The Liebell Clinic: Chronic Pain

& Wellness Solutions

Donald K. Liebell, D.C., B.C.A.O

477 Viking Drive Suite 170

Virginia Beach VA 23452

8:30AM - 6:30PM M,W,F,

(and by Special Appointment Tues, Sat)



No Antibiotics...

No Drugs...

No Side Effects...

No Controversy...

No Politics...

Just Help for People

From Coast-to-Coast,

Who Suffer the

Chronic Effects

of Lyme Disease

& Other Tick-Triggered Illness (After All Else Has Failed)

Safe, Simple, Easy, Affordable, and Unique Holistic Wellness Care

Dr. Donald Liebell
D.C., B.C.A.O., B.A.
Licensed by the 
Virginia Board
of Medicine Since 1993

Drug Obsessions and 

Prescription Confessions:

Why Antibiotics May NOT Be the Answer!

By Dr. Donald Liebell

   Did you know that only a minority of species of bacteria are capable of causing disease in humans? 

   It is an undisputed scientific fact that antibiotics

kill the beneficial bacteria that are vital to many functions

of your body.  Killing the good ones can leave you even more

susceptible to the antibiotic resistant bacteria like MRSA

(Staphylococcus), C. diff (Clostridium difficile), Anthrax,

Klebsiella pneumonia, and many others. 

   “Superbugs” as they are called. 

   Antibiotics should be used correctly, so that when they are needed to save your life, they are effective!   According to the CDC, Antibiotic resistance is one of the world’s most pressing public health problems.  On their website, www.cdc.gov they state that most types of bacteria have become stronger and less responsive to antibiotic treatment when it is really needed. 

   Are Lyme savvy doctors turning a blind eye to this fact? 

   The key to protecting yourself against antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” is to strengthen your body so these harmful life forms cannot survive and thrive inside you. 

    A weakened immune system leaves you prey to numerous harmful things, including: antibiotic-resistant bacteria, viruses, fungi (not just Candida yeast), and other parasites that are transmitted through our food and water supply, the air, and from physical contact. 

   A weakened immune system often results in newly-developed food allergies and sensitivities to chemicals. 

 One of the most important steps you can take in your successful journey to recover from tick-triggered illness is accepting and understanding that your real problem is a weakened and damaged immune system. 

   The solution is to power it back up. 

   There is no disputing that antibiotics can be lifesaving; they are one of the greatest medical developments in history. 

   That is not the issue here. 

   We are talking about how repeated usage for suspected Borrelia infection will kill the beneficial bacteria in your body, and make it even harder for your body to handle the very germs it needs to eradicate! 

   Antibiotics have indeed been wonder drugs that have saved countless lives, and have served admirably in all kinds of emergencies.  Their massive overuse and misuse has spoiled the party.  Despite the warnings of top scientists that killing the beneficial bacteria along with the harmful species has dire consequences, the prescriptions persist prolifically.  Overuse of antibiotics drives up health care costs dramatically.

   I am sincerely happy for those fortunate people who have responded to antibiotics (or any other method), and have stayed well.  This website, my book, and my practice do not exist for those people, but rather the suffering souls for whom it has failed.  It is of course also for those who do not want to take the antibiotic route in the first place.

   The bottom line is one cannot promote life by killing. 

   Antibiotics are designed for bacterial genocide. 

   If only the entire kingdom of bacteria were our enemy. 

   It is not. 

   Most bacteria in our bodies are helpful and necessary, if not at least harmless.

   More collateral damage results from overuse and inappropriate use of the drugs than would have ever been considered, tracing back to the dawn of the antibiotic era. 

   The realization of antibiotic resistant bacteria is not new, nor is it challenged medically.  Nevertheless, mainstream medicine is still clinging to a militaristic view—a war against bacteria, demonstrated by its single-minded philosophy of antibiotic treatment for Lyme, and any other microbes that stand in its way (with or without proof of infection). 

