The deepest sleep I ever had in my entire life, or at least in a long, long time, was last night. What do I attribute it to? I would have to attribute it to the Red Borneo Kratom I took, but more importantly, the larger dose of modified citrus pectin I increased to the night before.
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.
I tried some other items such a L-theanine and 5-HTP, which did help with sleep the first time I took it, but to no great avail now. Eventually I stumbled upon an herb known as Kratom and it seems to work very well for the occasional insomnia. Regardless, the insomnia was a symptom and the Kratom was just masking the symptom. It would take a non-progressive doctor's appointment for me to realize that deep, restorative sleep already existed in a supplemented that rested on my dresser drawer, but remained untouched since a bad reaction I had to it when I initially took it. The supplement I speak of is modified citrus pectin.
On one of the many days I spent researching why I couldn't get better, I stumbled upon modified citrus pectin on the internet and its touted benefits for binding to toxins such as heavy metals in the blood. I thought to myself how beneficial it could be to my healing, so I went out and purchased it. When I got home, I took 3 capsules on an empty stomach because 3 is half of the 6 capsule recommended dosage. If you have chronic Lyme, you know what it's like trying the full dosage of a new supplement - fear and intimidation. So I took the 3 capsules and went about my day.
The next day I awoke and had no words to describe the mental and physical state I existed in because I had never had such an unearthly bodily feeling before. My head was in a great state of paranoia and depersonalization was to its extreme -- I was so spaced out and catatonic. I felt poisoned and toxic, and the only word I feel that could come close to describing my state that day is stupor. Long story short, I messaged my doctor, he mentioned I was detoxing too fast, I stopped the modified citrus pectin and never touched it again for 4 months.
Now why in the world would I even consider looking at modified citrus pectin again after what it did to me? Well, my simple response would be knowledge - the knowledge that what I felt that day when I took 3 capsules of it was a release of biotoxins. However, this knowledge wouldn't be attained after bringing to my doctor's attention how I felt after taking the modified citrus pectin - nope. This knowledge became the result of a doctor's appointment -- with the doctor mentioned above -- that left me with no hope or explanation for my continued chronic Lyme symptoms. After getting home from the doctor's appointment, I decided to play my own doctor, as I've been doing all along, and with my Google degree, learned about a little condition known as Biotoxin Illness (i.e., Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome).
Biotoxin illness is simply a condition where biotoxins, toxins from lifeforms, in this case Lyme, mold, candida, etc, don't ever leave the body because a person lacks a certain gene that tells the immune system how to identity and remove these biotoxins. The gene is called the HLA DR gene, I tested positive for its deficiency on lab results run by the same doctor mentioned above, along with high TGF Beta-1 and low MSH. I guess I was just really dumbfounded to learn that the doctor who had the appropriate tests run for suspected Biotoxin Illness, couldn't see I was suffering from the symptoms of it, especially after taking one of the smoking guns to treat it, modified citrus pectin.
So I played my own doctor again, did my research on biotoxin illness, and began to treat myself with Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker M.D.'s treatment protocol - the man who pioneered the knowledge for this condition and its treatment.
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.
The shocking reality of Biotoxin Illness is that even if I was dealing with a very low load of Lyme bacteria within my body, the consistent debilitating symptoms I had could be nearly be blamed on the biotoxins from the Lyme, and not the large presence of a Lyme infection. People who don't get better from chronic Lyme disease after taking years of antibiotics, conventional or herbal, absolutely need to consider a potential Biotoxin Illness.
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).
So I've been treating myself for Biotoxin Illness since early October. The first step of the treatment was to check my envionment for biotoxin exposure, and the second step is to reduce the biotoxins in the body with a binder. I've been doing so with modified citrus pectin, but started with just 1 capsule this time and increased it based on how I was feeling, and how I've been feeling is unbelievable. In my entire ordeal with Lyme, and with all the supplements, drugs, and techniques I've tried to feel better with, modified citrus pectin now sits with the only other 2 methods that have worked to make me feel better, the Buhner herbs and Methyl-Guard for my MTHFR gene mutation.
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 currently up to 6 capsules 2x a day of the modified citrus pectin and it's taken me a little over 2 months to do so. Since starting it, I have been sleeping so deep! The sleep is unbelievable and feels so restorative. I still have good and bad days, but they now occur far less and fewer, and at a level that is much closer to remission from chronic Lyme.
My plan right now is to continue to work up the modified citrus pectin to the recommended dosage by Dr. Marty Ross, M.D. of treatlyme.net. Once I get there, I will consider talking with my doctor about switching to cholestyramine, which is a prescription drug that is much stronger than modified citrus pectin at removing biotoxins from the body. Once I feel the biotoxins are down to a good level, I'll then move towards heavy metal removal.
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.
I also want to wish everyone a safe and happy holidays!
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The LyBlog will focus on my personal battle with chronic Lyme disease,