When Living With Chronic Lyme Disease…. and co-infections…and viral infections

An excerpt from Rika’s book:

“Nourish, Thrive, Heal: A comprehensive and holistic guide to living with Lyme disease.”?

“Become mindful of the foods you choose to eat: They can help heal you. When you hold a bunch of celery or kale in your hand, is it not a marvel, this gift nature gives us? When making broth from bones, is it not a gift that the animal king- dom gives us? Maintaining a sense of gratitude in adversity is helpful during tough times; it reconnects us to healing and hope.

Nourishment from loving relationships will increase your resilience in the face of the tough reality that you deal with every day that not many understand. I will be frank; living with Lyme, coinfections, and mold illness can be a tough, lonely, expensive, and overwhelming road. Navigating daily life with a lack of stamina can be a difficult process (especially if you are living alone).

By connecting with Mother Nature and your inner spiritual being, you can open up channels of hope and healing that will support your immune system, lift your mood, and reduce your hormonal stress. Taking care of yourself also includes appropriate daily movement. Do what you can, go slow, and take appro- priate rest afterward. Movement supports flow of your lymphatic and digestive systems and energizes the mind and body.

We have to nourish as a whole from a mind-body perspective. This takes mindfulness, careful planning, and patience; it is a slow process, and it takes practice. Lowering your stress with daily biofeedback techniques, deep breathing exercises, or meditation will greatly assist you in getting back into a life that is not defined by Lyme-related infections, chronic fatigue, and hopelessness.

MAY is Lyme Disease Awareness Month!

It is very important to be kind to yourself. Surround yourself with supportive family, friends, and colleagues who understand your daily challenges without judgments. Emotional nourishment also includes surrounding yourself with positive individuals who make you laugh out loud or lift your spirits, especially when you are having tough days. You cannot do it alone. This can be in your immediate community or in a virtual community, wherever you receive com- passion, understanding, and kindness. Take time to reflect on joyful moments or relationships in your life. This will increase your coping skills during difficult days when you are filled with doubt that you will get better or you are frustrated with joint pain or your daily life. There will be tough days; you know that. Do not hesitate to reach out to someone you trust when you need to share your pain, frustration, or despair.

Embrace other healing arts that are supportive on an emotional and spiritual level. When we wish to heal, it is not only about our physical body. Our emo- tional body and mind must be part of this complex journey. Past traumatic expe- riences must be addressed because they play an important role in our ability to become well. Family constellations, shamanic healing, hypnosis, energy healing, homeopathy, and meditation are helpful at this level.

Instead of thinking of yourself as a chronic Lyme patient, reset your thinking. Become proactive in the self-care areas of your life where you do have control.

Taking care of your digestive tract and adrenal glands will go a long way; your efforts will be worth it because you will have more energy than before. Give your body a break by decreasing toxic environmental exposures as best as you can. Should you learn just one tip in this book that makes your experience change for the better, then writing it was worth it for me. Becoming well is neither a race nor is it linear. In everyone?s life, there are always curveballs along the way.

Experiencing small changes for the better on a daily basis are the rainbows we seek, and these provide the motivation to show up every day, on good days and bad days. Take a step back and observe yourself with kindness and love, not judgment and frustration. You are doing your best; take comfort in that.

Lower your stress. get out into nature and breathe fresh air.

I invite you to read about the landscape of chronic Lyme in the next chapter. Having a good understanding of the labyrinth of Lyme will make it easier to chart your unique healing strategy. The more you know and the more tools you acquire in your toolbox to handle your own sickness, the more you increase your body?s ability to tolerate treatment and to live with the infections?and that is empowering”

?We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.?

?unknown

Check out this?terrific book on Amazon.com. Discover healing opportunities that can assist you in your journey towards wellness, it is not just about treating infections or looking at genetic. The holistic path is unique to your individual needs, yet by addressing major fundamental principles in our lives, we can become empowered and renew our vitality. It is never one thing that made us sick, and thus it will not be one thing that makes us better. We are a whole person, and as a whole person we must seek personalized avenues that facilitate our healing path.

Be well, Rika

IS TOXICITY KEEPING YOU SICK?

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:

  1. CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome)
  2. Histamine / mast cell disorder
  3. 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:

  1. Promoting drainage in the body is the first step.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Drainage teas include nettles, cleavers, hibiscus, dandelion and milk thistle. These provide natural electrolytes that do not siphon out minerals such as potassium.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.)
  7. 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.

I wish you well,

Rika

LYME DISEASE: Rather best be called “Lyme Wars”…

Hi There,

As a Lyme disease advocate it can make my blood boil when I see how many people (who are infected with vector-borne infections) fall through the cracks of medical treatment – especially in regards to the treatment guidelines of the Infectious Disease medical community.

Lack of treatment, too little treatment, too late treatment, dependence on flawed and outdated blood testing, lack of clinical and critical thinking can result in long-term illness for many who are infected. Over 300 000 individuals ?are diagnosed every year – how many fall through the cracks or are misdiagnosed?

Flawed IDSA Treatment Guidelines (supported by the CDC):

There is no scientific evidence to support the popular IDSA (Infectious Disease Society of America) perspective that a short-term course of antibiotics will eliminate tick-borne infections. This notion is highly flawed as:

  1. Fewer than 50% of individuals ever see a tick on their body.
  2. Fewer than 50% ever develop a rash post-bite.
  3. Co-infections matter, yet the gold-standard Western Blot test does not check for them.
  4. A suppressed immune response can result in a negative blood test (that depends on antibodies to infectious agents.)
  5. No science supports that the infections are cleared after short-term antibiotic treatment.
  6. Babesia / Bartonella / Mycoplasma / EBV / Herpes / mold toxicity, and more infectious agents are often not considered yet these can manifest in ongoing symptoms post-Lyme treatment.
  7. Take a look at the following post:?https://www.lymedisease.org/lymepolicywonk-the-bogus-grassroots-of-the-american-lyme-disease-foundation-2/
  8. Without appropriate treatment, you might end up with a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, Rheumatic Arthritis, Bipolar Disorder, IBS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, ….sound familiar?
  9. 40% of people manifest symptoms later on in life post-treatment.
  10. No science supports that one dose of antibiotics given as prophylaxis prevents Lyme disease. This thinking is based on a single flawed study where there was no follow-up or checking for co-infections.

For correct information, please check out ILADS.ORG. That is the best resource regarding acute and chronic vectorborne infections.

You are welcome to connect with me at [email protected] to discuss your unique situation, whether you in active treatment, or not.

If you have ongoing symptoms, you do want a holistic and integrative perspective as ongoing inflammation can keep you sick. As can low-grade infections that can flare or re-activate when you are highly stressed.

Talk to you later,

Rika.

References: ILDAS.org