when living with chronic Lyme disease
By: Rika Keck
When it comes to the landscape of chronic Lyme, I always ask my new clients, “Who are you? What was your health like before the infection? Who is currently treating your Lyme or mold-associated illness? What was your life like before you felt ill? Were you born via a natural birth or C-section? Were you breastfed or bot- tle-fed? Did you often play outside as a child, or did you spend your growing-up years in sanitized homes and school buildings? Do you have your tonsils? How frequently have you used antibiotics (during childhood and in recent years)? Do you exercise or play sports? Do you spend more time indoors or outside? Who is supporting you emotionally during this time (e.g., your partner, family, or friends)? Is there anything that is easing your symptoms right now? Do you eat organic or commercial foods? Does your diet contain animal proteins, or is it plant based? What are your personal goals? How do you feel today? In addition, are there any medications you are taking that might be siphoning away nutrients your body desperately needs? What has been the most traumatic event in your life?” All of these factors are important.
These intake questions provide an important backdrop for the unique individual dealing with persistent Lyme-related symptoms. In conjunction with the above questions, other factors to consider include the medical history of the individual’s parents, past and present physical pains, any current injuries, prior digestive troubles, thyroid dysfunction, results of their most recent lab work, childhood vaccinations, emotional traumas, surgeries, psychological troubles, relationship stress, financial worries, seasonal or pet allergies, and chemical sensitivities. All these mind-body layers are important when dealing with the complexities of Lyme-related or environmental illnesses, chronic pain, and auto-immune challenges.
It is not about the illness; it is about the individual, the whole person, whose biography, present biology, genetic potential, immune system, and stressed mind- set are all interwoven with the challenges the illness presents in their daily lives.
Stress of any kind is processed in the body at hormonal, metabolic, and bio- chemical levels. Living in chronic stress mode is very detrimental to our health; sustained stress depletes the body of its nutrient reserves, which are often defi- cient already. A malnourished and tired body will not be able to fight infections.
An excerpt from Rika’s book “Nourish, Heal, Thrive: A comprehensive and holistic approach to living with Lyme disease.”
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