supplements for lyme disease

SUPPLEMENTS FOR LYME DISEASE

What are the main supplements for Lyme Disease?

Vitamin deficiencies are common among those suffering from Lyme Disease and its co-infections. The following list of supplements for Lyme Disease help lymies get better and overcome many of their symptoms. Supplements, vitamins, exercise and the Lyme disease diet enable them to have a “normal life”.

supplements for lyme disease

Alpha lipoic acid

It does wonders for the liver, helping it detox. It facilitates the entry of C0Q-10 which plays a vital role on your energy levels. Recommended dose: 300mg once or twice a day.

 

Co-Q10 (ubiquinone)

The human body produces its own Co-Q10 but in a very small quantity and usually only when stimulated by aggressive exercise. Since most of the Lyme patient are not in condition to follow a rigurous exercising routine, their bodies are deficient in Co-Q10. Unfortunately these deficiencies lead to a poor heart function, lower or limited stamina, gum disease and a close zero resistance to infections.

**Note: This supplement can be taken for longer periods of time. You can have it until your symptoms will improve and you will be able to exercise on a regular basis.**

**Additional note: It is not recommended to take this supplement while being administered Mepron or Malarone!**

 

Magnesium

There is no surprise that Lyme literate doctors recommend their patients to take Magnesium; it decreases the intensity and frequency of the following symptoms: tremors, twitches, cramps, muscle soreness, heart skips, weakness.

Keep in mind that all supplements should not be taken in the same time with your antibiotics! In case you are on antibiotic treatment, you will need to take your supplements at lunch and bedtime, if you take the antibiotics at breakfast and dinner. 

Avoid buying Magnesium Calcium tablets or similar combinations as they are not absorbed by the body!

There are several brands that are good, among which Magnesium Malate, Magnesium Potassium Aspartate. One of best Magnesium supplements is Mag-tab SR-made. You may know it as “Slow Mag”, magnesium L-lactate dehydrate, made by Niche Pharmaceuticals.

You can have one tab two times per day. Although a higher intake of Magnesium can be beneficial, it does cause diarrhea as side effect.

 

Vitamin B

It had been proven by clinical studies that this supplement helps improve or even clear neurological symptoms. Patients infected with Borrelia have experienced a decrease of their neurological symptoms after taking 50-100 mg B-complex capsule on a daily basis.

In case of a sever neuropathy, it is recommended an additional dose of 50 mg of B6.

 

Multi-vitamin supplement

Multi-vitamins, mineral supplements and anti acids should be taken once a day, but not with antibiotics. Otherwise the supplement will bind to the antibiotic and prevent its absorption.

 

Essential Fatty Oils

Fatty acids are divided in two broad classes: those derived from plants and those obtained from fish or krill. A regular intake of these supplements can improve symptoms such as:

  • fatigue
  • aches
  • dizziness
  • joint pain
  • weakness
  • vertigo
  • memory
  • concentration
  • depression.

Among the plant oils, you can opt for Borage Oil, Evening Primrose or Black Currant Seed Oil which are effective against inflammation due to their higher amount of EPA.

You can start with two capsules daily with food for three or four months and then reduces the dose to one capsule twice a day. You can also chose a refrigerated mixture of omega oils from your closest health food store and take 1-2 tbs daily.

 

Omega 3

Omega 3(fish, krill) should be taken twice per day for three or four months, with meals. Then the dose should be decreased to one pill twice a day.

Ideally it would be to buy a supplement free of any heavy-metals, organic toxins. Make a habit of reading the labels and look for a brand made organically certified. Usually these are under liquid form and they have a higher potency than capsules.

 

**Please consult your physician before trying any new vitamin or supplement as I am not providing medical advice. I only share my experience!**

 

This post contains affiliate links and I may receive commissions for the purchase made through this link at no extra cost to you.

MEDICAL CANNABIS – AN ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT FOR LYME DISEASE?

 

medical marijuana cannabis for lyme disease

Nowadays numerous online sources praise the benefits of CBD oil (cannabidiol) as an alternative treatment for symptoms varying from chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation, to nausea and epilepsy.

As a result more and more specialists and Lyme sufferers decide to give it a try since it seems to help all kinds of conditions. In fact, there has been an increase of people coming forward and asking to legitimize hemp and CBD as medicine.

In the Chinese medicine, CBD oil is a known method of pain management.