   Patients consistently report their exasperation and devastation from being kept on antibiotics for years.  Enthusiasm for the drugs eludes me.  Antibiotics are being administered at dosages and frequency far beyond medically valid standards of safety and effectiveness.  Add to this the anti-microbial herbs prescribed to give the appearance of natural or holistic treatment. 

 Let’s get this straight:

Antibiotics do not make your body stronger—they weaken your immune system.  They were never meant for long-term usage.  As the Centers for Disease Control state (at www.cdc.gov), “Repeated and improper uses of antibiotics are primary causes of the increase in drug-resistant bacteria.” 

   They do not kill the majority of parasites and pathogens.  This is a long-established and undisputed scientific fact.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) research concluded that long term antibiotics are dangerous. 

   Perhaps some doctors and patients believe antibiotics are their only hope.  

   Antibiotics can, of course be incredibly effective. 

   However, when they succeed it is often because a healthy and strong enough immune system finishes the job, and prevents the infection’s return. 

   This is the key. 

   If your immune system is WEAK, it will be ill-equipped to handle the complex effects of tick-triggered and associated illness. 

   The scientists and health governing bodies are clear in their stance that long-term antibiotics are both ineffective and dangerous.  This is not the “Liebell hypothesis” of antibiotics.  Safeguarding the public against antibiotic abuse is not part of some wild conspiracy to keep Borrelia alive. 

The CDC state on their website (www.cdc.gov) that long-term antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease has been associated with serious complications, including death. 

Your Body, Bacteria, and Your Immune System

   Your body is composed of approximately 10 trillion human cells by DNA “head count.”  But you are not alone.  Lurking throughout your body—sharing it as a shelter are an estimated 100 trillion microbes! 

   That’s right…you are outnumbered ten to one. 

   Keep in mind that the average human cell is one hundred times larger than the average bacterial cell.  A microscope is necessary to see bacteria.  Viruses are even smaller than bacteria—they cannot be seen under a light microscope (an electron microscope is necessary).  Viruses are 10 to 100 times smaller than bacteria. 

Other than size, what’s the difference between bacteria and viruses? 

   The biggest difference is that bacteria do not need a living surface to grow on.  They live in between human cells.  Viruses, on the other hand require a host cell—they live inside your cells.  The word virus itself comes from Latin, meaning poison. 

   All viruses are harmful (parasitic), but many bacteria are not only harmless, but essential and beneficial to your health.  You have as many as 1,000 species of microbes in your mouth alone.  There are hundreds on your skin, and thousands in your intestines. 

Trying to kill them all is a tragic mistake.  The notion that our best strategy for improving human health is to annihilate all species of bacteria is foolish on so many levels.  Life on earth would not exist without bacteria. 

 Your health is dictated by how well your immune system handles the harmful bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms.

   Antibiotics are one of the pillars of modern medicine, and we are grateful for their existence.  But you cannot continuously launch chemical weapons into your body, and expect a healthy result.  You kill the good with the bad, and you don’t just bounce back to normal.  Recent scientific discoveries have been revealing the perils of antibiotic treatment.  Thousands of people are dying each year from infections that antibiotics used to be able to cure! 

   Current science has revealed that the natural balance of healthful microorganisms struggles terribly to recover from repeated antibiotic assault, and that it has major health consequences.  Lyme/antibiotic doctors suggest that taking probiotic supplements offset any damages.  If only it were that simple!

   Spirochaete Infection and Antibiotics

   Syphilis is caused by a similar type bacterium of Lyme (spirochaete), Treponema pallidum.  Patients with untreated or inadequately treated syphilis are notorious for suffering different stages.  The bacteria can be present in your body for 10-30 years after infection!  Symptoms can include problems with muscles, numbness, memory loss, mental illness, and problems with joints, etc.  

   Scientists say spirochaete bacterial infections do NOT require long-term antibiotic therapy.  It is a dangerous and unacceptable practice to prescribe antibiotics without evidence of active bacterial infection.  This is why the term, “post treatment Lyme disease syndrome” has been suggested. 

   There is no doubt that people suffer complex and progressive illness that is initiated by infection, long after active infection is gone.  This is why I coined the term, tick-triggered illness. 


