I spent countless hours searching for answers before I was finally diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease.
Since Lyme Disease is such a complicated illness, I knew that I could not get better on my own.
I knew I needed to find a doctor who had success in treating Lyme Disease.
Once I found a Lyme Literate MD, I knew my future then depended on one person.
That person was me.
My doctor was responsible for creating a treatment plan, but it was my responsibility to follow the plan. I knew it was ultimately up to me to be the driving force behind my healing.
Below are the steps I took to heal Chronic Neurological Lyme Disease, mold toxicity, and radiation exposure.
While I am still on my healing journey, these are the things that have made major improvements in my health.
Before I tell you the steps I took there is one critical thing to remember.
We are always on a journey. Life is the journey. There is no endpoint; just an infinite amount of small goals and big wins along the way!
This is something helpful to remember when dealing with a chronic illness since there can be many ups and downs.
With that being said, here are my top ten tips to healing Chronic Neurological Lyme Disease:
1. Find a Lyme Literate MD who is also an Integrative Medicine Doctor or Functional Medicine Practitioner
Chronic Lyme Disease is an extremely complicated illness.
I’m not saying that you can’t do it on your own, but I’m saying you shouldn’t do it on your own.
It is crucial to find an MD that is “Lyme Literate” and has a high success rate when it comes to treating patients with Chronic Lyme Disease.
I prefer going the route of an Integrative Medicine or Functional Medicine Practitioner.
I love Naturopathic Doctors, but an Integrative/Functional Doctor will be able to provide the right type of testing.
Once you receive proper testing your doctor can put together a plan specifically geared towards your personal needs.
We all know testing for Lyme Disease can be unreliable and the conventional tests (cough, The Western Blot) are not always accurate.
I have done the Western Blot test multiple times but I never tested positive until I was being treated. This is because the Western Blot detects antibodies associated with Lyme Disease. When someone has had Lyme Disease for a long time, their body is no longer creating antibodies to fight against the bacteria. This is why the Western Blot test is not the best when testing for Chronic Lyme Disease.
When I was finally diagnosed with Lyme Disease, I used the DNA Connexions test to test positive on five bands (strands) of Lyme bacteria. This type of test measures the DNA of Lyme bacteria in your body. When I was able to get a clear picture of what I was dealing with, my Lyme MD was able to start me on a treatment protocol. I can’t stress the importance of working with a doctor who knows Lyme Disease in and out and knows exactly how to treat it.
I want to personally thank Dr. Weston "Wiggy" Saunders and his practice Robinhood Integrative Health for helping me on my journey.
2. Change Your Diet
Switch to a Primal Diet
When I lived in San Diego, I followed mostly a plant-based diet. I loved anything to do with a vegetable! Morally, I hated eating meat because I love animals. Up until this point, I had been a vegetarian for a couple of years with the addition of fish every once in a while. I guess you could say I was a pescatarian!
When I fell deathly ill I was on a vegetarian diet. My blood tests showed I was completely depleted of essential vitamins and minerals. My Functional Medicine Doctor warned me that if I did not start eating meat, I was never going to get better. This sounded ridiculous to me because for so long I thought of meat as the enemy.
It was around this time I figured out I had quite a bit of food allergies. Since I had a major allergy to corn, I could also not consume eggs, turkey, or chicken. That left me with grass-fed beef, lamb, and wild-caught fish. This diet sounded awful to me. The thought of eating meat disgusted me, but I was also willing to do anything to get better. I added these meats into my diet and I slowly started to heal.
Ditch All Grains and Lectins
I started to get mild relief from my symptoms by ditching gluten. However, my autoimmune symptoms really did not improve until I completely transitioned off all grains. Remember, not only did I have Chronic Lyme Disease but I was also dealing with mold toxicity. Mold Toxicity is just as bad if not worse than Lyme Disease itself because it triggers a chronic inflammatory reaction within the body. I also went off of all beans, legumes, dairy, high sugar fruits (except for mangos), and all corn by-products. I started implementing tips from Dr. Wahl’s Paleo diet which is higher in nutrients than a traditional Paleo Diet.
The next approach to me getting much better was transitioning off of all high lectin foods. High lectin foods are beans and legumes, grains, squash, nightshade vegetables, corn and all corn fed meats, certain fruits, etc. I added in more leafy greens, avocados, berries, olive oil, and other vegetables. Check out Dr. Gundry for more information about why you should eliminate high lectin foods if you have an autoimmune disorder.
