The United States faces a health crisis with Lyme Disease. Unfortunately, “Lyme Disease “has been very much underestimated, says Lyme author Mary Beth Pfeiffer. If diagnosed early enough, the standard Lyme Disease treatment of antibiotics often works. Long after antibiotic treatments end, there are Lyme victims who continue to suffer from the disease. At that point, patients should consider integrative solutions to help combat Lyme Disease.
In spite of its rise, Lyme Disease continues to confound the mainstream medical community.
During my decade long battle with Lyme Disease, on numerous occasions, physicians repeatedly admitted to me that they don’t know how to treat the disease effectively.
Current mainstream treatments for acute and chronic Lyme often fail. Tests for the disease are often unreliable, which means many people go untreated.
Frankly, our furry canines are treated more aggressively for Lyme Disease than humans.
Victims can spend years weaving in and out of symptoms and relapses as a way of life. It’s like navigating your way through a labyrinth, only blindfolded.
My Lyme Story
Initially, the symptoms of my Lyme Disease were subtle. The swelling in my knees seemed like the consequences of years as a runner. My wrists ached and then began to swell. I assumed that mid-life arrived and joint issues were part of the deal.
I am an avid gardener, and I live on a farm, so pulling ticks after a day in the field is par for the course.
Indescribable fatigue enveloped my body, but my physician dismissed it as “mid-life mothering.”
A few of my friends became alarmed when I neglected to return phone calls. Quite honestly, merely getting through the day absorbed all of my concentration and energy.
I had kids to feed, homeschool lessons to complete, farm chores, and writing deadlines. Returning phones would have to wait.
Brain fog descended like an impenetrable dimness. Usually, I am a relatively organized person that multi-tasks without much effort. When returning phone calls, making fundamental decisions, and completing simple household chores became overwhelming, my suspicion aroused that something just wasn’t normal.
Then the morning arrived that I sat on the edge of my bed, desperately trying to convince myself to get dressed and face the day. At that moment, I knew I needed help.
Where is the Help?
Desperately trying to regain my health, I started researching everything I could about Lyme Disease. Beyond the typical prescription for antibiotics, the medical field is reticent about suggesting alternatives to mainstream healthcare.
It’s difficult to find doctors who are willing or able to treat Lyme aggressively or integratively.
Since there is a scarcity of Lyme Literate Doctors (LLD), victims often advocate for themselves.
Fortunately, I received help from one of the best LLD physicians, Dr. Cheryl Ortel, MD/MS. Every first Monday of the month, Dr. Ortel leads a local Lyme Disease support group on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
For Lyme Disease physicians directory in your area, Lymedisease.org provides a search tool.
There is Hope
After battling Lyme for almost a decade, I recently learned my Lyme Disease is gone. Typing the word “gone” still seems premature. Current research declares that Lyme Disease is nearly impossible to eradicate. In other words, once you have Lyme, you will always have Lyme.
Not according to the results of my latest test!
Integrative Solutions to Help Combat Lyme Disease
Maintain a Vibrant Spiritual Life
Throughout your illness, there will be feelings of intense despair, especially when you suffer from a complex disease that is difficult to treat.
God remains a constant source of love and comfort throughout difficult circumstances like a chronic illness or health condition.
Find a Supportive Community
When you are battling a chronic illness, it easy to allow your social life to disintegrate. The Lyme Disease and symptoms associated with it often become the main topic of your conversation.
Confused and desperate to feel understood, you want to huddle together with people to share your story.
Be transparent with your church, friends, and family. Let them know how they can pray for you or help you. During my illness, a friend volunteered to research all about Lyme Disease.
Search for a Lyme Disease Support group where you can at least talk with people who empathize with your circumstances. These Lyme Disease organizations provide current lists of support groups.
Eat Foods That Heal and Nourish Your Body and Replenish Your Gut Health
Partnering medication with nutritional rehabilitation, I plunged myself into researching all I could regarding optimum nutrition. Dr. Ortel reminds patients that “FOOD is an active way to participate in your healing because you can take control of what you eat while trying to figure out what to do next.”
Anyone combating Lyme Disease should eat foods that aid in boosting the immune system, reduce inflammation, and regulate symptoms associated with the disease.
Refined and processed grain offers little nourishment to help heal your sick body. Unless you are going to commit to milling your grain, steer clear from commercially milled grain.
I banished commercially produced grain from my kitchen.
To understand more clearly about the health benefits of milling grain, I wrote an article that outlines them.
Strive to purchase organic grain (berries). An organic label guarantees that pesticides or herbicides have not contaminated the grain.
Remove sugar and processed foods from your eating plan. For more details about a Lyme eating program, see my article, How to Combat Lyme Disease with Nutrition.
Do the Whole30 Program Twice a Year or Lyme Inflammation Eating Program
The Whole30 program only lasts 30 days, but you will come to feel like it is 60. After the 30 days, you are more in tune with the effects of certain foods on your body. I am certain that the Whole30 program contributed to the healing of my body.
Another stellar Lyme eating plan, created by Dr. Kenneth Singleton, The Lyme Inflammation Diet is “an elimination diet (designed to help you to discover foods that you may be sensitive to) and an anti-inflammatory diet. You begin by eliminating the most common foods that contribute to chronic inflammation. You gradually add back foods and monitor the effects to establish a broad yet healthy diet.
Most body care products contain harmful ingredients that, over time, can suppress the immune system. With an immune system compromised by Lyme Disease, it’s advised to switch to organic personal body care products or make your own.
