For treating Lyme, you can always see an ENT doctor. They are specialists in tinnitus. There is not a lot of treatment specifically for tinnitus from a medical standpoint. As far as I know, there’s no drug or surgery right now that’s really effective at treating tinnitus.

There are some new devices that have come on the market, and I apologize, I’m not an expert in these, but I do know they are available and it’s basically, it’s a type of neuromodulation therapy for tinnitus. I’ve had a couple patients that have used these devices that said that it helped reduce it. 

Homeopathy to Treat Tinnitus?

I’ve had a few patients that homeopathy really made a huge difference in their tinnitus. And since homeopathic remedies are really very specific to the person, there’s really no one remedy that everyone can take that I would say is effective. However, I’d say if you want to go down that pathway, it’s probably a good idea to work with someone who’s trained in homeopathy that can really find the right remedy for you. But homeopathy is very safe. It can be very effective for tinnitus. And it’s one other thing to look at.

But I’d also look at some of these neuromodulation devices.

Neuromodulation Device
Neuromodulation devices such as this one can be effective in treating tinnitus.

If it’s at the point where it’s really making you crazy, you can’t sleep, it’s bothering you, I think a higher level of intervention while you’re waiting for the Lyme treatment and everything else to kind of kick in, that might be worth looking into. 

And a lot of these durable devices are covered by insurance. 

So if you’ve got a diagnosis from your primary doctor of tinnitus, I’d be willing to bet that these insurance companies probably take care of it.

2-Month Threshold of Improvement for Tinnitus

Someone just asked quickly, kind of coming back to CBD, can CBD make you herx? Not that I’ve experienced. There’s nothing in CBD really that’s anti-microbial. I have not seen that in my patient population.

Someone just asked, how do you know if treatment is working? What are some signs to look out for? I’m not sure if you’re specifically referring to Lyme treatment, or if you’re talking about, we were just talking about tinnitus, but if you’re talking about Lyme treatment, how do you know it’s working? 

Well, whatever treatment you start on, I’d give it two months. In two months, you should have some element of improvement. If you have no improvement after two months, you’re barking up the wrong tree, whatever you’re doing. I know if I’m starting someone on a new herbal protocol, new supplements, whatever we’re doing, we give it two months. And at the two-month mark, if we haven’t seen the needle move in the right direction, we need to change up and do something different. In my practice that usually involves making a change to whatever herbal regimen people are on.

Different Tinnitus Symptoms Improve at Different Speeds

However symptoms affect you, you should see improvement. Now, not all symptoms will improve at the same time. Sometimes if you’ve got joint pain, brain fog, and fatigue, maybe you find the joint pain gets better before the brain fog and the fatigue. But if the joint pain gets better, even though we’re left with the brain fog and fatigue, I still know we’re on the right path. I still know that we’re seeing improvement. So again, don’t necessarily expect all symptoms to improve at the same time, at the same rate. Sometimes symptoms will move at different levels. 

I think the deeper neurological stuff tends to be, the slower the improvement of the symptoms manifests itself. Tweet this!

For someone who’s got neurological symptoms and arthritic symptoms, I almost always see the arthritic symptoms change before the neurological stuff. Kind of makes sense. It’s just deeper. It’s a little harder to get at. The blood-brain barrier is a protective barrier so it’s hard to get some of these things into the brain itself, but again, I would expect to see some level of improvement. Use that two-month mark as your gauge on how you’re doing. And again, if you haven’t seen anything change, definitely want to touch base with your practitioner, because it’s time to change it up.


What about a recent tick bite?

What About a Recent Tick Bite? 

For a recent deer tick bite, you’ve got a couple of options and in the conventional world, of course a recent tick bite would warrant antibiotics. This is a case where I will use antibiotics. 

I don’t always use antibiotics for an acute tick bite, but I have the discussion with my patients that it is an option. This is a time where I think antibiotics are potentially useful. I find herbs work exceptionally well, even with acute Lyme disease. 

So in my practice, this is just my practice, we have that conversation about whether we want to use antibiotics, whether we want to use herbs, what’s everyone’s comfort level.

I have complete faith in herbs treating acute Lyme. I can’t even count how many people with acute Lyme disease I’ve treated using herbs very successfully. It’s not like I feel I’m sacrificing using herbs over antibiotics. I think there’s this myth out there that herbs aren’t as strong. They don’t work as well. And that’s nonsense. Dr. Tom Moorcroft, who I know uses a lot of herbs in his practice, he’ll tell you the same thing, that one drop of one herb can sometimes cause herxing. 

Herxing is the nickname for a Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction where the body becomes overwhelmed by the effects of dying microbes. 

