New Report, Lyme Disease and Aspartame by James Bowen, M.D.

Betty Martini mission-possible-usa at altavista.net
Mon Dec 4 10:15:12 EST 2000


To: "aspartame at onelist.com" <aspartame at onelist.com>
Subject: Lyme Disease Is Sexually Transmitted, Produces AutoImmune
Self
  Destruction Which Is Reactivated by Aspartame.   by James Bowen,
M.D. 


Lyme Disease and Aspartame Disease are tragically conjoined Twins.
Aspartame can cause Lyme disease and the Lyme treponema can cause the
same hyperautoimmunicity and  resultant hyperautoimmunity destructions
that aspartame does. American medicine unfortunately overlooks the
basics that have long been known about Lyme Disease.


Aspartame can activate Lyme Disease  in people who have the infection
but  would  not experience Lyme Disease because unimpaired by the ill
effects of aspartame the Lyme treponema would without hazard be
eliminated by a competent immune response. In addition, I think those
who have had Lyme Disease and achieved a "cure" may experience a
relapse upon exposure to aspartame or other sensitizing agents even
though the Lyme treponema has been eliminated from their body.


Lyme Disease has been known under other names in the British Isles for
about a hundred years.   The British and continental experience could
also serve well as a learning model in the US.  The other reason that
an apparent  lack of understanding exists on these topics in the US is
that the US has defacto, virtual full control of the press by the
government and the establishment to protect the undefendable aspartame
in spite of  constitutional provisions to the contrary.  Whether with
respect to Aspartame Disease or Lyme Disease "hypersensitivity" and
hyperautoimmunicity can be used interchangeably to describe the
particular immunologic disorder engendered in either case whereby the
human immune system is left so impaired that it can readily be
stimulated to a severe autoimmune attack on the human organism itself:
"hyperautoimmunity".   One of aspartame's hyperautoimmunity damages is
chemical hypersensitivity, poly or multiple chemical sensitivity
syndrome, "aroma sensitivity" etc.


To save words this article will use hyperautoimmunity to denote
disease and pathology caused by autoimmune attack deriving from
hypersensitivity/hyperautoimmunicity.  The common ground/common
immunologic event shared by aspartame and Lyme Disease is that the
hypersensitivity that is induced is largely caused by denatured human
protein interacting with the human immune system in either case.  This
leads to striking interactivity between the two diseases on one hand
and similar therapeutic hardships for the afflicted patient on the
other.  It is about equally hard to find a competent medical caregiver
for either condition in the US because the available information just
isn't put to the attention of most physicians in a credible manner. To
treat either condition effectively requires a large measure of courage
as well as independent expertise even though the treatments are
logical, simple, safe and avail the patient immense benefit.


It seems quite overlooked that the hyperautoimmuninicity stimulated by
the treponema and the resulting hyperautoimmunity are the major cause
of the various symptoms of Lyme Disease.  This explains why, what
usually might be considered an adequate antimicrobial approach for
more straight forward infectious processes is found to be inadequate
for Lyme Disease.  It can also explain why that from the earliest
experiences with Lyme Disease in the US until the present time that
the patients most grievously afflicted by Lyme Disease and who are
urgently in need of treatment for it are highly likely to be
serologically negative and test negative for Lyme Disease. Experienced
centers that treat significant volumes of Lyme disease cases have
coined this phenomenon "sero negative Lyme disease" because a majority
of the patients most grieviously afflicted by Lyme disease are indeed
sero negative.


One such clinic performed a follow through search for live organisms
on their cases and were able to culture Lyme treponema in 91% of sero
negatives.  Remarkable confirmation because isolating the organism is
a highly technical task.


Three known biological mechanisms explain sero negativity in active
Lyme disease.


First:  Since hypersensitivity/hyper autoimmunity is the
pathophysiologic mechanism the damages can be produced rapidly and in
response to a minuscule innoculum.   Second:  Hypersensitivity results
from production of abnormal amounts of abnormal  IGG which forms an
"IGG blockade" to sero positivity.


