Warning! There is a giant mob of bloodthirsty ticks crawling around like a pack of Gremlins headed towards a public swimming pool to reproduce en masse! Didn’t you know?? Never get a tick wet, they HATE bright lights, and Never EVER feed them after midnight!
Seriously though. There is an epidemic rise of Lyme Disease sweeping the globe. It patterns, not necessarily a rise in tick bites or tick populations, but a rise in articles about Lyme disease on the internet and shady alternative-ish docs treating it.I bet these bloodthirsty ticks can give you candida and leaky gut syndrome too! Well, as long as you avoid sugar, gluten, and lectins I’m sure you’ll be fine (I hope you are picking up the sarcasm there).
While I am plenty interested in chronic infections and believe that there may be a great deal of validity to the research being done on retroviruses, Lyme disease, chlamydia pneumoniae, and others – a part of me remains plenty skeptical as well. And even if these microbe, parasitic, and viral scares were legit – we might easily find that the main reason they become chronic infections is inability to achieve a fever (i.e. – reduced metabolism).
But it wasn’t until 180 commenter Big Kitten left this fabulous tale of her health adventures that I really got to take a trip into the shady world of the?Lyme Disease Scam. It’s pure gold, as it involves a blend of strange and peculiar symptoms with no clear cause.
“Doc!I had a headache back in’the summer of?’68 and my?elbow has been itching lately. Any idea what it is?”
“Well, first we’ll need you to pull your pants down. Okay, very nice. Stick out your tongue.Aha, as I suspected! Lyme Disease! Follow this expensive treatment!”
Not to say that Lyme Disease isn’t real or isn’t a real concern, but it’s rapid gaining of steam?in the alternative health sphere is?certainly something that should raise an eyebrow of suspicion.
Anyway, this?was one of the dozens of fabulous stories featured in 12 Paleo Myths: Eat Better Than a Caveman, just released this weekend. Hope it makes you look at this Lyme Disease wave with a healthy amount of skepticism. If not, you’ll still get to?read a colorful’story of dieting, Paleo,?adrenal fatigue – and finally, salvation?using a powerful substance that doesn’t come in CC’s, or milligrams, but in scoops and pints. You might also find this article on Lyme Disease Myths an interesting read. Enjoy…
“I starved myself on and off throughout my teenage years, but then as my twenties dawned I took on a more respectable approach and would periodically cut out carbs. But then, disaster struck: After many years of physical and emotional stress (my family is so screwed up that they truly take the fun OUT of dysfunction. Dysction, I guess.) I got weirdly ill. My knee was so messed up that until the MRI showed no actual tissue damage, the doctor thought I had ruptured my ACL. A similar mystery happened to my foot, I started losing weight without trying, had huge dark circles under my eyes, spasms and twitches all over my body, my heart rate and blood pressure would shoot sky high at random, my hair was coming out in clumps and what was growing in was super baby fine, my hands and feet and shins tingled all the time, I had gross yellow-green bruises everywhere, burns and cuts took forever to heal?and I am eating a really healthy diet at this point.
So I go to a million doctors and they think there’s nothing wrong, I need a vacation or something. Hot dog! I really felt like traveling! I couldn’t get out of bed! And I was uninsured, blowing through all my savings to pay my medical bills AND I had to give up my job! Yeah! I’ll take a fucking cruise! Thanks Doc! After awhile they started prescribing Valium. I just could not believe that the random spikes in my heart rate were anxiety attacks. I would be fine, reading a book, laughing at a joke, and then BAM. Heart rate spike. Start sweating, getting really coldI was waking up drenched in cold sweats, I mean, this was awful! So I searched and searched for an answer and then I encountered the Lyme community. Anyone familiar with these guys? Pretty much the idea is that if you have a weird problem that’s gone undiagnosed, you have Lyme, as well as a few other tick-born pathogens, most likely.
I don’t mean to say that this theory isn’t possibly the truth for many, but the way these ?Lyme Literate M.D’s? approach it is a joke. I went to this doctor and he asked me if I had been experiencing ?fatigue and malaise. Why yes doctor! Indeed I have! ?Okay! he says ?You have Lyme! and he proceeds to write me THREE scripts for THREE different antibiotics, all of which I’m supposed to take for six months, all at the same time. And when I asked him questions, when I asked to have the diagnosis explained, my skepticism was sort of swatted away with a puzzled look and, wait for it, a prayer. He prayed for my healing?.but I’m going online and all these really desperate people are so glad to get help, and a lot of these Lyme stories sound like me but I’m way too freaked by the inevitable fallout of such a protocol that I hold off on the antibiotics and go on an all-natural approach instead.
So I decided on a low carb modified paleo that allowed a bit of dairy. Maybe not paleo so much as early shepherding nomad man, mainly because germs love sugar so I figured I’d starve them to death. That’s always an interesting theory, that germs need sugar to live so stop eating sugarI know of another organism that needs sugar to live too?hmmm. Anyway, the only fruit I ate was green apples because I figured they were probably the closest commercially available thing to the sour, knotted fruits that grow wild here in the temperate zoneI ate sweet potatoes occasionallyI just ate tons and tons of meat. Craving a cracker?? I’ll just fry up some chicken thighs real crispy to give it that crackery crunch! Mmm mmm! Still hungry?!! Even after eating all that delicious, nourishing protein??? How ?bout three avocados and a head of raw cabbage! What’s this? Digestive upset?? HOW? Think of all the ENZYMES from those delicious raw vegetables!!! Think about how HEALTHY it is to eat vegetables that aren’t really that tasty, have no quantifiable caloric value and are trying their darndest to keep animals like us from eating them! Yum! What’s this? You say I can have UNLIMITED RAW VEGGIES???? Oh happy day! Really, I just love to eat veggies. They?re my favorite food, I swear, no I never crave processed foods like cake! HA HA! Ha. ha.
Anyway, I did this for about four months, along with swallowing down a ton of ?immune boosting? or rather, ?putting your immune system into hyper-overdrive? supplements. I was losing more and more weight (to note, one doctor told me I looked ?good? since the precipitous, unintended weight loss), literally literally literally my skin thinned out. I could see all my blood vessels in gross detail, WATER hurt my hands. Bathing was a real challenge. The only thing that made me feel normal for about twenty minutes was coffee. I know, real Paleo. Well who knows, when did the South American Indians start drinking coffee? Is coffee allowed on Paleo? I just know it has no sugar, so I was good to go. And I’d feel like myself for a brief window in time, and then it was back to bed.
During this low carb bout, my blood pressure sunk from a lifetime average of 135/80 to 95/70?.When a nurse took my BP and saw this, I gasped and explained to her that never in my life had my BP been that low’she just looked at me like I was crazy and assured me that low blood pressure is a good thing! Well, what about the fact that I’m thinner now than I was as an enthusiastic intravenous drug user, even though I’m housing bunless burgers at every opportunity?? ?Great! she smiles, ?Weight loss is great, you’re within a normal range for your height, you look great! Well, what about the fact that I almost passed out three times since I’ve been sitting here with you, nurse? ?GREAT! Most Americans BP and weight is high, so if yours is drastically lower, then that has to be a good thing! Cuz high is bad and low is good! Of course! Now sit tight, the doctor will be right in to further ignore these alarming numbers! (She didn’t say the last line.)
So, long story short(ened an bit), after a while I gave up the whole theory and found a cheap doctor right down the road from my house who cursed and fist bumped and was actually open to there being something wrong with me other than needing to go to Disneyland or having an unprovable tick disease?and I also lied to him and told him that Addison’s disease runs in my family just to get him to test my adrenals because I had read that doctors never do so on their own. Sure enough, my catecholamines were undetectably low, as tested via a 24 hour whizz test and blood work. No epinephrine, no dopamine, and scant amounts of cortisol. I was checked out for tumors and growths and other weird stuff that could cause this, and I checked out clear for all of them. To my doctor, it’s still a mystery, but to me, I knew exactly what the problem was. I had seriously blown the shit out of my adrenals, and I did it through stress, and very large part of that stress being dietary, dietary like eating a pile of meat and vegetables and treating myself to a sour apple for dessert. Mmm.
I retooled my whole approach, ate an organic scoop of vanilla ice cream on a sugar cone with rainbow sprinkles daily, stopped most of the supplements, but I started taking minerals and amino acids (to help with the dopamine) a B complex for adrenal support as well as maca, holy basil, and licorice to help with cortisol production, E to help with circulation. I stopped the coffee, stopped feeling bad about needing to lay in bed and made sure to never ever ever let myself get hungry. Food on me at all times. Within a month the circles were fading from under my eyes, the spasms and twitches were almost history, water no longer stung to the touch and I was able to go for a mile long walk without having to turn around. What a triumph it was.
I’m still not 100 % (this was a fairly recent ordeal),but I am much improved. I truly thought I was going to die if I didn’t figure out what the hell the problem was, and I’m very glad I did. Perhaps if I had been reading the 180 blog instead of the Lyme people or the Paleo people’s blogs, I’d have felt better a lot sooner.
I really like what you’re doing here, I think you’re documenting a journey of thought and that you’re coming to the realization that most of the secrets of health are hidden in plain sight. And to all those who are all mad at you and want diet plans and statistics, they are missing the entire point and I don’t think it’s something you can convince them of. People have to realize it for themselves.
Everything has trade offs. Grains and dairy can make you fat, sure. But they can also make you healthy, fertile, taller and stronger, as our evolution and history proves. Demonizing food groups that took us from squat, compact, short-lived beasts to the overpopulated, comfortable mess we are now is a short-sighted point of view. And if you really need an argument for why civilized foods are okay, perhaps you haven’t been subjected to a good cheese board lately, hmmm?”
So, what?are your thoughts, opinions,?and experiences with Lyme Disease?
Actually, most people with Lyme have elevated temps, even if they are hypometabolic. This is because the chronic infection (and associated co-infections) causes fevers.
Docs who dx Lyme without testing are silly, IgeNex can test for it properly.
I’m sure that there are people who haven’t been tested properly, but all the people I know who have it had to fight for years to get a diagnosis and treatment, and now after years of trying everything else (diet, supplements, thyroid replacement, adrenal replacement etc.) they are finally getting better.
So IME, Lyme disease *is* a real entity, and most docs are definitely not on board with diagnosing or treating it.
I agree Lynn. Its definitely a real disease. I am not in favor of the anti-biotic approach for chronic lyme and I cannot believe that doctors told her to take them without doing a test!! In my experience anti-biotics work great for acute lyme but ultimately damage the body in chronic cases making everything worse. One friend of mine who was diagnosed years ago started the antibiotics and proceeded to have a heart attack 4 weeks later.
I love Standard Process’s supplements along with acupuncture and Chinese herbs for Lyme. I’ve seen it work wonders. cheers :)
That’s not entirely true,’cause Lyme&Co thrive best in a body with low temps and low oxygen.
Hi Matt. So I’m just curious, would you say that this blog post applies to people that have actually tested positive for Lyme antibodies? The reason I ask is because I’m about to start taking antibiotics for Lyme because I tested positive for several different Lyme-specific IgG and IgM antibodies. I’m not sure if you consider that evidence to be inconclusive as well?
I guess I’m just wondering what you would think would be a ‘valid’ concern for someone having Lyme disease, since obviously the symptomology can be quite vague. It may help clarify things for the people who have actually been diagnosed with Lyme by multiple physicians (such as myself).
IgM would mean a recent exposure, like within 3 weeks. Where do you live?
I used to live in Morris County, NJ. Pretty much one of the biggest Lyme hot-spots in the country. Even my dog had it! I just thought Matt could clarify the difference between a hypothesized lyme diagnosis and an actual legitimate one for those of us who have been diagnosed…
I’m not a big fan of diagnoses. They don’t necessarily change the treatment. Maybe I’ll go to Morris County and cover myself with ticks to do some “research.” haha
I think you should Matt. I think it would be awesome if you let a bunch of ticks attach to you and than dont go to the Dr right away about it either. Let it go for a year and than consult a Dr. I would love to challenge you to the tick bites.
I may try it someday. Thinking about moving to a farm next year if I can pull it off.
Anti body tests can show false positives especially if you have co-infections. The reason I asked about where you live is because to have IgM anti bodies indicates a very recent infection. It would be unusual to get a tick bite in February in the northeast but I know that the temperatures have been unseasonably warm this year. I would get a second opinion before you start the anti biotics unless your symptoms started very recently
I realize this post is ancient, but I found it by searching Matt’s blog for “lyme.”
If you happen to see this response, I’d like to know how things turned-out for you. I hope you’re doing well.
So you tested positive for lyme, but did you have the big target rash where a tick bit you? I mean if a tick can bite you without a rash developing and you get lyme…..I’m a bit skeptical about that.
I doubt most people even get the bullseye rash…..I mean, the ‘studies’ state different statistics…..40, 50, 80 percent Lyme patients get the rash, right?? How could they know?? Many people walking around not knowing they even have Lyme….why???…..because there was never a rash. My test for Lyme came back ‘very positive,’ according to my doctor……whatever that means……never had a rash, but I haven’t been well for a very long time…..I guess my point is….all these ‘studies’ are not even close to being accurate. It’s not possible to really know.
Lyme is a clinical diagnosis. You can have Lyme and not have the EM rash. However, if you have the EM rash, then that’s a definite indicator of Lyme. The standard tests (Western Blot, ELISA) are far from reliable or conclusive. These days, there are speciality labs that perform more advanced testing (PCR, etc.) to give more and better information, but nothing is 100% accurate in 100% of the cases.
