Editor's note: This is the second of a two-part series on this topic
One of the most difficult and critical aspects of the Marshall protocol (named after Trevor Marshall, who has developed a protocol that seems to effectively find and target cell-wall deficient bacteria, classically known as l-forms, that are ingested by the white blood cells of our body's immune system to aid patients with auto-immune deficiencies) is strict avoidance of all forms of vitamin D, which is used as a supplement and is found in so many food substances, including dairy products.
Vitamin D is also made by our skin in response to sunlight, so sunlight avoidance is also critical to the success of this program.
Two percent Ketoconazole cream and/or zinc oxide sunscreen can allow time outdoors during the day.
There are even vitamin D receptors in our eyes, so protective eyewear that protects from ultraviolet and well as infrared (UVA, UVB and IR) rays is recommended. Even bright indoor lights can require use of these sunglasses, possibly for a few years (remember, this is not an easy program to follow, but the benefits can be worthwhile).
Some of our readers may recognize that vitamin D is essential to prevent rickets, a disease associated with a deficiency of this important vitamin.
Luckily, this is not a problem during the time on this protocol, which is not life-long. Ricketts has also been noted to be associated more with problems in the regulation of phosphorus, than it is to calcium regulation, so calcium supplements can be continued while on this protocol. Rickets has not been reported by those on the protocol.
Benicar (there is a class of blood pressure medicines called angiotensin receptor blockers that work to block that part of this sequence. Of this class of drugs Benicar is the trade name and will be used for convenience in this article works the best) is used with sunlight avoidance for several weeks to months during the first phase of the protocol. The dose is somewhat different than most physicians will be familiar with however; 40 mg is the usual maximum daily dose of this medication.
To treat in the protocol, it's started at 40 mg four times daily, sometimes up to every four hours to relieve symptoms associated with light exposure of antibiotic use.
Interestingly, the high dose doesn't cause excessively low blood pressure in most patients. The mild decrease in blood pressure can usually be treated by eating a bit more salt, and drinking more water while on the high dose.
Getting insurance companies to pay for this high dose poses another problem, however.
Once sunlight avoidance and Benicar has been started, the ride begins.
After control of the symptoms of the herx reaction has been gained, it's time to start slow and low doses of antibiotics.
During Phase I of the protocol, Minocycline (a tetracycline derivative) is used at a very low dose of 25 mg given every other day (to treat infections with this generally requires 100 mg once to twice every day).
Starting antibiotics and increasing the dose of them typically brings on the discomfort of a herx reaction. Once the dose is tolerated without difficulty, increase the dose from 25 mg. every other day to 50 mg. until symptom free, then 75 mg. every other day and finally 100 mg. every other day.
Phase II begins once the maximum dose of Minocycline is tolerated with the Benicar, vitamin D and sunlight exposure.
Blood is drawn to check vitamin D levels and other metabolic parameters. The addition of other carefully selected antibiotics to the Minocycline begins a new round of Herx reactions and the second antibiotic dose is slowly escalated as the Minocycline dose was.
It may take a good year to get thru the Phase II.
Phase III begins again with labs drawn and the addition of a third carefully selected antibiotic depending on how well phases I and II went. Alternating with the Minocycline day, the level of this third antibiotic is slowly ramped up to the maximum dose per the protocol. This combination is taken for as long as is necessary (with continued Benicar 40 mg four times daily/about every six hours and strict vitamin D and light avoidance).
If it becomes necessary to take antibiotics during the Marshall Protocol for any other infection, the protocol is interrupted and then resumed once the acute infection and the use of antibiotics has ended.
There are a variety of other drugs that are contraindicated during the protocol. Use of supplements and other protocols during the Marshall Protocol is also strongly discouraged.
For readers intrigued by the concept of using antibiotics to cure and not settle for controlling symptoms of the many forms of Th-1 inflammation, further information is available at www.marshallprotocol.com
Patients are strongly encouraged to register at the site and receive free expert advice from the professionals at this site to those suffering from these diseases by posting questions after registering on the site. There is no charge for this service.
R.J. Oenbrink of Tequesta Family Practice is a board certified doctor of osteopathy. His offices are located at 395 Tequesta Drive, Suite B. Send your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. He is available to speak to groups on this or a variety of other topics. Please call his office, if interested, at (561) 746-4333.