 

CBD (OIL) AS AN ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT FOR LYME DISEASE

Some patients are still reluctant to give it a try because of the social stigma attached to it. The lack of information on the topic and the cloud of negativity surrounding it prevent sufferers from taking advantage of its beneficial effects. 

Other ones, who considered they had nothing left to lose, moved across the country after they have learnt about the healing powers of cannabis. Couple of years down the rode, they stated they were feeling much better.  

 

“When you tried several treatment options without seeing some serious improvement, you find yourself asking what do I have to lose? I have been a lab rat on antibiotics for couple of years. I doubt that cannabis can do the same liver damage as all the chemicals in those pills that I took so far.” -Anonymous Lyme sufferer from Colorado

 

 

Back in 2008, a study revealed that cannabis was effective against an “antibiotic-resistant” strain of MRSA. The researchers disclosed the strong antibacterial properties of numerous cannabinoids (CBC, THC and CBD).

Another online publication talks about the anti-inflammatory and anticonvulsant mechanisms of CBD, emphasizing on the benefits of replacing the inflammatory medication with high-CBD strains.

CBD Oil is the most common form of herbal medication as it has less adverse side effects than the smokable forms.

Dr. Ernie Murakami has been preaching the benefits of CBD oil as form of treatment for quite some time.

Not everyone knows that marijuana has 483 phytocannabinoids, that effectively treat different symptoms. Most of people only heard about the THC – the psychotic component that gets one experience a psychoactive giddiness.

According to dr. Daniel A. Kinderlehrer, M.D., the THC is quite beneficial for pain, sleep, nausea, appetite, and PTSD. He claims that the two strains of cannabis: Indica and Sativa are both beneficial for Lyme patients. He adds that cannabis is not a treatment for Lyme, but a way to control symptoms.

Cannabis and hemp products help to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with Lyme disease. Read here the story of an athlete whose condition improved considerably after using cannabis products. 

Marty Ross, M.D. explains in depth the benefits of using medical benefits for Lyme (see table below) and other illnesses.

 

benefits of medical cannabis for lyme disease

HOW TO TAKE CBD FOR LYME DISEASE?

First step would be to talk with your doctor and ask him to prescribe you medical cannabis. Once you have your prescription, you can either order it online or purchase it directly from different shops. 

Though a quick visit to CBD shop can leave one confused as the sight of wide range of products available: oils, tinctures, creams, mints, gums, chocolate, teas and so on! From edibles to vaping and smoking or injections for those who find themselves in severe pain.

Dr. Bill Rawls, a Lyme-sufferer himself, states that: “The best way to take CBD oil mixed with a carrier oil to a specific concentration is to place a few drops or dropperfuls under your tongue for 15 seconds to access the sublingual gland.” For a more in depth reading on the topic, click the link above.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT CBD OIL WHEN USED FOR LYME?

  • Note that it takes up to two or three weeks for one to experience the full effect of the treatment.
  • Never take it on your own without medical supervision. Ask your Lyme specialist or physician to prescribe you medical marijuana. Ensure you purchase only pure strains. Organic grown CBD without any pesticides.
  • Never buy it from the street as it won`t help your condition and you might end up in some serious legal issues if marijuana consumption is not legalized in your state or country of origin.
  • Always respect the dose prescribed by your physician. If necessary, have him adjust it during your next consultation.
  • You may experience a Herxheimer  reaction when you just start the CBD treatment.
  • Cannabinoids naturally detox your system, thus take it slowly.
  • Just because cannabis is not considerate addictive as heroin or other drugs, there are some possible side-effects. 

 

IS CBD OIL BETTER AT TREATING LYME THAN OTHER HERBS?

There is no doubt CBD oil offers some relief to those affected by Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and other chronic illnesses!The research has shown that cannabis has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and neuro-protective properties.  Used in combination with other herbal remedies such as antimicrobial herbs like Japanese knotweed, cat’s claw, andrographis, garlic, sarsaparilla, and berberine  it could have a more beneficial effect on patients.

 

CONCLUSION

Maybe it’s about time to cease treating everything with synthetic drugs and use nature to our advantage. Cannabis` potent antibiotic properties are not fully exploited yet, although they would be beneficial in the healing process.

No one knows for sure if cannabis is the cure for Lyme disease, as there is no research showing concrete data. Though on the bright side, physicians are more open to try experimenting with CBD-rich products which was totally unheard of until recently!

When you are looking for an all-natural way to decrease the intensity of certain symptoms caused by Lye, CBD oil can offer the needed relief.

