Meet Dr. Rick Sponaugle, MD

With an emphasis on Environmental Medicine, Dr. Sponaugle specializes in treating brain and neurological disorders derived from Mold ToxicityIndustrial ToxicityGut ToxicityNeurological Lyme disease and five additional stealth infections that are attacking the Brain and Neurological system of most patients. 

Our Medical Director, Rick Sponaugle, MD is an integrative physician who attempts to prioritize treatment through quality forensic medicine. Performing an analysis of 400 numerical bio-markers in his initial consultation, Dr. Sponaugle's goal is to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of your multiple symptoms.

The majority of Sponaugle Wellness patients require simultaneous treatment for multiple medical disorders including Mold poisoning, Industrial Toxicity, Gut Toxicity, Lyme Disease, Bartonella, Babesia, Protozoa infections and intestinal parasites.

To more effectively treat patients with Lyme disease, Dr. Sponaugle uses experience acquired from working 20 years in critical care medicine and brain expertise derived from treating thousands of patients with brain and neurological disorders.

Dr. “Rick” Sponaugle has been recognized throughout the world as a leader in the integration of modern brain science into his addiction treatment model. He has been featured in the national media spotlight on such shows as the Dr. Phil show, Suzanne Somers show, Ricki Lake show, CNN, Anderson Cooper, FOX News, ABC News, CBS News and NBC News and PBS.

Founder of Sponaugle Wellness

Dr. Rick Sponaugle, MD is an integrative physician who attempts a more precise diagnosis through quality forensic medicine. He performs an analysis and correlation of approximately 400 numerical biomarkers. This extensive evaluation enables Dr. Sponaugle to diagnose the underlying cause of his patient’s illness.

Our Medical Director, Rick Sponaugle M.D., is an integrative medicine physician who has treated 10,000+ patients from around the world suffering from the most complex brain and neurological disorders. Dr. Sponaugle has performed sophisticated brain research correlating over 10,000 Brain Chemistry analyses with neurotoxin levels and their associated changes in SPECT and PET brain imaging. Many of these patients suffered from undiagnosed Lyme disease, Bartonellosis, Mold Toxicity, and environmental toxicity.

With an emphasis on environmental medicine and tick-borne infections, Dr. Sponaugle specializes in treating brain and neurological disorders that are derived from severe neurotoxicity.

The majority of Sponaugle Wellness patients require simultaneous treatment for multiple medical disorders including Mold Toxicity, Industrial Toxicity, Gut Toxicity, Lyme Disease, and several additional tick-borne and mosquito-borne infections. These “stealth” infections commonly attack the brain and neurological system.


  • AAEM – American Academy of Environmental Medicine
  • ILADS – International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society
  • ACAM – American College for the Advancement of Medicine
  • ASAM – American Society of Addiction Medicine
Dr. Sponaugle approaches healing on an intracellular level
Dr. Sponaugle treated ex-NFL player Bernie Kosar for CTE

Dr. Sponaugle In The News

Dr. “Rick” Sponaugle has been recognized throughout the world as a leader in the integration of modern brain science into his addiction treatment model. He has been featured in the national media spotlight on such shows as the Dr. Phil show, Suzanne Somers show, Ricki Lake show, CNN, Anderson Cooper, FOX News, ABC News, CBS News and NBC News and PBS.

Suzanne Somers Chemistry of Addiction
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Dr. Phil Sponaugle Wellness Institute
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Rapid Detox | Rapid Opiate Detox & Alcohol treatment | Dr. Sponaugle | Lyme Disease Treatment | Sponaugle Wellness Institute | Oldsmar, FL | Doctor
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Dr. Sponaugle's Story

Raised in Franklin, West Virginia; a small farming town bordering the Shenandoah Mountain. Dr. Sponaugle attended West Virginia University with the funding of government loans and scholarships. He graduated PHI BETA KAPPA with a Degree in Chemistry and was awarded these additional honors:

  • Alpha Epsilon Delta National Chemistry Honor Society
  • Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities
  • Beta Theta Pi National Merit Scholarship

In addition, he was awarded one of four scholarships, given each year by the state of West Virginia, to exceptional PREMED students for matriculation at the WVU School of Medicine. After receiving my Medical Degree at WVU, he began an Internal Medicine residency at Charleston Area Medical Center with the intent to become a cardiologist.

While performing my Internal Medicine Internship, I become disillusioned with several aspects of Internal Medicine; particularly Oncology and Rheumatology. With a love for Cardiology, Pulmonology and Intensive Care Medicine, I left my Internal Medicine Residency to seek specialty training in Intensive Care Medicine at the University of Florida.

