Tag Archives: Lyme Disease Symptoms

#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

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#Lyme Disease, Allergies, and Self-Treating with BioSET

Hello to All,

In my previous posts I’ve talked about how much energy medicine has helped me deal with problems caused by chronic Lyme Disease. NAET and Bioset treatments are especially useful in reducing or eliminating my numerous intolerances to foods, chemicals, and medications. They also help with strange symptoms that no one else can figure out, like painful cracked lips or vulvodynia. I sometimes still can’t believe that I’ve become a convert to energy medicine. My Western, scientific mind has trouble with it, but I can’t deny its effectiveness for me.

I’m fortunate to have a practitioner near my home. For those of you who don’t, here is a YouTube video from Bioset’s founder, Dr. Ellen Cutler. She demonstrates muscle testing and desensitization techniques you can do at home.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0KHdsW6G7E

I haven’t had success muscle testing myself, but I’ve certainly had success treating myself numerous times. It works on a principle similar to homeopathy or allergy injections. Exposing a person to a minute dilution of a substance gradually desensitizes them. Here is how the treatment works:

  • Hold the offending substance in your hand, or place it in a jar if it’s particularly noxious to you.
  • Tap yourself down and up the spine 4 times while following a breathing pattern.
  • Hold the substance for approximately 15 minutes.
  • Avoid the offending substance for 25 hours for the basic home treatment or 2 hours for a booster of a Bioset treatment.
  • Repeat if needed.

I’m impressed with the fact that Dr. Cutler shares this information publicly. Those of us who are sick and hypersensitive would spend an awful lot of money if they needed a professional treatment every time they had a problem.

Laura

Bartonella as a Possible Cause for Rheumatic Disease

Hello to All,

Following is a link to an excellent audio interview with Dr. Robert Mozayeni, a rheumatologist in Bethesda, MD who has conducted research with patients with chronic inflammatory diseases and found a link to Bartonella infection. I highly recommend listening to it. This could be a real breakthrough, especially since it comes from a conventionally trained MD.

http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/MozayeniXtended.mp3

Here are some important points from the interview:

  • Chronic  rheumatological diseases often have an infection as a root cause
  • Lyme Disease is often a blanket diagnosis when in fact organisms other than borrelia are the problem. Those with Bartonella can often be misdiagnosed as having chronic borreliosis, which similarly manifests, though the two are distinct.
  • Treating a patient for Borrelia when they actually have Bartonella can have detrimental effects
  • Bartonella is hard to detect and difficult to treat
  • Typical testing for Bartonella is often faulty and results in under diagnosis
  • Treating Bartonella involves a long course of antibiotics, at least 6 months
  • Neurological symptoms are common with bartonella infection
  • Patients are often stigmatized and traumatized after repeated treatment failures in the medical system

Background

In collaboration with Dr. Robert Mozayeni, a rheumatologist based in Maryland, and Dr. Ricardo Maggi, a research assistant professor at NC State, Dr. Ed Breitschwerdt, professor of internal medicine at NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine and adjunct professor of medicine at Duke University, tested blood samples from 296 patients for evidence of Bartonella infection. The patients had previously been diagnosed with conditions ranging from Lyme disease to arthritis to chronic fatigue. Since rheumatic symptoms have sometimes been reported following cat scratch disease, the researchers wanted to see if these patients tested positive for B. henselae.

Of the 296 patients, 62 percent had Bartonella antibodies, which supported prior exposure to these bacteria.

Breitschwerdt and Maggi figured out how to cultivate the bacteria in the laboratory from blood samples of infected people. They founded a company called Galaxy Diagnostics to handle the laboratory volume. For information on Bartonella testing used by Dr. Mozayeni’s Clinic, please visit http://www.galaxydx.com/web/human-health/test-descriptions/

I dislike the narrow definition of Lyme Disease as an infection of only Borrelia, because so often these infections go together. However, I think that this research is a big step. Hurray for Drs. Mozayeni, Breitschwerdt, and Maggi!

Best,

Laura

#Lyme Disease and Gum Infections

Hello Dear Readers,

Those of you who read my earlier posts may remember my problem with an infected gum and painful tooth. To recap, I developed an angry, red, swollen gum around a lower tooth last winter. My dentist did a deep cleaning which aggravated the tooth and sent me into a systemic flare up for a week. He thought the tooth was being rejected by my body and sent me to specialists. The endodontist thought I might need a root canal ($1,100). The periodontist wanted to cut out the bad gum tissue ($1,500). The oral surgeon said the tooth needs to be extracted and offered an implant ($5,000).

After doing some research, I learned that Borrelia and other Lyme related organisms are frequently found in gum tissue. Though I was in quite a bit of pain, I decided to try less invasive solutions.

A cold laser treatment and BioSET treatment ended the pain but the infection remained. I tried chlorohexadrine solution, hydrogen peroxide, neem bark, oregano oil, and salt water, all to no avail.