º°

Did you ever used cannabis for Lyme? Did you find it helpful? I would love to hear about your experience! Drop me a line in comments section below!

 

FULL MOON AND LYME DISEASE

There is no doubt  that the moon’s gravitational pull is strong enough to control the tides.

Thus why are we surprised to find out that it can affect our bodies which are just sacks of tissue and water? Everything under the sun is affected by the lunar cycles. Why should humans be different?

Some people may be more aware of its effect on them while others would not have a clue about it as the effects would go unnoticed.

 

WORSENING SYMPTOMS NEAR THE FULL MOON

How does the moon (full or new) affects each individual is hard to say as it is an unique experience. Not all Lyme disease patients will feel the same way or have the same symptoms. Some may experience widespread pain, body buzzing, tearfulness, insomnia, shortness of breath, while others will suffer from joint pain or headaches.

 

Full moon seems to exacerbate some of the symptoms experienced by Lyme sufferers or even add new ones to their ordeal. Apparently their emotions and state of mind tend to be affected by this phase of the moon.  

 

Many patients complain about struggling with sleep disturbances and anxiety at night and feeling shaky inside. The best description of this symptom would be to imagine how it feels to have a TGV train passing inside you while you are in bed.

 

Headaches, dehydration and body aches are other symptoms noted by the Lyme sufferers during the super-moon. They all experience a flare-up.

 

Those infected with Babesia tend to have a longer flare-up. Usually symptoms occur somewhere 8-10 days before the full moon. Women tend to suffer even more, especially if the full moon occurs close to their monthly cycle.

WHAT CAUSES THE FLARE-UP?

 

Parasites. They are the main culprits for the flare-up. We may not like to think about it, but inside of our bodies, most of us have worms, unwanted parasites that we are not even aware of. If not addressed properly, a parasite infection can hinder the healing and it can even lead to other serious health problems.

 

Around a full moon, not only the Lyme patients will feel worse, but also those who have parasites, because during this time, the parasites’ activity peaks, causing us, the host, to feel unwell.

 

The parasites are active during the full moon too as it is their mating season. Every couple of weeks, the parasites and bacterias hatch and form new babies. To be more precise, the spirochetes have a reproductive cycle each 28-30 days, which coincides with the full moon cycle.

 

The flare up is due to the fact that during this period of time the spirochetes are far more active. As for the co-infections, they have a 3 to 5 days cycle, which explains the ups and downs on the symptoms experienced by patients.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO FEEL BETTER?

 

Detox. Try detoxing before and after the full moon in order to get rid of more toxins. Detox baths, far infrared saunas, coffee enemas, etc. More toxins you will flush out, better you will feel.

Exercise. Try yoga, pilate or a bit of exercise! Remember to follow your own pace. Killing yourself over the machines at the gym, won’t do you any good!

Essential oils. Experiment with some of these essential oils and see what works better for you: Lavender, Thyme, Oregano, Cinnamon Bark, Tea tree, Frankincense and Myrrh, Clove, Marjoram or Vetiver.

Medication. Ideally would be to avoid adding more chemicals to your body while fighting Lyme or any co-infection, though sometimes taking an Ibuprofen may offer some relief.

 

NOTE

Track your symptoms! Having a small health journal would help you notice how you feel, if there is any pattern repeating around the full moon.

6 Ways To Beat Holidays Blues

 

We need to keep in mind that not everyone shares the Holiday spirit and there are some people who find this period of the year extremely difficult. While most of us look forward to reunite with our loved ones, others try to isolate themselves and stay away from the holiday madness which acts as a trigger for their depression.

As a chronic illness sufferer, I know how challenging and daunting it can be to see others parading their good cheer and merriment while you’re all under the blue. It doesn’t make you a Grinch nor a Merkel, but it certainly gets on your nerves to see everyone around you enjoying a life of happiness that you have been deprived off.

This is when the Why me? question reappears and wreaks havoc through your mind, making it more tough to pull yourself together and move forward. You’ve done with it before and thought of having it sorted. Though, somehow it pops out again and puts you on the wrong path again.

