Inflammation is a hot topic in medicine today. Researchers are finding that it can negatively impact every part of the body and lead to many diseases and health conditions, including Lyme disease. Too often, people talk about inflammation like it is a tangible thing, like it is something you can see, feel, or smell. This is not accurate, however. Inflammation is a process that protects your body from bacterial infections and viruses.
Yes, inflammation can is a good thing when fulfilling its purpose.
The Purpose of Inflammation
When injured, even by a bite from a tiny deer tick, your body senses something is wrong. It activates an inflammatory response. This means inflammation travels to the injured area and starts fighting potential invaders like bacteria.
You can know inflammation is working hard because it feels swollen, hot, and sore to the touch at the site of the injury or bite. You may also notice it is redder at the site.
This process is known as acute inflammation. Once rid of bacteria, inflammation subsides. Acute inflammation can become chronic if the body continues to detect bacteria. The inflammation process doesn’t have a stop button. If bacteria remain in your system, they will continue to seek and destroy.
This becomes a huge problem for those with Lyme disease.
Inflammation and Lyme Disease
When Lyme disease bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, enter your bloodstream, they have multiple tactics to help them stay alive. They create biofilms that serve as an outside armor protecting the bacteria from inflammation and antibiotics.
They also can hide in the lining of the walls of your bloodstream, avoiding getting flushed away with your blood flow. They are so strong they can move against the flow of your blood. Finally, they can go dormant or inactive to avoid detection.
All these actions keep inflammation activated and traveling throughout your body on the hunt for bacteria. Some of its favorite spots are your joints and muscles, which become incredibly stiff, sore and make it difficult for you to move around.
Chronic inflammation can eventually affect your nervous system, causing other physical and psychological disorders.
Combatting Lyme inflammation is crucial in fighting the disease. One of the best ways to reduce inflammation is with a Lyme inflammation diet.
Lyme Inflammation Diet
Eating anti-inflammatory foods is one piece in solving the Lyme disease puzzle. Lyme bacteria look for unhealthy cells in the body because they are easy targets. Poor diet, smoking, drug or alcohol use, exposure to toxins, physical and emotional stress, and co-infections or other microbes produce unhealthy cells.
It’s essential to do what you can to strengthen and improve the health of your cells. A Lyme inflammation diet is a great way to start.
Inflammation Diet Food List
The list of foods you can eat is lengthy and resembles anti-inflammatory diets recommended for those with various types of arthritis. The most crucial factor is eliminating foods that promote poor cell health and replacing them with natural fruits and vegetables. Below is a list of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory food choices.
Foods To Avoid (pro-inflammatory)
Many foods do not fight inflammation. Avoid foods like:
- Refined flours
- Dairy products
- Red meat
- Sugar of any kind
- Saturated fats
- Fried foods
- Processed meats
- Foods high in carbohydrates like bread, sweets, and pastries
Instead, consume foods like:
- Fish that is high in omega 3 fatty acids
- Fresh fruits
- Fresh vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole grains
- Green Tea
- Plant-based proteins like chickpeas
- Dark chocolate
- Red wine in moderation
Benefits of a Lyme Inflammation Diet
It won’t take long after starting a Lyme inflammation diet for you to start seeing benefits. You will notice you have more energy, less pain, and have improved sleep. Eating to fight inflammation can help you reach weight goals, whether losing weight or maintaining your current weight.
You can also reduce your chances of developing other physical health disorders associated with inflammation. The vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients supplied by anti-inflammatory foods protect bones and teeth and keep blood sugars and pressure healthy.
A healthy gut means digestion, metabolism, and immunity are healthier. Anti-inflammatory diets include foods that promote beneficial bacteria in the stomach. Also, you may have fewer mood swings and see improvements in psychological health.
Over time, you will notice your body functioning better, allowing you to get out and enjoy life.
More Lyme Inflammation Diet Suggestions
An anti-inflammatory diet is more of a lifestyle than a temporary program. There are other things you can do to improve your anti-inflammatory lifestyle. For example, you can become more active physically because you will be experiencing less stiffness and swelling in your joints. Light to moderate exercise can boost heart health. It also promotes the release of neurotransmitters in the brain that make you feel good.
Consider working with a Lyme literate doctor who can administer advanced Lyme disease therapies like blood and plasma apheresis, biofilm eradication, medical-grade detoxes and cleanses, and IV vitamin infusions.
Your doctor can also suggest supplements you can take to boost your immune system further. Make healthy sleep hygiene a priority. Sleep is needed to restore and repair the body to function when fighting off Lyme bacteria. Participate in activities that promote self-care and mindfulness.
Make an effort to pay attention to what your body needs and then meet those needs. You can do this through activities like meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and guided imagery techniques. Do what you can to reduce stress, which will reduce inflammation. The better you manage stress, the less inflammation you will experience.
You can start a Lyme inflammation diet today by replacing unhealthy foods and drinks with healthy ones in your home. Continue your research on inflammation through online searches, podcasts, blogs, or books. If you have questions, contact a Lyme literate doctor who specializes in Lyme inflammation diets.
Commit to trying an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle for at least one month, document your progress, then measure your improvements. Finally, reward yourself. You deserve it.