Building a Lyme Disease protocol can be an overwhelming task. There are just so many options out there and many, many strong opinions. Here at Ticked Off With Lyme, we believe in following a proven Treatment Approach which aims to reduce symptoms and prepare your body for Lyme treatment.
So, once you have a good understanding of the Treatment Approach, there are two components to a Lyme Disease protocol. These are:
- A supportive protocol
- A bacteria killing protocol
This post is all about number 1 – building a supportive protocol.
What's A Supportive Protocol?
A supportive protocol includes everything you do, except killing bacteria. It will include things you do on a daily basis (supplements) and on an ‘as needed’ basis (epsom salt bath for painful joints). Above all, a good supportive protocol is one that you remember to do and that you can record to see your progress.
The number one problem that I experienced is that Lyme doesn’t make it easy to remember to carry out a protocol and that recording symptoms and herxes can be overwhelming. It’s no wonder, given the brain fog and pain Lyme creates on a daily basis.
That’s why I created the Habit & Herx Trackers. They help to remind you to do the things you need to do, like taking herbs, and they also provide a record that you can look back on to see your progress. Best of all, you can get my trackers completely free when you sign up to our mailing list.
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There are thousands of suggestions out there for supplements, herbs and treatments. Here at Ticked Off With Lyme we take a very specific approach when it comes to a supportive protocol: it must build up and not further compromise the body’s ability to heal.
For this reason, we tend to favour herbal supplements over pharmaceutical extracts that often have side effects and can tax the liver. For example we’d choose Japanese Knotweed over Resveratrol extract; herbal cytokine inhibitors over NSAIDs. This is because herbal medicine aims to re-balance the body to allow it to heal itself, but pharmaceuticals are often only aimed at suppressing symptoms.
Does this mean we’re against pharmaceuticals? Absolutely not. I have relied on prescription painkillers at points in my journey, simply because without them I was unable to function. But it was a decision that I made based on the pros and the cons.
Ideally, you’ll be looking for supplements, herbs and habits that do the following:
- Reduce inflammation in a gentle way
- Manage symptoms
- Improve self-care
- Deal with the emotional effects of a chronic illness
Check out our top ten pick for supplements here.
Establishing good habits is a hugely important part of a supportive protocol. Supplements and herbs can only go so far to support your body to health. My favourite example is the person who takes a daily probiotic to improve gut health, but then chooses to eat McDonalds every day. The probiotic needs to be combined with the associated habit in order for you to get the maximum benefit.
Lyme comes with its fair share of blockers to good habits though. Brain fog makes it difficult to remember what you did in the last 10 minutes, let alone whether you took your herbs. Fatigue can mean that rebounding is the last thing you feel like doing, but having it pinned up on your fridge waiting to be crossed off can somehow motivate you.
That’s where my Habit Tracker comes in. It helps you to list out your chosen healthy habits, and acts as a nice reminder to complete them.
Maintaining a record of your habits and herxes can seem like a dreadfully boring idea. However, it will pay off as you progress through treatment.
It can be really tough to see how you’re improving. The daily struggles of Lyme and herxing can often make it hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Being able to look back and see that your herx length has reduced from 2 weeks to one week is just so valuable.
Keeping a good record of the habits you’ve completed alongside when you’ve treated helps you to see how your habits affect herxes. It also helps you to understand how you react. When you first start coiling, your herxes may seem completely random and unpredictable. Six months in though, and you’ll have a really good idea of how you’re going to react to most scenarios. For example, you’ll know that you’ll need 3 days to recover after coiling your abdomen before being able to go out for dinner. Or that the busy weekend will need around 4 days to fully recover from. It’s at this point in your treatment that you can really start to live again.
To get you started, here’s a breakdown of my supplements, herbs and habits.
Daily Supplements & Herbs
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Drink 2L Water
'As Needed' Supplements & Herbs
'As Needed' Habits
Epsom salt bath
Magnesium oil spray
Do I get it right 100% of the time? Nope! I still enjoy the odd glass of wine, or some Oreos. Sometimes I go to bed too late or I just generally push myself too much. The key is that I’m maintaining a favourable balance. It’s not about perfection. Its certainly not about a complex, unacheivable protocol made up of expensive, obscure components!
Here at Ticked Off With Lyme, we’re all about providing information that’s clear, simple, and most importantly achievable. So tell me, are you interested in tracking your habits & herxes? If so, I’d love to hear from you – let me know in the comments below!