 

Fortunately there are ways to chase away the holidays blue. All you need to do is to be willing to change something and step out from under the black clouds of doom. Here are some ideas that may help you improve your spirit and pack away the Grinch:

  • Avoid self-isolation as much as possible, join a gathering or a party! Try not to roll alone into your own misery. It will only make things worse. Attend that party at work or cocktail and engage in conversation with someone you never talked to before. You may find it easier to talk to someone new who is not aware of your condition. You can even enjoy having a proper conversation non-relevant to your illness. If you were trying to avoid feeling pity for or having shallow greetings, now it’s your chance to socialize!
  • Engage in conversation, be honest about how you feel. When asked about your health, be blunt and offer honest answers. This enables you to bring more awareness about your condition and allows you to see who are those really interested in what’s going on with you.
  • Shop online for your Xmas presents. If you know that crowds tend to get you overwhelmed, why not avoid them? There are plenty of websites where you can buy your gifts! Save your energy for some other activity that you would enjoy more!
  • Travel to a new destination, if you can afford it and if your health allows it. Go explore your surroundings as much as you can. Nothing beats the excitement of revelling in anonymity while being away from home. Don’t think of it as a way to escape reality, but as a reward, a ticket to pamper yourself.
  • Create new traditions. Sometimes it is much easier to try something new or step out of your comfort zone instead of doing the same old thing that doesn’t bring you much joy. Who says you need to have a fir tree or thousands of lights shimmering on your house? If you don’t feel like doing it, ditch it and don’t feel guilty about it! Step out of the patterns and celebrate the holidays on your own pace, following your own rules. Even Santa changes the rules once in a way!
  • Cultivate gratitude for all the positive aspects of your life. Although it might not seem there is not much left for you to be thankful for, you will be surprised to see how many other things you are taking for granted. Try to make a list of the things that are still going okay in your life and focus on those. Happiness doesn’t come in bulk, it’s all made out of little moments of joy that sprinkle our life here and there.

Wishing you all Happy Holidays and a wonderful time filled with love and peace!

When A-Z Lyme meets The Mighty

Over an year ago I became a contributor to THE MIGHTY, meaning they accepted to publish on their website some of my Lyme related articles. They offered me the exposure I needed to voice my story and raise more awareness for Lyme disease.

Thanks to them, some of my articles were featured on Yahoo and Huffington Post. I couldn’t have reached a wider audience on my own. In addition, they added a direct link to my A-ZLYME.COM on each of my stories that they published. That little link they added, helped me increase the traffic to my website and have it rank higher on the Google search, which made it more accessible to other people.

What did I get from joining The Mighty community? More than I could have ever asked for. I got an incredible exposure for my Lyme disease awareness campaign and a supportive community that helped me move forward with my struggles. They made me see that I was not alone. I also got a lovely t-shirt that I proudly wear. It’s the one in the photo below.

On The Mighty’s platform, I connected with contributors and readers. Some of them were touched by different illnesses while others were simply looking for answers. What they had in common was the need for support. The Migthy offered just that: a digital health community that aimed to empower and connect people struggling with health challenges and disabilities.

 

42479335_10157829328808266_6096563496642674688_n.jpg
 

Among the replies I got for my articles, I remember one from a Lyme-sufferer, a women from the states. She wrote to me, thanking me for voicing her cause and giving her hope for better days. Until that moment, I hadn’t fully grasped the impact my articles had on other Lyme sufferers, as I was more focused on preaching how to prevent Lyme or explaining others what it entailed to live with Lyme.

Her message made me understand that I needed it to open up and talk more about my personal experience with Lyme, which I did and continue to do. Otherwise how can one expect the rest of the world to know how it feels to live with an invisible illness, if he doesn’t talk about it? How can others know what he feels if he doesn’t share his struggle? Not everyone has the ability to read minds!

One year down the road and I still get asked why do I write for free about Lyme, or why do I refuse to put adds or monetize the website. My answer will always be the same: “Not everything is about the money!” When I created A-ZLYME I wanted it to address all possible questions related to Lyme, from A to Z, hence A-ZLYME.

It was designed to help those looking for information about Lyme disease and make their search easier by having all the data in one place. I know by experience it ain’t easy nor pleasant to spend long hours looking for information online while fighting brain fog and experiencing neurological symptoms of Lyme.

I might not have an answer for how to get rid of Lyme, but I learnt how to cope with it. I know that building mental strength helps the body perform at its peak which is key for living a happier life.

If you are struggling with a chronic illness or you have any health issues that you’d like to talk about with someone, you may want to have a look at THE MIGHTY and consider joining them.

EXPLAIN MY PAIN: LYME

A journey of pain and suffering

Being a Lyme sufferer prevented me from getting back to working full-time and made me jump through a lot of hoops. In a nutshell, I was one of the lucky ones who managed to see the light at the end of the tunnel, meaning that I managed to find a way to live a normal life after becoming a Lymie.

