Nicotine and Lyme?
I smoke and I think it helps. - 8.3% - 2 votes
I smoke but I don't think it helps. - 25.0% - 6 votes
I don't smoke. - 41.7% - 10 votes
You're nuts. - 25.0% - 6 votes
Posted 4/5/2013 6:11 AM (GMT -6)
So, for those of you who have managed to quit (Traveler) how did you do it? I have read Alan Carrs Easy Way to quit smoking. I think he lays out the foundation pretty well in this book. I was almost successful using his method, however I had some personal stuff happen that knocked me off the wagon, then I started taking Mefloquine which gave me crazy anxiety and I continued using cigs as a crutch. So if there are any success stories out there I like to hear your techniques.
Posted 4/5/2013 5:12 PM (GMT -6)
Please read Buhner's book Healing Lyme...
Also, there are other substances besides nicotine that deal with acetylcholine. Mestinon, for example.
And my LLMD wants his patients to take more choline (among other things) to support acetylcholine production in the body.
Posted 4/5/2013 6:41 PM (GMT -6)
Mestinon would be one of the worst choices for mental fatigue. It doesn't even cross the blood brain barrier. Its useful for the peripheral nervous system.
Nicotine would be a much better choice.
Posted 4/5/2013 10:03 PM (GMT -6)
My take on this issue is that while the targeted use of nicotine may have a benefit, it would not be wise to ignore the possible unwanted side effects.
Lyme and coinfections cause vasoconstriction, hypercoagulation, and plaque accumulation in the vascular system due to various direct and indirect consequences of the disease syndrome. Nicotine has been proven to contribute to these conditions as well. Can this tradeoff possibly be worth the benefit of increasing acetylcholine? I think that the answer is a resounding no!
I would heed Razzle's suggestion of finding other ways to increase acetylcholine without the unwanted side effects of further debilitating the patient. I think that the Nicotine approach yields a net loss to the patient. Here is a relevant article:
Posted 4/5/2013 10:28 PM (GMT -6)
If you smoke, it might be worth a try to switch to e-cigarettes. You still get the nicotine, but not all the other poisons that are in cigarettes. After a while, you can cut down on the nicotine in the c-juice, with zero nicotine being the eventual goal.
It's very stressful to quit smoking. I quit almost 6 years ago, and know how hard it is. It wasn't my first attempt, either! And it's harder to stay off than it is to get off.
I actually took ecigarettes up after 4 years of not smoking (and before I knew I had lyme and co's), and I have to say that, for me, it's helped my cognitive issues.
I don't recommend that anybody take the e-cig habit up if they are not using nicotine in some form already. I agree with Heathersdad that Nicotine is a net loss with regards to our overall health. However, it is a much 'healthier' alternative to tobacco.
Posted 4/5/2013 10:31 PM (GMT -6)
Tickle- Fineglin states that she does not smoke. I also agree with your last statement!
Posted 4/5/2013 10:44 PM (GMT -6)
As with any drug or medicinal herb there are going to side effects.
To say unequivocally that they aren't worth it in the case of nicotine is silly.
To someone with high blood pressure or other vascular problems probably not
but to someone without those issues but serious mental focus issues it
There is no one right answer here. Truth is, it depends....on many factors
Posted 4/5/2013 11:01 PM (GMT -6)
Hey, if its silly to you, then I apologize for insulting your intelligence. I thought that i was giving a serious opinion. I trust that my opinion offered here may be of use to others however. Good luck with whatever you do!
My daughter's first 14 months of treatments incorporated your treatment philosophy, and was found to be flawed, and counterproductive to heal her. We made adjustments by removing all toxic and counterproductive factors, and substituted positive treatments, and she was made well. I speak from experience, but of course, you are free to do whatever you desire.
My philosophy is: "How can a treatment that would make a well person sick, be expected to make a sick person well?"
