Bloody Lymey

A Blog About Living with Lyme Disease

Claritin & Lyme Disease?

Oh, I don’t want to turn into the Tweeter of Bloggers where I sort of copy and paste links to interesting articles.

But here we go again:  http://lymedisease.org/news/lyme_disease_views/claritin-lyme-balf.html

Has anyone heard of this? I never tried it so I cannot recommend nor not recommend it.  Might be worth reading up on.

If anyone has any experience with this, please chime in.  We would love your thoughts.

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Magnesium: necessary mineral (and possible treatment protocol ? )

I have heard numerous times that we Lymies suffer from low magnesium and there is great debate over whether it is authentically lower magnesium levels or whether our symptoms mimic those of someone with depleted magnesium levels. I have also read that the bacteria itself siphons magnesium from all of us for its own benefit.

There is also a Magnesium Treatment (and because I’m posting it does not mean I am in any way endorsing it. I never tried it.  Likewise, by having stated that does not mean I am against it):

MAGNESIUM PROTOCOL:
– Magnesium Malate, approximately 200mg 6 times a day (every 2 hours).
– Sublingual B6, approximately 12mg with each magnesium dose.
– Selenium, approximately 12mcg with each magnesium dose.

ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS:
– An immune booster such as “Host Defense” or beta glucans.
– Multiple vitamin and mineral supplementation
– A good alkalizing diet

(Source:  http://www.lymeinfo.net/magnesium.html)

I have tried many supplements and many I have swore by only to find they seemed less necessary when I ran out of them. The one supplement I swear by, and have for many years, is Magnesium.  When I run out of it, my body tells me I need to get thee to the store by making me constipated and causing me to grind my teeth at night.

Here are some benefits to having par levels of magnesium:  http://www.lovelivehealth.com/10-amazing-ways-magnesium-heals-your-body-and-mind/?utm_source=facebookads&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=fb_magheal_b_us

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Lyme Disease and Magnesium……….

Oh NO.  Another supplement article.  How many times do we read about a supplement and then add it to our collection?

Well?

First:  read the whole thing and totally inform yourself.  And read other articles on the web.

This might help someone, so I feel obliged to pass it along – all of it, even the contradictions.

I remember someone recommending Magnesium to me to help with my “nerve pain.”  The bottle promised, “supports healthy nerve, muscle and heart function.”  Sold.

It did help enormously .

Well, I happened upon this article:  http://www.lymeinfo.net/magnesium.html  (and if the link fails, copy and paste: http://www.lymeinfo.net/magnesium.html)

It reports that many of us have magnesium deficiency and that symptoms include:

  1. Muscle Cramps
  2. Weakness
  3. Fatigue
  4. Insomnia
  5. Stress intolerance
  6. Heart irregularities
  7. Confusion

Sound familiar?

Magnesium deficiency can also lead to constipation – – this is why Milk of Magnesia contains Magnesium!  That’s partly why epsom salts as a saline laxative work.  So it’s a good digestive aid as well.

What the website I mentioned earlier recommends is (and ASK your doctor first!):

“After an extensive review of the literature, Marnie at online forums has proposed the following treatment for chronic Lyme patients:

MAGNESIUM PROTOCOL:
– Magnesium Malate, approximately 200mg 6 times a day (every 2 hours).
– Sublingual B6, approximately 12mg with each magnesium dose.
– Selenium, approximately 12mcg with each magnesium dose.ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS:
– An immune booster such as “Host Defense” or beta glucans.
– Multiple vitamin and mineral supplementation
– A good alkalizing diet”

A good alkalizing diet ……. a good alkalizer is actually none other than Alkaseltzer Gold. It’s hard to find the Gold variety in stores, but it’s none too hard to order it online.

But WAIT: 

Some believe that the Borrelia feed off of magnesium and that is why we become so deficient.  Sooooo……. if you’re someone who opts for the “more is better” ideal, then please remember you may be also feeding what is taking it away.  (Yeah, so I’m contradicting what is written above, but I’m from the camp where I like to supply all information and let YOU decide what to do with it).   This theory that the bacteria feed on the magnesium and therefore steals it from us would explain why my heart was beating so terrifyingly irregularly at the height of my illness.  It explains the muscle twitches, the confusion , the exhaustion …….. all of it.