I won’t lie to you, this was a long journey with ups and downs and many dead ends. It was a journey that I did all alone cause most of my friends vanished on the way. I moved on and I learnt to enjoy my solitude. I saw it as in investment in my own person, not a waste of time for social formalities.

Throughout this journey I gained a lot of knowledge and I feel I grew like a person. Maybe I finally grew up?! I learnt about suffering, compassion, sharing and love. And I now see the slight differences among all of their levels. I learnt how to talk to myself and more precisely how to listen to myself. The most important thing was that I finally understood that the power to heal laid in me.

Self-pity and fear of loosing control

At a certain point the self-pity took control and I was unable to see the way out of this sickness. I experienced lots of episodes of anger, self-pity and frustration.

Suffering from a mysterious illness and experiecing a wide array of strange symptoms are more than enough to make one question his sanity. Especially when no doctor can offer a medical explanation for it! Not to mention when they imply everything is not real!

When my health went down the hill to the point where I needed assistance to walk or take care of myself, these were the most frightening moments in my life. Loosing my independence hurt even more than the physical pain. The day I had to accept I was no longer independent and I needed help was a crucial point in my journey. I was lucky that one of my friends insisted on moving in with me in order to help me.

I couldn’t even hold a coffee mug in my hand, or walk straight for 10 minutes without sitting down or feeling exhausted. Then the sleepless nights started – the pain levels were so high that I was falling asleep only when my body was exhausted by pain.

Since my health continued to deteriorate and none of the specialists I had seen couldn’t help me, I decided to take this issue into my hands. I felt I had no time left for fighting doctors, an incredibly stupid and unfriendly medical system or an insurance company who was treating me just like a number, insinuating I was faking my symptoms.

Lyme Disease awareness

Lyme is a serious threat for everyone. It is a shame that so many people have to suffer just because the doctors are not properly trained to diagnose it. It is hard to believe that a tick bite can do so much damage!

My story echoes the voices of many other Lyme sufferers who underwent the same experience of getting infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, one of the smartest bacterias on Earth, capable of evading the host’s immune system and spread throughout the body wracking havoc.

Thanks to the Internet, more and more people learn about it and discover that it exists in their countries as well!

GOT LYME? MAKE A LYMONADE! -part 1

Lymonade anyone?
In my first years as a Lymie, during the short occasions I was going out socializing with friends, I found myself talking about my Lyme disease. Usually people were talking about how great everything was going for them, what had happened at work, what shopping spree the girls had, what restaurant they have gone, and babies. None of those topics was contingent with what I had on my depressed agenda.

My days were passing at a totally different pace, in a different environment where I had to deal constantly with my sickness which had taken over my life. My sickness was ruling how my day would go. I never liked to identify myself as a sick person or make my sickness the mainstream of my life.

Let’s be honest! Who wants to hear sad stories? Who has time for this? Who likes to be around sick people? Most of the people treat this topic with politeness but never go into many details for many many reasons. Maybe they don’t want to know, or it is scary.

Maybe they don’t have the time. Maybe they try to avoid such uncomfortable topics which they might feel trapped thinking the sick person would ask for their help. Or maybe they want to spare the the sick person of feeling down or embarrassed of not being able to share the same glorious lifestyle as them. Maybe they feel pity and they acknowledge that if they show it, it might offend the sick person.

During those social gatherings me and my friends we were not reasoning on the same frequency. After a while I preferred to socially withdraw, invoking same sickness related excuses for each social event I got invented to. Back then I was depressed and I had no idea about it.

I felt I had nothing in common with my friends. They were going on with their fancy lives while I was fighting against the whole word, without them showing any bit of real interest in my cause. I was fighting the insurance company, their doctors, my employer, my friends and relatives who were telling me that it was all in my head.

Among the few allies there were my Lyme specialist, my family doctor and two of my close friends. They kept me going. They still do! My new Lyme diet was tough and because of it I stopped smoking as well. I had my last cigarette on June 30th 2011, on a terrace in Saint-Augustin, Florida.

For over one year I did not feel like going anywhere. More, I found repulsive the idea of doing so, just for the sake of some conventional gossip, superficial small talk and coming back home hungry after having attended a dinner party. Getting ready for a dinner party it was taking much longer than before. Most of the times I couldn’t eat any of the dishes served at the table due to my strict diet.

