Since being diagnosed with Lyme Disease, my brain has been a bit chaotic trying to reconcile it all. There is a lot to process and my ability to do so has been significantly affected by these little buggers! It’s hard to even figure out what’s going on so that I can share it with you. But I really want to keep you ‘in the lupe’ with what I’ve been doing and how things are going so far with my Lyme treatment journey.
This past month, I’ve felt pretty lousy but overall I can recognize improvements especially when I reflect back on how I was feeling at the start of this year. There are still days where I feel like I can’t think or converse, debilitating pain/nausea/lightheadness hits me out of no where, or my body gives out from under me when walking through the kitchen, but there are now some days (or at least moments) where there is light behind my eyes again, I can do some simple chores, and I can drive myself to appointments.
It’s a little intimidating to share these kinds of extreme limitations because so often, I feel like even close friends gloss over those words without really understanding how significantly chronic illness has affected me. I want to share what Lyme treatment has entailed for me so far, and I really appreciate the love and support you show me by taking the time to learn a little more about my journey.
The first thing that I started was support for my immune system with Reishi mushroom capsules. I started taking these to help boost my CD-57 score (those guns for my killer T-cells I was talking about) and they have a bunch of other helpful properties as well such as reducing inflammation, supporting liver detox, blood pressure modulation, balancing hormones, and fighting tumour growth.
Another new supplement I’ve started is Milk Thistle to help support my liver in the detoxification process. Like the Reishi mushrooms, there are a whole handful of other benefits to this herb like fighting DNA damage, reversing cancer growth, reducing skin damage caused by radiation, lowering inflammation, controlling diabetes, decreasing oxidative stress, and preventing free-radical damage.
To support my adrenals, I’m cutting back on my caffeine and supplementing with Ribes Nigrum in the morning and using Adrenacalm cream in the evening. These help to train my body into a normal cortisol curve. I’m finally feeling like a person in the morning and actually sleeping at night! The first night I used the Adrenacalm, I was actually yawning and feeling my body wind down. It’s been such a welcome change to have a restful night’s sleep!
Side note on coffee: I’ve found that I feel lousy in the afternoons when I drink coffee that may contain mould. The only coffee I feel good drinking is the Bulletproof (tested to be mould-free) coffee which can be found locally at Whole Foods. Looks like my body is sensitive to mould!
I’ve also gotten started on a super probiotic, VSL #3. Most decent probiotics contain around ten billion good bacteria, whereas this probiotic contains 450 billion! All of these good bacteria in my gut will help to crowd out the bad bacteria that are destroying my intestinal lining. When your gut lining gets damaged, this can lead to leaky gut (where gaps form between your intestinal cells and small particles can get through into your blood stream) which can cause food allergies, inflammation, and autoimmunity!
23andMe Genetic Test
Before starting on killing off my infections, we wanted to find out if I have any genetic variables that affect my detoxing ability. This is really important because as the Borrelia bacteria die, they release endotoxins! This creates what is called a Herxheimer reaction if your body is not able to detox the toxins properly. From other people’s experiences, herxing can be 100x worse than a flare - something I would like to avoid if possible by supporting my body in the detox pathways that I’m lacking.
I’m really glad I did the 23andMe genetic test. It’s super easy, you just spit into a tube and the results give you your complete genetic make up! I can now see what types of inherited diseases I am at greater risk of developing (for me personally, Alzheimer’s came up so I’ll be doing everything I can to support my mitochondria to avoid this), what prescription drugs my body doesn’t detox very well, and even what genetic traits I have (they correctly identified my eye colour and level of hair curliness). If you’re into your ancestry, that shows up too.
But even better than these results is that you can put your genetic sequencing (remember those A, T, C, G’s?) into a program (Genetic Genie) and it provides your complete methylation profile (all of your mutations) and detoxing profile (determining how fast or slow you metabolize medications)! I got these results back and am waiting for my doctor’s interpretation. We can use this information to determine what extra support my body needs and what dosage levels of medicine my body can handle.