These herbs are actually very potent, and they work quite well. You want to get treatment right away, whatever that’s going to be, whether it’s antibiotics or herbs.

You Want to Treat for no Less than 6 Weeks.

You want to treat for no less than six weeks for acute Lyme disease. We know that is an extremely slow growing organism. The one thing I think that happens to a lot to Lyme people is they just get shorted on their treatment. They were given two weeks, three weeks of antibiotics. And then whether they feel well or not at that point, they’re left to their own devices. You definitely want to stay on it for at least six weeks. Keep an eye on symptoms. Certainly if they get worse, you want to touch base with your doctor and let them know in case they want to make any additional changes.

Obviously, we do everything else in terms of improving gut health, improving diet and fixing your terrain. We want to give your body every opportunity to win, so it’s not just about treating the infection. It’s about getting you healthy. It’s important that if you are not a healthy person and you have a tick bite, we need to work on all these other underlying things that are going to make it more difficult for your immune system to overcome the infection. In my practice, we have a long conversation about diet. We talk about getting good sleep. We talk about self-care. All of these other things you need to do to be successful. And that way we’re not relying completely on just whatever anti-microbial therapy that we’re using on its own.

This Really Matters

But if you happen to save the tick, I do recommend sending in the tick for testing. And you can send it to or you can send it to MDL, Medical Diagnostic Labs in New Jersey. They both offer a fairly low-cost testing for the ticks. Usually results come back within 72 hours. I like to know if the tick is carrying something with Lyme or more; it may change what we’re doing as treatment. I know there are some doctors out there that say, oh, it doesn’t really matter. Well, I disagree. I think it matters.

And in my practice I … If you do see the tick, you happen to pull it off yourself, just put in a Ziploc baggy, put a little cotton ball, just a damp cotton ball to keep the tick from drying out, make sure it’s sealed real tight, and then you can send it off to the lab, get a report back within three days, give it to your provider, and that’ll give us more information about what we need to do with the tick.

Early treatment is always key. 

We don’t want to let these things go. It’s really hard sometimes because I see people who send me these pictures where they got bit by another insect that wasn’t a tick. Histamine reactions sometimes do look like bullseye rashes. If the rash goes away generally within 24 hours, it was probably just a histamine reaction from another insect.

Lyme Bullseye Rash
Bullseye rashes are the tell-tale sign of Lyme disease.

Actual bullseye rashes or Lyme rashes tend to linger for days to weeks.

When I got Lyme disease, my rash lasted almost two months before it completely faded. 

They do tend to stick around a little bit longer. 

You want to get early treatment as much as possible.

What If You Had a Bite but No Symptoms?

Well, if you pull a tick off and it is a known deer tick, if you know what deer ticks look like, or if you send it off and you know it’s a deer tick, we do tend to treat it until proven otherwise. Symptoms may take several days to weeks to manifest, and we don’t necessarily want to wait that long to see if the hammer’s going to drop. I’d rather treat people, particularly with herbs. If people have no symptoms at all, they pull the tick off, I will tend to use herbs. I think they’re safer. I think there is less detriment on your normal microbiome and that way we’re still doing something versus doing nothing at all. I think it still might be appropriate to use antibiotics.

But again, if someone has no symptoms after three weeks and the tick comes back negative, you and your doctor may decide that you can just stop the treatment. You don’t need to continue it. Again, that’s a very individual decision that has to be made.

What About Asymptomatic Lyme?

I don’t generally treat people who are asymptomatic. If you had a positive test and you have no symptoms at all, and we think your exposure happened more than certainly a week or two ago, I think it’s very reasonable to watch and wait and see. Again, I have never had anyone in my practice where we did that and then they ended up with some sort of long-term chronic Lyme issue. Usually as symptoms start to show up, we treat it right away and that takes care of it. So again, it’s a very individual thing, But I think getting that early treatment when appropriate is the smartest thing to do until proven otherwise. We know that the earlier you get at it, just the less chance you have of this turning into anything more chronic or persistent.


Do you have to go slow when starting probiotics? Not generally for probiotics. Probiotics are generally very well tolerated, and you can jump right in. I’ll generally, depending on what product I’m using, use one or two capsules a day. Probiotics, by the way, really should be taken with food. I know doctors are telling people otherwise. If you look at the research, when you take it with food, it actually helps protect the probiotic to get through the stomach. You want it to get to the small intestine and then ultimately to your large intestine. The large intestine is where your bugs mostly live. We want to try and get as much of it down to that spot. So definitely take it with food.

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Dr. Darin Ingels

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