Lyme Disease Is Also Known As An Inflammatory Disease
Gluten and diary are two of the most inflammatory foods, along with sugar and carbohydrates, which break down in to sugar. Sugar also adds to the never ending fight against Candida and Inflammation.If you are undergoing antibiotic therapy, it is crucial to take probiotics every day, several times a day. Anitbiotics, while killing off the bad bacteria also kill off the good bacteria in our intestines/guts. Replenishing your intestines with probiotics (good bacteria) combats this as well as helps in the fight against Candida. An overgrowth of Candida causes a host of it’s own symptoms and needs to be kept in check.
People in good health don’t usually get sick from C. difficile. Your intestines contain millions of bacteria, many of which help protect your body from infection. But when you take antibiotics to treat an infection, the drug will destroy the normal, helpful bacteria as well as the bacteria causing the illness. Without enough healthy bacteria found in probiotics, C. difficile can quickly grow out of control and become a potentially deadly disease. The antibiotics that most often lead to C. difficile infections include fluoroquinolones, cephalosporins, clindamycin and penicillins. So we must keep replenishing our bodies with probiotics.
I don’t mind paying extra for quality probiotics, as their importance can not be emphasized enough. Many people, including some doctors do not realize that 80% of our immune system is located in the digestive tract. A healthy gut works to maintain good health. An optimal immune system is your number one defense against disease.
Currently, I’m using the following probiotics, Theralac by Master Supplements, Saccharomyces Boulardii by Jarrow Formulas, Florastor by Biocodex and another one I keep in my arsenal is Ultimate Flora Critical Care by Renew Life. I take a handful of mixed probiotics twice a day. I generally do not have yeast issues, unless I overdo it on the sugar. I make sure there is no gluten in the probiotics that I take.
Gluten Free/Lyme Friendly/paleo diets
As I mentioned earlier, gluten is one of the top inflammatory foods out there. Lyme Disease is also thought of as an inflammatory disease, so keeping gluten out of your diet will have a direct impact in the amount of inflammation and pain in your body.
Going gluten free is the very best diet change I have made.
It takes some time and a creative mind to make the changes in your diet, but it isn’t as hard as you might think! You need to start getting in the habit of reading labels and keep a list of gluten free products, or products to avoid on your person, so you have it with you for all of your trips to the grocery store. Thankfully, I live near a health food grocery store called Sprouts which carries many gluten free items. Whole Foods is another grocery store that carries many gluten free products. I find Sprouts to be more cost effective of the two. If you do not live near a health food grocery store, you can purchase many gluten free items on line at grocery stores such as The Gluten Free Mall.
Eliminating has helped me tremendously with intestinal problems, stomach bloating and a serious lack of energy! Also, decreasing milk products, sugar and carbohydrates have been great diet changes for me.
Possible reasons for eliminating gluten are:
- Celiac disease
- Digestive disorders -Lyme Disease (gluten is an inflammatory food)
- Dermatitis herpetiformis and/or other skin disorders
- Wheat allergies
- Gluten sensitivities or intolerances
- Autism and related disorders (A gluten-free, casein-free
diet has been used as an adjunct intervention treatment)
If you have Celiac disease, eating entirely gluten free is the only option.
Please consult your healthcare practitioner to discuss whether a
gluten-free diet is appropriate for your personal health and lifestyle.
What is gluten?
Gluten is the general name for one of the proteins found in wheat, rye, barley, and other related grains. This elastic protein (part of the family of prolamines) provides the “glue-like” structure that holds flour products together. People who suffer from celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten when it comes in contact with the small intestine. For patients with celiac disease, gluten injures the lining of the small intestine. This injury results in weight loss, bloating, diarrhea, gas, abdominal cramps or vitamin and mineral deficiencies. When patients totally eliminate gluten from their diet, the lining of the intestine has a chance to heal. Others have noticed that following a gluten-free diet helps them feel better and have more vitality.
The four main grains that include gluten are:
Barley, Rye, Oats and of course, wheat.
