My first blog request! You asked, I answered! Thank you, Amanda! 🙂 We have heard it time and time again. It is a very common question among Lymies. Why is detoxing during a Lyme treatment so important? And secondly… what are some good ways to detox?
Detoxing is the physiological or medicinal removal of toxic substances from your body. When you are undergoing Lyme treatment, your body gets full of toxins. This is a given. When you are going through treatment, there is a die-off of the Lyme bacteria in your body, causing a release of endotoxins in your body. This reaction in your body is called a herx reaction (check out my blog post about herx reactions, posted on 9/16).
There are also many other toxins that you need to worry about getting out of your body that can also contribute to a worsening of your symptoms. Heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, candida (which can also very much cause herxing symptoms) , everything. A common abnormality among Lyme patients is the MTHFR (I call it the motherfucker) genetic deficiency, which also makes it much harder for us to process these things so we must work much harder at achieving this goal.
In order for your body to detox, it uses your organs to process all the toxins that are going throughout your body. Your liver, skin, intestines, kidneys, and lymphatic system. Everything needs to be addressed in order to get a proper detox. And some of the consequences of not properly detoxing can be pretty serious, especially when facing an aggressive protocol.
How do you know if you are not detoxing enough? If you are experiencing a lot of herx symptoms, chances may very likely be that you need to be detoxing more. Herxing to some extent is pretty much unavoidable, but it can be a much more pleasant process if you make the right changes to help along the way. When you have a lot of herx reactions, as I said it is a release of endocrine toxins, but generally doesn’t happen within the first day of treatment. It is an accumulated build up of toxins.
One big sign that you are checkerblock full of toxins is if your lymph nodes are swollen. Try checking the sides of your neck. Feel like a golf ball? Hurt like heck? Then you need to drain those toxins!
Ok, now this is where it gets confusing. You can actually detox TOO MUCH. The things us brain-fogged Lymies have to deal with. Too little, too much… Well, most likely, you are not detoxing enough. But, when you detox in excess, it can actually make the herxes worse. Weird huh? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. The reason for this is that you are flooding your body with all those toxins that were once mobilized. If you think you are overdoing the detoxing, take a break for a few days then start again. With everything, there is a balance.
You can detox with certain foods and herbs. Most of you have probably heard these time and time again. But maybe there is one that you haven’t heard about! Water! Lemon water…lots of lemon water! Foods with powerful antioxidants include asparagus, artichokes, avocados, beets, broccoli, cabbage, green and black tea, kale, lemongrass, and olive oil. Some spices include turmeric (also wards away yeast), basil, peppermint, cayenne, and garlic.
Some supplements that can help are burbur drops, herbs and spices in capsules with higher concentration, glutathione (good for liver detox), and milk thistle, chlorella, red root, quercetin.
A website called pure encapsulations, a company that Dr S uses has a few different options to try Here is the website if you are curious.http://www.pureencapsulations.com I don’t know if you can order directly on there, but I know their products are available through Amazon. Another good brand is called Thorne. Here is their website… http://www.thorne.com Now I KNOW you can order supplements directly from their site. Both have a wide variety of supplements from detox, as the subject is to herbal treatments that can be effective as a Lyme treatment.
And of course there are many over the counter detox supplements and kits you can do at home. I honestly have not heard of a Lymie using these, or success stories, but they are out there! Share your story if you have!
Other ways to detox include epsom salt soaks and baths. There are many benefits of epsom salt. Another blog maybe? But relief of pain and a powerful detoxifier. You can also add if you are doing an epsom salt bath, items like ginger, tea, and baking soda. You can also do this in a foot bath if you do not want to take a bath. For those of you with IV lines, it can be quite a task to take a bath.
When I am doing foot soaks, I also soak with apple cider vinegar. I find it is too much for a bath, as the smell overwhelms me. I don’t mind so much if my feet smell like a pickle 😉
Saunas are also a great tool for detox. Sweat those toxins out! There are traditional saunas and infrared saunas, ones that use infrared heaters and infrared lights which are absorbed by the skin. Anyone have any experience with a portable sauna? I saw one on a website, and it was affordable. I don’t think I could use a sauna anyway with a line in, but I would like to try in the future 🙂 Another good reason for saunas is that Lyme HATES heat!
Lymphatic drainage massage. This isn’t your regular massage. It’s sole purpose is to release those toxins from your body. It is done to help stimulate the flow of your lymph system as they come sluggish when battling Lyme. The lymphatic system is responsible for collecting toxins from your cells, and you remove them through sweat, and going to the bathroom #1 and #2.
Probably why every time I stop antibiotics I am “releasing my toxins” LOL Believe me, it works. It is important to have a massage therapist that has knowledge of Lyme as if not, they can leave you feeling worse than better. I lucked out… my massage therapist has battled Lyme herself and is extremely knowledgable. I know I am in good hands, no pun intended 🙂
Foods and things to avoid are items with GMO’s, sugar, alcohol, smoking, caffeine, and overeating. All can lead to your body becoming sluggish and accumulating these toxins much more.
I am currently on a pulse therapy, meaning I am only on treatment Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Thursdays on occasion with a strong Lyme cyst buster. During my off-antibiotic days, I utilize lactated ringers to help with the detox process. Not only do they help keep me hydrated and keep my electrolytes up, they help flush the toxins from my system. I do epsom soaks weekly and add burbur drops to my water. I have done milk thistle and glutathione IVs to help with my organ detoxing.
One of the biggest tools that I have stuck with throughout my year and a half treatment so far is the use of therapeutic and lymphatic massage. Even if you can’t do it once a week like I have been doing, I highly recommend it. My massage therapist does a full body massage, working on my pain issues and connective tissues, cranial sacral therapy, then also works on my lymphatics. By the time I am done, my nose is POURING. I mean pouring. It is my body trying to get rid of the toxins. And my neck swelling goes down. It is also important for me to eat right, to try to keep away issues like candida, that can make it much more difficult to be able to detox.
Once again, consult with your doctor. I am not a doctor, just presenting some info to my favorite readers 🙂 What do you do to detox? Feel free to share!
Have a great day!
http://www.lyme-disease-research-database.com/lee_cowden_interview.html, http://www.tiredoflyme.com/4-reasons-why-you-still-feel-bad-despite-detoxing.html#.UlTCYRYTu-U, http://http://www.tiredoflyme.com/detoxing.html#.UleHkRYTu-Uwww.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=30&m=2763688,http://www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/851629/foods-and-herbs-that-cleanse, http://bembu.com/detox-foods,http://www.wikihow.com/Take-a-Detox-Bath,http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4778828_recipe-homemade-detox-foot-bath.html, http://en.wikipedia.org,http://www.oprah.com/health/Life-Extension-Technology-and-Tissue-Regeneration/6