Lyme disease is sometimes called the great imitator because its symptoms can be confused with those of other conditions, such as fibromyalgia, Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS), lupus, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and even attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This means usual treatments—mainly, antibiotics—are not always effective since they need to be taken in the early stages of the disease to work properly and Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose. Also, even early antibiotic treatment doesn’t always work since some forms of bacteria are antibiotic resistant. Natural Lyme disease cures may offer an alternative, especially for those whose symptoms persist long after antibiotic treatment.
If symptoms persist for longer than six months after antibiotic treatment, the condition is termed Chronic Lyme disease. Some people may suffer on and off for years. This makes the natural approach even more appealing since it can prevent damage to your gut and microbiome caused by frequent antibiotic use, which can actually create symptoms similar to those of Lyme disease.
The strength and duration of symptoms has a lot to do with the health of your immune system. Unfortunately, however, your immune system may experience difficulties, which can cause inflammation to spread, and may end up triggering autoimmune-like reactions throughout your body.
This is why Lyme disease is considered a stealth virus. The infection and its effects permeate your entire body causing intermittent symptoms, often continuing for years due to either being misdiagnosed as something else or undiagnosed completely. The reason Lyme disease so challenging is that symptoms can take days, weeks, months, or even years to show up.
Whether symptoms are visible or not, if left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to numerous health problems later on down the line. In addition, your response to treatment has a lot to do with your overall health, and other conditions can compromise your immune and inflammatory response and dysregulate your NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response.
In many cases, the smartest thing you can do is to go ahead and implement some of the natural Lyme disease cures we’re going to outline below. These natural approaches can improve your immunity, strengthen your microbiome, balance your NEM, and neutralize some of the effects of antibiotic treatment.
Lyme Disease and the NEM
In general, stealth viruses tend to trigger the NEM stress response on a consistent basis and Lyme disease directly affects all six circuits of the NEM circuits: hormonal, metabolic, neuroaffect, cardionomic, inflammation, and detoxification.
Many things, both psychological or physical in nature, are considered stressors including bacterial infections and the presence of pathogens in your body. If you contract Lyme disease, your adrenal glands secrete anti-stress hormones in order to cope with the infection.
As inflammation begins to spread throughout your body, this is also a huge stressor, and constantly triggers more stress responses. The main stress hormone cortisol is one of the hormones released by the adrenals glands to help neutralize inflammation and suppress the immune response that was initially triggered to fight off the pathogen.
However, since Lyme disease is caused by stealth bacteria—pathogens with the ability to penetrate all areas of your body, including inside your cells where antibiotics are less effective—the immune system must continue to mount attacks by constantly triggering more inflammation. Therefore, the adrenal glands must work even harder.
When the adrenal glands are over-stimulated by the pituitary gland, at first, they secrete more cortisol. This is the beginning stage of Adrenal Fatigue, which tends to be relatively asymptomatic. Eventually, the adrenals become depleted leading to a decrease of cortisol production, characterized by a variety of symptoms associated with later stages of AFS.
Symptoms of AFS include fatigue, sleep disorders, easy weight gain and weight loss challenges, brain fog, lowered immunity, low libido, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), infertility, heart palpitations, mild depression, anxiety, and the inability to manage stress. As you can see, many of these symptoms resemble those of Lyme disease, partly because Lyme disease can cause Adrenal Fatigue.
Furthermore, if left untreated, Lyme disease affects the nervous system and cardiovascular system, and the neuroaffect and cardionomic responses of the NEM system may also become engaged. This results in additional symptoms such as irregular heartbeat, heart palpitations, brain fog, migraines, the inability to focus, memory loss, depression, and anxiety.
Finally, your body’s detoxification response can also be affected as it attempts to process all the different medications you may be taking to fight off the Lyme disease or its symptoms. In particular, if you are suffering from AFS, your detoxification response may already be slow causing more inflammation to occur throughout your body.
Although Lyme disease does not always cause AFS, it is nonetheless a stressor, and if you’ve been given a course or more of antibiotics for treatment, your microbiome and gut need to be rebalanced, which should be the first step you take with any natural Lyme disease cures.
