Lyme: Diet tips experts can ALL agree on

Diet is one of those things that no one agrees on. If diet fads were countries they would all be at war. This article delves into just how overwhelming the differences are, but today let’s talk about some of the things they all agree on.

Genetics must be taken into account

  • Some ethnicities have more amylase with which to break down carbs, making starches easier to digest, while others have HLA gene mutations that negatively affect starch and gluten digestion.
  • Some individuals have difficulty metabolizing fructose, while others have difficulty metabolizing protein.
  • Most lymies have MTHFR homozygous or heterozygous genes, which mean that taking synthetic B-vitamins is a big NO-NO and keeping an eye on your homocysteine levels can make a difference in your recovery.
  • Most might also have the HLA DQ gene, indicative of gluten intolerance and Hashimoto’s.
  • “Once a gene…has been turned on, it can’t be turned off. The only thing to be done clinically is to turn down the volume on the immune response by restoring balance” – Why do I still have thyroid symptoms?

Fermentable carbs feed gut bacteria

  • Fiber ferments in our guts and feeds bacteria. Whether this is good or bad is widely disputed.
  • I DON’T know if resistant starch feeds the “good” stuff or “bad” stuff. I know that if you have Klebsiella in particular that resistant starch is best avoided.
  • I DON’T know if prebiotics like inulin and FOS are good or detrimental. Studies support both sides.
  • I DON’T know if fiber is estrogenic as some experts claim, or anti-estrogenic because of its sweeping abilities.

We have more research to do on probiotics

  • I DON’T know if your probiotics are working. Some studies suggest that they prevent C. difficile, some studies suggest that they create endotoxins, and some other studies suggest that some of the strains in our probiotics are actually bad bacteria.

Getting your nutritional needs met through food is superior to getting them from supplements

  • Terry Wahls is right about at least one thing: synthetic vitamins don’t support our bodies nearly as well as food. If you are deficient in something, google food sources and then decide whether or not these foods are appropriate for you and will cover the daily values you need. Some things, like vitamin D and magnesium, are hard to get through food alone. Supplementing these might help, but I DON’T know for sure if the synthetic sources are good or harmful (studies back and reject vitamin D, and some studies suggest we need magnesium supplementation while others suggest that magnesium feeds spirochetes).

Sick people should “add” more than they should “subtract”

  • This is something I hear Chinese medicine specialists say. Instead of restricting calories, patients should increase them. Instead of reducing body temperature with “cooling” foods, patients should increase body temperature with “warming foods”. Fasting, chelation, and anything that in one way or another takes away something from your body will tax a weak body, no matter how miraculous the outcome may be.
  • I DON’T know if there is a time and place for fasting when sick. While fasting depletes adrenals, nutrients, etc., many people vouch for it as a healing practice (increasing the metabolism of pathogens and putting us into a ketogenic state).

Herxing should be mild, if even that

  • I don’t believe extreme herxing is a sign of good things to come. A mild herx is okay, but a severe herx may actually slow your recovery.
  • If your lymph glands are swollen, slow down on the bug-killing. Swollen lymph glands means that you are not eliminating antigens (probably dead-bug debris) fast enough to keep up with the pace that you are killing them.
  • I DON’T know if “herxing” is just attributed to bacteria dying off, or if you are having drug side effects from a poor xenobiotic metabolism, a genetic condition many of us have.

We should not over-do Omega 6

  • Instead of mega-dosing on fish oil (something that some experts suggest is terrible for you because omega 3 oxidizes easily), I’m confident that minimizing Omega-6 is a better option. This is not to say that you should remove nuts and seeds entirely from your diet (though, for the most part I have). But maintaining a balanced ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 is more important than having a ton of both and hoping your fish oil supplements make your omega 3 levels champion over your pistachio benders (mmm…pistachios).

Just because we are told one vitamin, mineral or food is good for us does not mean that it is

