Archive for the ‘Herbs’ Category

Evaluation of Natural & Botanical Medicines For Activity Against Growing and Non-Growing Forms of B. Burgdorferi (In Vitro)

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmed.2020.00006/full

Front. Med., 21 February 2020 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2020.00006

Evaluation of Natural and Botanical Medicines for Activity Against Growing and Non-growing Forms of B. burgdorferi

  • 1Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States
  • 2FOCUS Health Group, Naturopathic, Novato, CA, United States
  • 3California Center for Functional Medicine, Kensington, CA, United States

Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the US and Europe. Although the current recommended Lyme antibiotic treatment is effective for the majority of Lyme disease patients, about 10–20% of patients continue to suffer from persisting symptoms. There have been various anecdotal reports on the use of herbal extracts for treating patients with persisting symptoms with varying degree of improvements. However, it is unclear whether the effect of the herb products is due to their direct antimicrobial activity or their effect on host immune system.

In the present study, we investigated the antimicrobial effects of 12 commonly used botanical medicines and three other natural antimicrobial agents for potential anti-Borrelia burgdorferi activity in vitro. Among them, 7 natural product extracts at 1% were found to have good activity against the stationary phase B. burgdorferi culture compared to the control antibiotics doxycycline and cefuroxime. These active botanicals include

  • Cryptolepis sanguinolenta,
  • Juglans nigra (Black walnut),
  • Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed),
  • Artemisia annua (Sweet wormwood),
  • Uncaria tomentosa (Cat’s claw),
  • Cistus incanus, and
  • Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese skullcap).

In contrast, Stevia rebaudiana, Andrographis paniculata, Grapefruit seed extract, colloidal silver, monolaurin, and antimicrobial peptide LL37 had little or no activity against stationary phase B. burgdorferi. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of Artemisia annua, Juglans nigra, and Uncaria tomentosa were quite high for growing B. burgdorferi, despite their strong activity against the non-growing stationary phase B. burgdorferi.

On the other hand, the top two active herbs, Cryptolepis sanguinolenta and Polygonum cuspidatum, showed strong activity against both growing B. burgdorferi (MIC = 0.03–0.06% and 0.25–0.5%, respectively) and non-growing stationary phase B. burgdorferi.

In subculture studies, only 1% Cryptolepis sanguinolenta extract caused complete eradication, while doxycycline and cefuroxime and other active herbs could not eradicate B. burgdorferi stationary phase cells as many spirochetes were visible after 21-day subculture.

Further studies are needed to identify the active constituents of the effective botanicals and evaluate their combinations for more effective eradication of B. burgdorferi in vitro and in vivo. The implications of these findings for improving treatment of persistent Lyme disease are discussed.

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**Comment**

Please remember this is in vitro and has not been studied in the human body.

They now say Stevia, Andrographis, Grapefruit seed extract, colloidal silver, monolaurin, and antimicrobial peptide LL37 didn’t do diddly.

And they keep stating that 10-20% go onto suffer with symptoms when that number is completely inaccurate and far too low:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/02/25/medical-stalemate-what-causes-continuing-symptoms-after-lyme-treatment/

Excerpt:

10-20% of Lyme disease patients who are promptly diagnosed and treated with an antibiotic within the first few weeks of infection, still end up with chronic disease. This is PTLDS.

30-40% of Lyme disease patients who have been infected for weeks to months before getting diagnosed, and THEN treated with an antibiotic, still end up with a chronic disease. This subgroup has no specific label but it has been referred to as “chronic Lyme disease,” or CLD.

60% OF LYME PATIENTS END UP WITH CHRONIC SYMPTOMS

Free Lyme Treatment Masterclass – Tues. Feb 18th 4pm EST – Greg Lee

Free Masterclass on Tuesday Feb 18th at 4pm EST where Greg Lee will present Lyme disease case studies!

