This weekend I completed (celebrated) finishing three months of a detox protocol for healing my gut naturally. While I’m not completely going back to the way I used to eat, I am going to start re-introducing more foods besides raw vegetables and bone broths. I feel like it’s graduation day. Welcome to life in post detox! Yes, it’s affected me that much.

It’s so exciting to see the progress, even though it’s slower than I hoped at times. But I consider this detox protocol successful because it was designed to heal my gut, eliminate built-up antibiotics and other medicines I’ve taken over the years, and therefore allow my immune system to start to function properly again. I truly believe I’ve seen that happen over these last 12 weeks. The first signs were changes in bowel movements as my stools became more frequent, softer, and normal. Then after two months I finally began to see changes in my knee inflammation. For the last year both of my knees have always been swollen (a lot), even while on Prednisone for so long. This was the first time my knee effusions have shrunk to almost to normal size. Now from week to week I’m noticing my knees still flare up but usually one at a time and the swelling tends to be isolated to only one knee instead of both. Overall, walking, getting up and down from a seated position, and walking stairs have been so much easier, too. Even though I still have the swelling, at least something is happening. I’ve also been able to start exercising more often. And the flare-ups seem to be random and unrelated to the workouts, which is a good sign. Hopefully it’s a herx reaction meaning the bacteria is finally on its way out.

The other night my wife and I went through a list of symptoms I wrote down when I started the detox and most are now completely gone or dramatically lessened.

Symptoms now gone:

  • Near constant headache behind eyes, on sides of neck, and at base of skull.
  • Tongue thrush, sore and irritated in the back and sides with a white film in back. Metallic taste, pain when I curled tongue, small white spot still present in the front.
  • Sinuses stuffed.
  • Spine and back pain, stiffness, soreness, tenderness to touch especially near the spine, especially on the left side with any movement. Middle of back near spine achy, sore, stiff all the way to the bottom of ribs.
  • Intermittent pain in low back where kidneys are.
  • Chest feels heavy and flu-ish off and one during the day. Sometimes it’s hard to take deep breaths.
  • Muscle soreness in hips and low back, especially after workouts.
  • Off and on stomach cramping.
  • Constipation and very hard stool. Bowel movement about every two days.
  • Rare instance of overnight incontinence, no pain with urination.
  • Need to get up one to three times every night to urinate.
  • Wake up every one to two hours at night because of neck and back pain. Very uncomfortable to be on side because of neck and shoulder pain. Painful to have knees touch. Some nights too painful to roll over in bed. Very high fatigue level during the day as a result.
  • Low concentration.
  • Muscle twitches–random, but in all major muscle groups. Lasts 30 minutes to three hours.
  • Upper legs are restless, especially when exhausted. Muscle weakness in legs.
  • Very hindered mobility and altered gait.
  • Lower legs not very flexible–possibility of fluid moving down into calves.
  • Two rough circular patches of skin on the left arm. Present for two months, did not respond to fungal cream (suspected ringworm at first).
  • Nightly fever, highest 100.3, often at 99. Feel feverish nightly regardless of temperature.
  • Night sweats.
  • Difficulty regulating temperature–has chills all day long even while wearing multiple layers. Has chills at night before getting fever.
  • Occasional nausea.
  • Occasional lightheadedness, especially after walking for 10 or more minutes.
  • Some mild depression.
  • Feel more thirsty.
  • Two episodes of waking up in the middle of the night to numb forearms and hands while laying on back. Multiple episodes of numb shoulders, forearms, and hands while laying on side.

Symptoms I still have but have improved drastically:

  • Somewhat blurred vision. (Fine with glasses for astigmatism.)
  • Neck pain, stiffness, soreness, tenderness to touch, some seizing, constant aches, hard to stretch without pain. (In suboccipitals, scalenes, and sternocleidomastoids—now only present occasionally.)
  • Aching collarbone, pain when moving shoulders. (Used to not be able to lift arms above head without pain—now that is no problem.)
  • Very low libido.
  • Knees are consistently swollen, the left more severely, although both have lots of fluid constantly. Pain underneath front outsides of both kneecaps while standing. Movement causes popping. Knees hurt, but not when sitting still. Movement hurts, load bearing/pressure is extremely painful. Can’t perform full leg extension. (Much improvement in past few weeks both in flexibility and movement due to less swelling.)
  • Deep off and on ache in tooth and lower jaw on the back left bottom molar area. Dental examination revealed normal jaw and tooth. (Random ache still pops up occasionally.)

Symptoms I’ve experienced since the detox but did not have before (most likely Herxheimer reactions to my treatment)

  • Numbness, burning and sometimes sharp stabbing pains off and on during the day or night. Isolated to upper left thigh. Pain, numbness comes and goes day to day.
  • Acute, sharp pains in knees and occasionally feet or wrists. This has only happened occasionally.

For the upcoming months I’m on a quest, no longer for diagnosis, but a journey to find healthy, nutritious food and continue to eat the best I can to provide more healing each day. Lyme Disease is proving difficult to eliminate, but I’m confident that whole, raw, fermented and even cooked natural foods can go a long way in providing the body what it needs to fight off harmful bacteria and organisms.