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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Inflammation and Lyme Disease

A pineapple coconut milk 
smoothie contains bromelain,
an anti-inflammatory enzyme

Lyme disease creates inflammation in the body.  The lymph system, tendons, muscles, synovial tissue, and bones can become chronically inflamed.  The problem is:  How to reverse this inflammation and stop it in its tracks?  Well, I have heard many theories on how to do this.  I have decided to list as many here as I could find.  I have tried some, but not all of these myself. Many of these have to do with food, supplements, or vitamins.

I have reduced pain and inflammation, but I am still struggling with my knee joints.  Perhaps this is because I still work and have to stand on my feet all day?  Well, here is a partial list.  I may add to this list later, as I find more ideas and actually see what works for me.  Again, I am not a medical professional.  I am not advocating any of these.  Everyone is different and their body may respond or react in a different way.  Inflammation is a body/mind thing.  It has physical, mental, and spiritual causes.

Relax with a warm soak in a tub with
 peroxide, Epsom salts, and baking soda.

Anti-Inflammation Checklist
  • avoid meat
  • avoid margarine (real, organic butter is best)
  • adopt a vegan or vegetarian diet
  • drink a glass of water with lemon every morning when waking up
  • drink coconut milk
  • practice oil pulling every day (swishing your teeth with coconut oils)
  • meticulously brush and floss your teeth 2-3 times a day.  Inflamed teeth and gums are linked to inflammation in other parts of your body, so don't neglect your teeth just because you are tired, in pain, and sick with Lyme disease.
  • take a tablespoon of coconut oil a day
  • turmeric spice or pills
  • use ginger root, ginger tea, or ginger powder
  • drink plenty of water
  • avoid sugar of any kind
  • avoid rice, wheat products, carbohydrates, all dairy
  • eat broccoli, kale, or spinach
  • cucumbers and pickles make a great snack food
  • avocados
  • eat celery, which is anti inflammatory and a diuretic (if you are retaining fluids)
  • eat pineapple, drink pineapple juice (contains bromelain)
  • eat blueberries, strawberries, cherries, raspberries
  • drink almond milk
  • drink soy milk
  • use extra virgin olive oil in cooking, salad dressings
  • include garlic in your diet or use garlic pills
  • include onions in your diet
  • eat a green salad every day
  • use organic, raw honey or Manuka honey for sweetening 
  • eat salmon or tuna once a week
  • eat beets or drink beet juice
  • eat organic, low fat yogurt
  • use essential oils such as lavender and frankincense (apply with a roller ball applicator to joints)
  • use a re bounder or mini trampoline for exercise
  • swim laps for exercise
  • yoga
  • lose weight by eating smaller portion
  • dine by candle light
  • buy yourself cut flowers for your kitchen or dining table or order a bouquet and have it delivered to your workplace
  • Get a houseplant 
  • dine al fresco, on your porch, patio, or linai
  • take fish oil, krill oil, or flax seed oil supplements
  • eat walnuts, almonds
  • listen to relaxing music
  • avoid stress or any kind
  • drink cherry juice
  • eat only organic food and beverages (no pesticides, herbicides, or antibiotics)
  • avoid high fructose corn syrup (in all of its forms)
  • take glutathione supplements
  • massage therapy
  • if you can't afford massage therapy, have a loved one give you a back rub or foot massage
  • elevate swollen joints
  • use ice packs and/or heating pads for swollen joints
  • pulsed electro magnetic field therapy
  • acupressure 
  • acupunture
  • relexology
  • bee sting therapy or Apitherapy by a professional (this has serious risks due to allergic reactions. I would be afraid to try this.)
  • capsicum (capsaicin) oils, lotion, pills, patches
  • vitamin D3
  • chlorella
  • sea kelp
  • magnesium supplements
  • high count, quality probiotics
  • no alcohol
  • tub soak in warm water with: Epsom salts, baking soda, peroxide, lavender oil 
  • take naps, get at least 8 hours of sleep
  • wear loose fitting clothing
  • memory foam shoes (I love Sketchers memory foam shoes)
  • spend some time relaxing with nature in a park, beach, garden, or greenhouse. Walk, if you can or just sit an breath in the fresh air, scents, and sounds.  Listening to the sounds of waves on Lake Michigan is one of the most relaxing sounds that I can think of.
  • wear sunblock, sunscreen, sunglasses with UV protection, and/or a large hat when in the sun. UV light can cause inflammation of the skin and damage cells
  • wear insect repellent to prevent further insect born infections when outdoors
  • get a white noise machine or nature sound CD or recording and listen to it daily
  • spend some time alone each day, even if it is only 15 minutes
  • spend 1/2 hour alone in order to unwind after work
  • let go of perfectionism
  • spend time with positive, happy people
  • avoid stress
  • find relaxation in a hobby such as flower arranging, scrap booking, art, gardening, knitting, etc.
  • read for pleasure
  • relax in a hot tub or sauna
  • celebrate every special event and accomplishment and improvement
  • make connections with friends and relatives who are supportive
  • take a vacation, or staycation if you can afford it
  • spend some time with grandchildren or children, if you find that relaxing or refreshing
  • spend time with your dog, cat, or horse, if you have one and find that relaxing
  • keep a diary or a blog
  • join a Lyme disease support group in your area or an online group
  • If you are having a severe herx reaction, use Alka-seltzer Gold to get it under control
  • I often use a tiny amount of children's liquid Benedryl in order to fall asleep faster at night.  Just a small amount works fine and avoids the morning grogginess of adult strength dose.
  • I plan to try "fasting" for 12 hours each day.  I read that a doctor in Germany has his patients fast in order to starve the microbes of any sugars.  So this will mean no food or juices, only water between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.  The spirochetes will only have the antibiotics as "food" and take that into their cells.  Fasting is also a technique that many people have used to try to "reset" their immune systems.  It is worth a try...
An anti inflammation salad with mixed
greens, walnuts, strawberries, and yogurt.

Some Lyme patients have to take as many as 40 pills, including vitamins, supplements, and antibiotics.  This can be very hard on your stomach.  The last thing that you want to do, is cause more inflammation.  Whenever possible,  I try to find chewable, liquids, or powders that can be mixed with water instead of the pill forms of vitamins, supplements, and probiotics.  This is much easier on the stomach!

Sleep is a problem for many people with Lyme disease.  I have discovered that listening to a story podcast is the easiest and fastest way to fall asleep for me.  It actually helps me to sleep peacefully through the night without waking up.  I am not sure why this works!

Hopefully, if you try the ideas on this list, you will improve.  I plan to use these ideas for the rest of my life, even after the Lyme disease is long gone.  Pick and choose what works best for you to reduce the inflammation that comes with Lyme disease, and to prevent inflammation in the future.

I have used most of these ideas and I am finally getting better!  I have been in treatment since September.  It has taken seven months of hard work.  I think that I am 90% back to normal.  I still need to regain endurance, muscle tone, and flexibility.  I still have some mild knee swelling, facial swelling on the left side, and tinnitus.  I am off of the antibiotics and may be able to go off all prescription med in 2 more weeks.  This feels so great!