Synchronicity at work here! I was thinking of the over abundance of Lyme disease cases this morning and here blogged about it. After I lost 20 pounds by overexercising and eating 1200 calories and the on and off of the dieting since my teens my body also decided to give way. I could not get out of bed and had to snooze every afternoon. I would lose weight but then eventually gain it back. My knees are also painful. But after 2 years of ETF let me tell you…i was in Vegas all weekend and drank a lot along with normal regular breakfast and no hangover and barely minimum fatigue. I was the oldest among my group of friends and everybody else was a wreck, in fact at the airport a taxi driver asked if I was the youngest in the group :-) When actually i am a good 8 years older than the rest; my face is glowing and healthy. I would still like to lose weight though I am a curvy size 8 and getting lots and lots of compliments about my body.
So, I am enjoying the food and the workouts and happy and enjoying life.
I am about 20 pounds over what height and weight charts say and possibly 30 pounds more than what is considered hot in hollywood.
That was an absolutely amazing, wonderful story. And Hilarious. reminds me of my raw food days. I am glad she is feeling better now!
I have been studying practicing “alternative medicine” for 10 years. (I am a nutritionist and an acupuncturist and herbalist). I have treated many people with Lyme, Epstein Barr, Cytomegalo etc.. And guess what, I have all of those things too. Truly the only way to heal from all of these things is to heal your hormonal system. ie adrenals, thyroid etc… or from a chinese medicine perspective- you must heal the Kidney yang. Getting a lot of sleep, a lot of sun, a lot of good food (none of this raw food, low-carb, paleo extremism bullshit), acupuncture from someone who REALLY knows what they are doing and some good supplements based on your body’s needs will heal you. Some people need IV nutrients for a while. some people (like me) need b12 shots in addition to the aforementioned therapies.
The reality is that the majority of the population harbors these weird pathogens in their system. But they don’t feel the effects because either they have a very strong constitution or they have not destroyed their bodies with dieting, over-exercising, high-stress living etc…. Those of us who have lived in a state of debilitating chronic illness probably have a somewhat weaker constitution and probably also hurt ourselves with diets and exercise because we were told it was good for us. As an adolescent and young adult I exercised between 2 and 8 hours a day training for sports. There was not enough time in a 24 hour day to do this and get adequate rest and nutrition while managing schoolwork etc… I destroyed myself and am still recovering. Yes, getting Mono (epstein barr), cytomegalo and lyme didn’t help my cause but likely I would have rebounded a lot better had I not been so destructive to my body with my athletics and dieting.
One thing to note- there is a real rise in lyme disease (at least acute cases) because of rising global temperatures. There is a lot of statistical data out there about this. somewhere… don’t ask me where. I read it a while back.
I ate 3 donuts today and berated myself for 2 hours over it. I still have a long way to go to emotionally heal regarding food and to make optimal choices. But I think my seratonin depleted brain needed the damn sugar so there.
love you guys
PS acupuncture really works. try it!
I also had mono (epstein barr?) in high school. I remember when it started I couldn’t even sit at my desk, I’d slide down so I was half on the floor. :( My muscles all felt like jello. Ridiculous. Stayed at home for about two weeks. I felt too weak to go to my doctor so I didn’t see him till it had started to go away. It didn’t fit the regular pattern of mono so he said it was a “Mono-like” virus, and that it seemed to be going away so there was nothing I could do…
I take B12 too, 1000 mcg a day sublingual seems enough for me. I don’t need it every day anymore. I give a little to my kids now and then too cause they also have symptoms of adrenal fatigue. When they are very irritable and cranky a little B12 really seems to calm them. Neither of them eat meat and my eldest doesn’t eat most animal products.
Very intelligent response. Simple. Terrain Terrain Terrain If it is cared for, it will resist the microbes MEANT to feed upon it in its weakness. That is nature. Study Biodynamics for a bit. Then you will know how to be well. Lyme is real..so are retro’s….but Pasteur, on his deathbed, denounced the microbe theory and agreed with Bechamp. It is the terrain that supports the appearance and the morphing of the bugs. Care for your “mother” and yourself.
Yeah we got that memo Veronica.
Quote: “…but Pasteur, on his deathbed, denounced the microbe theory and agreed with Bechamp.”
I thought that comment had been debunked???
I think you’re totally right that we all harbor all these diseases, it’s usually physical weakness that lets them take hold. When my LLMD started rattling off all the possible pathogens I could have, and all the vectors I’ve been in contact with (who’d have thunk my adorable kitty cats were making me so sick?!), I became so unbelievably paranoid, I was seeing infectious diseases everywhere I looked. That was another part of what made me decide to seek a different approach. They say Pasteur didn’t actually say this on his deathbed, but so what, he should have. They say he said “It is the terrain” meaning it’s not the antibiotic that holds the cure, it’s the terrain, or the medium of our body that dictates resistance to pathogens and healing.
Before I went on the ice cream cure, I did try a bunch of herbal protocols to help reduce the possible bacterial load. Reserveratrol, grapefruit seed oil, colloidal silver, and a bunch of other crap recommended by a few herbalists. I also saw two acupuncturists, one local and one in NYC who specializes in Lyme. I did not find it effective, and wonder if perhaps acupressure would be more useful? Do you have an opinion on that? A friend of mine is in massage school, and her Shiatsu instructor has said that acupuncture is just lazy and acupressure, and way less helpful. Thoughts?
The germ theory vs terrain theory is something that I still can’t fully wrap my mind around. I that in some way they are both true. Terrain is probably holds more weight and in general is what will prevent /treat/ cure illness. It’s really the foundational philosophy of every ancient form of medicine and there is tons of science to back it up. But then there are certain things which seem to blow terrain theory, like the 1918 flu pandemic. The population group most affected were young, strong men their 20’s and 30’s. Because they had such strong immune systems they mounted an enomourmous reaction to the virus ( they coined it a “cytokines storm”) that this is what ultimately killed them. Their bodies couldn’t deal with the toxic overload caused by such a huge immune response. And there are other examples of this sort of thing.
I was completely anti-germ theory and totally terrain theory until I took immunology from a brilliant woman with a phd from Yale. She was very well versed in both systems and was “holistically minded” (cured herself from cancer using alternative medicine). She felt that naturopaths, acupuncturists etc… Emphasized terrain theory too much. She also acknowledged that from a scientific and immunological perspective we just don’t know enough yet. Immunology is the newest branch of science and health . We barely understand it. We didn’t even really understand how the thymus worked until the late 90’s. We still don’t fully understand how the whole thing works. It’s actually quite astounding how little we know. Which is a lot of why auto-immune disease has no “scientific explanation”, or at least they still say it’s idiopathic. But I digress… Immunology just happens to be something I’m really interested in. I still think terrain theory makes the most sense, that if the tissue is healthy it won’t host disease . But there are holes in theory which don’t account for super virulent epidemic diseases and such.
About acupuncture vs acupressure…. I’ve had life changing experiences with acupuncture. A lot of it depends on the skill of the practitioner. Their technique, their ability to properly diagnose and choose the right treatment plan. A true practitioner of classical Chinese and east Asian medicine would know that body work is often needed in addition or in liu of needles. Depends on the patient. Sometimes I need to get the shit beaten out of me by my 4 ft tall thai massage guy. Sometimes I need needles. There is a whole esoteric side to it as well but I won’t get into that here. I’ve also had people not respond at all to treatment beyond subtle increase in their overall well-being. ( like someone I’m treating with parkinsons. I wish I knew what I was missing). Others don’t get better becsuse they can’t/won’t change their diet either due to indoctrination by paleo/raw/vegan etc…. Crap or they drink and smoke too much, take too many pharms (I’m not anti pharmaceutical). It gets complicated…..
One other thing is that when someone is really really deficient , as you were, needles aren’t the best option straight away. I’d do nothing but moxabustion for like 5 treatments. This could be why you didn’t have much success with needles. Or was it your friend … Sorry for the super long response!!
I am also an acu/herbalist. parkinson’s is a curiosity – check out Janice Walton Hadlock’s work at http://www.pdrecovery.org/.
regarding Lyme – acu and herbs can be very helpful, but by working on the terrain, strengthening the metabolism, regulating the stress response, etc. The folks I’ve seen destroyed by Lyme were severely weakened by stress/inflammation/exhaustion when the symptoms “got their worst”.
And garlic can practically kill you if your lung qi is already fried. too dispersive. Garlic is nearly always the cornerstone of the Lyme herb protocols I’ve run across.
Thank you!! I will check that out. Agree about the garlic.
Curious if you have ever tried using heiner freuhauf’s patents that he created for Lyme and other spirochetal infections. http://Www.classicalpearls.org. The dragon and lightening pearls specifically.
Yeah, the flu of 1918 as always fascinated me. My great grandmother died of it. And you know, I don’t think there actually is a sure-fire way to prevent illness. We live in an ecosystem, a competition of organisms, and sometimes, no matter how healthy we are, we can lose. There are some pretty tough microbes out there. And you bring up an interesting point about the young healthy people bring most susceptible to 1918…it’s the immune response itself that often poses the threat. I’m always wondering when I have a cold, what exactly would be happening to me it my immune system wasn’t reacting? What problems does the rhinovirus directly cause? Because the runny nose and cough are just my body’s reaction to the invader..,seriously, this has always puzzled me.
So yeah, it’s like organic gardening. It works, and you don’t have to use pesticides and herbicides (plant drugs, if you will) so long as you grow the plants in really healthy, built up soil, use companion plants to attract beneficial insects, lots of sun. But it still doesn’t always work. Sometimes, no matter how great you’ve treated your cabbages, they can fall to some weird cabbage disease. It happens, and I don’t believe there is any way to protect yourself 100%. So we’re not invincible. Big deal.
Yes, I think I definitely could have benefited more from touch therapy than the needles. They actually hurt and stung like crazy, but when I told this to my acupuncturist, he just said they shouldn’t hurt. Uh. Okay. But they do!
“Flu”, by Gina Kolata is an excellent read if you’re interested. It’s all about 1918.
I’ve always wondered that about the cold virus too. Two ND’s that I’ve seen have made a point to tell me it’s not healthy to never have colds, you should have a cold at least once or twice a year and if you don’t it’s a big sign that your immune system is depressed.
I think it was another French scientist named Antoine bechamp (sp) who really laid out terrain theory and pleomorphism. Of course all of these health gurus have twisted the theory to support claims that only a raw food highly alkalinizing diet will create the optimal terrain (Hippocrates health institute for example and some other raw food wacko who wrote the PH miracle ) . Matt has been doing all of this cool research into Reams biological theory of ionization and I think it’s super fascinating . It’s more individually tailored and proves that you can eat meat, dairy, cooked food and some sugar and still get your tissues in perfect ph. You prob already know about though. Fascinating stuff.
Sarah, I really enjoyed your comments today. Where is your practice? Do you have a website?
I’m in the LA area :)
Whoa. Wait a minute. So I read a lot about “hidden viruses” being able to cause joint pain, fatigue for months. One of the fist doctors I saw told me it was probably just some bug I never fought off causing my troubles, and that I’d just have to wait it out. So I guess that’s what happens when you don’t put up an immune response right away?That also makes acute versus chronic Lyme cases more understandable, because the bullseye rash and the fever are immune responses. Lots of Chronic Lyme sufferers don’t recall these initial symptoms, and that doesn’t necessarily make a Lyme diagnosis bogus, it just means that their body didn’t really react to the Lyme at first, and that gives it enough time to really burrow into the tissues and become a real problem. So I guess that all sort of full circles back to optimal health and metabolism. In the case of the 1918 flu, the acute immune reaction was really strong, and since their was no drug to cure it, had to run it’s course, and was often fatal. But in the case of Lyme, I think having a strong immune system that precipitates a strong reaction can only be good because firstly, it alerts you to the problem early, and secondly, antibiotics are effective against it so there isn’t much risk at that point. Interesting!
I’m just sort of thinking out loud here.
That makes sense. In Chinese medicine it is said that having sufficient yang qi enables you to fight off infections. Maybe you have heard the term “Wei qi” or defensive qi. Strong Wei qi enables you to fight off “xie qi” or “evil” qi. The weaker your yang qi is the easier it is for pathogens to move deeper into your system. You won’t manifest acute symptoms, you’ll show chronic symptoms. A healthy strong person ( like the men who died during the 1918 flu) had super strong yang qi so the mounted huge responses like wicked high fevers etc…. We see the same stuff now. Like for me ( and I bet for you too)you haven’t had a fever of more than 1 or 2 degrees in years. The last time I had a 104 degree fever was 9 years ago. So I never really mount proper reactions to stuff.
Another interesting tid bit that people have theorized about is that people who “never get sick” are more prone to cancer. Under functioning immune system NOT that they are healthier. It’s good to get a bad cold or flu every year in my opinion. Don’t get me started on what I think vaccines are doing to our immune systems and yang qi… I’m not even going to go there
Very interesting stuff. Yikes I can’t remember the last time I had a really high fever.
Now I’m beginning to think I’ve got chronic Lyme… whatever it is, it’s microbial. I saw them at one point crawling under my skin, weirdest thing ever…!!
I believe you. I have seen and heard some pretty wild stuff in the last decade and Im sure you are not exaggerating. Are you working with a doctor? you might want to check out http://www.classicalchinesemedicine.org and read some of the articles about treating spirochetes without anti-biotics and with stuff that actually works. I also think that what BigKitty recommends would be good too.
Yes having a low body temp in addition to not being able to mount fevers is a bad thing. Its a sign of yang deficiency and a weakened system. In a western sense, and like what Matt talks about, its hormonal system out of wack. Adrenals and thyroid (the whole HPA axis really) out of wack. I hope I’m not misrepresenting what he has said.
I would love to hear your thoughts on vaccines I have two children one that is four months old and have at this point refused any vaccines. I feel they do more harm than the supposed good. Do you have any scientifically sound information as to why vaccines are not a good option for immunity that I can share with family members who are critical of my decision.
bigkitten – Did I gather that you did/do struggle with low cortisol? You mention, “minerals and amino acids (to help with the dopamine) a B complex for adrenal support as well as maca, holy basil, and licorice to help with cortisol production, E to help with circulation.” Can you tell me any more about that and if it’s helped? Thanks!
