When I stop for a moment and reflect on the almost 6 years of research, experiments, supplements, medications, doctors' visits, and broken relationships, I am left in complete astonishment at what I've been through, accomplished, and failed. However, what has remained consistent through it all is my will and desire to figure it all out; to find a solution for the health challenge known as chronic Lyme disease that turned my world completely upside down almost 6 years ago.
There is a lot of conjecture mixed with science out there on the topic of chronic Lyme disease and I've experimented with both. What I can say for absolute certainty is the herbs of the Buhner protocol have restored a great percentage of my health - some 80%. For the longest time, I remained at just 80% health and could not get beyond it. After much research, I think I may have found the hurdle to jump to vanquish the remaining 20% - detoxification, or more specifically, the MTHFR gene mutation.
the mthfr gene mutation
In short, the MTHFR gene mutation is the body's inadequate conversion of folic acid [inactive form], which is obtained through diet, to folate [active form]. One of the consequences of this gene mutation is lower levels of glutathione - the body's master detoxing agent.
You see, there are a lot of detoxification methods out there, but what some people fail to realize is the human body is consistently detoxing without any conscious intervention on our part. One important way it does this is with glutathione, and if you have an MTHFR gene mutation, the odds of having adequate amounts of glutathione to meet the level of toxins your body deals with on a daily basis, and those generated from Lyme, mold, candida, heavy metals, etc, are very slim. This can result in toxins that hang around and this is not good, but for a reason that may not be so obvious.
If toxins aren't leaving your body in the way the body was designed to eliminate them, then their presence will have a profound effect on the status of your health. Toxins that hang around cause the immune system to respond, inflammation, and inflammation is much responsible for a good portion of the symptoms a person with chronic Lyme disease has. If it isn't obvious yet, then it should make sense that a person who thinks they're dealing with a large pathogen load may in fact be dealing with a large amount of toxins that won't leave, with a pathogen load much less than their symptoms lead them to believe.
As you know, a herxheimer reaction is when the Lyme bacteria dies and releases endotoxins and other undesirables into the body. If the body can't remove these toxins in an efficient manner (i.e., MTHFR), they're going to remain in the body, build up over time, and give the person enduring chronic Lyme disease the illusion they can't shake the bacteria.
On July 17th, 2015, I began to take Methyl-Guard for a heterozygous MTHFR gene mutation. I became thoroughly convinced after much research on Dr. Marty Ross that addressing the MTHFR defect is important to heal from chronic Lyme. I didn't realize how important it was for healing from chronic Lyme disease until I began taking Methyl-Guard and experienced its effects.
Since being on Methyl-Guard, my energy levels have greatly improved, parts of my brain responsible for being social have partly become alive once again, sleep is improving, the articulation of complex thoughts into sentences is becoming easier, and overall, there is just this sense of well being which I have been without for far too long.
But, with the good comes the bad. By giving my body the nutrients it needs to produce greater levels of glutathione, the toxins from the first herxheimer reaction I had, to the last, are starting to get detoxed and this caused me some unpredictable fatigue. It was a superficial fatigue and not the Lyme fatigue I've become very familiar with.
I've also had a slight increase in pain in certain areas of my body, which was short lived, as well as red, itchy bumps. Today actually marks the increase of the Methyl-Guard to 3 capsules 1x a day for me so what's yet to come is yet to be known.
under the care of a lyme doctor, finally
In April of 2015, I saw for the first time a doctor who knows chronic Lyme disease and am still with this doctor. It really is amazing talking with another human being who not only knows the conditions that are likely contributing to your health's decline, but by possessing such knowledge, make me realize that chronic Lyme disease isn't as complex as I made it out to be.
Because of the chronic Lyme disease controversy, Lyme doctors aren't easy to find and can be very scarce. In reciprocation to this reality, I became my own doctor and researched for countless hours over many years to attain the knowledge written in books and on the internet by the professionals on chronic Lyme disease. This process itself was the reason for the complexity I saw my health endeavors as - I was unofficially in medical school.
I accomplished a lot on my own in almost healing myself from chronic Lyme disease, but because my medical education wasn't certified by a degree granting institution, I couldn't completely get better because there is much knowledge I was missing.
Seriously, seeing a doctor who knows how to treat chronic Lyme disease will give you the knowledge and help you need to heal that would otherwise take years to attain on your own - complexity dissolved.
Right, but even though I am now under the care of a Lyme-literate physician, I still have this inherent desire to be my own doctor. [Spoiler Alert - The Walking Dead] I guess one could compare it to Rick's inability to adapt back into a normal civilized society at Alexandria in season 5. [Spoiler Over] You've been through such a struggle that it reworks the fabric by which you make decisions.
However, unlike Rick, I've given up some of the responsibility of healing myself, and let me tell you, it's a huge weight lifted off my chest. Being a patient to a physician that has a great wealth of knowledge of the subject I am being treated for allows me to better understand what it is the physician's treatment protocol aims to do. It creates a system of checks and balances, if you will. I can suggest knowledge I've acquired, and my physician, like every physician should be, is open to knowledge that I present as the patient.
There is no stubborn, arrogant flaunting of a medical degree or obsolete Lyme disease medical standards in practice here, but the conforming of professional opinion to the evidence of reality. My greatest hope is that one day a person with chronic Lyme disease can travel to just their family doctor and receive the adequate treatment and health care for their condition.
I know that being dealt the cards of chronic Lyme disease brings what the eyes can effortlessly see as misfortune. However, when I look a little deeper and push beyond the obvious downfalls and negatives impacts of chronic Lyme disease, I can't help but acknowledge the good that has also come because of it.
I've met people I've otherwise never would have met, and one special person that has become and still remains a huge part of my life. I've accomplished what I've never thought I'd dream of becoming.
The point is, you're on the chronic Lyme disease road now. Yes, it's flooded, you're low on gas, and there aren't any signs indicating which direction to go. But while you're on this road, you'll meet great people that you've would have otherwise never met. You'll do things and likely be met with the awe of how capable you really are with what you've never once considered to be a strong point for you.
Remember this, though - all roads end. The chronic Lyme disease road will one day end, but how it ends can be greatly and heavily influenced by how you turn that steering wheel. You may be the only person you need to get where you need to go.
Tom Keifer - Solid Ground
There is good in chronic lyme disease
Welcome To My Blog!
The LyBlog will focus on my personal battle with chronic Lyme disease,