Posted 3/6/2012 12:02 PM (GMT -6)
Had to be fed through the PICC more than once because I was so nauseated I could not eat, and also as a result of a severe herx (from Japanese Knotweed, one of the core Buhner's Lyme Protocol herbs), I was unable to swallow anything at all - saliva, water, food, pills, nothing would go down.
As for my symptoms, where to begin? There have been so many!
Motility issues cause the following symptoms for me: Difficulty swallowing, reflux, feeling full or uncomfortable after only a few bites of food, nausea, feeling full/uncomfortable (dyspepsia) for hours after eating, inability to lean over or lie down without regurgitating (even if food eaten hours before), abdominal pain & cramping, chronic obstinate constipation, straining required to pass even soft stool (pelvic dyssynergia), diarrhea.
Bowel obstructions (caused by stool impaction in inflammed area of small or large intestine) have caused severe abdominal pain, high blood pressure, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and constipation. Requires ER visit, enema, IV hydration, IV pain meds, and large amounts of magnesium. Latest episode of this occurred as a result of taking doxycycline - it was thought to be a herx and it shut down my colon (could not pass stool for a month!!).
Nausea, nausea and more nausea. From inflammed gallbladder (removed surgically due to large stones), from dysmotility, inflammation in the stomach & bowels, from anxiety (from Lyme/Bart.; homeopathy is the best thing for the anxiety). Peppermint, ginger root, homeopathy (Nux V., Ipecac., Pulsatilla, Aur. Arsen., Lycopodium, etc.), anti-nausea medications (Zofran, Domperidone), and watching what I eat (avoiding foods I'm allergic/intolerant to) help.
I also have hemorrhoids (from chronic constipation), malabsorption, malnutrition, weakness, blood sugar fluctuations, insufficient digestive enzyme production, bile duct spasms (sphincter of oddi dysfunction), and probably some other things I'm forgetting...
Can these things improve or go away completely with Lyme/coinfection treatment? Yes. I've already seen huge improvements with colonic motility, and I no longer have a PICC because treatment (antibiotics, prokinetics/anti-nausea meds, herbs, homeopathy) is helping me to be able to swallow and eat enough calories to no longer need the IV nutrition.
Do not give up! Don't fear these symptoms. I've had them for years and I'm still alive and kicking! It is my belief that we need to keep persuing Lyme treatment in order for these things to improve.
Other things I use in addition to lyme treatment that have been helpful for my gut symptoms:
Colonics - with electrolyte water. Very helpful when I was struggling with severe constipation and when my colon stopped functioning due to herx from doxycycline.
Magnesium - excellent for helping soften stool and promote good colonic motility; I no longer need such massive doses of magnesium for this, now I only take a little bit to help prevent muscle spasms/twitching.
Peppermint tea or essential oil - can help with nausea and spasms in the colon.
Fennel seed - helps with gas/gas pain, also good for the liver.
Andrographis - anti-lyme, also good for the liver (protects liver from toxins similar to what milk thistle does, without eliciting a sulfite reaction for me).
Artichoke - good for fatty liver that I got as a side-effect of the TPN (IV food).
Parsley leaf - added to foods to help with body odor and detoxing from lyme herxes.
Oregano leaf - added to foods to help prevent yeast overgrowth.
Fenugreek-Thyme combination - thyme helps prevent yeast overgrowth & fenugreek is healing to the lining of the gi tract. The blend also seems to help me with sinus congestion.
Digestive enzymes - improves absorption of nutrients, reduces indigestion/dyspepsia & reflux, reduces sensation of fullness during/after meals.
Probiotics - I tolerate lactose/milk products better when taking probiotics, and also the probiotics help to prevent yeast/Candida overgrowth. I also was diagnosed with a probiotic deficiency (stool test).
Vitamin B12 injections - for sulfite sensitivity, also has anti-inflammatory activity in the gut. An inflammed stomach & small intestine prevents absorption of Vitamin B12, and I don't absorb sublingual B12 either, so I have to get it injections. I get more nauseated when I don't get my B12 shots...
Molybdenum - for sulfite sensitivity. I get nauseated as part of my sulfite reactivity, so taking this and the B12 shots are very important for controlling these sulfite reactions.
Nettle leaf powder - good nutrition (chlorophyll, minerals, some vitamins), helps with joint pain from Lyme and I just feel better overall when taking it...
Elderberry - antiviral; used as needed only because can't take it long-term; but helps with diarrhea.
Domperidone - medication that helps improve stomach contractions (helps gastroparesis) and also has anti-nausea effects.
Zofran - anti-nausea medication, only used when nothing else works for nausea.
Claritin, Benadryl, Singulair - anti-nausea & anti-allergy, since I get nauseated from aero-allergens (pollen, dust) as well as from allergenic foods. Since I'm technically allergic to all foods and most everything in the air (pollens, dust, pet dander, etc.), there is nothing I can eat that does not elicit some kind of inflammation. This inflammation causes nausea.
Exercise - gentle only! Helps me with stomach and colon motility. I try to get out and at least walk up to the mailbox daily, and am working on getting back into my exercise routine (non-aerobic exercises like leg lifts & stretching). One specific exercise has been helpful for the pelvic dyssynergia because it strengthens the muscles in the pelvic floor (not kegel...those never did anything for me).
Homeopathic remedies (not herbs!!) for digestive issues:
Nux V. - the "pepto-bismol" of homeopathy. Helps with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bowel obstruction pain, abdominal cramping/spasms, constipation, feeling like you over-ate (fullness after eating), acid reflux, hemorrhoids. Good support for liver detox.
Ipecac. - Homeopathic version, not the syrup you can get in the drug store! Good for nausea & vomiting. I alternate this with Nux if I'm vomiting.
Pulsatilla - for hormonal related nausea, such as during my monthly cycle.
Bryonia - for nausea first thing in the morning that gets worse when sit up after sleeping. I kept it by my bed when experiencing the morning nausea, and would take a dose before sitting up. After a few days in a row of taking the Bryonia, I no longer had the morning nausea. Also helps with constipation due to large dry stools.
Lycopodium - for anxiety that causes loss of apatite & nausea. Good also for gas & indigestion and abdominal distention. Also helps with constipation.
Aurum Arsenicum - specific remedy mentioned in "The Homeopathic Treatment of Lyme Disease" by Peter Alex as being the most closely matched to known Lyme symptoms. Helps me enormously with gut motility and apatite, as well as anxiety. I credit this remedy and the antibiotics with getting rid of the severe chronic constipation.
I could go on and on...but I'll stop here... Feel free to ask more questions...