Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Favorite Products for the Cold & Flu Season

These are my must-haves during the cold and flu season.  In my opinion, they cut your healing time in half!  Zinc, echinacea, and vitamin C are all essentials for boosting the immune system and helping to protect against free radicals.

Gypsy Cold Care by Traditional Medicinals - uses pharmacopoeial quality herbs to create a healing blend.

Nature's Way Zinc Lozenges - tasty, sweetened with stevia, and a great way to protect yourself against free radicals during the winter.

Zand Echinacea & Zinc Herbalozenge - these taste great and have no cane sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Trader Joe's Organic Raw Honey - mix with tea or eat it raw to coat your throat.

Solgar Esater-C (500mg) - Ester-C is more easily absorbed by the body, so it increases the chance that your body will get the most from this vitamin.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Detox & Disease

Detoxification seems to be such an important component in battling Lyme disease or any chronic illness.  If your detox pathways are blocked, then you are essentially "spinning your wheels".  You want to make sure this is not the case, and that your body is functioning at max capacity.  Here are some suggestions for implementing detox into your regimen.

Products, services, & Things to try at home:
  • Infared Sauna - These saunas warm the body in the same manner as natural sunlight, but without the side effects of the sun.  This heat therapy increases circulation and stimulates the sweat glands that cleanse and detoxify the skin.  These saunas have also been reported to reduce pain and speed up the healing process.  Read about the 7 benefits of using an infared sauna.  Looking to buy one for home use?  Check out these portable devices [link 1, link 2] (I am in no way endorsing these, they have just been recommended by others).
  • Lymphatic Drainage - This is a type of massage that helps to stimulate the lymphatic system.  Many people with Lyme and other chronic illnesses (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, etc.) have found it to be very helpful in their recovery.  Read more about lymph drainage.
  • Skin Brushingour skin is responsible for 25% of our detoxification each day.  Body brushing stimulates the lymphatic system so the lymph can circulate through out the body and travel back to the large vessels for excretion.  Read more about skin brushing.
  • Epsom Salt & Baking Soda Baths - These help to remove toxins from your skin.  Add 1-2 cups of salts or 3-4 tablespoons of baking soda and soak for 20-30 minutes.
  • Lemon Juice Tea - A lemon has 3x the amount of vitamin C as an orange.  Juice one lemon and pour it into a mug.  Add boiling water and a pinch of stevia.  Drink up!
  • Smilax - Many naturopaths and herbalists report that Smilax assists in binding neurotoxins to help remove them from your system more quickly and efficiently.  I use the formula from RestorMedicine, although I'm sure there are plenty of other formulas out there.
  • Green Drinks - a green powder with chlorophyll is great for helping your body to cleanse itself of toxins.  I really like Nanogreens, they've even got 10 servings of fruits & veggies mixed right in.

Some Helpful Articles (Thanks to the MDJunction Community for bringing these articles to my attention) about Lyme disease and detoxification:

Monday, November 7, 2011

In A Treatment Rut

I've been going back and forth as to what the next move in my treatment plan should be.  It seems that my body is getting sick of antibiotics- or perhaps it's just getting sick... I'm not really sure.  Since my recent bout of gastritis is really limiting the amount of healthy food I can consume, I get nervous about adding too much to my regimen.  As I see it now, here are my options:

1) Detox.  My naturopath recommended a 30-day gentle homeopathic regimen by Heel.  My body has been through a lot and has had a lot of medicine (antibiotics, antiparasitics, etc.) going into from a long period of time.  It might need a thorough cleaning....

2) Go natural.  I've been reading more about Stephen Buhner's protocol.  I've been on Cat's claw in the past and seemed to have good results.  I'm also interested in trying Teasel root after reading some of the literature on it's healing properties.  I've been on Smilax for a while now, and it seems that these three herbs combined could be quite a nice cocktail.

3) Resume the hardcore meds.  I feel that I prematurely stopped taking antibiotics before, and I relapsed...  Therefore, I'm scared of the same thing happening again.  Some experts say that you should remain on antibiotics until you are symptom-free for three months.  I am most certainly not symptom-free, and I don't know if I'll ever be comfortable taking antibiotics for as long as it may take to rid my symptoms.  BUT- I will say that my fatigue and upper back have improved since being on the antibiotic injections.  The other reason I am considering this option is because I have yet to take a cyst buster (which is necessary to kill Lyme in it's cyst form, which it often morphs into to "hide" from the body or antibiotics) while on the injections.  I think this would be a very potent, but potentially useful treatment combination.  I would need do it for at least a few months for it to be effective (since the borrelia life cycle is every 3-4 weeks).

So.... those are the options I'm left with.  For now, I think I will let my stomach call the shots.  Hopefully as that continues to heal, I'll be able to decide which one of these avenues I'm ready to take.  Ideally, I'd like to incorporate all of the above, my main concern for now is where to start.  One reason I'm leaning toward the antibiotic route is because I'd like to just power through it for a few more months and then be done with it.  Not that it will be the end of my treatment, but I'd like to be done with antibiotics.  I think my body will need to be rebalanced once I'm done killing off all of the good and bad bacteria in my body, and I'm anxious to start doing that.  It's my true belief that the body must be balanced to heal itself, and I'm looking forward to getting "balanced".