Then I came across a website from a Ray Behm, DDS, a holistic dentist who offered a simple, cheap solution to gum infections: Baking soda, sea salt, and peroxide forced deeply into the gum sulcus with a soft, small brush, 2x per day for 2 weeks. I followed his instructions and guess what? The infection is gone! Here is his Healthy Gum protocol in a nutshell:

Combine these two dry ingredients in a small jar with a lid:

  1. Three parts baking soda
  2. One part natural salt or Parkelp

Shake this dry mixture to blend well. Keep this dry mixture in your bathroom. You will be using this every day.

Daily use:

Pour 1 tsp of DRY mixture from the container into your palm or dish. Add one of the following

  • Colloidal Silver – safe if you still have mercury amalgam fillings, or
  • Hydrogen peroxide – only if you have no metal (mercury/amalgam) fillings in your mouth, or
  • Aloe Vera

Adding such products as Amazon Herb’s Una de Gato (an herb also used to treat Lyme Disease!) will help too.

1.  Load a bunch of the mixture onto the soft brush. Angle the brush 45 degrees to where the tooth meets the gum (the sulcus junction).

2.  Push the loaded brush as far as you can into the area where the tooth meets the gum (sulcus). Do not cause yourself pain.

3.  Use a vibrating motion (very small wiggling motion) so that the bristles that are forced into the sulcus remain there as you vibrate.  Do not use wide circular motions like scrubbing a floor or washing a window. Repeat this action as you move along the gum line for three to five seconds at each spot on both the cheek and tongue side.  Repeat this procedure until you have completed both upper and lower gum lines. Whenever necessary spit out the mixture and saliva. There is no need to rinse afterwards, unless you want to.

The soft brush is the applicator/loading instrument that is used to get the recipe into the sulcus. The recipe does the work, not the brush; the brush forces the recipe into the sulcus.

Doing the above on a gradient approach will obtain healing in the sulcus. Do it once a day until you can gradually increase to twice a day. When you are able to do it twice a day for two weeks in a row, your gums should have become very tough (this is good) and should have a pink-white color (this is also good).

That’s it! Please be sure to visit Dr. Behm’s informative website: http://behmnaturaldentistry.com/natural-dentistry-services/gum-health/. He understands the importance of amalgam-free dentistry and all the microorganisms (including spirochetes!) that can infect the gums, impact our systemic health, and lead to tooth loss. Hurray for Dr. Behm!

And hurray for small victories! I’ll take all that I can get.

– Laura

#Lyme Disease Nutrient Spotlight: Butyrate

I want to share one of my favorite supplements for managing symptoms related to Lyme Disease called Butyrate.

I’m a chronic headache sufferer, and my most frequent trigger for headaches is eating. I used to think food sensitivities were the problem, but I got to the point where eating solid food of any kind caused me a headache. I began to suspect the problem lied more in the process of eating and the toxic bile release that followed. I also noticed that when my general inflammation level was high, I was sensitive to everything, not just food. When the inflammation subsided, I had no problems eating anything.

My LLND gave me this supplement to calm food reactions. I take 3 or 4 caps of high potency Body Bio brand 600mg Cal/mag butyrate with or just after a meal when I feel the headache coming on. It usually stops the headache within 20 minutes. When I feel good, I try to remember to take a maintenance dose of 3 caps per day. When inflammation is high, I take 8 – 9 caps per day.

So what is butyrate? It’s a fatty acid that helps to combat ammonia, support the health of the digestive tract, and reduce cytokines (inflammation generating signaling compounds), among other uses.  Butyrate is proving to be a remarkable nutrient for a number of conditions.

Here is an excerpt from an article written by Mark Speight, MD.

…Butyrate is an amazing molecule. From cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, to irritable bowel, it is proving to be a powerhouse.

Butyrate is a four carbon chain fatty acid that the intestinal tract uses as food. It is generated from the colon bacteria in conjunction with fiber products. If you don’t have enough healthy bacteria and fiber in your intestinal tract, then the chances are good that you won’t make enough butyrate.

Butyrate has also been shown to slow the beginning of cancer, in fact inducing what we call differentiation (making cells that were previously behaving like cancer cells – rapidly dividing, become normal again). In one study some 20 years ago animals with chemically induced tumors in the colon had reduction in the size and number of their tumors when they were treated with butyric acid enemas twice daily for eight weeks.

More recent research suggests that Butyrate quells the storm of cytokines that causes inflammation in the brain leading to scarring and cell death. By doing so, it is thought that chronic degenerative diseases like Alzheimers, ALS, and others may be slowed or even reversed. In fact, preliminary evidence suggests this is so when this nutrient is given in conjunction with others.

There are different kinds of butyrate. Some butyrates are attached to sodium, others to calcium and magnesium. Most people need calcium and magnesium so calmag butyrate is a reasonably safe option.

