So how does hyperthermia work and why has it been a helpful Lyme disease treatment?
The pain in your joints can be so bad at times you can hardly move. Accompanying this pain is the stiffness you feel in your neck. It takes a while to slowly turn your head in either direction. You experience chills, fevers and swollen lymph nodes.
Muscle pain, neuropathy, depression, trouble concentrating, and sleep related problems may also appear from time to time.
If you have had these symptoms, then you know how devastating Lyme disease can be in your life. You are likely to the point where you will try anything to eliminate the symptoms of Lyme. Better yet, you are ready for any treatment with the ability to get rid of your Lyme disease altogether.
There are many people who feel and think the same. Some have found success with a process called medically induced hyperthermia therapy.
What is Medically Induced Hyperthermia Therapy?
Working with a Lyme disease specialist, you will create a plan for hyperthermia treatments. These treatments involve a carefully administered process in which the temperature of your body is increased to a degree that will kill the bacteria associated with Lyme disease.
Some doctors induce hyperthermia through exogenous substances, like toxins, or with oxidative agents like UV lights. Some doctors focus on whole body hyperthermia.
A newer, more effective treatment is called Hypothermia by Extracorporeal Photopheresis. In this process, your blood is heated and treated specifically. Your blood flows into a sterile chamber where it is heated by UV and Gamma Rays to a temperature that can destroy bacteria associated with Lyme.
During this process, Lyme specialists may also introduce IV antibiotics, photo sensitizing agents and oxidative therapies to enhance the elimination of bacteria.
Your doctor will help you determine which types of hyperthermia will work best for you. The types are based on temperature degrees.
Types of Hyperthermia
There are three types of hyperthermia: local, regional and whole body. Local hyperthermia therapy means a specific area, like a single tumor, is heated through a variety of methods. Regional hyperthermia is used to treat larger areas, like an organ or specific set of tissues.
With whole body hyperthermia, your entire body is placed in a thermal chamber that greatly controls each step of the process. Slowly, the temperature in the chamber is increased so that your body’s temperature carefully rises to a temperature of 106 to 107 degrees.
At these temperatures, the strains of borrelia in your body and blood die. Temperature levels are also defined regarding hyperthermia therapy.
Extreme Hyperthermia means your body will reach the maximum temperature of 106°F-107°F. Extensive Hyperthermia temperature ranges from 104 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit, while high hyperthermia ranges between 103 and 104 degrees.
Medium Hyperthermia resembles ordinary fevers, like when we get the flu. Temperatures range from 101°F-103°F. Finally, mild hyperthermia keeps your temperature at 98 to 101 degrees Fahrenheit.
The higher the temperature, the better the results.
Why Hyperthermia Works
In the medical field, big words are used to describe simple processes. This can be confusing at times, so I want to simplify the explanation of hyperthermia and how it works.
If you have Lyme disease, this means you have Lyme microbes in your blood. When your body temperature rises to fever levels, the heat kills the microbes. Your blood is cleaner and when antibiotics and oxidative therapies are introduced, they work better, getting into blood cells that may have been blocked by microbes before.
The antibiotics go from ordinary to super-hero.
Before hyperthermia, the antibiotics you were given could not reach the bones and joints and other hideouts where Lyme can spread. With hyperthermia, the antibiotics can reach these places and kill bacteria throughout the body.
Increased body temperature increases blood flow to all the important organs in your body. This means your body is getting more oxygen, which can improve your natural immune system. So, on top of the treatments your doctor is giving you to fight Lyme, your body’s immune system is also participating in the fight.
Is It Safe?
Hyperthermia is only safe if it is controlled by a trained medical professional, using equipment and devices that can monitor your body during the process.
If you are thinking of jumping in an overheated hot tub or warming up a room and sitting in it until you become overheated, you are putting your life at risk.
Medically induced hyperthermia therapy should only be done in a medical facility for these specific purposes. In these situations, hyperthermia is completely safe. Even celebrities like Yolanda Foster are seeking hyperthermia treatment to ease Lyme disease.
Because the body is naturally equipped to use heat to fight infection, hyperthermia is simply enhancing the process in a safe environment.
It’s Not Only for Lyme Disease
Medically induced hyperthermia treatments have been used in treating cancer and is now being investigated for use with those who suffer from Rheumatic diseases.
In treating cancer this procedure may also be called thermotherapy or thermal therapy. The process is the same.
According to the National Cancer Institute, hyperthermia may weaken some cancer cells so that chemotherapy or radiation can kill them. It can also enhance the effectiveness of anti-cancer drugs.
Some studies have proven hyperthermia reduced the size of tumors when combined with other treatments. And not just in one type of cancer, but in many.
Find Your Specialist
If you think hyperthermia is a treatment you would like to try, find the right specialist, one who is highly trained in administration of hyperthermia, as well as the added treatment supplements.
Your doctor should have the right equipment too, with machines reaching the highest temperatures. Quality doctors will provide before and after care services.
Find the doctor who can explain the process to you in a way that makes you feel comfortable in your decision. A good doctor is one who assesses you to see if you are a good candidate, provides the treatment if you are, and provides extensive follow-up care.
The right doctor makes you the top priority throughout the process.