Some LLMD’s recommend starving yourself of Magnesium when you’re on antibiotics to deprive them of their food as well as killing them with the medications.  So that’s another thing to bear in mind:  where are you in treatment?

Not All Magnesiums are Created Equally: 

Many sources recommend Magnesium Chloride as it is the “most easily absorbed.”

The one in my cupboard now simply says MAGNESIUM.  Looking at the ingredients, however, it says “Magnesium Oxide.”

In terms of dosing, all sources seem to agree to take a little throughout the day; taking too much at once can lead to diarrhea and that appears to be the one side effect everyone agrees on.   Some mention sweating (epsom baths do this to me and that contains a lot of magnesium….. but NOT sweating is my beef with Lyme Disease, so I embrace this side effect with open arms).  Some mention nausea and even vomiting.  If your stools are loose as a general rule then please show special caution.

All seem to concur that keeping an even dose of it in the bloodstream throughout the day can help with your symptoms – – be it nerve pain, fatigue, heart irregularities, etc. – AND squash side effects.

The book, “The Top 10 Lyme Disease Treatments,” states that too much Magnesium can cause us to Herx’.  (*I never read the book , just the free excerpts from the internet…….. here’s some now:  http://books.google.com/books?id=J4TFtQeHkQAC&pg=PA287&lpg=PA287&dq=lyme+disease+and+magnesium+deficiency&source=bl&ots=-sLTa333dq&sig=w-nUwJaM8cjvS5phKJwx1_Rqv3U&hl=en&sa=X&ei=8orSUKbXMc630AH3k4GABQ&ved=0CIoBEOgBMAk#v=onepage&q=lyme%20disease%20and%20magnesium%20deficiency&f=false    Oh, and the book alleges that starving the bacteria of magnesium is “erroneous.”

More:

There are things that magnesium deficiency is alleged to cause or contribute to — Fibromyalgia, Osteoporosis ….. Read more here:  http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/magnesium-000313.htm  (or if link fails:  http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/magnesium-000313.htm)   It makes me almost wonder if that is why some of us with Lyme had some “spinoff shows” such as Fibromyalgia afterward and other issues they have listed.

If I were to draw my own conclusions, I’d draw the conclusion that it may be best for ME to take Magnesium and help with the symptoms (For goodness sakes!  Especially with matters of the HEART!), and not cut off my nose to spite my face.  But I’m not a doctor.

Anyway, best wishes and good luck with your Magnesium.

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“Is the Vitamin C & Salt Protocol Safe?”

I am able to see search engine terms that bring people to this blog, and the title of this blog is among the most frequent in current trends.

I’m not a doctor, so my word is not the law.   The best and simplest answer is “ask your doctor.”  That sucks, doesn’t it?  You came here for a solid answer and now you’re being directed to your doctor who may or may not believe that you have Lyme Disease, or may believe that you “had it” and the rest of this stuff is in your head.  How dare I turn you back to the unreliable medical community who gives you the run around.

Well?  Let me tell you whyyyyyy.

If your kidneys aren’t perfect then lots of salt is NOT something you ought to be ingesting.  Vitamin C probably isn’t a good idea either, in larger quantities especially.  If you have high blood pressure then increasing your sodium intake in this manner is probably unwise.

See?  There are many compelling reasons why it may not be a good idea.

I’ll tell you what.  I don’t have any of those issues.  I did ask my doctor about it and frankly?  She thought it was silly.  But she insisted I stick with Himalayan salt (as advised by pretty much anyone) and advised me to be careful of heavy metal content.   She reminded me to drink lots of water as well.

So before you go reading things to see if it’s SAFE.  Please ask your doctor.  No one out here in cyberspace can see you and none of us knows your medical history — and frankly, many of us are laypeople who wouldn’t know how to answer your question even if we knew your entire history.  Ask your doctor.  If they give you crap, just fold your arms and say “Humor me.”

Also ask about other supplements you may be taking to make sure there’s no interaction.  Many sites recommend taking Natokinasse for a few days prior to clean your bloodstream; it’s a blood-thinner.  If you are going to take supplements in conjunction with the protocol then ask about those, too.  Nato-zymes may be a bad idea if you’re already on Coumadin or something similar.

If they say it’s okay then PLEASE take a tiny bit at a time and slowly increase.  I herxed pretty badly and hear that I’m not unique.