The highly pleomorphic profile of the Lyme surface antigens can
totally omit various antigens.  For example, the immunologically
dominant and often tested for Osp A has been found to be persistently
lacking in some regional phases of treponemae.  If your immune system
can mount an appropriate and adequate response, you may test positive
and be able to eliminate the disease without damages and the disease
will often be self limiting; completely cured without antimicrobial
therapy of any kind.  If you lack that kind of immunocompetence you
likely will not produce a positive titer  in any case and your immune
system may be diverted to attacking your own body with autoimmune
destruction while not affecting the Lyme treponema at all.


The hyperautoimmunicity engendered by Aspartame and/or Lyme Disease is
probably the "blocking factor" that immunologists are looking for to
explain why serologic Lyme Disease testing often does not work.  Thus,
for many people with negative Lyme titers, it is a devastating disease
with intolerable consequences arising from its not being vigorously
and thoroughly treated.  Of the 53 laboratory tests currently
available, none yield accurate negative results.  Lyme therapy experts
can only say that hopefully we will have therapeutically significant
testing available in the future but that at present we simply do not.


The destruction arising from leaving undetected Lyme Disease untreated
may be immediately evident or may occur in the near or distant future
as is also true of its close cousin syphilis.  Yes, Lyme Disease can
be spread venerally and  in several other ways. So a  "bite" may never
have occurred and the classic "erythema migrans" rash may  never be
observed.  In the long term, how does and how can a miniscule and
fragile micro-organism like the Lyme spirochete survive the attack of
the human immune system?  The spirochete's microscopic, near bacterial
size and wormlike proportions with relatively large surface area
should make it readily subject to immune destruction after the 10-60
days or so it usually takes for the immune system to mount an adequate
response to a new foreign protein.


Being a matador is a good analog to the "bait and switch" games the
Lyme spirochete plays with the immune system to prevent an appropriate
immune response from destroying it.  The bull fighter would be quickly
destroyed if the bull could simply get a horn in him and remain
unrestrained to finish the job.  The matador achieves mastery of the
situation by inciting the bull to charge him and then by avoiding
bodily contact,  changing the bull's charge into a near miss which
only wears the bull down leading to more and more destruction of the
bull.  The matador also has a red flag that he can manipulate with
various wiggles and waves to further confuse and disorientate the bull
and engage the bull in self destructive charges.


Because of their small size and shape and mobility the treponemae
cannot depend on thick cuticles (secretions of defensive mucoid
shields) or encapsulating themselves as other larger parasitic
organisms do, to protect themselves.  They would be completely
destroyed by any competent immune attack.  The treponema  much like
the matador can accomplish only avoidance.  They use two (2)
mechanisms;  "game playing" and being "fast on their feet".  They play
the game of "let's you and him fight" with the human immune system and
body, getting the body itself to be the focus of the immune attack
rather than the treponemae.  It accomplishes this by making the major
known immunologically dominant  constant component of its surface a
human protein, only slightly denatured called Osp A.  Osp A is nearly
identical to a human protein called LFA-1.  The very small difference
is just enough to elicit immune system response with destruction of
the treponemae in the immunocompetent  but eliciting hyper auto
immunicity in those with lesser immune competence in this regards.
Aspartame likewise creates denatured human proteins of the body's own
tissues with no healthy alternative insofar as hypersensitivity is
concerned.


Lyme vaccines, presently available, are based on Osp A and it is
stated the immunoglobulins produced enter the tick's digestive tract
as it bites thus destroying the Lyme organisms before they can ever
reach the human body.  Not surprisingly, some people have accused the
Osp A vaccines of having caused severe knee damage by stimulating
destructive arthritis.  This correlates well with the fact that Lyme
arthritis almost invariably affects the knees but other joints with
less frequency.  This pattern reflects the tremendous physical stress
imposed on the knees inherent to knee kinesiology.  The Osp A is
considered an "arthrogenic antigen".


The immune difficulties are further complicated by the fact  the
spirochete can constantly keep changing which genetic information it
expresses in its surface proteins.  This "gene surfing" is very
analogous to the matador confusing and agitating the bull with his red
flag.  Even as the human immune system may attempt to self correct,
different antigenic pictures demanding immediate destruction are
presented on the organism's surface - again and again - faster than
the immune system can mount an effective response against it.  Thus in
the less immuno-competent the human body itself becomes the only
readily and constantly target for immune attack and destruction.


