You know the drill if you have Lyme disease. You may have gotten a positive Lyme diagnosis, and you’re in the process of finding the right protocol or treatment that helps you get back to normal, if you can. Perhaps you’ve caught Lyme early and your doctor goes the traditional route and uses Doxycycline or Rocephin to try to nip things in the bud. You may also know that by taking antibiotics for any length of time, you’ll start to create an imbalance of yeast (candida albicans) overgrowth in your intestinal tract that needs to be addressed by counter-active measures like probiotics… and some changes in your diet.
As a nutritionist who has late-stage Lyme, I’d like to share some dietary plans and how they can assist with managing the Lyme bacterium and imbalances of yeast and potential fungus in your gut. You may also have co-infections like Babesia, and then you are dealing with not only bad bacteria but parasite overgrowth as well.
My two favorite diets for Lyme (in which will be featured in my upcoming book: “The Lyme Disease Healing Plan and Recipe Book”) are the Paleo and the Ketogenic Diet. In the nutrition arena there are always different dietary protocols coming out, and Paleo was all the rage last year, with Keto eventually becoming the hot topic recently. The basic goal of both diets is to starve out bad bacteria, fungus and parasites in their tracks. It’s not certain that either diet will completely eradicate Lyme and co-infections on their own, however, so I would recommend following them in conjunction with a balanced treatment plan like the Cowden protocol or other herbal Lyme treatments.
So what is the Ketogenic Diet exactly?
The “keto” in a ketogenic diet comes from the fact that it allows the body to produce small fuel molecules called ketones. This is an alternative fuel source for the body, used when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply.
Ketones are produced if you eat very few carbs (that are quickly broken down into blood sugar) and only moderate amounts of protein (excess protein can also be converted to blood sugar). The liver produces ketones from fat. These ketones then serve as a fuel source throughout the body, especially for the brain. The brain is a very hungry organ (as it should be, it is the body’s control tower) that consumes lots of energy every day, and it can’t run on fat directly. It can only run on glucose… or ketones.
How Burning Off Fat Stores Helps Get Rid of Lyme
On a ketogenic diet, your entire body switches its fuel supply to run mostly on fat by burning it 24/7. When insulin levels become very low, fat burning can increase dramatically. It becomes easier to access your fat stores to burn them off. If you have Lyme, your body can be significantly impaired due to the overgrowth of bacteria, fungus and parasites. Because these organisms feed off of sugar, eliminating “sugary” complex carbs is your ticket to wellness!
The Lyme bacteria cannot survive because it does not have fuel, just like a vehicle will not run properly without gasoline.
Other Keto Benefits That Will Make Your Body Happy
Keto is mostly known for its weight-loss benefits, but there are also other less-obvious benefits, such as feeling less hunger and having a steady supply of energy. This may help keep you alert and focused. Increased energy levels are a godsend to those with Lyme, as many of us suffer from chronic fatigue. Also, if you have cognitive issues from Lyme, a keto diet can assist with this as well. It’s a win-win, ladies and gentlemen!
What Exactly Do I Eat on Keto?
Adding in low glycemic fruit, like avocado, berries, or green apples is part of a keto diet, along with consuming mostly protein, and good quality fats. Many people today are still confused about healthy fats vs. unhealthy.
Some examples of “good” fat include: Omega 3/6 fats such as wild-caught salmon, wild-caught tuna, cod, grass-fed beef, (must be grass-fed to get the Omega’s) walnuts, almonds, flax seed, coconut oil, cage-free organic eggs and the like. Contrary to antiquated science, eggs do not raise cholesterol and should be eaten if tolerated. Vegetables should include dark, green leafy veggies like kale, romaine, arugula, baby greens, Swiss chard, and collard greens. This low-carb diet essentially starves out the bacteria that fuels Lyme.
Keto and Lyme “Disclaimer”
As a nutritionist, I don’t think Keto is a “cure all” approach, but it can most certainly prevent the disease from progressing in many cases. There are also supplements that you would want to check out along with herbal medications known to help stop pathogen overgrowth.
Please keep in mind that everyone’s body is different, and Lyme does come in all flavors, shapes and sizes, so to speak. Therefore, it is recommended that you consult with a professional who is both knowledgeable of Lyme disease and who specializes in nutrition.
What if You Don’t Have Time or Are Too Fatigued to Prep Meals Due to Lyme?
There are also many services like Blue Apron or Hungry Root that allow you to have fresh foods delivered to your door for you to cook and prepare, and you can customize these plans according to your dietary restrictions. It saves time, money and you don’t have to measure out proportions of fats, carbs and proteins. It does it all for you! Easy peasy!
Keep a Symptom Log and Food Diary
In closing, if you have tried different approaches to obliterate your Lyme disease, this is a diet that is most certainly on the list to try. I would recommend keeping a food diary and a symptom journal to see how you progress. If it is working well for you, you should notice a decrease in your Lyme symptoms. If not, something may need to be tweaked, or supplements added as I mentioned earlier. Good luck!
The above material is provided for informational purposes only. The material is not nor should be considered a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
About the author: Christie Korth has been very passionate about health and wellness since healing herself from a crippling case of Crohn’s disease through diet and lifestyle changes. She is the CEO of Happy & Healthy Wellness, Inc. and the award-winning author of “The IBD Healing Plan and Recipe Book.” She has also has been treating late-stage Lyme disease for several years and is writing a book about her experiences.