Click here to register for the Tuesday February 18th 4pm EST Masterclass II: https://lnkd.in/euRfF-e

He’ll be covering the microparticle essential oils, treatments, and other remedies that helped debilitated patients overcome stubborn Lyme inflammatory and toxic pain symptoms, calm anxiety, and replenish vital energy.

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Live Rebroadcast: Essential Oil Masterclass for Lyme Disease (Sorry for the Short Notice – it’s Today)

https://www.facebook.com/events/190505628718746/ Go Here to Listen & You can post questions

LIVE Rebroadcast: Essential Oil Masterclass for Lyme Disease

Hosted by Lyme Research & Healing Center

Feb. 14, 2020 2-4pm EST

Many Essential Oils Are Harmful to Pets

https://www.godupdates.com/essential-oils-toxic-for-cats/?

Her Cat Was Wasting Away Until They Figured Out Essential Oils Are Harmful to Pets

Are Essential Oils Bad for Cats

My cat, Natalee, has always had a sensitive tummy. She eats a fairly normal diet, with the exception that I have to buy specific brands online and have it shipped to the house. Otherwise, she’s always been a healthy little fur-baby–snuggly, playful and sweet. Until one day a few months back when she lost almost half her weight, baffled her vet and scared me with how sick she became! All her symptoms suddenly cleared up as quickly as they’d come on. It was a complete mystery until one day, my mom sent me an article asking, Are essential oils toxic to cats? That’s when it all started to make sense.

Did essential oils make my cat sick?

Natalee is a rescue cat whose tail bends at an odd angle at the end because it was broken at some point before I got her. When my kids and I went to adopt a cat, we knew we’d found the perfect one because she latched onto my daughter and purred loudly, her paws wrapped around my daughter’s neck. Plus, her grey and white coat matched my kids’ chosen outfits that day–a grey and white striped sweatshirt and soft fluffy white pullover! It was meant to be!

Natalee likes to ‘collect’ shoestrings and proudly bring them to you from her stash in the laundry room. I sometimes wake up covered in as many as five various strings that she’s brought to me in the night as I slept. In the morning, she eagerly awaits me waking to praise and pet her for her thoughtful presents.

Are essential oils toxic to cats

Then the shoestring gifts stopped. She stopped sleeping in my room. Natalee stopped hanging out on the couch next to me as I watched TV. She took to hiding in the garage all day. Nat was lethargic, and she started losing weight. A lot of it. She would sometimes scream out as if in pain. She would jump and run through her kitty door to her litter box in the garage. What’s worse, she often didn’t make it to the litter box in time anymore. I was really concerned about my cat, and also starting to be stressed out from cleaning up so many messes!

I took her to the vet in alarm. They were concerned when they discovered that my 9-pound cat only weighed 7 pounds, just a couple of weeks after her last checkup. Veterinarians tested her for a number of things, including cancer and parasites, but everything checked out. Her vet suggested a new brand of food and scheduled another appointment.

On her follow-up visit, Natalee had lost another 1.5 pounds and was down nearly half her weight. She hid in the garage, sleeping all day. And we still didn’t have answers!

Cat Mystery Revealed

And then, just as mysteriously as the symptoms came on, they started to disappear. I noticed after the Christmas holidays that Natalee seemed to feel better. She left the garage and returned to the den and my bedroom. She wanted to snuggle and play again. Her shoestring antics returned. Her vet was relieved when she put on all the lost weight and looked healthy again.

Essential oils poison for cats

I had been using natural oil diffusers in my bedroom and den. I’d read lavender promotes restful sleep and that eucalyptus is a natural stress-reliever. (Plus they both just smell good, right?) But with the busy holiday season, I had stopped using them and hadn’t started back up throughout January.

Then my mom forwarded me a story of a sick kitty that sounded pretty familiar. I did a few quick Google searches and noticed that most of these stories had a much worse outcome than Natalee’s. In many, the pet owners were warning others how their pets had died after being exposed to essential oils! I read up on the subject, and couldn’t believe I didn’t know that essential oils are dangerous to pets. I just had to share what happened to poor Natalee and some of these less fortunate pets so other pet owners can protect their fur-babies!