I recognize how old this thread is but I found the comments highly entertaining and educational. I love that Matt chose a jackalope to head this article.
I hate the word “Lyme,” considering it is actually a group of hundred of strains of bacteria. It’s like saying “I’m human” when someone asks you what your background is. No wonder people don’t take it seriously. If we are going to be that ambiguous, lets just call it a possible broad spectrum chronic infection.
I agree with bigkitten when she said “it’s usually physical weakness that lets them take hold.” Infections have wiped out a fair share of organisms, so we know that they exist. I think that a strong immunity and metabolism could signal a quicker immune response to take care of foreign invaders in our bodies. However some people, for environmental, mental, dietary and genetic reasons, don’t create these responses quickly enough. So are there only two types of infections: those that kill us and those that go away? I think, especially for people with shite health, that mild infections can stick around. That is not to say that we should have all of these LLMD’s labeling everyone with Lyme.
I have a book in the works about metabolism and infections. This thread is making me re-evaluate my word choice (Lyme). I’m happy to have found it!
How does one tell if an acupuncturist really knows what they are doing?
I have had back pain for many years and finally I found a chiropractor that helped me immensely. Prior to that, though I did got to a acupuncturist for awhile. A part chinese part white man that had been doing it for a very long time, but between him and a massage therapist my back got no better. Now I read Holistic Harry and it says acupuncture does not work for most things and definitely not on back pain. My current and previous chiropractor both use an electronic device that is supposed to do the same as acupuncture and Ive asked them before if they have ever really compared adjustments with and without the electric acupuncture device and havent gotten much of an answer.
So, just wondering, what should I look for?
Do you think acupuncture could help someone that has never had the ability to smell (so, from birth as far as we can tell) but can still taste things? Occasionally there will be a burst of something akin to smell and I can “smell” chemicals, though I think this is more the chemical irritating my nose than a real “smell” reaction.
Hey Drew, I am sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with acupuncture. So much of the outcome of acupuncture has to do with the practitioner. The skill levels and knowledge levels vary by about 180 degrees (pun intended). I have treated chronic back pain successfully multiple times. If you tell me what city you live in or near I can refer to someone very reputable.
I have never treated a lack of sense of smell. I think its worth a shot though.
Hi Sarah. Thanks for the reply. I wouldnt call it necessarily a bad experience, just not a helpful one. The guy was very nice. I live in the Dallas, TX area. Any suggestions?
“mainly because germs love sugar so I figured I’d starve them to death.”
I had this same way of thinking. I don’t remember exactly how long I was on Paleo, but I was avoiding sugar for a long time… probably about 2 years with a month or two here and there where I fell “off the wagon”.
So this is what happened to me… back in August a shaving cut on my leg got infected. I didn’t realize it at first. At first it was just a scab that wouldn’t heal. Then I started to get a little rash around it. Still didn’t think anything of it, figured it was probably just ingrown hairs or something and a crappy razor… fast forward a couple months. I go see a ND because I’ve been gaining weight like crazy and now these itchy rash spots have spread all over my body. Both shins, both thighs, my stomach and forearms. It itches like crazy, uncontrollable urge to scratch. It never heals. My ND looks at it and has no clue what it is, but tells me I should go on the Paleo diet (even though I’d already been on it for a while and it wasn’t working!) and gives me a super strong blood sugar lowering supplement. After a couple weeks on it there was one day where I almost passed out from low blood sugar. I was watching my kids in the bath at the time and I felt like I was going to pass out. I grabbed my kids out of the tub, ran downstairs and ate something carby… can’t remember what it was now, think it was a pancake. Slowly started to feel a bit better. A couple more episodes like that where I had to lay in bed and had really bad dizzy spells and I kept telling my hubby I felt like I was going to pass out.
Meanwhile the bacteria were proliferating. It was so painful, it was like I was scratching non stop. I tried oil of oregano and it burned like FIRE, worse pain then childbirth. I actually SAW the bacteria moving under my skin, in a little pimple-like bump under my skin. It was like they were moving around trying to find a new spot (biofilms?). It spread to my chest then, and also a mole on my arm. I was scared. Was this cancer? What the heck is going on here??! Tried baking soda and it burned so bad I jumped in the shower and even after washing it all off it still burned like fire. Every time I took a shower I would turn the water on full heat and it would feel like I was getting some relief, but totally scalded my skin the process. Looked online to see if I could find some info on what this could be and figured out it was most likely Golden Staph. So I figured I would starve it off by not eating any sugar and taking lots of probiotics. It worked at first, but it didn’t go away completely. Polysporin helped a bit too. Now I stopped the probiotics and am eating sugar galore. Tablespoons of white sugar in lemon water. Ice cream galore. Waffles and syrup. And guess what, my wounds are finally healing. I’m still a little itchy, but nothing like before. And no more probiotics. Am only 3 days into this so a little too early to tell exactly what will happen but one thing I know for sure…. cutting out all sugar and most carbs is NOT something that was doing my body any good!!!
I also had the twitching, on my eyelids. My brain also felt weird, hard to describe. Almost like it was being suffocated. I think I was really low on electrolytes. Water started to taste horrible to me and I started to add 1 tbsp sea salt to my water in order to drink it without becoming nauseated. Other symptoms I’ve had recently which may or may not be related are asthmatic coughing, thinning hair, nasty acne, anxiety, no libido and insomnia.
I went to my MD when these problems first started and she thought I was anemic. Refused to do a hormone test. :(
Oh I also have the tingly numb hands and feet which started in August/September soon after my rash. It was so bad at times I couldn’t type at my computer anymore, which sucks cause I work at home from my computer. Sometimes I would lose the sensation in my hands/arms completely while driving, blow drying my hair, etc. I still have it a bit but it’s gotten much better then it was.
Vitamin D seemed to be improving it, then I came across info on the Marshall Protocol and it made me wonder if really Vitamin D was just suppressing my immune system further so I stopped. Increased Vitamin A and started eating more liver. I think I could use some B vitamins but not sure on which ones to take besides the B12.
OMG, if there’s ever a dangerous scam protocol out there, it’s the Marshall Protocol. Google “Marshall Protocol” and “risks”, “risky”, “dangerous”, etc., and you’ll turn out hundreds of horror stories, some people almost losing their lives due to kidney failure.
The guys’ a megalomaniac. Tells patients they must wear hats, sunglasses, and long coats EVEN INSIDE to protect them from the dangerous sun.
Vitamin D doesn’t suppress the immune system, it REGULATES it.
Amen on Trevor Marshall. Lots of truly effed up people coming out of that protocol.
Holy crap that sounds terrible and I’m very glad you’re now finding relief from the white killers. I hope you keep us posted on your improvement. Drown>Starve
Thanks, I will be updating. I thought I was going crazy with the stupid itching. It was just blowing my mind. I eat healthier then anyone I know and here I was dealing with some stupid bacterial attack!! Interestingly enough, it IS contagious but only to other people with lowered immunity. My husband and kids have been fine.
Hey Simone, that sounds just awful. Have you tried strategies to kick your lymphatic system into high gear? Like skin brushing, qi-gong, herbs like red clover, cleavers, or formulas like Essiac tea? If you really have an infection, I find an approach like that to be really useful. Also, I got a nasty staph infection in my armpit from a gross razor when I was 19. Sick shit!
I haven’t, thanks for the advice! qi-gong… isn’t that a hormone balancing herb too? I was looking into that cause I’ve also had symptoms of imbalanced hormones the last few months.
I was just reading someone elses’ experience with Lyme on the Facebook comments… I actually don’t know much about Lyme, but it made me remember that I actually did have a meningitis type illness in August around the same time that this rash started. My husband had it first. I had forgotten about it. He had the high fever, headache and vomitted at the side of the road while driving. I had weird headache, cold sweat/shakes, feeling like passing out, diarreah very suddenly in the middle of the night. Next day we were both fine. Then the rash soon after. I didn’t see a connection at till now. Maybe they’re not connected, but I just remembered now about that weird illness.
I haven’t had any noticable fatigue or any other symptoms besides this darn rash/infection and tingling in my hands and feet since then. Oh, a twitch in my right eye as of a couple weeks ago.
Oh who knows, I just want to be healthy. :(
I bet you’re thinking of dong-qai. Qi-gong is just gentle exercises, kinda Chinese yoga. It’s helpful to get your lymph moving, and your lymph is crucial in fighting infections, and it needs bodily movement to flow properly.
You must be so frustrated! I’m so sorry you’re going through all this. Keep your cool and keep doing your best!
Lookee here, I’m famous!
Just a few points- I don’t think Lyme disease is a bogus claim, and I do think that a sort of hidden, lurking, chronic form is possible. The increase in Lyme disease claims has a lot to do with, I think, people generally feeling like garbage and looking for something to pin the patsy on.But it also has a lot to do with a major increase in the population of tick carriers, as well as the fact that these mammals are less and less afraid of us and therefore in closer proximity to our habitats. And that we’ve mowed down their habitats and inserted ourselves into the middle of theirs. Lots of issues at play here. I live in rural backwater of the northeast megalopolis, and Lyme disease is pretty prevalent, even the kind that you show up hot for from a standard Western Blot or ELISA test.
That being said, Lyme disease in it’s “chronic” state is tricky to diagnose. Someone made a comment about Iginiix tests being accurate. That is considered true in the Lyme community, but remember, that test and all other tests aren’t testing so much for live bacteria or virus, but whether or not the body has built an immune response to it. So I got a bunch of rounds of standard blood tests that showed I was positive for Mono, but I didn’t have the usual hallmark signs of Mono. Well, most adults will test positive for Mono, just from exposure. Now, I’m a little rusty on my Lyme smarts, but as I recall there are a bunch of bands you can test positive or negative for in a thorough Lyme test. I did indeed test positive for like, one band, but it was written off because it wasn’t enough to verify a diagnosis. It was just enough to verify that at some point, in my life as a bare foot kid living on a defunct farm in the woods in PA, I was exposed to Lyme. Did I fight it off or not? That’s up to the doctor to decide. Even with an Iginix test, Lyme is a “clinical diagnosis”, based on apparent symptoms, and a blood test result is just one consideration in the diagnosis, hence the “do you have fatigue and malaise” question being the silver bullet for my doctor. Also, Iginix tests will run you hundreds and hundreds of dollars, and they do not take insurance. Since accessibility was an issue, and since my doctor (and from what I’ve learned, many many other LLMD’S) assured me the result would not change his diagnosis, I elected to keep the test kit in my underwear drawer, where it still sits now. I was not especially excited about being $700 in the hole to prove I had a tick-born infection that still wouldn’t really prove anything and would not convince me to go on a protocol of multiple antibiotics for YEARS as is the standard treatment for Chronic Lyme. This is necessary because of how slow Lyme bacteria replicate. And because they get wise to our arsenal of sorely antiquated antibiotics pretty quick, so most patients often have to change their medication. And with all that, there is the accepted knowledge that these drugs often just scare the Lyme into hiding in some creepy gram-negative form, deep inside your bones or some skeevy shit, and that once you get off the antibiotics, it’ll just come back ten times worse. No way was I doing that. So I decided that even if it is Lyme, I’m not game for that. I decided my strategy was going to be to strengthen my whole system and let the chips fall where they may.
I don’t fault doctors for prescribing patients obscene amounts of antibiotics. Drugs are their currency, it’s what they use, this is a bacteria, end of story. It’s great that there are people out there willing to buck the system and try and help people. What I fault the Lyme community for is their enthusiasm for recruits, and their lack of critical discernment when it comes to diagnosis. It wasn’t just my doctor. I know of a teenage girl who went to some ridiculous Lyme doctor that charged her $800 per visit, no insurance accepted (which is super common among these docs), prayed over her, suggested that all of her ills in life, including those arm bumps a lot of people have, were all caused by a Lyme infection she likely picked up as a baby. Okay. And then there was the very nice lady from a Lyme support group I called for advice on seeking treatment?.She asked me my symptoms, I told them to her, and there was no question, do I have Lyme? It was just that I DO have Lyme, and I need to get to a doctor and get on the antibiotics, pronto. The discussion, the weighing, the critical thinking, the understanding, all that was lost. It was simply that I had Lyme, I will not get proper treatment from a conventional doctor, I must get to a LLMD pronto, capeesh. And once I got to the doctor, it was clear that he viewed everything through the lens of Lyme (and Bartonella, Babesia, the insidious “co-infections”I had, as evidenced by the fact that my skin get’s red in a very hot shower?). Once all the other typical causes of my “fatigue and malaise” were eliminated, the only thing that remained was Lyme. Just so everyone is clear, I already had a stack of blood tests a mile high by the time I came to this doctor, and even though he went ahead and put me on the three antibiotic protocol weeks before the results, he did run a thorough round of tests to check for other possible causes. But the problem is, LLMD’s are still regular doctors, for the most part. Once the usual suspects are removed, the only possible answer is their favorite enemy, Lyme. I asked him many times, couldn’t it be something else? How do we know that it’s Lyme? He seemed pretty bewildered by my asking this. What I got from him and other Lyme patients is that people are really just so happy to find something sort of compact and identifiable, something to tell themselves and their family is the cause of their troubles, and better yet, to be able to see a doctor and get a script to fix it? This makes them feel normal and cared for. It’s just the paradigm we view illness and dis-ease in, and to expect people to go out of the box and really dig in and look at themselves truly holistically, well, that scares people. People don’t like to be told that there isn’t an easy answer. People don’t want to know that what they tell themselves for comfort may not be true, even if these dogmas and constructs are keeping us sick.
