I was going to title this post, “There and Back Again” because of all the traveling back and forth from Des Moines to St. Louis lately but I didn’t want to risk any copyright infringement on The Hobbit. Not too long ago, a friend recommended I take a look at a book called The Accidental Cure, by Dr. Simon Yu, MD. With a gracious offer to borrow the book for a couple weeks I decided to read it in between classwork and see what it was all about. I didn’t expect to find so many references to nutrition and holistic approaches to healing in a book authored by a doctor trained in traditional medicine. The book is easy to understand and I got a good sense of Dr. Yu’s unconventional methods of practicing medicine pretty quickly. I was enlightened to read that he looks at the whole picture when seeing a patient, and takes a holistic approach to treatment, whether by traditional medicine or alternative therapies. I was also pleased to read about his experience with nutrition, Lyme and dental issues.

Since my Lyme disease diagnosis a little over a year ago, a new symptom appeared as I began treatment with natural treatments (Samento, Enula, Banderol, Houttuynia, ACS200 Silver). Second to the inflammatory arthritis in my knees, I began to experience pain in the left side of my lower jaw. It started as a minor pain near the spot where a wisdom tooth had been removed a few years ago. The pain grew worse with each month of treatment, despite herbal protocols, parasite cleanses, or detoxification. A few months ago, the pain was enough to make it difficult to chew or open my jaw more than half way. I cancelled my upcoming dentist appointment just because I didn’t want to agonize through a 30-minute cleaning session that I knew would feel like torture. A few months later, the right side of my lower jaw started to hurt. I started avoiding hard, crunchy foods. At the time, my LLMD and dentist suspected I might be grinding my teeth at night, but my wife hasn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary.  Strangely enough, it was about this time that I was introduced to Dr. Yu’s book. What stood out the most in his book was the evidence that many chronic illnesses are caused by dental issues – usually related to root canals, fillings or teeth extraction. It never hit me until then. I had all four wisdom teeth removed in 2006, only a year before my previously perfect health went downhill.

After some deliberation and whole lot of prayer, my wife and I decided to schedule an appointment with Dr. Yu in St. Louis. Before the visit I was a little intimidated by what he might find. His testing methods were unlike anything I’ve ever seen. He uses a lot of methods including acupuncture meridian assessment. I was a little confused about what that was until reading about the technique in Dr. Yu’s book and having him explain it. It’s hard to describe, but for the skeptic like myself, it makes sense that our bodies have energy pathways that connect everything together. By testing specific points on the body, it allows you to find a connection, or the root cause of weakness in the body.

Right now I’m learning about the sodium/potassium pump of our cells in a nutrition class. Sodium and potassium are two of the most important electrolytes and it’s fascinating to learn how ions surround cell membranes, allowing them to generate electricity. It’s no wonder our energy levels are so dependent on the health of our cells.

At my visit with Dr. Yu, he performed a hair tissue mineral analysis, food sensitivity testing, thermography and acupuncture meridian assessment which showed some issues with weak adrenals, liver, intestine and kidneys and a big problem with the left side of my jaw so I started a range of homeopathic medicines and a round of anti-parasite medicines. At a return visit a month later, my organs were all back and working in a normal range, but more tests confirmed I still had dental issues on my left side. After viewing an x-ray of my jaw and no visible dental anomalies, he referred me to an oral surgeon for further evaluation. The surgeon was fantastic. In fact, I’ve never met two doctors who have been more caring, communicative, and had a true desire to figure out the cause of my symptoms. Fearlessly, I’m now awaiting oral surgery – a jaw tissue biopsy – to find out what problems might be causing the pain in my jaw, with a glimpse of hope that my dental problems may be linked to other symptoms like my chronic knee inflammation.

So, is it really Lyme? I don’t doubt that I do have or have had it based on blood test confirmation, but I’m no longer convinced that Lyme is the direct target. There are many similar spirochetes that could be causing havoc in my body and might not necessarily by borrelia burgdorferi. Either way, my goal is to continue to support my body and immune system with nutrients, mostly from whole, natural food sources, along with supplementation while working with physicians who look at a holistic picture of health.

Do you have, or know anyone suffering from Lyme or similar condition that has swollen knees along with jaw pain? If so, I’d love to hear your comments.