Changing to a gluten free diet will take some time. If you start with these four food changes, you will be off to a great start!
Other Names for Gluten
- Modified Food Starch- Typically made from wheat. It will usually state if it’s made from another ingredient such as, corn, arrowroot, tapioca, potato or maize.
- Gluten Peptides- Smaller pieces of protein made from wheat, barley, rye and other grains.
- Malto-Dextrose- Maltose and Dextrins may be obtained from barley malt or acorn flour.
- Malt- Usually made from barley. May also be made from corn.
- Natural Flavor- May or may not be derived from gluten containing grains.
- Artificial Colors & Dyes- Some people report having allergic reactions to these, although the source is often unknown.
- Caramel Color-The following ingredients are heated and combined to create this additive. Dextrose (corn sugar), invert sugar, lactose (milk sugar), malt syrup (usually made from barley malt), molasses (cane), starch hydrolysis (can contain wheat) or sucrose (usually cane or beet).
- Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Hydrolyzed Plant Protein and Textured Vegetable Protein- HVP, HPP and TVP are usually made from wheat, corn or soy
- Monosodium Glutamate– Most commonly known as MSG, this additive usually contains gluten. MSG can sometimes come from cane, beets or tapioca starch. However, foreign sources may still be using wheat gluten.
- Emulsifiers- May contain gluten from grain
- Lectins/Lecithins- May be made from the hull of soy, amaranth, barley or other grains.
The problem with oat products is not the grain but rather the manufacturing process. Oats are a grain that merits special attention. Oats are thought to be allowed for those affected by gluten intolerance; however, common advice is to avoid or use caution. The problem with oat products is not the grain but rather the manufacturing process. When oats are processed in the same facilities as wheat, contamination can occur even with the best cleaning protocol. It is best to check with the manufacturer to verify any concern of cross-contamination.
A more comprehensive list of non gluten free grains to avoid-
• Barley malt/extract, maltodextrin
• Couscous or tabouli
• Graham flour/crackers
• Matzo flour/meal
• Wheat, wheat bran,
hydrolyzed wheat protein
Other foods/ingredients that may contain gluten-
• Beer and lagers
• Breading and stuffing
• Brown rice syrup
• Dry soup mixes or soup bases
• Hot dogs
• Meat sauces/tomato sauces
• Monosodium glutamate
• Nondairy creamers
• Some herbal teas and instant coffees
• Sour cream, ice cream, puddings
• Soy sauce or teriyaki sauce (unless labeled gluten-free).
I have on occasion called the manufacture company to ask if a particular product of theirs has gluten in it.
Gluten-free grains and starches
- Flours made from nuts or seeds
- Potato starch or flour -Quinoa (my favorite)
- Rice and rice bran
Other common gluten-free foods
- Dried fruits (unsulfured)
- Fresh meats and fish
- Cheese (except Roquefort)
- Butter - Beans
- Cooking oils
- Tofu, soy milk, soy cheese
- Almonds and other nuts
- Corn/blue corn – cornmeal
Now a days, there is usually a gluten free option for most food choices, even pizza crust and beer!
Brand names of common gluten free food/non-food products
For your convenience, I have added a few Brand Names of common gluten free food categories.
- Udi’s bread and other gluten free breads are great for your typical sandwich, toast and using them as croutons or bread crumbs.. I have been successful in making Thanksgiving stuffing with toasted Udi’s bread. Udi’s now has gluten free hot dog/hamburger buns and a good gluten free pizza crust.