Couple of times I even got angry and thought that my friends should have considered asking me what I could eat or no, instead of just apologizing in the end for it. After it happened couple of times, I was not sure if they were doing it on purpose or not, but then I realized I was exaggerating.

Eventually I had reached the point where it did not matter anymore. They were doing it and that was it. I was tired of blaming people. I couldn’t take it anymore. Therefore I stopped calling and returning calls, I reduced the gatherings and visits to none. Slowly the invitations dropped to zero and I found myself alone.

 

 

TOP 10 WORST SYMPTOMS OF LYME DISEASE

 

If someone would ask me what are the most annoying Lyme-related symptoms that I ever experienced, I would have a list ready within less than a minute. As a late stage Lyme disease victim I experienced a lot of symptoms, mostly because my illness was not discovered on time. Thus I ended up developing neurological symptoms, muscles and joints problems, heart and circulation and digestion.

Let’s start the final countdown and see what are the insidious symptoms. Keep in mind that the list below starts with the less annoying symptom and ends with the winner, the most disturbing symptom of them all.

 

  • FLOATERSFloaters are a common visual disturbance of the eyes. When exposed to bright light, a Lymie may see in vision dots, lines, or streaks ranging in colours from blue, green, yellow, or red. Floaters can prevent you from performing some activities that require using your sight. That covers a lot of the basic daily activities, from reading  to driving.

 

  • BRAIN FOG and COGNITIVE PROBLEMS aren’t fun either. When you find yourself stopping in a middle of a sentence without knowing what you were trying to say, or looking for your words makes you feel like you are either a toddler struggling to talk, or a lost person with no idea of what’s going on. Both scenarios, you feel like awful. Needless to add that forgetfulness is your daily companion.

 

  • CHRONIC FATIGUE. Imagine your energy levels are completely depleted and a long night of peaceful sleep can’t help you reach a state where you feel better. Somedays the fatigue is so bad that you can feel it in your bones. You are totally zoned out and incapable of doing anything but dragging yourself from the bed to the couch.

 

  • PARESTHESIAS (electric shock sensations in the trunk or in the limbs). The electric shocks are far more disturbing than the numbness, tingling or itching. If you have to think which leg you put down first when you get off the bed, in order not to experience a sudden electric shock going from the lower back to the tips of your toes, then you must know what I’m talking about. Regular people, wake up and don’t have to worry about which foot goes down first. Some even jump out of bed. This Lymie can’t afford that risk, as I may crumble to the ground, unable to sustain my bodyweight while facing the unexpected shock and the pain caused by it. Experience makes you more aware of your own limitations and teaches you how to avoid certain triggers.

 

  • JOINT/ MUSCLE PAIN. The migratory pain is an unpleasant reality of Lyme disease. When you wake up in the morning, before leaving the bed or even before moving the feet or arms under the covers, you wonder what will start to ache first. Where did the pain move? Is it going to be on the knee as the previous day? Or somewhere else? Will it shift to the neck or the shoulder? There are endless variations. 

 

  • MIGRAINE HEADACHES. Another annoying symptom is the headache. You’d say: “Come on! Everybody gets headaches!” I agree. The only difference is that a Lymie has to handle a throbbing migraine headache on top of other disturbing symptoms. It requires a lot of self-control and determination to stand and perform a normal activity like washing the dishes or preparing dinner while experiencing a combo of symptoms.

 

  • BURNING UNDER THE SKIN. The “famous“burning sensation mentioned by all Lymies, refers to the sensation of having your body on fire. The fire can migrate from one area to another and change its intensity. If you want to read about about this read my previous post.

 

  • SHORTNESS OF BREATH.  Walking up one flight of stairs without gasping for breath?  It’s not due to the lack of exercise! Feeling like you are running out of air is not an unusual symptoms among the Lymies, especially those diagnosed with Babesiosis co-infection. That can trigger shortness of breath, chest pain, vascular headaches and so on. Lyme  gets you the whole ordeal.

 

  • HEART PALPITATIONS. Most of the chronic Lyme sufferers have learnt or experienced that any sudden move, small physical effort, even a good laughter or a bigger meal can make you feel your heart is about to pop up, come out of your chest.

 

  • HEART PAIN. There’s nothing fun in feeling or going through the symptoms of a heart attack. When you lie in bed (that’s if you made it all the way to the bed, otherwise you may be lying on the floor) with your hand clutched to your heart, trying to miraculously make the pain go away or at least reduce its intensity, offering your poor self some comfort, you know that it is by far the worse symptom you ever have experienced.  

