Self-treatment for Lyme: Understanding your immune system

Do you self treat for Lyme? Many of us do, taking our cues from others who have found ways to regain their health and build their immune systems. Self treatment is necessary, I believe, even while under a doctor’s care. Diet and exercise routines, for example, may not be in your doctor’s radar. However, both play an important role in recovery. Speaking from my own experience, I advocate taking an integrative and many-faceted approach in treating Lyme.

But where do you start? I guess it’s always made sense to me to begin with the basics. When I was very ill with Lyme, I kept notebooks and schedules of my daily routines. I was so loopy that I was afraid I’d forget to take my meds or supplements without keeping track. Plus, I think the act of doing so made me feel useful and proactive in my own recovery, at a time when I really thought I was doomed. 

What are your routines? What goes into your mouth at every meal? How much exercise do you get? Especially if you plan to treat yourself, it’s prudent to track yourself. Write it down. Not the food you say you eat, or the exercise you say you get, but in actuality.

Food sensitivities and allergies may show up as skin rashes and other problems, but the major concern when dealing with Lyme is chronic inflammation. Persistent inflammation caused by the Lyme bacterial complex can create long-term problems, but there may be ways to discourage inflammation through diet and exercise. The seat of the immune system lies in the GI tract. Besides keeping track of your daily routines, understanding the link between your gut and your health is a good place to start.

Here is an excerpt from the first in a series of articles by Dr Peter J Muran, MD, who practices Integrative Medicine in San Luis Obispo, CA, specializing in immune conditions such as Lyme disease.

There are approximately 100 Trillion bacteria in the human gut. Astoundingly, this represents 10 times more cells then what makes up the body. The presence of these bacteria has an immunological effect on the rest of the body. Under most circumstances, this immunological effect is greatly beneficial. However, disruption of this normal flora, if not tolerated, is inflammatory and can be significantly harmful.

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