Side note, my doctor was a very very nice man, from west nowhere PA. He was the only doc in his whole town, a 99% caucasion town on a super polluted stretch of the Susquehanna river. He did accept insurance, in fact he accepted Medicaid, which is what I qualified for finally since I was not able to work and blew all my money on blood tests and such. All of my antibiotics cost me a few dollars each, (thank god and all progressive politicians everywhere). Unlike most Lyme doctors I’ve come across and heard about, I don’t think the guy was in it for the money. His practice was a dump, and he had treated himself for Lyme with a bit of success, and he truly believes in his cause. I’m sure he’s been able to help many people, at least psychologically. And to his credit, he recommended a few herbs and vitamins, too. BUT I could NOT believe that this sonofbitch told me to start swallowing a combo of Minocycline (causes thyroid cancer and gray teeth from mineral leeching), Biaxin and some horrible disgusting anti-maliarial drug that would have cost me $3,000 for the bottle had I been uninsured, all at once, without and real evidence that proved I had Lyme. And not a WORD about side effects! And everyone around me just thought I was being stubborn by not taking them. Everyone approached it like, “Well Big Kitten, you finally got some help, aren’t you going to take it?” and my continued struggle with my illness was all my fault at that point, because I was just being characteristically untrusting of authority figures AGAIN. When oh when will I ever learn?
I really don’t feel like going back and proofreading, so don’t go publishing it anywhere:)
Oh, just another thing, there are a few immune markers that he tested me for that are indicative of Lyme, and I was negative for all of them. But this did not deter him from his diagnosis.
Not trusting “authority” figures probably saved your life. Stay strong, kitten!
Thanks Cameron. People are far too willing to trade in their own brains for the advice of a “professional”, I think. I mean c’mon, they’re just people with access to the same information everyone else is.
So true. And they have less time to research and study then the average person out there. Most docs are overworked, when do they have time to research anyways?
I’m honestly not sure. It’s damn suspicious though.
Two months ago I would not have had an opinion, but I was at my in-laws in January and got stuck watching one of those stupid “Medical Mysteries” shows on some darn channel or another. Anyway, the topic of this show was some guy with all these wired symptoms who eventually got diagnosed as having Lyme. But during the show I learned:
1. Many Doctors won’t diagnose Lyme disease. But some Doctors specialize in finding it. That -might- be kosher, but are they just more knowledgable, or more gullible?
2. There is no test for Lyme isn’t riddled with both false negatives and false positives.
3. No two Lyme patients exhibit exactly the same symptoms.
4. Even for the patients who go to the “specialist”, many of them are not responsive to the protocols she has developed to treat Lyme.
Given the above, it’s certainly possible that what some people call “Lyme” is really just a catch-all for “We don’t know what the heck is wrong with you, so here’s every drug we have.”
This is a great quote from Wikipedia: “Some laboratories offer Lyme disease testing using assays whose accuracy and clinical usefulness have not been adequately established.” How polite.
The “best” spin I could put on this is that it’s a real disease, but the difficulty in testing for it has allowed a number of quacks to sneak in and run up some insurance/Medicare bills without proper policing.
Agree with the last sentence. I think it’s real but sounds like some docs are taking advantage.
Not to get all “conspiracy” on y’all… but I remember coming across something on the origin of Lyme Disease and Plum Island Animal Disease Center. Googled it and found this: “During the Cold War a secret biological weapons program targeting livestock was conducted at the site. This program has been the subject of controversies and conspiracy theories…..Lab 257, a book by Michael C. Carroll, Ph.D., has alleged a connection between Plum Island Animal Disease Center and the outbreaks of three infectious diseases: West Nile virus in 1999, Lyme disease in 1975, and Dutch duck plague in 1967.”
About 5 years ago I was a normal 21 year old (male). With the exception that I was interested in alternative medicine. My friends all thought I was crazy. And I was. I got a copy of the book , YOUR BODIES MANY CRIES FOR WATER. Have any of you heard of it?
I started “the program” in good health and gradually worsened it. Probably as a result of washing out my electrolytes daily. But the program involved high doses of vitamins, omega 3 supplements and TONS of eggs, restricting GLUTEN, sugar , chocolate, alcohol, and everything else that made life worth living to a twenty one year old. Going into the whole thing with only a few pimples made this pretty uncalled for. Smh.
Anyway I developed a strange rash on the inside of my ARM. It would come and go periodically. I got hooked up with a private nutrition counselor who basically claimed everything.that ever went wrong was due to dehydration. Yeah right. But since I had been doing everything right, I.e. drinking enough water to pee 80 effin times a day he said well “maybe you have A PARASITE. GREAT. So I went online and found every forum from lyme to candida and sure enough many people got skin rashes! Well now at least I know what my problem is…. Too bad its almost impossible to pinpoint exactly WHICH parasite I “had”. So I figured it would be prudent to go on a TON of.different parasite “cleansed” for a month or three and just see what happened…
Did I mention by now the rash had spread over my ENTIRE TORSO UP TO MY NECK AND I WAS FREAKIN THE EFF OUT!! I seriously thought I might go into shock it spread so quickly. When I finally got to a normal doctor he told me a lot of rashes have no real diagnosed cause and gave me a topical steroids which cleared it up THAnK GOD!
It would be a happy ending if I could say I immediately got off that stupid diet and set myself straight but I only recently stopped dieting upon the discovery of MATT the frwakin man STONE.dude. thank you and everyone else on the forum ! I just finished the new book, loved it, smashed on some ice cream and pizza and couldn’t be warmer. Thanks yall!
whoa carbosauraus, sounds like a classic case of adrenal stress. I feel like anything that steroids cure is probably rooted in physical or mental stress, since anti-inflammatory steroids are synthetic cortisol.
high five bro! ETF
I think I actually own that book “your body’s many cries for water”. I saw someone lecture on it while in nutrition school and they joked (though were actually being serious) that its not the pills you are swallowing that are helping you its the WATER you are using to swallow them. (hmmm tell that to someone taking the anti-retro virals for HIV or a chick with a raging UTI taking cipro) Now I personally take my vitamins with beer and wine, ok just some of the time, but I remember being like WOW! I have to drink as much water as humanly possible! That was 8 years ago. I know better now. I am sorry that this happened to you and glad you are better now!
“Your body’s many cries for salt, sugar & food” by Matt Stone :)
Yeah. Batmangelid or whatever his name is… now that’s a classic read! Enjoy recreationally eating your way healthier.
I did the water diet when I was around 24 and had nothing but great success with it. It cured everything that was wrong with me at the time but I gave it up because I wanted a life with my friends.
Dr Batman did change his mind on a few of the protocols though. He said that if you are peeing too often you will end up making yourself feel awful or get more ill, hence his recommendations to take a vitamin and mineral pill whilst drinking the water. But if you can’t keep the water inside you for more than 2 hours (i.e you are constantly peeing) then you need to start drinking fruit juice (with your salt) instead of the water. If you are still peeing you need to have something to hold some of the juice in your body longer (a bagel was suggested) whenever you top up. He said his protocol had been a mistake for many people because of the excess peeing.
I for one found that after I had been on the protocol for about a month my water needs spontaneously reduced to drinking very little unless I was busy, stressed or exerting myself. It felt very natural and I was literally the most relaxed (from the inside out, if that makes sense) that I have ever been in my life.
Thanks for sharing that, Robert. I like how you listened to your body and naturally tapered off once you were “super-hydrated” (my term). It might be really interesting to measure brix on people using the batman protocol with bagels & fruit juices.
Wow I can relate to this story quite a bit. Especially the part about having my blood pressure checked and it being alarmingly low, almost passing out several times right in front of the doctor, and having them tell me I looked great and nothing was wrong! One fucktard doctor’s final statement to me was to quit my job and move to the west coast because it was all mental. No I didn’t kill him but I never went to him again.
I’ve had my opinion of doctors forever changed after dealing with so many of them and having them completely ignore what should be patently obvious to anyone who has done even a cursory amount of study of the human body. It’s absurd that I had to spend several years of my life digging for information and experimenting on myself with the help of Matt and his blog and one doctor who actually runs tests to begin to understand just what the hell I was doing to my body and how to turn things around.
Totally agree. All the doctors I’ve seen in my life have been so incredibly stupid. The breaking point was undiagnosed preeclamsia when I was TWO weeks overdue in my first pregnancy. My baby almost died. :) I had “code pink” called on me at the hospital (I had a feeling I needed to be there that night and checked myself in even though I wasn’t in active labor, who knows what would have happened if I didn’t). Fetal heart tones cut in half every 15 minutes, emergency c-section ensued… I had high blood pressure my entire pregnancy and five different doctors and no one did anything. I was very young at the time, I didn’t even know what blood pressure meant but I figured that’s what I had a doctor for! Ever since then I’ve been counting on my own intuition and research. My friends think I’m crazy the amount of research I do, but when you’ve been sick and the doctors don’t come through for you I think it lights a fire under your butt to figure things out on your own cause you know there probably won’t be anyone there to help you when things get really bad…
edit : that was NOT supposed to be a happy face after “my baby almost died”, very very very sad face… typo.
How awful!! Glad you listened to your intuition!!!! Doctors can be incredibly oblivious .
Good observation kitten! It’s totally true I had frickin circles under my eyes like I havnt slept in weeks ALL the time. The only thing that has restored my mood so far is eating and resting. Wish I knew then what I know now …
ya…wish i could have some of my hair back too =P
Its amazing what food and rest will do. How revolutionary!! Do you feel like you catch flack from people for resting? If one more fucking person tells me that a nice hard workout will help my severe fatigue and depression I will punch them. I swear I will. ;) no thanks! Have fun on your 14 mile run! What are you running from exactly??? I’m typing my thoughts sorry :)
I think exercise should be treated as medicine (like food!) and used in “just the right amounts” instead of the insane ultra-endurance activities that people do. I just did 5 minutes on a “rebounder” trampoline and feel terrific. FIVE minutes. That’s it.
That’s all I’m going to do exercise-wise today, but I might take a little walk if it stops raining.
I do like to lift weights 3x per week, but I take a week off from it regularly to prevent over exercise. If I had serious problems going on, I wouldn’t really lift much at all, and it would be very low-intensity. I would stick to things like walking and rebounding in small doses to keep the lymphatic system moving and focus on resting, feeding, nutrient-accrual and getting well.
I’m starting to think that many inflammatory conditions are primarily from insufficient production of anti-inflammatory hormones. What a concept! Especially considering interesting phenomena that I’ve noticed. Like I am only allergic to things at night (when cortisol is low) but have no allergies during the day (when cortisol is higher). Like milk will make me snotty at night but not during the day. Or I might get sneezy-wheezy around pets at night but not during the day.
I was giving advice to a friend of mine the other day who has mysteriously developed a bunch of food allergies, eczema and Raynauds in the past few years. She is also super extra stressed out, and a vegan. Clearly the adrenals are not running on all thrusters. If a synthetic version of something we produce naturally is the cure for something, than that pretty clearly tells me that a better idea would be to get to the bottom of why there isn’t enough of that steroid being secreted to properly address the problem in the first place.
I used to be the opposite. When I was a kid/teen I could drink milk before bed no problem but never during the day.
which would make sense if you have weak/underfunctioning adrenals and thyroid (basically HPA axis is screwed up) you won’t make the right amounts of cortisol etc… and if you are really screwed up you’ll make them at all of the wrong times. A lot of people with CFS and lyme’s are exhausted during the day and then wake up at night. But you already knew that…..
Do you think that as your metabolism continues to heal you won’t have the allergies at night despite the naturally lower cortisol during that time?
Been suffering with CFS for over 20 years (since high school). Could you explain why I would have more energy at night and be so tired during the day? I’ve been rrarfing for a month. No changes yet.
The other Veronica aka V
I honestly dont know. I have ideas and guesses but no one has ever been able to explain it to me beyond “oh when your adrenals are really fried this happens”. I used to be that way (also with the horrible chronic fatigue) but have my circadian rhythm sorta back on track. Acupuncture helped me a lot with that . I’m still NOT a morning person though but that has been true for my entire life
Have you seen the documentary film about Lyme Disease, “Under Our Skin”?
I watched it. And I would have to say, I thought the same question immediately after seeing the title of this post.
Interestingly enough my cousin’s wife has Lyme and has had many hypothyroidism symptoms 10 years before she was diagnosed. I watched the film after their recommendation. It was good, in the sense that I learned about Lyme. She has been taking serious amounts of antibiotics (pills, needles, catheters and the whole shibang) for the past 2 years.
I have been wanting to see it for a long time. But I’ve noticed an interesting theme with shock-u-mentaries. They are all sensationalistic, overstated bullshit! I cracked the code on documentaries I think!! If you want a really one-sided, polarized, overly emotionalized perspective on a topic – watch a documentary about it!
lol some documentaries are awwwwesome. I like when southpark makes fun of the history channel stuff. Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia, “Getting high on Krystle” is some crazy shit, albeit unrelated. Cheers! My boobs are gettin kinda floppy, son of bitch Matt.
My favorite documentary is King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. And Man on Wire.
I second the Man on Wire. One of my favorites.
wow matt i stopped eating lots of cereal for bfast for two weeks (did not have access to them). i was piles of veggies and some meat. 3 words: worst poo ever.
@ bob . I was actually scared shitless into comming to this site in a round about way because two months ago while on a paleo diet , my hair started comming out in the shower . Luckily it didn’t progress very far but its a heartbreak.
My only experience with Lyme was my daughter’s first year at college. I live in Oregon and she went to college in Vermont. She was bitten by a tick and presented the bulls eye rash and the college doctor refused to prescribe her the antibiotics because her rash didn’t look like his rash when he had it. I was seriously freaking out. Fortunately it was just before Thanksgiving. She flew to Ohio to see my father and he took her to an urgent care doctor who upon hearing “I was bitten by a tick and now I have this rash” did the sensible thing and prescribed the freaking antibiotics. I was stunned anyone would callously disregard it that way. I have to say that is one thing I love about having chickens. I haven’t had so much as a mosquito bite since I turned the little velociraptors loose on the backyard.