A comparable example is the situation with "flu" vaccines.  If the flu
virus strain mutates, even slightly, the antibodies elicited by the
vaccine just aren't effective against the flu bug.  Lyme Disease
damages and some of aspartame's damages are hyperautoimmunity
destruction based on inappropriate immune response to denatured human
protein.


It is no surprise then  the two diseases can, and often do, produce
identical problems.  It should likewise be possible, once a pattern of
autoimmune destruction has been established in either case, that the
persistent hyperautoimmunicity (after the situation has been quieted
down) will produce the same disease pattern as at least part of the
response when hyperautoimmunity is reactivated by either agent.
Exposure to aspartame can cause the Lyme disease process to recur
after the Lyme organism has been eliminated from the body.  Likewise
the Lyme organism can cause recurrence of the hyperautoimmune
destruction caused by aspartame such as the Persian Gulf Syndrome and
the others already mentioned.  The chemical hyper reactivity
engendered by either disease can yield recurrences of either upon
exposure to other noxious chemicals at levels undetectable to "normal"
or unafflicted individuals.  Therefore, in those already
immunologically deranged by aspartame, Lyme Disease will often be
atypical: lacking the usual 10 to 14 day incubation period etc because
immediate autoimmune hyper reactivity already exists and is already
subject to an immediately fulminant and virulent response to very low
doses of the treponemal antigen.  This mutual synergism/activation
phenomena between aspartame poisoning and Lyme Disease persists so
that the activation of Lyme destruction is possible at almost anytime
amongst the large segment of our population sensitized by aspartame
exposure.  Even pollen seasons and fungal blooms with airborne spores
now are problems of severe hyperautoimmunity for the hypersensitized
and can be expected to produce full blown autoimmune destructive
processes without treponemal reinfection nor exposure to aspartame
itself.


This ill considered knowledge is not new to medicine.  One classic
medical case of destructive hyperautoimmunicity is lupus erythematosus
known to be stimulated to reoccur upon exposure to various chemicals,
many of them so innocuous as to be included amongst commonly used
medicines.


The need for higher doses of properly selected antibiotics used for a
much longer term than in most infections reflect two aspects of Lyme
infection.  The treponemae are somewhat larger and more complex
organisms than most pathogenic bacteria and are thus harder to
eliminate for that reason alone.  Moreover, an appropriate immune
response is an essential component  of the successful treatment of any
infection.  Without it there is little hope of cure.  This brings us
back to the Lyme "matador" and its "switch and bait" defense and its
fast footed "antigen surfing" to further disrupt immunologic
competence.  This antigenic "channel surfing" can completely prevent
the immune system from destroying the treponema on one hand while
continuing to promote aggravated hyperautoimmunologic damages on the
other.


In addition to the usual anti microbial actions, the high dose long
term antibiotics needed appear to assist the immune system with two
(2) important mechanisms.  The first as is stated by some experts is
that it  "roughs up" the treponemal surface allowing the immune system
a better chance to differentiate Osp A from human antigens and focus
an immune attack on it since the human cells are more resistant to
damage from the appropriate antimicrobial agents.   Secondly by
inhibiting and slowing treponemal metabolic processes it can slow down
the "mutation"  of surface genetic expression so the immune system can
"catch up" and properly identify the pathogen for destruction  and in
conjunction with the antibiotic eliminate the trepanemae.  Since the
treponemae are independently of each other "mutating" their expressed
surface antigens it only makes sense that it will take some time for
the immune system to catch up to all their various expressed forms and
eliminate them all.


In all hyperautoimmunity diseases, cure depends on avoidance of the
inciting stimuli as one of the keystones of achieving a measure of
good health.  In Lyme Disease, that includes successful eradicating of
the Lyme organism and avoiding the other mentioned immunologic
stimuli.  This explains much of the confusion surrounding the clinical
response.  Some patients require prolonged antibiotics but get well
only after the antibiotics are stopped.  Very likely the antibiotic
itself or some other substance given with it such as a preservative
dye or capsule coating, ie methyl cellulose,  was keeping the
hyperautoimmunity fully activated.   Most experts who regularly treat
recurrent Lyme Disease now prefer a 60 day antibiotic regimen.