(***Note:  I’m not a good resource on whether or not it “works.”  I herxed BAD and stopped.  I could not function.  Could not!  So I didn’t see it through to the end or through any recommended length of time.  If you try it then read read read.  Make sure you drink tons of water and eat a detox diet. ****)

 

 

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Oil Pulling & Cold Sores ……..

I had started oil pulling again and felt that “tingling sensation” and saw the bubbling near my lip.  A cold sore was brewing.  I can say that oil pulling expedited the cycle.  It went from minute blisters to a healing scab in three days.

Typically I use Abreva and opted to not use it this time to see what oil pulling would do on its own.  It did what Abreva typically does, only faster.  My son, unfortunately, has been sick.  He’s very talkative and it’s hard to swish for twenty minutes straight without his needing something or having a question, so the success has been stunted.  I imagine, however, that oil pulling AND Abreva would be a powerhouse for cold sores.

I don’t heal very well as a general rule.  Usually bruises stubbornly adhere to my skin long after the bruises of my healthier counterparts.  Cuts and sores take longer to diminish.  Since having Lyme Disease, it’s even worse.    Cold sores – and their scabby aftermath – typically haunt me for a couple of weeks or so.  Three days is VERY fast for me.

The elimination of a stubborn and colossal wart after embarking on oil pulling is another miracle – I had done nearly everything under the sun to get rid of it up until then.    It has not returned.

I have switched from coconut oil (which got rid of the wart) to sunflower oil.  I’m more tolerant of the taste and texture.  It seems to get equal results but for some reason the coconut oil seemed to do more for my complexion.

That’s my 50-cents for the day. Just one more good reason to try oil pulling if you haven’t yet.  🙂

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17 Day Diet Take Two / One Month Later

I have lost 18 lbs.   The first 12 were QUICK, but now it’s slowed down considerably.  And that’s okay.

I actually urinate regularly.  No more camel-hump/potbelly growing and distending throughout the day as I consume liquids.  My bowels are ……. normal!  I have had a couple of IBS incidents in the past month, but I mean that:  just a couple.   Both leaned toward diarrhea.  There’s been zero constipation.

My body retaliated with an acne breakout (but contrasted with Lyme Disease symptoms, that is NOT a big deal), so I started oil pulling again.  My skin cleared up rapidly.  Rapidly.  I’m suspecting there may have been internal candida, too – something I have thought myself to struggle with since all of the antibiotics.  While I did not “herx” with a candida die-off (aside from, perhaps, the acne and initial headaches), my tongue is now a healthy pink color.  Before it had some whitish thing going on …… a telltale sign.

While I have not followed the diet to a T — I had corn on the cob during the first 17 days. I have had pizza (from a place that makes sourdough crust sans yeast).  I have had pasta.  All in moderation.    I had a tiny slice of cake last night, one of exactly two servings of sugar in the past month.  That tiny slice of cake was bliss, but I almost couldn’t finish it.   I could feel my body chemically reacting to it ……. and I can’t articulate that much better.   I have been drinking diet soda, though more moderately.

What I have stuck to:  

1. Two servings of fruit a day

2.  8 Glasses of water

3.  Two servings of probiotics (Greek yogurt [higher in protein] with some polaner all-fruit – no sugar added/sweetened with fruit juice and a hint of lemon extract to make that Greek yogurt sour taste more palatable)

4.  Protein daily — perhaps not as much as I should

5.  Lots of “cleansing veggies.”

6.  BLACK coffee with some ice coffee exceptions that included cream but no sweetener — I can count those exceptions on one hand.

So this is, as they say in A.A., “Progress not perfection.”

My joints have been faintly creaky on occasion, but for the most part ….. nil.

NO nerve pain except that jab in the groin a few weeks back and a couple of pings in my ears.   Had the jab in the crotch not been so epic on the pain scale, I might have forgotten that isolated incident and the ears.

Headaches are gone.

Brain fog?  Gone.

Lyme Disease?: 

My doctor, before referring me to the Rheumatologist, said very clearly “I do not think you have an active infection [Lyme Disease].”  In the ER, when I was brought in with heart attack symptoms last week, the doctor asked about my medical history.  He was surprised that after I was “cleared” of Lyme, no one did another test to prove it.  However?  My first two tests were negative, so I don’t know if I could be convinced.  I would like to just believe my labs and put it to rest, but I don’t know if I could.  How many tests could convince me?  Ten?  I don’t know.