I chose an Anesthesiology Residency at the University of Florida, because the Anesthesiology department was leading the country in pioneering new modalities of Intensive Care Medicine.  For that reason, the department offered experience in medical care for multiple modes of intensive care units; the Pediatric ICU, the Surgical ICU and the Burn ICU.

The Anesthesiology Chairman, Dr. Jerome Modell, and his professors, invented a ventilator therapy, called PEEP, which revolutionized the treatment for drowning. They had also invented CPAP (PEEP without an endotracheal tube) and, later, IMV (Intermittent Mandatory Ventilation). Treatment modalities invented by Anesthesiologists at the University of Florida have been utilized in Intensive Care Units throughout the world.

During my residency, I assisted in studies evaluating the efficacy of “SUPER PEEP” for maintaining oxygenation in severely burned patients; patients who develop “wet lungs,” because of sepsis-induced “capillary leak.”

The Anesthesiology department also directed NASA’s Hyperbaric Chamber. Located in Shands Teaching Hospital and capable of simultaneously treating six Astronauts, it was the largest Hyperbaric Chamber in America. Prior to leaving my Anesthesiology Residency, I performed additional training in Pain Management which, in the early 1980s, was an emerging specialty like Intensive Care Medicine.

In 1985, I began practicing Critical Care Medicine and Anesthesiology in Tampa Bay. I served a cumulative total of 14 years as Chief of Anesthesiology for two different Tampa Bay hospitals. As Chief of Anesthesiology, I was responsible for ascertaining quality control and implementing safety protocols in multiple critical care areas. I also served multiple years as the Medical Director for three different outpatient surgical centers and one year as the Medical Director for the Watermark Pain Treatment Center.

While treating chronic pain patients in the late 1990′s, I became aware that America’s rehab centers were not controlling dangerous surges of adrenaline while patients were attempting to detox from Opiate pain medication. In 1998, I used my Cardiac-ICU skills and a computerized heart monitor, trans-esophageal echocardiography, to pioneer a much safer and less painful opiate detox. My detoxification technique has been featured on ABC, CNN and the Dr. Phil show. After referring patients to AA, NA and 28 day rehab centers from 1998 to 2000, I became disillusioned with talk therapy programs. I hypothesized that most addicted patients continued to relapse, because they suffered from inherited or acquired Brain Chemistry issues.

By the year 2000, I became fascinated with the emerging field of Brain Science and began reading SPECT and PET Brain imaging studies from all over the world. I found that Addiction doctors were vastly ill-knowledgeable regarding advances in Brain Science. For this reason, I began performing unprecedented research correlating my patients’ drug craving patterns with abnormal findings on their SPECT brain imaging, as well as specific neurotransmitter deficiencies and imbalances seen in their Brain Chemistry analyses.


My clinical research has proven that patients use Dopaminergic drugs to stimulate underactive brain regions that are inherited or acquired by toxin-induced malnutrition and neurotoxicity. Dopaminergic drugs trigger a temporary release of Dopamine from brain cell storage units into the synapse; the space between two brain neurons.
My additional research proved what should have been obvious to all addiction specialists; that addicted patients were self-medicating with calming drugs to quiet their overactive [over-electrified] brain regions.

By 2006, using neurotransmitter analysis, I prescribed herbal supplements to balance Brain Chemistry and calm electrical circuits in the brain. Doing so enabled me to achieve the lowest relapse rates in America. For this, I was invited to speak at the Whitehouse. However, I knew in my heart that balancing Brain Chemistry and preventing relapse wasn’t good enough. I wanted to know and understand the underlying medical disorder that caused the abnormal Brain Chemistry patterns that subsequently caused the patient to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.

My most complicated and most laborious research has taken place since 2006: research performed in an attempt to diagnose, in each individual patient, the various underlying medical disorders that are causing sickness and “electrifying” changes in neurotransmitter patterns, Brain Chemistry imbalances that subsequently up-regulate the flow of electrical current in the Brain and peripheral nervous system – Neuroexcitotoxicity.

My clinical research has correlated patient symptoms and intensity of sickness with over 9,000 Neurotransmitter patterns, 6000 Mold Mycotoxin levels, 2000 Industrial Toxin levels and thousands of mathematical biomarkers for Gastrointestinal Dysbiosis [Candida and SIBO biomarkers], Immune Dysfunction, Stealth Infections and Genetic testing.

Through this intensive research, I have determined that most “sick” patients are suffering far more from Epigenetics than Genetics. Furthermore, common sense dictates that the Gene Pool could not change enough, in just 30 years, to cause the exponential surge of psychological and neurological disorders seen in the image.

