Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Trickiness of Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a complicated infection, tough to diagnose and even harder to treat if doctors miss an early diagnosis, which is all too often the case. Lyme disease treatment is tricky because the most popular blood tests used in most doctors' offices to detect the disease miss about 55% of Lyme cases. If and when a patient finally is diagnosed, it's sometimes by a clinical evaluation of the symptoms, ones that often mimic other ailments like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and even Alzheimer's disease.

Complicating matters even further, symptoms can change and move making it even harder for doctors to effectively diagnose and treat. Headaches, migrating pain, bowel problems, uncharacteristic mood swings, panic attacks, and sleep disorders are just a few of the symptoms commonly reported in Lyme patients.

Antibiotics Aren't Always the Only Answer

While antibiotics and other prescription medications can help in treating the disease and the all-too-common tick-borne co-infections that often hitchhike into your body through a tick bite, I say there's also a place for holistic remedies in the treatment and management of Lyme disease. Antibiotics alone may not suffice because Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi and it has a way of getting into the cell. When it does this the cell membrane inadvertently protects the bacteria and shields it from the antibiotics. The bacteria can also hide dormant in the nervous system, among other places, where antibiotic drugs can't reach them.

Natural treatments can help heal the body by knocking out the infection all together and reducing inflammation while also getting an injured immune system back on track.

Using Nutrition Response Testing I do not diagnose or treat Lyme but if a patient comes in knowing they have it, here is how I help support the body:

Herbs: samento, banderol, andrographis, resveratrol, and cat's claw all target Lyme and related tick-borne infections.

Tea time: green tea compounds, along with curcumin, a component of the spice turmeric, are known to reduce oxidative stress and help aid in traditional antibiotic treatment.

Having enough vitamins and minerals: Zinc, B, and D vitamin deficiencies could slow down Lyme recovery, so I always test to see if a patient is in need of these.

Probiotics: Probiotic foods may help replenish beneficial bacteria in the gut that are wiped out by antibiotic Lyme disease treatment. Organic yogurt, kefir, and even fermented vegetables are good sources of probiotics and a supplement may be needed as well.

Exercise: Even small concentrations of oxygen can help destroy Lyme bacteria in the body. Although Lyme typically zaps people's energy, intense exercise during and after treatment can help keep the disease at bay.

Natural Anti-Inflammatories: natural compounds that ease inflammation, such as curcumin, and Standard Process's antronex.

Diet: a low-carbohydrate diet is a must because carbohydrates, including sugar, fuel the Lyme germs. This means ditching most processed foods and avoiding any added sugar. Muscle testing the person, and actively supporting the person's general health with emphasis on their immune system, circulation, reduced inflammation, and detoxification can lead to reduced symptoms and full immune system restoration.