There is no specific Lyme disease diet that all patients are recommended to follow and treatment for Lyme disease usually involves a month-long course of antibiotics which may be repeated if initially unsuccessful in clearing the infection. Many alternative health practitioners do suggest some dietary modifications however to encourage digestive health and immune system function during treatment for Lyme disease and immediately afterwards. These suggestions are often connected to the possible damaging effects of antibiotics on the intestinal flora and digestive health, leading to possible overgrowth of opportunistic bacteria and yeasts such as Candida Albicans. It is not possible to cure Lyme disease by diet alone and any practitioner attempting to treat a patient in this fashion is, at best, misguided. A healthy Lyme disease diet can certainly be beneficial but is no substitute for proper treatment of the infection.
Fasting for Lyme Disease
Fasting may be recommended by some naturopathic doctors as a method of ridding the body or parasites but it is unwise to fast during antibiotic treatment or when the body is already in a weakened state. Taking medications on an empty stomach can cause severe gastrointestinal discomfort and may lead to serious damage of the intestinal tract. Additionally, a nutritious diet is needed to facilitate proper healing and recovery and starving the body of much needed energy, vitamins, minerals, and hydration can be counter-productive. The symptoms associated with even a short-term water fast of a few days may be difficult to differentiate from an exacerbation of Lyme disease into neuroborreliosis, for example. Any symptoms such as dizziness, extreme fatigue, lethargy, listlessness, headaches, poor concentration, or muscle weakness and pain should be investigated by a physician as they could indicate the spread of infection to the central nervous system and require alternative intervention to treat.
Alkalising Diets and Lyme Disease
Many practitioners do suggest a switch to an alkalising diet as bacteria have to work harder to live in the body when it is above pH7. Lyme disease bacteria may in fact be connected to a reduction in the pH of the blood in order to support their survival and such a drop in pH has been offered as a hypothetical mechanism behind some Lyme disease symptoms. Although there are some exceptions, the general rule of thumb is that fresh vegetables have an alkalising effect whereas sweets, grains, meat, and dairy products can lead to an acidic environment. Testing strips are available at many health stores and pharmacies and patients may be able to monitor changes in acidity that occur with certain foods. Some ‘green food’ supplements are actually designed to alkalise the system and can be helpful in terms of digestion, nutrition, immune function, and general health for patients with Lyme disease (and for non-sufferers).
Diet Alone Cannot Cure Lyme Disease
A small handful of alternative therapists maintain that Lyme disease can be conquered through diet alone and that those who lead healthy lifestyles may be able to fight off Lyme disease infection. Patients should not feel that contracting Lyme disease is somehow their fault however, for not eating the right foods or doing the right ‘detox’ programme, for example. Whilst a healthy diet means that the body is better equipped to fight infection it does not mean that people are necessarily invulnerable to illnesses such as Lyme disease. Patients should also be wary of those recommending excessive consumption of water as curative for Lyme disease; again, adequate water is necessary for proper bodily function but too much can also cause problems. A recommendation put forward by other alternative health practitioners focuses on the inclusion of therapeutic salt in the diet, although there is no evidence supporting the efficacy of high levels of salt consumption on infection such as Lyme disease. Indeed, such as Lyme disease diet could be extremely dangerous for patients suffering from high blood pressure, and other medical conditions
Continue Reading –> A Low-Carb Diet for Lyme?