My guest blogger, Mary Sullivan describes how to improve your diet to reduce inflammation, common with Lyme disease. Several foods drive inflammation. I’m learning this first hand. Everyone is aware of food allergies because they can cause obvious symptoms of rash or hives. However, Food Sensitivities can occur in the body without obvious symptoms, prohibiting improvement of fatigue, body pain, depression and anxiety. Contact me and I can tell you how to be tested for food sensitivities.
My Best to You,
Cindy Kennedy MS, FNP-BC
Eat to Lower Inflammation & Pain
What you eat today builds your bones, organs and tissues of tomorrow. With Lyme disease what you eat today also influences how you feel today tomorrow and maybe next week. Start to pay attention to what you eat and how you feel.
Food is foreign to your body before digestion. Inflammation is your body’s response to foreign material that gets into your blood stream. If your gut is stressed or leaky from Lyme this is a problem. You need to figure out which foods cause a reaction for you and eliminate them. Then begin to add nutrient dense foods that your body recognizes and can convert to the amino acids, sugars and micronutrients you need to thrive.
“One of the most important questions that you and your progressive Lyme-aware practitioner must determine is how much of your problem is due to chronic persistent Lyme infection (or co-infections) versus chronic inflammation/damage caused by the Lyme.”
― Kenneth Singleton, The Lyme Disease Solution
Eating foods you know are going to make you feel rotten is like shooting yourself in the foot. Low inflammation eating is a big way to quench the inflammation from Lyme disease. How do you start to change?
Get the Help You Need
Talk to a Lyme literate doctor, a holistic nutritionist or health coach. My doctor suggested I follow the general guidelines in the paleo diet, but also did some allergy testing. The results took more foods off the table. So I did a 3 week elimination diet to gradually remove the foods the doctor identified as a problem for me.
At the time I was a vegetarian. I ate all kinds of carbs. But I made the change to help cool off my runaway inflammation. Because I was anemic, exhausted, my finger joints were dislocating and I could barely hold a phone, I was willing to eat anything to help fix things.
Here are some good books on elimination diets. The Lyme Diet by Nicola McFadzean, ND The Lyme Disease Solution by Kenneth B. Singleton MD and The Hormone Reset Diet by Sarah Gottfried MD are books that outline the process. It is very like doing a cleanse.
Remember it is not forever, you are eating this way to unload inflammation from your digestive track and body. You figure out what is triggering inflammation and pain. Keep removing foods and note how you feel. In total I eliminated, wheat, gluten, corn, dairy, eggs, peanuts, beef, pork, shell fish, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, soy, eggplant, sugar and alcohol.
Kick the Troublemakers to the Curb
Low inflammation eating means kicking allergens to the curb. Start with the big 8, these cause most of the problems in the body.
- Tree Nuts
- Shell fish
In Addition Stop
- Eating personal allergens
- Empty foods like sugar and alcohol.
- Low Nutrient quality foods
- Low Nutrient Density foods.
You might say What’s Left?
While eliminating allergens add leafy green vegetables, sprouts, all kinds of green things. Greens are naturally cooling to the body and the boost nutrition. Add color to your plate at every meal. Add herbs and spice like ginger and turmeric to actively interact your inflammation pathways.
Stay away from hot peppers while on the elimination plan. Move toward eating more whole foods, more organic foods and less boxed foods. Have fun shopping the perimeter of the store. Drink more clean water.
When you are finished with your three week adventure, check in. Are your symptoms lowered or gone? Begin to add foods you miss back to your eating plan one at a time. One at a time it is much simpler to feel the effects of each food. I could tell if add back food say tomatoes were a problem. I got to add lots of things back, but gluten dairy and eggs still don’t work for my body.
With Lyme eat as close to 100 % of the time with health in mind as you can. With food allergens 80/20 doesn’t work and you will still feel awful. A slip or accident and stoke the fires of inflammation for weeks. Let go of old attachments or convenience as the primary drivers in your meal planning. Get the help you need to figure this out. Raise Nutrients lower Inflammation and boost flavor to find the sweet spot that helps you feel your best.
Try some different foods. Build a new recipe book with ingredients that don’t trigger an inflammation response. (https://autoimmunewellness.com/cookbook/) Get a good low inflammation eating cookbook for a starting point. Play and adapt the recipes to meet your needs. Raise nutrients lower inflammation and boost the fun in your food future.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Take small steps and before you know it, your diet will become improved and second nature.
Best of Health to You,
You can reach me at www.daretoselfcare.com