Diet & Targeted Exercise Can Help Lyme
If you have Lyme disease, discuss a protocol for killing the bacteria with your doctor. Of course, this is imperative for eliminating symptoms.
That said, most Lyme protocols take time, and there is much more you can do during treatment to mitigate symptoms of pain.
For instance, Dr. Farshchians clinic advises people with Lyme arthritis to decrease any environmental factors that may contribute to inflammation, such as mold exposure or mast cell activation . Addressing common comorbidities often makes a significant improvement in symptoms, she says. In addition, her clinic aims to help patients reduce inflammation organically through diet, lifestyle, anti-inflammatory herbal supplements, medications, light therapy, Epsom-salt baths, and exercise.
In my experience and that of my clients, all these approaches can be helpful. Below are a few of my favorite strategies.
1. Rolling with a foam roller
One thing you can easily do at home is to roll tight tissue in your body with a foam roller. This helps to lengthen and release tension in your fascia, or connective tissue.
Rollers are inexpensive and available online. Just play with gently rolling the muscles surrounding painful joints, or really any sore muscles at all, with the roller. If you need ideas for how to experiment with this, this video demonstrates my favorite ways to roll.
2. Gentle strengthening
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.
Foods To Eat For Lyme Disease Prevention
Eating well is fundamental as your body repairs from the ravages caused by Lyme Disease. Proper nutrition is one of the wisestand simplestthings you can do to improve your general wellness. However, its even more critical if you have Lyme disease.
Every person has their own taste in foods. So, find the meals on this list of anti-inflammatory foods that sound the tastiest to you, and be sure to consume them as you recover.
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What Causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Scientists have been researching chronic fatigue syndrome for many years, but they still don’t know for sure what causes it.
Many doctors believe that the way some conditions interact within the body and mind might leave some people at risk for CFS. For example, if someone has a and is under a lot of stress, the combination of these two things might make them more likely to develop CFS.
These things are believed to interact with each other in this way, putting some people at risk for CFS:
- infections. Experts have wondered if infections like measles or Epstein-Barr virus might increase the risk for CFS. The role Epstein-Barr plays in CFS is not clear because studies have not confirmed it as a cause.
- problems with the immune system or the nervous system
- hormone imbalances
- low blood pressure
Be Ready For Trial And Error
Lyme-related joint pain takes time to both diagnose and treat. In the meantime, there are many things you can do to decrease inflammation and pain. As every Lyme patient is different, try not to get too frustrated if what works for someone else doesnt work for you. Be patient as you experiment with diet, herbs, exercise, alignment, and releasing tight fascia. You will find tools that help you. Reach out and surround yourself with people who understand you and are on your side. We are all healing together.
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Understanding The Acute Inflammatory Response
Suppose youre walking barefoot in the yard one summer day and accidentally step on a sharp piece of glass hidden in the grass. Pain alerts you to the injury and you stop to assess the situation. If the wound isnt deep, youre up to date on your tetanus vaccination, and a rinse in the sink reveals no foreign objects in the wound, you place a bandage over the area, and youre back on your way.
Swelling occurs because blood vessels dilate to allow an influx of WBCs and flush the area with fluid. Macrophages and arriving WBCs engulf debris, foreign matter, and microbes that have entered through the open wound, and destroy the material with potent free radicals and hypochlorous acid. Its a noxious process that causes collateral damage to normal cells, but its part of the healing process.
Once the injury is contained and the mess is cleaned up, WBCs migrate out of the area. Surviving cells repair damage from the injury and the inflammatory process itself. Gradually evidence of the injury disappears like nothing had ever happened.
Who You Really Are
Almost a decade later, with Lyme in my distant past, I see everything so clearly. Wellbeing comes down to this simple rule: You must become who you really are. You must follow your own path. There are elusive cures everywhere but your cure will always be unique. No one gives you the magic formula or the key to reveal it.
What we need to remind ourselves is that we are always right where we need to be.
Lyme disease patients now ask me the hardest questions Ive ever had to answer. Now that you know what you know, could you have healed without antibiotics? Without stem cells? What would you say to someone who is just starting?
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Health Woes Lead To Self
Oppenheimer said Freitas, once wildly independent, increasingly depends on him as she struggles with her health. The two met when she was a single mom driving a Madison Metro bus and juggling classes at the UW-Madison. Oppenheimer had overheard her speaking in Portuguese, and he tried to put together a phrase that he could speak in the same language. That led to a first date and in 2011, marriage.
But these days, Oppenheimer said, his wife is very drained.
And even friends and family members question whether the symptoms Freitas describes are real.
When everybody is saying that it is not Lyme, Freitas said, you start to question yourself.