The picture is further complicated by governmental bureaucracy which
often requires a positive Lyme titer prior to treatment as a
"community standard of practice".  This is highly dangerous to those
afflicted with Lyme Disease for several reasons


1.   The titer is negative in two thirds of cases of active Lyme
Disease.
2.   Even a larger percentage of cases are negative after antibiotic
administration.
3.  Active Lyme cases who have ever once had a positive response to
antibiotic therapy almost never exhibit a positive titer thereafter.
4.  The worst cases of Lyme Disease most frequently do not have a
positive titer.
5.  At best the titer will not turn positive for 10-60 days which is
too late for those already having  pre-existant autoimmunity -
pre-existing hyperautoimmunicity.


The Lyme sufferer must therefore quickly find a physician who is
knowledgeable of Lyme Disease and its treatment (rare) and rarer still
possessed of the courage to defy bureauacy and proceed with adequate
therapy!  Even more rare would be to find such a physician also
possessed of knowledge of hyperautoimmunicity chemical
hypersensitivity and aspartame toxicity.


The need for immunotherapy may vary and techniques are varied.  A
universally applicable one is to maintain a proper mineral balance for
immune system function.  I prefer kelp  selenium - 200 mcg per day
because in addition to selenium it contains copper, a whole host of
trace minerals from the sea.  Sea Sel is one brand with which I am
familiar.


A case to illustrate the above  follows.  The subject is a 61 year old
male, retired physician and patient who had previously been poisoned
by aspartame;  low calorie Kool-Aid in 1983.  The problems encountered
following the original episode included a toxic cardiomyopathy,
classic symptoms of methyl alcohol poisoning, depression and Lou
Gehrig's symptoms which cleared fairly well after discontinuing
aspartame.  He was left with striking hypersensitivity and
hyperautoimmunicity.  Typical of chemical hypersensitivity,  the
patient, otherwise free of symptoms when in pristine environments and
thus would  be relatively non-reactive to an infrequent inadvertent
exposure.  If the the hypersensitivity was flared by other exposures
eg aspartame, it could cause violent pathologic reactions to even a
minimal subsequent chemical stimulus. His reactions included
everything commonly associated with hypersensitivity eg diabetes,
neurodenenerative disease or any allergic or auto immuno phenomena
depending on the inciting stimulus and the status of his hyper
autoimmunicity at the moment.  Sounds confusing to some, but a
situation well known to those so afflicted and physicians who care for
them.  As experienced allergists say "in the hypersensitive individual
'allergy' can produce any symptoms of any disease process in any
system in the body".


The subject was selected by two ticks as dinner while walking across a
rest area in Lincoln, Nebraska in August 1995.  The ticks, undetected
by him, attached themselves to the back of one of his knees.  The pain
was soon noticeable and at the end of his shift his wife noticed the
ticks and removed them.  The atypical local reactions continued to be
extreme, with painful swelling and reddening.  Flu like symptoms with
fatigue, joint pains, muscle aches and headache rapidly ensued - again
an atypical immediate response due to this aspartame induced
hypersensitivity.  The symptoms increased in severity over the next 36
hours until his arrival in Portland, Oregon, where the subject
presented to the Veterans' Administration Emergency Room with
meningismus in addition to the other findings.  He was treated for
Lyme Disease with Doxycycline,100 mg twice daily for 14 days (most
experts would give Doxycycline for 20-30 days at this juncture and for
a 260 lb man,100 mg dosage twice daily is a questionably inadequate
dosage).


A Lyme titer was negative at that time.  The response was very
beneficial and the subject took no further thought about the Lyme
episode after this.  Over the ensuing years, the chemical
hypersensitivity flare ups progressively worsened: arthritis
(especially in the knees) as well as various neurological sequelae and
dermatologic manifestations etc.  When in contaminated environments
his blood sugars became progressively elevated but fell to normal when
in pristine environments, only to again elevate and require vigorous
insulin and oral agent treatments to control them when chemical
exposures occurred.