Doctors are just as ignorant and biased as the rest of us – but usually blithely confident, which can be a dangerous combination. When I was finally diagnosed with Coeliac disease by a different doctor, my regular doc said “I would never have tested you – all the other people I’ve known with Coeliac had blue eyes, and you don’t”. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had supported his own bias by never testing a brown eyed or green eyed patient, which is just… well, words fail me.
Oh my goodness, what a quack. To base celiac on blue eyes?!
1. there is large number of symptoms that Lyme and leaky gut have in common (food intolerances, arthritis, brain fog)
2. There are reports that sometimes symptoms persist even after curing Lyme
3. Inflammation in the body (of any kind ) can trigger leaky gut
My take is that it is possible that initial Lyme infection can trigger inflammation and leaky gut and even after curing the disease by antibiotics (even worse for leaky gut) the leaky gut symptoms persist.
Other option is that the leaky gut symptoms are interpreted as Lyme as the blog entry suggests.
Unless there are Lyme specific symptoms (bulls eye) I recommend to only see doctor if symptoms persist after 6 months on diet free of wheat, lectins, diary, alcohol and coffee + ensure sufficient vitamin D, hydration and ocassional fast. This helped me and I feel healthier than ever. As an unexpected bonus I have completely cleared my 30 year old psoriasis the dermatologist tagged as incurable.
Good info, I wonder about the Vit D though. Dr. Marshall has had success curing Lyme disease and other autoimmune diseases by completely limiting Vit D, even sunlight. I wonder about that. The science behind it makes sense, at least somewhat, that Vit D could actually be immunodepressive and over the long range (15-20 yrs) actually be more damaging.
I actually had Lyme’s disease myself a few summers ago, as confirmed by blood tests. It started out as a high fever, which passed after several days, but continued with lesser symptoms like hair falling out at incredible rates and a very slight rash beneath my eyes. Then, for a few days, I seemed to fully recover before I started getting headaches and general malaise. Finally, when I went to the doctor, I was having trouble thinking clearly and forming sentences in a normal amount of time. I picked up the antibiotics that day and began to feel better the next day. Two days later, I was totally cured.
Diagnosing Lyme’s without a blood test is stupid. Not taking the antibiotics is also stupid.
Your case was a typical, easy to diagnose, acute situation. If three weeks of doxycycline was all “chronic Lyme” sufferers needed for a clean bill of health, than yes, not taking them is stupid. But that’s not how chronic Lyme works. The Lyme are hiding deep in your tissues, not freely replicating in the blood and can take years of antibiotic therapy, often with no end in sight. Opting against a protocol like that isn’t stupid. Antibiotics can make you very very sick in the long term. You’re trading one devil for another, and you might very well just end up with both.
Anti biotics for acute Lyme is super important. Chronic Lyme is a very different situation as bigkitten explained.
Personally, I have always thought this whole lyme disease craze is way out of control! Countless times I have asked people who say they have it, “do you remember getting the tick bite?” … To which they say, “Well, I was never really bitten by a tick” (aka at least not in this reality system) … To which I then ask, “Well, what makes you think you have lyme then?”… The answer is invariably the same: “Well I breathed the air and my doctor said it’s in the air.” My unspoken thought: “Well, stop breathing then; that should take care of it.”
@ Alana Sugar,
haven’t you heard the latest explanation? Perhaps mosquitoes have taken Lyme into the air…now a skeeter bite can do you in with malaria OR Lyme!
@ Big Kitten,
thanks for sharing your amazing tale here…great to hear that you are doing much better. Hope you continue to improve, ETFing and RRARFing all the way to excellent health!
I hate that quacks ruin the public opinion of complementary/alternative/traditional health care. I work really hard for my clients, refer out for other modalities (including allopathy) that are necessary for a holistic approach, and admit when I don’t know what the heck is going on. I also believe that Traditional Asian Medicine can be a very effective approach. And I maintain skepticism every hour of every day in my clinic. (“Does this shiz really work? Hey! I think it worked!”) Ultimately, healing is an individual, idiosyncratic adventure. YMMV. Sometimes what looks like quackery simply was’t the correct approach to a problem. It just matters more when we’re talking about health and wellness.
Word sister. Couldn’t agree more
Does it exist? Definitely. It kills, too. Should it be treated like they do? If I knew then what I know now, I would say first raise metabolism and then see. Very possibly not. I still have doubts about the high dose antibiotics.
Very briefly: I have a dieting and health history like most people on this site. I was semi-bedridden for 15 years with CFS. Tested positive for rickettsia and one or two others. Treated on 2 high dose antibiotics a month for a year. Some made me very ill (Flagyl). End result was a 50% improvement. From semi-invalid to reasonably functioning person. Big difference. This was about 3-4 years ago so it lasts.
It’s probably over-diagnosed but that doesn’t make it a hoax, it’s serious. My newborn baby very nearly died of it (got it in the womb). Many women miscarry. Some heart attacks and embolisms are caused by blood cells clumping around the bugs. But – the doctor herself said something else underlies the chronic infection. Something she can’t identify is the real problem, making the body susceptible. On this site, we think we know what that something is: immunity and metabolism. There’s a good chance we’re right and as I said, if it happened to me today I would expect to get results by raising metabolism and maybe never need the antibiotics. (That’s how I’m hoping to get the other 50%.)
Re the dodgy docs: at least they do not depress you further with ?it’s all in your head?. At least you do not suffer labels of laziness and hypochondria. The non-dodgy docs do millions of tests, find nothing and dismiss you. The slightly dodgy ones like mine take you seriously and treat you as per their understanding, however much we may disagree with their approach. And yes, they also charge too much and have all the other usual failings of doctors. The particularly dodgy ones don’t test properly and take you for all you’ve got because you’re desperate. But it’s a start, to take it seriously, admit it exists, and agree that you haven’t spent most of the past 15 years in bed because of some personal failing or lack of backbone, don’t you think?
Oh, and about the candida ? 15 years of that too. The antibiotics fixed it overnight, never to return.
Thanks for sharing. It makes me nervous thinking about having another baby for these reasons. I’m trying to boost my metabolism, but having dealt with crazy bugs living in me and seeing the damage they are capable of…. makes me very nervous. So much conflicting info out there.
I very much agree that at the very least the “slightly dodgey doctors” do acknowledge that you are suffering and its not all in your head and you don’t have “the yuppy flu”. I am glad you that you are better. I can relate to how horrible you used to feel.
With all due respect, antibiotics don’t kill fungal infections like candida. Sheesh…
My son tested positive with Lyme when he was five. We never saw a tic, but he oddly had several bullseye rashes – I actually saw them forming on him. We were on vacation, took him to the ER, where they drew blood and put him on antibiotics just in case the test turned out positive. I’m very glad they did.
What is being discussed here about possibly chronic Lyme/possibly not and some practitioners who overdiagnose and (mis)treat is ringing a little bell with me…something runs parallel in the autism/ADHD/Aspergers community.
I am a fan of alternative medicine, and conventional medicine both, when used properly. I guess the key is to do your homework and be a skeptic when you should.
I hadn’t heard about the skeeters causing the problem, too! OH MY!!! You know, I heard from my cousin, a famous space scientist) that we could very well colonize Mars at some point in the not too distant future. I’m starting to wonder if maybe our new life there, wearing our Jetson spacesuits and all, will keep us all safe from lymey? Bylmey…
I am on for the jetpacks! :D
The mosquito idea sounds funny, but then if you think of it, why not? If a mosquito lands on an infected deer, sucks up some delicious Lyme disease and then lands on you, who’s to say its little syringe mouth isn’t carrying a few nasty bacterium on it?
Hmmm… last summer was our worst mosquito season in history.
Fascinating stuff. I got intrigued about Lymes following a mention on the UG Wellness podcast with Jack Kruse, who poses some theory connecting Leptin and alpha-MSH to Lymes. See http://jackkruse.com/hey-lyme-disease-meet-leptin/ . What do you think? I wonder if some of his scientifically-loaded comprehensivity masks some underlying flaw or bias, but then, I cannot critique ‘cos I am a busy lady who has (unfortunately) no time to give it a really proper going over. I have no experience with the condition, but find it interesting anyway and some stories on here seem very harrowing and worthy of more than is currently given credit for.
I feel simultaneously jaded and never-endingly enthused by natural health approaches and the people associated with it. I’m ‘in-training’ to make my own stamp on it too. But, like others, I have done my fair share of championing narrow paradigms and assuming that my symptoms must have some ultimate, conspiratorial cause that has gone unseen by the masses. Candida-schmandida, dermodex, allergies. God knows. Yet, it is a bit like agnosticism in religion– I am finally seeing the value of keeping humble in the face of doubt, and recognising the importance that both awe and doubt have in rendering us at ease. I’m now a carbosaurus (what a term), and popping some fexofenadine (a strong anti-histamine) from a mainstream doc that thinks it sufficient for me to pop them for the rest of my life and not to worry about the cause. One side of me finds that to be just fecking lazy. The other says, screw it, for the first time in your life you feel dandy and have stopped itching, no more crawling skin, brain fog has gone, niggling signs of acne has gone and I have the energy to exercise at will, amongst other things. Contraversially, perhaps, I have to mention that a bit of marijuana before bedtime some nights is giving me deep, peaceful and rejuvenating sleep after a year or more of some serious adrenal dysfunction. Plus, my god, that and South Park is a remedy for any maladies of the day.
But jeez, I feel so fortunate to be in a position of strength when so many others are still fighting for some ounce of normality. When I stop these anti-histamines, the problems, of course, come back. So, it must be an allergy, right? I don’t even have the conviction to make that diagnosis anymore! But, I think that is a really good thing. I guess it is like all these conditions- for now, it feels completely enough to feel at ease with not knowing. At least, for now.
“I wonder if some of his scientifically-loaded comprehensivity masks some underlying flaw or bias?”
Best question ever. Well put and made me think of a lot of health nerds out there that write about health at such a complex level that those less educated can only nod and hope there aren’t some big things being overlooked.
Yes… wish they wrote for us “ordinary” folks, so it would actually be of some help!
I wish the Lyme,other parasites/molds&viruses not being there wasn’t true in my case…..however I definitely saw spirochetes swimming freely in my blood during a Living Blood Analysis.
And the leaky gut is also there with lots of food intolerances,obstipation etc. Furthermore there are lots of metabolic&hormonal imbalances. I’m constantly pondering if there indeed might be some truth in the ‘all sugars,carbs feed the bad guys stuff….and causes leaky gut” cause especially the last couple of years I kept eating more&more sugary/artificially sweetened sweet-tasting stuff like pie,bread,pizza,various sweet sauces/condiments&salads etc.
I just don’t know what to think anymore……are sugar/carbs especially grains/dairy really my lifelong battle? Is there truth in the Bloodtype & Metabolic diets?…..have I been born with weak thyroid&adrenals&gutflora to begin with? Am I just prone easily to fall prey to food addiction?
I believe that what you are experiencing is real but maybe isnt being treated correctly. Are you able to find a good acupunturist in your area?? Have you tried Chinese herbs, getting lots of sun and sleep and having a diet consult with matt? There is hope for you I promise.
@Sarah No I don’t do accupuncture,wouldn’t know why I’d need to do that….(As long as I don’t eat the food I’d love to eat and take Vit.D3 and some other vitamin supplements, I don’t experience any joint-pains). Apart from that,I financially live on the bare minimum (wellfare) so I can’t afford much since eating nutritious is also costing a lot.
(I have the luck that there’s an energetic therapist who does color therapy through a photograph of me against a very low rate….I have improved some small stuff over the year,so I can’t say it’s not working. However I do sometimes ponder if it’ll get properly rid off Lyme,various molds and probably other parasites and viruses such as EBV).
And sarah please don’t take this as a personal offense against you,’cause it’s not meant like that:)…..but I’m getting sick of people telling me,mostly Lymies, that “I should rest”! I am not feeling tired,actually the opposite sometimes of what I’m used to the previous years,I’m going crazy….have to constantly move/stand all the time which is the other opposite extreme. Basically, I feel restless and actually ‘daydream’ of all the stuff I’d like to do,for instance,when I get home…..and when it’s time to do some of that stuff,I don’t feel like it/lethargic/no creativity/don’t know how/where to begin/want/need to do something else etc.
So,I’m constantly floating around getting nowhere in life………pondering lots of things in my head. (There’s so much stuff I’m wondering,for instance how to handle it all in this society,what I actually would like to do&it sometimes seems ‘I’m meant to do’ something I might not necessarily like according to my life’s horoscope,rebuilding my life for the upteenth time and after a while when I’m enjoying it freely watch it completely vanish beneath me again,still having so many issues regarding ‘being able to trust myself&instincts’ and the list goes on&on….)
Basically it comes down to being totally afraid&feeling crippled to live my life…a life for that matter (which isn’t caused by Lyme&Co btw,that’s ‘just a bonus’). I just get scared ‘when things go my way’ bc of my past I’m always expecting&am paranoid if things go too easy and feel ‘like some kind of repercussion,or something bad is gonna happen soon,it gets taken away again.”
If Matt ever needs a Looney Tune blog guest story full of lifes (mental) issues,which people can feel good reading about that they’ve not ‘been blessed’ with all those issues&anxieties,I’d probably be the best candidate for it….
I want the Matt Stone deconstruction of this:
Wow that’s ridiculous. Thanks for wasting my time Tierney! I”ll have to turn you down on the deconstruction project!
Well at least you have a new contender for “most retarded theory on Why We Get Fat.”
Cool! That means I can go to high altitudes or just hyperventilate to lower my CO2 and not be hungry! :P
Great article/story for me to read. Again, puts everything into perspective. Seems like I need my daily dose of reality – thank God for this site!
I actually have had two Lyme bites in my life – two separate occasions, but within a half a year of one another. Insane. Miracle 1 was my Mum spotting the bullseye the first time – on the back of my arm, I would never have seen it myself. Miracle 2 was the fact that, since I had known what it felt like the first time, I knew something was up the second time. I remember joking to my boyfriend that I had been feeling awfully “Lyme-y” again (feverish, cold sweats, nauseated, exhausted), and BAM, pulled up my pant leg later that day and there was another bullseye! Both times I was able to get short-stint antibiotic right away.