Dietary Changes and Natural Lyme Disease Cures
Antibiotics are one of the leading causes of dysbiosis, which is defined as an imbalance of your gut microbiome and the various bacteria that populate your intestines. If bacteria in your gut are unbalanced, healthy bacteria may no longer be available to keep harmful bacteria under control and your intestinal lining may become compromised.
To prevent unwanted substances from entering your bloodstream and allow nutrients from digested food to pass into your blood, your gut epithelial cells must maintain their integrity. Usually, the cells form a tight barrier and only certain nutrients are allowed to pass between the gut and bloodstream through tiny openings between the cells. However, if the openings become enlarged, leakages can occur, and if not addressed properly, may eventually lead to Leaky Gut Syndrome.
This means your epithelial barrier may allow substances into the bloodstream that should not be there—pathogens, food particles, and toxins—and since the immune system immediately attacks them, this creates further inflammation in your gut. In fact, inflammation usually starts in your gut, which contains two-thirds of your immune system tissue. So, it’s not hard to imagine that your gut is the most important starting point for any natural Lyme disease cures, as well as any AFS recovery plan, or treating pretty much every other condition you may have.
Certain foods, including meat, dairy, caffeine, and sugar, can actually worsen Lyme disease symptoms making your recovery more difficult and often lengthy. Sugar is particularly problematic since this is what the Lyme disease bacteria feed on, and also, along with other foods, causes inflammation. In essence, any foods you are sensitive to are problematic because they cause inflammation in your gut.
Unhealthy diets like the Standard American Diet contain a lot of sugar, unhealthy fats, and processed foods, and are therefore pro-inflammatory. Thus, an unhealthy diet not only aggravates the symptoms of Lyme disease but can trigger dysbiosis and Adrenal Fatigue.
Choosing the right type of diet is one of the most important natural Lyme disease cures. You diet must be anti-inflammatory, rich in antioxidants to fight the additional oxidative stress due to Lyme disease, good for the immune system, promote a healthy gut microbiome, and aid Adrenal Fatigue recovery.
The Adrenal Fatigue diet ticks all of these boxes since it is free of the most common allergens and leaky gut-inducing foods such as gluten and processed sugar. In addition, the diet is nutrient-dense, contains moderate amounts of raw dairy and organic meat—for Lyme disease sufferers, wild-caught fish is much better than red meat or poultry—and loads of vegetables to provide vitamins and minerals. Only low glycemic index fruits should be eaten to avoid spikes in your blood sugar level and prevent Lyme bacteria from being fed with sugar.
If you’re suffering from AFS as well as Lyme disease, we highly suggest the Adrenal Fatigue diet as the foundation for your natural Lyme disease cures, then add some additional immune-boosting and Lyme-fighting foods. Try adding the following foods for their Lyme disease fighting powers:
- Bone broth – to help seal any leaks in your gut;
- Probiotic-rich foods – such as kimchi or sauerkraut, to help balance your gut flora;
- Brightly-colored fruits and vegetables – for their high antioxidant content;
- Eggs – for an excellent protein and energy source that is low in carbohydrates;
- Nuts and beans – to aid nutrient uptake and they are low in carbohydrates, high in protein, and loaded with fiber.
Certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies can predispose you to strong inflammatory reactions, which makes you more susceptible to aggravating your Lyme disease symptoms, such as arthritis. Vitamin A and E are excellent, but you can get of these by eating a healthy diet. Great sources include carrots, garlic, beef liver, sweet potatoes, kale, eggs, spinach, avocado, broccoli, and apricots.
Foods containing carnitine are also extremely helpful in fighting Lyme disease including pork, raw dairy, nuts, seeds, chicken, seafood, garlic, broccoli, and mustard greens. Foods high vitamin C are great for boosting the immune system and neutralizing oxidative stress, such as broccoli, red pepper, and citrus fruits.
© Copyright 2018 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. Lam’s Key Question
What Are The Best Natural Lyme Disease Cures?
Although antibiotics are the conventional treatment for Lyme disease, they are not always effective and can compromise your natural immunity. If your symptoms persist after a course of antibiotics, try these natural Lyme disease cures that also improve your overall health with no negative side effects.