Throughout medical school, Dr. Casey Kelley began asking questions about health, longevity, and healing that conventional medicine could not answer. Seeking those answers, she began studying Functional Medicine to complement her traditional medical studies. Dr. Casey Kelley has been on the forefront of Integrative Medicine treating patients in a highly personalized manner focusing on overall health and wellness in addition to specific issues and diagnoses. Tune in to hear the answers to the questions you’ve most likely been asking for years from a doctor who understands the ins and outs of Chronic Lyme.
Welcome back to the Heal podcast. This is Mimi, and today we have Dr. Casey Kelley. She’s a board certified in family medicine doctor, as well as an integrative medicine doctor. She studied the causes, effects, and treatments of Lyme disease extensively and lectures nationally on this and other topics. Today, Dr. Kelley runs her own practice, Case Integrative Health, in Chicago, Illinois.
Mimi: I’m excited to talk to you, because you are a doctor that is treating Lyme patients, but also have had Lyme. And I think that’s kind of hard to find, because you can relate, and it’s really hard to find a doctor that can relate to you. I mean, I’m going through that now where I have a wonderful doctor, and I’m having a flare-up, and I just feel like I’m at my wit’s end. And I think he’s like, “I don’t even know what to do with you anymore.” You know?
I’d love for you to talk about your personal experience with Lyme.
Diagnosed in Medical School
Dr. Casey Kelley: I think that it’s true. It gives me a little bit of an extra empathetic edge, if you will, having kind of gone through it. Everybody’s experience is so unique with Lyme, and I think that’s part of why it’s so tricky. Right? And hard to treat, is because everybody is so different. But I can at least go, “Yeah, I’ve been there. Done that. I know exactly what you’re going through right now.” So I do think that that kind of gives me an interesting take on patient care and can kind of help people.
But my story is not all that different than so many other people’s story. I was sick for a long time. Started in college, started with fatigue issues. Could no longer be super active like I was in high school. Trouble breathing. Brain fog. Got diagnosed with asthma. Newsflash, that’s not what it is.
Mimi: Now how did you get through school though? There’s actual schoolwork.
Dr. Casey Kelley: Actually med school is where it really hit me. And I don’t know how I got through it. I just, I don’t know. I guess I’m stronger than I think I am. I just kind of barreled through it, but it was pretty miserable. I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know what exactly. I knew I was more tired than my peers, and everybody was tired. Right? We were doing 30-hour shifts. Right? And then you have to go home and study and all this nonsense. But I got diagnosed with POTS when I was in med school. I had to do the tilt table study and all that kind of fun stuff.
Mimi MacLean: Do me a favor and just tell people what POTS is, because I haven’t had anybody talk about that yet.
Dr. Casey Kelley: POTS is postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. It’s a dysautonomia issue, so it’s an autonomic nervous system problem. And, when you stand up, your body is supposed to regulate all of that gravity shifts and things really quickly, so you don’t notice. But, in POTS, you do notice. You get really dizzy and light-headed. Your heart rate starts ramping up. You can pass out. It’s very fatiguing in and of itself. You kind of feel like you’re just running a marathon by standing. And I definitely almost passed out during a surgery when I was a med student. All these issues that you can have, and it’s super common with tick-borne infections. Lyme and Bartonella especially seem to be culprits for it. But it can be very, very scary, and challenging, and exhausting in and of itself.
So got diagnosed with that in med school. Tried different medications and treatments for it. This sort of helped, but they were band-aids. They weren’t actually fixing the problem. I made my way all the way through residency, or med school and residency, and just kind of suffered through some of that stuff until afterwards, when I finally was able to kind of get some more integrative medicine care. And from my own research, as well as seeing an integrative physician and getting some adrenal fatigue taken care of, some gut stuff taken care of, and then along the way, got myself diagnosed with Lyme. And, but it all fits together in hindsight, when you sit there and go, “Oh. Oh, okay, well that explains everything.”
Mimi: But why, when you got the POTS, why wouldn’t that set off a red flag for people? Like, “Hey, maybe it’s Lyme too.”