Here’s what you need to know about essential oils and your pets.

Are Essential Oils Safe For Cats?

Numerous reliable authorities in the animal and medical fields have shared that many essential oils are not safe for cats.

Are Essential Oils Toxic to Cats?

The TODAY show shared a story about Sue Klimas’ cat, Dinah, that sounded a lot like what happened to my cat Natalee! Dinah began vomiting, coughing and sneezing and vets ran blood tests, ultrasounds, and exploratory surgery, but were unable to determine what was wrong.

Dinah also went from 9 pounds down to 6!

Sue had been diffusing lavender and eucalyptus. When she stopped, Dinah’s health was restored and her weight returned to normal!

Michael San Filippo with the AMVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) warns that essential oils can be toxic to pets. “We’d advise pet owners to be cautious using them around the house.”

Essential Oils Toxic to Dogs

The American Kennel club explains that some holistic vets believe there are benefits for using essential oils with your pets. But they add that ‘It’s easy to confuse natural with safe.” The AKC warns that “essential oils are potent substances that can pose serious risks when used improperly.”

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association shares that while dogs are at risk of essential oil poisoning, cats are much more susceptible. This is because of nature and the way cats were designed!

“Cats’ livers are deficient in a process called “gluconuridation”, an important step in the metabolism of many compounds. As such, chemicals that are metabolized by other species often accumulate or are broken down into toxic metabolites in cats.” the CVMA shared.

To put it in simpler terms, cats don’t have certain enzymes in their livers that dogs and humans have, so it’s harder for their bodies to deal with toxins.

Essential Oils Dangerous for Cats

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) states that cats, in particular, are susceptible to serious health problems from essential oils.

“Effects such as gastrointestinal upset, central nervous system depression and even liver damage could occur if ingested in significant quantities. Inhalation of the oils could lead to aspiration pneumonia.” Their website advises, “Based on this, we would not recommend using essential oils in areas where your pets have access unless pets are supervised or the use of the oil is approved by your veterinarian.”

Essential Oils Harmful to Pets

According to The Spruce Pets, “oils diffused in the air are inhaled and also collect on the fur, which results in your cat ingesting them during licking and cleaning. Toxicity can occur very quickly or over a longer period of exposure.”

Essential oil diffusers release oils into the air that the cats can inhale or lick off their fur. A good rule of thumb is that if you can smell the fragrance of the oil, there is oil in the air that can harm your cat.

Hills Pet indicates that cats in contact with essential oils could develop liver disease.

Tina Wismer, the medical director for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center shares that birds are even more susceptible than cats!

“Birds have a very different respiratory system than mammals do, and it’s very sensitive to inhaled toxins. We’ve had birds [affected by] new carpet in the house, or Teflon pans. A lot of different ways.”

Symptoms of liver disease in cats include:

  • Lack of Energy/Lethargy/Depression
  • Excessive Drooling
  • Poor Appetite
  • Weight Loss
  • Increased Thirst
  • Vomiting or Diarrhea
  • Changes in Behavior

List of Essential Oils That May Be Toxic to Cats

Just as there are many plants that are toxic to cats, there are numerous harmful essential oils. A few of the more commonly used oils that are dangerous to usearound your cat include:

  • Citrus Oils
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Wintergreen
  • Eucalyptus
  • Tea Tree
  • Cinnamon
  • Thyme
  • Clove
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Nutmeg
  • Fennel

Safety Tips for Using Essential Oils in a Home with Pets

According to the PDSA (People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals), the UK’s leading veterinary charity, here are some ways you can protect your pets if you use essential oils in your home.

