Hello all! I’ve been a little lazy with blog updates lately, and I’ve missed you, my lovely, lovely readers. Today, I want to share some treatment updates.
First of all, some exciting news. I got into the neurology clinic at the University of Utah! This means I’ll finally be evaluated for things like multiple sclerosis and dysautonomia. It’s proven extremely difficult for me to be referred and accepted into a neuro clinic, so I’m considering this a pretty huge feat. Hopefully it will mean some good things in terms of healing and diagnosis.
I’m going to stop my treatment for Lyme disease. I explain that treatment more in this post. I started with antibiotics, and quickly realized that was an extremely bad idea, considering my digestive health. Antibiotics have hugely detrimental effects on gut health and completely wipe out the good flora in the digestive tract. I am now taking Banderol and Samento, which are herbs that have been shown to be equally as effective as antibiotics in Lyme treatment. My Lyme test is still indeterminate, and I haven’t seen any positive results from the Banderol and Samento, so I’ve decided to pursue new avenues of treatment, namely restoring my digestive health.
I’m also working on finding the right balance of bacteria in my gut. Chronic antibiotic use and Fibromyalgia can both lead to SIBO, and my gut symptoms are definitely suggestive of bacterial overgrowth. I wasn’t able to do the hydrogen breath test I’d mentioned previously, because it involves drinking a solution that contains lactose (I have a dairy sensitivity), but my naturopath is helping me treat for SIBO anyway. We both agree that my symptoms and medical history suggest SIBO, probably caused by fibromyalgia and exacerbated by long-term antibiotics.
To wipe out bad bacteria, I will take Candibactin, a combination of antimicrobial herbs. In addition, I will continue taking VSL #3 and Prescript Assist, which are both probiotics that will help maintain a good population of beneficial gut flora during SIBO treatment. The problem is, overgrowth can happen with both good and bad bacteria, so there’s a lot of guesswork involved in repopulating the gut. Also, I’m still following my anti-inflammatory diet plan, similar to the AIP; I also incorporate some concepts from the GAPS diet.
Additionally, I take L-glutamine, which helps repair the lining of the intestines, especially in the presence of long-term stress. I also drink aloe vera, which is a general digestive-soother, but also helps with acid reflux. With meals, I take GI-encap, which is a blend of licorice, aloe vera, marshmallow, and slippery elm. Finally, I take ginger, chamomile, and peppermint to help calm my stomach and stimulate digestion.
I’ve also recently come across two fairly recent studies in Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that have had some incredible results.
This New Scientist article talks about a cancer drug, Rituximab, that had some unexpectedly positive results on chronic fatigue sufferers. Rituximab wipes out B-cells, which stimulate the production of antibodies. This could suggest a more autoimmune component to Chronic Fatigue than previous research would suggest. It will take some time for Rituximab to become usable (and affordable) for CFS sufferers, but I will definitely be on the waiting list!
The second study deals with vagus nerve stimulation. The vagus nerve regulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is directly connected to stress and immune responses. In fibromyalgia, the vagus nerve can become less responsive , or “undertoned,” which leads to slower digestion and irregular heartrate, as well as impaired immune response through parasympathetic nerve pathways. Lots of studies have been done with vagus nerve stimulation on fibromyalgia sufferers, but recently, people have been using TENS units or Electric Muscle Stimulation to stimulate the vagus nerve through the inner ear. This is still new research, but something I plan to cautiously try at home.
That’s all for now, my dears. I hope you’re all enjoying some good weekend hooplah.