Butyrate also helps clean the liver, the gall bladder, and biliary tree in the liver. It also helps clean the bowel, helps control ammonia, and removes unwanted “renegade fats”…

To read the complete article, including references, visit http://www.cfwellness.com/articles/butyrate

–        Laura

Lyme Flares and Detoxing Part Two: How to Stop a Herxheimer Reaction

Hello Again Dear Readers,

I’ve learned a few things since my last post about detoxing. I think I’ve stopped my detox reaction (aka Herx) in its tracks.

I learned over a year ago that my chronic headaches, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, insomnia, dizziness, digestive problems, and general misery are my body’s reaction to toxicity. When I got the Lyme diagnosis 10 months ago, I finally understood why. But figuring out what to do about it eluded me. Until now.

For this last flare up, my BioSET practitioner did muscle testing and said that mold played a role, as did Bartonella. She did a treatment on me and I felt somewhat better. I was still having headaches after every meal, however.

I researched solutions to Herxes on message boards and from known Lyme doctors. Then I talked to my doctor about my plan to be sure it wouldn’t cause a problem. Here is what I did:

Take a break from anti-microbials

I temporarily stopped all anti-microbial medications, pharmaceutical or natural. This gave my body time to process out the dead microbes and their toxic by-products.

Glutathione

Two days in a row I took Liposomal Glutathione in the following method, as suggested by noted LLMD, Dr. Joseph Burrascano.

  • Alka-Seltzer Gold in water with lemon.
  • Liposomal Glutathione, 1500 MG (may put in juice to make more palatable)

Liquid Diet

One of my worst problems is that I often get intense headaches after eating. I now realize it isn’t WHAT I eat, but the FACT that I eat. Ingesting solid food of any kind overwhelms my body that is already overburdened by chronic infection. So here is my solution.

I consume only liquid meals when I need to seriously detox. They don’t overwhelm the organs of elimination that are already struggling with processing toxins. I add in solid food one meal per day and then more as tolerated. I have vegan protein shakes with fruit for breakfast and vegetable smoothies with garlic and onion for lunch and dinner. I sneak a few rice crackers and olives if I need something salty. This may sound harsh, but it helps me feel better.

Chlorella

I ingest 1 – 2 g of chlorella, 30 minutes before eating. Chorella is a detoxer. Ingesting it 30 minutes before food puts it in your small intestine at exactly the right place for your body’s bile release when you begin eating. In addition to helping digest food, bile contains toxins filtered out by the liver. You want a substance to absorb these before they cause a reaction and are reabsorbed by the intestines.

Buffered Vitamin C (very helpful!!!)

If I feel a reaction after eating, I take 1 tsp (5 grams) buffered Vitamin C powder in water. (I use Nutribiotic Calcium Ascorbate). This is my lifesaver! It stops a reaction in its tracks for me. I repeat this after every meal if I’m feeling sensitive. I can tolerate 15g or more per day in divided doses without adverse reactions.

 Quercetin

I take 500mg quercetin, 3x per day. This is supposed to support healthy histamine levels.

Other helpful things:

  • Warm Epsom salt baths
  • Coffee retention enemas (help purge the liver)
  • Pekana homeopathic detox remedies to support liver, kidneys, and lymphatic system
  • Plenty of fiber and water

Voila! The detox reaction is now mostly gone. I am gradually adding more solid food into my diet. No problems. No headaches, no indigestion. All my symptoms are abating.

I hope this helps someone else out there. Please let me know if it does.

–        Laura

Insomnia

My sleep became disturbed starting in about 1999 and continued to worsen. I got to the point around 2005 that I was no longer able to sleep unaided. So began my quest for effective  sleep aids without side effects. Ambien and Xanax are both miraculous for sleep, but should not be taken long term. Kava helps, but it is reported to be hard on the liver. I’ve tried numerous herbs and supplements, and through trial and error I’ve found some good combinations to give me the sleep that I need.

My current sleep cocktail is this:

  • 200mg L-theanine
  • 3mg melatonin (taken right before bed*)
  • 2 capsules Power to Sleep PM by Irwin Naturals (taken right before bed*). Contains common relaxing ingredients such as Ashwagandha, passion flower, GABA, hops, lemon balm and valerian.

*Note: supplements containing melatonin and valerian must be taken immediately before bedtime. If taken while the user remains awake, they can “backfire” and worsen insomnia. I have noticed this effect.

This combination helps me fall asleep and maintain sleep. Even if I awaken in the middle of the night, I’m able to go back to sleep. And I don’t have a “hangover” in the morning. I wake up easily and refreshed.

In the past I’ve used another helpful supplement called Kavinace, together with melatonin. This was a great combination, but it left me a bit groggy in the morning. Kavinace contains 4-amino-3-phenylbutyric acid (aka phenibut), a GABA agonist that is able to cross the blood-brain barrier. Beware, one can develop a tolerance to phenibut, and some claim that it’s addictive. I notice that the effectiveness wears of periodically, so you need to rotate this one in and out. But it’s a staple in my medicine cabinet.

I hope this helps someone out there. Different things work for different people. Good luck in finding the right ones for you.

–        Laura