Dr. Casey Kelley: You would think, but I don’t think it’s all that commonly known, that it’s a big cause of POTS. POTS is still largely misunderstood in and of itself. So when I was going through the diagnosis, there was only a couple places in the country really that knew much about it. And so it’s kind of hard to find information on it to begin with. And it was largely just believed to be idiopathic, which means we don’t know. We don’t know why you have this, so we just treat the symptoms, because there’s no cause that we can find.
And so it’s been linked more and more to different infections over the years. So I think people do look for that, but Lyme is still so misunderstood that a typical conventional either neurologist or cardiologist, who’s going to diagnose the POTS, isn’t going to look for Lyme, so…
Mimi MacLean: You know what amazes me, that you got through medical school with memorizing, just the memory part, the brain fog part. I can’t remember. I used to be able to remember everything. I don’t remember conversations anymore. It’s so hard for me to have any memory. And medical school, I always wanted to be a doctor, and I remember I took my first biology class, and I was like, forget… Or no, it was an anatomy class. And you had to memorize every piece of the body and every word. And I was like, there is no way. I can’t imagine being able to memorize all that having Lyme.
Dr. Casey Kelley: Med school was hard. Med school is really hard. And it’s the amount of information that’s coming at you is more like a fire hose instead of a garden hose. And I’d never had that much information all at once either. I went through some neuropsych testing actually, and was diagnosed with ADD, but I never took any medications. They didn’t really offer them. I didn’t really think that that was the issue, but I was having a really hard time. Yeah.
Mimi: And you became an MD? Right? Not an ND.
Dr. Casey Kelley: Yes. Medical doctor.
Mimi MacLean: So when you graduated, you’re an MD. You think you’re going to go the conventional route. Right? I’m sure that was in the cards. You probably didn’t start medical school thinking, oh, I’m going to become a natural… dealing with Lyme.
Conventional Medicine Rarely Finds the Root Cause
Dr. Casey Kelley: So yeah, once I got to residency, I started to really dig into why people are sick. The conventional paradigm in my training was, find a diagnosis and then give them a medicine. But it was never really, why are they sick? And I’m a family medicine doc, so I’m a general practitioner. So we kind of deal with everything. And there’s a lot of, “Give them this medicine, and when they get a side effect, give them that medicine. And then…”
You just kind of pile on, and no one’s actually going, “Why? Why are they sick?” Even with things like diabetes. Like, “Why are we not asking about their diet? Why are we not doing this more?” And I think we are more over the years, but I just was really disheartened with all of that. And I knew there was more to it.
So I really got into some more Holistic Medicine Association conferences and started educating myself into the functional medicine world, and knew I found my home. I knew that that’s what I wanted to do. So, I did a year of urgent care after residency, but that’s really the only conventional medicine that I’ve practiced. I went right into integrative medicine after that. And I knew that that why, I needed to dig in and find that why.
And I think that’s partly how I ended up with the Lyme thing too, is finding out why. Why, why, why? There’s got to be something else. We’ve got to figure this out.
Mimi: Mm-hmm (affirmative). That’s great. And so can you talk a little bit about your practice now? I mean, are you focusing mostly on Lyme, or are you still a family practice where you treat many different illnesses?
Dr. Casey Kelley: Yeah. No, actually I have my own practice. So I started Case Integrative Health in 2019, and I deal with mostly chronic complex illnesses like mostly Lyme and other tick-borne infections. But that also kind of parlays into mold, mast cell dysfunction, chronic fatigue, ME, all of that. Right?
Dr. Casey Kelley: So, people find me who’ve been sick for a long time who don’t have any answers. And they know they don’t feel well, but conventional medicine’s just kind of saying, “It’s all in your head.” Kind of, “Go to your psychiatrist.” Right? Unfortunately, I hear that a lot. That’s kind of my mainstay, but the practice as a whole is not necessarily that.
