know if they do exist. A lot of differences between what cats and dogs can put on the put on their bodies. So. Yeah.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:59:04] Well, thank you so much for being here. Anything else you think is important to add that we didn’t cover?
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:59:12] Oh, I think we covered a lot. I probably talk too much.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:59:16] That’s an interesting interview. So if somebody wants to find you want to get in touch with you, where did they find you?
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:59:23] Well, my website is greenhouse medicine dotcom and so they can find you there, and then they can find my contact information and office phone number there if they want to call and get more information or book an appointment.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:59:35] Fantastic in the name of your book.
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:59:37] My book is called Rising Above Lyme Disease and again, that’s available on Amazon. Also in Kindle.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [00:59:45] Waiting for the plug to Amazon there? I know,
Dr. Julia Greenspan [00:59:47] I know I like I have. I, me and everybody else in the world has an Amazon problem. I have a swipe to the right, probably by now. But but you know, also it is available at Barnes and Noble to honor the bookstore, the bookstore I got to give props to. And so there you go. Yeah.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter [01:00:08] Well, that was so great. And thank you so much for joining us here today. And and if anybody needs to get in touch with you, they will thank you again.