The Rheumatologist did NOT like my Lyme treatment.  My specialist was rather a one hit wonder:  Ceftin.  She tinkered with the dosage and tinkered with the duration of treatment ….. but overall, once I finished my first course which was Doxycycline, it was just Ceftin, Ceftin, Ceftin.  I lost count after 18 months (3 months here, 6 months there ……).   He asked me if I was treated with other medications and listed some, including one I can’t recall that contains Quinine.

So it sounds like some people in the medical community have quietly alleged that I might still be infected — whether through maltreatment or through not being properly ruled out again.  But this is what I despise.  There is NO protocol at a higher level for doctors to follow.   Hence?   No one is on the same page.  It also seems like one line of treatment might be effective for one person but not for another.  I think this should be studied, too, so that there can be a Plan A, Plan B and so forth.

I googled “Lyme Research Grants” and came up with multitudes of monies offered to people who have a good game plan and proper qualifications.  While I think we’ve come a way since my diagnosis in terms of education, I think there’s a lonnnnnnnnnng way to go.    And with all these research grants out there, why are we still ‘here?’

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17 Day Diet Take Two: Day 10 – and Info about Leaky Gut Syndrome

I have not update my progress in a while. So here I am!

I have lost 12 lbs. Six pounds were in the first two days, so I’m trying not to think of timelines and feeling discouraged by the daily ounces I’ve been losing.

The other day at work, the elevator was broken. I work on the 5th floor. Miracle of miracles: I could do the stairs!!! Toward the end of the day, I had to back down some of the stairs because my knees were rebelling, but for the most part I was up to it. I probably did the 5 flights of stairs FOUR or FIVE times.

I mowed the lawn the other day, and if you’re a regular reader you may be aware that I have done this before. Well? This time it didn’t feel so much like work and I did not have to uncurl my hands afterward.

At the end of a day I sometimes feel very sleepy, but it is the kind of sleepy one feels after having worked and not the Lyme-caliber fatigue. My headaches are gone. My tongue is now PINK and not white (an indicator of internal candida). On occasion I have had a little jab of nerve pain. Another improvement is my menstrual cycle. It is less heavy and clotty [TMI? Sorry!] I have cramps again, which is bad news in its own right, but a spin of normalcy on anything I do is GOOD.

In six days I am scheduled to see the rheumatologist and I do not have much to report. My singular symptom – that’s worsening – is floaters. The computer screen looks like it’s pulsating and moving with “molecules” and squiggly lines. I don’t know if this is some sort of herx reaction? [PS. Forgive me if there are typos in here or little grammatical hiccups — I am relying on the red squiggly underlines to tip me off because it’s difficult to read lately ]

What I’m wondering is if I have a food sensitivity as well. I have read a lot of about Leaky Gut Syndrome, happening upon the condition by accident during my research. If you’re wondering what “leaky gut syndrome” is, it’s damage to the intestinal lining. How does this tie into Lyme Disease?

Some Leading Causes of Leaky Gut:
1. Lots of antibiotics
2. Lots of NSAID medications such as Naproxen or Ibuprofen
3. Caffeine

Lots of us lymies are “guilty” of that. Don’t we sometimes get carried away with the caffeine when we’re in a big bout of fatigue? Don’t we take pain medications for our joint pain and other malaise? Antibiotics go without saying. I, myself, lost count after 18 months (3 months here, 6 months there).

When the lining of the intestines are in good working order, they have little gaps in the cells that permit vitamins and nutrition to seep through into our blood stream. When they are damaged, the cellular gaps expand and other things can get through such as food particles and gut bacteria – both good and bad.

Symptoms are often confused with food allergies, MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and skin conditions.

Leaky Gut Symptoms:

1. Bloating
2. Gas & cramps
3. Abdominal pain
4. Joint pain
5. Neurological symptoms
6. Food sensitivities
7. Acne
8. Fatigue
9. Brain Fog
10. Constipation
11. Heartburn
12. Gum Disease
13. Depression
14. Autoimmune Deficiency
15. ADD
16. Dermatitis such as Eczema and Psoriasis
17. Headaches and migraines
18. Systemic Candida (nail fungus, etc.)
19. Colitis
20. Celiac Disease
21. Thyroid conditions
22. Crohn’s Disease
23. Arthritis

Here’s one article about it: [if link fails, try to copy and paste this: http://www.leakygutsymptoms.com/%5D

Notice that the symptoms increase in severity?