We do a lot of conventional… not conventional, standard, I guess, functional medicine workups. So more gut healing, autoimmune. We have a neurologist on staff, as well, and a PA. And so we can deal with a lot of different medical issues. And, because I’m a family doc, I can also see kids and adults. So we get kind of the whole foray, but we don’t really do primary care. We do more complex treatments and workups.
Mimi MacLean: So if you have somebody who comes to you, who I assume at that point, they kind of know they already have Lyme, and they’ve been sick? Or no, they don’t even know they have it.
Dr. Casey Kelley: Not always. Not always. I mean, I do have a fair amount of people who find me, because they got a Lyme diagnosis. And so they want to come talk to me, because I have that Lyme expertise. But we also have people that come to us who just don’t feel well. And they haven’t felt well for a while, and they want to know why. And so we’ll diagnose Lyme that way too sometimes, because that may be what their issue is, and they may not have known that to begin with. So we see that sometimes.
Mimi MacLean: So if someone comes to you, has Lyme, what is typically your first standard of care? What treatments do you offer?
Dr. Casey Kelley: I wish it were that easy. It is very, very individualized. Typically, my first visit is 90 minutes, and that really gives me a chance to dig in, and get the history, and really figure out what all is happening and what’s underlying the issues. And there’s usually more than one. Right? There’s usually fatigue, joint pain, brain fog, digestive issues, all these different things. And it takes a while to kind of unwrap that.
Dr. Casey Kelley: So we spend a fair amount of time going through all of that, looking through old labs, if they have them, et cetera. I do more labs, the first visit, if I need to. And we’ve got regular labs as well as different functional medicine labs that we can do. And it really… though the treatments are very, very individualized.
Individualized protocols for Lyme
So it really depends on the person, what they’ve got going on, what their symptoms are. What I think. Is it Lyme. Is it Babesia? Is it mold? So unfortunately I can’t just say, “This is typically what we do.” I don’t think you can treat these tick-borne infections with particular protocols. I think they’re so complex, you really have to be able to be flexible, and…
Mimi MacLean: Totally. And if there are… I mean, there are so many different treatments though are out there now. So it’s like, do you have any that are… Not everybody… I haven’t seen a practice that offers everything from SOT to ozone, to all… the whole gamut. Is there any that are your kind of go-tos that you use at your office? If it’s IV therapy? If it’s stem cell? I don’t know. Is there any that you have found to be the most useful for your…
Dr. Casey Kelley: I wish there were one thing that we’re like, “This always works on everybody, and everybody should do it,” because I just haven’t found that to be true. Some people do really well on antibiotics. Some people do horrible on antibiotics. Some people do really good on herbs. We have IV therapies. We don’t usually do IV antibiotics, but we have IV ozone, NAD, PC silver. We have different options there. We have peptide therapy. We have hydrogen, and it’s usually a conglomeration of all of them.
And I think that’s kind of maybe part of what sets us apart too, is that it’s not, you come in, and that’s the treatment. You get that diagnosis. Right? You come in, and we really try to figure out… Especially, I mean, some of these treatments are expensive.
Mimi MacLean: Yeah, really expensive.
Dr. Casey Kelley: So, and I really want to make sure that that’s the right treatment for that patient. And of course I can’t predict that 100% of the time. But if I can kind of go through and figure it out, and I’m much more confident that the IVs are going to be a good choice, then we can make that decision together.
Mimi MacLean: What worked for you? What got you better?
Dr. Casey Kelley: I did it all. I did antibiotics for a while, and then I did herbal antibiotics, and then I went and did some IV therapies on myself. I did ozone, silver, glutathione, saunas, PMF, all of that stuff. That’s what really, really turned. Everything kind of got me a little better, but the IVs are really what really changed my world. And so that was why I really wanted to bring them and offer them to patients.
Mimi MacLean: And then do you ever relapse now? Do you ever have flare-ups?
