Welcome back to the Heal Podcast. This is Mimi MacLean from Lyme360. And today, we have Michelle McKeon and she’s the owner and operator of Lyme and Cancer Services. She’s also a certified clinical nutritionist who specializes in tick-borne diseases, hyperthermia treatment, detoxification, gut health, and inflammatory issues. Michelle was introduced to functional medicine after her personal struggle with a debilitating battle of Lyme disease. After years of trying the various treatments options available and not responding to the protocols, she decided to receive whole body hyperthermia treatment. Michelle hopes through her work and creation of Lyme and Cancer Services, she’s able to guide people in their healing journey by educating them about hyperthermia as a successful treatment option. She is also currently working with LifeSpan with their nutritional protocol. Let me start that last sentence. She’s also currently working with LifeSpan Medical to create their nutritional Lyme protocol.
To get my Detox for Lyme checklist, go to lyme360.com/detoxchecklist.
Mimi: Michelle, thank you so much for coming on today. I can’t wait to hear about your story, your Lyme journey, and what you’re doing in the Lyme community as well.
Michelle: Thank you for having me. I love the content on your podcast, so I’m excited to be here.
Mimi: Thank you so much. You have had Lyme yourself, and so I’d love to hear about your story.
Michelle: Yeah. So I was bit I was 18 years old and the tick that bit me had Lyme disease, it had Powassan virus, Bartonella, Mycoplasma pneumonia, and Protomyxzoa Rheumatica. And so, right from the start, from that bite, I was initially very, very sick, a lot of neurological symptoms, Lyme encephalitis, and it took about five years to get a diagnosis for Lyme disease and tick-borne infections. And then, I began treatment. So yeah, it’s been a process. I ended up doing a few years of treatment in the U.S. and my body didn’t really respond well too, so I decided to go over to Germany and I received hyperthermia treatment and that really helped kill a lot of the pathogens. It was not a silver bullet treatment for me, but it definitely helped lower the pathogenic load which provided my body to be more receptive to other treatments. And so, I came back and I started really focusing on detoxification, cell membrane repair, looking into my diet and my gut issues. I had leaky gut and SIBO and limbic system retraining. I did a lot with Patricia Kane protocol. Are you familiar with her protocol at all?
Mimi: No, I don’t. This is the first time I’m hearing about it.
Michelle: Okay. So I really love her protocol. This is something that I recommend to a lot of my clients. It is four different IV infusions. So it’s phosphatidylcholine, phenylbutyrate, leucovorin, and glutathione.
Mimi: Wait, I think I’ve actually been doing that this past week with Dr. Gedroic. It sounds very familiar anyway, at least some of it, some of the stuff that you mentioned.
Michelle: Yeah, she does do the PK protocol. So I’m a big fan of this protocol because not only does it help you get these Lyme toxins out, but also helps get mold mycotoxins out and heavy metals out in a less aggressive way with fewer side effects. But yeah, it’s great for detoxing and then also cell membrane repair. So for me, hyperthermia was amazing in really lowering that pathogenic load and the Patricia Kane protocol was really good in mopping up the toxins and helping with the neurological system on brain repairs.
Mimi: And then, how many of those treatments did you have to do of the IV-
Michelle: I did a lot. So I came back from Germany and I still was very sick. I was very much affected neurologically. Before I went for treatment, I could not recognize my friends or family, I could not process information, I had 24/7 vertigo. It was really a crisis point, severe anxiety, severe depression. Yeah, it was scary. And so, I had a long way to go. And so, I came back and I started noticing little improvements every day. And then, receiving these IVs made my improvements go a lot faster. So I was receiving infusions once a week for the PK protocol for a few months. And then, I went to every other week, and then every third week, and then once a month. I was also doing colonics with this. I was doing infrared saunas, coffee enema. And then about six months out, I also started doing Stephen Buhner’s protocol with antimicrobial herbs to kill whatever was left after hyperthermia treatment.
Mimi: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative). Would you say you’re back to normal, or where do you think you are in your process?
Michelle: So I would say about six months out, I was feeling significantly better. And then I was retested, everything came out negative. So I decided to do dental work, I had had my amalgams removed. I did really well after that. So for about nine years, I was doing really, really well. This past spring, I had very intense exposure to mold mycotoxins which created a big flare-up. So I did a lot of detox for that. And then now, I’m feeling like myself again, but it’s been a process. And I noticed that the detox portion is huge and that I always need to be one step ahead with mold mycotoxins because those are the things that will cause a flare-up.
