Suffering from Lyme’s? Not my normal topic, but even fighting my own illness for 18 months has lead me to see food makes a difference in recovering from sever illness. I wanted to share what I've learn with those seeking answers about Lyme's Disease.
I am writing for those who might think they have Lyme’s, and those whose lives have already been changed by this destructive disease.
The first step to beating Lyme’s disease is to acknowledge that you have it. This is difficult because over 50% of the cases DO NOT remember getting bit by a tick or having a bull’s eye mark on their body. I am one of those cases. I don’t remember getting bitten or seeing a tick not just once, but EVER. In Europe the medical community is acknowledging that Lyme’s can be transmitted by mosquitoes. But in America that is never talked about, so if there is no tick personally and medically we believe there is no Lyme’s. I truly do remember getting bitten up 18 months ago by mosquitoes, so for me I think that is where I got it.
Back to the point that we must first believe ourselves that we could possibly have Lyme’s disease and not ever know when or where we got it. It is truly the hardest thing because if you are like me, you might be healthy, fit, exercising, and eating right. Then without warning you start feeling overly tired, aches, dizziness, headaches and even trouble sleeping (more symptoms at the end). It took me about two months of my mother saying it sounds like you have Lyme’s, for me to say YES that is my problem. Besides your own misconceptions it’s hard to say YES I have Lyme’s because the standard Lyme’s test most often comes back negative. Mine did, but I was terribly sick and the Dr’s keep saying my test results are ALL negative I am the picture of perfect health. Were they kidding me? Did they see my swelling in my legs, feet, and hands, my absolute need to go lie down at noon, my pain in my legs, knees, wrist, and fingers? I know they saw it, and I know they ignored my symptoms and just looked at the test results.
So the second most important thing you do is to find a Lyme’s Literate Dr and a Holistic Dr. This link will bring you to a site that will help you find Lyme’s Literate Doctors in your state. www.turnthecorner.org
I actually had a Lyme’s doctor list in my possession, but because I was in denial for a few months I went to a Natural MD first. I went to her because she treated my son before and she treats the whole body. She was the first to say just from my symptoms that she thought my troubles were all caused by Lyme’s. She was the first to say work on your immune system because it’s working overtime. She also gave me a blood test that standard Dr’s don’t ever recommend but on line research shows that it’s the only test that is accurate for Lyme’s. It is called the Igenix Lyme’s Test. This test came back positive for Lyme’s, but the Natural MD was not Lyme’s proficient so I marched back to my HMO with this new test results in hand. I went right to the top, the infectious disease doctor. First he said my test results were bogus. Then he gave me a ton more test. Then he said there is no way I could have Lyme’s and I must have celiac so I should go see a Gastro Intestinal doctor. That’s when I knew I had been wasting my time because on my own I had gone totally Gluten Free and was only eating soup and nuts and not one symptom had disappeared, daily they had gotten worse. SO DON’T waste your time, get your Lyme’s Literate Dr. right away and then if they don’t work on fixing your immune system find a Holistic Dr that does. You have to do both in order to heal. Also very important if you have an HMO find out from HR if you can switch to a PPO because the PPO allows people to go outside their network and to alternative doctors.
Now you’re on your way to healing, but there is still a long road to go. The third thing you need to do is take control of your own body. It is going to start with the food you eat, but if you do it your suffering will diminish, and I am sure that is your number one goal right now. Lyme’s disease attacks every part of your body, even your digestion, and your immune system. One of my first signs of illness was when I could no longer eat pizza on Friday night. For two years my whole family has been eating gluten free, but on Friday night my husband and I would treat ourselves to a real pizza. When I first got sick I would feel really drowsy the next morning. They the next week, after the pizza I would wake up with a headache and tired and every weekend it would get worse. So I figured I was just becoming sensitive to the pizza because I had cut out all the rest of the gluten in my diet. As to not to go into every detail I’ll just say it started with the pizza and then this occurrence started to expand into every food I ate from pizza to fruits, veggies, and meats.
There are three parts to the reason you feel terrible all the time. Keep in mind I am not a doctor and this information has come from personal experience and research so talk to your Lyme’s Literate Specialist and work with your own body knowledge. Lyme’s is cause by at least three species of bacteria belonging to the genus Borrelia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease) First, the bacteria are eating the sugars entering into your body, second your immune system is now weakened because it is working overtime from fighting the disease. Third, because your immune system is over worked it is now attacking not only the disease, but everything that enters into your body, and even your body itself.
What is the explanation for the inability to eat foods you love when you have Lyme’s? If you know about bacteria, it likes to feed off of the environment it’s in. Once in the body they start to take over and one thing they love is any food that turns into sugar. So that is anything from real sugar to, wheat, rice, potatoes, and fructose from fruit.
It’s not the end you CAN and SHOULD fight back! When you do you will feel great again. Remember you are on your way to the Lyme’s Literate Doctor, but what can you do right now? I suggest getting the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome available at Amazon, it was a great step in my recovery. The most important part of the book was how it suggested cutting out everything to start a new healing process. Remember you are VERY sick and in order to feel great again YOU have to do something.
