One of the biggest problems I hear from people with Lyme is how sick they are in their stomachs. While not every chronic Lyme person has noticeable gut issues (for example, the typical poor digestion and/or pains coming from somewhere in the digestive tract), most everyone is having symptoms that they may not be aware of. My guess is when you’re chronically ill, you have so many things going wrong all at once, it’s hard to train your body to understand what exactly is going on and WHERE the problem is stemming from.
As most people may or may not know, Autism is affecting many children these days. The rates are staggering. I’m getting to the point on how this becomes a Lyme issue…
Genes play a part in the susceptibility of Autism, but so does autoimmune disease and environmental triggers and allergies. There is one huge problem with Autistic kids…they all have gut inflammation.
Viral infections, toxins, and how we assimilate our food (i.e. food allergies) all play a part in inflammation. When you add in the bacterial infectious nature of Lyme and antibiotics (which kill anything good in your gut), you have a recipe for disaster that must be dealt with! Not only does the gut carry most of the immune system ( 60-70%), but it’s also where we break down vital nutrients that keep our bodies functioning. When it goes wrong down there, everything is going to be wrong.
What is even more interesting is that when this inflammation in the gut is present for an extended period of time, the lining of the gut becomes permeable (also known as “leaky gut”). Where there is leaky gut, there is a break down in the immune system which in turn creates a dysregulation of the nervous system. Any of you Lyme folks having neurological problems? This is your newsletter!
So is that brain mush, burning hands and feet, strange ticks & shakes, really just Lyme floating around or is it because of your gut health (whether it’s Lyme induced or not)?
Perhaps you’ve just been on antibiotics for so long that it isn’t Lyme induced. Nobody can really say, but if you have neurological issues, food allergies, intolerances, immune system issues, you KNOW you have a problem with your gut….I know I did!
My gut problems actually started as a child. I would often have terrible stabbing pains in my gut (probably due to a bad diet and the fact I was gluten-intolerant and had no idea). Years of eating the wrong foods was part of my demise once I was bitten (and who knows how many times) with a Lyme infected tick within this past decade. But my focus on my gut was part of my recovery and the fact that I still work on keeping it in an optimum state has actually caused my gluten intolerance to reverse to a degree and is probably another reason why I’m so healthy today. Once unable to tolerate a drop of soy sauce (the wheat kind), I can now dip my sushi in the stuff with no symptoms. I don’t go around eating cracked wheat bread, but I can actually eat small portions of it without going into a downward spiral to gut hell!
|Testing For Gut Issues|
There is a test called the Gut Barrier Integrity Screen which can test for food allergies, Candida, intestinal barrier dysfunction and microflora imbalance. Knowing your food allergies is important for a healthy lifestyle. You don’t have to be allergic to all types of food forever, but you MUST stay away from the foods that hinder your recovery.
As far as knowing your levels of problems in your gut, while helpful, in my opinion I think EVERYONE sick with autoimmune issues should just recognize that they have some type of issue there and treat themselves like they have it all. Kind of like Lyme treatment, it’s good to know what type of bacteria you have, but so many people make that the main focus right off the bat and ignore all the reasons WHY they became sick in the first place (meaning multiple health issues and breakdowns in your body). All you do is waste money, time, and effort trying to “jump the gun.” If you have Lyme or suspect you do, you should suspect you have multiple co-infections and MANY other health issues. Wonder why the tick specialist isn’t helping? Many of them specialize in just that…bacteria.
|Depression Coming From Your Gut|
Now that I have your attention, probably an even more interesting twist is that gut inflammation is directly related to brain inflammation. One doctor at the LIA conference who was speaking about depression said it is often caused by leaky gut and that there is a direct connection and that anyone who has depression should be checked for leaky gut. That pretty good info to know.
One of my favorite things to do for pumping up the immune system in my gut is taking several key nutrients together.
I take Glutamine, MSM and Aloe Juice together in a “cocktail.” I do this once or twice a week for maintenance, but if I were sick I would do this daily while on my way to a full recovery. Even when the battle is over with Lyme, it’s really important to keep going with “maintenance” as time is an essential factor for recovery. You can do all the right things, but doing them over a period of time really solidifies your comeback and this is when you might find yourself healthier than you have been in your entire life (even pre Lyme).
Glutamine is an amino acid found in the blood. A lot of athletes take it after workouts (post recovery) to keep themselves from getting ill, because after strenuous workouts it’s very easy to succumb to common colds, etc. Here are some uses of glutamine:
- can reduce healing time after surgery or exercise,
- may increase HGH levels,
- improves gut barrier function and other conditions of the gastrointestinal tract and
- may help increase cellular energy.
The only downside to Glutamine (taken in high quantities) is the fact that it helps regulate the acid-base balance in the kidneys by producing ammonium. People whose bodies are producing too much ammonium due to diseases like cancer or even Lyme in some instances, may not want to take glutamine. With that said, people who do have these types of diseases are always going to have problems with their gut, so it seems like a bit of a catch-22. In my opinion, taking small amounts of glutamine should not be a problem for these types of people and should be beneficial.
