Category Archives: depression and anxiety

#Lyme Disease and Chronic Fatigue

Hello to All,

I had a good deal of physical and emotional stress this past winter/spring and it led to a major crash in May. I had to revisit some of my strategies for energy improvement and I thought this would be a good choice for a blog entry.

Although many of my debilitating symptoms are gone (joint pain, muscle pain, dizziness, vertigo, panic attacks, night sweats, severe migraines), I still deal with chronic fatigue symptoms. I find that I have to deal with fatigue from four angles:

  1. Adrenal function
  2. Thyroid function
  3. Mitochondrial function
  4. Neurotransmitter deficiency

First off, my cortisol is chronically low. The adrenal glands are taxed by chronic illness or stress of all kinds. During times of emotional or physical stress I have to take prescription hydrocortisone 10mg twice a day before 2PM. This is considered a physiological dose that replaces the cortisol that my body cannot produce on its own. This helps my energy, anxiety, and pain. I am far less fragile when I take it. When the stress ends, I can switch back to an adaptogen. Maca and eleuthero are my favorites.

The second thing that helps me is thyroid support. My recent thyroid test came back slightly low (both T3 and T4, but normal TSH), so my doctor started me on thyroid hormone. An important note: I do not have autoimmune hypothyroid. It’s important for your doctor to test you for thyroid antibodies and TSH level before treating you. Autoimmune thyroid disease requires a more comprehensive treatment.

The third thing needed is mitochondrial support. Mitochondria are the body’s energy production centers inside our cells. Often they are damaged by chronic illness. I take 200mg of CoQ10 and 2,000mg of l-carnitine per day. I use a specific brand of CoQ10: Thorne Q-Best. This one actually works for me, unlike the other ones I’ve tried. I use regular l-carnitine because acetyl-l-carnitine (ALC) gives me a headache. However, ALC is supposed to cross the blood-brain barrier and is said to be better for people with chronic fatigue. Another helpful supplement for energy is d-ribose, but I avoid all sugars because of chronic yeast. Eating good fats (nuts, avocado, olive and coconut oil, etc) is also helpful to rebuild our mitochondria.

The fourth strategy that helps me is taking amino acids such as dl-phenylalanine and l-tyrosine. These aminos are the building blocks of stimulating catecholamines in the brain. L-phenylalanine is stimulating, but d-phenylalanine has anti-depressant and analgesic properties. This strategy is from The Mood Cure book by Julia Ross. I cannot recommend this book enough! I currently take 1 gram of tyrosine 2x per day. Some people report side effects, but for me it works well.

Since implementing these strategies in May, my energy has improved noticeably. I can usually make it through a day without a nap, and I can exercise or do physical work such as gardening (though I still have my down days, especially when detoxing). My ultimate goal is to repair my body so as not to need all these supports. But for now, I’m grateful to have them.

Best,

Laura

Lyme Disease and Yeast: A Positive Update

Hello To All,

I know that I have a tendency to post when I feel poorly, so I think it’s high time for a positive update. Here it is: I feel pretty darn good! There are three things to which I can attribute this change:

1. My doc put me back on pharmaceuticals for yeast – indefinitely:

  • Diflucan, 200mg 1x per week
  • Nystatin, 1,000,000 IU 2x per day
  • Amphotericin B, 3X per day.

I started feeling better after a couple of weeks on this protocol. No more burning vulvodynia, fewer digestive problems, fewer headaches, less chemical sensitivity.

2. I started taking a low dose of Maca for the adrenals. Maca has turned out to be a wonder herb for me. My energy is much better and I feel more vigorous than I have in years. It is also beneficial for the libido, as people say it is.

3. I changed my diet (yet again). After years of being quite thin, I started gaining weight in my midsection after prolonged courses of ABX. That in combination with an obvious yeast problem made me seek out another low-carb diet. I started the Dukan Diet which is high protein, low fat, and low carb. Not only have I lost about seven pounds, but I feel much better on this diet. If I adhere to the diet, I have NO headaches and NO digestive problems, and NO bloating. I’m also in a better mood. Supposedly protein is beneficial for mood, and I think that’s true.

I have NO dizziness, vertigo, or lightheadedness. I have NO joint or muscle pain. I can drive for hours without problems, even on the highway. My mood has really improved, despite recent difficulties in the lives of my loved ones. I also feel mentally sharper. I recently made some art. I am even looking for a permanent job instead of little temporary ones. That’s a lot of improvement since the summer.

To follow up on my last post, I decided to try the Cutler heavy metals protocol. I tried low-dose DMSA but it flared the yeast. I’m switching to low-dose DMPS (which I’ve had before via I.V. Tx) I’ll let you know how that goes.

I continue to use a GB-4000 frequency generator for Borrelia and co-infections. I also started using it for fungus. I’ll see how that goes.

As I’ve said before, I believe that yeast/fungus is the big problem for me at this point. I think that diet, a long term killing protocol, chelation, and biofilm treatment are the keys to returning to health for me. Wish me luck!

Best,

Laura

 

Amino Acid Therapy: The Mood Cure by Julia Ross

I want to share another helpful protocol that I use to balance my body. Occasionally, I become depleted due to stress, over-exertion, over-exposure to toxins (including self induced exposure to alcohol, a weakness of mine). The result is that I start feeling emotionally imbalanced and physically drained. My therapist/EMDR/EFT practitioner recommended a book that proved incredibly helpful for me to fix these problems. The book is called The Mood Cure by Julia Ross.

Ross is a psychotherapist who struggled to help patients with resistant depression and other emotional disorders who did not respond well to pharmaceutical medications or who could not tolerate the side effects. Together with a nutritionist, she developed a targeted amino acid program to help balance specific neurotransmitter deficiencies to fix mood disorders. Her program includes use of such substances as L-Tryptophan or 5-HTP to boost serotonin, DL-Phenylalanine to boost endorphins and lower pain levels, and L-tyrosine to boost mental alertness and drive.

Recently, after a period of prolonged stability, I began to suffer from irritability, negative thoughts, lethargy, worry, and achiness. These symptoms are nothing new to someone with Lyme Disease, but I wondered why they suddenly flared up. I decided to re-read Ross’ book and follow her protocol exactly. I began to take the following amino acids on a dosing schedule per her directions:

  • L-Tyrosine
  • DL-Phenylalanine
  • L-Glutamine
  • 5-HTP
  • 4-amino-3-phenyl-butyric acid, AKA Phenibut* a derivative of the naturally occurring inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which crosses the blood brain barrier more readily than GABA supplements)

I felt better within 24 hours. The anxiety disappeared within several hours, I felt a boost of energy, and the achiness abated. My sleep also improved. Pretty remarkable results for a group of inexpensive amino acids with no side effects.

I recommend this simple therapy to anyone suffering from mood imbalances. The Mood Cure is available at bookstores and libraries. I also found an easy to read document available online for diagnosing neurotransmitter deficiencies and dosing aminos according to this protocol at:

www.sellwoodnaturalhealth.com/AMINO_ACID_THERAPY_CHART.doc

Best wishes to all,

Laura

*Note: Phenibut is reported to cause dependency and withdrawal after prolonged use, much like benzodiazepines can. I cycle three days on and off to prevent this and use other herbal supplements for relaxation and sleep if needed.