Mimi: When you say “one step ahead,” do you mean just avoidance? Or like if you go into a room or something and you smell mold, obviously you get out, but is there anything else that you do?
Michelle: So I will try to do a detox routine once a week for maintenance just to keep environmental toxins at bay, because ever since having a really intense tick-borne infection, my system is more sensitive. So I’ll do that for maintenance. And then, mold is all around us so we can’t avoid it always. So when I travel, there are certain things that I will bring. And then also, I can take a binder or if I do have a symptom flare up, I’ll be like, “Okay, I was exposed to mold. I’m going to take a binder and then do a sauna so I can bounce back.”
Mimi: Right, right, right. And what other things do you travel with when you said you travel with things?
Michelle: So I’ll sometimes bring like a molecule mix, those little filters or purifiers. So sometimes I’ll bring like a purifier that’s smaller. I have little devices. So before I stay at an Airbnb or a hotel, I will scope it out to make sure it’s safe. And then, I also have like a moisture reader to see-
Mimi: Oh, that’s a good idea.
Michelle: Yeah, yeah. If there had been like dampness or-
Mimi: Do you just put that in the room and the moisture reader will sense it in the room?
Mimi: Oh, that’s cool. I didn’t realize that. Okay. So I have had hyperthermia too. I didn’t go to… I don’t know if you knew that about me or not-
Michelle: Yeah, I did.
Mimi: … because I’m also a LifeSpan patient. But anyway, so I would love to get into your Lyme and Cancer Services, what you do for your company.
Michelle: Sure. Okay, so for Lyme and Cancer Services, it’s really scheduling people with hospitals that offer hyperthermia treatment. And so, when I came back from treatment, I realized how beneficial it was. There really wasn’t a lot of information on hyperthermia treatment so I decided to write blogs. And then people reached out to me and asked, “Hey, can you tell me more about these hospitals? What was your experience,” and that’s where Lyme and Cancer Services was formed. So we have an E-book that we give to all of our clients so they feel like they are prepared for the process. It goes over at the different hospitals that we work with, the treatments over there. And we’re basically a liaison between the doctors over at these hospitals, and then patients interested in treatments. We do not charge anything to our clients, so it’s free to go through us. And we really just want to make sure that if you do this process, you do it right.
And because tick-borne infections are so, so complicated, that is kind of why we’ve worked into this pre- and post-program so that, yes, hyperthermia does an amazing job of killing down this pathogenic load, but these hospitals also have detox treatments, which is amazing because there was a large die-off reaction after hyperthermia treatment. However, a few weeks of detoxing oftentimes is not enough, and so we continue on the detoxing. When you come back, we’ll look into mold mycotoxins, heavy metal issues, all of these other important recovery factors so that you have the most sustainable results.
Mimi: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And how many different hospitals around the world that have hyperthermia?
Michelle: So there are a lot of hospitals that have hyperthermia treatment, however, I’ve been selective in the ones that we work with. And so, the ones that we’re working with are offering extreme whole-body hyperthermia treatment through infrared heat. I feel like this is the safest way to do it and the only way that I would recommend for hyperthermia treatment to do it with the infrared heat. They also offer moderate hyperthermia, so that goes around 104. Moderate hyperthermia is very helpful. It boosts your immune system and there’s a lot of great benefits, but I do tend to like extreme whole body because you can get high enough to kill more pathogens and it boosts your immune system, so it has that joint approach. In regard to numbers, we’re working with two hospitals in Germany, Dr. Herzog’s Hospital and St. Georg Hospital, that offer extreme whole body hyperthermia. We are working with Sanoviv in Mexico that offers extreme whole-body hyperthermia treatment, and another hospital, and wellness center. They offer moderate hyperthermia treatment and they do a lot with the Patricia Kane protocol, which I love. So we’re working with that as well. And then, a hospital opened in the states, BTT Corp. They do extreme whole-body hyperthermia and they also have a machine that can measure your brain temperature, which I love that technology as well.
Mimi: That’s where I went, is the BTT.
Michelle: Okay. Okay, yeah.
