Beet Soup

Summer Beet Soup

Summer Beet Soup

Ingredients

6 medium organic beets, peeled and cooked
1/4 cup of organic coconut milk, full fat & unsweetened
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of cumin powder
1 garlic clove, peeled and whole
2 cups of filtered water
2 cups of organic vegetable stock
4 tablespoons of plain unsweetened coconut yogurt, for garnish
Flat leaf parsley, for garnish

Directions

In a Vitamix or high-speed blender, add all ingredients,( except the garnishes) into the container. Blend on high for 2 minutes or until completely smooth.

Pour out finished mixture into 4 bowls.

Garnish each soup bowl with 1 tablespoon of coconut yogurt and a few sprigs of fresh parsley.

Makes 4 servings


Autism

What Lyme & Autism have in common will surprise you

When speaking with children who are chronically ill, it can be difficult to understand what is causing their symptoms. Children, naturally, might not know how to accurately describe their pains or illness. When there are multiple symptoms, it can be even more challenging as they grow and change so quickly. For children with autism or other language disorder, they may be limited or unable to communicate why they feel the way they feel. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Lyme disease are examples of what seem to be entirely different diseases, but they share an overlap of symptoms. While autism is usually seen as a developmental disorder and Lyme disease and infectious disease, the two have more in common than you might think. There are interesting connections between the two, especially when diagnosed in children.

Symptoms shared by both Autism and Lyme:

  • Neurological symptoms that include difficulty with communication and confusion, disorientation, muscle twitching, sensitivity to light, brain fog, and delayed development.
  • Psychological problems that impact behaviors, obsessive-compulsive disorder, an increased sense of doom, anxiety and outbursts.
  • Physical health issues such as muscle weakness, arthritis, and rashes.
  • Gut health issues including food allergies, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

These symptoms are common features of autism and Lyme disease. Coincidentally, many of these symptoms are also displayed in auto-immune disorders. Tests for Lyme can be misleading, as they have a poor accuracy. A specialist is always needed in order to get a better sense of other treatment options because both autism and Lyme can have long-term issues. However, there are treatments that benefit Lyme and autism alike. Focusing on gut health has been an important part of treatment for both conditions. This is because we are seeing the benefits of specific diets in patients with autism and/or Lyme. Nutritional support strengthens the integrity of the intestinal membranes, balances the billions of bacteria in our gut and improves digestion and elimination. All of this help support the immune function of the gut, which ultimately affects brain function. An effective nutritional protocol would support the immune system, reduce symptoms, calm the nervous system and strengthen the body’s ability to fight infections. Autoimmune conditions such as autism and Lyme disease benefit greatly from proper diet and lifestyle modifications. Removing casein, dairy, sugar, processed foods and gluten from the diet will allow the body to heal and aid in the detoxification process, naturally. Reducing environmental factors like external and emotional stressors are extremely important for both Lyme and ASD. Stress responses increase the load on the immune & nervous system, which can lead to exhaustion and further relapse into symptoms. Identifying these triggers help you to work around them and eventually train your nervous system to create new patterns and get rid of the old ones. Autoimmune conditions have very unique impacts on the immune system, especially Lyme and autism. Consider speaking to a specialist about your symptoms, especially if they mimic other autoimmune conditions. And never be afraid to get a second or even third opinion, as it may be necessary in order to get to the root of problem.


Lyme Test

Lyme Disease Testing: Why It Continues To Fail To Properly Identify Lyme Disease

When I was working as a microbiologist in the early 1990’s, Lyme testing was still pretty new and we didn’t know much about Lyme disease and all of the nuances of testing that would soon follow. Now that it is 25 years later, we have learned a great deal about Lyme disease and the pitfalls of Lyme testing have been revealed. Here is a brief excerpt from my upcoming book on Lyme disease, “The Lyme Solution: A 5-part Plan to Fight the Inflammatory Auto-Immune Response and Beat Lyme Disease”.

The current recommendation by the CDC for someone who is suspicious of having Lyme disease is to run a two-step process. The first step is to run a Lyme antibody blood test, which measure two types of antibodies against Lyme disease (immunoglobulin G or IgG and immunoglobulin M or IgM). If this test is positive, then a second test called a Lyme Western Blot should be run to confirm the results of the first test. The Lyme Western Blot looks at a series of specific antibodies against the Lyme organism for both IgG and IgM. If someone has at least 5 out of 10 antibodies for IgG or 2 out of 3 antibodies for IgM, then the Lyme Western Blot is considered positive. The CDC does not recommend doing a Lyme Western Blot IgM test on anyone whose illness occurred within the past month.