  • It’s easy to get caught up in one perspective when there is so much info out there that supports it!
  • Doubt everything, especially if you are overly gung-ho about it. Doubt what you read and especially doubt what your doctor tells you. Have patience and research contradictory theories before you go popping every pill someone tells you to take.
  • I cannot suggest we all chow down on calf liver, because some genetic mutations make metabolising organ meats really hard.
  • I cannot suggest that we all eat low-carb-high-fat-diets, because this would hurt a lot of people. Those who weight train need more carbs than people who are sedentary. Spirochetes rob us of our sugars, but I cannot suggest that we eliminate sugars in order to stop feeding them nor that we should increase our sugar intake so we have enough sugars for ourselves, too. However, I lean more toward the latter.
  • I cannot suggest that we all eat meat. Those who are frail and pale tend to do better with meat than vegetarian diets, but some people thrive on vegetarian diets. Hell, I’ve seen vegan bodybuilders, though I have NO clue how they’ve pulled that off!
  • Balance is key. Your Th-1 and Th-2 cells should be in balance. You should not be too hot or too cold. Your urine should not be too clear or too yellow. Your pulse should not be too high or too low. We should neither exercise too much nor allow deconditioning…
  • And  – something that took me a long time to learn –  too much of a good thing ain’t a good thing. I’m talking about F.O.O.D. I have tried juice fasting, eating meat 3 times a day, eating heaps of saturated fat all day, going vegan, doing paleo, trying other diets like the SCD, Wahls and GAPS diets, golly just about every fad diet there is. As a result, I lost a healthy relationship with food and started viewing it as either medicine or poison. The fact is, it’s ALL poison when you eat too much of any one thing.
  • I don’t know what your balance will be compared to mine, but I do know it would be nice if you found it!

What you eat really can affect your hormones

  • Just like medications, what you take in as food has the ability to produce unwanted side effects.
  • Some foods contain phytoestrogens, which affect estrogen production (whether for better or worse is still controversial, though I suspect phytoestrogens make estrogen dominance worse).
  • Some foods are high in poly-unsaturated fats (PUFAs), which some doctors suggest suppress thyroid function. Personally, I avoid overdoing PUFA’s and Omega 6’s like the plague, while others swear by their grains, nuts and seeds. Soaking, sprouting and cooking PUFA’s gets rid of some of the phytic acid that comes in the PUFA-package. Phytic acid is claimed by some to be an “anti-nutrient” and others to be an “anti-oxidant.” I gather it is a bit of both.
  • Some foods are goitrogenic, meaning they suppress thyroid function. The brassica family is especially goitrogenic. This means broccoli, cabbage, spinach and kale may not be as good as you previously thought. Cooking them in water and disposing of the water removes some goitrogens.
  • IF you have a leaky gut, gluten will enter your blood stream. It should not be there, so your body will generate an immune response to target and destroy (metabolise) it. FINE. But this can be more problematic than meets the eye. Gluten shares a similar looking molecular structure to our thyroid hormones, so anything that attacks gluten may mistake our thyroid hormones for the gluten and attack them as well. At any rate, I can say gluten is bad for some people, but I can’t say that it’s bad for us all.

Some foods make biofilm, heavy metals, and bacterial infections worse

  • I can see why low fat works. Fat may be used to generate biofilm. But carbs can feed bacteria. And fish are high in mercury. So, should we just eat red meat, drink water and call it a day? Like I said, all food is poison in high quantities.
  • Biofilm may utilize fat, but without some fat in our diets, our hormones will suffer and our joints will start to hurt (every time I’ve tried going extremely low fat, my hips hurt within 24 hours).
  • Bacteria may utilize sugar, but without carbs our glycogen stores become depleted and our body has to look for fuel elsewhere (which usually means your muscles will start catabolizing so your body can use them as fuel). And although I am SO guilty of fearing dem’ sugar-eating buggers, some studies suggest that if we completely remove sugars from our diet, the bacteria in our guts will look for fuel elsewhere and start burrowinto into our gut lining. Ingesting a bit of carbs or sugar to “keep them happy” might be a good thing. Not to mention, that if we remove carbs from our diets completely, the “good” bacteria will die, too.
  • Some research supports that the gut should be sterile, meaning that fermented foods and non-enteric coated probiotics could worsen our condition. Other research compares “germ free” rats to normal rats to see how they differ.  The germ free rats have weaker immune systems and get fatter. This would suggest that our 4 pounds of gut bacteria (our microbiome) help metabolise antigens, keep us lean, and support healthy immunity. Because I’ve experience gut-hell from antibiotic use (clindamycin, now THAT was a mistake), I have a bias toward the latter argument.

Infections leech important nutrients from our bodies

  • Iron, collagen, sugar, calcium, magnesium, manganese…these are just some of the things that spirochetes feed on or use as building blocks for biofilm. I can tell you that much. But I CAN’T tell you whether you should avoid these so that you end up losing some battles but winning the war, or if you should increase them so that you don’t end up magnesium-deficient and having seizures, or collagen-deficient and having heart attacks. Everything feeds bacteria. Personally, I avoid inflammatory foods but I don’t avoid bug-foods. I feel like I need to have enough magnesium, sugar, etc, for them and for me.

Now that’s a question. With Lyme Disease, should collagen, magnesium, fat and sugar be eliminated because they feed bacteria and biofilm…or increased, so that we can make our bacteria and our bodies happy?

This has been Lyme: Diet tips experts can ALL agree on. For more wild diet “fun” read And the best diet for Lyme Disease is…

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