  • Always store essential oils out of your cat’s reach.
  • Wash your hands after touching essential oils, especially before petting your cat.
  • Don’t use cleaning products with essential oil ingredients. Cats like to rub up against everything and roll around everywhere. And these products increase the likelihood your cat may get the oil on their fur.
  • Use heavily diluted oils, not heavily concentrated oils.
  • Keep your cat away from diffusers.
  • Use a prescription flea product, not homeopathic flea medications that may contain essential oils.

Has your pet or someone’s pet you know also gotten sick because of essential oils? Let us know on our Facebook page! You can share this article with your friends and family who own pets and may use essential oils. Let’s work together to help keep our fur-babies safe!

cat essential oils - Cat became sick

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**Comment**

If you have always wanted to learn about essential oils – seize this opportunity to learn from the Zielinskis.  This is a very practical and lay-person friendly series that anyone can understand and utilize.

Whether you want to just learn how to diffuse oils for:

 

 

Is It Safe To Take Herbs With Your Medication?

https://vitalplan.com/blog/is-it-safe-to-take-herbs-with-medications?

Is It Safe to Take Herbs with Medications?

By Dr. Bill Rawls Posted 12-17-2019

The question about herb-drug interactions comes up a lot — and for good reason. All prescription drugs carry risks, and even though most tend to work predictably on their own, various outside factors can interfere in adverse ways, whether in how the medication is absorbed, metabolized, or utilized.

What’s more, drug interactions can be quite serious, even deadly. But it’s important to understand that most herbs function very differently than drugs. And because of that, the majority are safe to take with common medications. In some cases, herbs can even help reduce drug side effects or help you reduce dosage of drugs.

But, like anything, there are exceptions and caveats. Here’s what you need to know to stay healthy and safe if you’re considering combining herbal supplements and prescription medications.

The Difference Between Drugs and Herbs

Most symptoms or illnesses are the result of a dysfunctional process in the body, and prescription medications are largely designed to target those processes and interfere, disrupt, or block them. But that means drugs don’t typically address the causes of the dysfunction, rather only the process that triggers the symptom or manifestation of the problem.

Take heartburn medications, for example. Rather than addressing why too much stomach acid regurgitates up into the esophagus, the drugs block the natural process in the GI system that produces stomach acid in the first place. In that respect, many drugs, especially those used for chronic illnesses, are a little like low-dose poisons.

Restorative or adaptogenic herbs, on the other hand, don’t block those processes. Instead, the herbs help regulate or balance the systems that cause those processes, essentially helping to address the underlying causes of the dysfunction.

For example, restorative herbs help improve cell communication, stimulate healthier digestion, and balance the gut’s microbiome. Many also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that improve the way cells in the immune system communicate.

orange turmeric roots and powder in wooden bowl

So, rather than, say, putting out the flame of overactive inflammation (like an anti-inflammatory drug would,) herbs help you avoid faulty inflammation-triggering signals and reduce the free radicals that can lead to overactive inflammation in the first place. While this process delivers longer-lasting benefits, it also takes longer to go into effect, so herbs don’t usually provide the quick fix that some drugs can.

Another distinguishing characteristic of herbs is that they generally have a high safety profile: Few herbal substances can actually kill you, even if taken in large quantities. They have evolved for the specific purpose of supporting cellular life and natural functioning. That’s in contrast to many prescription medications, which if you take too much can quickly turn lethal.

Effector Herbs Versus Restorative Herbs

As with all rules, there are some exceptions to the herb-drug differences outlined above. For instance, some herbs actually do work more like drugs. Called effector herbs, they produce an acute effect on natural processes.

The results of effector herbs are powerful, but also usually short-lived and with no long-term healing properties. That’s different than restorative or adaptogenic herbs, which tend to more generally balance cellular functioning and communication and support healthy processes in the long term.

Macro photography of a lily of the valley. Nature background.

