Up to 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme disease every year according to new research from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC).

Lyme_Cases_1982-2009

mapLyme disease is a complicated infection that was originally defined being caused by a tick bite from the borrelia burgdorferi species.  More recent definitions state that mosquitoes, spiders, fleas and mites may also be capable of spreading the same or similar infections.

The bacteria that is injected by the insect has been found in the skin, heart, joints, and nervous system in those bitten.  Many of the symptoms reveal that lyme causes an immune response in the body.  Acute onset of lyme disease can often present with a bullseye rash at the location of the bite.

Lyme symptoms can start with flu like symptoms, headaches, muscle and joint pain.  Over time, the symptoms can continue to worsen and turn into a long-lived inflammatory response and autoimmune illness.

In testing for lyme, several tests are available the most popular being a combination of the Western blot and ELISA test which measure specific

antibodies in the blood.  This testing has flaws and is far from conclusive.  Another test that may be effective in diagnosing Lyme disease is direct microscopy which is done by Fry Labs in Arizona.  This is the preferred method often done with traditional testing for holistic health practitioners.

The “REAL” Cause of Lyme Disease

It may seem like we know the cause of Lyme disease which is an infection caused by a tick bite, but the truth is the cause of disease is more in-depth than that.

I believe the real cause of chronic Lyme disease is related to these 4 things:

  1. Weakened immunity
  2. Inhibited cellular function and protection
  3. Systemic bacterial infection
  4. Environmental factors including exposure to mold and parasites

If you are going to heal from Lyme all of these issues must be addressed.
Let’s start by talking about how to naturally boost immunity.

Immune Function Key for Killing Lyme

302584_xlargeAccording to medical experts, there are hundreds of thousands of people who have Lyme disease and don’t even know it.

Let me ask you this question, how is it possible that one person can have Lyme and have no symptoms, and yet others can have chronic symptoms that can be crippling at times?

Everyone is hosting viruses, bad bacteria, funguses, and cancer cells in their body.  What’s important is how strong your immunity is at keeping these invaders at bay.

It’s the exact same scenario with Lyme disease.  If you can naturally boost your immune system, your body can overcome lyme and balance out your immune and inflammatory responses.

The top foods and supplements to naturally boost immunity include

Immune Boosting Mushrooms including cordycep, reishi and maitake mushrooms have been proven to activate your immune response.  These mushrooms boost an intracellular antioxidant called superoxide dismutase (SOD) that protects your cells.  Also, they increase function of natural killer cells that can kill off bad bacteria.

Vitamin D3 naturally boosts immunity and it’s vital to supplement with around 5,000IU daily especially if you live in the northern region of the world and don’t get much direct sunlight exposure.

Bone Broth contains proline and glycine and can help repair a leaky gut and enhance immune function so this can be a health transforming food.

Improve Cellular Function

The next step in treating lyme is to improve cellular function and protection.  The lyme bacteria along with viruses and parasites can attack your cells and weaken your defenses.  In order to restore cellular function consider adding these nutrients and foods into your regime:

CoQ10 can protected your brain and nervous system from degradation and improve cellular function.  Heart biopsies done on lyme patients showed they are deficient in this essential nutrients.  Most physicians recommend taking 200mg 2x daily.

B-Complex vitamins support cellular function and help fight infections and improve neurological health.  Vitamin B-6 is especially important for lyme patients.

Omega-3 fatty acids are highly anti-inflammatory and support cellular and neurological function.  Consume wild caught fish as often as possible and supplement with 1,000mg of fish oil a day that contains astaxanthin.

Also, magnesium can support cellular function and turmeric can protect your cells and reduce inflammation which can be helpful in treating lyme disease.

Systemic Bacterial Infection

The most common treatment for lyme disease today is prescription antibiotic use.  The problem here is that it’s simply treating a small part of lyme and not the entire condition.  Also, antibiotics use can weaken the immune system over time making the lyme bacteria spread and worsen.

To truly kill off the bad bacteria we must overcrowd it with good bacteria and here is how I recommend you consider doing that.

Probiotic rich foods like kefir, amasai, and raw goat’s milk yogurt are your highest sources of probiotics.  If are you going to get rid of lyme for good you need to do more than just kill the bad bacteria you must also cause your good bacteria to grow and flourish so the bad has nowhere to grow.

In addition to consuming probiotic rich foods, I recommend supplementing with probiotics with at least 8 strains and 50 billion units daily.  I believe this is the most important factor in destroying lyme.

Also, fermented vegetables like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kvass can be beneficial and should be added to your diet.

Emotional Stress has been proven time and time again to weaken immune function, imbalance hormones and cause infections to spread.  If you live in a state of “high stress” you must address this issue if you are truly going to heal.

In order to do this I recommend first you schedule times of rest into your week and fun times with family, friends, and alone time.

Second, I suggest you practice forgiveness, address past emotional trauma, and ask God for healing and guidance.  Many people with lyme and autoimmune conditions have deep seeded issues that interfere with healing.  A good friend of mine Dr. Alex Loyd has a book called The Healing Code you may consider reading.

Third, supplementing with adaptogenic herbs such as ashwagandha can naturally reduce stress on the body and balance cortisol levels.

Other Underlying Issues

In addition to having lyme disease sometimes other factors can keep you from healing completely.  According to lyme disease expert Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt two other common issues with lyme patients are mold exposure and parasites.

To naturally treat using activated carbon (activated charcoal) has been proven effective as well as using bentonite clay can also be beneficial.  Make sure to take these two supplements on an empty stomach because they can also bind to minerals.

In treatment of parasites consuming a diet low in sugar and high in healthy fats and probiotics is important along with taking herbs that can kill parasites including wormwood, black walnut, oregano, garlic, and grapefruit seed extract.

The Lyme Diet and Supplement Customization

Now I want to be clear, someone struggling with lyme disease may have all of these 4 issues or only one of the above.  I recommend CoQ10 for many with lyme disease, but remember NOT ALL people with lyme will have this deficiency.  What I recommend is to first change your diet to what I suggest below, sleep 9 hours a night, reduce stress, address emotional issues, then try different supplements and listen to your body to notice what works.

As basic dietary advice, I recommend removing grains, fruit, and sugar from your diet and consuming mostly vegetables, nuts, seeds, coconut, bone broth, organic meat, and raw cultured dairy.  If you want to more diet specifics, check out my article here on Healing Your Gut.

Naturally overcoming lyme disease can take time and remember to not just treat lyme but instead focus on getting your body into a healing state.

References

Ercolini AM, Miller SD (January 2009). “The role of infections in autoimmune disease”. Clin. Exp. Immunol. 155 (1): 1–15

Singh SK, Girschick HJ (July 2004). “Lyme borreliosis: from infection to autoimmunity”. Clin. Microbiol. Infect. 10 (7): 598–614.

Zhongguo Z, Yao Zhi. An experimental study on anti-aging action of Cordyceps extract.  School of Pharmaceutical Sciences Peking University Beijing 2004; 29(8): 773-6.

Painter F. Coenzyme Q10 Monograph Update.  http://www.chiro.org/nutrition/ABSTRACTS/Coenzyme_Q10_Monograph_Update.shtml (October 2013).

Chenoll E, Casinos B, Bataller E, (2011) Novel Probiotic Bifidobacterium bifidum CECT 7366 Strain Active against the Pathogenic Bacterium Helicobacter pylori. Applied Environmental Microbiology 77(4) 1335-1343.