3. Proper Supplementation
Most Lymies are nutritionally depleted because Lyme bacteria are always scavenging for nutrients. It’s crucial to work with your Lyme Literate MD (LLMD) to properly address nutritional imbalances within your body. Once they give you proper testing, they can determine what supplements you need to take. I’m going to list my supplement regimen below. This does not mean my supplements are for everyone. My doctor has prescribed them to me. I wanted to include them here so you can ask your LLMD about them. My daily supplements are:
- Coenzyme Q10 (for brain function and mitochondrial function)
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamin K
- Magnesium (important for tight muscles)
- Fulvic Acid (improves gut function, immune function, helps the body absorb other nutrients)
- Nattokinase (helps with circulation and thins the blood)
- Activated Charcoal (binds to unhealthy invaders in the body)
- Monolaurin (antiviral)
- MSM Powder (organic sulfur, makes cells more permeable for detoxification)
- Vitamin C (I make sure mine is a non-corn source)
- Mimosa Pudica (paralyzes parasites)
- Organic Hemp oil (CBD oil helps with neurological issues and epilepsy)
- Pregnenolone (hormonal balance)
- Colloidal Silver (antiviral, antibacterial)
- a-Drenal Complex
4. Change Your Mindset - Gratitude Attitude
Now we are getting into a huge component of healing - changing your mindset. I can't stress enough the importance of keeping a gratitude journal! Did you know that a five-minute a day gratitude journal can increase your long-term well-being by more than 10%? It’s scientifically proven that expressing gratitude on a daily basis makes us happier! On top of that, gratitude increases your productivity and makes you a more effective manager. As a result, gratitude helps you to achieve your career goals. It’s also proven that gratitude improves both physical and psychological health, and improves self-esteem.
I am going to get a little woo-woo on you guys! I firmly believe that expressing gratitude connects us to God or The Universe (or whichever you choose to call it). When you give thanks for what you have, you receive more of that. When you give thanks for what you want, you also receive more of that. It’s part of the Law of Attraction. The only thing is, for this to work you really have to feel the emotions attached to it and firmly believe it’s true. For example, when I was deathly ill, I wrote in my gratitude journal every day. I wrote “Thank you for my healing” about ten times I day. While I was writing, I imagined myself getting better. I believed it was true. As crazy as it may sound, I think this was a huge part of my recovery. In my journal, I wrote what I was grateful for (even if I didn’t have it yet) and positive affirmations to keep me focused. These are some examples:
“Thank you for my healing”
“Thank you for showing me the way”
“I am grateful for my healing”
“I am grateful for the people in my life”
“I am grateful for my life”
“I am grateful for my supportive friends and family”
“I am grateful that I am alive and thriving”
“I am grateful for my beauty inside and out”
“I am getting stronger every day”
“I am healing”
“I trust the Universe”
“I trust in God to heal me”
“I am happy and full of life”
“I create joy around me and for others”
“I am fun and people enjoy to be around me”
“I am important”
“I am strong and intelligent”
“I am a warrior”
5. Work Through Trauma and Re-train Your Brain
I had a lot of trauma to work through in order to get on the path to healing. Our mental health is so important to address when dealing with any type of illness. If you have a negative mindset or if your brain keeps re-experiencing the trauma, even the cleanest diet in the world will not help you.
Before I was sick, I had a lot of repressed trauma. This contributed to my downward spiral. On top of this, tick-borne encephalitis had me feeling as if I was on a really bad acid trip (I’ve never done drugs but I’m assuming this is what it would feel like).
After being sick with Neuro-Lyme, I developed a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from experiencing the sickness. PTSD is a disorder where people continue to have intense disturbing thoughts and feelings related to their traumatic experiences that last after the event has ended. They relive these traumatic events through flashbacks or nightmares. It's possible to feel sad, angry, depressed, and detached from other people.
After thorough research, I found EDMR to be the most successful way for treating PTSD. I worked with an EDMR specialist to work through those difficult times. This was an amazing type of therapy and I recommend anyone with trauma to try it!
A great book to check out about brain-retraining is “The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel van der Kolk. In this book, he explains in-depth ways to cope with PTSD using EDMR, neurofeedback, and yoga.
6. Higher Power
When I was thinking I was not going to make it, I turned to God. Coming from a Catholic background I felt comfortable practicing prayer in my time of need. Believe it or not, this helped tremendously. I was never a super strict Catholic, but I had always believed in God or a higher power. I had nights where I would pray and I would fall asleep and dream of what appeared to be heaven. I had meditations where Jesus would appear and show me the beauty of the Earth. If I had not been a believer before, I was a believer now. The power of God is real to me, and anyone can access it.
