I have had Lyme disease for about 30 years. I remember being around 10 years old when my mom would rub my legs at night before I could fall asleep because they hurt so bad. Back then there was not the testing that we have these days for many different diseases, parasites, and conditions. In addition to that, we were in a location in Africa that wasn’t top in tropical disease research.
What’s probably the most frustrating aspect of having Lyme Disease is that it is a type of bacteria.
Surely SOMETHING can kill this bacteria!
Because I have had it so long, it has spread to my joints, nervous system, and heart. My doctor and I agree that my heart palpitations and arrhythmia, as well as Raynauds and resent tingling in my hands and feet are the result of nerve damage from Lyme disease. The pain never goes away, but definitely ebbs and flows. It becomes a part of how you live and function and you learn to tune it out during the day. At night when all is quiet and you are trying to lie still is the hardest times.
What is Lyme Disease and How Does it Spread?
There are many forms of Lyme Disease. Since my audience is mainly in the US, I’ll focus on what’s known here. The bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi is transferred mainly by tiny black legged ticks. Though it is true that mosquitoes can carry the spirochete bacteria, it doesn’t seem to be able to be attached long enough to a human body for the change in the bacteria and transfer to take place. Since Lyme is extremely adaptable and changes form to survive in its environment, it has to change back when entering a new environment. That’s why too simply put, but it’s how it helped me make sense of it when I first started studying the biology behind it.
Some studies say a tick has to be attached for 36 hours before the transfer to take place. That’s good news, but also difficult when the ticks are almost microscopic in size to begin with.
Where is it Found?
The CDC published a map in 2017 of cases reported to their county. I’ve inserted that map below.
You’ll notice its concentration around the North East. The CDC says this is because of the amount of deer in this region.
Lyme Disease is named after Lyme, Connecticut after an investigation in the 1970s. Even though I’m not a conspiracy theorist, the claim that the government weaponized Lyme disease while working on Plum Island brings up a lot of questions. Here’s one video that goes into some thoughts behind the theory. This doesn’t explain its spread across the world, though diseases are easily carried during travel and do morph over time in their new location.
Not all people get the telling ring that accompanies some infections (only 1 in 10). With my daughter and other young children that I know who did not have the ring, they experienced joint pain or back pain that just wouldn’t go away, along with spikes of fever that would last a few hours or a day, with the child feeling perfectly normal the next day.
Time is of the essence. Many doctors will only do a test that looks for antibodies [enzyme immunoassay (EIA) or immunofluorescence (IFA) test] that your body has produced to fight the bacteria. But if you’ve only just had a tick bite and are trying to find out if you’ve been infected, the test may come back negative because your body hasn’t had enough time to build up the antibodies.
Make sure you have a doctor that will look beyond and positive or negative result and actually look at the numbers and take into account what they could mean.
On the flip side, if you’re like me and have had it for 30 years, your antibodies may go down as your body sadly stops producing them to fight this infection that has become part of your body, but there will be a residual effects seen in the ratio of IgM antibodies and IgG antibodies seen within a Western blot or Western IB test.
Having a Western IB or blot test examined will give more information. I had 8 bands last tested, for those of you that that makes any sense for. The CDC requires at least 2 bands of IgM or at least 5 bands of IgG to qualify for a positive result. This is the big reason why many who have Lyme disease are diagnosed with a negative if they just do a Western Blot, but tested too early for the ELISA or antibody test mentioned above.
See the mess of properly diagnosing someone?
- Tests have low sensitivity and are subject to interpretation.
- The bacteria does not stay in high numbers in the blood, but that’s where the testing is done.
- Different bands can be considered positive or negative depending on the stage of the infection,.
- If someone’s immune system is slow or weak to respond, then the antibody test won’t show true results.
- There are over 300 strains worldwide! Most tests only focus on one, sometimes two!!
The last point means that those who travel or grow up in foreign countries, like myself, may have even more strains then indicated. Thankfully I have a wonderful naturopathic doctor who investigated deeply into my pain and found the cause.
Sadly, co-infections routinely come side by side with Lyme Disease. Common co-infections are Babesia, Ehrlichia, Epstein Barr, Bartonella, Mycoplasma, and even Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Some of the co-infections are easily discovered, while others do not have as good testing results. Knowing you have co-infections can help explain some of your symptoms, but don’t necessarily change your treatment. You know you need to kill off the bacteria in your body. Know it is a hard road ahead.
The major reason I decided to write this article is because I’m so sick of random bloggers or even the CDC publishing errant or out of date information. No, you can’t just kill Borrelia burgdorferi. No you can’t just use essential oils or herbs to kill it either.
This is a very horrible epidemic that is rapidly spreading across America. It takes time and effort and a lot more study to know how to kill it. While I am hopeful concerning herbs and oils (I haven’t given up), and I have seen results, I have not been cured, nor has my daughter.
