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10 barriers to recovery from lyme diseaseWelcome to our final week of our 10-week series, 10 Barriers to Recovery From Lyme Disease. Last week we talked about mold toxicity as a hinderance to recovery from Lyme disease. Aside from molds, there are other sources of toxicity that can come from your home. Trying to clean up some of these areas can go a long way to helping relieve the burden on your body.

The first of these that comes to mind is toxic cleaning products. Cleaning products are laden with chemicals, some of which have very strong scents and can add to toxicity simply by breathing in their fumes. If you come into contact with the products on your skin, that is another route of entry into the body. This may not seem like a big deal to a person that is not impacted by chronic illness, but for Lyme patients, every chemical exposure is significant.

There are many non-toxic cleaning products on the market. As demand for this increases, more and more appear. I have numerous patients who replaced their more toxic cleaning products one-by-one as they ran out, which spaced out the expense and made it less overwhelming. 90% of patients who have done this report feeling better when exposed to the new, non-toxic products.

Electro-magnetic frequencies (EMF’s) are another source of pollution. Those of us who live in cities are exposed to large amounts of EMF’s – from wi-fi and cell phones, telecommunications towers, and power lines. As much as we love all our wireless and Bluetooth devices, they are major sources of EMF’s. So are we all supposed to move out to the country and try to escape them? Not necessarily, and it’s not like the rural areas are devoid of them either! What we can do is try to minimize their impact. Not having wireless devices in the bedroom is a great step – many people gain great benefit for their sleep when they remove such things from their bedroom altogether. Using landline phones where possible rather than cell phones (and not the cordless ones either!), minimizing cell phone usage, having wired broadband internet rather than wi-fi, avoiding Bluetooth devices – these things can all help. And it’s worth it to avoid living in houses right near power lines.

There are various contraptions and devices out there that are supposed to help reduce EMF radiation, such as earthing mats and sheets, EMF-protective clothing, and protective cages. I find it hard to discern which of these are credible and which are not, so my first step is always to try to remove as many of the sources as possible. Since EMF pollution can’t be felt right away, it can be insidious, and can be a major contributor to symptoms in Lyme patients.

Another source of toxicity is through foods and water. In most areas, tap water contains traces of toxic metals such as lead and arsenic. It is also high in fluoride, a known neurotoxin, and chlorine. In fact, there are more than 80 “regulated” contaminants in our tap water, and even more unregulated toxins. Bottled water may be a better bet, but even then research must be done to check the standards of individual brands. In many ways I think a good water filtration system set up at the faucet is a better choice, and even better again is a whole house filtration system, since chemicals and toxins in water can access the body even by taking showers, brushing our teeth and so on.

Another source of toxins is through our food. Conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are laden with pesticides and fertilizers. Meat and poultry are reservoirs of antibiotics and hormones used to keep them disease free and rapidly growing. Even farmed fish is more susceptible to heavy metals and other toxins, and is typically fed grain, which changes its healthy omega-3 fatty acids to less healthy ones. Eating organic produce and dairy, grass-fed beef and organic meats and poultry, and choosing wild-caught fish, will not only reduce your toxic intake of chemicals and pollutants, but will give you better quality food with higher nutrient levels.

Here ends our series on barriers to recovery from Lyme disease. These 10 things are not an exhaustive list of barriers to recovery, and as I said at the beginning, they will not all apply to everyone. So instead of feeling completely overwhelmed by these ideas, my suggestion would be to choose one or two things to ask your doctor about that haven’t been covered in your treatment so far; and pick one or two things you can do yourself at home to help your own situation. Next month reread the list and pick another one or two things. This way progress will be made in a systematic way, without being unrealistic or overwhelming.

I’d love to hear how many of you have benefitted from this series and would like me to write more posts on Lyme disease.  I want to make sure my posts are relevant to my audience, so please do get in touch and let me know. I’m always interested in hearing what topics would be of most interest and importance to you, my readers, so please feel free to get in touch or post requests on The Naturopathic Mama facebook page for any topics that would help you enhance the health of your family.