7. Ozone Therapy
I started Ozone therapy about a year after I was being treated for Lyme Disease. Ozone therapy has done wonders to boost my immune system. However, I believe that it’s important to straighten out your diet and lifestyle before you attempt Ozone MAH (Major Autohemotherapy). It is a long and complex process, and you have to be ready for it - mentally and physically.
What is Ozone Therapy? Ozone therapy is a form of alternative medicine treatment that increases the amount of oxygen in the body through the introduction of ozone. Ozone increases the amount of oxygen in the body, which can help the body to heal by:
- Improving circulation and oxygen supply
- Killing viruses, bacteria, and fungus
- Detoxifying the liver
- Boosting the immune system
Ozone is considered an “alternative therapy” here in the United States while it is commonly used in Europe. The type of Ozone Therapy I am currently doing is Auto-hemotherapy which involves the mixing of drawn blood with ozone, followed by prompt re-infusion into the donor. This is one of the most popular healing procedures among German physicians.
Finding a physician that does ozone therapy and be quite difficult. I would suggest joining an ozone group on Facebook and ask members where they are receiving their treatment.
8. Finding a Purpose
If we don’t have a purpose, we are simply walking in circles! What do you want for your life? Set some goals! Start with a small goal and work your way up to a larger goal. What is the bigger picture of your life? What is your soul’s purpose? If this is too much to think about, simply start small. No goal is too little and no goal is too large. If you put your mind to something, you can and you will accomplish it!
When I was really sick I started playing the piano again. Not only did this give me hope and purpose but it also helped to regenerate my brain by re-growing the myelin sheath. I also found that helping other people find healing from chronic disease gave me a sense of purpose. In simple terms - do what makes you happy!
9. Get Organized
Before Chronic Lyme Disease, I was the most unorganized person on the planet. I was late for everything. My family always told me to be ready an hour before the planned time because they knew I was going to be late. I literally bought a book about time management and I didn’t read it because I didn’t have the time! On a scale of 0-10, my organizational skills were a (1) one.
Around two years ago, I completely turned this around. I am not sure if it was because I was brutally sick or if I was just mentally drained from my unhealthy habits. I knew I had to get my life together and get organized if I was going to get better physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Some tips that helped me to get organized were:
Keeping a calendar on my phone with the Google Calendar App. Not the built in-app. I'm talking about the other calendar app you can download. I love this app because you can color code everything and you can sync it with your email.
Purge material things. Okay, I’ll admit it - I was hoarding. I had so many clothes and other items that I was holding onto for no reason. It felt so good when I just started getting rid of things. If you have not worn something in the past six months, it's time to get rid of it. Purging is a way for me to clear my space physically and mentally.
Start timing your morning routine. Then, try to reduce it as much as possible. I was terrible at getting ready. Then I practiced my routine and started to cut the time down. Now it only takes me about 1.5 hours to get ready in the morning!
Write it down. I am a big fan of handwriting notes because it helps me remember things. I like to write down my goals and daily tasks. Then I cross things off when I finish them, and move onto the next. It's an invigorating feeling to cross things off of your list!
10. Meditation and Yoga
Yoga is so great for the mind, body, and soul. The reason why yoga is so great for Chronic Lyme Disease (especially Neuro Lyme) is because of the way it regulates our central nervous system. The two branches of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) are the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).
Today’s society usually keeps us operating from our sympathetic nervous system (SNS). This is not the best for our bodies since it is a flight or fight state. When we are operating from this state, our blood pressure heart rate and blood sugar levels are elevated. These changes in the SNS help us to deal with a “threat”. Being in this energized state allows a person to run from danger or to prepare for battle.
The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) tends to slow us down so we can return to our natural calm state. In this state, our heart rate and blood pressure is lowered, allowing us to recover from stressful events. This is often called the “rest and digest” state.
Slow yoga and meditation increase activation of the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). This ultimately leads our bodies and minds into a state of relaxation. Vigorous yoga flows can activate the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), but they are always followed by a relaxing deep breathing posture or meditation to balance out the entire autonomic nervous system (ANS). This is why yoga is so amazing! When we practice balance in yoga and meditation this helps us to create healthy habits to bring back into our daily lives.
Combine all of these tips for accelerated healing!
I hope these tips help you to overcome Chronic Lyme Disease or any other chronic illness that you are currently working through. Remember to take it one step at a time! If you put your heart into it, you will facilitate healing!
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