So even before going to the doctor I started to treat my immune system. By the time I did this I could not eat anything at all without feeling sick to my stomach, itchy throat, and immediate tiredness. I started by eliminating all foods that turn into sugar in the digestion process real sugar t, wheat, rice, potatoes, and fructose from fruit. What I had left was almonds in the morning with a cup of organic coffee with organic whole milk and water. Then I made homemade chicken soup with water, a whole chicken, salt, carrots, garlic, and pepper. If I felt up to it I would add some eggs or a salad, but for about two months that was all I ate. Now not only could I digest this food, I was helping my immune system heal, because I was not overworking the system every time I ate. Also the old wives talk of chicken soup being the best thing for a cold is actually true. There is scientific research that the nutrients of homemade chicken soup are very healing to the digestion and immune system. After two months of just soup, nuts, ginger or peppermint tea, and eggs, I started to slowly add simple foods like gluten free oat meal, crackers and berries. I found even before starting the medication I was able to eat many foods I enjoyed. But I still to this day stay away from Gluten because it turns into sugar so fast.
At the same time that I changed my diet I started to boast my nutrients known to help the immune system work. Here is where having a good Holistic doctor comes in handy and you’ll need one if the Lyme’s Literate Specialist you find doesn’t work with your immune system. But remember you can start doing this on your own before you get to the Dr’s because every day is important in your recovery. You need to get your vitamin D and C tested and your D level according to my doctor should be above 60. Most American’s don’t get enough D so start taking more today. Here is what I take every Day to keep my immune system up. I start with a high potency Multivitamin. I actually take a prenatal vitamin because it has the most minerals. If I feel depressed or really angry, I actually take two in one day. Then I take 1500 mg of vitamin C in the morning and night and 4000 mg of Vitamin D. Plus I never forget to take a really good pro-biotic to help heal my stomach.
Another great mineral that I take to help my symptoms is Magnesium. I take it throughout the day when my symptoms are bad like headaches and stiffness, and morning and night when I am feeling ok. Plus, I take an herb called Milk Thistle, which is recommended to help improve liver function. I found that my liver function after 8 months of antibiotics is still healthy. Taking the Milk Thistle at night also helps me sleep better, so I take two before bed. Finally, before I started taking the antibiotics from the Lyme’s Literate Doctor I was taking a lot of Echinacea three times a day. It really helped my immune system get back on track as well as it gave me a lot of energy I had lost over the first few months of my illness.
You are now on your way to the Lyme’s Literate Doctor. He will put you on months maybe years of antibiotics, but I am telling you if you stick to a good diet and vitamin and mineral regiment you will feel better. The only thing you really have to be a ware of is that the medicin will not make you feel great right away it can be up to six month or more before you have your spring in your step again. So DON’T GIVE up keep fighting and know if you do you will feel great again. Also after a lifetime of at home remedies I can tell you there is nothing natural that I have found, as of yet, that will kill the bacteria totally off beside the antibiotics. After 18 months of being sick I am about 75% better. I eat totally Grain free using my cookbook Grain Free Cooking to help me every day. http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2835432
I do cheat on my diet once in a while with some little gluten bites, but I always pay with a week of pain so it is less and less often that I eat foods that the bacteria like to thrive on.
This journey is hard, you will feel terrible, you won’t be able to get off the coach, but if you get up, make that soup, take your vitamins, call that Dr, and believe that there is a better day ahead you will heal and feel great again.
Symptoms: The best overview of the disease and treatment guideline is located on the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society website at http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2835432 At this link you will find the list the Lyme’s Literate Doctor will use to help determine your condition. Read it firstJThe following symptoms are from http://www.medicinenet.com/lyme_disease/page2.htm
generalized fatigue, muscle, and joint stiffness, swollen lymph nodes ("swollen glands"), and headache, resembling symptoms of a virus infection. (I did not have swollen glands or fevor)
Subsequently, disease in the joints, heart, and nervous system can occur.
The later phases of Lyme disease can affect the heart, causing inflammation of the heart muscle. This can result in abnormal heart rhythms and heart failure. The nervous system can develop facial muscle paralysis (Bell's palsy), abnormal sensation due to disease of peripheral nerves (peripheral neuropathy), meningitis, and confusion. Arthritis, or inflammation in the joints, begins with swelling, stiffness, and pain. Usually, only one or a few joints become affected, most commonly the knees. The arthritis of Lyme disease can look like many other types of inflammatory arthritis and can become chronic.
Researchers have also found that anxiety and depression occur with an increased rate in people with Lyme disease. This is another important aspect of the evaluation and management of this condition.
I also found my whole body would be very stiff in the late evening and early morning. It was hard to move my figures as if I had arthritis, my knees and elbows would not move.
I had jaw pain until I started taking the Echinacea. In the morning the bottom of my feet would hurt when I walked.
I had dizziness early on, than blurred vision and a twitch in my left eye.
I did have depression and would be angry more often what my husband called on edge a lot:)
I also had foggy brain where I could not remember what I wanted to do and what I was going to say (fortunately this went away soon after going on meds)
As it got worse my hands would become numb when driving or bent in any position for a few minutes (this went away with a few months of meds and an acupuncturist)
I found from talking to people that the bacteria attacks where you are weakest. In me it was my wrist and ankles in my friend it was her heart and left shoulder.
Today its been ore then three years since I was diagnosed with Lyme's Disease. I am feeling so GREAT. I eat grain free every day and love it. I have used lots of natural healing like echinacea, lots of vitamin C and Chinese herbs from http://www.shop.fiveelementhealing.net/Andrographis-100-caps-androgr.htm