Sleep has never really been an issue with me while dealing with chronic Lyme disease. I've always slept deep regardless of how I felt, but as of late, the insomnia had been occurring, but not as frequent as you'd think; regardless, insomnia has been occasionally present. So how do I deal with insomnia? Well, in the beginning I would take Valerian Root, and it worked, but then its efficacy wore off. So then I upgraded to liquid melatonin and that worked amazingly! Unfortunately, I learned that taking melatonin for extended periods of time can induce unwarranted psychological symptoms and an irregular heartbeat - two symptoms Lyme had long since bestowed.
The first step in Dr. Shoemaker's treatment protocol for biotoxin illness is for the person to remove themselves from the source of their continued biotoxin exposure. In this case, I tested my home for mold with an ERMI test and the results did not warrant a move. Regardless, I could still have mycotoxins within (i.e., mold biotoxins) and any amount of toxins that could be removed surely helped my body. The second source for my biotoxin illness is, you guessed it, Lyme. As you are likely well aware of, Lyme constantly releases biotoxins, and chronic Lyme guarantees consistent exposure to them. This was not a source of biotoxins I could remove myself from, so in time, I would need to bring the total load of Lyme within my body down, if I hadn't done so already.
Nearly all of the symptoms a person with chronic Lyme disease experiences are due, not to the Lyme and its biotoxins, but to a person's immune response to the Lyme and its biotoxins - big difference. This reality explains how a person can continue to feel bad even if they have a very low, if at all, Lyme load within their body. The Lyme infection may be low, or completely gone, but because that person lacks the HLA DR gene, their body will never get rid of the biotoxins Lyme produced and they'll remain indefinitely within the body. As a result, a person's immune system will keep responding to them causing nearly all of the consistent, never-ending symptoms they feel (i.e., inflammation).
It had become most apparent to me that detoxification was absolutely needed by my body to get better. Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, M.D. said that some people with chronic Lyme disease need to detox first [before killing anything] and these words couldn't be any more true for me. Sure, I could increase my Buhner herbs, but I would feel horrible and will have a difficult time getting over any herx reactions from such an increase. I was so clogged and backed up from the years of killing Lyme due to my body's inability to effectively remove these biotoxins that were responsible for all those herxes. I can also hear Stephen Buhner mention that killing the infection is really the last method anyone with chronic Lyme should employ, if absolutely necessary.
I am still on the Buhner herbs, but just a 1/4 tsp of the Knotweed and Cat's Claw - a maintenance dosage. I do have a plan to increase these in time, but detoxification is all I am focused on now and it's what is working for me. I can, without a doubt, say that I am feeling the best I have ever felt physically and mentally since my chronic Lyme disease symptoms started in the Fall of 2009.
- You can find more information on biotoxin illness and Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker M.D.'s treatment protocol for it on his survivingmold.com.
- Dr. Marty Ross, M.D. has a great self-help website for those with chronic Lyme with treatlyme.net.
- The modified citrus pectin I currently use is by NOW, but you can also use fractionated pectin powder by Thorne.