Dr. Casey Kelley: Oh, it’s usually stress-based-type stuff, and I’ve gotten to a point where I can kind of tell really early on that I need to get my life back in order, if you will. And I’m lucky enough to have some access to ozone and things here. So when I need a boost, I can get one pretty easily. And I just think it’s a really good reminder on a regular basis that, if I don’t take care of myself, I can end up in trouble. So it’s a regular daily basis where I have to be doing stuff to really try to keep myself healthy as possible. Not to say that I don’t have… I mean, I have bad days. I have bad weeks. We all do. Right? But I have found enough ways, at this point, to kind of pick myself back up rather quickly, thankfully. But I haven’t had any major relapses.
Mimi MacLean: Can you talk a little bit about your ozone? I’ve done ozone therapy. I’ve done the 10-Pass, and I’ve done just the regular ozone. But then I also bought an ozone machine at home where I can do it rectally and also by the ear. And I know obviously doing… I’ve read a bunch about it where obviously the 10-Pass is supposedly the best. It’s almost similar to having a stem cell treatment, but, I guess, for those who can’t, because it’s so expensive to do those, it’s more economical to buy the machine at home. Is it still worth doing the ear thing or the rectally at home daily? Can you get the same benefit of doing an IV ozone?
Dr. Casey Kelley: I mean, I think the IVs are more potent for sure, but the at-home support can absolutely keep you better, and more stable, and kind of keep that going. I think of ozone as an exercise for your cells. And so it’s not something you can just do once. You have to do it on a regular basis, just like going to the gym. You can’t go to the gym once and be a beefcake. You got to keep going and building that up. So having those at-home tools can absolutely help keep you going. But I have found that the IVs are much more potent than either of those.
Mimi MacLean: Is there a fear of, if you’re doing it rectally or through the ear, having it oxidize your cells?
Dr. Casey Kelley: Ozone doesn’t really cause so much oxidative stress, just because of the size and charge of the particle. That’s not really a big concern.
Mimi MacLean: I mean, I know it’s very generalized, very specific, I should say, per patient, but if someone… I get this a lot, people asking me, where they’re just diagnosed. They’re either waiting a month before they can get into a doctor that’s by them, or they don’t have the resources, because some of these doctors are super expensive to get in. Is there anything at home that they can start doing right away to make them feel… at least put them on the right path to maybe see some improvement?
Diet And Detox Are Crucial
Dr. Casey Kelley: Yeah, absolutely. Diet is kind of the big thing there and detox support. Those would be the two big things. We’ve had a couple people come in who just eat fast food on a regular basis and drink soda every day. You just, you can not get better if you are feeding your body crap food. You just can’t. Food is medicine. So you really need to be doing an anti-inflammatory diet.
The big three at the very basic level is gluten, dairy, and sugar. Those need to be avoided. We have more complicated diets than that, that we can put people on, but those are the big three and that are going to really suppress your immune system. Especially if you have neurological symptoms, the gluten can be imperative to remove.
So, starting with the diet, change how you eat. Eat The rainbow. Eat more veggies. Really try to get the goodness from food in your system, and it doesn’t have to taste bad. It can still taste really good if you eat well. Use your spices, and enjoy it. And try to think of it as an opportunity to learn about different fruits and vegetables instead of focusing on what you can’t have. Kind of flipping that switch on your approach to it can help a lot with the dietary changes. Because it’s hard to think about every single last morsel you put in your body every single day until it becomes a new habit.
The other part then is detox. So supporting your own detox, and food helps with that. There’s a lot of foods that are very detox-supporting, like broccoli, and cauliflower, and garlic, and eggs, and things that really help our detox. And eliminating the inflammatory foods and the processed foods, and that stuff will also help our detox. But most Lymeys have issues with detox, whether it’s genetic, or just that their system is overloaded and can’t handle it. So detox is kind of the second leg of that stool to get started.
Mimi MacLean: Right. What do you recommend? I mean, do you do recommend coffee enemas or saunas? Like what are your kind of go-to?
Dr. Casey Kelley: Different things work for different people again. Right? But saunas are awesome, but any kind of sweating is really good. Enemas can be very useful. Coffee enemas, especially. I have people that swear by them. So try it. Get the right instructions and the right ingredients and try it. Epsom salt baths, those are really good. Or Biomats. You can get Biomats. Alka-Seltzer Gold or bicarb is very neutralizing to the system. Lemon water, castor oil packs. I mean, there’s a lot of different things that you can do at home that are fairly inexpensive too, to help with detox.
