Understanding Lyme At The Cellular Level
To truly understand Lyme disease and why herbs are the best solution, you have to think at the cellular level. More than anything else, Lyme disease is an assault on cells of the body.
The human body is composed of trillions of living cells. Everything that happens in the body results from the actions of cells. Symptoms occur when cellular functions are compromised. The type of symptom reflects the types of cells being affected.
When the borrelia spirochetes spill into the bloodstream from the tick bite, their one goal is reaching tissues of the body. The immune systems job is keeping them from getting there.
As soon as the bacteria enter the bloodstream, white blood cells of the immune system immediately begin engulfing and destroying the bacteria with potent acid. Sometimes, however, the bacteria are able to turn off that process and stay alive inside the WBC. The compromised WBC unwittingly becomes a Trojan horse that transports the bacteria to tissues throughout the body even across the blood-brain barrier into the brain.
Despite their mechanisms of persistence, casualties on the bacteria side are high and most of the bacteria are eliminated. All it takes for success, however, is a few bacteria reaching tissues of the body joints, brain, heart, everywhere. Once on site at tissues, the remaining spirochetes immediately begin scavenging nutrients, such as collagen from joint tissue and myelin from nerve tissue to create more spirochetes.
Swap The Sad Diet For Anti
When it comes to managing inflammation, diet is the perfect place to start. The foods you choose to eat can either help or hinder your recovery from Lyme disease by impacting your bodys inflammatory burden. The Standard American Diet, rich in refined carbohydrates and industrial seed oils, increases the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, immune molecules that trigger an inflammatory response. Many of the same pro-inflammatory cytokines triggered by the SAD diet are also triggered by Lyme disease and other tick borne infections.1 The SAD diet is also associated with an impaired immune response, which is the last thing you want when youre battling an infection.2 Other food groups, such as gluten and dairy, can also trigger inflammation and are best avoided by people with Lyme disease.
Conversely, eating an anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense diet can accelerate your recovery process and create a foundation for long-term health. At CCFM, we recommend that most patients begin a Paleo Reset Diet. This diet is designed to reduce inflammation and improve digestion, energy, blood sugar control, and body weight. The Paleo Reset Diet is centered around the following foods:
- Non-starchy vegetables ideally 6-8 cups of vegetables across the color spectrum
- Whole fruits
- Gluten free diet
- Elimination and reintroduction diet
Incorporate Anti-Inflammatory Foods
When To Consider Antibiotic Therapy
Last Updated 11/01/16
There is little consensus, however, on antibiotic use for chronic Lyme disease. At present, there are no studies showing benefit from long term use of antibiotic therapy for treatment of Lyme disease and the practice is not condoned by the conventional medical community.
The primary problem is that synthetic antibiotics do not kill only pathogens . Antibiotics kill all bacteria.
The types of microbes associated with Lyme disease are survivors. When full guns are levied at the microbiome , stealth microbes are generally the last ones standing. Normal flora are very susceptible to being killed by antibiotics. The harder and longer target stealth microbes are targeted with potent antibiotics, the higher the possibility that normal flora will get caught in the crossfire.
Destruction of normal flora shifts the balance of the microbiome from friendly microbes to pathogens . Prolonged antibiotic use allows these pathogens to become antibiotic resistant. The total process places undue stress on an already overly stressed immune system.
Indiscriminate use of high potency antibiotics destroys normal flora, allows potential pathogens to flourish, causes yeast overgrowth in the gut, fosters antibiotic resistance, and disrupts immune function.
It is impossible to overcome stealth microbes without a healthy immune system.
Recommended Reading: Lyme Disease Brain Fog Treatment
Guidelines For Antibiotic Use
Dr. Rawls is a physician who overcame Lyme disease through natural herbal therapy. You can learn more about Lyme disease in Dr. Rawls new best selling book, Unlocking Lyme. You can also learn about Dr. Rawls personal journey in overcoming Lyme disease and fibromyalgia in his popular blog post, My Chronic Lyme Journey.
Move A Little Every Day
Yoga and Pilates are excellent but arent for everyone. The idea is to do something you enjoy. I also love taking walks and breathing in the fresh air and do this whenever I can get outside.
If youre stuck inside try some slow, gentle stretches or resistance training. And if you can do more and your doctor says its okay, then go for it!
Don’t Miss: Can Lyme Disease Cause Chest Pain
How Critical Is A Gluten Free Diet Is It More Important To Some Than Others
Gilian Crowther says: If the patient has been diagnosed with coeliac disease, a gluten-free diet is of course absolutely essential. The coexistence of Lyme disease and gluten intolerance/coeliac disease is not uncommon. The study Borrelia infection and risk of coeliac disease examines the potential contribution of Lyme disease to the risk of coeliac disease, and does indeed find a moderate link.
Judy Rocher says: Patients who suffer from IBS-type symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhoea and pain, often find relief of these symptoms by removing gluten strictly from their diets. Inflammation in the gastro-intestinal tract is reduced and energy may improve. Although not diagnosed as having coeliac disease, there is often an underlying gluten intolerance or sensitivity which has a negative effect on recovery.