Conventional immunology teaches that the immune system will undergo a predictable immune response after exposure to a microbe, with IgM being the first antibody to respond to an infection, followed by the production of IgG in later stages of the illness. By that logic then, someone who has an IgM positive test would suggest his or her exposure to the Lyme organism was recent and someone with an IgG positive test would indicate a past infection. But in Lyme disease, this does not necessarily hold true. One study found that in 55 people with known Lyme disease, less than 46% of them had either IgG or IgM antibodies on their initial Lyme screen test. I have seen patients with IgM antibodies that we suspect their exposure was from many years prior and others with IgG positive antibodies that was a recent exposure. So the current testing does not distinguish between active and past infection and is an unreliable marker for when someone may have been exposed to an infected tick.

I should point out that the criteria for determining if a Lyme Western Blot test is positive is based on a CDC-led scientific group that included the FDA and State laboratory directors back in the early 1990’s. This group held several meetings and their conclusions were published in 1995. So in more than 20 years of studying Lyme disease, these outdated criteria are still used today. We have since learned that some of the antibodies that we test for are specific to Lyme disease and other antibodies are not specific to Lyme, but may reflect exposure to some other type of microbe. To complicate this further, there are now over 100 known strains of Borrellia in the United States and over 300 species worldwide and the Lyme testing is primarily looking for only one type (Borrellia burgdorferi). For example, we now know that many cases of Lyme disease on the West Coast of the United States is caused by Borrellia miyomotoi, which does not get picked up on the Lyme Western Blot. So it is possible that some patients who experience Lyme disease symptoms and have a negative test, may actually have a different strain of Lyme disease that the tests do not detect. It is surprising that with everything we know about Lyme disease and the antibodies associated with it, that the CDC has yet to alter its criteria to reflect the current research.

There are several inherent problems with Lyme disease testing that often lead to misdiagnosis or lack of diagnosis. Perhaps the most troubling problem with the Lyme screen test is that it is not a very sensitive test and can miss someone who has Lyme disease. The College of American Pathologists, who develop guidelines for screening blood tests, state that a good screening test will pick up at least 95% of the people who have the condition for which the test is being used. However, one study found that the currently used Lyme screening test does not meet these criteria and can therefore fail to identify if someone has had exposure to Lyme disease. To make matters even worse, since the CDC guidelines do not recommend doing a Lyme Western Blot if the Lyme screen is negative, your doctor may easily skip over the more sensitive and specific test that might help show if you have been exposed to Lyme disease.

There are also no official guidelines for tests that may considered borderline or equivocal. I have seen many Lyme Western Blot tests where patients only have 4 out of 10 IgG antibodies instead of 5 required to call the test positive. Or they only have 1 out of 3 antibodies for IgM, but the one antibody they have is a Lyme-specific band. Since the tests are actually measuring the amount of antibodies, the cut-off for these tests assumes each patient exposed to Borrellia has the same exact immune response. It seems the stringent criteria established by the CDC have failed to recognize the diversity of the human population and immune responses. If someone has several Lyme-specific antibodies, even if they do not meet the CDC criteria for calling the test positive, isn’t that important? Isn’t that kind of like being a little pregnant? I have seen enough of these tests to realize that patients with Lyme disease symptoms who have borderline tests, especially when they have Lyme-specific antibodies, usually respond well to treatment.

The other major problem with Lyme disease testing is that it is only measuring antibodies and does not directly measure the bacteria itself. Like all antibody tests, it is dependent on the person’s ability to have a strong immune response when they have exposure to a virus, bacteria or other microbe that can cause infection. The assumption is always that if a tick that carries Lyme disease has bitten someone, the person will have a significant antibody response. While in theory that sounds good, the reality is that many people who end with chronic Lyme disease may not have a healthy immune system to start with and therefore, do not produce antibodies in the amount needed to get rid of the infection or be picked up on a blood test. To complicate this further, antibody levels can fluctuate as time goes on. I have seen hundreds of patients who get Lyme Western Blots done at regular intervals and the antibody levels can change from test to test. It can be maddening, as a patient as you would expect that antibody levels would go down once treatment had begun. However, this does not usually occur and each antibody can increase, decrease or go away completely with each test for reasons that are not well understood. This observation speaks to the complexity of the immune system and that antibody levels do not necessarily drop at a continuous rate.