- Imagine Foods
- Pacific Foods
- Annie’s Naturals
- Annie’s Naturals
- Walden Farms
- Cascade Fresh
- Mountain High
Goat milk Yogurt
- Redwood Hill Farms
- Bolthouse Farms
Non Dairy Beverage
- So Delicious (Almond Milk, Coconut Milk)
- Almond Dream
Flours and Baking
- Arrowhead Mills
- Bob’s Red Mill
- A great online market, Nuts.com, for a variety of gluten free flours
- Sam Mills
Almond Butter/Peanut Butter/Spreads
- Earth Balance
- Desert Essence Organics
Face Cleanser/Body Scrub
- Skin Organics
- Bee Rescued
- Tom’s of Maine
- Arm & Hammor
While we know that if a product says wheat, barley or rye, it contains gluten. However, some products contain additives which are made from gluten, but are not so obvious to spot. It’s scary to think that you could unknowingly be eating something that contains gluten. Often times, if the label doesn’t specifically state that the product is gluten free, there could be small amounts of gluten in the product. These amounts are enough to damage the intestines and can do so silently and slowly. Be sure to check ingredients of salad dressings, sauces, etc….Remember to bring your “readers” to the grocery store to read labels!
Blood Tests for Gluten Intolerance
Promethius Lab offers both blood testing and genetic testing from saliva for gluten intolerance.
They are coming out with more and more GF products in grocery stores everyday!
Healthy Gluten Free Ideas
Quinoa is my new favorite dish as there are many different recipes using it and it is loaded with protein. Quinoa provides all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Quinoa is a gluten-free and cholesterol-free whole grain, and is almost always organic. Check out these Quinoa recipes!
Coconut Oil is amazing. I now use it instead of butter and other cooking oils. There is a lot to be said about cocnut oil. The health benefits reported on the use of coconut oil sound almost too good to be true! It is thought to speed up metabolism, support thyroid function, have anti-cancer properties and it has shown to be an anti-inflammatory food. It is thought to have antimicrobial properties, protect against bacterial infections, viruses, yeast, fungi and parasites. Coconut oil is great for cooking with high heat. I usually eat it every day on a piece of Udi’s bread toasted, Yum! Coconut oil is also gluten free.
Coconut water is also amazing! It is so refreshing and indeed leaves me more hydrated. It is also packed full of electrolytes and nutrients and it’s just plain yummy! My favorite is Vita Coco. I must say, when I had my first few sips, I wasn’t at all impressed, however now I crave and look forward to it everyday. There is some concern over the mineral L-Arginine and how it may contribute to an increase in viral activity. I usually don’t drink more than a small glass a day. Coconut water is also gluten free.
Now here is something even more amazing, I do believe! It’s called Kambucha! It is a fermented beverage that is thought to build up healthy gut flora. It’s claims are great in terms of it being a natural probiotic and detoxifier. I think you will enjoy the article I linked. Since having started drinking Coconut water and Kambucha (Gingerade flavor), I no longer have the need for using Zofran (a nausea medication) which I used for years until recently. Anytime I can take one less medication, replacing it with a natural food or beverage, I am a happy camper! Kambucha is also gluten free.
Kefir is similar to liquid yogurt. It is also a probiotic, as it is filled with good bacteria and enzymes that can help balance gut flora. I like to buy one plain one and one fruit flavored. I use 3/4 cup of plain and 1/4 cup of the fruit one. I should probably just drink the plain one, but I’m not crazy about the taste of the plain one alone. According to Dr. Nicole McFadzean, there is an awesome, and fairly new coconut kefir with 360 trillion live cultures per ounce. Wow, that’s a lot of cultures! It can be purchased at www.inner-eco.com
A Lyme Friendly Diet is an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Since we know that sugar, carbohydrates, dairy and gluten are inflammatory foods, it’s best to avoid them as much as possible.
Tip on sugar-I have found Stevia to be the best sugar substitute out there. Stevia is also known as sweetleaf. It comes from a plant that is native to South and Central America. You only need to use a little bit as it is much sweeter than other sugars or fake sugars. It’s gaining popularity because it has very little effect on blood sugar and has zero calories.
I am currently reading a book called The Lyme Diet, written by Dr. Nicola McFadzean and I highly recommend it! It’s an easy to read and practical book with a firm knowledge about a great Lyme Diet:
A few highlights from this book are:
The Lyme Diet in it’s use helps with immune support, inflammation management, hormone regulation and detoxification functions all of which are really important to recovery.
Poor nutrition is an unnecessary obstacle to healing.
