Thursday, May 5, 2011

A NEW APPROACH TO INSOMNIA

As I mentioned in my last post, times have been a little tough here at Lyme Story. (To wit, I am writing this post on six hours of sleep, which, more often than not, is all the sleep I get.) After years of antibiotics almost all my energy has returned, but my other big Lyme symptom, insomnia, has not improved. Over the past four years I've gone through a cycle of insomnia every few weeks-- sometimes it comes on after a couple months' absense, sometimes ten days, sometimes three weeks. I can usually get over it in a few days by adjusting my supplements. Perhaps I need more vitamin C, or to take monolaurin to help with the viral load that accompanies Lyme, or even to increase my antibiotics. Until now, I've always gotten back to solid sleep by making these adjustments.

But starting three months ago the insomnia has been stickier than that. No matter how I change things around, the insomnia comes back after a day or two. So I went to see Dr. Ross yesterday and told him how badly I was doing, not sure if he would have any new ideas. To my relief, he did. He had just attended a conference on the weekend and heard a lecture by Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker.

Shoemaker has an entirely different approach to chronic Lyme and Dr. Ross said he wants to try it on me and his other patients who are stuck in their treatment. (I am ready to admit that right now I'm stuck!) It's not about killing the Lyme bacteria, but about reigning in the other reactions the body has to Lyme disease. To summarize Dr. Ross's explanation:

1.Chronic inflammation: Lyme creates inflammation, and the inflammation creates cytokines, and the cytokines create oxidizing agents, and the oxidizing agents create cytokines, and the cytokines create oxidixing agents....

2. Toxicity: Is the liver strong enough to get toxins out of the body? If not, the toxins can enter the brain, effect the hypothalmus and interfere with sleep.

It turns out I am doing pretty much all the basic first steps toward controll inflammation in the digestive tract, where the biggest problems can be. (I am taking tumeric, Vitamin A 5,000 iu's or more, Vitamin D 1,000 iu's, I am on a gluten-free and anti-yeast diet and of course I take probiotics.) That leaves one more thing to check, which is wether I have a nasal staph infection that could be causing inflammation. I will do that once Dr. Ross's office has the test kits for it. And I got a blood draw yesterday to check if my liver is strong enough to be doing its job. (This test is called HLA-DR typing.)

Meanwhile, Dr. Ross gave me a couple new supplements. If they help, I will report on that. And I decided on my own to increase my quercetin, a supplement that keeps inflammation in check. I've been taking three capsules a day, which up to now has been adequate, but maybe I just need more for whatever reason right now. I will update in the next few weeks on the outcome!

PS: Due to my lack of sleep, I haven't put in many links on this post, but Ritchie Shoemaker can be found online, and there is more info on this blog about the anti-yeast diet.

3 comments:

Molly said...

Nice to meet you at the DCT event today! I'm Robin, but I go by Molly online :)

Naomi said...

Hi Molly! Likewise. I was glad I finally met the group. -Naomi

Insomnia Relief said...

nice to visit,
good helping one blog.
thanks for sharing.