How You Feel on a Lyme Treatment is More Important Than Its Dosage
Let Technique Triumph Speed for Efficient Progress
Have you ever found the sweet spot of your Lyme treatment protocol? You know, when you surprisingly feel relatively good and you’re not sure why? You also secretly wish you’d feel like this forever, or even for a couple more days at least, but as a person who is experienced with chronic Lyme, you know this glorious day of feeling half-decent, if that, will not last.
But why? Why can’t this feeling last for just a bit longer? Well, simply put, the human body is rather complex in its processes. Being able to figure out, control, and tweak each area of the body, especially as a non-medical professional, in order to reproduce how well you feel for the moment, is really just not as easy as, say, changing a light bulb.
We as humans like to control, and it’s probably one of our greatest disappointments in having very little say over how our bodies function. After all, it is our body, so we should have some control over how it works, right? Yes! Enter the brain, and its highly esteemed characteristic of adequate intelligence -- most of the time, at least.
That’s right! You may not be able to control the mechanisms within your body that determine how you feel with chronic Lyme, but you can surely control the treatment you’re on, designed to assist and restore those mechanisms, so you can feel, at the very least, a reasonable normal.
So what are we getting at here? Well, remember that sweet spot we mentioned earlier? That sweet spot -- that temporary feeling of normal or a half-decent day -- is proof that the mechanisms in your body were aligned in such a way that you didn’t feel as bad as you normally do. It’s temporary proof that your body constantly wants to feel better and can.
The secret to increasing the odds of having a half-decent day with chronic Lyme disease is to let how you feel be more important than the dosage you’re on. That’s it! Of course, we can’t just leave you with that. There’s so much more to that philosophy that must be explained! Allow us to.
When you hit a sweet spot in your chronic Lyme treatment, you’re pretty much at, for a lack of better terms, but one that everyone can relate to -- even children -- the Goldilocks’ dosage. Your current dosage of your Lyme treatment is strong enough to keep some symptoms at bay, but weak enough to prevent more from occurring.
You know the struggle all to well when it comes to taking a treatment protocol with chronic Lyme. You have symptoms; you take a treatment to ameliorate those symptoms; more symptoms come about due to a herx; hopelessness and frustration ensues.
Dr. Marty Ross, M.D. says that chronic Lyme is a “syndrome of excess cytokines”, in which the majority of symptoms in chronic Lyme disease are caused by too many cytokines in the body (i.e., inflammation). It’s inflammation that causes the symptoms before treatment begins and its inflammation that exacerbates those symptoms when you attempt to treat those symptoms.
Hopefully part of your treatment protocol includes reducing cytokines in the body to lessen your symptoms, but to prevent more cytokines from being made -- and even reduce the ones you already have -- listen to how you feel.
Very simply put, if you’re having a half-decent day, not only enjoy it and embrace it for what it's a beautiful reminder of, but work this dosage. We get it; you’re feeling half-decent and the urge to increase your treatment protocol becomes the reasoning to further intensify how well you’re feeling, but this is where adequate intelligence comes in and reasons that the opposite is in fact true: don’t increase your treatment protocol.
When you start a treatment for your chronic Lyme, you likely have a targeted dosage to reach. Let’s say you’re starting a new probiotic and want to get to 100 CFUs per day. Well, you know you can’t just take 100 CFUs at once unless you’re interested in spending a couple days in the E.R, but you know you need to start somewhere.
So you start with ¼ capsule of your probiotic, and you feel a little off for a day or two -- maybe you needed to stop it for a day or two -- but after some time of being on this dosage, you have a relatively half-decent day. You’re foolishly convinced you’ve got this whole chronic Lyme plight figured out and make the impulsive mistake to increase the probiotic too much too fast.
You jump from ¼ capsule to a full capsule within a single dosage, and the next day you feel absolutely horrible. You feel like you could just jump off a bridge, as despair, frustration, and failure seem to inundate your thoughts and join the pity fest. And unfortunately, also knocking at the door to this party is your refusal to reduce your probiotic dosage back to ¼ capsule because you feel you’ll be taking a step back, prolonging your condition.
In fact, by not reducing your dosage in this instance, you are not only prolonging your treatment by overwhelming your body’s ability to recover from this herx, every day that you don’t reduce your dosage is another day it becomes easier to convince yourself you simply cannot ever get better from this condition.
But let’s say you decide to work against your thoughts here and drop the dosage of your probiotic back to ¼ capsule. It takes a couple days -- depending on how long you were stubborn for -- but you definitely start to not only feel better, you’ve seemed to recreate that half-decent day you had not too long ago. You’ve seemed to found the sweet spot again! What gives?
Well, you listened to your body -- a very and most important tool for healing from chronic Lyme. That’s it! By feeling horrible at 1 capsule of your probiotic, inflammation increased (i.e., more cytokines were produced), thus symptoms increased, and that was your body’s way of saying, “Hey, this is surely not the dosage we should be at right now. Do you mind backing off a bit, please?”
The lesson here is that when treating yourself for chronic Lyme disease, however you do it, it’s absolutely important that you not only listen to your body, but that how you feel is always more important than the dosage you think you should be at. Be the tortoise rather than the hare.
- Ross, Marty. “Heat Up. Speed Up. About Thyroid & Adrenals.” Treat Lyme, 8 June 2016, www.treatlyme.net/treat-lyme-book/heat-up-speed-up-about-thyroid-adrenals/.
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