Frequently Asked Questions

When you have questions, please  look here first.  If you do not find an answer here, please email Sandy at   This will help us keep track of questions we need to add to the FAQ page.

How long will my treatment last?   That depends on your genetics, how ill you are, how long you were ill before you got help and how many problems you have (mold, Lyme, co-infections, hormone dysregulation, etc, etc)

Antibiotics:   This applies to antibiotics taken for Lyme or other tick borne infections:  If you call my office with antibiotic problems, you will be told to stop the antibiotics and make another appointment.  I cannot tell without seeing you how strongly you are reacting and will always err on the side of stopping the antibiotics for a few days.  NEVER skip antibiotics or  lower the dose.  Lowering the dose leads to antibiotic resistance – and more problems down the road.   It is better simply to stop them. 

Reaction to an antibiotic: 
Allergic reaction; If you have a reaction such as hives shortness of breath or a growing rash you need to stop the antibiotic and go to the ER if your symptoms worsen or persist.  Contact our office so we can figure out a different treatment plan.
Digestive issues; Stop the medicine and take higher doses of probiotics for a week then try to resume.  You can take both saccharomyces and bacterial probiotics.   If you have diarrhea that persists after you stop the antibiotics, particularly if you have been in a hospital of nursing home while on the antibiotics, you need to be tested further and will need to have an appointment. 
Worsening of symptoms:  Herxheimer reaction:  Often when antibiotics start to kill the Lyme spirochete, for your immune system will react strongly to the dying spirochetes.  This immune reaction, known as the Herxheimer reaction, usually lasts less than a week, but you should be on the lookout for symptoms that could be life threatening, Serious Herxheimer reactions include a large drop in blood pressure, seizures, and difficulty swallowing or breathing.  If you experience any of the above serious reactions, stop taking your medications immediately and call your doctor or go the the Emergency Room.    Lyme treating doctors vary in their level of comfort with the Herxheimer reaction.  I believe that severe symptoms are taxing to the body and indicate that toxins are being created faster than they are being cleared.   If you are suffering from a strong reaction while taking antibiotics, you may stop them and make an appointment to come in and discuss other options. 

How are Lyme and Coinfections Diagnosed?  Huge controversy surrounds the testing and treatment of Lyme and co-infections.  There are no perfect tests for anything.  In Lyme testing, though there are many tests, each has problems.   In the end, Lyme is diagnosed based on the clinical picture (symptoms). 

Should I exercise? People with Systemic Inflammation do not have good blood flow through their capillaries.  This means that they do not effectively deliver oxygen  to muscles during exercise.   Without this oxygen the tissues cannot effectively burn food to produce energy.   This is a problem for you if you feel significant muscle pain and fatigue after exercising.   If this is your problem, the key is to go very slowly.  It will damage your tissues and further inflame you to try to push through the pain.  Instead, you need to be very consistent, with stretching every day and gentle aerobic exercise that increases in duration very slowly over time.   As you regain health you will again be able to exercise.  Just take it slowly. 


Home Dr. Cathryn Harbor, M.D.