You will need the help of an LLP to devise an individualized Lyme Protocol unique to your specific healthcare needs.
The crucial step is to address the biofilms. Often, this can be a controversial topic within the mainstream healthcare community because of the need to implement integrative medicine.
Here is a basic (biofilms for dummies) explanation of a biofilm.
Often bacterium like Bartonella, babesiosis, and other Lyme co-infections associated with Lyme get transmitted to humans following a tick bite.
What happens next?
Biofilms form when bacteria adhere to surfaces in some form of watery environment and begin to excrete a slimy, glue-like substance that can stick to all kinds of materials including metals, plastics, medical implant materials, and biological tissues.
Ah ha, the critical phrase “biological tissues.” Therein lies the major issue with Lyme Disease. Essentially, a biofilm forms on any surface (like biological tissues) exposed to bacteria and some amount of water.
The Lyme bacteria hides within the protective walls, the matrix, of a biofilm. A biofilm is well known to be highly resistant to antibiotics.
To eradicate the Lyme bacteria, you must de-stabilize the biofilm.
Once the wall is popped open and knocked down, then you must mop up the mess (internally) with Serrapeptase or Interfase, the cleanup crew.
Restore Your Health With an Integrative Strategy to Treat Lyme Disease
Biofilm Disruptor Protocol
Zeolite – a binder that detoxifies the body of neurotoxins, which will help reduce Herxheimer reactions and chronic inflammation.
Integrative Treatments to Combat the Effects of Lyme Disease
CoQ10 for the heart muscle, periodontal tissues, immune system, liver, kidney, brain, and other vital organs require coenzyme Q10 to supply energy through ATP activation and to help protect them from free radicals.
5-HTP – supports regularity of hormones, mood, and sleep.
Melatonin a natural sleep aid
Probiotic – I could write an entire article about the benefits and necessity of a high-quality probiotic. For now, the focus is on adding a probiotic to your Lyme healing protocol.
Charlotte Pike, the author of Fermented, explains that probiotics deliver the “beneficial bacteria, enzymes, nutrients, and detoxifiers that our immune systems and digestive tracts need.”
In the case of Lyme sick patients, a high-quality lactobacillus is taken once or twice daily or more as needed, and Bifidus once daily is essential for gut protection during and following antibiotic treatment.
Tumeric for inflammation
Allow Your Body to Rest
Avoid overscheduling your calendar. Leave margin in your week to rest.
Mainstream medicine debunks the benefit of detoxification. Because of environmental toxins, processed foods laden with chemicals, and toxic body care products, regular detox routines benefit and strengthen your health.
If your immune system is already under attack from Lyme, then it is even more critical to remove toxins.
My favorite detox is Floraessence because it is a gentle, daily cleanser that supports your body’s natural processes, helping it to remove toxins more efficiently. Floraessence ingredients are 90% organic.
Floraessence offers a ready-made tea or a kit so that you can brew your own.
Including Your Skin
Your body is healing, so begin an exercise program slowly, by taking a soulful walk rather than a power walk. Leisurely ride a bike, kayak, canoe, swim, or hike, anything to get you out in the fresh air moving around.
Integrative Solutions to Health and Wellness
Electro Dermal Skin Testing (EDS) is an integrative practice that dates back to the 1950s.Electro-Dermal (Skin) Computerized Health Screening offers a comprehensive way to identify imbalances or stressors that disrupt the body’s natural flow of energy.
Certified EDS practitioners, like Cathy Nickels, identifies bacterium, viruses, parasites, molds, candida, food allergies, nutritional deficiencies, and Lyme co-infections.
Maintain a Wellness Binder
A wellness binder helped me to figure out what supplements worked or didn’t work. At one point in my illness, I had to take certain supplements on an empty stomach, some in between meals, others several times throughout the day.
Tracking how my body reacted to the supplements helped me to communicate my health condition to my practitioner.
Also, I could maintain a price list of my supplements. This sheet helps to see who has the supplement I need at the lowest cost.
Early on in my illness, I couldn’t find a binder to suit my needs, so I eventually designed one.
It’s available here for $4.99
No Longer a Victim
Once, I was a Lyme-sick patient plagued with the disease. Today, I am no longer a victim of Lyme. Proudly, I am a survivor, a Lyme warrior, sharing my story in case there is someone out there who needs the courage and strength to fight the disease.
Thanks to a prescription of skillfully combined oral antibiotics, a Lyme Diet, and integrative solutions, I finally reclaimed my health.
Winning the battle against Lyme with nutrition and integrative solutions deepened my appreciation for food and integrative treatments. During my illness, my eating practices changed, as did my confidence in using integrative medicine.
This post is part 2 in a series of ways to combat Lyme Disease. For Part 1, see Combat Lyme Disease with Nutrition.
Healing Lyme: Natural Healing of Lyme by Steven Harrod Buhner and
Why Can’t I Get Better? Solving the Mystery of Lyme and Chronic Disease by Dr. Richard Horowitz.
The Lyme Diet, by Dr. Nicola McFadzean
Conquering Lyme Disease: Science Bridges the Great Divide, by Brian A. Fallon, MD, and Jennifer Sotsky, MD
Fermented by Charlotte Pike
Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change by Mary Beth Pfeiffer
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Medical Disclaimer: for topics on health and wellness, I encourage you to seek the knowledge of your health care provider or practitioner.
All the best in soulful healthy living,