Whats Wrong With The Way Our Healthcare System Treats Lyme
So how does mainstream medicine diagnose and treat Lyme? Most of the time its done through lab work and a round of antibioticsbut thats only if you notice a bite or your doctor has been trained to recognize the many vague and mysterious symptoms of Lyme. And even if you do successfully treat Lyme, chronic Lyme can persist long after youve taken those antibiotics, a condition that is now referred to as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. Thankfully, post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome is gaining recognition, especially in the functional medicine community and with the support of organizations like the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society.
As a Lyme-literate functional medicine expert, I take a multi-pronged approach to treating Lyme disease. This includes specific supplements, forms of exercise, and most importantly: using food as medicine – a focus on a successful lyme disease diet.
Read Also: Lyme Disease Specialist Raleigh Nc
The Purpose Of Inflammation
When injured, even by a bite from a tiny deer tick, your body senses something is wrong. It activates an inflammatory response. This means inflammation travels to the injured area and starts fighting potential invaders like bacteria.
You can know inflammation is working hard because it feels swollen, hot, and sore to the touch at the site of the injury or bite. You may also notice it is redder at the site.
This process is known as acute inflammation. Once rid of bacteria, inflammation subsides. Acute inflammation can become chronic if the body continues to detect bacteria. The inflammation process doesnt have a stop button. If bacteria remain in your system, they will continue to seek and destroy.
This becomes a huge problem for those with Lyme disease.
How To Manage Inflammation In Lyme Disease
Infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterial cause of Lyme disease, and co-infections causes the immune system to launch a profound inflammatory response. While antibiotic treatments, such as doxycycline and cefuroxime, can destroy B. burgdorferi, these drugs do little to mitigate the inflammatory response launched in response to these microbes. Left untreated, Lyme-induced inflammation damages cells, tissues, and organs, inducing widespread bodily dysfunction.
While the CDC offers recommendations for Lyme disease treatment from the antimicrobial perspective, it makes no recommendations as to how affected individuals should manage the inflammatory side effects of the illness. Functional medicine, on the other hand, offers a unique set of tools for managing Lyme-associated inflammation, including nutrition changes, lifestyle changes, and natural anti-inflammatory compounds. These holistic interventions can significantly improve Lyme disease inflammation, creating a strong foundation for healing.
Also Check: Muscle Testing For Lyme Disease
Include These 5 Best Foods To Fight The Infection Better
Written by Aishwarya Iyer | Updated : July 30, 2018 2:02 PM IST
Image Source: Shutterstock
Foods To Help You Recover From Lyme Disease
Lyme disease treatment presents unique nutritional challenges. The disease triggers inflammation that spreads throughout your body. Fortunately, you can nourish your body with foods that help you improve your health and fight inflammation. Thus, you will help your body in its recovery from the ravages of this illness.
Read Also: Where To Test Ticks For Lyme Disease
Tips For What To Eat When You Have Lyme Disease
Many patients write to me asking about what is commonly known as The Lyme Diet. Since Ive mentioned in previous posts that I stick to a low-sugar, gluten-free diet, people want to know why I do that, and what else they should eliminate.
The Lyme Diet can be defined in a few different ways. Most doctors would agree that it involves no sugar or gluten. This is because those foods can weaken the immune system, cause yeast overgrowth , and cause inflammation. Many doctors also suggest eliminating dairy, since it can be inflammatory. In her book The Lyme Diet, Nicola McFadzean , ND lists these foods as the biggest problems for Lyme patients. She also stresses food allergy testing, dietary supplements, sticking with organic foods, and creating an individualized approach for each patient.
In their book Coping with Lyme Disease: A Practical Guide to Dealing with Diagnosis and Treatment, Denise Lang and Kenneth Liegner, MD recommend a low-fat menu an abundance of fresh or frozen vegetables avoidance of caffeine avoidance of yeast-contaminating products adequate vitamin supplements and avoidance of chocolate, aged cheese, and broccoli for headache-prone patients. They also list nutritional supplements that they find helpful for Lyme patients.
Related blog posts:
Lang, Denise and Liegner, Kenneth, MD. Coping with Lyme Disease: A Practical Guide to Dealing with Diagnosis and Treatment . New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1997 .
What’s The Best Way To Prevent A Tick Bite
Ticks can’t fly or jump. But they live in shrubs and bushes and can grab onto you when you pass by. To avoid getting bitten:
- Wear pants and socks in areas with lots of trees and when you touch fallen leaves.
- Wear a tick repellent on your skin and clothing that has DEET, lemon oil, or eucalyptus.
- For even more protection, use the chemical permethrin on clothing and camping gear.
- Shower within 2 hours after coming inside. Look for ticks on your skin, and wash ticks out of your hair.
- Put your clothing and any exposed gear into a hot dryer to kill whatever pests might be on them.