The methodology behind Lyme disease testing has long been a point of controversy among treating practitioners and part of this is due to differences in the laboratories themselves. The test kits that each lab uses vary and this may alter the sensitivity of the testing itself. The major reference labs around the United States tend to have similar testing methods, but some specialty labs use a different methodology, which seems to have improved the sensitivity of the testing. The strain of Borrellia used to perform the test makes a significant difference in the outcome and not all labs use the same strain. I only use labs that use the strains that yield the best results, such as Medical Diagnostic Laboratories or IGeneX.

The bottom line is that Lyme disease is ultimately a clinical diagnosis, which is based on your symptoms and ruling out other causes of your illness. False positive Lyme tests are rare where false negative tests are common. Make sure to work with a Lyme-literate doctor to ensure you get good testing, a proper diagnosis and treatment.

 


Couple holding hands

When Lyme Takes A Toll On Relationships: How To Find Love & Happiness When You're Chronically Ill

It is no surprise that stress and poor health go hand in hand as one tends to precede the other. Physical, mental and emotional stress can wear on a person’s physical body and feeling terrible everyday can be equally stressful and lead to its own set of problems. When you are living with chronic Lyme disease or other persistent illness, you do your best to put on a happy face, go about your day and try to function in the world. We’ve been trained to pull up our boot straps and “toughen up” and being vulnerable is a sign of weakness. But this is the reality many of us have faced or continue to deal with every day.

What the world often does not see is the pain we experience, the numbness in our limbs, the fogginess in our brain and the tears we hide from our loved ones. Despite our best efforts to feel well, progress can be slow or sometime even worse with certain treatments. We often rely on others to lean on in times of need for various degrees of assistance. But perhaps no one feels this more than our spouse, partner, boyfriend or girlfriend who share our lives together daily.

I have seen many people with Lyme disease and other chronic illnesses over the years have difficulty maintaining a long-term relationship or developing a new one. The stress of caring for someone with Lyme disease can leave them feeling angry, resentful, helpless and sometime hopeless. “Why don't you just get better?”. “You need to get over it”. “You look fine. I don’t see anything wrong with you”. “Why are you always so tired? Can’t you just get more sleep?”, “Just snap out of it!” Any of this sound familiar? The expectations can be shattered when you don’t fit the image of what your loved one thinks you should be capable of and this often leads to disappointment, anger and blame.

So how do you keep your current relationship healthy, despite your health issues or how do you cultivate a new relationship while working on getting well? I wish I could say it’s easy, but it’s not. It takes a lot of work from both sides to make it work. But here are my tips to working toward a healthy, happy relationship with your significant other.

1. Be honest. Tell your partner how you are feeling and have ongoing communication about what you can do and take on. I think many of us feel the need to shield our partner from how we feel to protect them or to make us appear stronger than we are. This doesn’t help either person and can lead to an unrealistic expectation of your abilities. Best to have that honest conversation so that they know how you’re doing and feeling and can understand you better.

2. Stand in their shoes. As much as they need to empathize with you, you need to have the same understanding for them. They will never fully understand what you feel daily, so don't expect them to. I can tell you from experience that watching someone you love suffer is miserable and extremely stressful. Your partner suffers in their own way, whether they share those feelings with you or not. This is hard on both of you and acknowledging their suffering can go a long way in developing a deeper understanding of one another.
3. Get outside help. I see this being the problem most often in couples that are more isolated and have a small to nonexistent support network. As much as your partner loves you, they probably didn't anticipate being your ongoing doctor, therapist, psychiatrist, etc. I have seen the most supportive, loving partners reach their breaking point where they can no longer handle being the sole supporter during your recovery. Having a good professional on your team can help take the stress off your partner’s shoulders.

4. Find a local support group. There is strength in numbers and being able to share your thoughts and feelings in a safe environment with others who have similar struggles can be a relief and encouraging. You have a place where you meet regularly to help others and be helped. If you don’t have a local group that meets on an ongoing basis, there are several online groups available as well. I prefer the face to face meetings and the human connection can be more powerful, but I talk with so many people who are isolated that an online group can be a fantastic way to connect with others. Find what works for you and gives you that space to connect with others.