While every patient is different, I have determined there are four primary categories of causation for the increased “sickness” and the subsequent detrimental changes in Brain Chemistry that are responsible for the exponential rise of these psychological and neurological disorders since 1980:


Stories of Healing

Take a moment to watch these amazing stories of healing and know that we are always ready and eager to make a difference in your life or the life of a loved one who may be dealing with chronic illness.

Tasha's Lyme Disease Treatment Success Story | Sponaugle Wellness Institute | Oldsmar, FL
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Before the Lyme and mold symptoms took over her life, Tasha was an avid hiker, world traveler and active member of the Durango, Colorado community. She worked as an intensive-care unit and emergency room nurse and took to the mountains and desert of Colorado whenever she could.

Being forced to quit her nursing job due to brain fog and the inability to care for patients, she began to feel she had no purpose and felt into a dark world of depression and suicidal ideology. Learn more about Tasha’s journey to healing from severe depression and anxiety to healing from mold and coinfections she did not know she even had.

Lyme and Mold weakened Benjamin’s immune system so severely that it spun him into an intense depression. He remembers seeing a plane overhead on his drive home and wishing for it to crash into his car and end his pain.

As a father of 3 and a loving husband, he knew he needed to find the cause of his symptoms and get help. Click to his patient spotlight page to watch his incredible journey and learn first hand what it entailed.

Ben's Story of Healing from Lyme Disease and Mold Toxicity | Lyme Disease Treatment Testimonial
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Black Mold Testimonial Sponaugle Wellness
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Her personality changed so much that her family started asking questions. From outgoing and energetic to depressed and introverted, Lucetta unknowingly lived in a home full of toxic black mold.

Gone were the days of traveling the world, running half marathons and writing books, Lucetta knew she needed help. Her story is motivational and her healing is life-changing. Click to see her transformation.

Savannah is full of grace, her smile and her spirit bring light everywhere she goes. She continues to thank Dr. Sponaugle and his team for the sophisticated intravenous mold toxicity treatment they used to not only save her life but to restore her to a higher quality of life.

Vibrant and beautiful, Savanah is a brilliant actress and singer. She has returned to making movies. Click here to see her latest film.

Treatment for Mold Sickness at Sponaugle Wellness Institute in Oldsmar, FL
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Chronic Lyme Treatment Testimonial
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After a lifetime of being active and heathy, Lewis fell sick. His teeth began to decay, his legs swelled up so badly he could barely walk, he had unexplained rashes, insomnia, extreme fatigue, hallucinations, loss of eyesight, anxiety and multiple hospitalizations. To most, his symptoms seemed unrelated, but everything became clear after a Lyme Disease diagnosis. Lewis decided he needed to take control of his life and entered the Sponaugle Wellness Institute.

Extreme fatigue and brain fog made her feel like she was losing her mind. She lost her job, she was in constant pain, she even had episodes where she felt like she could not breathe. Her body was doing scary things and she had no idea it was caused by an underlying Lyme infection. She decided she needed help, so she made the trip from PA to FL to Sponaugle Wellness Institute. Click for her entire story.

Neurological Lyme Treatment Testimonial
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Lyme Disease Treatment for Suicidal Teenager Testimonial
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Bethany had no idea what it was like to feel “normal.” In her teens, after a lifelong battle with the horrifying side effects of Lyme Disease and Mold Toxicity, she tried to end her life. She was traumatized by demonic hallucinations, seizures, chronic pain, depression, migraines and more. Her family moved out of their home, tried many different treatments and feared the worst for their daughter. Her time at Sponaugle Wellness Institute was life-changing. Bethany is starting to feel normal again, she is smiling, she is excited for her future and the life ahead of her.

Lydia searched for treatment for her symptoms for over 25 years. Her chronic inflammation, pain, inability to walk, numbness, hair loss and more led to depression and a feeling that she “was going to die.” Lydia is now walking, dancing and feeling like “life has given her a second chance” after her treatment at Sponaugle Wellness Institute.

Lydia's Mold Treatment Success Story
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Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis Testimonial
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Bradley was injecting Rheumatoid Arthritis medication for 14 years which did not help his symptoms and consequently, suppressed his immune system, filling him with toxicity and leaving him susceptible to other serious medical disorders.

Bradley got to a point where his body just collapsed. He could not get out of bed, he could not use his hands, he was hospitalized and he knew he needed to find help.

Denise battled severe symptoms for 16 years. By 2014, she had become legally blind and underwent two unsuccessful surgeries to try to fix her vision. Plagued with migraines and facial palsy, Denise felt as if her life was being stolen from her.