The level of pain experienced by a late stage Lyme sufferer can vary from short-term and mild to excruciating long-term or any combination in between. People experience pain differently. The above list is based solely on my experience.

What are your top 3 worst symptoms?

 

THE PAIN OF NOT LOOKING SICK

 

When you suffer from an invisible illness things are more challenging because you need to deal also with the pain of not looking sick. It feels awful being in pain, living in pain and not being believed. When you have to constantly explain yourself and convince others that your sickness is real and you are not  hypochondriac, it is a horrible feeling.

 

Take a look at my photo above. At a superficial glance, there’s nothing wrong with me. I look just fine! That’s where everyone is wrong! Little you or others know about the war going on under my skin, about the long list of invisible symptoms I experience.  I used to get annoyed whenever I was judged based on my appearance, while I was struggling to look “normal”. A few years back I took another approach: I started to Lyme educate everyone. I did my best to explain all that entails being a Lyme sufferer.

 

Once in a way when I attended a social gathering or when I met someone new, I was faced with the the same issue: everyone kept on telling me I looked healthy and that I may had a wrong diagnosis. At one point I had given up using makeup just because I could not stand one more comment regarding my appearance. I wished to look sick, just to be in line with everyone else, to make it easier for others to believe me. Their disbelief and ignorance made me feel worse than I already was.

 

Whenever asked  what was the most annoying symptom that I had to put up with, I said that it depended on the day I was having. That’s when I saw people raising an eyebrow in disbelief. Those who took an interest in finding out more about the details of my invisible illness know that I always tried not to burden them with my daily cocktail of pains and symptoms. Once they heard me describing how the burning felt like, they understood my misery.

 

The burning under my skin is by far one of the most disturbing symptoms. It never leaves me. It simply increases or decreases its intensity depending on my other symptoms.  I also get shifting pain in the muscles, joints and bones, combined with electrical pulses, twitching prickly tingly muscles. All of these things happen within my body on a daily basis. Despite all this, I still manage to put a smile on my face and carry on with my day. Life goes on! I learnt how to deal with all these.

 

 Neurological Chronic Lyme Disease (Neuroboreliosis) takes things to another level. Once the illness starts to affect your nervous system, you have to deal with a new ordeal of symptoms. Some of them are quite strange and bizarre, though not everyone gets to experience all of them in the same time. Some people have these sensations during a flare, a herx (Herxheimer reaction) while others have to deal with them on a daily basis. I count myself among the “lucky” ones who still have them.

 

When Borrelia Burgdorferi (the main culprit for Lyme) and Bartonella (co-infection) are hijacking your nervous system, you get to experience some unusual sensations, unknown before like:

  • crawling sensation – a creepy feeling that something is crawling around on or under your skin, throughout your body
  • freezing or burning sensation
  • buzzing or vibrating – better described as a TGV train passing through your body making each single cell vibrate
  • numbness
  • tingling (mostly in the limbs)- being pricked at once with thousands of needles. It does not feel anything like acupuncture. It is a totally different sensation.

 

How can I translate into words the burning sensation? Imagine that you went to the beach and got a severe sunburn which is making your body and skin ache. What do you do? You avoid touching your skin in order not to feel the pain or the tingling burning sensation. Now try to picture how it feels applying a frozen ice cube on your skin, all over that area that just got sunburnt. I am sure you just shrug your shoulders trying to visualize it. This is the best explanation I could come up with for the burning under my skin. Only difference is that it feels that way throughout the entire body. Some days it might shift from one area to another and it can change its intensity.

 

The craziest sensation is when you experience this burning on your head. Generally when you have neurological Lyme (Neuroborreliosis) , you get the privilege to feel it. That is a bit different. It feels like you have a slug or an army of ants moving slowly leaving an icy trail on your skull.

 

After reading about my daily ordeal, next time you meet someone touched by an invisible illness, please don’t tell him he looks good or healthy! Refrain yourself from saying something that would make him feel worse. Try to be creative. Make an effort and come up with something new!

 

 

LYME DISEASE DIET AND ITS BENEFITS

LYME DISEASE DIET

Most of the Lyme literate physicians recommend to Lyme suffers to change their eating habits and switch to a Paleo diet. What is a Paleo diet? You may have heard about it, or its benefits, but you still can’t grasp what it really means?

