January 24, 2016
I believe we have a winner! Sierra Integrative Medical Center has done it again and apparently that isn't big news for them.
I am in remission!! After almost 20 years of illness, several of which were completely debilitating, I feel great and like I am no longer the roadside motel for infectious tick-borne diseases. I have learned a lot and I'll share my findings with you hoping for your recovery, too. (At some point, I might share my status updates here from my Facebook page that chronicles my journey at the clinic. If you're interested and can't wait, find me on Facebook and send me a message that you found my blog and want more info.)
1. No one treatment works for everyone.
2. All auto-immune diseases appear to have a similar root cause: toxic overload (environmental, mold, allergies, food, water and air quality, etc.)
3. People with auto-immune diseases need help detoxing - and likely always will.
4. Alkalizing the body is a smart thing to do as it creates an unpleasant environment for harmful bacteria. Eat alkaline foods, drink lemon water and I find a bath with apple cider vinegar in it to be a nice addition (it's also a miracle worker on joint pain.) Drinking apple cider vinegar is amazing but might cause herxing when Lyme is coupled with severe candida.
5. Avoid pharmaceuticals as much as possible, seeking alternative therapies, herbs and other support for the body's systems. Many prescription drugs only mask symptoms while compromising the liver - which is already overworked - and often don't actually help the body to heal itself. Massive antibiotics are going to cause more harm than good if you don't support the body in eliminating the dead and dying bacteria and get the good bacteria back in your digestive system.
6. Excellent gut health is essential to healing from any auto-immune disease. Pharmaceutical antibiotics will make that goal really challenging as they will destroy the good bacteria. Probiotics can help, but I'm sure they're limited in the face of the probioticyde of modern drugs. If I had known that I could find a cure without western antibiotics, I would have NEVER taken them for Lyme and co-infections. I did the oral arsenal for years and had 2 PICC lines. I'll be batting clean up on those choices for awhile.
7. Clean up your diet - eat organic whole foods and drink lots of clean water (divide your weight in half and drink that many ounces daily) and eliminate as much sugar as you can stand to and then a little more. Traditionally inflammatory foods are a good idea to toss. You can reintroduce them as you begin to feel better and see if you react badly to any at that point. This includes refined carbs, glutens, alcohol, sugar, eggs, dairy, and many more that a google search will quickly reveal. It might seem overwhelming right now, but it is SO worth it to monitor the effects of food on a compromised body or at least get a food allergy test and start there.
8. Find the most effective and gentle detox protocols that work for your body and do them weekly, paying especially close attention to the liver, gallbladder and kidneys. There's a great list here: Detox Methods for Lyme. Some of the most effective for me are listed here.
A. Antihistamines (I am currently experimenting with natural and herbal remedies)
B. Coffee enemas
C. Castor oil packs and liver cleanses
D. Activated charcoal
E. Colon hydrotherapy
F. Lymphatic drainage
G. HEPA air filtration and mold elimination
H. 60 ounces of lemon water daily (I juice a bunch of lemons every 2 or 3 weeks, freeze
the juice in an ice cube tray, dump the cubes into a container in the freezer and use
one cube per pitcher of filtered water daily.)
I. Apple cider vinegar
9. Most of us have allergies and sensitivities we never knew we had to chemicals, heavy metals, molds, and foods. All of these impact the immune system's functionality and must be dealt with to free up the immune system to do it's bigger job of fighting disease. Otherwise, it's so overwhelmed with stimulus it doesn't know where to begin the fight and Lyme is excellent at hiding inside of cells and faking out the immune system.
10. Neurofeedback and a good attitude can speed up recovery exponentially. Neurofeedback, in my opinion, should be the first stop on any health block whether your ailments are along the lines of mental health (PTSD, ADD, depression, anxiety) or ANY physical conditions. The research coming to light around this technology is astounding. Successful drug-free treatment that ends lifelong dependence on pharmaceutical drugs. It's nothing short of miraculous. Check out EEGInfo to find Neurofeedback providers and learn more about this amazing technology. It was a total game-changer!!
11. Finally, I will admit that I am researching facilities in my area that will do integrative detox IVs. I think I found a place in Nellysford, VA. This is something that I want available. I feel like there's a good chance that my body will get behind the 8 ball again with detoxing and I don't want to have a setback, flare up or reinfection. I also live in an area with a lot of ticks and tick-borne diseases so the chances of a reinfection are high.
I witnessed a few people coming back to the clinic while I was there, most of whom had been Lyme-free for years, who came back for 2-5 detox IVs because they felt their immune systems getting a little sluggish. My current regimen of detox is extensive and I spend a number of hours each week actively detoxifying my body. This will be a life-long health management system for me.
I'm glad to be out of the proverbial woods. It took me awhile to realize that I'll never be "done" with a compromised autoimmune system and I had to feel the sadness of that for a bit, but now I'm over that. I realize that I have several new chapters in the owners manual for my body and the more I know, the better I can care for it and keep it cruising and running smooth.
Best of luck, everyone! Thanks for following my journey through these maddening years. Good health and happy immune functions to you all.