Sunday, June 24, 2012

Toxins Say "Bye-Bye"

I can't believe I haven't blogged in almost a month! I've actually been well enough to stay busy — recording new music, rescuing homeless kittens and puppies, planting trees and veggies, and playing host to my visiting sister. This time of year — with its long days and signs of new life — always lifts my spirits, but I think it's more than weather that's doing me good. I think I can feel myself getting healthy.

The insomnia and fatigue are just as present as ever, which is why I'm not ready to return to full-time work, but small, flexible projects are pretty manageable as long as I'm not to toxic.

In my last entry, I talked about the mystery of my hypersensitivity to just about everything. Since then, I think I've learned at least part of the reason for it.

One reader has sent me an e-mail suggesting that all my reactions mentioned in that last entry point to a weak liver.

And the new craniosacral/chiropractic/homeopathic practitioner I'm seeing says the supplements I take to reduce my bacterial, viral and parasitic infections are cramming up my detoxification pathways by producing more internal toxins (i.e. toxic byproducts of the meds) than what my body can eliminate. Moreover, especially due to my genetic mutations blocking my methylation (detox) pathways such as (but not limited to) my liver, my body has the extra tendency toward toxic overload.

Bottom line: I'm not naturally detoxing. My detox pathways are jammed up. And it's been making me feel like crap for almost a year and a half.

I've been painstakingly aware of this detox/methylation problem of mine for a long time, which is why I'm careful to take enough binders (supplements such as chlorella, charcoal and clay which literally bind to the neurotoxins and dead bugs and help your body excrete them) and to promote methylation with methyl-B12, sam-E and glutathione. So I haven't really understood why I'm still getting so toxic off my meds.

But now I've realized that binders and methylation supplements are just a couple pieces of a more vast detox puzzle. I'm too toxic to rely on binders and methylation donors alone, and my liver is still consistently testing as very congested and weak.

The irony here is that I've felt all along that I haven't attacked my active infections hard enough — keeping my doses of samento, cumanda, banderol, neem synergy, mimosa pudica, virogen, borrelogen, ivermectin, and minocycline all to less than half the recommended dose — and therefore worrying that I'm not gonna get far with killing my infections until I reach the normal dose.

And yet, this practitioner [who I mentioned above] has actually suggested the opposite: back off of these killing machines. My body is becoming so toxic, causing my symptoms to flare.

He's not the only to recently address this issue. While most LLMDs and patients in the Lyme community feel that we need to get sicker to get better, some are now disputing this idea. Dr. David Jernigan recently published this article and posted the following statement on his Facebook page:

"There is a horrible but prevalent thought in conventional Lyme disease treatment philosophy that one should expect worsening of their symptoms from the conventional or natural antibiotic medicines. This worsening is known as a Herxheimer reaction or herx. Doctors often actually base the selection of their medicines on whether or not their patient starts feeling even worse after starting their antibiotics! They feel the medicine must not be working if you don’t feel horrible.

It is BARBARIC to hold to the idea that it is necessary to make the patient feel worse and sometimes cause them permanent damage . . . Good treatment shouldn't be determined by increasing the intensity and number of your symptoms, but by their gradual disappearance. Let greater health be your guide instead of greater Herxes!"

Apparently these herxes can put enough stress on the body that more harm is done, which is obviously counterproductive to healing. So some practitioners are starting to simply promote healthy lifestyle changes such as a focus on clean diet and clean living as the key to health. (Sound too simple? Perhaps. I don't know exactly where I stand on the issue. Clearly some of us need more hardcore treatments while others may benefit significantly from clean living alone.)

What my chiropractic/craniosacral practitioner and Dr. Jernigan and others of the same camp agree on is the following: Less killing of infections and more detoxing could be the key to good health. The theory suggests that unblocking detox pathways can, for some people, jumpstart the body into working like it should, and thus initiate recovery without the need for many of the killers.

Well, so far, he seems to be right on the money. I've started doing mere tidbits of these killers, and added liver support, kidney support, drainage support, more binders, more Cholestyramine, and just about anything I can think of to help myself detoxify. And I've noticed a slight but noteworthy improvement in just the last couple of weeks!!! (And I don't think it's only thanks to this time of year).

I'll continue to focus mostly on detoxing as much as I can, see how I feel, and then return to killing things in my body. 
I won't be able to say my healing has any staying power until the improvements last at least a few months, because until then, it could always just be another upswing in a series of ups and downs. But this just might be my trick to good health.

I hope I'm making sense even for the folks who aren't members of the Lyme club. All this talk of killers vs. detoxifiers can be confusing.

By the way, it's not just the killers that make me toxic. Unfortunately, a majority of supplements intended to help me regain health in different ways are actually making me more toxic, which creates extra challenges for me (and all of us hypersensitive types) on the journey to long-term wellness.

Some medications I've tried over the last year and a half of treatment — which I've had to stop due to what you can call "side effects" (i.e. toxicity) include the following:

  • Low-Dose Naltrexone (helps modulate the immune system, white blood cell count)
  • Gamma globulin (also increases natural killer cells to build immunity)
  • Diflucan (kills candida, systemic fungus/molds)
  • Enzymes (help break down biofilms, getting to the hidden bugs)
  • Alinia (strong anti-parasitic)
  • Cortef (cortisol supplement, for adrenals)
  • Heparin (blood thinner, anti-coagulant)
  • Lithium Orotate (repairs brain chemistry)
  • Compounded Serotonin (balances mood)
  • Taurine (many purposes)
  • Folates/Folic acid (nutritional support and methyl donor)

Being told that I "have to" tolerate all of the above in order to get well is an absolutely self-defeating feeling. I've heard that from a few people, but now that another camp is voicing their opposing viewpoint — that the body can heal itself without any of this stuff — is music to my ears. (I have NO idea why the above text is highlighting itself in white, as it spontaneously decided to do so, and I can't seem to undo it).

My most common and aggravating symptoms are common in what they are, but uncommon in what they're not. See, I don't have joint pain, arthritis or joint swelling, migraines, seizures, tremors or paralysis like a lot of Lymies do. I do, however, have such common symptoms as chronic fatigue, stomach upset, anxiety disorder, brain fog, trouble exercising, trouble standing, low blood pressure, weakness, hormonal problems, thyroid disease, excessive mucus production, difficulty concentrating, etc.

So here's hoping the majority of my symptoms are in fact due to toxicity. I'll be staying on a very, very (!) small dose of killers — less than the low dose I was already taking (just enough to keep my infections from booming) while I focus on detox for the next month or two. We'll see how it goes! Of course, I'll let you know!


  1. Right on Leila...right on. So happy to hear that you're making headway! You rock sista <3

  2. This is a really good topic! I think one of the reasons that I'm having a somewhat easier time than a lot of fellow lyme patients is that I DID a lot of cleansing (fasting, detoxing, etc.) well before I got sick and really had pretty good cleansing channels open when I really needed them. I imagine it is much tougher in your situation, and I know of others who have a similar thing-- their bodies just are not very good at detoxing. It must be really rough.

    I also question the need to herx. While herxing might be a good indicator that you are killing off bugs, it seems to me that you can be killing them and not go into overload, and that's really the best scenario. I've been doing this lyme patient survey and one of the things I asked about was how people feel about herxing: necessary evil or not necessary at all, or something in between. Pretty fascinating!

  3. So excited you are making some headway, Leila! Toxins be gone...indeed.

    Rooting for you...



  4. Don't forget to check your environment for mold. Mycometrics is the best test.