How do you know if you’ve been bitten?
Since ticks are so small, you’ve got to have pretty good eyes to see them.
If you have a small, red bump on your skin that looks like a mosquito bite, it could be a tick bite. If it goes away in a few days, itâs not a problem. Remember, a tick bite doesnât necessarily mean you have Lyme disease.
If you notice a rash in the shape of a bull’s-eye, you might have a tick bite. Talk to your doctor about treatment.
If you have an allergic reaction to ticks, you’ll notice a bite right away.
Don’t Miss: How Do You Know If You Have Lyme Disease
How To Reduce Your Sodium Intake
Although the results from this study are predictive since the study looked at a conceptual model rather than an interventional clinical trial, McDermott says that there is still enough evidence to support the benefits of reducing the amount of sodium in your diet.
“Reducing sodium intake by 1,000 milligrams per day may lead to better health” as well as “prevent heart disease and stroke when sodium is being over consumed due to the stress excess sodium puts on the heart,” she says.
If you’d like to cut 1,000 milligrams of sodium out of your daily diet, McDermott offers a few suggestions regarding how to do that, noting that removing two hot dogs, two tortillas, or five slices of deli ham from your daily menu will do the trick. The same goes for one cup of Campbell’s Tomato soup and half a cup of salsa .
Many Lyme Patients Do Well Avoiding Gluten And Dairy
In my clinical experience, most Lyme patients are better off avoiding gluten and dairy, along with the other inflammatory foods mentioned above. Gluten may exacerbate inflammation in people with Lyme disease by increasing intestinal permeability and inciting an inflammatory response. Gluten and dairy proteins share some structural similarities, which may explain why some gluten-sensitive Lyme patients also react to dairy products.
Recommended Reading: Could Lyme Disease Kill You
How Do You Beat Lyme Disease Naturally
In order to beat Lyme Disease naturally eat the Top 10 foods for Lyme and avoid the Top 4 Worst Foods for Lyme. In addition you will need to seek a LLMD so he/she can evaluate your Lyme Disease to see which regimen is most appropriate for your recovery. See my blog post on finding a LLMD here.
A proper diet is a huge factor in recovery time from Lyme Disease.
Lyme Disease Left Unchecked
Since ticks are so tiny, many people don’t even notice when they’ve been bitten. Because symptoms often mimic other health conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, dementia, fibromyalgia, and even brain tumor, Lyme disease is often referred to as “The Great Imitator” and can go misdiagnosed or undiagnosed for years.
This leaves many people struggling to manage their unrelenting chronic Lyme with no answers in sight when treatments for these other diseases don’t end up working.
Symptoms of Lyme are global, spanning multiple body systems, especially the nervous, musculoskeletal, and cardiovascular systems. Days to months after the tick bite, later signs and symptoms of Lyme can include severe headaches, fatigue, neck stiffness, erythema migrans rashes, arthritis with severe joint pain, facial palsy, abnormal heart beat, shortness of breath, dizziness, inflammation of the central nervous system, nerve pain, brain fog, and memory loss .
What’s more, unchecked Lyme is thought to trigger autoimmune conditions broadly, which would contribute to even more debilitating and wide-ranging symptoms.
Recommended Reading: Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Humans After Tick Bite
How Does A Healthy Diet Affect Our Immune System
Lydia Madrigal says: In a healthy balanced diet, all nutrients, vitamins and trace elements are present. These all help to ensure proper cell function and immune surveillance. All these elements need to be present and balanced for the immune system to be strong enough to work ideally.
Judy Rocher says: Diets high in sugar and processed foods full of additives have been shown to lower immunity. Good levels of vitamins and minerals, together with reduction in stress, fresh air, plenty of exercise and a good mental attitude helps us to maintain good health. Research has shown that build up of toxins weaken the immune system. As the bodys terrain becomes more contaminated, the immune system weakens and the pathogenic microbes increase in aggressiveness. This drives chronic illness.
Detoxifying the body of manmade chemicals and heavy metals is of key importance in order to support the immune function. Our microbiome are excellent chelators of heavy metals, so maintaining good gut health or increasing foods high in probiotics such as sauerkraut and kefir is highly beneficial. Good levels of zinc, together with a zinc ionophore which carries zinc into the cell , plentiful vitamin A and vitamin C are important as well as vitamin D acquired through supplementation or sunlight on the skin.
Also Check: Houses For Sale In Lyme Nh
Rachel Khanna Think Eat Cook Sustainably
Rachel writes In recent years, people have come to realize that food is a critical component of health. The foods we choose can promote health and wellness or, conversely, cause or worsen disease. This is especially the case with Lyme disease, an inflammatory condition that is a response to a bite from a tick that infects its host with Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. In supermarkets, we have choices between a wide selection of foods. The aisles in the supermarket are broken down into whole, real foods and processed, or refined, foods.
Donât Miss: Medication For Lyme Disease In Dogs
Also Check: Iv Ozone Therapy For Lyme Disease