Why Can’t I Get Better?
Try These 5 Things if You Have Lyme Disease
I hope this site can inspire you when you need inspiration and make you question your medical decisions (in a non-scary, helpful way). This site is here to provide you with clinical information, discuss western and alternative therapies and encourage you to want more than just a Lyme-free body, but a mind and body that is healthy enough to take you where you want to go in life.
First of all, if you have had Lyme for under three weeks, congratulations! Pick up a moderate strength antibiotic and kill it.
Chronic Lyme disease may be curable, but thus far it seems to only be something we can put into remission. There are treatments such as hyperthermia or UV light blood therapy that are promising but I’ve yet to hear of anyone being ‘cured’ and staying that way. (If anyone reading this believes they are cured, please share how you did it!)
I don’t think I’m cured. I do, however, have enough energy to exercise regularly and party occasionally and I plan to make these stick. My secret to maintaining good health despite my disease: try really hard to maintain good health.
5 ways to try:
1. Staying positive. Acknowledge that there is no quick fix here. Stress, pity and relying on your doc to make your pain go away will not do you any good. Now is a good time to get excited about small things, take your will power to new heights, and develop a loving relationship with yourself – and with God, if you’re into Him.
2. Redefining yourself. Actually, don’t define yourself at all. Change with the times. People who say things like “I used to be so athletic. Now I can’t be me” are going to slow down their progress with thinking like that. It’s like saying you can’t be you if you’re not single like before or now have kids unlike before. Nothing is permanent. Make Darwin proud and be adaptable.
3. Being your own advocate. Research, research, research! Speak affirmations. See your friends. Join support groups. Experiment with treatments and question everything, even if it worked or didn’t work at an earlier point in your life.
4. Not obsessing over killing the bugs. This one is hard. When you have a bug multiplying and spiraling out of your blood stream into your connective tissue, it’s hard not to want to go to battle with high dose antibiotics. But we may not be able to kill all the Lyme. It hides in tissues that are hard to get to. Maybe we can kill 99.9% of it with high dose antibiotics, but in the process, you may have:
- killed the good bacteria in your gut and now have chronic gastrointestinal issues (and a much higher chance of getting new problems like cancer),
- weakened your immunity so much that the 0.01% of Lyme will come out of hiding and multiply rapidly,
- or built up a resistance to antibiotics so that next time you really need them, they may not work.
5. Acknowledging that it’s not just Lyme. Lots of people are infected and don’t know it because they are blessed with a balance of good genetics, immunity and many other invisible gifts that keep the bugs from taking over. Then there are people like you and me who, for one reason or another, could not keep the infection at bay. Some other things to consider:
- autoimmune diseases
- reproductive, endocrine and stress hormone imbalances
- side effects from your Lyme drugs
- heavy metals
- parasites, mold, and other infections
- a TON OF OTHER STUFF that you can investigate with blood work
- lack of detoxing due to genetic mutations, poor diet choices, etc.
Update: When I say “it’s not just Lyme,” I am coming from a functional medicine approach. Functional medicine addresses Lyme Disease using a systems-oriented approach. It takes into consideration:
- the health of your digestive system: if you are digesting food properly, nutrients can be broken down and portaled into your bloodstream where they can become cell-food. If you are digesting improperly, you may not get enough nutrients from your food, which will leave your cells hungry and ultimately leave you week (and in a poor state to fight a chronic infection).
- your immune system of course: are there autoimmune conditions that are making your immune system highly reactive and creating an inflamed environment in your body conducive to bacterial growth? Alternatively, is your immune system non-reactive and not doing it’s part (producing enough white blood cells, for example) in eliminating antigens?
- your lymphatic system and detoxification pathways: killing an infection is only one part of the equation; what about having the means of eliminating the now-dead debris from your body?
- and more, including cellular communication, thyroid function, adrenal function, and even your musculoskeletal structure.
- For more, check out The Functional Medicine Approach to Lyme Disease.