Mimi: But I’ve done it three times now and I found that, first of all, it reversed all my neurological symptoms because I wasn’t able to walk in a straight line or anything like that at that point when I went. And so, all that’s been reversed, and for the most part, that has stayed. I don’t know if this is the case that you found for yourself or for other people. After like four or five months, not all, but some of the symptoms start coming back like my joint pain. And I don’t know if it’s because the Lyme starts coming back, like you’ve killed off whatever and then it re-grows and it wasn’t completely died or what’s happening, or whatever wasn’t working with your body got corrected and then it reversed back. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I don’t know if you’ve experienced that at all.
Michelle: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. So hyperthermia, it’s killing a lot of pathogenic load, it’s boosting your immune system. However, I am finding that if people are not doing at least three to six months of detox upon returning, then the results are not as sustainable so they can start having symptom improvement or the thing that I find more often than not is if they are in an environment that is exposing them to mold mycotoxins. That is what is triggering a lot of their symptoms to come back. So yeah, there’s different factors that are involved, sometimes [inaudible 00:12:59] factors. But that is why I feel like it’s so important that if you do this treatment, we are looking at these other factors so that if you spend the money and you receive hyperthermia treatment, that we are going to have the most sustainable results because we’re looking into these other things so that it’s not bringing your body down later on.
Mimi: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative). And you recently just started working with LifeSpan with their nutrition program. Can you talk about that?
Michelle: Yeah, so it has been really amazing. We are working together to form a Lyme Nutrition Program and helping people in the pathogenic side, the detox side, the diet and nutrition side, and really looking into all these recovery factors so that, again, they have more sustainable results. I am a nutritionist, so I can do a lot with protocols and nutrition and meal planning. However, it’s really nice to have a team of doctors that can also help with the IV side and the prescription side. And so, working together to make it as seamless as possible for patients coming in.
Mimi: Mm-hmm (affirmative). One thing I have found that I’ve struggled with because typically, I used to always eat for my blood type. That’s what I tended to eat for, but then it gets a little confusing because with Lyme, then you have to not only eat for your blood type, but then also incorporate the anti-inflammatory. Under my blood type, I can have dairy and I can have like Ezekiel bread. And there are some things I could have, but supposedly under the diet for Lyme, those things I really shouldn’t have. So I mean, I think I’m saying it correctly, right? Is that pretty much like your blood type’s out the window when you have Lyme?
Michelle: Honestly, I feel like it’s very case by case. So many of my clients have so many different things going on, whether it’s SIBO, leaky gut, tick-borne infections, mold mycotoxins, and mast cell activation. And so, they all have different diets. So really, when clients come in, I look at every single piece and that’s when we start figuring out a specific diet program for them. A lot of it is using foods that are low in inflammation, and so more of an elimination type of diet. And then, I like using foods that are high in good fats because we want to repair those cell membranes, but it does get tricky. So first, elimination, and then we look into repairing their gut with different supplements and diet, and then we can start adding different foods back in. But the histamine portion of the diet, I feel like, is the most tricky and where my clients are the most sensitive.
Mimi: Now, in addition to the hyperthermia, what other treatments or tools would you suggest for somebody who they can either do at home, or they just got diagnosed, what would you say?
Michelle: Yeah, okay. So in regard to pathogen-wise, I really like antimicrobial herbals. I like Stephen Buhner’s protocol. Are you familiar with Stephen Buhner?
Mimi: Mm-mm (negative). I don’t think so.
Michelle: Okay. So he uses Japanese knotweed and cat’s claw and Cryptolepis. So I’ll use a lot of my clients for him. For my more sensitive clients, I’ll use Cowden’s protocol. It’s not as aggressive and I find that people who have reactions to like one or two drops because it’s a bit more gentle. So yeah, you can do that at home. And I liked that it comes in tincture form because that is a bit more absorbable. However, it has ethanol in it a lot of times. There’s also powder form where the herbalist that I work with, which is great for people that have sensitivity is. And then, in regard to other ways to help support your system, I like recommending binders. And so, binders that are specific for heavy metals, binders that are specific for mold mycotoxins, and then Lyme disease. And then after I have them take a binder, I have them do a detox regimen so that it effectively expels out of their system, whether that is a coffee enema, a colonic, an ionic foot bath, an infrared sauna, a glutathione IV, some ideas from the PK protocol. So those are all things you can do in the States. And then, even a detox bath is something that you can do at home.
