When it comes to the landscape of chronic Lyme, I always ask my new clients, ?Who are you? What was your health like before the infection? Who is currently treating your Lyme or mold-associated illness? What was your life like before you felt ill? Were you born via a natural birth or C-section? Were you breastfed or bot- tle-fed? Did you often play outside as a child, or did you spend your growing-up years in sanitized homes and school buildings? Do you have your tonsils? How frequently have you used antibiotics (during childhood and in recent years)? Do you exercise or play sports? Do you spend more time indoors or outside? Who is supporting you emotionally during this time (e.g., your partner, family, or friends)? Is there anything that is easing your symptoms right now? Do you eat organic or commercial foods? Does your diet contain animal proteins, or is it plant based? What are your personal goals? How do you feel today? In addition, are there any medications you are taking that might be siphoning away nutrients your body desperately needs? What has been the most traumatic event in your life?? All of these factors are important.
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These intake questions provide an important backdrop for the unique individual dealing with persistent Lyme-related symptoms. In conjunction with the above questions, other factors to consider include the medical history of the individual?s parents, past and present physical pains, any current injuries, prior digestive troubles, thyroid dysfunction, results of their most recent lab work, childhood vaccinations, emotional traumas, surgeries, psychological troubles, relationship stress, financial worries, seasonal or pet allergies, and chemical sensitivities. All these mind-body layers are important when dealing with the complexities of Lyme-related or environmental illnesses, chronic pain, and auto-immune challenges.
It is not about the illness; it is about the individual, the whole person, whose biography, present biology, genetic potential, immune system, and stressed mind- set are all interwoven with the challenges the illness presents in their daily lives.
Stress of any kind is processed in the body at hormonal, metabolic, and bio- chemical levels. Living in chronic stress mode is very detrimental to our health; sustained stress depletes the body of its nutrient reserves, which are often defi- cient already. A malnourished and tired body will not be able to fight infections.
An excerpt from Rika’s book “Nourish, Heal, Thrive: A comprehensive and holistic approach to living with Lyme disease.”
Join me at the NY Open Center for a cutting-edge evening to discuss why some just do not get better despite antibiotic or herbal treatment.
Not sure if you have Lyme disease or co-infections? Test with DNAConnexions lab with a urine test at home.
It is not just about Lyme disease, it is also about co-infections including Bartonella, Babesia, Anaplasma, Mycoplasma, the meat-eating allergy, and so much more. And the latest testing from different labs…that Western Blot is so 20th Century…and so flawed.
Let us also revisit transmission agents, transmission times, viral activation and toxic mold that all also play an important role with sustained infections, symptoms and inflammation.
What can keep us in pain, sick and extremely tired? A poor diet, lack of sleep and ongoing relationship stress play a very important role, however what is a key factor luring under the surface of symptoms of disease and chronic pain? Toxicity.
This is a concept that is not considered or addressed in conventional medicine. Do not discuss this with your doctor as you will be met with a blank stare, and might endure dismissive comments of this not being proven in the science. Well, it has been proven, but that science is not part of the education in medical school. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine is a great resource regarding health concerns and environmental pollution (including EMF), and I try to attempt one of their conferences on an annual basis. Their upcoming conference in March addresses a very prevalent condition:
CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome)
Histamine / mast cell disorder
Cell Danger response
All are also closely connected to chronic inflammation and the body?s inability to get rid of toxins from infectious and environmental sources. Symptoms manifest in brain disorders, gut dysfunction, hormonal imbalances, allergies, food sensitivities and leaky gut syndrome, immune suppression and hyper-vigilance, chronic pain, autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue, and brain fog and cognitive deficits. There are many more symptoms and the manifestation of sickness is individual. Current chemical and toxic mold exposures in living and working quarters will impede any treatment, as will electromagnetic exposures.
Toxicity from internal or external sources is a large contributor or causal factor with all sustained sickness symptoms and inflammation. Toxins can build up from imbalances of our own gut microbes, e g. Candida overgrowth in the gut or clostridia difficile.?Infectious microbes that include bacteria and parasites release toxins into our body ? simply think of it as they are poopin? into our body.
