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Friday 21 February 2020

I want to talk about Lyme Disease: Alternative Treatments

Lyme Disease: Alternative Treatments

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Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional however these posts are based on my personal experience/knowledge as I have had to become my own medical advocate as it is so, so difficult to get help for this illness. 

I'll be honest, before becoming ill, I was quite sceptical about alternative medicine but it was a visit to a clinic in Cologne that changed my mind, or at least, expanded it. The clinic combined Western medicine with alternative medicine as it saw results from both. If you are dismissive of alternative treatments, I would urge you to open your mind and do some research as there are some quacks out there trying to make a quick buck. That being said, when you have been ill for as long as I have, you will most probably be willing to try almost anything in the hope of getting better. Just be careful where you choose to spend your money. I'm going to list the treatments I have tried - some I will share my experience on but others I won't or this would be a book rather than a blog post! If there is something that I haven't expanded on that you would like to hear more about, just let me know.

Again, please remember that I am not a doctor, this post is based on notes I took at the clinics I attended and I will explain them as clearly as I can.

Hyperthermia: It was found that I had a lower than average body temperature, which meant that it was pretty difficult for me to develop a fever, which in turn meant that my immune system was unable to activate to fight infection. Under hyperthermia, a controlled fever is induced - up to 40 Celsius. To do this, I lay on a bed, which had a tent over it with infrared lights. Towels were placed under and over me and a heart monitor was placed on me as well as a thermometer. It seemed like a painstakingly slow process to increase my temperature and usually took at least 60-90 minutes to get to the required temp. I have to say that I found this hellish and without having my Mam or my husband with me, placing cool cloths on my forehead and generally trying to keep me calm, I don't know how I would have coped as I felt a little panicky and pretty claustrophobic as only my head was exposed. I also had a drip with an infusion at the same time to keep me hydrated. Once the desired temp was reached, it was maintained for 1-2 hours and then the lamps were turned off to allow my body to return to its natural temperature gradually. It's a non-toxic treatment but one that the Consultant felt was necessary to activate my immune system. I have to say that I really dreaded this treatment and I had to have it twice weekly when I travelled to the clinic in Germany (which I did 14 times, for either one of two week periods). I always felt really awful during the treatment and for a few hours afterwards (although the shower after was always heavenly!) so I would generally go to bed and sleep it off. In terms of how it helped, it's difficult to say as this treatment was always in combination with other therapies over either a one or two week period but after my first two week trip to the clinic, I felt better than I had done in years (unfortunately I relapsed in later months).

Ozone Therapy: This therapy has bactericidal, fungicidal and virostatic properties. It activates the immune system by producing cytokines, which act as messengers by informing other cells to stimulate the immune system. Ozone is a chemical compound consisting of three oxygen atoms and a highly energetic form of diatomic atmospheric oxygen. In Ozone Therapy, pure ozone and pure oxygen are mixed. This mixture is combined with my blood when removed and then returned via a drip. My mother used to find this one a bit queasy to watch but it never bothered me (perhaps because it was my own blood I was seeing). This treatment was very easy to tolerate and took possibly 90 minutes in total. It was part of a treatment plan so I can't say that I felt any different after it but certainly didn't have any adverse reaction or feeling. Again, this was performed twice weekly in the clinic I attended. 

Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment: I had 20 sessions of this treatment.  I was seated in a chamber with around 9/10 other people and we all wore oxygen masks. I thought that I might find this claustrophobic when the main door was shut but it was almost like I wouldn't allow myself or my brain to panic because it the door had to be opened, everyone in the chamber would be affected and would have to start again - I didn't want t be responsible for that! The oxygen that we breathed through the masks was at an ambient temperature, which was at a greater than normal atmospheric pressure. The aim of this therapy is to biologically repair and regenerate human tissue. After my first session, I slept better that night than I had done in years but this didn't continue and overall, there were no positive results of note.

Aromatherapy massages: For a period of a few months, I had weekly massages. Each week, the practitioner would let me smell an array of oils and he would combine a few, depending on which I reacted most to on that particular day. A few drops were added to a carrier cream to be used during the massage and he would also give me a small bottle of the cream and oils to being home for my husband to massage me in between sessions. The short term positive effects of these massages were that I always felt more relaxed with fewer knots in my back after these sessions but overall, there were no long-term positive improvements in my overall health.

Vitamin Infusions: I know that these are seen as trendy or post-hangover cures these days but the infusions I had were based on extensive blood tests results showing what was lacking in my body. I have no intrinsic factor in the lining of my stomach and therefore cannot absorb B12 via my food. I also had a lot of other digestive issues for the first 5 years of being ill and food rarely stayed in me long enough for me to actually absorb any nutrients (TMI, I know, but true!). These infusions bypass the stomach and gave me the vitamins and minerals that my body needed and was lacking in. I had 69 of these in total and when I first started them, there were results within a week. I went from not being able to stand unaided for more than 90 seconds (yes, it was tested) to being able to walk for around 15 minutes unaided. Of course, I was having the other treatments too but I had only had one ozone and one hyperthermia at this stage. Every time I had a vitamin infusion, I felt stronger and my digestive issues disappeared - this was the biggest difference and improvement to my life. 

Other treatments I tried: amatsu massage, acupuncture, bio-magnetic paired therapy, buteyko breathing, colonic irrigation, herbal treatment, infrared sauna, kinesiology, reflexology, reiki. In addition to B12 injections, I have had Hepapressin, combined with multivitamin injections, Mistletoe injections and Thymus Extract injections and stem cell treatment. I will have a post all about my experience with stem cell treatment tomorrow....

Thanks for reading! 

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All products are bought by me, unless otherwise stated. Anything marked with a * has been gifted without any obligation. I don't do sponsored posts. Opinion is always my own. Affiliate links may be used.

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