Effector herbs also tend to have one specific ability or target, while adaptogens generally support and balance all your systems and are more gentle in their effects. Here’s a simple example to understand the difference:

Say you’re carrying a heavy bag and are in pain. Like a drug, an effector herb could knock out or reduce pain signals temporarily. Adaptogenic herbs, on the other hand, would work to support your muscles and joints to correct your posture, and support your heart and immune health so you could better carry the load without injury and fatigue in the future.

Many herbalists tend to steer clear of effector herbs for the mere fact that they are so powerful and can be potentially dangerous when combined with certain drugs or taken in high doses.

Be Careful with Certain Medications

Although most herbs are safe to take with medications, there are some drugs that require special consideration. Take note if you are prescribed any of the drugs below — it’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s a good overview of Rx categories that can interact with herbs. And as always, talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new herbal regimen.

Prescription medicine green capsules with orange pharmacy bottles in the background

SSRI Antidepressants

Restorative herbs typically don’t interfere with medications — they can even be beneficial — but steer clear of the effector herb St. John’s wort. It blocks serotonin enzymes and so may interfere with serotonin reuptake, which is what selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) do. If taken together, too much serotonin could build up in your body and trigger serotonin syndrome, which can cause sweating, agitation, confusion, headache, and other effects.

Prescription Sedatives, Sleep Aids, and Anti-Anxiety Medicines

Many herbs have calming and sedative properties, including strong effector herbs like kava, valerian, and belladonna, as well as milder adaptogens such as bacopa, passionflower, and motherwort. While the vast majority of calming herbs work like a feather compared to their hammer-like drug counterparts, it’s still best to avoid mixing the two, especially in the case of effector herbs, which are especially potent.

Blood Thinners

Many herbs as well as omega-3 fatty acids found in krill oil and fish oil supplements have mild platelet-inhibition properties, meaning they can keep platelets from sticking together and slow down the mechanism that forms clots. In most people, that can be a good thing, because it helps prevent plaque formation in arteries and decreases the risk of blockages. However, if you’re on blood thinners, even the mild effect from herbs could thin the blood too much, causing blood vessels to become leaky and increasing your risk of hemorrhagic stroke or other complications.

Thyroid Hormone

Ashwagandha is known to support and stimulate thyroid function, so if you’re also taking a thyroid hormone, the herb could potentially bump you up to a higher-than-normal hormone level. If you take both ashwagandha and thyroid hormone, have your levels tested as you may be able to lower your dosage of the synthetic drug.

Diabetes Medications or Drugs that Lower Blood Sugar

Most adaptogen herbs, including reishi, rhodiola, and andrographis, naturally help balance blood sugar. If you take these herbs along with glucose-lowering meds, it may cause levels to dip below normal. As with thyroid drugs, rather than avoiding herbs, consider working with your doctor to see if they might enable you to lower your dosage of drugs.

Smart Reasons to Take Herbs with Medications

If your healthcare professional isn’t knowledgeable about herbs, they may be inclined to simply tell you to stop taking herbs or avoid them altogether. But in many cases, there’s no reason you can’t take most adaptogen or restorative herbs — the best of which include rhodiola, reishi, cordyceps, ashwagandha, and andrographis – with your prescription.

pink and yellow rhodiola flowers growing off tall stems

Even herbs that have mild effects similar to that of a drug you’ve been prescribed — like those that lower blood sugar or thin the blood — can be okay. After all, herbs naturally support your body’s systems, improve functioning, and help address the causes of illness.

Adaptogenic herbs can also moderate the side effects of many drugs and work in tandem in other ways. For instance, one of the main benefits of these herbs is their ability to help balance the gut’s microbiome and support a healthy immune system, making them a nice complement to antibiotics for an infection, which can throw the microbiome out of whack.

So why not take the herb and lower the dose of the drug, then monitor your response to find the right balance? In the long term, that’s preferable to relying on drugs that only target a symptom and must be taken long-term.