 

Basically, the Paleolithic diet is deficient of gluten, dairy and sugar, which are the main culprits for causing inflammation in the body, feeding the spirochetes or suppressing your immune system. Yeast is also something that you should avoid as well.

The Lyme Disease diet is a mix of the Paleo and Candida diets, as the second focuses more on preventing the growth of yeast within the body.

WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF THIS LYME DIET?

The good news is that you don’t have to care about calories anymore and you can eat as much as you want! In order to maintain a good health and maintain your symptoms under control, it is important to have a healthy diet.

As the bacteria feeds on the sugar, it is crucial to avoid the consumption of sugar and all manufactured products made of it. Therefore, next time you stroll down the aisles of your grocery shop, before you put a product in your cart, please read its label.

While reading it, pay attention to the list of ingredients. If sugar is listed as one of the ingredients, you should NOT buy that product! Most of the people make the mistake of only reading the Nutrition facts, which breaks down ingredients into calories, fat, proteins, sodium, cholesterol.

 

WHAT SHOULD BE ON YOUR SHOPPING LIST?

Keep in mind that buying organic products reduces your exposure to pesticides or genetically modified vegetables and GMO. If possible, try to consume only free-range, grass fed, antibiotic and hormone free products.

Here is a list of the things that you are allowed to eat:

  • Eggs (omega-3 enriched cage free eggs)
  • Fowl: chicken, turkey
  • Fish, seafood, lobster
  • Meat: lamb, beef, pork, veal, bison
  • All vegetables excerpt corn and potatoes which have a high starch content. You could add sweet potato or yucca/yams on your list once you completed around four months on this diet. Consuming raw garlic, onions, cabbage (red and green), broccoli, turnips, kale and rutabagas has a great effect on the body, as these vegetables have the ability to inhibit the growth of Candida.
  • Fruits that are low in sugar: berries, kiwi, grapefruit, avocado, lemon, watermelon, cantaloupe. 
  • Grains: rice (brown), quinoa, amaranth, whole wheat pasta and cereals with no sugar added, whole grain flour, Ry-Krisp, Ryvita, taco shells, tortillas. If you find yourself craving for bread, you can buy Ezekiel 4:9 bread or other types of yeast-free bread made out of sprouted grains.
  • Dairy: milk and plain yogurt. Though ideally would be to switch to organic almond milk or soya milk.
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds.
  • Tea: organic green tea, herbal teas without “matte”, seltzer and home made fruit or vegetable juice
  • Cold pressed vegetables oils: olive, walnut, macadamia, avocado, coconut
  • Carob and carob products

 

HERE ARE 10 THINGS YOU NEED TO DO WHILE YOU ARE ON THE LYME DIET:

AVOID (REFINED) SUGAR
  • All forms of sugar, corn and maple syrup, molasses, fructose, glucose, sucrose.
  • Agave syrup,maltose, barley malt, fruit juice concentrate, evaporate sugar cane, galactose, invert sugar, lactose, liquid cane sugar, rice syrup, unrefined sugar

 

ELIMINATE GLUTEN
  • White flour and anything done out of it.
STAY AWAY FROM ANY TYPE OF FUNGUS AND MOLDS
  • Mushrooms and truffles

 

SAY GOODBYE TO YEAST!
  • Bread and bakery products, cereals made with bakers or brewers yeast. Even sourdough bread contains yeast!
  • Herbal teas (The Argentinian “mate” contains yeast!)

 

NO ALCOHOL AT ALL!

That includes wine and beer, not only spirits. More and more studies have proven that alcohol intake can make symptoms worse.

 

DON’T CONSUME:
  • Sodas: root beer, ginger ale, vanilla extract, apple cider
  • Canned food: spaghetti sauce, tomato juice,
  • Spices or vinegar containing foods: olives, pickles, relishes, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, salad dressing. Make your own dressing , by using oil and lemon juice.
  • Dried fruits

 

MINIMIZE THE CONSUMPTION OF:
  • Chocolate
  • Cold cuts (processed meats)

 

STOP DAIRY INTAKE:

All cheeses, buttermilk, cream and products deriving from them, fermented products including soy sauce and tofu.

 

REPLACE ASPARTAME / SPLENDA WITH STEVIA

It is well know that aspartame is toxic for your nervous system and that it works as an inhibitor. Therefore you should stop its intake and detoxify your body. 

 

REMOVE gums, mint, candies, caramels from your diet and stick to it. Keep in mind that if you reintroduce them later on, you may experience significant neurological symptoms.