Crazy thing is that the second time, I ended up missing a college colloquium class I had with half a dozen others. When I returned, he asked me how I was feeling in front of the class, and it turns out an older girl in my class actually had Lyme disease. It had completely ravaged her life. She spent many years bedridden, had neurological damage, and suffered seizures, among other things. She was having a really difficult time with the medication and steroids she had to take, but she was grateful that she was at least out of bed. So do I think Lyme is a real disease – of course. And if you have it, it’s a real bitch, to say the least. It’ll really mess you up.
But it’s so blown out of proportion these days. I have known three people in my life who have really had Lyme disease. The first was that girl in my class. The second is a kid in elementary school was was attached to an IV bag at all times. The third is a kid a high school boyfriend used to play WOW with, whose only friends were online because he was bedridden and unable to go to school.
I’m just grateful I was able to give that girl my ear and my sympathy – I can’t even think about how Paleo Erin would have probably talked her ear off about how she could cure all her shit by major cuts in her diet. I shudder thinking about it.
My take on the internal terrain vs pathogen cause of infectious disease is that, like someone already mentioned, they are both truth. This is pretty obvious for anyone that’s delved into the issue. With every “infectious” disease that I’m aware of, exposure to the said causative pathogen does not necessarily mean becoming a host of the pathogen. And being a host of a pathogen does not necessarily mean developing symptoms of the disease associated with the pathogen. This holds true for HIV/AIDS, HPV/cervical cancer, Influenza virus/flu, rhinovirus/cold, herpes simplex virus/herpes, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto/Lime’s disease, poliovirus/polio, mycobacterium tuberculosis/tuberculosis, HCV/hepatitis C, and on and on.
And in addition to the so-called infectious diseases, there have been many associations made between chronic diseases and microorganisms.
Whether or not a person who is exposed to a pathogen develops the associated disease depends on the state of the pathogen and the state of the person at the time of exposure and this includes the interactions between the pathogen and the environment and, of course, the person and the environment. This an exceedingly complex issue and science knows very little about these factors at the moment. Part of the reason is because most, although not all, of scientific research in the area of infectious disease is focused on developing new anti-microbial agents, not studying the factors in the host which dictate the outcome of exposure. And when they do study the host factors it is often by gene-association studies, which are pretty limited, in my opinion.
One of the most significant host-environmental factors is the exposure of a host to microorganisms throughout our lifetimes, especially early in life as our immune system is developing. Again science is extremely limited in its understanding of these interactions. The mechanisms by which our bodies mediate interactions with “good” and “bad” microbes mostly remains a mystery.
Science will probably never figure it all out (it will certainly never figure it ALL out, although we may learn a lot of things), and likewise health on a personal level will never be found by trying to figure things out.
Great link Luke. Fascinating stuff. Matt’s written some about it I remember.
Makes me think of certain infectious micro-organisms that can also impact our behavior, like rabies, or toxoplasmosis. There sure is a lot left to understand out there. All good reasons as any to get that metabolism roaring, eh?
Well said!! Were you referring to the hygiene hypothesis in regards to what we are exposed to as young people? I started to write my doctoral dissertation on autoimmune diseases. It’s in the early stages but maybe I’ll post some of what ive gathered. I agree that modern science won’t figure it out by focusing on genes/genetics and anti-microbial factors.
The hygiene hypothesis is certainly part of it. There is the acquired immunity or education of T cells that depends on exposure to microbial molecular patterns and there are also other effects like the production of antimicrobial compounds, changing the nature of the gut mucosa, maturation of the lymphatic system in the gut, and out competing of pathogens by symbiotic microbes.
The amount of factors that goes into shaping a persons microbiota blows my mind. For example there are proteins produced in breast milk (PGLYRPs) that are antimicrobial to certain bugs. And then there’s the flora of the vagina, and all the stress a person experience, and resistant starch in the diet, and on and on. One course of antibiotics will not only kill everything in the gut, but also change the lymphatic system of the host.
Good luck on your dissertation. It sounds like you have a good perspective to share.
I did not know that anti-biotics change the lymphatic system of the host. Wow. It makes sense of course. Is that change permanent? or does it quickly resolve if the right steps are taken to restore gut flora, tissue integrity etc….
I’d really like to pick your brain!! you really know your stuff.
What do you think of the new “fecal transplants”? I have been dying to bring this up. I have a friend who is contemplating it. She has been on the candida/parasite/herbs/lyme disease/drugs/every treatment known to mankind thing for about 6 years and her digestion has only gotten worse. She currently only eats bland, blended vegetable soups. no fats, oils, meats and only occasionally fish for protein but all still give her “inflammatory reactions” (her chronic pain gets worse and her guts feel “inflammed”.)
She has also had 5 colonics a week for over a year…….. I never thought this was a good idea but her team of docs seemed to think it was necessary and would remove whatever lurking parasites/toxins were hiding in her system.
And can we talk about the bernard Jenson black-impacted fecal matter lining of the intestines? Is that really real??? many many years ago I embarked on a mission to get rid of my “icky black impacted fecal” intestine lining. I ended up with bleeding ulcers throughout my whole colon and almost died but thats another story. I have met people who say that have passed this nasty lining and are now healed of everything. Are they smoking crack?
My friend who has had 1000 colonics never passed hers.
I was really interested in the business of ‘cleansing’ and had at one time subscribed to the idea of ‘mucoid plaque’ and even attempted some of the cleanses that are being sold by the folks who created the term until I investigated it further. “No gastroenterologist has ever encountered one in tens of millions of endoscopies, and no pathologist has ever found one during an autopsy.” I took gross anatomy in college and none of the cadavers we dissected presented with this mythical plaque. Some of the basic ingredients of these cleanses – psyllium husk fiber, bentonite clay and some herbs will potentially form a rubbery cast of your intestines which is then passed. Funny how it is only these companies that have these gross photos of the ‘mucoid plaques’. You won’t find them in medical journals. Granted, conventional medicine is not the end-all-be-all but layers of these plaques would be hard to miss with all the bowel surgeries going on these day (unless people want to subscribe to conspiracy theories that doctors want us all to harbor ‘mucoid plaques’ to keep hospitals in business).
That’s what I thought too. I had a feeling that it was just the passing of congealed clay and herbs etc… . I have never been able to understand how with the technology of endoscopy and colonoscopy doctors aren’t seeing this. I certainly never saw one in me after having those tests and viewing the images.
Yes, I think they are smoking crack. And they probably get some sort of satisfaction by flagellating themselves with repeated colonics.
I’ve been wondering about fecal transplants as well…the husband has ulcerative colitis. Have you done much reading on it?
I haven’t done a lot of reading on it. I think there are a lot of things that can be done before having to resort to that. I had Crohn’s disease and almost died from it. But I have no trace of it anymore.
I would love to hear your thoughts on vaccines. I have two young children and have gone back and forth do I vaccinate or not vaccinate. My son is 4 months and I have not started his vaccines because my daughter had 2 reactions to Tdap and the Hep B shot though her pediatrician dismissed them and would not acknowledge that she had a reaction. I have spent hours on websites that promote both sides but I feel like the people that have come to this site are realist and not biased by beliefs which they provide scientific evidence to support. Please let me know what you think.
I’ve observed that the people who claim that a disease is caused, in an absolute sense, by a microbe or that ALL of their personal health problems are a result of an evil microbe are typically very paranoid, ungrounded, feel like they are victims of life, and are sometimes insane. Although I’m sure their intentions are good, I prefer to run as fast as I can the other way from these people, especially when they try to give me advice.
I once talked with a person who though that every single disease, including cancer, heart disease, AIDS, Parkinson’s, and Autism, was caused by infection with mycobacterium tuberculosis. He was so convinced of this “truth” he had figured out that he would take a cocktail of antibiotics every other day in order to “keep the bugs at bay.”
This is just a more extreme example of the person that goes on the zero carb diet to “starve the candida” or the person that takes antiviral and antibacterial herbs to kill the microbes that they believe to be the source of his problems or the doctor that prescribes antibiotics for every single infection he treats.
Those microbes are all real and often times DO cause disease on one level, but the situation is best looked at from a larger viewpoint.
Again well said. I wish I could convince my mom that her issues are not candida and mycobacterium. She has driven herself insane with the diets, the anti-fungals, the homeopathic tinctures. She sees this lady who has one of this computer thingamajigs where you hold the copper handle and have your acu points probed and it tells you what pathogens you have. Some are called mora machines? Know what I’m talking about? Well she goes there once a week or so and comes back with $700 worth of tinctures and supplements and herbs. And she still isn’t “well”. It makes me sad.
If only a machine could tell us exactly what we needed to be healthy. Actually that would take all the fun out of it — way too easy! And there are so many life lessons that come out of bad health.
Have you experienced any of the same health problems your mom has?
I have yes. I inherited both her weak constitution (but got half of my dad’s super duper strong constitution) and then sort of “caught” a lot of her neurosis about health. The whole candida thing etc…. Its a long story. I could write a novel about my health problems/experiences and how they relate to my mom genetically and psychologically. The main difference is that I’ve been lucky enough to heal the neurosis (to a degree) and get a really solid medical education by going to school for 7 years. She is still really “in it” and consumed day in and day out by her symptoms. And seeing like 5 different doctors who all contradict each other and change her healing program constantly and cancel one another out and screw her up. And she still has the dang candida 20 years later. Is that possible? I don’t know. As an acupuncturist and herbalist I would treat her very differently but, as you probably know, its nearly impossible to treat your family.
Yeah, I know it can be difficult to let go of trying to heal your mom. I only let go of thinking I knew what was best for my parents when I realized I didn’t even know what was best for myself. It’s not your job to try to fix her.
It’s been my experience that ancestral karma, cellular memory, or genetic predispositions can be actualized in any number of ways by any number of life paths. I lived my life completely differently than my parents, in a way that I believed was “healthy” at the time, but I ended up having all the same health problems as my parents (lower back injury, asthma, digestive problems, weak skin constitution, etc). As the next generation we have the opportunity to face these issues and heal the underlying conditions, which in my experience go much deeper than the food.
My mind will still occasionally fall back to the old fear-based approach to health (trying to kill candida, eat a more pure diet, etc), but those thoughts lose their energy after a while and just come and go without me acting on them. And I’ve noticed they only really ever arise when I’m not feeling good and I feel like there is something that is wrong with me or that needs to be fixed, so I know immediately that there’s is not much truth to the impulse and that it is just coming out of a fear.
Ps sounds like that person you are referring to has read too many Hulda Clark books. (she says all diseases are caused by parasites)
Yes, that claim is really unfortunate because it is sensationalist, overly simplistic and just plain inaccurate, which diminishes the value in Clark’s works. Parasites *do* screw things up badly in the body, but they’re not THAT hard to get rid of.
From everything that I hear people saying about parasites, it sounds like they have a 190 IQ and could beat stephen hawking at jeopardy. “first you have to kill them but then you have to kill the eggs and then you have to repeat it for six cycles and avoid these 72 foods which the parasites make you crave and feed them. and then the parasites burrow deeper in and you have to kill them again in another few months etc… etc… etc….”. I freaking gave up on parasites 5 years ago. I lump it in with the candida, general microbial overgrowth thing. You can kill all of of to a point but you have to change the terrain and isn’t it normal to have some parasites?? like its normal to have some candida and staph and e.coli etc… do you know what Im sayin?
which makes me wonder, could it be normal to have very tiny amounts of spirochetal bacteria in your system as well?
Yep, I think the real problem is that people expect that once the parasites are gone that every health problem they’ve had will instantly get better. When that doesn’t happen, they start to obsess about “really” getting rid of them, when they’re already dealt with! One month of herbs + daily zapping with a plug-in zapper over a range of frequencies will get the job done.
After that, it’s time to focus on healing the gut, rebuilding good bacteria, supporting the liver, bringing up metabolism, increasing cellular mitochondrial energy production, exercising in the right ways and amounts, and building nutrient / mineral reserves back up.
A body that has been weakened over decades from nutrient/mineral depletion, gut dysbiosis, parasites, alcohol, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, toxicity, etc. needs time, persistence and patience to rebuild. If people understood that at the outset, they might be less prone to looking for the “one” miracle “cure” for their problems. Multiple problems mean multiple remedies will be needed.
Yeah, killing off all these microbes is like trying to gun down Chinese people that try to come to your restaurant. Instead of trying to kill them all off, you should think first about switching from being a Chinese buffet to specializing in Weinerschnitzel or something. Not alluding to the prospects of doing a Weinerschnitzel cleanse to get rid of parasites, but I do welcome anyone to experiment with that. But seriously, if you’re the only Chinese buffet in town, the Chinese people are gonna find you. Especially in the midwest.
I would try it but I can’t stand weinerschnizel. ;)
Lyme disease is very real up here in the woods of northern MN. Deer ticks are becoming an epidemic because population control is a fire and there just aren’t a lot of forest fires anymore around these parts. Also the deer population is exploding and they pretty much live in the city, i have at least 10 deer walking through my yard every day.
This is off topic a little but worth a try I think: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zDya0KroCs
Videos like this amke me wanna shut my eyes and pretend I can be like that too.