What’s more, when paired with certain lifestyle and dietary changes, you may even be able to get off the drug completely. Just note that this approach can require finding an open-minded doctor and/or a knowledgeable herbalist who can work together to guide you through the proper steps.

ABOUT THE MEDICAL DIRECTOR
Dr. Bill Rawls
Dr. Rawls is a licensed medical doctor in North Carolina and a leading expert in integrative health. He has extensive training in alternative therapies, and is the Medical Director of Vital Plan, a holistic health and herbal supplement company in Raleigh, NC.

What is Brain Fog & What Can a Patient Do to Get Rid of It?

https://globallymealliance.org/dealing-with-brain-fog/

by Jennifer Crystal

WHAT IS BRAIN FOG, EXACTLY? WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE? WHAT CAN A PATIENT DO TO GET RID OF IT?

Writing a weekly blog post is a thrilling and rewarding process. I love connecting with readers like me over various aspects of living with tick-borne illness, and I’m grateful to be able to share my story. I’m also thankful to have the physical ability to write on a tight deadline, which I haven’t always been able to do. In my worst days of fighting Lyme disease and two of its co-infections babesia and Ehrlichia, I couldn’t write at all. This was in part due to the achiness of my joints, but mostly, it was due to brain fog.

So what is brain fog, exactly? What does it feel like? What can a patient do to get rid of it? Now that I have greater neurological clarity, I can offer some information and tips on what I’ve learned about this frustrating symptom.

What is brain fog?

Lyme is an inflammatory disease. When Lyme pathogens in the form of spirochetes cross the blood-brain barrier, inflammation occurs in the central nervous system. “Common neurocognitive problems include poor memory, slower speed of thinking, difficulty with retrieval of words, and impaired fine motor control,” writes Brian A. Fallon, MD and Jennifer Sotsky, MD, in their book Conquering Lyme Disease: Science Bridges the Great Divide. “The slower mental processing speed contributes to the patient’s experience of ‘brain fog,’”[i]

A Johns Hopkins study published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation showed that scans done on 12 patients with Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS) all showed a chemical marker for brain inflammation, compared with 19 healthy controls. In an article published by Hopkins Medicine, Dr. John Aucott, Director of the Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Research Center said: “What this study does is provide evidence that the brain fog in patients with [PTLDS] has a physiological basis and [that it] isn’t just psychosomatic or related to depression or anxiety.”[ii]

A patient with brain fog can experience delayed response times, making it difficult for them to write clearly or comprehend text or conversation. As Drs. Fallon and Sotsky explain, “Patients may have difficulty reading and find that when they move on to the next paragraph, they have forgotten what they [just]read before….Patients may have spatial disorientation such that familiar routes become suddenly difficult to navigate or appear unfamiliar… [Or] patients may have new on-set dyslexic changes, reversing numbers or letters when writing or words and phrases when speaking. They may confuse left and right and may find themselves making verbal errors that are uncharacteristic of them.…Other examples of cognitive errors might include placing the cereal box in the refrigerator or asking one’s spouse to please put the milk back in the radiator.”i

What does brain fog feel like?

During a relapse of my tick-borne illnesses, I had a brain scan done that showed this precise type of inflammation, which made for a lack of oxygen to the left side of my brain. What did those symptoms actually feel like inside my head? In my post, Living With Lyme Brain, I likened brain fog to thick molasses that slowly pours into all the crevices of your brain, until it feels so full that it might explode out of your skull. When I was at my sickest, I felt this fog all the time and wished I could open a spigot to relieve the pressure.

As I got better, my brain fog dissipated, but it still returns from time to time. It can come on slowly, like mist settling over a valley, and can then build into an impenetrable cloud. I get it when I’m neurologically over stimulated: after watching a fast-paced TV show, while hearing loud music, or after reading for too long. “Too long” is defined differently for every patient; at my lowest points, one sentence was hard to comprehend. Eventually, I could read a short article in a light entertainment magazine. Now I can read a whole book, but I still need to pace it out, chapter by chapter.