5. Have fun together. When you are feeling unwell, it’s easy to forget that you and your partner probably used to do things together that was fun. Find those things that bring you both joy, whether it is watching a funny movie, enjoying a meal out, riding bicycles, hiking or even playing a board game together. The important thing is you connect with one another emotionally and bring enjoyment into your lives.

Lyme disease creates so many physical and emotional challenges for us and it’s important that our partners walk with us during our road to recovery. I’ve seen marriages and long term relationships fall apart in the face of chronic illness and sometimes we have to let go of relationships that no longer meet our needs or might even be toxic. Underneath the veil of Lyme disease is a loving, caring person who has so much to offer to the right person. Take these steps so you and your partner understand each other well and enjoy a fulfilling life together!


Sad Woman with Lyme

Yes, Chronic Lyme Is Real

Record breaking heat in the summer, and much warmer winters, have contributed to a spike in the general population of ticks. These ticks carry Lyme disease, a neurodegenerative bacterial infection with symptoms ranging from arthritis to depression to severe brain fog.

The bacteria, scientifically known as Borrellia burgdorferi or other species, is a master shape-shifter and mimics many other illnesses. We also know that Borrellia has a knack for being able to hide from the immune system. In fact, it hides much better than many other common bacterial infections. This means that it is harder for the immune system to attack and destroy the organism that causes Lyme. For that reason, doctors usually prescribe an intense and prolonged regimen of antibiotics to try and destroy the Lyme-causing bug.

Antibiotics can sometimes be effective, especially in the very early stages of Lyme disease, but these antibiotics become less effective as Lyme disease become more persistent. Recovery from Lyme disease is different for every individual. While some Lyme patients recover quickly, more often than not, people infected with Lyme are either misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed and never receive proper treatment and end up with post-Lyme syndrome or more commonly known as chronic Lyme disease.

A tick bite can also transmit co-infections, such as Babesia, Bartonella, Anaplasma, Mycoplasma, Rickettsia, Powassan virus and many others. These additional infections can also create additional symptoms related to Lyme disease. This further complicates a diagnosis as other, unique symptoms can be connected to a co-infection.

All of these major details make it difficult to create a treatment protocol to combat Lyme. Conventional medicine believes that rigorous antibiotics courses are strong enough to get rid of Lyme and its coinfections for good. But for those who continue to suffer from Lyme after the antibiotics, the road to recovery can difficult and unknown.

The truth is, chronic lyme exists. This kind of infection is long term and takes a long term, tailored strategy of treatment. Most conventional medical doctors believe that Lyme disease can be cured with a 3-4 week course of antibiotics, but it’s much more complex than that. And this is where the controversy begins.

The CDC recognizes that post-Lyme syndrome exists, but offers no real treatment options and suggests it is a rare complication of Lyme disease. While we don’t know how many people suffer from post-Lyme syndrome, but it is likely in the millions worldwide. There are at least 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease in the United States each year alone and research suggests up to 50% of these people will develop persistent Lyme disease or post-Lyme syndrome. Many insurance companies fail to cover long-term treatment of Lyme disease and there is no consensus on which treatments are best for post-Lyme syndrome.

I know it exists because I am one of those people. After being infected in 2002, I went through my own battle to overcome Lyme disease, post-Lyme syndrome and multiple sclerosis. It has been through diet, herbs, immunotherapy, stress management, exercise and other natural therapies that have helped me get to where I am today. It is not easy or quick. But it is possible.

If you have been told that chronic Lyme disease doesn’t exist or it’s all in your head, time to find a practitioner that truly understands Lyme disease in all its many forms and get the help you need. But the silver lining here is that the dedicated group of practitioners who support the treatment of chronic Lyme, continues to research, gain knowledge, and fight for the Lyme community to help you too, overcome Lyme disease.


Gym Equipment

Staying Active With Lyme Disease

Muscle weakness and fatigue are common symptoms of Lyme disease. Coupled with nerve pain, neurological issues and depression, it becomes difficult to complete simple everyday tasks. Even thinking about adding daily physical activity during this difficult time can be stressful. And as your body reels from the constant strain of fighting off Lyme and co infections, rest becomes more important and, ironically, sometimes more difficult. Reclaiming a restorative lifestyle becomes a monumental task.