Mimi MacLean: What are the castor oil? I actually have never done them. I’ve read a lot about it. That’s probably one of the only things I haven’t… I actually bought the kit. I just never kind of got myself… It just seems so complicated. So what are the… Maybe if I understood what the benefit of it was more, I would probably read the instructions and try to do it.
Dr. Casey Kelley: Yeah. Well, they’re kind of messy.
Mimi MacLean: It’s overwhelming to me.
Dr. Casey Kelley: Yeah, yeah. It’s a lot. It’s essentially a piece of flannel that’s kind of soaked in the castor oil that you put generally on your liver, but it’s also really nice, by the way, on your uterus if you’re cramping, for all the ladies out there during your period. But you put it on your liver, and then you put a heating pad on it. And it’s just supposed to be deeper, more penetrating heat, and that’s going to help flush out the toxins, open the blood vessels, and support detox just in general. So it can be lovely and really nice. I’ve also seen people do it on their neck if they have a lot of lymph node issues. That can really help to drain them. Or their groin if they have those issues. Just be careful not to burn yourself and know that it’s very messy. So don’t do it on nice, clean white sheets.
Mimi MacLean: I know. Right? That’s one of the things make me nervous. So I see that you also do Prolozone therapy?
Dr. Casey Kelley: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Mimi MacLean: I think I have done that. I just want to make sure, once you describe it, if that’s what it is. So can you talk about that?
Dr. Casey Kelley: Yeah. Yeah. So Prolozone is… Have you ever heard of just prolotherapy?
Mimi MacLean: Yes.
Dr. Casey Kelley: Prolotherapy is for joints, and Prolozone kind of piggybacks on that. So, the first part, the prolo part, is pretty similar. It’s Prolozone, typically, I will use them for joint pain, trigger point injections, pain, that kind of thing. And there’s two parts to the injections. The first part is a bunch of numbing medicines and B vitamins, dextrose, sometimes a whisper of a steroid, things that feed the joint essentially. And then you follow it with the ozone gas, and just like in your cells, as soon as that ozone gets in there, it’s going to turn to oxygen. It’s going to stimulate healing. It’s going to help lower inflammation and get the cells to start to heal.
And so it’s great for joint pain, shoulders, knees, hips, especially if there’s some sort of injury that’s mild, like a rotator cuff injury or something. That, the Prolozone can take care of it right away. But we also use it for trigger point pain too, or just, I have people with chronic low back pain. So we’ll do some injections along their back or neck, neck pain, trigger points. It’s a very common spot for pain. It can kind of knock it down really, really quickly and kind of release.
Mimi MacLean: I did that a while ago, and I forgot about that. I need to do… Because right now my flare-ups are… I have my energy. I just, literally, my elbow is locked. I can’t open my arm, and now it moved to my ankle. So I can’t walk. It literally freezes. My joints are frozen. It’s the weirdest and most painful thing. So I forgot about that. I need to call my doctor and ask her and see if she can…
Dr. Casey Kelley: That might help. Absolutely. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Mimi MacLean: Yeah. You have an extensive array of vitamins on your website, and they’re very specific. Can you talk about those vitamins that are available, and why they’re different than other vitamins that are out there?
Dr. Casey Kelley: Yeah. I’m pretty particular about my supplement companies. I’ve actually gone to several of the manufacturing facilities to check them out and see. Because things aren’t regulated as closely as they could be. So all B12 is not the same, period, full stop. So I really want to make sure when I’m using these supplements, medications, herbs, whatever they are, that it’s something that’s going to help the patient, and it’s not just taking a pill to take a pill.
So I vetted the companies that I really like and really trust, and I clinically get good results from them. So I’m not just adding more pills for fun. It’s, this is going to help you with X, Y, or Z. So that’s why I’ve been very particular about the different websites and things that we use for the herbs or the supplements or whatever it is.