Why doxycycline doesn’t work
Some believe that doxycycline helps kill the bacteria for those with Lyme disease who took the drug within a few weeks of contracting Lyme.
Lab tests show that doxycycline does nothing but cause the Lyme bacteria to morph shape and basically go into hiding in your body, only to surge at a later time when your immune system is low (thus those exposed to mold and other toxins can have major flares).
This “hybernation” stage lasts more than the 28 day cycle that people are on doxycycline. Thus those who take 4 weeks of doxycycline do not kill all of the Lyme bacteria. (1)
The complications from doxycycline are almost as bad as Lyme itself. I had a friend who took it and had blisters 2 inches long and 1 inch high on her hands and feet! That girl was switched to Amoxicillin, even though Amoxicillin has been shown to do absolutely nothing against Lyme Disease. Putting people on antibiotics as a standard procedure even though it has been shown in multiple studies to just put the bacteria into hiding or do absolutely nothing against it makes no sense!
The goal is to kill the bacteria from the Lyme and other co-infections inside your body; joints and organs.
If nerve damage is done, then you’ll also want to focus on herb that are known to help heal the nervous system.
There are multiple ways to approach your attack:
- Boost your immune system so that you are able to better attack these bad bacteria.
- Detox so that no parasite or other toxins bring down your immune system.
- Incorporate bacteria killing herbs and oils into your routine to help kill the Lyme and Co-infections.
Boost Your Immune System
There are many things you can do to help boost your immune system.
Make sure you have enough good bacteria
Eat anti-inflammatory foods like berries and green vegetables. Incorporate bone broth into your diet as well.
Sleep. You have to get enough sleep to heal, but if you’re in pain this can be hard. You can use herbs to help you sleep better. Get recipes for teas to help you sleep here.
Vitamins and Nutrients are also vital. Are you getting enough Vitamin D and B complex (active if needed)?
Detox your home. Don’t use toxins around your body because most of them will end up in your body. Here’s a great place to get you started with some wonderful recipes for healthy homemade cleaning products.
Get away from all molds and parasites. This means taking more caution with your animals, avoiding mold at all costs, and ridding your body of parasites (garlic is effective for many parasites, but not all).
Detox your beauty routine. I’ve spent years working on ways to replace soaps, lotions, makeup and more in my home so that we can be more healthy. Take advantage of my recipes or products in my shop and get healthier.
Detox Yourself. GI charcoal tablets, drinking enough water, Here are 9 simple detox methods.
Herbs and Essential Oils
We were really excited about the recent petri dish study using real stevia (not the white powder junk) to kill Borrelia burgdorferi. I participated with 2 others who were diagnosed with multiple strains of the bacteria and co-infections. We took a large dose of stevia extract 4 times a day for 8 weeks with no improvement.
Just like the stevia, there are lab tested results (2) using essential oils that were very exciting. Out of 35 oils and essential oils that were tested, 11 killed dormant or “persister” forms of Lyme Disease at 0.1% concentration.
These 11 oils are:
- Cumin seed oil
- Ginger Lily
- Red Thyme
- Litsea Cubeba
- Eucalyptus Citriodora
- cinnamaldehyde extracted from Cinnamon Bark
Garlic, allspice, myrrh, ginger lily, cinnamaldehyde, and litsea completely killed off the bacteria at the 0.1% concentration, while the others showed some regrowth after time.
Garlic, allspice, cinnamaldehyde still worked very well at a 0.05% concentration, though allspice showed regrowth over time.
It seems garlic bulb essential oil is the clear winner as it was the best at a lower concentration and I cannot extract only the cinnamaldehyde form cinnamon bark oil.
Obviously, if garlic essential oil is effective, then the hope is that eating raw garlic cloves will also be effective. I think incorporating a number of the herbs in whole form from above can only help.
- Allspice. I added some to the elderberry syrup I just made.
- Cumin oil (can be applied topically) and cumin seeds (great in rice).
- Myrrh essential oil and frankincense extract is wonderful for joint pain. I make an extract that I sell in my store.
- Thyme is great on beef, chicken, fish and in skillet dishes like potatoes and stir fry.
I have been taking low doses of wormwood according to my doctor’s guidance. It is a poison and should not be taken unless under a doctor’s supervision.
I have quite a list of things I have tried in 8 week stints followed by a CD57 blood test to see if there is any improvement. Right now a few of the things I am trying are:
My first 8 weeks were hard, this past brought changes and we’re focusing mostly on detoxing which has been a lot easier. I have not had any heart problems since my first 8 weeks. I’m very hopeful that I have eliminated some of teh bacteria from my heart.
Since I stepped up my exercise routine now that it’s getting warmer my arm and leg pain has intensified. I’m still in this battle. I’ll post an update if I have any breakthroughs. I would over to hear from you and your journey as well.