However,it doesn’t work that way for everybody…at least not me…..I’m (easily) addicted to all the stuff that’s bad for me. That probably also lead me towards the downward spiral during all these years. At first I thought it was bc of Lyme&Co……now after having read GAPS&Wilson’s Book I’m more inclined to think I’ve had the misfortune of being born with bad gut flora&weak adrenals&possible thyroid,pre-Diabetes? when I look back on my life and family members’ lifes……ofcourse they all think this is bogus and keep eating all their glutononous bread,pasta,MSG laden Chinese take-out&prepared refined meals&sauces,pie’s etc. Yet they’re also the ones complaining about lots of pains,tiredness,mental moods etc……that’s the thing,I notice eating Paleo does my health good,however it doesn’t mean I’m comfortable with it….or necessarily like it. (As long as I don’t eat it,I actually miss it less over time,however once ingested I feel the pain of what I’m missing and,like Matt describes in his Diet Recovery,go all overboard)
Just saw the movie The Bucket List,if I knew I was gonna die within a certain amount of time,I’d eat all the stuff I’m addicted to….cause it wouldn’t matter anymore if something caused joint-pains,fatigue,depression&lethargy needing to eat more of it to feel good again,seeing double,feeling like passing out,getting fat&diabetic……The coffin would probably be 50pounds heavier;)
Who knows I might even loose my anxiety to live life/lifefright!
Ya it would be nice just to eat whatever, but I guess that’s not reality is it. I’m not so sure if the f**k it diet would work anyways! Maybe the f**k it excersize plan.
I was”diagnosed” last week from a local alternative health practice that I have Candida overgrowth and was prescribed a diet to kill the yeast. Backing up a few months, I raarfd from the beginning of the year balooning up 20 pounds and feeling great, but finding I am more uncomfortable, and needing a new closet of clothes for work. So off I went again to the low carb thing. This was not just for diet, but to try to naturally “cure” my heartburn and this strange red rash on my forehead over the last 2 years. Now all of the sudden, I am give the reason for the heartburn and the rash…Candida. But, being a follower and owner of the products from Matt, I am struggling with the Candida diet as the cure. I am at such a loss. Just last week, I spoke to some very friendly people at the Fort Collins, CO Westin Price chapter. They seem to think Westin’s method can help me with these. I am confused. Trust me – I want to ETF, but if I truly am feeding this internal compost, I stress. Anyone been here done that offer any advice? Just getting the straight and narrow on the Candida diet is crazy. Dont eat rice, oh you can eat rice, dont eat dairy (i love me some IC). Just looking for some experienced input here.
Thanks in advance,
brewing in NoCO
As far as candida is concerned, you’re much better off eating a very high-carbohydrate diet for reducing candida overgrowth. A combination of sugars and starches.
Thanks Matt…I just retread your 180 DD ebook…great stuff! Thanks for what you do.
Can you elaborate on this a little bit? Is it because the carbs will help the adrenals etc?? I am asking because my mother is about to do her 75th candida cleanse and is on diflucan again. And is angry at her former holistic doctor for telling her that she could eat carbs and sugar.
Carbs quiet down the adrenals yes. Avoiding carbs causes insulin resistance to sugar levels surge when a low-carber eats carbs – the result is often candida blooms and all kinds of other havoc. But it is temporary, and the health destruction of avoiding carbs is much more severe than what candida will do to someone.
This has nothing to do with Lyme disease…
A long time a go in a galaxy far, far away ( I live in Sweden) long before low carb or Atkins came in to my life, I had problems with my blood sugar. Every day about a half hour before lunch I used to get really, really cranky. Everybody at work knew this and stayed away from me till after lunch. Then I was all nice and charming again :)
I began reading about low carb and figured that my crashes before lunch must be from my carby breakfast. Then the journey began. Started training too becouse your supposed to. Started to get less healthy ( suprice!!!)
Now when I think back, I used to have coffee at 9-10 am every day. More likely this caused my crashes then my oatmeal breakfast. Took me almost an eternity to figure that out :)
This is so cool I think. I really need to stop drinking coffee and tea.
It can be oatmeal as well, especially if it is cooked in water and no salt, sweetener, or fat is added. And it can just be that time of day. That’s when most people have the hardest time avoiding feeling crashed out.
Do you know what causes this “A lot of people with CFS and lyme’s are exhausted during the day and then wake up at night.” I’ve had CFS for 20 years but recently have had a little energy at night.
It has to do with cellular concentrations of salt and sugar peaking in the evening vs. earlier in the day. This may also tie into adrenal hormone secretions. It’s very typical for a lot of people to only come to life late in the evening.
Does RRARFing help shift that? So you can be more awake during the day and sleep at night vs other way around?
Waking up and pigging out first thing often helps a lot of people. As does reversing the pattern to eat more lightly at night in comparison. As does monitoring fluid and salt to keep your cellular energy levels higher – like they are in the evening. You’ll also probably notice your body warmth and mood peaking in the evening along with your energy levels. If you can feel that way at night, you can feel that way all day. It’s not something that happens over night, it’s more like the time you start to feel good slowly inches its way back towards the morning.
Makes perfect sense! Thank you!!
Thanks, Matt! I’m doing Diet Recovery for a month now. Where can I learn more about healing my adrenals? I got a refractometer and try to stay around 5 brix so I’m not peeing every ten minutes :) I appreciate what you are doing. ~ V
The warmer you keep your feet and hands, the more your adrenals are relaxing. That’s the only way to rebuild them.
Matt, I’m just throwing this idea out because it’s been on my mind. Have you heard of people taking high-temperature baths to drive their body temperatures up? It’s kind of like inducing a fever state that lasts for a couple hours. I haven’t done one of them in a while, but I’m thinking about trying it again to see what (if any) effect it has on my brix, which I’ve been measuring somewhat obsessively for the last week since I got my refractometer.
Ever tried it? I’m talking HOT, not just kinda hot. What I do is run the tub 1/3 full with hot water, then let it cool for about 10 minutes to allow my hot water heater to refill/reheat and for the water in the tub to cool down enough that I can get into it. Once in the water, I fill the tub with the hottest water that I can tolerate, then I soak for 20 minutes. This is not for the weak…It is a stressful event! Sweat pours from my head within a minute, and the rest of the body is probably sweating profusely, too. Heart rate goes way up and breathing wants to speed up. I have to consciously slow my breathing down in order to last for 20 minutes.
I add sea salt and epsom salts to the bath, and it is definitely good for soothing sore muscles. I wonder if the temporary “feverish” state that it produces could help stimulate the immune system as well…
I have tried this few times in the last year, and definitely makes acne go away for a few days. Not sure if that is salts or the heat or the stress either…
I have definitely heard of this for treating cancer and for stimulating the immune system. I don’t think that it is good for the adrenals/metablolism healing though because of how much you sweat and how fast the heart has to beat. Both of those things are very taxing to the body. That is my opinion coming from a Chinese medicine background where we believe that sweating depletes the “heart yang” (just depletes the qi basically) and a rapid heart rate is never a good thing.
Thanks UT and Sarah for your comments. Sarah, it makes sense that even though it can boost the immune system, it would tax the metabolism instead of boosting it. Back when I was doing this on a weekly basis, I noticed that my resting heart rate was really low, like 50bpm. That’s one reason I stopped doing them, along with feeling tired for the rest of the night after a hot bath.
I don’t know anything about Chinese medicine, so I wasn’t aware that it doesn’t like sweating or rapid heart rate. TCM practitioners must just shake their heads at things like infra-red saunas, eh?
Well actually we use infared lamps on almost every person we treat so they would actually probably think they were fine so long as they were done for short periods of time and with the temp low-ish. Nothing like those 140 degree saunas for 30 minutes. definitely not!!
“Hydro-therapy” is one of the mainstays of western medicine throughout the ages. Going from a hot bath to a cold dip over and over again stimulates the immune system and moves the lymphatics. Its a great way to stay healthy or to help get over a cold. It doesn’t need to be an ice bath or a blazing hot bath either. if the temperature difference is 30 -35 degrees different it will achieve the desired results.
Speaking of hot baths and hydro therapy, Im about to take a bath in my jacuzzi tub because its cold in LA today :) Though I am feeling quite warm and nice since I just ate 2 snickers bars. (RRARF bitches!!!) xo
Yes I’ve heard of that. I think taking cold baths is more compelling for getting your body to warm itself on its own. But any warmth is better than no warmth at all, even if it is stimulated by hot baths or exercise as opposed to generated from within purely through metabolic stimulation.
The super hot bath is interesting. Others (like Tim Ferriss) believe in ice baths, particularly for men to increase T-levels. Maybe you can do a Shaolin monk kind of thing and go from one to the other…
Best idea ever! :-) I’ve done plenty of contrast showers, and even cooled off after a super-hot bath with the coldest shower possible (well water is pretty cold). I’ve never done an ICE bath like Tim Ferriss, though.
Altering between super hot and cold. Sounds like sauna and ice bath. Or a roll in the snow :-)
Do an ice bath you friggin’ wuss!
Throwin’ down the gauntlet!
Timmay Ferris thinks ice baths help to burn fat and turn white fat into the more superior brown fat. I’m not really convinced, but I’ll try it once just to see what happens.
Once? Once? How about once per hour for a month? Guarantee you won’t have any coldness at room temp. after getting your body to adapt to that!
LoL, I’m not man enough to accept THAT challenge, but maybe you can try it and let us know how it goes? You could do one ice bath per day for 30 days and see what happens. After all, you’re the master experimenter here, as well as a master debater.
If Timmaaayyy is right, you might end up with a 6-pack as a result…
Perhaps you’ll even assume room temperature yourself. Then all problems will be solved.
Health is wealth .. and ur article which is very spontaneously provide this information .. i like ur article very much … so keep up the good work ..:)
I have done the hot bath/sauna thing successfully during cold and flu season. I take the hottest bath possible if I feel a cold coming on and it always seems to help. Once a virus has set in, I find it doesn’t really do much, though it can feel nice if you are achy. We built a sauna this year and I’ve been taking regular saunas since January. It is very good for stress relief, which I think helps the immune system, but it’s an indirect effect. Also, if I’m taking a sauna, I’m not ending my day watching TV, which I think is actually so much better for my over all health. I sleep much better after a sauna, just like a rock. My only worry is that I’m sweating out too much iron, since iron has always been an issue for me.
I think Matt should give us a brown fat experiment, though good luck with that in FL. Maybe move someplace cold and live without central heating. Lynne Cox who holds the world record for swimming in antarctic waters, converted to brown fat by sleeping with her windows open in a cold climate. It also helped that she swam in icy water all the time.
What the heck is brown fat???? Im intrigued!!!
So, I am researching something totally not Lyme related, but in the process of doing so came across a forum discussing Lyme….and a few of the posters talk about their Lyme starting with cold hands and feet. Interesting esp in light of the link between cold extremities and crappy metabolism. Hmmm…
Interesting yes, but most illness will cause cold hands and feet.
My sister live in Northern Virginia and has been “clear” of breast cancer for about 8 years….she has had severe asthma and tiredness, etc for about a year, out of line of what should be happening, considering her health status…..her insurance (which she pays dearly for, an individual policy) would not cover a very expensive dr. in Maryland, who specializes in Lyme disease….I cannot get much information from her (she is very defensive about it) but, I do know that he is charging her huge private fees and has her on 6 antibiotics….she is NOT feeling any better (It has been a couple of mos), but says that it is “rampant” where she is and that several neighbors of hers have gone through a longterm antibiotic treatment and are “living better”….he says she has Bartonellis and Babesia, BTW…she is not independently wealthy (she is a piano teacher) and I am afraid she is being ripped off….any place to refer me? THANKS
Try going to http://aldf.com/
And AVOID those silly homeopathy / acupuncture / magic crystal holistic sites run by scatterbrains.
“Curing Lyme with acupuncture” or maybe FengShui… OMG! Get real, ladies!
Well, IMO, Lyme and even Chronic Lyme do exist. I know because I have it. After years of running from one doctor to the next and just getting sicker and sicker, I bit the bullet and did the IgeneX test (which insurance will cover as out-of-network, so I was partially reimbursed.) My doctor would never diagnose someone without doing both lab testing AND a clinical exam. That said, I think people who end up with Chronic Lyme (or whatever else they have) get that way because they are not mounting a proper immune response, as has been said here. Almost everyone I’ve seen with Lyme has hypothyroidism and/or adrenal insufficiency (i.e., low cortisol).
Some say the Lyme gave them their endocrine disorders. I’m not sure I agree with that. I tend to believe it’s the other way around. Healthy people probably have contracted Lyme, are sick a week or two, and that’s the end of it. If your metabolism is effed, no, you won’t mount a proper immune response. If you can’t make enough cortisol, you won’t mount a proper immune response.
I was a heavy dieter my entire life, and the years preceding Lyme were very much low-carb. Coincidence? I think not!
The Lyme treatment has gotten me out of the hole, but I realize I’ll never regain my health without metabolic rehab, which has led me to this site. I don’t know if my adrenals can function optimally on their own or not, but I guess I’ll find out. What I do know is that if my adreanls were predisposed to being weak and not being able to make enough cortisol for stress (and serious infections), my diet habits certainly killed off whatever function they had. And my poor conversion of t4 to t3 may also be the result of low-carbing. DOH. Obviously, infections lower conversion, too, so I wasn’t in a position to just try to cure myself with my diet. I had no choice but to treat Lyme while trying to work on the other stuff.
I do think it’s a shame, though, that people are treated for Lyme without testing (WTF?) or made to buy expensive treatment protocols. It really undermines the reality of Lyme. Nor do I think that EVERYTHING is Lyme. I also believe many people seem to go on treating Lyme forever because they (and their doctors) fail to recognize the significance of not treating their hormonal/endocrine issues. You cannot fight anything without a proper immune system and your immune system cannot work if you have endocrine disorders.
I am pretty much convinced I wouldn’t have gotten Lyme or the many reactivating viruses I also had if my diet hadn’t sucked so badly and my endocrine and immune systems went into the toilet. But onwards and upwards!
I hope you’re having better luck now. And I think your assessment of your situation is right on. Licorice can be very helpful for low cortisol conditions, it worked for me.
I want to tell you, I went undiagnosed for almost two years, I have now had lyme for a little over three. I am a husband, a father of two, and at 57 a hard working regular guy…but not so regular anymore! I have even on anti biotics continued to go down hill, although I continue to work I have trouble doing littlle things…like getting to work cause I get lost!!!
