Tag Archives: chronic fatigue

Boost Your Health with this Superfood: Kefir

I let my kefir sit long enough to get creamy, but sourness does increase with time.

I let my kefir sit long enough to get creamy; sourness increases with time.

I’d never heard of kefir until my wise and wonderful acupuncturist encouraged me to try it as part of my recovery regimen for Lyme disease. Explaining that the fermented drink has many benefits and would boost my struggling immune system, he pressed a small packet of the starter culture into my hand to take with me.

I read up on this ancient superfood, and discovered its rich history over many centuries. Legend has it that long ago, shepherds in the Caucausus Mountains discovered that milk they carried in leather pouches fermented into tasty kefir as they rambled with their sheep.

Another story says that kefir was a gift to Orthodox Christians in the region from Mohammed, who warned them it would lost its miraculous health benefits if they shared it. People held it close, but kefir inevitably began to spread as its value came to light.

The people of the Caucausus are famous for being long-lived; maybe I could enjoy some of the same benefits. Kefir is loaded with vitamins, calcium, and fiber along with health-promoting bacteria. The National Kefir Association says this drink typically contains three times the probiotics of yogurt.

Studies show that kefir can “stimulate the immune system, enhance lactose digestion, and inhibit tumors, fungi and pathogens— including the bacteria that cause most ulcers.” Who knows, maybe research will show kefir goes after the lyme bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, too.

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Video: Did You Know Ticks Can Transmit Lots of Infections—Like Babesiosis?

I’m very lucky to have wonderful neighbors. One of them, Marilyn, called me the other day to say she’d seen this segment of “Monsters Inside Me” on Discovery’s Animal Planet. It explores the case of a Lyme patient who was not recovering, and her doctor’s discovery that she had babesia caused by the parasite Babesia microti. Marilyn knows I’m being treated for Lyme and wanted to make sure I knew about this co-infection. She got the message: Lyme patients with babesia need treatment for that along with Lyme in order to recover. I’m also lucky to have a Lyme literate doctor who checked me for co-infections at the start because I had soaking night sweats, a key symptom; my treatment is going well. Babesia can also cause the spleen to rupture; read one patient’s story here. The good news is, babesia can be treated. But first it has to be diagnosed. Please, share this video to help get the word out. And if you want lots more information on babesia symptoms and treatment, see this video by Dr. Robert Horowitz of the Hudson Valley Healing Arts Center in New York. 

Running on Empty

Credit: Taylor a’s Flickr stream

I did it again just the other day. I ran out of gas.

I accepted an invitation to meet my friends Susan and Eva for lunch in Maryland 25 miles away from my Virginia home, even though I already had a doctor’s appointment on my calendar for that morning.

I climbed into my car and drove thirty miles to my appointment. Then I got back in the car and, instead of going home, I drove to the restaurant. And then I ran out of gas.

Meaning that I hit the wall physically. And this keeps happening to me because I can’t get it through my head that lyme means you never have the energy you wish you had. You want to do things you’d normally do, but wishing doesn’t make it so.

I’m learning to think of my energy like the gas in my car.  At this point in my treatment, I would say I have about 1/8 of a tank. Continue reading