By late 1999 the arthritis took a turn for the worse and "joint mice"
manifested themselves in both knees.  These are osteocartilaginous
loose bodies broken free from the articular surfaces that can slip in
and out between the knee joint and the bursae - under the shin at
times.  When in the joints, these were quite damaging and painful.
When the subject went to the VA Emergency Room he was belittled by
being offered only psychiatric care even though he had properly and
efficiently explained the meaning of all terms used.  All competent
medical personnel should be able to understand the term "joint mice"
and shouldn't have to have it explained but, in this case, even
explanations couldn't avoid an attack on his sanity, in spite of the
fact  these erosive processes are classical findings of knee arthritis
from recurrent Lyme meds and the patient had previously been treated
in that same emergency room for Lyme symptoms from tick bites.  This
was only one of several such denials of real medical care and attempts
at intimidation this doctor was subjected to for blowing the whistle
on aspartame.


This bold denial of any real therapy was contrary to the
specifications by the Lyme Disease  Foundation and the CDC (Center For
Disease Control) that Lyme symptoms must be treated because of the
tragic results of leaving them untreated.   The knees needless to say,
thanks partly to their diligent neglect continued to worsen.  By
Spring 2000, the now chronically stimulated hyper auto
immunity/chemical hypersensitivity had so worsened that a brief Spring
pollen bloom caused a devastating "flu" episode.


The diabetes blood picture usually resolved in the summer in Portland
when the pollen and fungal spore blooms were past and the weather was
dry and warm and the severe industrial pollution was relieved because
the inversion layer effects in the Williamette Valley had cleared
allowing the atmospheric pollutants to be rapidly carried away.  This
would usually allow  the discontinuation of all hypoglycemic agents
for the summer - not so for the summer of 2000.  The blood sugar
picture worsened.


Other symptoms rapidly ensued.  His knees became severely disabled.
Then the left ankle turned to "mush" and lost ligamentous integrity.
Other joints began at times to show arthritic inflammation,
tenosynovitis of the shoulders occurred.  Synovitis of the neck became
a permanent feature. In recurrent Lyme Disease this occurs in
continuity with an autoimmune cervical meningitis.  The subject who
never bruised at insulin injection sites began to show strikingly
symmetrical bruising in neat circular patterns centered around each
and every injection site.  Polymyalgia and fibromyalgia symptoms
ensued. Then extreme weakness and fatigue  was accompanied by cranial
and upper cervical nerve problems with partial numbness of the right
side of the face and partial facial nerve paralysis of the left nares
with dilation and fasiculation so rapid and persistent  the subject
felt compelled to check his pulse to make sure this wasn't an
aneurysmic phenomenon.  The check revealed  the nasal fasiculations
were just that and didn't coincide in any way with pulse rate,  rythym
or timing.


Carefully reviewing his own medical history for a clue (his physicians
at the VA had not) revealed  he had almost every symptom of recurrent
Lyme Disease.  This included, by now, various types of radiculo
neuropathies throughout his body but particularly striking from the
cervical nerve roots.  His neural paralysis of the right chest from an
episode of the plague contacted while medically serving an orphanage
in Vietnam in 1968 worsened to the point he was experiencing severe
right shoulder pain, weakness and trouble with his right hand control.
His previous experience with the apparently poorly trained and
possibly improperly motivated personnel at the Portland VA ER led the
subject to go to the public library and on the internet to do a ten
year review of the medical literature on  Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis
and related topics.  A few hours well spent before his futile visit to
the Portland VA ER where he was denied treatment of any kind on the
basis that "they wouldn't treat Lyme Disease there" capped off with
the  lie  they couldn't draw a Lymes titer there - both untrue and
irrelevant to the subject's misery state and highly damaging disease
status.


Going back to his medical cabinet, untreated by the VA, he luckily
found a supply of Doxycycline tablets unused from a previous facial
injury and was able to take them 200 mg twice/day for 5 days until his
scheduled urgent care visit at the VA.  On Doxycycline, the blood
sugar levels dramatically dropped to normal.  The brusing and platelet
difficulties quickly resolved, the arthritis improved incrementally
day by day until almost his usual functional level for the first time
in months.  The polymyalgia and cervical synovitis cleared
dramatically.  The facial and cranial nerve problems resolved, the
fatigue lifted.  During the 5-6 day period until his appointment he
was inadvertently away from the Doxycycline for one day and Lyme
symptoms  began to relapse while he was unexpectedly caught out of
town on a trip.