I have read many articles about it and the consensus seems to be:

1. The symptoms – and that they increase in severity
2. Treatment – Addresses the CAUSE of the intestinal permeability. Often it has to do with nutrition. This is like an elimination diet so that the intestines may heal. This is a good resource: [links sometimes fail me! If this doesn’t work, copy and paste: http://www.liverdoctor.com/liver-problems/leaky-gut ]
3. The medical community seems divided over the authenticity of the existence of Leaky Gut, so treatment usually falls on the patient or the Holistic / Natural Medicine community

I am mentioning this because if you are new to Lyme Disease and are on antibiotics then you may want to consider going on a cleansing diet to prevent this happening to you. If you take lots of antibiotics and eat lots of refined foods, sugars, yeast, wheat, et al, you are feeding the bacteria you are trying to kill and also making a happier home for yeast inside your gut. Make sure you consume plenty of probiotics, and try to consume ones with MANY different cultures not limiting yourself to the typical acidophilus.

What Made Me Happen Upon Leaky Gut?

Well? I was at work with a client the other day and my mouth became very dry. I could not get something to drink that very moment so I grabbed a couple of mints on my desk. The mints came from our Health Insurance company in a package with their logo so there was no list of ingredients and such. I suspected they may have sugar, but they’re the size of baby aspirin and I was THIRSTY. It brought me relief but I almost promptly became bloated. My stomach, by the end of the day, was rather distended. The mint was certainly the trigger.

I googled “mints and bloating” and came to find Sorbitol is a common ingredient that many are sensitive to and that it causes bloating. Here is an article if it interests you: And here’s a copy and paste option for you: http://www.foodintolerances.com.au/food-intolerances-sorbitol.aspx

Reading about it over and over, I came to find the term “leaky gut syndrome” attached. That led me on another tangent.

So here I am. Perhaps it is leaky gut. Perhaps it is not. But I am DEFINITELY doing better physically on this diet. Mentally too. Emotionally too. I highly recommend it!

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Oil Pulling/Oil Consumption Update – Switching to Sunflower Oil for Pulling

As I write this, I am swishing with SUNFLOWER oil. I have finished the jar of coconut oil and bought a new one for consumption because I have heard of many benefits.

My research states that Sunflower oil is the oil of choice for oil pulling (either that or NOT TOASTED sesame – and I have been unable to find that). Now I have found I can’t just run into my normal grocery store chain and scoop up a bottle of sunflower oil. Locally we have a market called Guido’s where they have gourmet things as well as organics and hard-to-find supplements. I found it there. I could find coconut oil in any supermarket – usually in a peculiar place away from the other oils. But never sunflower. I still have not found a sesame oil that was not toasted. It must exist somewhere if it’s recommended.

So far my praises for the sunflower oil:

1. Taste : it’s more neutral. Coconut oil isn’t terribly flavorful anyway, but sunflower oil is less flavorful than THAT. I thought it might taste something like the seeds. Nope. Pretty neutral. Not one bit nutty/seedy.
2. TEXTURE. Coconut “oil” is almost a misnomer. It looks something like shortening and has a firmer texture (during our heatwave, we reached its melting point which is 90-something degrees, and it puddled in the jar. It has since firmed back up). I had to practically “chew” it to melt it down and commence pulling.
3. Price. I obtained 32 oz of sunflower oil for $14.99 (the place I purchased it IS pricey – may be cheaper elsewhere if you can find it), whereas the coconut oil in the ordinary grocery store was $10.49 but I only got 14 oz. If I bought two of these containers, receiving 4 oz less than the sunflower oil, then it would cost about $21.00.
4. Recommended: the internet sources/experts suggest it the most for oil pulling.

I cannot praise it much more than that at this point because this is my first ‘pull, using it. Too soon to reap any other benefits.

I will still consume coconut oil and I’m sneaking it into my son’s diet via grilled cheese, etc. He has not noticed. I’m not sure how many tablespoons this will amount to. He has tons of warts on his fingers and since it cleared up mine (it is now down to a tiny red speck surrounded by a flat circle), I thought the oil might be dandy for him! There are instructions to use the oil topically with sea salt, too, by the way.

As for swishing? I’ll opt for sunflower oil for now. I’ll keep you advised of any changes.