   What a luxury the manufacturers, marketers, stockholders, and prescribing physicians have—the public blindly accepts pharmaceutical drugs without question.  Have you ever wondered what doxycycline is, and how it works, its risks, and who shouldn’t be prescribed it? 

    The authorities call it the cure for Lyme disease.  Innumerable patients do not concur.  Nearly every one of them had taken it prior to seeing me.  My patients are the critics of this drug.  I have nothing to do with doxycycline on any level.  I don’t prescribe it, nor do I ever un-prescribe it. 

   “Doxy?”  That’s the jargon of the Lyme community.  I cringe when I hear a powerful and potentially hazardous pharmaceutical drug referred to in such a casual and practically affectionate manner. 

   A nickname? 

   Really?  There is nothing cute and cuddly about doxycycline. 

   It is not a Teddy bear! 

   The Internet has various threads about suicide related to “doxy” use.  More than 10,000 people have reported side effects, and more than 100 have died.  Pregnant women and children under 8-years-old are not supposed to take it (it can impair their bone growth and cause brain swelling), but it is still sometimes prescribed to them!  Doxycycline has been implicated with development of inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease, among other risky considerations. 

   I frequently read the medical journals.  Published side effects of doxycycline include life-threatening allergic reactions, blood problems, liver damage, erosion of the esophagus, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight, yeast infection, and dozens of others. 

Has your doctor told you that doxycycline can interfere with your calcium and iron levels? 

   What about its effect on the function of birth control pills (it can make them not work)?

   I spend a lot of time educating people in the principles of homeopathic medicine—sadly having to defend an internationally-accepted, holistic health care approach, which has NO side effects or drug interactions.  What I would appreciate is that antibiotic treatment—specifically doxycycline doesn’t get a free ride. 

Crossing the Blood-Brain-Barrier

   Throughout our bodies, we have capillaries (our smallest blood vessels), which have a lining of specialized cells (endothelial).   These cells are tightly fitted together to form a filter to form a blocking wall or filter to prevent harmful substances from getting into the brain and spinal cord.  It protects the brain by preventing large molecules from passing through to it.  However, the blood-brain-barrier can be weakened by various illnesses, radiation, infection, and trauma. 

   The blood-brain-barrier makes it tough for medications to reach the brain.  This is mostly a good thing because we don’t want harmful chemicals in our brains! 

   Antibiotic molecules are typically too large to cross the blood-brain-barrier.  

   If they do get through, it is thought that they cannot penetrate in large enough quantity to have the desired effect.  This makes infections of the brain difficult to treat.  Although weakening of the blood-brain-barrier may make it possible for some antibiotics to break through, it is highly questionable whether or not it is safe for them to be there! 

 If you have been on antibiotics for years, in an effort to recover from Lyme, perhaps you will want to consider this information wisely. 

   If Lyme Borrelia bacteria, as well as Bartonella, Ehrlicia, Babesia, and Toxoplasma are living in your brain, can antibiotics likely kill them? 

   This question does not even take into account the antibiotic resistant nature of many bacteria species. 

Medications Meddling with Metals

   You may already be aware that antibiotics kill the normal beneficial bacteria in your gut.  What you might not know is that in healthy people, these bacteria serve the vital function of carting away poisonous metals such as aluminum, lead, mercury, copper, and cadmium

   This is nothing to sneeze at. 

   Toxic heavy metals can cause nearly every symptom commonly blamed on Lyme disease! 

   Therefore, this is of grave concern if you have been taking doxycycline for any extended period of time (or cycling different antibiotics).  This is another reason why your focus must shift away from bombing bacteria over to strengthening your immune system.    

   Did you know that many FDA-approved prescription and over-the-counter medications have been documented to decrease immune system function? 

   It is true. 

   ALL steroids suppress the immune system

   Acetaminophen is a popular drug, consumed like candy that can interfere with liver function.  Reduced liver function decreases removal of toxins caused by infection. 

   Although drugs for heartburn (gastro-esophageal reflux) are designed to block stomach acid secretion, they also inhibit the immune system, which can increase risk of infection, such as pneumonia! 