This case history gives a striking picture:


1. getting virtually all the findings of recurrent Lyme Disease;
2. the successful treatment by Doxycycline;
3. the temporary relapse whilst off Doxycycline;
4. the complete resolution in response to the use of the high dose
Doxycycline and the greatly improved status of the subject at the
visit.


This was the best,  most objective information on the subject's
condition and needs that the VA physicians would ever have.  Instead
of treating the patient  the VA physician gave the subject a stern
lecture about treating himself - totally ignoring his interim misery
and pathology - only ordering a Lyme titer and refusing to give any
other treatment.


The subject's regular VA clinic physician also refused to see him
until January 2001, again boldly defying CDC regulations.   The
subject was off Doxycycline for about a week until he could arrange
for help from better medical caregivers during which time all of the
symptoms,  except the facial and cranial nerve problems recurred.
Belatedly back on Doxycycline, the problems began again to resolve
somewhat but much more slowly.  No competent or caring physician would
ever recommend interrupting partially completed successful therapy of
a complicated infectious problem nor concern of allowing immuniologic
reflaring of a destructive hyperautoimmine process as the VA doctors
did.  The botched therapeutic regimen was not as rapidly effective
now.  The structural physical damage to the neck, knees, ankles and
peripheral nerves were allowed to progress unabatted due to the
diligent neglect by the VA physicians and so far that is not promising
happy results.  This unfortunate scenario and the associated Lyme
literature research have served as the inspirations for this article
to illustrate some of the problems generated in our medical care
systems by its unwillingness to factor in the tremendous damages from
aspartame on a worldwide basis.


Only acknowledgement of such damage would allow aspartame sufferers to
get adequate treatment and avoid tremendous damages to themselves as
well as to the financial structure of our medical care and
compensation/pension systems.  Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a
classic case of destructive hyperautoimmune disease: some cases even
require  the ultimate treatment of hyper auto immunicity -  immune
ablation with chemotherapy and irradiation followed by stem cell
transplantation.  The strong ties sometimes discovered between this
disease and Lyme Disease only serve to emphasize the auto immune
nature of the destructive processes of Lyme Disease.  The name Lyme
Disease comes from an episode in the Lyme County area of Conneticut
when physicians investigating a cluster outbreak of juvenile
rheumatoid arthritis in the region discovered tick bites as a common
factor in all cases and conducted an epidemiiological search for a
causitive agent and identified the Lyme treponema as a possible agent.
This unfortunately led to a "tunnel vision" approach focussing on Lyme
Disease as only a typical infectious disease which firstly ignored
that juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a very destructive hyper
autoimmunicity disease.  The hyper autoimmunicity involved is a key to
adequate understanding of the nature and therapy of Lyme Disease.
Secondly, the excellent information to be gleaned from the British and
European experience with the treponemae and their treatment were and
are by and large ignored.  Thus pseudo scientific approaches treating
the very fallible lab tests instead of the very sick patients have
often gained the uppermost in physicians' minds with disastrous
results for the patients.


 The cardiac conduction system and the cardiac muscle are afflicted by
both aspartame and Lyme Disease.  In Europe empiric pre surgical
treatment of dilated cardiomyopathy with antibiotic regimen for Lyme
Disease has in may instances resolved the problems without surgery.
The single largest category of patients awaiting cardiac
transplantation in the US relates to patients with dilated
cardiomyopathy.  Just think of the possibility of avoiding many of
those procedures if the issues of possible Lyme etiology and Aspartame
Disease are fully addressed in these cases.  Other issues arising out
of aspartame toxicity are similarly expensive.  Over 10 years ago, Dr
Hyman Roberts, a West Palm Beach Board Certified Internist  identified
cases that wasted over $60,000 on unnecessary  lab and medical
diagnostic procedures when aspartame ingestion was their only
correctible medical problem.


James Bowen, M.D.
c/o 1720 North Watts
Portland, Oregon 97217
      November 2000


The following references were used in research of this article.  (For
more information on aspartame see www.dorway.com and the Aspartame
Toxicity Center, www.holisticmed.com/aspartame)


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American Family Physician, June 99, Vol 59, Issue 11, p323, Kirchner,
Jeffrey T.
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for Environmental Research, Environmental Health Perspective
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