Integrative Nutrition Blog
Lyme Disease & Natural Healing
Lyme disease took me for a wild ride. Almost nine months ago, I declared I was losing my mind and ability to properly function, despite every doctor telling me otherwise. This feeling of utter hopelessness came after years of bizarre, debilitating symptoms that slowly ravaged my body. Unfortunately, my story is not a rare occurrence, as the number of individuals affected by Lyme disease grows exponentially each year. How is it that a minuscule bug bite can wreak such havoc on so many lives?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are upwards of 30,000 cases of Lyme disease diagnosed each year. This astounding number only highlights those who test positive for this devastating illness. It does not account for the thousands who have been misdiagnosed or simply can’t afford to get the outrageously expensive test that could ultimately save their lives. However difficult the diagnostics are, they are only the beginning of a treacherous road to healing filled with uncertainty, a treatment that isn’t covered by insurance, and symptoms that range from fever and severe fatigue to depression and seizures.
Although I am a strong advocate for naturopathic practices, there are times when I do believe antibiotics are necessary. Upon my much-anticipated diagnosis and desperation for relief, I decided antibiotics to be the correct approach. A decision I strongly defend to this day.
With that said, I am certain the vibrant life I am beginning to lead would not have been attainable without coupling Eastern practices with my doctor-provided protocol. In fact, I believe natural healing techniques to be just as important. Interested? Here are a few natural healing techniques for Lyme disease, from someone who has been there.
The power of meditation
Healing from Lyme disease is a physical as well as spiritual and emotional journey. This illness can break you down, forcing you to face your inner depths. Meditation has been a place of solace to visit in times of uncertainty. It has been proven that meditation has the ability to change the way our brains work, and it can be an extremely beneficial tool when facing anxiety or depression. So next time you’re feeling unsure about your healing journey, take to your meditation mat and allow feelings of peace and tranquility to roll in.
Examining your diet
Diet has played a key role in suppressing the countless symptoms that have overcome my body. Although I have always been conscious about the foods I eat, contracting Lyme disease pushed me to further understand how what we eat affects our health. Lyme disease thrives off sugar and is amplified by inflammation. Therefore, sugar and inflammation-causing foods such as gluten and dairy were among the first to go. I also discovered my body no longer tolerated alcohol or caffeine, as both magnified the effects of my overstimulated nervous system. My approach to food evolved into a mostly plant-based diet, paired with lots of water and herbal tea. No one size fits all, so listen to your body and discover the food that helps you thrive.
Lyme disease acts as a parasite, living off its host. Therefore, a majority of individuals living with the disease discover that they are depleted in key vitamins necessary for our bodies to function properly. It is imperative to discover which vitamins each individual is deficient in as Lyme affects everyone differently. However, I can say with certainty that adding supplements to my daily routine worked wonders.
Infrared saunas and ozone therapy
Infrared saunas and ozone therapy have been extremely important factors in my restorative process. Infrared saunas work by heating your core temperature, acting as a great means for detoxification. The saunas have become a go-to for Lyme patients as it is believed that by heating the core, it grants the ability to kill the Lyme bacteria residing in the body. Ozone therapy is the process of introducing ozone (O3) gas into the bloodstream. By doing so, the gas can strip the blood of the bacteria in the body.
The importance of sleep
I can’t stress enough how important sleep has been on my Lyme journey. In the beginning, I found myself nearly bedridden as my body continuously demanded rest. When healing from disease, it is crucial to allow your body time to relax – sleeping is when your body has the ability to restore and repair. Listen to your body! If it is demanding sleep, let it have it!
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Everyone’s treatment is different. As someone who prides herself on leading a very active lifestyle, I understand how difficult and devastating it can be when your physiological state no longer allows you to function at the capacity you are used to. In a way, I am still struggling to accept this. But your journey is yours alone, and only you can know what is best. You are exactly where you are meant to be in this moment, and you will thrive, if only you allow yourself to heal.