In a disease such as Lyme disease, that can be so disabling and devastating, what we put into our bodies may be the one thing that we have the most control over and that will provide many benefits.
This list of anti/pro inflammatory foods will be of great benefit
- Breads, rolls, baked goods
- Cereals (except old fashioned oatmeal)
- Corn syrup
- Egg rolls
- Fast food
- French Fries
- Fruit juice—choose the fruit instead
- Fried foods
- Hard cheese (except for feta and grating cheeses, such as Romano and Parmesan)
- Hot dogs
- Ice cream, frozen yogurt, Italian ices
- Jams, jellies and preserves
- Pita bread
- Snack foods, including: potato chips, pretzels, corn chips, rice and corn cakes, etc.
List of Anti-inflammatory spices-
- Curry powders
- Ginger root, ginger powder
- Chile peppers
- Fresh Garlic, garlic powder
- Cayenne powder
- Fish oil
- Goose livers (yuk)!
- Grape leaves
- Seeds- pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
- Macadamia nuts
- Brazil nuts
- Almonds/Almond butter
- Cashews/Cashew butter
- Peanuts/Peanut butter
- Soy flour
- Soy protein
- Coconut oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Sunflower oil
- Hazelnut oil
- Canola oil
- Olive oil
The best anti-inflammatory fruits-
- Lemon peel
- Acerola cherries
The Core Concept Of The Paleo Diet
You have probably heard that the Paleo Diet is likened to that of our ancestor’s way of eating or eating as a caveman would have many centuries ago!
One core and very important concept of the Paleo Diet is staying away from processed foods. Food processing is any deliberate change in a food that occurs before it’s available for us to eat. The problem with processed foods is we’ve degraded the nutrition content of our daily diet and have moved further and further away from eating as Mother Nature intended. Food processing started after the caveman way of eating. So eating foods in their more natural state is a core concept of the Paleo Diet. This means that your daily diet will primarily consist of fish and lean meats, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts and seeds. Oils are typically allowed in moderation and foods to be avoided include dairy products, cereal grains, legumes, starchy vegetables, fatty meats, and foods that are very high in salt content (such as processed meat products and salted nuts).
The Health Benefits of a Paleolithic Diet
Our highly processed, carb-obsessed eating pattern is the culprit behind many of our biggest health ills, so why not go back—way back—to the Paleolithic period of more than 10,000 years ago, when our diet wasn’t full of junk food and pasta? Paleo advocates say we should eat the way we ate when we were hunting and gathering: animal protein and plants.
Loading up on fresh fruits and vegetables for weight-loss
By staying away from all processed foods and refined carbohydrates, weight-loss should happen naturally. By filling up on a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, this will also help to keep calorie intake on the lower side. Excess weight is one of the major associated conditions to high cholesterol, high blood pressure and pre-diabetes.
Controlling blood sugar levels
Refined carbohydrates are produced when whole plants which are high in carbohydrates are processed in a way to strip out everything but the highly digestible carbohydrate (starch or sugar). This has the effect of concentrating the carbohydrate and/or breaking it down so that the body processes it very quickly, generally causing a high rise in blood sugar (glycemic response). It also usually removes the fiber and most of the nutrients in the food.
The more stabilized your blood sugar levels are, the less likely you’re going to be to experience food cravings, to battle ongoing fatigue, and to be at the potential risk of developing diabetes down the road.
Is the Paleo Diet right for you?
The Paleo Diet sounds healthy right? Cutting out fatty meats, refined carbohydrates, sugary junk food, processed foods, salt….but legumes? I’m not sure I would cut them out, as they are very nourishing to our bodies, full of protein and fiber, and I like them! I think the basics to the diet sound good, but I know of one known downside which is the Paleo Diet can lead to low vitamin D levels. Not that this is a huge problem, as you can supplement with vitamin D or sit in the sunshine to get vitamin D naturally. There is much more to know about the Paleo Diet……
There is tons of information on the internet about the Paleo Diet. It would be a good idea to talk with your physician and do your own research if you are considering the Paleo Diet.