Posted 4/6/2013 12:06 AM (GMT -6)
I, of course, wouldn't be in pharmacy school if I didn't believe in the power of many drugs to help in the healing of disease states. That we don't have many(any?)good PROVEN tools for chronic lyme is unquestioned. My experience has also been to go against "popular opinion" to find an answer. The popular opinion that I've gone against though is advice from forums that offer alternatives to business as usual approach. After 8 years of dealing with debilitating neck stiffness and pain(I had lyme meningitis followed by bells palsy to start my journey) my doctor convinced me to try a short course of prednisone(that many think this is a bad idea makes perfect sense due to the fact that corticosteroids depress the immune system). Everything I've read on every lyme forum has said that this is a terrible idea that will lead to a temporary improvement followed by symptoms even worse than those that I started with. Desperate for a solution I gave it a try. Near immediate relief followed by continued gradual improvement after stopping the prednisone. Why was it successful? What many people don't realize is that initially prednisone will actually increase the number of white blood cells in circulation(it does not actually increase WBC production, it mobilizes existing WBC to the blood stream) I believe that this led to the decrease in lyme symptoms as much as the anti-inflammatory effects of the steroid. I think the key is that it was a very short course of the drug. The immune suppressant side effects were not realized, or minimized, due to the brief nature of the application.
This proves nothing, of course. It's just anecdotal like most of our efforts to help ourselves with this disease. I'm open to anything. My adviser is a PHD biochemist and also teaches a class on herbal medicine and she has given me herbal recommendations to help with inflammation. Pharmacy school is not full of unquestioning "Pharmaceuticals are the answer" clones. In fact huge amounts of time are spent picking apart "poorly" designed studies many which are designed that way on purpose in order to show a desired outcome. It's an amazing education. I'm going to use all the knowledge I get here to make myself better and it's going to include a multitude of resources.Remember, herbs contain powerful drugs and nicotine is a natural substance.
I wish everyone on here searching for answers all the luck in the world. Keep an open mind.
Posted 4/6/2013 12:32 AM (GMT -6)
I didn't think that you were insulting my intelligence and I don't think your opinion is without merit. Nicotine would be a very bad choice for a large subset of the population. I only take issue with your choice of words; "resounding no" with respect to the issue.
It's a little too equivocal IMHO when talking about a subject that is so full of uncertainty.
No worries ;-)
Posted 4/6/2013 12:40 AM (GMT -6)
We all have different perspectives, don't we? I might even partially agree with some of what you have just stated. I have a good friend that is a mid 40's lady that went to pharmacy school as a young woman, and is now in her mid 40's. She is a manager of a pharmacy but hates it because her conscience bothers her. She knows of the deleterious side effects of the things that she dispenses, and she hates it. She is looking to make a career change.
I don't have a horse in this race. My daughter was very sick for several years, but has been well for the last 3 years. She is going to college next year on a swimming scholarship. My labor on this forum is a labor of love because I sense a moral obligation to try to help sick people.
I am not here to win an argument, but rather to give an alternate opinion that I may feel is a better one than others that I feel have missed the mark. There are many people that read these posts way beyond the membership here. When they read the various perspectives with the attendant logic and reasoning, then they are informed and free to make their own decision.
You seem to feel that the alleviation of brain fog is worth the risk of further aggravating the cardiovascular disease that chronic lyme patients have. Its not an issue of whether they already have the cardiovascular issues- it is only a matter of degree. I disagree that the benefit is worth the risk. I have an open mind, but my opinion is that there are better alternatives than what you are proposing. Its as simple as that for me. I respect the fact that you are free to disagree with my perspective.
I think that we have both handled ourselves in a civil manner here, but I desire to not pursue this discussion any further.
Posted 4/6/2013 12:51 AM (GMT -6)
I'm so glad your daughter is well.
Hope she kicks ass on her swim team.
Posted 4/6/2013 1:31 AM (GMT -6)
I really do appreciate the tone with which you have approached this topic. You seem like a very nice, intelligent, and articulate person. You will be a real asset to this forum.
