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April, 2014- HELLO ALL! I am no longer posting to this blog. For the latest on me and my work, I invite you to subscribe to my NEW blog: www.conniestrasheim.blogspot.com where I share my latest findings on how to heal from chronic illness involving Lyme and other conditions. Thanks!

Greetings and welcome to my Lyme disease blog, a comfy cozy (and sometimes crazy!) place for cutting-edge information, encouragement and insight into the fastest-growing epidemic disease in the United States. In this blog you will find everything from bug-killing strategies to immune system and hormone help, as well as lifestyle and spiritual suggestions for healing from chronic illness involving Lyme disease. The information contained within this blog is based upon my own healing journey and what I have learned over the past eight years as I have been diligently digging and researching my way back to a better state of health. May you find it to be a source of hope, inspiration and wisdom in your own journey towards wellness.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Nutritional Solutions For Low Serotonin

Lack of the neurotransmitter serotonin caused by Lyme does more than make you feel as though you've lost your personality. It exacerbates fatigue and pain, causes insomnia and makes a mess of your memory and cognition.

The reasons for low serotonin can range from not getting enough protein or fats, to adrenal fatigue, to hypothyroidism, to not living a lifestyle that is peaceful and happiness-promoting. Of course those darned Lyme critters are implicated in all of the above, as well as other serotonin-depleting strategies. Devious buggers.

Okay, so you can only be so happy when you hurt and can't get out to climb a mountain like your friends. I won't tell you how to rearrange your Lyme life or your hormones in order to find joy, as I've preached enough on these in my Articles section.
So how about some nutrition tips for boosting serotonin production?

You always hear about turkey being high in tryptophan, an amino acid that is a precursor to serotonin. But who wants to eat turkey every day? Though sources aren't abundant, others include; almonds, cottage cheese, oatmeal, peanut butter, shellfish, soy foods and tuna. If your digestion is poor, taking hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes can aid in the body's uptake of these tryptophan-rich foods. If you are allergic to most, or all of these, consider a 5-HTP supplement from the vitamin store, which is another precursor to serotonin, just one step ahead of tryptophan in the amino acid chain.

Once tryptophan is inside the brain, in order for it to become 5-HTP and then serotonin, the brain's biochemical pathways require that calcium and magnesium be present, as well as essential fatty acids (Omega 3 and 6's), B and C vitamins. Hormones are likewise important, especially insulin and thyroid. Balancing the thyroid with iodine or thyroid hormone and getting enough insulin by eating plenty of complex carbohydrates will aid in the serotonin assembly line.

In my own case of serotonin starvation, I needed more help than nutrients could provide, but eating well and taking the above minerals, vitamins and fatty acids helped to pull me out of the black pit of depletion. Hopefully they will help you, too.

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