310: Dealing With Lyme Disease Naturally
Dealing With Lyme Disease Naturally
Dealing with Lyme disease naturally seems impossible, but it's not. My returning guest Scott Forsgren had ample experience dealing with Lyme disease naturally and is now helping others do the same. And he'll teach us how he did all that in this episode.
First and foremost, Scott Forsgren says his whole journey in dealing with Lyme disease naturally was influenced by Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt's energetic testing. Scott Forsgren worked with practitioners for years that use his autonomic response testing and eventually got certified to administer the testing, too.
Improving Gut Health
Majority of the immune system and neurotransmitters originate in the gut. So, Scott Forsgren says the more we can optimize our G.I. health, the more we can improve our overall health.
He advises to first look at diet. He believes it needs to be individualized but at the same time, remove the foods that are known to be more common stressors like gluten, cow dairy, and sugar. Scott Forsgren also recommends working with a nutritionist to find out which diet might make the most sense for someone to explore.
“One that I observed helps most people dealing with Lyme disease is the low-histamine diet. It is not an easy diet to do. And it's easier if people generally prepare their food at home rather than eat out,” said Scott Forsgren. “I see it helps reduce inflammation in people and to help with a lot of their symptoms just by changing the diet.”
He adds, “The more we can focus on reducing inflammation in general, while we are treating the underlying causes, or triggers of our health condition, the easier it is to get through that process. The less inflamed people are and the better they feel while they are being treated.”
Realities of Lyme Disease
In dealing with Lyme disease naturally, you have first to understand the components of the disease. Scott Forsgren says if someone is dealing with Lyme, they probably have Bartonella and or babesia.
Some other common co-infections or opportunistic infections that need to be explored as well. Again, he advises people to work with a practitioner who can start treating them with antibiotics, herbs, homeopathy or other tools.
Food Sensitivity Testing
Food sensitivity testing is worth exploring when you are dealing with Lyme disease naturally. This is also needed if people have very specific and unique foods that might be an issue for them. Scott Forsgren says avoiding those foods can be significant.
He also says that gluten is non-negotiable on people with Lyme and mold-related issues. Furthermore, Scott Forsgren believes probably at least half, or more people would do better by eliminating cow dairy.
“Avoid those things stressful to the system, which creates more inflammation and instead, incorporate foods that are as nutritionally dense as possible,” Scott Forsgren advises. “Not the prepared, processed food but getting real food into the diet. As much organic food as possible, eliminating the GMO foods and restricting the processed foods is important.”
He adds, “And then depending on whether or not people consume meat, organic grass-fed meat, pasture-raised poultry, and wild-caught seafood can be very helpful as well.”
Scott Forsgren also says consuming healthy fats can help in dealing with Lyme disease naturally. Healthy fats include butter or ghee, chia seeds, coconut oil, and olive oil.
He also likes a lot of the plants and seed-based oils. What Scott Forsgren does daily is making a power shake, with high-quality protein, collagen powder, a blend of different fibers that helps not only with gut but also from a perspective of binding toxicity and supporting cell membranes.
Scott Forsgren also likes to mix in these healthy fats in the form of flaxseed oil, sunflower seed oil, a tablespoon of chia seeds and organic almond milk or any nut milk. It helps build muscle and structural integrity which is useful in overall health maintenance.
MegaSporeBiotic is a spore-based probiotic developed by Kiran Krishnan and Microbiomelabs. People tolerate it pretty well. Scott Forsgren says many other probiotics are a problem or an additional stressor if you have a histamine issue.
“It can also help address leaky gut issues which are often a reason why we are so reactive to foods. And why we have some of the inflammation which is due to the immune system constantly being triggered by these food and other particles that are getting through the gut membrane,” said Scott Forsgren.
Another product Scott Forsgren recommends is Dr. Zach Bush's Restore, which is a dietary supplement for gut health. Depending on each person's situation, Scott Forsgren says looking at gut health will often go beyond the diet piece and the intestinal hyperpermeability piece but also into some of those microbial overgrowths, SIBO, SIFO, dysbiosis, and parasites.
“The majority of our symptoms are the results of the inflammatory event that occurs — microbes for example. It's not so much that the symptoms are from the bug. But it's from the immune system's reaction to those bugs that creates inflammation,” said Scott Forsgren.
Mast Cell Activation Syndrome
Scott Forsgren says that people may have heard of mast cell activation syndrome which is the overproduction of histamine. He says there are many other mediators besides the histamine. And this is something that has been known in the autism arena for many years.