Infectious agents from the external environment also inject toxins. This can come from tick bites, spider bites, fleas, and can include Lyme disease and co-infections such as Bartonella, Babesia,Toxoplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, mycoplasma, malaria and more. And the more they feel threatened when we use antimicrobial treatment, the more toxins the disease-causing microbes release. And we feel more symptomatic.
Toxins In Our Food
Other toxins occur in foods we consume. Processed foods are major culprits. Antibiotics, growth hormones, chemical agents, preservatives, fake colorants and synthetic flavors all are part of a ?toxic soup? that our body needs to process if we consume processed foods. Antibiotics in foods alter the microbial balance in our gut. This changes the innate checks and balances between disease- and health producing microbes. What you eat every day, can severely increase or decrease your toxic burden. Think about it, we eat multiple times a day. As such there is great potential for multiple toxic insults daily, and every day.
The Genetic factor?
Genetics play an important role, however one cannot blame the genes. Some start treating genetic vulnerabilities instead of considering the holistic approach, of addressing the whole person who is struggling with sickness, infections and toxins. Genetics do matter, yet it requires clinical and critical thinking to assess if there is an expression of genetic vulnerabilities. In an example, just giving a methylfolate supplement for the MTHFR mutation ? a pill for a gene, is not the way to go. And it can backfire. If the body is compromised in nutrients needed to aid detoxification pathways that must be addressed. It is vital to focus on lowering inflammation and errant immune response, while also improving functional ability and capacity. When given the necessary tools, the body will begin to detox.
Organs Of Detoxification
Key areas include the kidneys. The liver has big attention, however the kidneys are often neglected. Other very important player in detoxification is the lymphatic drainage system. When the lymph is not moving well, the body cannot drain toxins and they back up. Bile flow is another area as sluggish bile flow impedes effective elimination of toxic matter. Heavy metals are an additional burden, as they shutdown effective enzyme function that is needed for detoxification, while also adding to the overall internal toxic burden. This includes lead, aluminum, iron, arsenic, mercury, copper, cadmium and more.
Mitochondrial function, the site of energy production and immune function, is also compromised in the cells. I have listened to some doctors emphasizing to push mitochondrial as a first step in a health strategy, but from professional experience I can say that it will backfire.
The body works on a survival mechanism that is based on adaptation and compensation. If the body is heading towards a blowout, the body will shut itself down to conserve energy. If mitochondrial function is pushed, the body will not be able to metabolize the released toxins – as such the mitochondria slow down, and ADRENAL function too. And, viruses enter the Mitochondria where they dismantle the DNA. The mitochondria shuts its function down as not to provide a reproduction site for viruses. (This I learnt at the AAEM conference two years ago and that concept has stayed with me). Mitochondrial function must be considered, yet nutrient interventions must be customized.
TOP 7 TIPS FOR DETOXIFICATION:
Promoting drainage in the body is the first step.
Ensure to hydrate well with clean water on a daily basis. I do like to add electrolytes to my water, especially during hot steamy summer months, or before a spinning class where I sweat a lot.
Sweating is an effective way to get rid of toxins, esp. arsenic, and that is why I make sure to wipe off the sweat when I exercise.
Drainage teas include nettles, cleavers, hibiscus, dandelion and milk thistle. These provide natural electrolytes that do not siphon out minerals such as potassium.
Rebounding, tapping and dry skin brushing are also effective self-help drainage enhancers. Any action that has a pumping and repetitive motion, at a moderate intensity.
Exercise helps too, but is must be customized as with ill individuals there is low exercise tolerance. Walking for ten minutes is helpful too. Use of a sauna is helpful for many; however make sure you are well hydrated before entering the sauna, and use caution according to your tolerance. (A separate blog post is the addition of ox bile and binders that attach to toxins and help to pull them out of the body.)
Epsom salts is a favorite too. Start with a footbath first before embarking on a full body bath ? you could dump too many toxins if you do and experience a herx reaction (when the body dumps too many toxins for what your body can get rid of).
If the above resonates with you, contact me to discuss your needs.