So, I don’t like Amazon at all. I don’t trust that their warehouses aren’t 150 degrees and are turning the fish oil to a big oxidative mess. So, I really like… XYMOGEN’s one of my favorites. Ortho Molecular is a great one as well. We use a fair amount of both of those. There’s a couple others that I like too. Those are two of my big favorites.
There are some really good supplement companies out there. There’s also some lousy ones, and so you really need to know what you’re getting. And all of this stuff, as you mentioned, it’s all expensive, and it adds up. And some of the good stuff is even more expensive. But I’d rather have you spend the money on something I know is going to help you clinically than going to Walgreens and getting something that’s not, even though it’s a lot cheaper.
Yeah. You mentioned it in the beginning of our conversation. I’d love to touch on it a little bit more about mold, because I really do think that’s important. And I think a lot of people… For me, that has been triggers. When I have felt better, that mold has triggered and kind of made me have more flare-ups. And, so can you talk about, what’s the best way, if you think you’ve been around mold or you are, you know you’ve been around mold, to detox the mold?
Dr. Casey Kelley:
Sure. Mold, typically the best thing to do is binders, to bind up the mold. So you want to try to actually get those mold toxins out of your system. So you can quite literally flush them down the toilet. Charcoal’s a big one. There’s a very particular fiber called OptiFiber Lean by XYMOGEN that works. Charcoal clay. There are some prescriptions as well. I try to avoid them if I can, because they cause a lot of constipation, some liver issues, but saunas are also really good for mold toxins. So sweating on a regular basis also really helps to clear the mold toxins out of your system.
Is there anything nasally you could be putting in to kind of flush it out?
Dr. Casey Kelley:
Yeah, sure. And there’s a lot of nose issues related to mold too, and bacterial overgrowth and whatnot. So, I mean, even just saline rinses can help just kind of flush everything out. There’s a couple different kind of essential-oil-type blends that you can use in your nose or your throat. I’ll have people kind of use a saline rinse that will put Biocidin drops in which is an essential oil blend to flush stuff out. So there’s a lot of different kind of tricks and tools.
Mimi MacLean: The one thing I’ve learned over the past month, just from talking to different doctors, that I never really kind of addressed is the minerals. And how important… most of us are depleted in minerals. And I was reading that just yesterday. I came across someone’s… in my inbox, people who live in land that does not have a lot of minerals in the ground have a higher percentage of joint pain. And, because it’s what they’re eating, the food, what they’re getting. So it’s like, I think for me, that’s been a part, is my minerals are so low. Right? So for people, I think… And I don’t know. Can you say that’s a general statement, for people who have Lyme? Just start putting couple drops of minerals in your water?
Dr. Casey Kelley: Yeah. I mean, it can’t really hurt if you do that. You want to do kind of more of a comprehensive mineral blend though. You don’t want to just necessarily pick one or two.
Mimi MacLean: You can get one of those, has everything kind of.
Dr. Casey Kelley: Yeah. Trace minerals, or yeah. Yeah. That actually, sometimes in and of itself, will just help people feel better if you’re replacing it. And I also do recommend things like reverse osmosis water. Right? Because that just removes all the bad stuff, but it also removes all the good stuff from your water. So if you’re drinking reverse osmosis water all the time, it’s a good idea to add all those minerals back in. Because that could be another reason why you’re kind of depleted and a lot of these trace minerals that our system needs.
Mimi MacLean: Well, this has been amazing. Is there anything that we didn’t touch on that you would like to touch on?
Dr. Casey Kelley: Yeah. So there’s two other things that we do here, and I didn’t get a chance to talk about it when you were talking about the ozone. We don’t do a 10-Pass, but we do something that’s called a high-dose ozone. So it’s the equivalent of an eight to nine-pass, but it also has UV light associated with it as well. And so the blood goes through UV light on the way out and the way back in.
And I have just found over and over again, as well as a part of a national IRB that I was involved in a couple of years ago, that ozone and UV just work better together, period, full stop. That’s been my clinical experience. That’s what I’ve seen in the research. And so this allows us to do something that’s like a 10-Pass, but also adds the UV to the mix.