If I read for too long, I feel pressure start to build, beginning at the base of my cranium and then spreading up over my eyes. Once my head gets full, I struggle to find the right vocabulary, and sometimes I invert my word order. When the brain fog builds to this intense point, it causes me to be very tired. A graduate school professor once joked, “Sometimes, without warning, Jen runs out of steam.” He was right. Suddenly, my eyes would glaze over and I’d zone out.

Sometimes brain fog comes on not from neurological overstimulation but from physical fatigue. When I exercise for too long, or push myself too hard before an afternoon nap, I feel brain fog come on even if I haven’t been doing anything intellectual.

Once I hit this level of fatigue, it becomes hard for me to think clearly. This doesn’t just mean losing the ability to read a book or grade a student’s essay. I get recurring thoughts and feel sensitive and sad. I ask myself, am I actually feeling upset about a situation, or am I just experiencing brain fog?

What I do about brain fog

Once I’ve determined I’m experiencing brain fog, here’s what has helped the most to alleviate it:

  • Antibiotics: To alleviate the symptom of brain fog, you have to eliminate the cause: spirochetes. Lyme is a bacterial infection that needs to be treated with antibiotic therapy. My brain fog did not get better until I’d been on enough antibiotic therapy to really get at the spirochetes in my brain. Due to Herxheimer reactions, the brain fog actually got worse before it got better, but long-term antibiotic therapy eventually cleared up my infection enough to check the inflammation in my brain. The appropriate antibiotic protocol, and length of treatment, is different for every patient. What worked for me might not work for you, so it would not help you to learn about my specific protocol. Please discuss your symptoms and treatment with a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD).
  • Anti-inflammatory medication: My LLMD put me on an anti-inflammatory medication that worked in conjunction with my antibiotic to get across the blood-brain barrier. This was a prescription medication, different than over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pills.
  • Herbal/nutritional supplements: Certain supplements such as essential fatty acids can help reduce inflammation in the brain. Talk with your LLMD about which supplements would be best for you.
  • Anti-inflammatory diet: For me, it helped to eliminate sugar and gluten from my diet. For others, it also helps to eliminate dairy. Some foods like certain green vegetables, nuts, lemon, ginger, and blueberries are known to have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Water: The more you can flush your system, the faster you will eliminate live and dead Lyme bacteria (just be sure to keep your electrolytes balanced; I do so with electrolyte-infused water).
  • Time limits: To stop my brain fog before it starts, I impose time limits on my screen and reading time. Even if I’m feeling okay after an hour of watching TV, I make myself take a break, so that the fog doesn’t suddenly come rolling in.
  • Rest: These days, the very best thing I can do when my brain fog flares is rest, rest, rest. This means sleep, but it also means just having some quiet down time lying on the couch or going for a short walk. Many people think of reading or watching TV as resting, but for a patient with neurological Lyme disease, that is not the case. We need quiet, calm activities like coloring, baths, or soft instrumental music. The idea is to shut your brain off—to get away from screens, noises, and other stimuli.

Brain fog can be overwhelming. When you’re experiencing it, you might feel like the pressure in your head will never go away. With time, rest, and proper treatment, though, the fog eventually lifts so you can enjoy clearer skies.

[i] Fallon, Brian A. and Sotsky, Jennifer. Conquering Lyme Disease: Science Bridges the Great Divide. New York: Columbia University Press, 2018 (52, 314).

[ii] https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/publications/hopkins_medicine_magazine/medical_rounds/spring-summer-2019/visualizing-brain-fog-in-post-treatment-lyme-disease


jennifer crystal_2

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.

Jennifer Crystal is a writer and educator in Boston. Her memoir about her medical journey is forthcoming. Contact her at lymewarriorjennifercrystal@gmail.com.

 

 

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For more:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/12/28/hydration-may-affect-cognitive-function-in-some-older-adults/