The information below was taken from Why Can’t I Get Better?
Lyme causes inflammation, but so does food, environmental toxins and other autoimmune disorders. This article explains the processes involved in inflammation and the role that Lyme has in it.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation can create heat, redness, pain, swelling and loss of function anywhere in the body. It can take the form of headaches, nasal congestion, arthritis or even swelling around a cut..
The most important cells involved in inflammation are mononuclear cells, a group of cells including monocytes, macrophages, lymphocytes, plasma cells and fibroblasts. They produce inflammatory markers, growth factors and enzymes. And the resulting inflammation can sometimes last for years.
Once we have inflammation, a switch in our cells leads to a steady production of NFKappaB and consequently more inflammatory markers are made. These markers, which include TNF-alpha, interleukin-6 and interleukin-1, are what make you stay in bed when you have the flu.
Lyme also sheds DNA particles called blebs, which convert host cells into targets for the immune system to attack. Blebs can produce antibodies similar to those found with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. (Click here for some ways to decipher Lyme from other autoimmune disorders.)
Lyme and inflammation
•Lyme often causes inflammation in the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system.
•Borrelia burgdorferi express lipoproteins (which are structural complexes of fat and protein on the outside of the organism that can increase inflammation). These lipoproteins stimulate other cells that digest pathogens and produce inflammatory markers like neutrophils and macrophages.
•If inflammation occurs in the peripheral nervous system, the peripheral nerves hurt.
•If inflammation occurs in the central nervous system, demyelination and neurological problems occur.
Lyme and the central nervous system
•Lyme causes inflammation in the central nervous system, particularly in the amyloid metabolism. Amyloids are proteins that damage cells.
•Heavy metals, environmental toxins, chemo, drugs, foods, and pesticides do similar damage.
•Symptoms of brain inflammation include numbness, loss of memory, headaches and cognitive problems.
•Microglia, our first line of immune defense in the CNS, are activated by beta amyloid (a main component of plaques seen with Alzheimer’s). They then release cytokines responsible for neuronal death and dysfunction.
•Lyme patients, like Alzheimer’s patients, have increased TNF-alpha in their central nervous systems. This may explain why they improve when cytokine production is blocked and detoxification becomes a part of their medical treatment.
Co-infections and inflammation
•Mycoplasma increases interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-1 (IL-1) and interleukin-2 (IL-2).
•Bartonella causes peripheral problems, encephalopathy, myelitis, radiculitis, vasculitis and inflammatory ophthalmologic manifestations.
•Human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) can cause inflammation in the liver and brain.
Food sensitivities and inflammation
•Food can cause immune reactions. This involves cellular activation of T cells and natural killer cells. Also, white blood cells release cytokines and histamines, which can cause pain, asthma and allergic reactions.
•Mineral deficiencies such as copper or zinc deficiencies also increase inflammatory cytokines.
•Decrease the amount of inflammatory molecules produced along the nitric oxide pathway.
•Use meds that activate phase II enzymes in the liver, and activate the antioxidant response element (ARE) genes inside cells. When ARE genes are active it is easier to detox.
•Low dose naltrexone, coQ10, B vitamins, ALA, magnesium, zinc, curcumin, sulforpaphane, resveratrol, EGCG, NAC and glutathione help with inflammation.