PS – Perhaps I was too premature in posting this before spitting it out. I didn’t anticipate having anything more to say so soon.

More benefits:

1. I have been keeping CLOSE track of my gums to see if there are any differences. After this ONE O.P. with sunflower I cannot believe how pink and healthy and evenly colored my gums are.
2. Rinsing – it seems to less stubbornly adhere to my mouth. The coconut oil seemed to coat my tongue, teeth and insides of my cheeks SO stubbornly. Sunflower seemed far easier to rinse (it still takes a few rinses and a brushing of the teeth, but nothing like the coconut oil). There! So far, so good!

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Coconut Oil – More Benefits

I have been writing about my experiences with oil pulling and to sum:

1. My teeth are whiter
2. My gums look healthier
3. A stubborn wart is unexpectedly disappearing (after 10 days it is flat, skin-toned, barely noticeable)
4. Digestion has improved
5. Liver detox as evidenced by increased bile production
6. Some weight loss (Since my stomach bug – a contributor to the weight loss – I have lost 7 pounds in 2 weeks …… probably all of it water)
7. Hair and skin healthier – hair lustrous and smooth, skin cleared and evenly toned – acne subsided)
8. MUCH higher energy
9. A foot that has been stubbornly “athletic” (Like in the athlete’s foot kind of way) since I was diagnosed with Lyme 4 years ago is mysteriously clearing up — and I’m not applying coconut oil topically. The foot has hard yellow skin, dry skin …… just hideous. Nothing worked. Now parts of it are smooth. (?)
10. My eyesight has improved (?) — (I have been struggling with on again/off again blurry vision)
11. Appetite seems more regulated (When I’m having flareups I find my stomach stops growling and I don’t realize I’m hungry until my blood sugar dips. I also don’t tend to feel “full” and sometimes eat more than necessary. Besides the stomach sensations, my brain doesn’t seem to have that ignition that turns on the “satiation” mechanism)
12. Joint pain improved
13. Increased phlegm production as if my lungs are getting a cleaning, too
14. Less dryness (I tend to have a dry nose, dry ears, dry eyes, dry mouth ….. they’re talking about Sjogren’s being a potential problem for me) – the dryness being relieved isn’t something that lasts all day. It’s usually clustered around my dose of oil and lasts a few hours)

Now I’ve read more about ingesting it and not just pulling (*Note – don’t do a pull and THEN swallow. Simply take one tablespoon.*)

It is reputed to do a number of things – a NUMBER of things. Once vilified as a saturated, artery-clogging, heart-busting fat (during the ’80’s and early ’90’s “fat free craze”), there seems to be new research on its benefits.

Here’s one article:

http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/article10013.htm

Since I’ve started consuming it as well (NOT after I pull — I take a separate tablespoon . I ALWAYS spit the swished stuff), there have been some instant gratifications:
1. Guaranteed BM the morning after
2. My thyroid meds seem to kick in pretty swiftly after drinking some coconut oil
3. Improved mood
4. Increased libido (uhhhh, huh, huh, huh)
5. Bouts of confusion are GONE
6. Concentration is pretty sharp – creativity is back – lots of razor sharp thoughts/better work performance
7. Far less flatulence (I’m not sure I like this ….. farting is fun). 🙂
8. My circulation has improved and I feel less susceptible to the A/C during this heat wave

Here’s a link that explains more about what it does and how much to take (based on body weight) :

http://www.hybridrastamama.com/2012/01/160-uses-for-coconut-oil.html

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Why Does Lyme Disease Cause Weight Gain?

I saw this was a search engine term that brought someone to my blog. And? It’s not the first time.

Researching it on the internet, I think it’s safe to say we are presented with conflicting answers.

While I’m not a doctor, I do know scads of people with Lyme/Chronic Lyme. What I’ve learned through all of these lived experiences is that Lyme goes for the jugular. If we have a weakness, the bacteria will find it. Likewise, some people experience a lot of weight LOSS from Lyme. (Not me! )

Why I gained weight:

1. The bacteria started with my thyroid. The bacteria is shaped similarly to the thyroid hormones our bodies use to function. My immune system attacks everything so-shaped. For me, my thyroid didn’t make me gain TOO too much weight — I thought it would be a fast track to obesity. What it does is metabolize not just calories, but vitamins and minerals. This is why I am fairly doomed to lose my teeth at some point. Lots of bone recession. More here: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/lyme-disease/

When my thyroid is out of whack, I can also expect my heart rate to be lower, my body temperature to decrease, and my blood pressure to be down. Does that sound like someone who’s burning less calories even compared with before , say, sitting still???