Mimi: What do you put in that bath? Do you put Epsom salt, and what else?
Michelle: Yeah, I do Epsom salt and baking soda. Sometimes I do ginger essential oils. There’s also a detox bath that I like that’s specific for mold. It’s a type of clay that I put in the bath that helps bind the toxins out of their system.
Mimi: Oh, that’s a good idea. I think I met you on one of the calls for one of the organizations. I don’t know if it was for LymeX or you were on something. So I would love for you to talk about what other organizations that you get involved in in the Lyme community.
Michelle: Yeah. So I love being a part of a Generation Lyme disease. Have you heard of them?
Mimi: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Michelle: Okay. So yeah, we do group meetups. They have meetups for parents. They have partner meetups every Wednesday. They have burning questions, so you can go on and you can ask a bunch of questions.
Mimi: They’re out of New York, right?
Michelle: They are. It’s partnered up with Project Lyme, and then Generation Lyme is an offshoot of them. And it’s just been a really good community that has a branch all throughout the U.S. We have people in other countries that are joining calls.
Mimi: Is it for the younger generation or no? Anybody?
Michelle: So it started out more as a younger generation, but it’s really become for everybody. I mean, even on Sundays, they have women’s questions. So it’s really catered to anyone dealing with tick-borne infections and needing support.
Mimi: That’s great. And then, who answers those questions? Who’s managing the calls?
Michelle: So I always try to come on Wednesdays if my schedule allows it so I can help with questions. And then, if I’m not there, the Lyme community is there. So there’s about, I want to say there are at least five of them that have founded Generation Lyme. And so, they’re on the calls helping with answering questions. It’s really more about support, letting people know, “Yeah, we’ve been there, but we were able to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Here’s a physician that you can contact that helped us with this root of that problem.”
Mimi: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And then, any other organizations that you would shout out or that you’ve worked with?
Michelle: Tick Boot Camp. I was just working with them. And then recently, I am going to be collaborating with a few others just to try to create more awareness for Lyme disease and advocate for this very misunderstood illness.
Mimi: I know. I know. Did you do take part in the Lyme Fly-in?
Michelle: I wanted to. I did not sign up in time. By the time I contacted them, they said, “We actually have all the positions full,” but it’s something that I really want to do for next year.
Mimi: Yeah, it was interesting. It was very moving. And then, I also enjoyed the thing that we were on together for the LymeX, for the study. That was very moving also, being on… You were on the practitioner call though, right? You were or did you…
Mimi: I was put into the chronic patients call. And that just hearing everybody’s story, it was just so upsetting. It was very moving.
Michelle: Yeah, yeah. It’s a lot. This disease is a lot.
Mimi: So for anybody who is at home right now struggling and does not see an end in sight, what advice would you give them?
Michelle: Yeah, I feel like the devil is in the detail and it’s all about timing a lot of times. And so, when I have clients come in, and a lot of them come in and they’re so frustrated, it’s like, “I have tried so many treatments. I’ve got to so many doctors, I spent so much money. I’m physically, financially, emotionally-
Michelle: … exhausted.” How much can one person handle? And so, I look at all of their information. But honestly, more often than not, I am seeing mold to be the culprit of holding people back. If you have tried so many different treatments and haven’t thoroughly looked into mold yet, that is what I would seriously focus on because it’s like a kryptonite for people with tick-borne infections. And so, there’s a few ways you can do this, you can test your home and you can test your home through an ERMI test. Are you familiar with an ERMI test?
Michelle: So basically, there’s a few different ways you can do this. There’s a dust sample, they send you a kit and it is a Swiffer cloth essentially, and you go around and you take a few different dust samples of your home, and then you send it in, or you could do it with a vacuum as well. I feel like the Swiffer test is the most accurate. And essentially, it’s giving you the mold spores in your home. So it’s kind of like the PCR of your home or building, school, hospital, wherever you spend a lot of time. So that comes back… And for my clients that I feel like are dealing with mold toxins, usually it comes back at higher levels.
