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Brain Fog & Lyme Disease

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One of the reasons Lyme disease, like some Autoimmune disorders, are so difficult to diagnose is because it presents with an intricate combination of symptoms not always visible to the doctor or other outside observer.  One of the most common — and earliest — of these is a mild cognitive impairment known as brain fog. In fact, studies show that approximately 20 percent of patients with early onset Lyme disease only complain of fatigue, unexplained muscle and joint pain, more frequent headaches and brain fog.

Brain fog can take two forms in Lyme disease patients: A general experience or feeling of cloudiness, fogginess or heaviness in the head, or the more extreme, where the patient cannot readily form coherent thoughts or sentences, and has trouble with short-term memory, reasoning, and focus.

What many people don’t realize is that this brain fog, along with most other symptoms associated with Lyme disease, is actually the result of an overactive immune response that has caused a build up of cytokine inflammation and other brain infection chemicals. Existing symptoms can worsen and new symptoms emerge as a result of treatment. There must be a whole body approach.

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First Things First: What are Cytokines?

Cytokines are proteins created by white bloods cells that initiate an immune response. In the right amounts, they help the white blood cells effectively halt viral and bacterial replication. With persistent infections, a cytokine storm can be a side effect of treatment, because as parts of the infection die off, whether from antibiotics or more holistic therapies, toxins are released into the blood that the immune system can mistake for a new threat. More and more cytokines are released in response overwhelming the immune system and resulting in the pain, fatigue, lowered immunity, and brain fog Lyme disease patients often report. 

Whole Body Approach: Treat the Infection and Decrease Cytokine Production

The good news is these things can be fixed by treating cytokine producing problems alongside existing infections and co-infections.

Bartonella and Borelia, the two main infectious culprits responsible for Lyme disease, routinely exist alongside viral and parasitic infections, yeast overgrowth in the intestinal tract and mold toxins in the bloodstream. Therefore, for any Lyme disease treatment to be effective and complete, all existing infections and conditions must be identified. 

Bartonella and Borelia generally respond well to antibiotics in acute systemic cases, while the toxicity and gut imbalances can be addressed through lifestyle changes, detoxification, and specific supplementation.

Anti-inflammatory diet – a low-sugar, low-carb diet high in lean proteins and clean, whole foods will help bring the gut flora back into balance.

Addressing sleep issues – lack of sleep encourages cytokine production, while quality sleep decreases it.

Supplementation – very specific supplementation can reduce oxidation, remove toxins, and block enzymes that encourage the production of cytokines. Glutathione, liposomal curcumin, resveratol and quercetin are just a few powerful tools in the treatment support tool box for decreasing cytokine production, removing toxins that decrease brain function and repairing nerve injury during treatment.

These things are not a quick fix, but they can effectively relieve brain fog and other common symptoms associated with Lyme disease. Contact us if you have brain fog from Lyme disease or your current treatment protocol is not showing results.

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