While some practitioners will only prepare patients with Lyme disease for the possibility of a loss of mobility, there are protocols and methods of exercise that can help with the treatment of Lyme. The details surrounding a Lyme focused exercise plan can be complex. For instance, vigorous aerobic exercise when fatigued is not recommended because it can exhaust you further and possibly weaken the immune system even more.

I have found that certain exercises and activities have actually helped those suffering from Lyme gain back their mobility, strength and balance. Additionally, as someone who has Lyme, I have also benefited immensely from them. They balance and integrate mindfulness and are essential in thriving and recovery. Examples of personal wellness abound when practicing low impact forms of martial arts and movement. That is to say, Tai chi, Qi gong, and yoga are excellent ways for the body to regain more than just strength. The benefits of exercise improve mental and physical health. This makes creating a beneficial exercise plan crucial for chronic Lyme sufferers.

Tai chi, Qi (or Chi) gong, and yoga can be described as part mindfulness practice, too. They focus on movements and stances that build a foundation for the body, mind, and nervous system. Deliberate movements activate multiple muscle systems and are often accompanied by a coach who can guide the meditative process, if you wish. These can be done at any fitness level and modified to suit your physical limitations, so is ideal for anyone suffering from Lyme disease.

Mindfulness practices such as meditation can contribute to lowering stress levels, which reduces the elevated adrenal response and lowers cortisol in the body. A lower cortisol level contributes to a healthier nervous & immune system, allowing it to restore proper function.

The contracting and movement of muscles, joints, and soft tissue increases blood flow and moves fluid around the body. This allows for more nutrients and oxygen to reach their target organs and cells to help them function better. Physical activity also contributes to the release of “feel good” chemicals such as serotonin and endorphins, which improve immune and brain health.

It is the combination of the meditative qualities of mindfulness and the physical exercise of yoga that produce such a wondrous effect on the body pertaining to combating Lyme. The MS-like symptoms that can sometimes accompany Lyme such as neuropathy, loss of balance, and muscle fatigue & pain, are resisted as the body practices balance and awareness. The body actively sends signals throughout nervous system connections to produce a certain stance, pose, or low-impact movement.

Combining the strengths of mindfulness and the benefits of physical exercise to treat Lyme can be part of a greater strategy to regaining one's life back. Bring movement back into your life. As with all exercise, listen to your body. If some movements seem too difficult, modify them or try something that you are comfortable with. Move at your own level, not everyone else’s.


Walking alone

Lyme's Impact on Neurological Function

Some patients describe it as a type of “brain fog.” It’s a state of mind where things are hard to remember and it takes longer to process what you read and think. It mimics the visibility that comes with the morning fog, where things are hard to see, hard to perceive, hidden behind a mental cloudiness that can result in a chronic change in mental status. While “brain fog” might not be a professionally supported medical diagnosis, it is often a word used to help describe the cognitive problems that come with long-term exposure to Lyme disease. The technical term for it is “Lyme neuroborreliosis” and this happens when Lyme disease creates inflammation in your brain. Lyme neuroborreliosis is a general umbrella term for the cognitive and neurological symptoms that persist when Lyme disease progresses. Neuroborreliosis symptoms are diverse, including trouble recalling specific words, memory issues, and even problems with processing information. It may even involve problems walking, headaches (migraines), balance issues and numbness or tingling in your skin. It is important to understand that chronic Lyme disease can also include psychiatric issues. Problems with mood changes, irritability, increased feelings of depression and sudden personality changes can all occur when Lyme disease invades your brain. Recognition of these psychiatric changes is important because they can all be signs of Lyme disease that get ignored. And because many Lyme disease symptoms mimic other illnesses, it is difficult for medical practitioners to pinpoint what may be causing your symptoms. Lyme impacts and affects each person differently, so there are no set of symptoms every Lyme person experiences. While some people report only the traditional symptom of joint pain, headaches, fever and a bull’s-eye rash, others may feel less obvious symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, dizziness, wandering joint or muscle pain or short-term memory loss. The wide variety of symptoms are partially explained that there are many ways Lyme disease can affect your body, but also may be due to the presence of coinfections. Coinfections are other microbes that can be transmitted through a tick bite, such as Bartonella, Babesia, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Mycoplasma, Rickettsia and others. Some of what causes symptoms after a tick bite may be due to Lyme disease in combination with another infection. Evidence suggests up to 30% of people who get Lyme disease also have a coinfection and it is difficult to tell what Lyme disease causes versus what is caused by another organism. Therefore, it is important to get thorough testing to try and help you and your doctor find out what is making you sick. Lyme disease is a complex, multi-system problem that mimics so many other conditions, it often gets missed. Unfortunately, this means millions of people around the world either get misdiagnosed as having something else or gets no diagnosis at all. Either way, it means lack of proper treatment and worsening of their symptoms. Depending on the strength of your immune system, Lyme disease symptoms could show up to 12 hours after the first tick bite or it could take years. There is nothing in our current testing that tells us anything about timing and when you may have been bitten by a Lyme-carrying tick. It’s no secret that the sooner you find out you have Lyme disease, the better. Early treatment means less likelihood of having long-term health problems, including mental and cognitive issues. Consider the possibility of Lyme disease if your symptoms are persistent and every test seems to keep coming back negative. I recommend you work with a provider who uses a lab that does more comprehensive tick-borne testing that your regular local reference lab. I’ve seen plenty of people who have a negative test with their local lab and then we find out they have Lyme disease when they get better testing. Lyme disease is a clinical diagnosis, which means it’s based on your symptoms plus your risk of tick exposure. The lab test only confirms what we suspect, but a negative test does no rule out the possibility of having Lyme disease. Although Lyme itself can be tricky to detect, your symptoms are not. Feeling better is everyone’s right and knowing how to identify and treat it is just as important and is your first step to feeling well again.