She tried a four-week course of doxycycline, the first-line antibiotics therapy for treating Lyme disease, prescribed by another rheumatologist. She began to feel better, with less pain and less brain fog. However, the symptoms returned once she completed the treatment. She even found herself starting to stutter.
Oppenheimer himself was diagnosed with Lyme disease as a 19-year-old. At the time, he was living less than 50 miles from Lyme, Connecticut, the community for which the disease was named.
He described an arrogant unwillingness by the medical establishment to recognize what he believes are his wifes ongoing symptoms of Lyme disease.
just trying to be there with her and seemingly nothing to be able to do, and its horrible to watch, he said.
How Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treated
There’s no known cure for chronic fatigue syndrome. But experts say that these lifestyle changes can help:
- Include regular, carefully planned exercise in your daily routine. Exercise can increase energy and make a person feel better. People with CFS should pace themselves while doing any physical activity that requires exertion. Talk with a doctor what’s right for you you don’t want to overdo it and get discouraged. Studies show that “graded exercise” is very helpful in CFS recovery.
- Follow stress-management and stress-reduction techniques. A doctor or therapist can teach these they’re great ways to take control of some aspects of the illness.
- Ensure good sleep habits to overcome CFS-related sleep problems.
- Work on ways to keep track of important things, such as keeping lists and making notes, you have problems with concentration or memory.
Meeting regularly with a therapist or counselor can help in CFS treatment. The main goals of therapy are to help people cope with the illness and to change negative or unrealistic thoughts or feelings into positive, realistic ones.
Having a positive feeling that you can get better is very helpful. Therapy and support groups can also help teens with CFS and their parents deal with the academic or social challenges brought on by the illness, such as missed school, falling grades, or withdrawal from friends and social situations.
Doctors may suggest over-the-counter or prescription medicines for some of these symptoms.
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Tierrasanta Resident Shares Her Battle With Lyme Disease Ahead Of Local Walk
Tierrasanta resident Margaux Gunning was only 23 years old when she found herself bedridden.
I went from working 12 hours a day to just being completely bedbound, she said.
It took 15 doctors, more than eight misdiagnoses and two years before Gunning got a diagnosis of long-haul Lyme disease, an infectious disease transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks.
However, she considers herself fairly lucky. The current gold-standard diagnostic for Lyme disease misses up to 60 percent of early-stage cases, according to the Bay Area Lyme Foundation.
Now 29, Gunning says shes aiming to help others by raising awareness for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.
This Saturday, Gunning will be joining the Bay Area Lyme Foundation and San Diego Lyme Alliance for the revival of their annual Walk for Lyme San Diego, a 5k walk/rally to spread Lyme and tick-borne disease awareness, where all donations will go to Lyme disease research.
The walk is also a celebration for the Lyme Disease Biobank in Kearny Mesa, which opened just as the pandemic began in March 2020.
The biobank provides researchers with the vital blood, urine and tissue samples from people with Lyme in different regions needed to improve diagnostics and treatments in hopes that one day Lyme disease will be easy to diagnose and simple to cure, according to the foundation.
Im proof that more research is needed, Gunning said.
Other Pathogens To Blame
Shor and his co-authors, including Maloney, propose that the lingering symptoms are caused by several pathogens from the Borrelia burgdorferi family or other tick-borne pathogens.
Nardelli said theres a variety of symptoms and severity in Lyme disease patients, and those symptoms can be caused by the inflammatory responses against the microbes.
Inflammation is a huge part of the immune response. Its one of the frontline defenses we have, and it has this negative connotation, but it is intended for good, he said. Your immune response trying to kill the bug and in doing so, can cause damage, essentially.
Some theories suggest that variants of the Lyme bacteria are resistant to antibiotics. Others argue that chronic Lyme is caused by a powerful immune reaction or it may even trigger an autoimmune disease. The central neural networks may be altered, having a significant impact on symptoms or a combination of these factors.
Nardelli is investigating how the immune system is affected by the Lyme bacterium, research that could contribute to treatments for people with prolonged reactions after the infection. He said science can be a slow process of acquiring new knowledge, and its tough for patients who are suffering with no clear answers.
That can lead them to seek out untrustworthy practitioners or fall for costly treatments that dont work. You go out and find doctors that diagnose everything as Lyme disease, Nardelli said.
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Accepting What Lyme Brings
He said, One of the best analogies is, lets say you have a Lamborghini and maybe before you get sick, you can drive at 120 miles an hour. Then you get sick and you can only go 35 MPH now. It can be frustrating, and you might try and drive faster than that, and then youre going to hurt yourself. But you can still get to the destination, you just might have to do it a little differently. You might not be able to take the freeway. It can be frustrating not being able to drive 120 miles an hour, but you still must just drive. And you can still be successful and have a great career.
