I recently suggested that LDI was one of the most exciting new things I had encountered in 2015 in the treatment of Lyme, and I think it will continue to be a top new treatment in 2016 based on all of the patients and practitioners I have spoken to about it. Is it a home-run for everyone? No, nothing is. Can it cause major flares and Herxheimer reactions? Yes, absolutely. So, please don't think that LDI is a panacea, but it makes total sense to me, and I am very excited about it.
What is LDI? LDI is Low Dose Immunotherapy. It is based on the foundational work of EPD (Enzyme Potentiated Desensitization) which goes all the way back to the 1960's and was developed by Dr. Leonard M. McEwen, M.D.. It is an immunotherapy that can treat many different types of allergies, and one that I personally did shortly after I became ill in the late 90's. At the time, it consisted of an injection every 8 weeks and a 3 day avoidance period around each injection where I stayed home and ate nothing but water and special bagels made from potato flour that I had flown in from Dallas each round. EPD evolved into LDA (Low Dose Allergen) with the work of W.A. Shrader, Jr., MD in New Mexico. I have spoken about EPD/LDA in my web site since 2005. Many different EPD/LDA mixes were available such as foods, chemicals, inhalants (dusts, molds, pollens), and more.
Within the past 1-2 years, LDI has emerged as a further evolution to the earlier EPD/LDA work. LDI has been pioneered by Ty R. Vincent, MD in Alaska. What's different about LDI? Well, the most exciting thing is that there is now the ability to treat infections with LDI. The most exciting news is that there is an LDI mix that contains a number of different infections common in people with Lyme disease; and it includes common co-infections. Dr. Klinghardt has said for as long as I can remember that the bugs themselves were not the main cause of our symptoms, but that our immune system's response to the bugs was the driver of many of our symptoms; namely an overactive or hyperactive immune response. LDI works by educating the immune system to have tolerance and to not bring out the machine guns and create massive inflammation when all that may be needed is a BB gun.
I've talked to people who had a major or complete resolution of symptoms with LDI. One person I spoke with had nearly recovered from Lyme but still had neck pain daily at an 8 on a 1-10 scale and after a couple of rounds of LDI, reported it was down to a 0-2. That's impressive.
The secret sauce of the LDI therapy is finding the right dilution of a given mix for each person. If the dilution is too high/too weak, nothing may happen. If the dilution is too low/too strong, a major flare can occur. If the dilution is the right one, magic may happen as the immune system learns how to better interact with the microbes in the body.
LDI goes far beyond Lyme and can be helpful for foods, chemicals, inhalants (including molds), Candida, and much more. Another exciting option is autologous LDI where a remedy is made from your own nasal washings, urine, or similar. I think this is even more exciting, but not everyone offers this as the procedure to create the remedy is a bit more involved.
As of early 2016, I have done LX Foods (low dose), MX Foods (medium dose), inhalants, and LDI from nasal washings. I plan to continue with LDI likely for the remainder of 2016 and see how far it can take me with some of the remaining inflammation I have had in my neck and shoulders. With EPD/LDA, all of my past treatments were done via injection. With LDI, it can be done with injections or sublingually, and thus far, I have done them all sublingually.
It will take more time to see how many people LDI can help, and the flares can be really rough for some, but I am very excited about it and very happy that we have a potentially powerful new ally in the treatment of Lyme disease and all that comes with it.
Some additional resources:
- Low Dose Immunotherapy (LDI): A Promising Treatment for Chronic Lyme Disease and ME/CFS by Sergio Ballesteros, B.Eng. (shared with permission)
- Interview with Ty Vincent MD on Dr. Neil Nathan's Radio Show
- Ty Vincent Interview with Dennis Courntey Part 1
- Ty Vincent Interview with Dennis Courtney Part 2
- Ty Vincent Interview with Dennis Courtney Part 3
- LDI Treating Lyme Interview with Dennis Courtney
- LDA Dr. Butch Shrader Interview with Dennis Courtney
- Explanation of LDI from Dr. Nicola McFadzean ND
- LDA Article from Dr. Butch Shrader in Townsend Letter
- LDI for Lyme (Facebook group)
If there are things that you'd like to see added to this page to make it more helpful, please Contact Me.
Update December 2017: The focus of my LDI/LDA personally was foods and inhalants. I also did the nasal washing LDI for several rounds. I have not done the microbial mixes to date as they did not seem to test energetically for me with Autonomic Response Testing. As of this update, I have not used LDI/LDA for over a year, but I'm open to revisiting if it appears to be needed in the future.