Mimi MacLean: Right.
Dr. Casey Kelley: So that’s our kind of our high-dose version. So it’s a little different than the 10-Pass for sure, because the 10-Pass kind of, it sucks the blood out, and ozonates it, and puts it back in 10 times. Right? So this one’s a little different, easier on the veins as well, but I get really phenomenal results with it. We also do molecular hydrogen, which is pretty unique. And this is very big in Asia. There’s a lot of research in Japan. You can go to a bar in Japan and sit with some hydrogen gas, like a nasal cannula for 10 minutes. It’s kind of like oxygen bars in Colorado and things.
Mimi MacLean: Yeah.
Dr. Casey Kelley: Molecular hydrogen’s really cool. And there’s a lot of interesting research behind it. And it’s extremely safe. We use a nasal cannula, that you just sit and breathe for 30 minutes or so. Or sometimes when they’re getting certain IVs, we’ll add that in, a really good… for anxiety, sleep. It’s really good post-workout. It can reduce headaches. I’ve seen a Parkinson’s patient, her tremor calmed way down when she was on the hydrogen. It was phenomenal to see.
Mimi MacLean: Is that something that you do at home, or you have to go to the office?
Dr. Casey Kelley: No, you could do it at home. Absolutely. Yeah. No, their devices are not all that expensive, really, in the grand scheme of things. The hydrogen seeks out cytotoxic radicals and turns them into water.
Mimi MacLean: Oh.
Dr. Casey Kelley: So, the biggest side effect is that you feel like you got to pee.
Mimi MacLean: So it’s just a machine, and then you have to get… you buy hydrogen or what?
Dr. Casey Kelley: No, the machine makes the hydrogen. It’s a hydrogen-oxygen blend that you end up in inhaling. But you just use distilled water, and the machine makes it. And then you just sit with a little tube and breathe normally, and you get some hydrogen.
Mimi MacLean: Oh, wow.
Dr. Casey Kelley: Yeah, it helps. It’s instantly soothing, and calming, and adds another layer to treatments. And we’re going to start doing hopefully soon, some IV hydrogen too. Should be pretty cool. Hydrogenated water, saline water. Right?
Mimi MacLean: Right.
Dr. Casey Kelley: Get some hydrogen in it, so…
Mimi MacLean: Know anything about the SOT?
Dr. Casey Kelley: I know very, very little about it. I was talking to one of my colleagues about it the other day who swears by it. He’s just loving it. So, I’ve heard some good things.
Mimi MacLean: I’ve heard mixture. That’s why I’m asking.
Dr. Casey Kelley: Really expensive. Right?
Mimi MacLean: I think so. Yeah. I think it’s like 10 grand, but you only go once a year, or once every six months, or something like that. And then the same thing others… Because I’ve asked people, “What got you better?” And a couple people told me that. And then a couple people told me stem cells. Again, that’s an expensive thing, but I don’t even know if they’re doing it anymore in the United States. So then you’ve got to go out of the United States, which I’m not sure I want to go out of the United States to do it. You know?
Dr. Casey Kelley: Yeah. And I just, I haven’t found the research to be solid enough yet to really warrant it. But I do. I also, like I said, I have some colleagues too, like you said, I guess, that have had good results with it. But I’m still just waiting on some other research, and there’s lots of different kinds of stem cells. So you have to… Not all stem cells are the same.
Mimi MacLean: I have five children, and I saved all their stem cells. I have all their stem cells, which was, back then, cutting edge. No one had been doing it. It just started. But I’ve been told, with the research I’ve had, that right now they’re not letting you unfreeze them for Lyme. They haven’t given that as a permission, that you have to have another disease or something else to use them. So, I don’t know. Because I’m slow… I’ve been trying to find out if the way, if I could use those to help me, and my daughter also has Lyme, to help both of us with SM pills, but we’ll see.
But anyway, this has been awesome. I really, really appreciate your time. And I think it’s going to be really helpful to people who are listening and who are just going through these different… just trying to get better. Right? And see what they can do and get on the other side of it.