I do want to make a little admission to you. Yes, my "resounding no" statement was a bit absolutist. It was an inappropriate rhetorical device which was also a slight overstatement of my position. You called me on that and I am guilty!
Thanks for the congratulations and well wishes for my daughter.
Last but not least- WELCOME to the forum! How'd I forget that?
Posted 4/6/2013 2:24 AM (GMT -6)
Sorry to go off topic but I thought
I should probably clarify something I wrote earlier about drug therapy. I wrote that I wouldn't be in pharmacy school if I "didn't believe in the power of many drugs to help in the healing of disease states"
This isn't actually what I believe. Most drugs do not cure or heal disease states. They treat symptoms of conditions. Sometimes these conditions will resolve on their own and often people have the power to heal themselves through lifestyle modification but usually they do not. Many common chronic conditions can be alleviated with change of diet and increase in exercise. Most people unfortunately won't do this and would rather get a pill to treat the symptom. I don't think this is so much a black mark for the pharmaceutical industy rather I think it's a black mark on our culture of the easy fix.
This is, of course, not true of all conditions. Weight loss and exercise might help high blood pressure in the majority of individuals but there are some who do all the right things and still need a drug(or other intervention) to bring their HBP into a safe range. Same is true for high cholesterol and many other conditions. Just thought I'd point this out before someone calls me out on my it ;-)
Posted 1/21/2014 1:28 PM (GMT -6)
I just quit smoking four days ago - I started using e-cig. I feel worse than I did while smoking! Hope these withdrawls pass soon!
Posted 1/21/2014 1:54 PM (GMT -6)
I thought I read someplace that smoking or being exposed to second hand smoke was detrimental to healing Lyme. I am not a smoker but my parents smoke and I can hardly stand to go to there house because of the smell. Put your mind to it and kick that nasty habit, you will eventually get the gross smoker cough down the road.
Posted 1/21/2014 4:49 PM (GMT -6)
I can't stand being around smoke either. I'd feel so ill after a flight back in the days when people could smoke on a plane and in the terminal. I think I had Lyme then and it didn't help my brain any. I'd end up with a much worse headache every time. Now my daughter is bothered the same way.
Posted 5/12/2015 10:36 PM (GMT -6)
Hello, I had to join this site just to reply to this thread. No worry, this is a great information source and I've learned much in my short time browsing.
I am 41 and believe I was born with Lyme. I am just now knowingly fighting it with a variety of homeopathic remedies that seem to be working great. I won't get into it, but i've had a series of injuries my whole life and I now know they most likely resulted from lyme disease. I about died a year ago while having a dislocated rib and Lyme consecutively. I am doing great now and folks cannot believe my improvement and it began with Rick Simpson Oil but that is not the reason I am replying in this thread...
What I wanted to say here is that whomever started this thread was 100% correct, nicotiene does help greatly for brain fog and I believe it combats Lyme itself. Nicotiene breaks the blood brain barrier and it also kills bacteria...
Now for the clencher, you do NOT smoke tobacco, you chew it. It works wonders and I found this out before ever seeing this thread. In fact today I was chewing Copenhagen and I noticed a big difference. So much of a difference I searched "nicotiene and lyme" which brought me only to this thread.
This whole thread turned into the perils of smoking cigarettes and nobody mentioned chewing. It works folks, I wouldn't lie, i'm just an old country boy. I had this oddly strong craving for chewing tobacco the other day and picked some the first time in years, I do not smoke. Chewing tobacco has really made a difference for me and the person who started this thread should be congratulated he hit it right on the head.
I wish you all the best with this terrible disease.
Posted 5/13/2015 12:04 AM (GMT -6)
This forum is a wealth of information, and a great place for support. Not sure if you plan on returning, but if you do, welcome to the forum!!
BTW - Just wanted to say that chewing tobacco wouldn't be a healthy choice - due to the mouth cancer risk. But, I'm sure you're already aware of that...but had to mention it.