Even though hes figured out a way to be successful, he said he must accept the rigors that Lyme brings.
I have to live a very strict life. Its meditation, bed at 11:15, morning routine every day, eating only healthy food every single day, taking the supplements and everything to keep that state alive, he said.
Every single day I track every little symptom. Every day, Im tracking how much I sleep, any symptoms I feel, if my feet are burning, my stomachs weird, my throat feels off or my neck hurts, or my necks tight. Im tracking that every single day so whenever I talk to my doctors, Im sending them that list so its easier for them to identify patterns. Doctors love me, I make it easy on them. Every day, Im 100% aware of any symptom of Lyme that Im feeling, all the time.
Diagnoses: Viral Infection Arthritis
Freitas Lyme journey began in March 2019 as she battled monthly bouts of fever. She had trouble falling back to sleep late at night. Her hair rapidly fell out. And her body ached and her neck was stiff. She suffered from severe pain in her joints, bones and chest. She also felt tired. At first, Freitas attributed the exhaustion to the bladder surgery she had undergone in April. Fevers hit her in June and again in July.
The unbearable pain made it hard for her to work. It felt like someone was scraping the inside of her right knee with a knife. By August of that year, Freitas took a medical leave, unable to work.
She checked into a Madison hospital for a couple of days. She said the doctor ordered a variety of tests but not for Lyme. Freitas was diagnosed with a viral infection, which she said failed to explain her full slate of symptoms, including electric sensations on her face and arms and forgetfulness.
Four summers earlier, Freitas said she similarly felt eye pain, knuckle pain, fatigue, forgetfulness and headaches. She recalled a rash that had stayed on her leg for at least three weeks. Freitas saw a rheumatologist at St. Marys in early July 2015.
The doctor noticed a red spot on her leg, but it was not the classic Lyme sign of bulls-eye rash. She recalls being tested for Lyme, but the two-step testing came back negative.
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Can I Catch Lyme Disease From My Dog
Dogs are not a direct source of infection for people. Lyme disease cant be transmitted from one pet to another, nor from pets to humans, except through tick bites. However, a carrier tick could come into your house on your dogs fur and get on you.
If your dog is diagnosed with Lyme disease, you and any other pets have probably been in the same outdoor environment and may also be at risk, so it is a good idea to consult with your physician and veterinarian to see whether you should test other pets or family members.
Parasites And Lyme Disease
Parasites live in different areas of our body. Even the healthiest person is prone to getting parasites. In fact, Lyme disease and heavy metal toxicity are correlated to parasites. Much as we cant completely get rid of parasites, my guest, Dr. Jay Davidson will teach us how to do a parasite cleanse and why it is essential to do so.
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Unexplained Pain And Other Sensations
Some people with Lyme may have sharp rib and chest pains that send them to the emergency room, suspecting a heart problem 00090-7/abstract%20″ rel=”nofollow”> 27).
When no problem is found, after the usual testing, the ER diagnosis is noted as an unidentified musculoskeletal cause.
You can also have strange sensations like skin tingling or crawling, or numbness or itchiness 00090-7/abstract%20″ rel=”nofollow”> 27).
Other symptoms have to do with cranial nerves.
- Ear-ringing . Tinnitus can be a nuisance, especially at bedtime when it seems to get louder as youre trying to fall asleep. About 10 percent of people with Lyme experience this (
- Hearing loss. One study reported that 15 percent of Lyme patients experienced loss of hearing .
- Jaw pain or toothaches that are not related to actual tooth decay or infection.
Alternate Treatments Offer Relief
Freitas now takes Epsom salt baths on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and uses an infrared sauna for detoxification, saying it makes her body feel better.
And she now takes 30 pills each day, interspersing antibiotics with herbs and dietary supplements, which cost upwards of $1,200 a month.
For babesia Im taking liquid gold Mepron, said Freitas. Its really expensive. Its 50 bucks for 80 milliliters, which lasts two weeks.
She gave up dairy, gluten, and sugar to reduce inflammation.
And she meets with Shor monthly online from her house at a charge of $250 per visit, which insurance does not cover.
It was to me the money is well paid. Im having peace of mind, Freitas said. I feel like Im getting better.
Freitas said she started gaining back some weight in June. Her mind has become a bit clearer. Her long-term memory seems back a bit, too. Im getting out of the graveyard, she said.
Said Oppenheimer to his wife: What Im seeing is youre better relative to the beginning of , because youre still not good.
For Freitas, the struggle for recognition and relief from her symptoms continues. She and her husband remodeled their home over the summer, refurbishing their two-story house with a plan to rent out one level to pay for Freitas ongoing treatments.
And she still holds out a little flame of hope of one day becoming a doctor just like her dad.
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