“Most people who are dealing with chronic infection, chronic toxicity, Lyme disease, and mold probably have some degree of mast cell activation and histamine-related issues,” Scott Forsgren said. “One of the primary triggers for mast cell activation is mold. Hence, it is the top thing people should look out.”
He adds, “But there are so many other triggers like parasites, Lyme disease, co-infections of Lyme disease-like Bartonella in particular. Environmental toxins like heavy metals, some medications, food, some supplements or temperature change can trigger mast cell reaction. Physical or emotional stress and electromagnetic field also trigger it as well.”
Some practitioners might use some pharmaceutical medications. And some practitioners find very helpful DAO or diamine oxidase which is available as a supplement. Scott Forsgren says it can be helpful for some people especially around eating time if foods trigger their mast cell issues.
One product Scott Forsgren recommends is Neuroprotek from a company called Algonot. Lots of people in the autism area are familiar with that product because NeuroProtek reduces oxidative stress and inflammation.
Another product that Scott Forsgren recommends is Dr. Ben Lynch's probiotic combination to help people with histamine issues called ProBiota HistaminX. It's available from a company called seekinghealth.com, and vitamin c helpful as well.
On the other hand, Beyond Balance's Mast-Ease was formulated to support the body's natural ability to normalize mast cell and histamine response, as well as aid in reducing inflammation.
“People do find that they have an impairment. And they lose hope that they can get well. They feel as though their body is failing them in some way and not supporting them in their recovery,” said Scott Forsgren. “So, I think it's critical when we get into the gene conversation to look at the epigenetics or what are the influencers of our genes rather than the potential for something to go wrong.”
While Scott Forsgren recognizes the benefits of doing sauna sessions, he says it is essential to talk to your health practitioner to guide you. This is to make sure the timing is right, make sure they are sweating and that they got the proper support. You must also make sure you are getting electrolytes and detoxifying well before doing saunas.
“What we don't often think about is the toxins that are getting inside the body after the sauna session is over. So, make sure your liver, kidneys, lymphatic system and extracellular matrix are all optimized,” said Scott Forsgren.
EMR And EMF
Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt was talking about the adverse effect of EMR and EMFs since way back 2006. However, there were a lot of skeptics then. But as the years went by, more studies show that EMFs are stressors to our cells. Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt also talks about how they make molds and other organisms that are within us more aggressive or produce more biotoxins.
Scott Forsgren says to be alert if you have mold from water damage in your home environment. Because the exponential increase in EMF is probably another reason why those molds now produce more toxins that influence our health.
“Endogenous retroviruses that we are conceived with are not necessarily viruses that we acquire. Historically, endogenous retroviruses have not caused us problems from a health perspective. Reducing EMF exposure certainly plays a role in some of those viruses that might be stressing our system as well,” said Scott Forsgren.
He adds, “It's not possible to eliminate EMFs. The focus has to be how to reduce our exposure. Avoid exposure when sleeping because that is when the body is regenerating, restoring and repairing. Nothing should be plugged in. Dr. Klinghardt even recommended turning off the circuit breakers to the house. And minimize use during the day.”
As for choosing the right bed to sleep in, Scott Forsgren says you don't want metal in your bed or box spring. Bottom line, the mattress should have no metal and recommends OrganicPedic.
For blankets, a good brand is Little Tree Group, which according to their website, is a company who makes EMF/EMR Protective Blankets and Bed Canopies. They also make other protective products, CES Units, and Earthing Products.
Scott Forsgren also advises being wary of dirty electricity which runs on electrical outlets because it creates health stress. He also recommends getting meters to measure how much dirty electricity you have in your environment.
“Have a building biologist to do some thorough testing to evaluate your home. EMF sensitivity is correlated to the level of heavy metals in the body and metal toxicity,” said Scott Forsgren. “And focusing on detoxification help over time to reduce electromagnetic hypersensitivity.”
Scott Forsgren also reveals that you cannot detoxify when you are constantly exposed to EMFs. So, you have to be a little bit careful about how quickly you reduce your exposures.
Kryptopyrroluria or KPU is a condition that Dr. Kinghardt feels that probably 80% or more of people with chronic Lyme disease and similar conditions are dealing with. Scott Forsgren says this is also common in the autism population.
