When Life Hands you a...Lyme?!
We are experiencing an absolute epidemic of Lyme disease in the United States. Making things even worse is that many physicians don’t understand or deny that Lyme is so serious. It’s a tragedy!
Lyme disease was so-named because it was “discovered” in Lyme, CT.
When we speak of Lyme disease, we mean not only Borrelia, the name of the Lyme organism itself, but many co-infections that infected individuals also have. These co-infections include Babesia, Bartonella, Brucella, Chlamydia, Ehrlichia, Mycoplasma, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tularemia, and a variety of viruses.
Lyme disease has a gradual onset, often with flu-like symptoms. Individual can have unexplained fevers or hot and cold spells. Memory, planning, reading, brain processing, and judgment may be impaired. Fatigue and exhaustion are common as well as sleep problems and headaches. Sensitivity to light and sounds is increased so people can feel assaulted by the world around them.
The fact is that infection with Lyme and its co-infections can cause or contribute to virtually any medical, neurological, or psychiatric problems.
There are two stages of Lyme disease. The first stage is acute Lyme disease. It occurs in the first few weeks following a bite from an infected tick. In this early stage of incubation, victims experience the following symptoms:
Bull's eye rash
The symptoms tend to get progressively worse and the condition eventually becomes chronic.
Chronic Lyme disease symptoms include but are not limited to:
Arthritis-like pain that spreads throughout the joints, most often in the knees and elbows.
Bell's palsy (partial paralysis of the face)
Fever and chills
Irregular heart beat
Shortness of breath
Difficulty concentrating and various mental disturbances
But let's not get discouraged because help is available for Lyme and other tick-borne infections and there is reason for hope. Infected people can get better.
One of the major symptoms of Lyme disease is inflammation. One way to allow the body to rest and muster a defense against this disease, without resorting to antibiotics, is to reduce the inflammation with natural supplements.
Vitamin C - is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in aiding our overtaxed immune system, supporting healthy inflammatory levels, increasing antioxidants, and optimizing adrenal function. Patients with Lyme disease require high doses of this nutrient to respond appropriately to the added stress of fighting an ongoing battle with infection.
Glutathione is known as the body's master antioxidant. It is a tripeptide, comprised of the amino acids cysteine, glycine, and glutamate. In a patient with Lyme disease, the infecting spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi passively absorbs the cysteine the body produces and uses it to manufacture many of the enzymes it needs for its own metabolism, causing a depletion of cysteine and ultimately a decreased amount of glutathione. This depletion of glutathione leads to cell death, making the clinical implications of this molecule of great significance. Glutathione helps the body to remove toxins, increase energy, and decrease brain fog.
Curcumin - is a beneficial, anti-inflammatory compound extracted from the herb turmeric. It supports a healthy inflammatory response by mediating several inflammatory processes in the body. It is also extremely helpful for minimizing pain and Herx reaction. in patients with Lyme disease.
Vitamin D - provides anti- inflammatory benefits and strengthens the immune system. It is essential for patients with Lyme disease.
MSM - stands for methylsulfonylmethane, an organic form of sulfur. Sulfur is the fourth most plentiful mineral in the body and is essential for life. It is an important element for all cells and body tissues, especially for joint tissue where it functions in the stabilization of the connective tissue matrix of cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. MSM also assists in repairing nerve damage.
Many patients with Lyme disease experience prolonged or intermittent periods of debilitating fatigue which can be caused by poor sleep, nutrient deficiencies, toxin overload, and adrenal fatigue - just to name a few. B vitamins - particularly B-6, B-9 (folic acid), and B-12 (methylcobalamin) promote detoxification, support immune system, improve energy, and heal damaged nerves.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) - is produced naturally by the body, but its production can decrease with age and illness. It’s an effective antioxidant that helps the cells of the body to metabolize energy. Plus, it potentiates other crucial antioxidants like vitamins C, E, and glutathione. ALA contributes to improvement of fatigue and symptoms of numbness and tingling in those with Lyme disease. But that's not all. ALA is a mitochondrial powerhouse. It is not only protects our energy producing factories from free radical damage, it also helps "prep" the fuel burned in the mitochondria and increases the amount of generated energy. Furthermore, it has a unique ability to neutralize toxins, chelate heavy metals, and protect against DNA damage.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a vitamin like substance synthesized by the body, with lessening amounts produced as we age. CoQ10 's most important role is that of helping the cells’ mitochondria manufacture cellular fuel, known as adenosinetriphosphate, or ATP. The amount of ATP produced by the cells is directly related to energy levels. The more ATP that is produced, the more energy is available. Without an adequate supply of CoQ10, the cells are unable to produce enough ATP, resulting in energy loss and fatigue. CoQ10 also acts as a fat-soluble antioxidant. It enhances the ability of its fellow fat-soluble antioxidant, vitamin E, to do its job. CoQ10 is a critically important nutrient for the heart, improving energy production in heart cells. In fact, this deficiency may be a major causative factor in the chronic fatigue of some Lyme patients. CoQ10 helps to improve immune function and has anti-cancer properties. Finally, it act as a powerful brain anti-oxidant and “neuro-protector” (especially against neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease).
Magnesium - both Lyme and Bartonella significantly deplete the body’s supply of magnesium. Magnesium is one of the most important mineral nutrients necessary for good health, and also one of the minerals that Americans in general are most commonly deficient in. Most widely known for its ability to support the health of the bones, heart, skeletal muscles, and teeth, magnesium also plays essential roles in the maintenance and repair of all body cells, energy production, hormone regulation, nerve transmission, and the metabolism of proteins and nucleic acids. It also helps to reverse muscular tension and is involved in the functioning of literally hundreds of the body’s enzymatic reactions. A lack of magnesium can also contribute to immune system dysfunction, depression, fatigue, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gastrointestinal problems, irregular heartbeat, memory