Living with Lyme’s Disease is no picnic. Once bitten, life changes – and not in a very nice way. For some people, their journey isn’t so bad if they are lucky enough to be diagnosed with a positive test result and treated immediately with a course of antibiotics. Most bite victims go undiagnosed. Various forms of testing can come up as negatives and a person may never test positive for Lyme’s Disease, yet suffer from the disease. Lyme’s Disease is a sneaky, evil, vile scourge of the earth. One bite will attack its victim where it is its weakest. For example, a patient who has had viral meningitis many years prior can present with the same symptoms as a result of Lyme’s. Persons who are susceptible to cardiac pathologies can experience those symptoms. Past orthopedic injuries can erupt as severe arthritic conditions, that can become crippling. I have been treating patients in my clinic for the symptoms of Lyme’s for 10 years now and recently, I have had several patients who have been rebitten and been reinfected, and patients who have come to me stating that they have never been the same since they were diagnosed with Lyme’s Disease (whether it be one year ago or 20 years ago)…some cannot play the piano anymore, some cannot dance, others suffer in many different ways. One common denominator I have discovered when speaking with my patients was the ‘lack of strategy’ to fight the war against Lyme’s Disease…and WAR it is….it’s not a battle. Lyme’s is a long, drawn out war between your body – the host – and an evil bacteria. So, here’s my advice to all of you who have/had Lyme’s Disease and are living the war:
HOW TO LIVE WITH LYME’S DISEASE:
Lao Tzu, the great general said this in his treatise, The Art of War, “Keep your friends close; keep your enemies closer”. This is your strategy for living with Lyme’s Disease. Lyme’s is a formidable enemy – like a concrete wall. The more you try to force your way through the wall, the more you will only batter yourself. Remember, you are the host for the enemy, and the enemy wants to wear you down – weaken your immune system so it can take over all your good cells and try to kill you. So, your strategy is to keep your immune system as strong as you can. Don’t go after the enemy yourself; that’s what the antibiotics are for, so let them do their job. Your job is to step back and keep your body (your troops) fed well, rested well and calm, so when the enemy does try to take over, your immune system (your troops) will be able to quicken your blood and antibodies and outsmart Lyme’s!
So, Here’s What You Do To Win The War:
Rest, Rest and More Rest! If you are living with Lyme’s, you’ve most likely never been so exhausted in your entire life, so don’t be a hero! When you feel tired, lie down and rest. Sleep more – it’s ok. Remember, you are very sick, so acknowledge that fact and if anyone doesn’t like it, too bad for them. It’s your health and your life…you’re number one, no one else!
Stop The Stress! Stress is a killer on a normal day for the immune system. Right now, your immune system is compromised, just like a cancer patient, an m.s. patient or any other very ill person. Try to stay out of stressful situations. If someone is giving you grief, pleasantly tell them you are not well and this is not the time to share with you. They need to fight their own battles right now…you’ve got a war to wage on your own.
Light Exercise….I Suggest Swimming or Yoga Swimming is a wonderful exercise for joint or muscle pain. It is low impact and the water will truly make you feel better…I kid you not folks, it’s the best exercise for you. Second on the list is GENTLE yoga…NOT hot yoga, NOT power yoga…remember, you are trying to BOOST and ENHANCE your immune system, not knock it down. So, no excuses and no laziness. Do whatever it takes…life is short and so far, we only know we have one life, so make it a healthy one.
DIET….This is Important! Here’s where you can make the difference between moving your joints painlessly or not. Here’s a list of foods to avoid. These foods are known to trigger arthritis pain. Anyone with RA or gout will tell you that these foods are on the ‘no-no’ list to eat. They build up heat and uric acid in the joints and this is what causes your fingers, knees hips and vertebrae to lock up. If you just can’t part with some of these foods, just eat a LITTLE bit. Above all, drink plenty of water! Water flushes out toxins that build up in the body. Fish high in Omega-3s are good to eat. Berries are great antioxidants, dark leafy green veggies, squashes and beans are good for you as well. Almond milk is a good alternative to dairy milk.
Avoid These Foods
1. Dairy products
3. Red Meats in Volume
4. Wheat, oats, rye
6. Citrus fruits
7. Potatoes, Eggplant, Peppers, Tomatoes
Take a probiotic every day while taking the antibiotics. This will save the good bacteria in your intestinal tract and stave off lots of diarrhea.
TAKING ANTIBIOTICS Here’s a tip….since you either take the doxycycline 1 hour before meals or 2 hours after a meal, I suggest you take this strategy: Have your probiotic with breakfast. Eat a good lunch packed with protein. Take the antibiotic 2 hours after lunch (this way, you won’t become nauseous). Then, take your second dose of antibiotic 2 hours after a good dinner.
ACUPUNCTURE AND HERBAL TREATMENTS Acupuncture and Herbal Treatments WEEKLY – NOT SPORATICALLY – will help you tremendously with the symptoms of Lyme’s Disease. People ask me what herbal formula to use when one gets Lyme’s. The answer is this: the formula changes weekly as the symptoms change. Anyone who tells you differently doesn’t know what they are talking about….period. Weekly treatments will help with fatigue, dry mouth, night sweats (ladies who are on estrogen replacement will know that the doxycycline reduce the efficacy of the HRT), joint pain and other symptoms.
There’s more I could tell you about living with Lyme’s, but that’s all for today. If you have Lyme’s or have been living with the effects of this nasty bugger, you don’t have to suffer so much. Together, we can develop a stratagem that can help you live your life much more fully. Call or email my office for an appointment. Share this blog information today and help someone else who might not have a strategy!