Thyroid summit speakers

The Thyroid Connection Summit, October 24-31!

I am honored to be speaking at The Thyroid Summit!

I will be speaking on Day 6 of the summit, October 29th: How to overcome the Lyme Disease Epidemic!

My good friend & colleague, Amy Myers, MD, created The Thyroid Connection Summit because conventional medicine failed her in her journey with thyroid dysfunction. Join us if you have Graves’, Hashimoto’s, hypo-or hyperthyroidism, cancer, nodules, cysts, I-131 radiation or are post-thyroidectomy. Or, if your doctor says your labs are normal, yet you still have symptoms–this free, online summit is for you!

Listen to 30+ experts discuss how to overcome thyroid disorders.

Register for FREE now at the following link:

https://qt247.isrefer.com/go/THY16reg/drdariningels/

OR

Own all of the expert talks to watch at your own pace:

https://qt247.isrefer.com/go/THY16order/drdariningels/

The Thyroid Connection Summit will help you:

*Work with your doctor to get the right diagnosis/treatment
*Address the root causes of thyroid dysfunction
*Implement healthy dietary and lifestyle changes
*Reclaim your health and vitality

The Thyroid Connection Summit is online and free from October 24-31, 2016!


Field at sunset

Lyme Disease: Multifaceted & Misunderstood

Public awareness of Lyme disease is largely overlooked by healthcare professionals and the public at large. As a general community, we know that Lyme disease is on the rise.

We also know that it is a very difficult disease to properly diagnose and treat. It is primarily transferred from tick bites, although new evidence suggests mosquitos and other insects may be carriers as well. It’s a disease that is often misunderstood. At one point, it was used as an excuse for the poor behavior of a contestant on a reality show.

There is a plethora of information on the complexities of Lyme disease. However, it can be extremely misleading and somewhat confusing for the average person to grasp. Understanding Lyme disease is very important because it can lead to a more informed and better treatment plan with your health care practitioner.

1.       Lyme Disease is known as a bacterial infection, which is different from illnesses caused by viruses. An example of a viral infection is the common cold or flu. A bacterial infection requires a different response from the human immune system and therefore may require powerful herbs and even specific antibiotics to treat. These antibiotics can be effective against Lyme disease, but sometimes the side effects from these can outweigh the benefits.

2.       Lyme Disease is not be caused by a single species of bacteria. Lyme Disease is generally thought of an infection from a single bacterial species, primarily Borrelia burgdorferi. Why this may be the causative agent in most cases of Lyme disease, there are actually many other species of bacteria that also contribute to Lyme disease symptoms. There are over 300 known species of Borrellia in the world, so it is unlikely than one is the sole cause of Lyme disease.

Additionally, tick bites can also transmit other bacteria, called coifections. Coinfections can be transmitted along with Borrelia burgdorferi and can cause additional symptoms associated with Lyme. Coinfections are also diverse in the ways that they hide in the body from the immune system, so getting a comprehensive test to evaluate for these coinfections is important. These tests allow us to have better insight as to which specific co infection an individual may have. This way, we can be more prepared at devising treatment protocols on a case-by-case basis.

