Category Archives: fatigue

#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

 

Lyme Disease and Fatigue Part 2

Hello To All,

Last month I began to experience profound fatigue – way worse than my usual fatigue. I’m glad to say that has improved. I started taking Eleuthero, Co Q 10, and L-carnitine twice per day in the morning and afternoon. Co Q 10 and L-carnitine are substances well known to enhance mitochondrial function. Eleuthero is known to fight fatigue and works as an adaptogen that supports the adrenal glands. Within days of taking these I felt more energetic and I was able to resume my usual (limited) activities. I still tend to get tired between 3 and 5PM daily, but it’s not too bad.

I’m waiting for the results of a salivary cortisol test to measure my adrenal function. I suspect that my adrenal glands are in sorry shape, but I still want the results in black and white. I already know that my thyroid is low, and thyroid and adrenal problems go together. Low adrenal function is linked to a number of health problems, especially fatigue.

“Adrenal fatigue” is a controversial condition. Mainstream medicine only recognizes extreme adrenal malfunction, either Addison’s Disease or Cushing’s Syndrome. A growing number of physicians are realizing that there’s a spectrum of adrenal disorders that can often be corrected with lifestyle, nutritional, and pharmaceutical approaches. For more information on this, I suggest reading Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by Dr. James Wilson, or visiting his website, www.adrenalfatigue.org.

Best,

Laura

Lyme Disease Treatment and Fatigue

Hello All,

As I mentioned in a previous post, I started taking a new herbal antimicrobial  tincture called Quintessence from Bio Pure (Dr. Klinghardt’s company). This tincture contains five herbs popularized by the herbalist Stephen Buhner:

1)      Andrographis (modulates autoimmunity, protects heart tissue, and is anti-inflammatory for the central nervous system)

2)      Japanese Knotweed (antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, immune modulating, antioxidant)

3)      Ceanothus (for coagulation problems, sluggishness in the spleen, liver, and lymphatics. Also antimicrobial for certain coinfections like Bartonella.)

4)      Smilax

5)      Stephania (powerful for eye and ear involvement, balance problems, Bell’s palsy,  anti-inflammatory,

I started at 1 drop per day and am slowly working my way up to 30 drops 3x per day as directed. I’m happy to say that it didn’t disagree with me for the first few weeks. Then as I approached 20 drops 3x per day, Wham! The fatigue and malaise hit me like a city bus. I assume that I’ve hit a therapeutic dose and am experiencing die-off, aka, a Herxheimer reaction.

When you tell healthy people that you have fatigue, they say, “Oh yes, I get tired sometimes, too.”

Ahem. I politely try to explain to them the fatigue associated with Lyme Disease and die-off.  I say, “Remember when you had the flu? Remember how you couldn’t get off the couch for more than a few minutes and then you had to lie down again? And you felt like crap? Yah, it’s like that… but for days and weeks on end.”

Usually, my fatigue is mild. I have about 4 productive hours a day, then I have to rest in the afternoon,  take a short nap, and then I have some functionality in the evening again. But this time the fatigue is crushing. I may have a few mildly productive hours in the morning, and then I’m through. I HAVE to lie down. Ugh. I know some of you out there have it way worse than me, and my heart goes out to you.

I know that low thyroid and poor adrenal function also contribute to the fatigue. Unfortunately, when I take T3/T4 thyroid meds or certain herbs for adrenals, they are far too stimulating for me and exacerbate the heart palpitations. I’ll write more on this subject next time.

So what to do now?

  • Back off the Quintessence
  • Step up the detox with binders and vitamin C, use a sauna, etc…
  • Start taking Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng) for adrenals and fatigue (given to me by my doctor)
  • Take Co Q 10 and L-Carnitine for cellular energy production and cardiovascular support.
  • Have a Bioset treatment. This can really calm a bad Herx reaction for me.

And when I feel bad enough I take Tramadol as needed. Tramadol is one of my rescue medications. Not only is it great for acute headaches and body pain, but it works wonders for feelings of general malaise and misery.

Best,

Laura