Signs of hepatic encephalopathy (i.e. build up of ammonium) is a worsening of brain function which occurs when the liver is no longer able to remove toxic substances in the blood. There are lots of reasons why this can happen, but with people with Lyme it can be totally infection related.
Other issues which can trigger this:
- Being dehydrated ( I’ve written numerous newsletters on this issue)
- Eating too much protein (Not usually the case with people with Lyme)
- Electrolyte imbalances (I hound all my readers about this issue, read about Electrolytes here!)
- Infections (Bacteria, like Lyme)
- Kidney problems (Just another detox organ that has to be addressed with Lyme recovery)
- Low oxygen levels in the body (Exercise, get an ozone machine and do HBOT)
- Use of medications that suppress the central nervous system (such as barbiturates or benzodiazepine tranquilizers)
* As I’ve stated before, having a Lyme plan to deal with each problem is important for a full Lyme recovery because each issue seems to trigger another issue. The gut is important to repair. However in some instances, people may need to focus on their liver FIRST if they are having a build up of ammonium (“brain mush” feeling can be a symptom of this) and the other triggers for ammonium must be dealt with as well. It can be complicated, but it’s all do-able.
MSM is an organic sulfur compound, called Methylsulfonylmethane. I believe many people with Lyme have sulfur imbalances, which is important to regulate as part of recovery. MSM is good for inflammation issues. People who take MSM say they have reduced pain and improved physical functioning.
Aloe and Aloe Oil- I’ve said it once; I’ll say it again…I don’t think there is anything better out there for dealing with inflammation. Aloe is used primarily for gut problems. People with IBS, polyps, etc. have had “miracle” like recoveries by taking something as simple as highly concentrated aloe. The best part is that it’s good for everything! Even Lyme bacteria can’t thrive and survive in aloe. It’s good for everything, all the time! I’m not even going to bother listing the uses, it would take up too much space (and time). Newsletter I wrote on aloe uses for Lyme.
My GUT cocktail:
1 tablespoon of aloe concentrate, 1 teaspoon of Glutamine (pharmaceutical grade), and 1 teaspoon of MSM (pharmaceutical grade) in 8 oz of clean, purified water (preferably micro clustered/charged with geomag card).
For tough cases, I would do something like this twice a day and follow this by taking a product like Permeability Factors. I like this product because it has Gamma Orzyanol and Phosphatidylcholine.
|Gulf Coast States- Air Toxins|
People on the coasts and even as far away as Atlanta have a higher than normal incidence of headaches, nausea, vomiting, and throat irritation and coughing. Air toxins are very damaging to your immune system, it’s not just a matter of an odor problem! Because of the oil disaster, I would encourage you to get an ozone unit in your house and a very high quality air filter in your house. For those wanting to go further step, you could look into negative ion generators.
|What do you do MOST of the time?|
If you visited my house, you would see stacks of books everywhere on subjects far between. One book I started reading this week is called, Super Detox, but Micheal van Straten. I haven’t gotten too far in the book, but one sentence in his book made me think about my daily regime. He said everyone needs an occasional treat (referring to Christmas and Thanksgiving), but what really counts is what you do MOST of the time.
I know most people have habits of all kinds, but good habits produce good results. If you look at successful people (let’s say in business), you’ll rarely see someone who is overweight and/or sickly. They are usually people, who play the part (even if they ARE sick). They get up early and often workout religiously. If they work 12 hrs each day, they’ll get up at 5am just to make room. They dress impeccably, even if it’s just to attend their kid’s soccer game.
While, I may walk around in sweats/ and even “sin clothes” sometimes (hah!), my goals are also very different. While ill, I started focusing on exercising and trying to get as good as possible at it. (Even though most of you know I’m an athlete, I started from rock bottom). I also started creating habits that I now call my “health maintenance” and these small changes have changed my life. It took no more time or effort to make these changes. They are just changes (which are just choices). I embraced them, made them my own (just like you would any habit).
What do you on a daily basis and how does that impact your life? What choices can you make so that a not so good habit becomes a very helpful habit? It could even be as blessing your food or taking 2-3 minutes while showering (because that’s something you are going to do anyways) to envision the healthier you that’s right around the corner.
See Ya Later, Tick Slayer!
Email: email@example.com (For coaching or general questions)
P.S I’m replying to posts on my Lyme blog, so if you want to comment or ask questions, you can click the Respond To This Newsletter below!
P.P.S. Know someone who is sick? Know someone you think might have Lyme Disease and they don’t know it? Tell them you care by forwarding this newsletter to them.
P.P.P.S. I want YOUR input! My book is moving forward. Soon you can vote on the cover for The Tick Slayer book. Go to www.TheTickSlayer.com and sign up to get updates. It comes out this summer.