3.       Ticks might not be the only carrier of Lyme disease. Ticks are referred to as “vectors” for Lyme disease. This means that the tick is a specific route, or pathway, for Lyme disease to reach the human body. Vectors, therefore, are delivery systems for viral or bacterial infections. Lyme can be transferred primarily through tick bites and secondarily through other insect bites. Though there is less research done on other insects, there are cases where patients have presented with Lyme disease symptoms after getting bitten by fleas and mosquitos. However, there still isn't enough information at this time.

4.       One disease, many different symptoms. Lyme is multifaceted. There is no one set of symptoms that it follows, although brain fog, muscle soreness and joint stiffness, fatigue, anxiety, higher levels of stress, lack of sleep, headaches and even cardiac issues are just some of the more common ones I hear from patients. Symptoms tend to come on gradually and can build up over time. This makes it difficult to get a proper diagnosis early on.

Lyme Disease has an impact on the nervous system and endocrine system, which is why so many symptoms exist. Lyme and its coinfections look for weaknesses in the body and try to magnify the impacts of those weaknesses.

5.       Lyme Disease can be treated. There are ways to lessen the impact of Lyme disease and in some cases, get rid of the infection altogether. Nutrition, herbal therapies, low dose immunotherapy, homeopathy and pulsed electromagnetic frequency devices can help the body get over the hump of Lyme disease. An effective strategy can be developed to support the body & immune system in order to combat Lyme disease.

If you think you might have Lyme disease or you have been suffering from multiple unexplained symptoms for a long time, seek a Lyme-literate healthcare provider to get tested and proper treatment.


Salad, part of an alkaline diet

Alkaline Diet for Lyme Disease

More than 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported each year, according to the CDC. However, this number may be even higher due to a few reasons including:

1. Lyme disease can go undiagnosed for a long time. Many individuals do not get a bulls eye rash and don't have strong enough symptoms that would warrant a doctor or hospital visit.

2. Lyme disease can mask itself as many other conditions and autoimmune disorders, making it difficult to diagnose. Because of this, misdiagnosis is common.

Lyme disease is a systemic illness that affects the whole body. It impacts the nervous system, intestinal tract, heart, immune system, and connective tissue like joints and muscles. Basically, inflammation occurs at the cellular level within the entire body. Just like any other condition, if you don't take care of yourself, symptoms can worsen.

With Lyme disease, a proper diet can make a tremendous difference in your quality of life. Western diets typically leave our bodies very acidic. It is overloaded in poor fats, over consumption of protein, not enough fiber and too much sugar and caffeine. When the body becomes too acidic, it leads to inflammation and an increased risk for other diseases and disorders.

An alkalizing diet helps to balance your pH level, ultimately reducing acidity. The pH level at which your body works best is around 7.4. (This can be measured with pH strips purchased at most health food stores). When you have a more alkaline environment your body is able to function at optimal levels. Alkalinity can aid in the reduction of inflammation and also mitigate chronic conditions like Lyme disease.

Alkaline foods to include in your diet:

Leafy green vegetables
Most fresh  fruit
Fermented foods such as kimchi & sauerkraut
Plant based protein sources
Cauliflower, broccoli and brussels sprouts
Raw nuts and seeds
Herbs
Lemons
Beans
Peas
Spinach
Tomatoes
Radishes
Beets
Cucumbers
Garlic
Avocados
Olive oil
Alkaline water
Carrots
Celery
Green tea

In addition to alleviating inflammation, an alkalizing diet also inhibits the growth of yeast and bad bacteria which can coincide with Lyme disease. This also allows for better detoxification in general.

I have found many of my patients flourish when following the proper alkalizing diet and detoxification protocol. This reflects a lifestyle change that can make life significantly better, especially when dealing with Lyme. It is also important to identify specific food allergies or sensitivities that may also trigger symptoms.

Chronic Lyme disease can be a serious challenge and I have experienced it firsthand. With proper treatment, you can still lead a very rich life. While there is no single treatment that helps everyone with Lyme disease, following a healthy, alkalinizing diet helps the majority of patients I treat. It's not a difficult diet to follow and may be the next step for you in getting your health back!