It can be something that we inherit or induced in us by different types of traumas or chronic infection. Or it can be something that is epigenetically turned on by influences like intrauterine or birth or childhood or transgenerational traumas, etc.
Scott Forsgren says white spots on fingernails is a sign of zinc deficiency. Not recalling your dreams and depression are also symptoms of KPU. KPU is a significant loss of zinc, B6, biotin, manganese, omega 6 and other nutrients.
“It can also lead to higher levels of heavy metal toxicities. Addressing KPU can also help from that perspective,” said Scott Forsgren. “Slowly detox because if you come in with huge amounts of zinc, you can start releasing metals and things in the body and create an inflammatory situation.”
Scott Forsgren also recommends the brand BioPure Core-S which contains KPU supporting nutrients.
There are breath tests that you can do for SIBO that look at hydrogen and methane. Scott Forsgren says the GI-MAP (GI Microbial Assay Plus) stool test and MegaSporeBiotic help in this realm. Another worthy product to try is Bio-Botanical Research Biocidin.
“Unfortunately, SIBO and SIFO seem to be fairly common issues that people are experiencing. Parasites can also play a role in this GI dysbiosis,” Scott Forsgren said.
He adds, “One of the challenges with parasites is that people often think of them as third world country problems. But it's not true. Testing for parasites is poor. So do different systems of energetic testing like autonomic response testing or Dr. Simon Yu's acupuncture meridian assessment.”
But Scott Forsgren also says but you still have to know what questions to ask your practitioner to explore the issues for your specific system.
“The more broadly we can cast the net, the broader the number of things we look at, the more likely it is that people can make progress with the number of things that we talked about,” said Scott Forsgren.
Furthermore, Scott Forsgren says that the broader we cast the net, the less aggressive we have to be with any one of them because we're just taking a more holistic approach. That's why he believes Naturopathic Doctors are a phenomenal fit for a condition like Lyme disease since they are used to looking at all of the different factors.
Dental issues can be a significant factor for health. Scott Forsgren believes that dental problems can be part of setting the stage for why we later develop a condition from mold or Lyme disease.
He says incorrectly removing mercury amalgams can lead to a more significant health problem. And it's the same for root canals.
“Tonsils can also play a big role. A little bit different from the dental piece. But it's not uncommon for people to have tonsil issues,” Scott Forsgren said.
He adds, “People dealing with chronic Lyme disease and similar conditions do have some really good oral health program in place. When we reduce the burden of microbes in the oral cavity, we are also reducing stress on the rest of the body.”
Scott Forsgren says PANDAS is where Lyme disease might have been 10 to 15 years ago concerning acceptance and awareness. It stands for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections. PANDA is a condition affecting a small group of children and results in a sudden and abrupt onset of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) symptoms.
But Scott Forsgren believes PANDAS or PANS is similar to autism, chronic Lyme disease or Alzheimers. He feels it's more associated with chronic infections, chronic toxicity and the environment which we live. Because we have so many things that are just not supportive of our health.
“Eventually we'll see that there a lot of the same underlying factors. And the presentation tends to depend a lot on the age in which we encounter these things. It also depends on whether or not we've already neurologically developed or not,” said Scott Forsgren.
Lastly, he adds, “I definitely would not trade my experience because it has brought me to by purpose and passion. And the thing that excites me about is waking up every day and be able to help someone else that's going through a similar journey. It's really fun for me to be a part of seeing people make progress in their journey.”
Scott Forsgren, FDN-P is a health coach, blogger, podcaster, health writer, and advocate. He is the editor and founder of BetterHealthGuy.com, where he shares his 21-year journey through the world of Lyme disease, mold illness, and the myriad of factors that chronic illness often entails.
Scott Forsgren's podcast “BetterHealthGuy Blogcast” interviews many of the leaders in the field and is available on his website, BetterHealthGuy.com, and on YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and Spotify. He has been interviewed on numerous podcasts and has lectured on his recovery from chronic illness as an invited speaker of the Klinghardt Academy, at AutismOne, and on three Chronic Lyme Disease Summits.
Scott Forsgren has written for the Townsend Letter and other publications. He is the co-founder of The Forum for Integrative Medicine which hosts an annual conference bringing together some of the top integrative practitioners to share practical tools for treating complex, chronic illness.
He serves on the Board of Directors of LymeLight Foundation which provides treatment grants to children and young adults recovering from Lyme disease. Today, Scott Forsgren is grateful for his current state of health and all that he has learned on this life-changing journey.
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