This is a quick and simple eye test you can do with your phone online that determines your contrast sensitivity. It can suggest if biotoxins or nutritional deficiencies are affecting your vision.
Myers’ Cocktail IV Therapy
I started receiving vitamin and mineral support via IV therapy. I take a bunch of supplements but it turns out that you only absorb about 10% of the supplements you take orally and my body is not capable of getting those nutrients across my cell membranes effectively. So by having vitamins and minerals injected, this creates a pressure gradient that forces the high concentration into your cells so you can finally put those nutrients to good use! For example, if I supplement with 300mg of Magnesium, my body will absorb about 30mg whereas I’m getting 500mg in my Myers IV.
Eventually, my body will be well enough that I can start bringing those nutrients into my cells again on my own. This just eases the burden a bit in the meantime.
I can already feel like these treatments are helping! I started by getting a “gentle Myers” and I would feel a lot more energetic that evening and next day (like play with the kids downstairs or walk up the street to the mailbox). After a few times, my veins are no longer collapsing and I’m feeling more energetic for a few days after. I was even able to help Zach with some gardening this weekend! It’s really exciting that these IVs give me glimpses of how a little bit of energy can make me feel more like myself again.
Before starting antibiotic treatment, it’s important for my body to gain some control over my systemic Candida overgrowth because taking antibiotics can make that worse. To do this, I’m completing a month of intentional Candida treatment including a herbal formula called Cadaclear Four, a prescription anti-fungal called Nystatin (which we got compounded to avoid the junk fillers), and of course the infamous Candida diet. I’m over half way through this 30 day treatment and I’m already noticing big results! Zach also did a less intense 30 day Candida treatment and 15lbs just fell off about a week after. Fingers crossed this can make as big of a difference for me!
The first couple weeks were pretty brutal to be completely honest with you. The die off of Candida also releases endotoxins and my body felt like I was losing the war most of the time. I’ve been really thankful for my detoxing support! As I’m on the second half now, it’s not as severe of a struggle, but the diet is still pretty tough.
I’m aiming to eat around 20g of carbs a day including grains and fruit! For a visual, this looks like 1/3c of cooked quinoa or 1 piece of fruit for the whole day. It is super hard. Thankfully my diet is already free of refined sugar and dairy but cutting the sugars down even more is nothing short of traumatic. Okay, maybe I’m being a BIT dramatic, but I dare you to try it for one day. Sugar is addictive! And it’s really difficult to kick that addiction. I’m super glad to be eating a ketogenic diet now though and I can see the higher ketone levels on my blood work so I know my body is responding well. I’m feeling a lot better with my body using fat for fuel instead of the main source coming from glucose.
If you think you may be suffering from Candida overgrowth, I encourage you to do a 30 day treatment with diet and gentle herbs. It’s hard, but so worth feeling energetic, sharp, and less bloated. Some main symptoms of Candida include: exhaustion, sugar cravings, bad breath, brain fog, hormone imbalance, joint pain, low libido, sinus and allergy issues, gas/bloating, low immune function, and UTIs.
If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you would’ve seen that our family went to Germany again last week (well, our blood did!) for my Armin Labs co-infection test and Borrelia tests for Zach and Brooklyn.
If you weren’t aware, Borrelia and co-infections can be transmitted sexually and across the placenta. There are lots of research studies that support this hypothesis and many spouses and children of infected mothers have been found to carry the same strains of Borrelia (there are over 300 strains!). It’s been our prayer that Zach and the children aren’t infected but based on what makes sense biologically, they probably are. We’ll be getting those results back fairly soon.
Thanks for bearing with me on such a detailed update! I really appreciate all of the support and encouragement in this super difficult journey. The next step will be to start antibiotic treatment. I’m hoping that I start feeling better from it, but it’s completely possible that I may struggle with Herxes and feel worse before things start to get better. Please keep me in your prayers!