Posted 5/13/2015 10:11 AM (GMT -6)
Welcome to our community! I'm glad you found us.
I do hope that you continue on with us here, as we can be a great source of information and support.
I second that chewing tobacco is no better than smoking it. I'm an ex smoker, so I know the feeling you are talking about, but that is the addiction talking. The "brain clearing" you are feeling only relates to the satisfaction of getting the drug of choice - nicotine in your case.
And even if smoking or chewing tobacco did help kill Lyme (no evidence at all that I've seen), we should be trying to get healthier, not killing ourselves in order to kill the bacteria.
Posted 5/13/2015 10:48 PM (GMT -6)
I'm quite sure it's not the addiction talking, I haven't chewed in years and could quit any time, but will not for now because it is really helping me. There really is something to it and I hate to see people dismiss it so easily because of mouth cancer or addiction. I have no worries of either after going through what I went through with lyme and in my case the benefits outweigh any risks.
I know what is addictive and toxic to the body, it's the 1800mg oxycontin, flexorils, paxil and other meds the doctors had me on for two years that I quit with no help, even while still suffering from lyme and chronic rib dislocation with whole body arthritis and several other serious issues.
Just wanted to pass on some truthful first-hand information that helped me tremendously.
Posted 5/17/2015 2:52 PM (GMT -6)
Well i guess I'm gonna "step in it"... i have been a smoker on and off for over 30 years... it is a horrible addiction!
The only time that i have quit for any length of time was when i was pregnant... and when i was facing a spine surgery... the surgeon refused to do the surgery unless i became a non-smoker... so i quit cold turkey... it was hell going thru withdrawal... but i needed the spine surgery so that i would not spend my life bed-ridden.
The surgeon said that my spine would not fuse... i did the research and realized that it was true... i managed to stay smoke free for about five years. And then a horrible family tragedy happened... it violently rocked my world and turned everything upside-down... (i cannot speak of what happened without a well trained therapist)... And so... you may see where this is headed... i started smoking again.
It has been a few years... i have worked with my Doc and tried different methods of quitting... to no avail.
Then i tried different e-cigs... then i tried vapor cigs... i transitioned to vapor in Jan of this year... My Doc is not satisfied with this... he says that the jury is still out on the effects of vapor cigs... we won't know for sure until somebody does a long term study (which i would be willing to participate in).
I started off with... i think it was 24 mg nicotine level... and kept stepping down from there... i am at 8 mg now... it is my goal to get down to 0mg... which then would be just inhaling flavored smoke (and God knows what chemicals?)
I originally wanted a flavor that was close to my brand... which i found... then i transitioned to a green tea blend last month...that was a bit tuff... the flavor difference and stepping down from 12mg to 8 mg.
I am doing the very best that i can with this horrible addiction... i would not want anyone to "try it" to see if it "might" help... the risk of becoming addicted long term is overwhelming!
I would suggest meditation (which i do)... or acupuncture (which i would like to try)... or any other NATURAL METHOD of stress reduction... I am ashamed of this addiction... I feel like a fool if i smoke in front of a non smoker... and yet... i don't want to hang out with other smokers... I don't want to be comfortable with smoking.
One day i will become a non-smoker again.
Posted 5/18/2015 10:40 AM (GMT -6)
WOOHOOOO!!! I think you are doing GREAT!!!
I'm an ex-smoker, so I know the struggles, but my hubby wasn't able to quit. He's had massive amounts of blood clots in his lungs years ago though (each lung was 70% full of them), so as you can imagine, smoking was really bad for him. I begged him to find an alternative and he finally did try the e-cigs. Success!!!
Although the nicotine itself has health concerns, I happen to believe it's a lot better than smoking leaf tobacco. If a person just can't quit, e-cigs can certainly be a "compromise" for many.
And, my hubby now "builds his own" and saves a TON of money!! Pretty cool!
Posted 6/14/2015 9:54 AM (GMT -6)
I have now stepped down to 6 mg nicotine level... making progress :)