Just when you think everything is getting better, WACK! Recovering from chronic Lyme disease and other chronic autoimmune illnesses is like running straight into a glass door that’s too clean to see that you can’t walk through it. It can really hurt to smack your nose against the invisible wall you didn’t see coming, but there may be an opening if you back up a little and step to the side.

Whether its herxing or inefficient detoxing, the healing process can be painful. My recovery over the past few months has been increasingly steady. In the past six months I felt less aches and pains, more energy and less fatigue. I started exercising more and began sleeping well again. The abundance of energy and lack of fatigue during my work days is still strong but lately I’ve seen a return in increased joint pain. Could it be the persistent rain storms of a northern California winter causing my arthritis to flare? What about the obvious mold in our 1940s rental house (from ceiling leaks that seem to happen every six months)? Perhaps I’m not moving or exercising enough because our home rarely gets above 65 degrees inside and all I want to do is curl up under a blanket? Isn’t it easy to blame anything and everything when you don’t know the answer? As if testing my patience, knee pain, ankle stiffness and swelling comes and goes, reminding me that recovery from chronic Lyme disease, mold, heavy metals or a leaky gut is not going to happen overnight.

Thankfully, I feel that I still have a good amount of energy to get through the day, and get out of bed each day to work. But I sometimes wonder if increased glutathione production and detoxification is happening too quickly. It could be that the last phase of my detoxification system is sluggish while the first phases are moving along until they hit that glass wall. During that last stage, where the toxins should move out of the body, the whole system gets backed up and instead, the toxins begin recirculating. So what do I do when this happens?

Here are a few of my go-to’s lately that seem to help open up liver and kidney detox pathways. I always feel worse when constipated and so much better when bowels are moving regularly. While these methods may work for me, they may not work the same or as well for you, so I would always recommend seeking out the help of an experienced healthcare practitioner. And if you are pregnant or nursing, essential oils and herbs can be very powerful so I would also check with your doctor or healthcare provider.

  1. Magnesium – This is my #1 for #2’s. I can usually increase the dose of magnesium until stools are too loose. Then it’s easy enough to back off just a bit. To get extra magnesium in the body I prefer magnesium glycinate, but it doesn’t cause loose stools as easy as magnesium malate or magnesium citrate for me. A product called Calm Powder is an easy one to find in most health food stores.
  2. Drink a couple full glasses of water immediately upon waking from sleep overnight – For me, this is enough to stimulate a bowel movement soon after I guzzle the water. Sometimes I throw in a dash of raw apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice with it.
  3. Essential oils – For me, lime and bergamot oil (1 drop each internally per day for a few days) has helped purge some pretty indescribable organisms from my bowels. I have pictures, but don’t worry, I’m not going to show you! There are quite a few essential oils and other herbs that may also be helpful depending on the root cause of constipation or lack of bowel movements.
  4. Old Fashioned Spices Lower Bowel Balance capsules – This blend of herbs helps regulate stools and relieve constipation.
  5. Dr. Miller’s Holy Tea – I hesitate to add this one because it often makes me feel worse for a period, but it does flush the bowels pretty well and relieves constipation.
  6. Vitamin C Flush – I don’t perform these often, but it does help to clean things out once or twice a year. Make sure to use a well sourced, buffered powder.
  7. Soaking feet in a tub of warm water with Epsom salts and essential oils. I like to try different oils each time such as juniper or cilantro.

There are plenty more methods for stimulating the detoxification system and increasing bowel movement and flow, but these are the ones that work well for me. If you have any methods of your own that work well for getting toxins out of the body effectively, I would love to hear your story in the comments below.