Sign in with Google+ Sign in with LinkedIn


Ticks! How do I hate them? Let me count the ways.

Babesiosis is known as a co-infection frequently accompanying Lyme. But it is no mere side-kick. The latest threat from ticks is not a new disease, but cases seem to be on the rise especially in the northeastern US. Babesiosis is described as a malaria-like illness which can be life-threatening in some people. It is caused by the parasite babesea microti, which invades and destroys the body's red blood cells.

Unlike Lyme disease, Babesiosis will not present with a
bullseye rash. Symptoms from the outset are fever, sweats, fatigue, bad headaches and malaise, or a general feeling of un-wellness. 

People who are at greatest risk of fatality from Babesiosis:
• are on immuno-suppresant drugs
• lack a spleen
• on chemotherapy
• infants & elderly

Take precautions to prevent exposure to ticks, which can hang out for days on the tips of grasses, and hitch a ride on chipmunks and other rodents if there are no deer around.

In the summertime,
ticks are in the nymph stage, at their tiniest. Just to up the ante of the risk, many of us spend more time outdoors enjoying the warm weather and longer days. This means that when you come inside, tick-check time is even more important than ever. Get the kids in the act. Place a full-length mirror in the foyer and establish a habit of helping each other search for uninvited critters.

Be well, for goodness sake!


Diet as medicine. Go gluten-free or not?

Lyme Disease and the autoimmune condition which is refer to as Chronic, or Post- Lyme share some iagnosing Lyme Symptoms">symptoms with Celiac Disease (CD), which is at the heart of the current shift in the US towards gluten-free foods. In about one percent of the population worldwide, gluten causes damage to the walls of the small intestine, resulting in gastrointestinal problems, malnutrition, and manifesting in various symptoms, including skin rashes, serious fatigue and weight loss.

Very little is known about CD, however but there is a growing awareness, which is why, over the past five years, we are seeing more gluten-free (GF) choices in the grocery stores. To a person with Lyme disease, this scenario, an autoimmune disease with vast, murky symptoms and not a lot of clarity about
treatment, probably seems vaguely familiar.

The leading US specialist in CD, Peter Green, MD at Columbia University, recommends that people suspected of having gluten-sensitivities not quit eating foods containing gluten until they are properly tested and diagnosed. This is because withdrawing from foods with gluten will change the test results. However, as there is currently no other treatment available for people with CD or non-Celiac gluten sensitivity, the
treatment consists of eliminating all sources of gluten-containing foods from the diet.

But there's a catch-22 in that logic. Do you feel better when you don't eat foods containing gluten? I do, I don't feel as puffy, which I guess is the way inflammation in the gut feels. Would you go back to including gluten in your diet just so your intestinal biopsy proves that you have a definite sensitivity to it? I'm not sure I'd do that. And if you did go back to eating it, and you were diagnosed with CD, then you'd be put on a treatment that consists of not eating gluten.

Evidently, the US is behind the UK and Italy and other countries in its knowledge of CD.  According to a 2011 interview with Dr. Green published on
Delight Gluten Free Magazine online, in England, people with CD are part of a program that enables them to have gluten-free foods delivered to their home. This “food as medicine” is also a tax write-off because it is part of a subscribed treatment for their illness.

I write about nutrition and a healthy, whole foods, Lyme disease diet, and whenever I pay for my fresh organic groceries I often think how nice it would be if I could write off a meaty percentage of that food, since it is a central element of my ongoing treatment.

What do you think? Let's talk about it.


No Panacea for Lyme but diet is critical

Do you have a Lyme diet that you swear by? I find my own diet morphing to include almost no gluten, and I do feel better. Gluten-free labels are popping up everywhere and it seems to be a trend with legs. Even the mainstream grocery stores seem to offer more choices every day, and recently, several of my friends have casually mentioned how much better they feel on a GF diet. A recent story in claims that only about one percent of the US population can't tolerate gluten and yet one-quarter percent is steering clear of it. How important is gluten-free food in a Lyme diet? Do your symptoms get worse when you eat it? It makes me feel bloated and icky, but I've only recently noticed that.

For women reaching menopause, Lyme symptoms can blend in really irritating ways with the Seven Menopause dwarves, as Suzanne Somers calls them: Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty, Bloaty, Sleepy, Forgetful, and Psycho, aka

Somers promotes gluten-free foods and hormones to help manage the Seven dwarves. I write a fair amount about diet and good nutrition because I've seen firsthand that a diet full of nutrients and whole fresh foods is crucial to the healing process. Adding fresh vegetables and a modicum of fruit, loads of greens, lean proteins, and entirely cutting out sugar has benefited my healing process more than I can say – even though the internal medicine
doctor I saw while in an acute stage of Lyme declared that my “diet had nothing to do with it.”
I'm here to tell you that it does. It's not the only thing, but it's one of the things that we can control, change, modify and design to promote our own healing.

Bear in mind the distinction between
eliminating illness and living a life of wellness. That's an important difference, because you aren't always going to be sick, and you aren't always going to be healing from Lyme. Some day, I hope very soon, there will come a moment when you will feel better. You'll feel like your old self again! The moment might slip away, but it will come back. And then the intervals between the good moments and the bad moments get smaller. You find yourself re-engaging with life again. You still relate to people suffering with Lyme, yet don't define yourself as being sick anymore. There'll come a time when the brain-fog will burn off for good, like a hazy morning sky before a clear day.

This recognition that you are well again might happen in one moment. Or it may happen, as it does for a lot of us, over a long period of time. I think of it as emerging out of the ocean after swimming a great distance from some other land mass. You aren't lifted out, you don't suddenly jump out, but instead you walk slow-mo through the water towards the beach.

You'll be a new person, the same essential you but changed forever, because that's just what happens to those of us who get swept away on this journey of illness and healing. And when you emerge and know that you have, that's the moment to set a course for a life lived with vibrant presence, vigorously dedicated to wellness.
There is no panacea for Lyme, but then, there are no panaceas for anything! Even your Lyme doctor can't perform miracles. We can't fix everything with a
Lyme diet. Personally, I found that sticking with a diet of whole, organic, fresh foods and eliminating sugar and now gluten, has given me a real boost toward the shore. Stick with it. Never give up! 

All of us want to get better, and so many people with Lyme are good people, deeply invested in helping each other. With that in mind, I want to suggest that we follow these two rules:  

  • First, heal well. 
  • Second, through diet, physical exercise, attitude, work, relationships and in your spiritual or religious practice: live a life dedicated to wellness.