Desperate for a solution, she jumped at the opportunity to aggressively treat the disease at its source after she had her initial consultation at Sponaugle Wellness Institute. It worked, and she now has regained almost perfect 20/20 vision.

Mold Sickness Testimonial Sponaugle Wellness Institute
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Chronic Lyme Disease Treatment Testimonial Sponaugle Wellness Institute
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Faced with debilitating symptoms that were affecting his business and home life, Tom went from physician to physician seeking a diagnosis. He knew something was not right, but no specialist could offer a solid diagnosis. As migraines, pain and extreme fatigue began to take hold of his life, his search leads him to the Sponaugle Wellness Institute.

On his final day of treatment, Tom was compelled to face the staff and other patients to give a speech on his life-changing experience at Sponaugle Wellness. To watch his speech, exit interview, PET scan imaging, and information on Tom, click here.

After multiple hospital stays and a negative Multiple Sclerosis test, Monique was told by her Canadian doctors the sickness might “be in her head.”

Confined to a wheelchair and with two young children, Monique longed for her life back. She came for treatment at Sponaugle Wellness Institute and her recovery is life-changing and inspiring.

Monique's Lyme Disease, Mold Toxcitiy, Industrial Toxcicity, and Co-infections Treatment Success Story | Sponaugle Wellness Institute | Ontario, CA | INTENSE & LONG TERM CHRONIC LYME, MOLD TOXICITY, INDUSTRIAL TOXICITY & CO-INFECTIONS
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Lindsay's Lyme Disease Treatment Success Story | Sponaugle Wellness Institute | MOTHER OF TWO SEVERE MOLD TOXICITY & CHRONIC LYME

“Every doctor just kept saying it’s in your head, reduce the stress in your life, speak to a psychologist, but I received no answer for what was actually happening to me.”

Lindsay came to us after being diagnosed with Lyme Disease and the highest level of Mold Toxicity we’ve ever seen. Dizziness, fainting, numbness in her limbs, extreme anxiety, nausea, and fatigue so badly she could barely get out of bed. Muscle and joint stiffness and extreme neck pain, accompanied by depression, insomnia, her teeth started breaking and she would lose vision for half-hour periods at a time. Lindsay felt like she was going to die.

Mary Lindsey was a healthy and extremely active teenager who danced 20 hours a week before she succumbed to a combination of neurological Lyme disease, Bartonella infection, and mold toxicity. As these infections progressed, she became wheelchair-bound and developed severe neurological symptoms, including seizures, slurred speech, and total body pain.

Prior to finding the integrative treatment for Lyme disease at Sponaugle Wellness Institute, Mary Lindsey sought treatment with 30 doctors including neurologists at two major universities, who told her that her symptoms were solely psychological.

Mary Lindsey's Lyme Disease and Mold Toxicity Treatment Success Story | Sponaugle Wellness Institute | From wheelchair to bike riding
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It seems impossible to imagine the man you see in the image above needing any help in regards to obtaining optimal health and wellness. Wales native, Kris Gethin, has undergone treatment with Sponaugle Wellness Institute twice now in order to supplement and enhance his very extreme training regimen.

Lea from Denver suffered for 3 1/2 years before finding Sponaugle Wellness Institute’s unique treatment protocol that she states, “saved her life”. She was generous to share her treatment testimony and journey to wellness.

Lyme Disease & Mold Toxicity Treatment - Lea's Success Story | Lea's Lyme Disease and Mold Toxicity Treatment Success Story | Sponaugle Wellness Institute | Oldsmar, FL | Colorado Lyme Disease Treatment Success Story | CHRONIC LYME, MOLD TOXICITY & CO-INFECTIONS
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Canadian Receives Lyme Disease Treatment At Sponaugle Wellness Institute in Oldsmar, FL
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Thea’s Lyme and other co-infections in her body lead to seizures and other debilitating symptoms. Thea began treatment at Sponaugle Wellness Institute February 2017 and we are happy to report that by June 2017; Thea is on the road to recovery. Thea’s energy has increased and she is doing the things she loves like rock climbing.

Alisha – Canada

Lindsey – Maryland

Sadie – Texas

Mauryah – Canada

Carol – Pennsylvania

Rhodora – Pennsylvania

Heather – California

Gracie – Canada

Kamea – Canada

Mia – Australia

Mauryah – Canada

Lori – Pennsylvania

Teal – Colorado

Stephanie – Georgia

Judah – Canada

*Sponaugle Wellness Institute cannot guarantee individual patient outcomes.

Treatment results will vary from patient to patient.