Then, I like to test their bodies, and you can test their bodies in many different ways. You can do a urine test. So urine mold mycotoxin test, and I like using at Great Plains Lab or RealTime Labs. And I have my clients do a Provoke Test because I feel like their results are more reliable. I also like to order an Organic Acid Test. I have them do a VCS test, so a visual test. Have you heard of this one too?
Mimi: Mm-mm (negative).
Michelle: So this is on Dr. Shoemaker’s website, and it is a test you can do right from home. It’s $10, super easy and convenient. It has objects and you need to pick which direction it’d be aligned and the objects are going. And for people that are exposed to mold mycotoxins, they almost always fail. I need this for myself. Every time I have an exposure, I will do a test to see what numbers I met and then I detox and I test right after to say like, “Okay, I got these mycotoxins out of my system.”
And I do this with my clients right when we start and then every few months to see where we’re going. But it’s a convenient, easy test and it’s helpful in the diagnostic procedure. None of these tests are 100% accurate so it’s nice to have a bunch of different modalities to give us a direction on what we’re dealing with.
Mimi: Now, all the other tests besides the Shoemaker one, you need a doctor’s note or you can’t do those on your own?
Michelle: Right. Exactly. So I can order them for my clients, but yeah, I order the kit to their home. You can’t do them on your own unfortunately if you just wanted to go in and then order it. You need a physician. But it’s a simple urine test. And so, I have people do a glutathione IV or an infrared sauna before they take the test, and then they send it in, and then I get the results back. And I actually have a chart. So I show them the chart for mold spores and we pull up their ERMI test, and then I show them the mold mycotoxins that were in their urine test and the mold spores and the mycotoxins align. And then, I have a chart that goes into the specific binders that connect to the mold mycotoxins to treat those specific ones. So they understand why I’m recommending these treatments and how they’re going to help them specifically.
Michelle: There are a lot of physicians that recommend cholestyramine. That’s a really common binder for mold mycotoxins. But that one, it’s not one of my favorite ones because it only gets at a few mycotoxins and there are more side effects. So there are certain binders that I like using that have fewer side effects and get to more mold mycotoxins. It does have to be very individualized because there are people that can only handle a very, very tiny dose of these binders and then other people that can go out very quickly. So it’s all about balance with the client.
Mimi: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, this has been great. So much information to take in. It’s been so helpful and I really appreciate your time. Is there anything else that we haven’t covered that you think we should cover?
Michelle: I think the two big takeaways is that hyperthermia is an amazing treatment for really lowering the pathogenic load. It is not a silver bullet treatment, so you want to support your system. There are a lot of modalities to do that. I am a huge fan of the Patricia Kane protocol for detoxing and cell membrane repair. I think mold is a massive issue in the Lyme community so it’s really important to do the right testing and to do the right treatment, and not only treat your body, but also treating your home. The other thing that I would probably get huge promoter with is building biology. Making sure that what you are living in, that it’s organic, the clothing that you wear, the food that you eat, the cleaning products, the makeup you put on your face, all of it needs to be clean for someone who’s super sensitive and whose toxin bucket gets filled up incredibly fast. And then other than that, when I have worked with clients that we’ve really lowered their pathogenic load, we’ve lowered their toxin load, they’re living in a clean environment but I’m still seeing some issues, that is where the limbic system retraining comes in to really help retrain your limbic system because it can be traumatized during this process. And it’s almost like if you’re in a car accident and you hurt your neck, you go to physical therapy. This is physical therapy for your brain. And that is oftentimes the last step to really help-
Mimi: Which program do you recommend?
Michelle: So I like Annie Hopper’s program, the DNRS Program. And then, I really liked Dr. Gupta’s program. That is what I did myself to really understand this entire process, and I love that he goes into exactly what is going on in the brain. I’m a very analytical person. And so, whenever I do something, I want to know the specifics of everything and how it’s affecting my body. And so, he was really good at going into the details of why these toxins and these pathogens are affecting your brain and how these exercises repair it.
Mimi: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Michelle, this has been amazing. I thank you so much for your time. And if anybody wants to find you, they can go to lymeandcancerservices.com?
Michelle: Yes, so lymeandcancerservices.com. I have a nutrition practice balancing pathways. And then really now, I’m working with LifeSpan Medicine, so they’re happy to contact LifeSpan Medicine as well.
Mimi: That’s great. Thank you so much.
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