Dr. Casey Kelley: Yeah. I mean, I think the most important thing is to find a Lyme-literate doc, who’s going to listen, who will be your partner, and work through it with you, and adjust and adapt. Because everybody’s body is so different that you’ve got to have someone who’s willing to go, “Okay, that’s not working. We got to try something else.” Or, “It’s not working enough,” or whatever. Or, “We’ve got to find something that may not be Lyme, that’s underlying this, like mold or some other thing.
Mimi MacLean: How long did it take you to get better?
Dr. Casey Kelley: Oh, that’s a great question. Once I started treatment with, from antibiotics, herbs, IVs, it was probably two years, all said and done. But if you add in the prior work with the gut healing and the adrenal work and everything before that, it was probably more like five to eight.
Mimi: And do you drink coffee or drink alcohol?
Dr. Casey Kelley: Yes.
Mimi MacLean: Me too. That’s good that you’re able to.
Dr. Casey Kelley: Yeah.
Mimi MacLean: You probably were not able to when you were in the thick of it, I would assume.
Dr. Casey Kelley: Not well.
Mimi MacLean: I find, for me, those are triggers.
Dr. Casey Kelley: Yeah, and it’s very common. They’re very common triggers. If alcohol is a big trigger, you might want to really look into some mast cell issues, because alcohol breaks down into histamine. And so that’s often one of our big problems with being able to deal with alcohol is that we can’t have all that extra histamine burden. So, that can often be a little warning signal that something like that’s happening.
Mimi MacLean: But, because I also get massive hives too, which is, I think, a mast cell thing. Right now, they’re coming on, and there’s no reason why they should be coming on, because I’m sitting here talking to you. But usually it’s cold that makes them come on in the morning. But I’ve taken so many mast cell tests. I’ve taken the blood tests, the pee tests. I’ve done… and they keep coming back negative. But I have the symptoms.
Dr. Casey Kelley:It can be hard, because you really have to kind of catch the blood or the urine right in the thick of things sometimes, and/or the lab has to freeze things properly. So it’s actually pretty hard to get the samples collected properly at the exact right time to prove mast cell issues. So, sometimes you just kind of have to try to treat it empirically and see if it gets better.
Mimi MacLean: Right. What ways do you treat that?
Dr. Casey Kelley: I usually try to come at it from multiple different angles with anti-histamines, with mast cell stabilizers, with diet, enzymes.
Mimi MacLean: I do feel like there’s… I mean, I don’t know if you’ve been following what’s going on in the political world of Lyme, but you know what the Steven & Alex Cohen Foundation’s doing. And, but it just seems like there’s slowly starting to be more awareness in the government, and hopefully it will continue on and there’ll be more funding.
Mimi MacLean: Just, because it’s crazy how none of this is covered by insurance or recognized by mainstream doctors.
Dr. Casey Kelley: Yeah. Yeah. It’s mind-boggling and frustrating.
Mimi MacLean: Yeah. It’s funny, because I’ll have… It’s actually not funny, but I’ll have friends that call and be like so either “I was just diagnosed” or “my kid was just diagnosed,” and I’m like, “Oh, get ready for… if your child doesn’t get better after three weeks of antibiotics, I’m sorry.” “What are you talking about?” I’m like, “This is the world.” They don’t believe you. You’re not going to be covered by insurance. And if you don’t get well after those three weeks of antibiotics, you’re kind of on your own.
Dr. Casey Kelley: It’s such a complicated illness, and it’s caused by an infection, but it’s not really an infectious disease. It’s more of a host immune issue. And so that’s part of the reason why it’s so hard to understand. Because you just want to give it a doxycycline and be done. Why doesn’t that take care of it?
Mimi MacLean: And then it just triggers. Right?
Dr. Casey Kelley: Yeah.
Mimi MacLean: This whole auto kind of immune, and it hides. It kind of just keeps hiding in different places, which makes it harder to find. But thank you for all that you do, and for helping everybody that is sick, and also coming on today, and sharing what you know.