Unlocking Lyme: Myths, Truths & Practical Solutions for Chronic Lyme Disease is the latest book written by Dr Bill Rawls. It is a comprehensive guide for understanding and treating Lyme Disease.
The book covers what Lyme disease is, why people get sick, the process of diagnosis, plus information on essential support and therapies for getting well.
In my opinion, the information provided in Unlocking Lyme actually goes further than the diagnosis of Lyme disease.
Beyond the history of Lyme, the book covers a holistic approach to healing and contains information and solutions that are helpful for treating other chronic illnesses.
Dr Rawls has suffered from Lyme disease
What immediately sets Dr Rawls apart is the fact that he himself has suffered from Lyme disease. Dr Rawls, therefore, has a unique perspective to give as he has been on both sides of the coin. That of a doctor and that as a patient.
As a patient, Dr Rawls was failed by conventional medicine. He had no option but to become his own health advocate and this led him to research into alternative therapies. Through his research, Dr Rawls learned about the power of herbal therapies and he adopted a more holistic approach to healing.
Within a few years, he had successfully recovered his own health. He then turned his efforts towards helping others to achieve the same.
Dr Rawls wants to reach and help as many patients as he can through his writing
As an MD, Dr Rawls has helped many patients with chronic illness to get their life back. However, he was left feeling frustrated by the restrictions placed upon him by the medical system.
Dr Rawls has, therefore, now turned his focus towards writing in order to help as many people as possible, though he continues to offer consults.
His previous book “Suffered Long Enough” covers his personal journey with fibromyalgia and Lyme disease and outlines how he recovered his health.
Unlocking Lyme shares the information Dr Rawls has learned since its publication and delves further into the mechanisms of Lyme disease and the various solutions for overcoming it.
The book is clearly written for chronic illness sufferers
Reading can be difficult for those of us who suffer from Lyme disease and other chronic illnesses, such as fibromyalgia. After all, brain fog and poor concentration are common symptoms. It was clear to me that this book was written with this in mind.
The paragraphs are short and broken up and I definitely appreciated this. This writing style made the information in the book easier to take it.
And, although there is a lot of science in this book (backed up by references), Dr Rawls writes in a way that is easy to understand and he also uses illustrations to visually present his ideas.
Additionally, Dr Rawls has cleverly used footnotes to impart extra information and explanations for those of us who are knowledge thirsty. It means that he keeps the text within the book concise and to-the-point.
A history of Lyme disease
The first section of the book covers the history of Lyme disease. Most will already know that Lyme disease was first discovered in the town of Lyme Connecticut in the 1970’s. However, there is a lot that is not commonly known about Lyme disease and many myths also surround this illness.
Unlocking Lyme dispels these myths and covers what Lyme disease is, discusses the bacteria that causes it and explains how it is transmitted.
This includes the symptoms of Lyme, the different stages of the illness and the strategies the bacteria employ to trick the immune system.
He even dedicates a chapter to biofilms and how to overcome them (as well as clearing up some myths surrounding them), which is found towards the end of the book.
Stealth microbes beyond Borrelia (the bacteria implicated in Lyme disease)
Further to this, Dr Rawls explains that ticks can carry other stealth microbes in addition to Borrelia and discusses the symptoms of each.
These include Mycoplasma, Chlamydia (it’s not what you think!), Bartonella, Babesia, STARI, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma and Rickettsia.
Chronic immune dysfunction
The first section of the book is concluded by discussing chronic immune dysfunction. If Borrelia has existed for thousands of years, why is Lyme disease a relatively recent illness?
Dr Rawls believes the answer lies in problems with the immune system. Unlocking Lyme explains why these problems occur and how they allow stealth microbes, such as Borrelia, to flourish.
To me, this theory makes perfect sense. This is the point in the book where fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, arthritis and auto-immune conditions get added to the mix.
Dr Rawls explains the relationship between these chronic illnesses and from this point on, the book is relevant to sufferers of these illnesses too.
Testing for Lyme disease
Testing for Lyme disease can feel overwhelming and confusing. Unlocking Lyme discusses what the different tests available for Lyme disease are and explains the problems and limitations of current testing.