Unfortunately, doctors’ protocol is typically this: if someone presents with thyroid symptoms and has blood tests resulting in “elevated” but within normal limits …. they are not going to prescribe hormone therapy for you. If you ARE treated and it works but your symptoms reappear after some time — say, a year or whatever — they are not going to up your dose if your labs come back within normal limits. Even if they’re elevated. Even if you’re freezing and your hair is falling out. Additionally, they don’t refer people to endocrinologists unless they are HYPERthyroid / Graves Disease. Here there is a risk of a heart attack or something sueable.

What to do?

What helps is hormone therapy! But if you can’t get it (and this won’t fix it, but might make it more bearable): Vitamin B supplements. Get the combined one with all kinds of B vitamins in it (like don’t lock yourself into B12 or any one type…. get the Complex. Go for the high dose).

2. One of the ways that Lyme kicked me in the nuts was with my bowels. I was horribly constipated for the longest time — and it seems to have morphed into IBS, so it’s one extreme or the other. Constipation makes me bloated like a full water balloon.

And antibiotics seemed to aggravate this — much to my specialist’s surprise.

What to do?
Be CAREFUL of laxatives. Your colon may depend on the stimulants and then you’ll be even worse for wear after!
Try:
A. Magnesium! This is a supplement and Lyme tend to gobble it all up, leaving us deprived of it and the constipation may be a symptom. There are supplements all on their own. Also eat leafy greens, rich in magnesium. Try an epsom salt bath – this is soaking in magnesium and getting it in your pores.

B. Diet A&W Cream Soda before bed. I don’t know what it is, but it guarantees me a BM the next morning.

C. Colon Cleanse: I found this supplement in an aisle in Price Chopper (and YES! This was what it was called! Literally! Colon Cleanse!). It is a compounded capsule with vitamins that “make you go.” I don’t remember what is in it and don’t have any on hand.

D. Are you eating enough fiber and drinking enough water? (This should probably be FIRST, but……)

E. Find your veggie or fruit! Some people swear by pears, others by cucumbers. Here’s a list of foods that tend to make people poo: http://www.healwithfood.org/constipation/foods.php

F. Are you getting your lipids? Olive oil and GOOD oils (sans saturated fat) are GOOD for you on so many levels, including lubing our insides.

3. PAIN! I just couldn’t move. With arthritis and nerve pain, who can go for a run or a bike ride? And don’t you want to shoot the TV when that Celebrex commercial comes on and they say “A Body In Motion STAYS in Motion?” SNARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRL. Sounds like a commercial-writer who never had this shit. Ooops. Did I say that out loud?

What to do?
A. Be careful of narcotics (for a number of reasons), but they may lead to constipation
B. Can you move a little in some way? Swimming is sometimes perfect for people with arthritis. With nerve pain, can you ride a bike instead? It’s lower impact than, say, running.
C. Nerve pain: can you have tonic water? The quinine helps — but be careful and ask a doctor. It may be bad for heart conditions among other things . Some B-Vitamins are reputedly good for nerve pain.
D. Arthritis: can you try an unconventional method such as Manuka Honey or Apple Cider Vinegar or Blackstrap Molasses? (If Motrin or the regular stuff isn’t helping)

4. Fatigue! One doesn’t burn as many calories when sleeping for hours on end. 🙂

What to do?
A. I have heard good things about Blackstrap Molasses (haven’t yet tried it).
B. B Vitamins for energy

This is a toughy. I never really found anything that helped too terribly much. Even sleeping didn’t help.

5. Muscular Atrophy/Muscle Wasting. On top of a sedentary lifestyle that goes against the “use it or lose it” philosophy with our muscles, Lyme itself causes muscle wasting. A person with toned legs and six-pack abs might find this displaced with some jiggle after a long time of having the disease. More here: http://www.livestrong.com/article/173404-diseases-that-causes-muscle-wasting/

I’m not sure what to do about this. Here’s another website with natural remedies/suggestions: http://www.botanical-online.com/english/muscularatrophyremedies.htm

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