Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Getting Your Body Ready to Fight

    First of all, I must remind everyone reading this that I am not a doctor and I don’t promote any particular protocol or treatment. All I’m relaying to you here is what has worked for me and what I trust for my body. Always, always discuss your treatments and decisions you make with your doctor or health care professional.

    I want everybody to make educated and informed decisions regarding their health. Mainstream medical will always dispute the use of supplements, herbs or holistic types of medical care. Western medicine is pretty much always in conflict with other practices. I’m striving to find a balance between both and the decisions I make regarding my care is a very personal one. At the end of the day, I decide what’s working for me based on how I’m feeling.

     I found out that I needed long term antibiotic treatment for a chronic bacterial infection. This infection went undiagnosed for so long that it had invaded my central nervous system, my brain, my joints and possibly other areas of my body. I had contracted 3 different diseases from the bite of fleas and ticks, Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis and Epstein Barr Virus. Found out later that I also had Babesiosis.
Debate rages on about treatments, causes and durations of vector borne illnesses which I will not dwell on here. This is about healing and caring for your body while fighting infection.

     So, your doctor has told you that you may need to take antibiotics for a minimum of a month to maybe several months. It's very important to know that antibiotics will kill all bacteria, good and bad. Your intestines and skin are your first line of defense in keeping infections away.
 It’s a jungle out there with products that make claims to protect you and it can be very expensive during your learning curve. I made it a rule of thumb long ago that “expensive” is not necessarily the best.

      First line of defense would be to find a good quality “probiotic”. I’m the type that even with a baby dose of antibiotics I get a yeast infection within just a few days. Yeast can not only be a genital infection or and oral infection (Thrush) but also a systemic infection, meaning in your blood. Read more Here about yeast infections and treatments.
     After trial and error I look for the highest number of ‘Live’ cells in capsule form or powder form (don’t worry about taste, it’s rather pleasant really and easily hid in food if you want to take it that way). The better ones can be found in the refrigerated section of you area health food store. You can’t over dose on it, though when I took too much it resulted in loose stools.

      Foods to avoid while taking antibiotics (this applies to any dose, not just high dose antibiotics) .
Grains that contain Gluten.
Dairy products, except Keefer, yogurt, hard aged cheeses.
I have found that following the recommended diet for sufferers of celiac disease worked really well for me. Check out this site for some excellent information on diet and recipes http:/www.celiac.com/ .

     Now that we've covered protecting ourselves from that nasty yeast infection we need to arm our selves with the right supplements for liver support. Your liver and kidneys filter the toxins produced from the die off of the bacteria you are killing with the antibiotics. See more Here for how your liver works.  And click Here to read more about your kidneys

    The only supplements I use for detoxing and liver support are Milk Thistle, Burbur extract and parsley extract and drink plenty of pure filtered water. I also do "detoxing baths", the basic one is 1-2 cups of Epsom salts and 1-2 cups baking soda in a tub of very warm water. I soak for about 30min. This has helped quite a bit with deep muscle ache and nerve pain.  I have heard of peroxide being added too but haven't tried it yet.

    During the time you take antibiotics you may experience the 'Herxheimer' Reaction and these soakings do help ease those symptoms.  Read more about the Herxheimer Reaction Here.
There is also a popular belief that you have to "Herx" to recover and that it's normal to have repeated Herxheimer reactions during the course of treatment.  I personally have serious doubts about that and my doctor has me reduce the amount of antibiotics and increase my detox when it seems that I am "Herxing" more than I can tolerate.

    A necessary reminder here that I can’t overstate, when using supplements start with the minimum dosage and increase if necessary BUT never exceed what the manufacturer recommends. Too much of a good thing can be dangerous and toxic to your system so listen to your body carefully and if in doubt talk with your doctor.

     Also remember that everybody out there with advice has a different body than you do. You are unique and what others may swear by may not work for you. There is a certain amount of trial and error during your journey to better health so don’t get discouraged or overwhelmed by all the information out there. It’s best to start your new diet and get into the habit of drinking more fluids before you start taking your antibiotics.

 This will help prepare you for the work of healing that is ahead. Read and learn everyday and share with others what’s working for you, keeping in mind our differences.

 Wishing everyone out there a rapid journey to healing and a happy life.