Unfortunately, no test can rule out Lyme disease and many people will receive false negative results.
Beyond Lyme disease, Dr Rawls discusses other tests that may hold benefit and he shares how to get the most out of the conventional medical system. This includes how to find the right doctor and how to establish a good relationship with them.
The most important part of this chapter, though, is the discussion of self-assessment. Dr Rawls emphasises that you do not need to spend thousands on tests and Lyme specialists to start getting better.
You can become your own health advocate and you can take steps towards better health. The book goes on to guide you on how to do this.
Therapies for getting well
Unlocking Lyme provides a holistic approach to recovery. Dr Rawls discusses the strategies that are available to tackle Lyme disease, most of which are also relevant to fibromyalgia and ME/CFS.
He splits therapies into three different categories: restorative, symptomatic and heroic. Each category is explained and Dr Rawls discusses the therapies that may provide benefit.
Restorative therapies focus on reducing the factors that cause illness and allow the natural healing systems of the body to flourish. This includes herbal therapies, which are the cornerstone of restorative therapy.
Dr Rawls believes that restorative therapies provide the most comprehensive benefit.
In Unlocking Lyme, you will discover a core herbal protocol for treating Lyme disease (which is also helpful for fibromyalgia and ME/CFS). The recommendations given are all backed by references from scientific literature.
Dr Rawls also discusses the benefits of herbal therapies, the different types of herbal preparations available and how to source high-quality herbs.
He also goes on to discuss curbing inflammation, rebuilding collagen, restoring brain and nerve health, eye health, mast cell hypersensitivity and enhanced immune support.
Symptomatic therapies, as the name suggests, help to alleviate symptoms. This would include painkillers and sleep medications, as examples.
Dr Rawls discusses when symptomatic therapies are indicated, how to use them safely and the limitations of using them.
There are chapters dedicated dealing problems related to sleep, anxiety, depression and pain relief. Medications and natural therapies to reduce symptoms are also discussed.
Finally, heroic therapies are designed to acutely and directly inhibit the processes of disease. Heroic therapies discussed include oxidative therapies, electrical/energy therapies and natural heroic therapies, such as bee sting therapy and stem cell therapy.
Synthetic antibiotics also fall under the category of heroic therapies. Dr Rawls has dedicated a chapter of Unlocking Lyme to discuss when antibiotics are indicated in the treatment of Lyme. He also talks about the limitations of antibiotic therapy.
Setbacks & Relapses
One of the most beneficial chapters in the book discusses setbacks and relapses. Personally, I think this is one of the most difficult aspects of Lyme disease (and other chronic illnesses). You see improvements and then all of a sudden, you experience a flare-up of symptoms.
Setbacks can feel devastating, but Dr Rawls explains that setbacks are an expected part in the course of recovery. It’s reassuring to know that, with time and the right approach, we will overcome setbacks.
Dr Rawls outlines the common causes of setbacks and provides guidelines to help you get yourself back on track. Of course, sometimes we don’t know what has caused a setback but the advice offered still applies.
The final chapters of the book are dedicated to essential support that will help us in our recovery. This includes getting ourselves into the right mindset and curbing toxic threats.
There are chapters dedicated to healing the gut; cleaning up our environment; mold and mycotoxins; the adrenals, thyroid and menopause; and being active in the right way.
The book concludes with setting expectations for recovery.
I would recommend this book
I would definitely recommend picking up a copy of Unlocking Lyme. As I mentioned, Unlocking Lyme offers a holistic approach to healing.
The information and strategies outlined in the book are not only helpful Lyme sufferers but also those who suffer from other chronic illnesses, such as fibromyalgia and ME/CFS. The book is even helpful if you do not have a concrete diagnosis.
If you want to take control of your health and are interested in learning about strategies that will help you to alleviate symptoms, this is the book for you.
You can purchase Unlocking Lyme directly from RawlsMD.com.
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* I received a copy of Unlocking Lyme in exchange for an honest review on my blog. Although the book was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.