   Antidepressant drugs are prescribed and taken with reckless abandon in America.  How often do doctors tell their patients that these drugs may be one of the many triggers for autoimmune disease

   What about opioid drugs like codeine, oxycodone, fentanyl, or morphine?  Can these also suppress your immune system?  You bet they can!

Staying Clear from the Controversy…  and Getting People Healthy

   This article is not for people who have succeeded with antibiotic therapy.  I have never, and will never suggest to any patient, prospective patient, or reader that conventional medical care should be avoided.  By no means am I suggesting that anybody with a medically-confirmed active infection should not see a doctor, who may prescribe antibiotics. 

    My family and I make choices, and I provide advice for my patients based upon science, safety, and RESULTS.  So should you.  There is no need to feel torn between conventional and holistic medical approaches because they should coexist and complement each other. 

   Beware of Lyme-ignorant doctors and those who view chronic pain and illness as a one-size-fits-all problem to diagnose and treat with antibiotics, painkillers, antidepressants, and anti-inflammatory drugs.

   The apparent Lyme disease crisis is not a matter of insurance coverage and support for long-term antibiotic usage.  It is the failure to focus on the prevention of disease and promotion of wellness, in favor of treating the effects of disease. 

   Doctors seem to rely on only one familiar tool, as stated in the Law of the Instrument by psychologist, Abraham Maslow: "I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail."

(Source: Abraham H. Maslow (1966), The Psychology of Science, p.15)

   Antibiotics are supposed to hammer away Lyme disease.  I cannot know with complete certainty the extent to which they do or not.  What I do know is that throughout my ongoing study of the subject of Lyme disease, I consistently find scientists emphatically urging doctors to only prescribe antibiotics for patients who have serious active bacterial infections. 

   The role of antibiotics is suggested as a means of tipping the balance in favor of patients’ own immune system defenses. 

   Misuse and abuse of one of the most important tools in the history of medicine has caused this crisis.  Yet the battle cry of the chronic Lyme community is to let doctors prescribe long-term antibiotics to potentially millions of Americans.  This would contribute further to a raging predicament.   And most importantly, it is completely unnecessary!

   Antibiotics are certainly magnificent medicines, which can save lives.  Nevertheless, they must not be used as rampantly and casually as over-the-counter painkillers.  Yet, they continue to be utilized as such.  It has become common knowledge that taking antibiotics (particularly long-term) is harmful to the body. 

   Martin J. Blaser, M.D., the director of the Human Microbiome Program at New York University has produced a mountain of overwhelming scientific evidence that overuse of antibiotics is dangerous—far beyond the threat of antibiotic-resistant infections.  Dr. Blaser makes a provocative and rational case in his book, Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues. 

   He explains the science behind his declaration that excessive antibiotics usage is one of the major causes of today’s expanded levels of chronic illnesses.  This includes food allergies, asthma, gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes, and even some forms of cancer.  In his book, Dr. Blaser explains why doctors must use extreme caution with antibiotics, and that patients should consider alternative methods. 

   During our correspondence, Dr. Blaser and I discussed how antibiotics are extremely important when appropriately used.  I concurred that giving patients long and potentially dangerous courses of antibiotics was a bad practice for those without real evidence of infection.  Dr. Blaser was glad I could help people with my approach.

 Scientists are aware that there are one hundred or more unknown bacterial species that live inside us.  The consequences of indiscriminately killing them are not yet known.  It is absolutely known that bacteria contribute to essential functions of the human body. 

    The report, Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013 provides us for the first time with a glimpse at the serious burden and threats posed by the most significant antibiotic-resistant germs.  In this report, the CDC estimate that in the United States, more than two million people become ill from antibiotic-resistant infection, with at least 23,000 dying as a result.  You can click on this link to read the CDC's report.

   Our bodies are capable at overcoming infection. 

   Not all infection, all the time—but most of the time. 

   For many decades, antibiotics have been boasted as the cure for disease.  Some time, perhaps not in the too distant future we will look back at the era of antibiotics and exclaim, “What were we thinking?”