Aside from the flaw in the medical community and lack of funds for research, there is nothing that makes me loose my mind more than those out there “lyme literate doctors” who make a killing on this disease, I know that up till now some doctors have lost their licenses for long term antibiotic treatments thus I’m guessing the out of control costs????? …but having gotten caught up in and with some of these guys, if they’re is a judgement day, they will get theirs!!!…although I doubt it!!! All I can say that this disease is not only real, but after over three years, I just try to make it through the day!!!! I will also say that I’m sure that they’re are those given undiagnosed symptoms that may fall into this category (lyme disease) but that’s because even today this disease is highly misunderstood with still no acurate testing!!! All I know is that three years ago, about a month after getting the bullseye I started to get flu like conditions…how I long for those day’s!!!!!!
I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy!!! …including those who question or even hint that this may be a hoax!!!
Dude! A bulls eye and flu like symptoms??? If you’d have gotten on antibioitcs lickity split, you’d have been good! We’re not talking so much about that kind of obvious Lyme. We’re talking about the kind where folks present with a bunch of weird stuff like fatigue and painful joints and then a doctor makes a ruling that it’s Lyme and they’ve had it for decades and here, take a million of my special treatments. That kind of Lyme.
I went over this site and I think you have plenty of
great information, saved as a favorite.
I went over this site also. And as soon as I saw the magic words “holistic”, “acupuncture”, “homeopathy”, and “traditional chinese medicine”, I decided to bail outa here.
? No one here has suggested “Ayurvedic” yet.
PS I have (or had) Lyme disease which was contracted last September. After a bout of undiagnosed** Lyme Carditis (3rd degree heart-block) which resulted in a pacemaker being implanted, a three week regimen of Doxycycline fixed things up. I feel great now.
Anyone wanna buy a (slightly used) Medtronics pacemaker? Comes with two leads currently screwed into thw walls of my heart. Buyer is responsible for all medical costs and insurance regarding its removal. Price: TBD.
** Actually self-diagnosed. But as it took three weeks for the Western Blot test results to come back (positive), they fitted me with the damn pacemaker anyhow. I hate that thing!
Three-six weeks of Doxicycline can indeed treat acute Lyme. I’m glad that worked for you.
Several comments indicate that the reader thinks the author is saying that Lyme Disease is a hoax, but it appears to me that the author is suggesting that the treatment prescribed by most “Lyme-Literate MDs” is a hoax, and not the disease itself.
Lyme Disease does exist, and has apparently existed for a very long time. The frozen body of Otzi, a man who lived 5000 years ago in the Alps and which was discovered in 1991, tested positive for Lyme Disease. Yet he was apparently living a fairly healthy lifestyle when he died at age 45 – after being shot with an arrow by an unknown enemy.
I believe that the traditional and alternative medical community knows very little about Lyme Disease as yet, although they often talk and act as if they know everything there is to know about it and prescribe incredibly complex, often dangerous, and always very expensive treatments for this disease that we know almost nothing about.
All 9 members of my immediate family (siblings, their spouses, their children) have tested positive for Lyme. Yet only 2 of them are actually displaying serious, disabling symptoms. Both of these relatives have been under the treatment of Lyme Literate MDs for several years, and both are dramatically more disabled now than they were when they first began treatment.
I have watched them very closely and I believe the treatment is actually making them more sick and more disabled than if they pursued no treatment at all. They have also spent tens of thousands of dollars for what I consider to be useless tests, drugs and supplements. Their treatment is so complicated that they spend every waking moment thinking about nothing but their Lyme protocols – including diet, medications, supplements, blood pressure, allergies, fever, sleep patterns, etc. They talk about nothing else – it has taken over their lives – and their LLMD has become their spiritual and physical guru, whose every word is Holy Writ. They have quit their jobs, lost considerable weight, and are broke.
From this experience I have concluded that Lyme Disease, if properly diagnosed, is something that people just have to live with in as healthy and rational a manner as possible because there isn’t enough valid scientific evidence about how this disease works or spreads to develop a useful treatment or develop any kind of cure. Any treatment that makes the patient more sick for years and years can’t possibly be rational or useful.
Since all my relatives apparently have Lyme Disease, I decided to have myself tested, and I was not surprised to test positive for it, although to my certain knowledge I have never been bitten by a tick. Out of curiosity I then made an appointment with a nearby LLMD, who sent me 60 pages of questionnaires to fill out. For a fee of $450 he spent an hour and half telling me that every single ailment I have suffered from in the past 50 years was undoubtedly due to Lyme Disease. He has absolutely zero medical or scientific evidence for these statements. He wanted me to spend about $8000 for various tests, which I declined to do. He then threatened me with imminent permanent physical and mental disability possibly leading to an early death if I didn’t follow his treatment.
Frankly, I’d rather live with the Lyme Disease than follow his 5-10 year hideously expensive and possibly useless protocol. All of the symptoms he says are signs of Lyme Disease can be attributed to half a dozen other conditions, including past injuries and the normal onset of middle-aged arthritis and menopause and the severe PTSD from which I have suffered for 10 years, brought on by serious long-term traumas that had nothing to do with Lyme Disease.
I relieve most of my symptoms by eating a wide-spectrum healthy diet (no processed foods and buy organic whenever I can afford it which is not often), exercise daily, take inexpensive vitamin and mineral supplements, and have discovered the considerable benefits of apple cider vinegar, in either liquid or pill form.
When I was a girl my mother used to make soup quite often in her pressure cooker that included tomato juice, beef, marrow bones, a small piece of suet, chopped celery, diced carrots, cabbage, and half a cup of cider vinegar. Add rice, and you have a tasty nutritious soup. She learned this recipe from HER mother, who was an illiterate herbalist and who swore by it’s curative properties.
My mother made this soup whenever anyone in the family was sick, and it always made us feel better immediately. She and my father ate this soup every day for lunch for the last 20 years of their lives – and they lived to be 90 and 80 years old and never caught a cold or suffered from anything other than mild arthritis aches and pains. My mother would have lived to be 90 as well as my father if she hadn’t had rheumatic fever as a young woman which eventually caused heart failure (actually the hospital killed her during her last illness by forgetting to give her one of her primary heart medications for 3 days, leading to pneumonia and fatal congestive heart failure).
I now eat this soup every day for lunch, and half of my symptoms have disappeared. My memory and mental focus have improved dramatically, my arthritis pain has been reduced about 50%, I have considerably more energy, I sleep better, I am no longer sensitive to mold or strong perfumes, my skin no longer itches, my hair is thicker, my skin is clearer, my digestion and elimination are both improved.
It costs me about $15 to make a large pot of this soup in my largest pressure cooker, and it lasts for a week. The supplements the LLMD wanted me to take would have cost me about $100 per week at least.
In summary, I refuse to turn over control of my life to traditional or alternative medical practitioners whose treatment will undoubtedly make me more sick than I was when I first walked in the door of their office while simultaneously bankrupting me. I refuse to become obsessed by a treatment protocol that consumes every waking moment.
Hopefully we will one day learn enough about Lyme Disease to develop a rational treatment, but until then I suggest you keep an open mind, stay away from all processed foods, and try apple cider vinegar – it comes in pill form if you don’t want to cook with it or take it in liquid form.
Anyone who wants to try my mother’s soup is welcome to ask for the recipe and I will send it to them.
Maeve, you are exactly right. I wrote this as a comment on the site, and I am not suggesting that Lyme Disease is a hoax. It is real and can be quite debilitating.
I am suggesting, like you said, that LLMD’s are for the most part, a horrible waste of money. They play on people’s need to find a label or a cure all for their numerous nebulous ailments, and make a killing in the process. Like I stated, my particular LLMD was not that kind of guy. He made little money and truly believed in his protocol. But every other LLMD in my area wanted $800 cash just for the intake appointment along with innumerable other costs for use of weird machines, vitamin C IV drips, blah blah blah.
I don’t know if I have Lyme disease. I probably do Why not. I live in eastern PA, we are overrun with deer ticks. According to my blood tests I also have Eppstein-Barr and Mono. But I have never shown symptoms of either. We live on a planet overrun with lifeforms all trying to take each other out for their own gain. I really do believe that unless an extreme cure is used only in the short term and with great odds for positive results, the best bet is strengthening of the whole system. I bet your soup is excellent to that end. Like we talk about elsewhere on the site, improving metabolism is key as well. Tonight I had a recurrence of my “Lyme” symptoms- I didn’t eat very much today and then I went and ran around and jumped in a creek. Metabolism went way way down. Came home, it was 80 degrees in the house but I had to turn off all fans and air conditioners and get under the covers. My muscles were all tight and achy, my Achille’s tendon would not flex, I had deep circles under my eyes, all my joints ached.Some fried rice, chicken and broccoli, spicy ginger ale and a little chocolate later and I’m sweltering hot again. I’m perfectly bendy and free of all pain. You really must eat enough, that is a big thing. And rest enough. Utilizing herbs and qi gong, acupuncture, reiki, yoga, meditation, all of that stuff can bolster your systems as well. But a lifetime spent on microbe killing drugs? On IV’s? Not living at all? Weakening your systems further with strange therapies, the worst of which I believe is avoiding all sugars? Not a good way to go.
I love your name, that’s my niece’s name! Are you Irish?
Yes, I’m part Irish. Also German, Danish, English, Scots, Hungarian, Polish and Italian with a trace of Native American. In my extended family of cousins in the 1st and 2nd degree we also have African Americans, Hispanics, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Syrian, Kurdish, Russian, Greek, French, Austrian and Spanish. If you can name a religion, someone in my family is a member. We are a true melting pot in the best “American” sense. My father used to say he should run for Prseident as he had relatives in every majority AND minority group. The only genes we know we don’t carry are Australian Aborigine and Inuit.
I don’t know how old you are, but I am 56. All my alleged Lyme Disease symptoms began during peri-menopause at age 48. Before that I was so healthy it was embarrassing. Menopause changed everything for the worse. One of my theories is that my body is beginning to break down due to age and the associated physical and hormonal changes, and this may be permitting the Lyme that my immune system was previously suppressing to flourish.
After all, if I’d lived 500 years ago I’d almost certainly have been dead by this age – if not in childbirth, then from smallpox, plague, sweating sickness, infection, or some other disease we don’t encounter today. I’m not sure our physiology has evolved sufficiently to cope with the longer lifespans that modern lifestyles and modern medicine have made possible.
My disabled relatives are in their early 30’s. Both of them have been sickly since early childhood – they obviously had weak immune systems as early as age 3 or 4, long before either could have been exposed to Lyme. I suspect that the disease has taken hold more strongly in them because their health was already compromised when they were infected.
I would love to know that recipe. sounds great.
hello Maeve, would you be able to send me the recipe for your mother’s soup? I’m 24 and just got a tick bite a few months ago and was put on doxy for a month, two weeks after the bite and extreme fatigue. Right now i’m trying different ways to really ramp up my overall health and i feel much better. Thanks :]
Thank you for this article! A doctor just diagnosed me with ‘HIV’ and wrote prescriptions for some pretty potent drugs that seem really dangerous. Should I take them?
I’ve been having some weird symptoms and I feel like shit. But at the same time, I’m not gay, I’ve never done intravenous drugs and I don’t think I’ve ever had unprotected sex.
Even if this doctor is right—It seems like what he really wants is $$$, get me to shell out for a bunch of expensive medicine and “treatments”. He also let me know that he’s also in favor of combining medicine with some “alternative” therapies. (More $$$)
If you think about it–HIV (and so-called “chronic HIV”, often referred to as “AIDS”) but it seems to me that most people live for years and years with it and it’s not really a big deal. Its only if you end up getting some other infection (pneumonia, or the flu, or CMV, whatever) that it really gets bad.
So rather the a bunch of drugs and experimental and alternative “treatments”; the approach in this post just makes so much more sense to me—achieve/maintain a robust terrain and healthy immune system.
If the above comparison seems insensitive or unfair, re-read Matts article but substitute the word “lyme” with “HIV”, or shit, mix it up and do “tuberculosis”. If you do this, the problems with the article should become immediately and abundantly clear.
Similar to HIV, Lyme actually handicaps the immune system. Not to the same degree as full-blown AIDS, but enough to where people end up with a bunch of other, often sub-clinical infections on top of the Lyme.
It’s also why Lyme is a clinical diagnosis. Clinical diagnosis means; as of today, there’s no test that can tell you that you DONT have Lyme.
Guess what else is a clinical diagnosis? Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, the list goes on. There are tests that can confirm yes, you do have Alzheimer’s. But there is no test that can confirm that you DONT have it.
No, I did not just pull a rabbit out of my ass and no, I’m not trying f*ck with you.
The REASONs that Lyme is a clinical diagnosis are two-fold:
1. Currently available testing sucks. There are 300+ strains of Lyme disease. Current testing covers…1-2 strains. 4 strains max if you got the fancy test. (This may change, new tests are being developed but we’re not there yet)
2. The test measure ANTIBODIES—those substances *your immune system* makes in *response* to a bug. Lyme literally infiltrates the immune system and hides, much in the same way that drug cartels infiltrated the police in Mexico and now the whole country is a f#%king mess and its a goddamm shame.
So, if *you’re.not.making* antibodies because the lyme has altered its protein structure to make it look like your own T cells (yes’m it actually does that), that antibody test is gonna turn up negative. Your own immune system has waved these guys right on past the border no problem-o cuz they’re dressed in police uniforms and driving a squad car. The Lyme travels with impunity, wreaking havoc and basically doing whatever it wants, all the while undermining the integrity of your body systems including hormones.
Up until reading this, I have been a big Matt Stone fan. However, the reasoning in this article is so sloppy, so poorly researched, and so wholly ignorant that I now feel I must re-evaluate everything Matt has written that I’ve been on board with.