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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.

About "Insights Into Lyme Disease Treatment"

About the book:

443 Pages - $39.95
Published August, 2009
Written by Connie Strasheim
Learn More - Bulk Orders - Table of Contents

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Caffeine And Lyme...Don't Rhyme

Of all the foods I've been forced to wean myself off of since becoming ill, such as bread, pasta, cake, cereal, wine, chocolate and coffee, it is the latter that I have had the most difficult time parting company with.

Not that coffee is so much more sumptuous than pasta or chocolate-indeed, I adore chocolate and spaghetti with meatballs-but the effects of coffee are more seductive and enticing to this dragging-butt Lyme disease sufferer.

I suppose if I were severely depressed (which I have been in the past with this illness) then I might suffer greater separation anxiety from chocolate, but since I also rarely buy chocolate, it helps me not to crave it. Out of sight, out of mind.

But I´m forced to keep coffee in the house for liver cleanses, and seeing it in the fridge first thing in the morning, with lethargy like lead filling my limbs, I can´t help but brew a cup for my beckoning bloodstream. Just one eight ounce serving of my sumptuous Costa Rican brew is enough to send my morning companions, heaviness and lethargy, on their way.

The thing is, I tend to forget about the long-term effects of coffee upon my body. The instant zing of energy dulls my memory of all that I have had to do over the past four years to get my adrenal glands to function properly (which has included eliminating caffeine from my diet) and before I know it, I'm headed on a downward spiral.

Yes, I fare well for awhile, falsely believing that coffee really isn´t so bad. Until a month or two later and that downward spiral spits my butt to the ground. (And it's as I'm going downhill that I start having fantasies about adding to my regimen a cup of green tea or some other caffeinated beverage in the afternoon, too).

I rarely heed the warning signals and the downhill slope I'm on until I notice my friends, Lethargy and Fatigue, showing up not only in the morning, but in the afternoon, too. Coffee may get rid of them for a few hours in the AM, but over the long haul, it entices them to stick around, for good.

I am stubborn, though. Whenever I start to realize what's happening, my first reaction is denial, and I always find ways to justify keeping a bit of caffeine in my diet. Like today, when I purchased some chocolate-covered coffee beans from a vendor. Coffee AND chocolate? What was I thinking?? That this was somehow BETTER than having a cup of coffee this morning? That there were only twenty itty bitty coffee beans in that little paper bag--and that surely, the caffeine content couldn´t possibly match what I get from my morning brew? HELL-O?

Ah yes, the sure sign of an addict...denial. I must face the fact that it´s time to part company with coffee again...and watch the chocolate, too.

J. Wilson, author of the book, Adrenal Fatigue, believes that coffee impacts the adrenal glands more negatively than table sugar, wine or any other food. Why? Caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands to release cortisol--it essentially puts the body in a mild state of fight-or-flight, in a way that no other ingestant can, which, when constant, drains the adrenal glands and leaves the Lyme disease sufferer more fatigued than before.

Your body needs that cortisol to fight infection, not enable you to zip about your day like Speedy Gonzales.

Caffeine is deceptive. While it makes you feel good in the short run-it kills you over the long haul. A relatively healthy person may not appreciate this fact, and never perceive any negative effects from drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages, but we as Lyme disease sufferers can´t afford these kind of cheats in our diet.

Yes, it sucks to be slow in the morning. It´s tedious to have to make it through the first few hours of the day without something nice and warm and stimulating to jump-start the body into action, but by eliminating caffeine from our diet, we are preparing our bodies to feel better over the long haul, and not just in the morning, but at all times.

It is an investment that you may not reap immediate benefit from, but over time, you should notice positive change in your energy levels, and perhaps even in your other symptoms, especially sleep.

In the meantime, I will use this post to help me to practice what I preach, and forget finishing off that little bag of chocolate-covered coffee beans.


littlebuggers said...

I have been diagnosed with late stage lyme disease and adrenal fatique. It has been a very frustrating time in my life because it is so difficult to diagnose especially in the late stages of the disease. Not all of all of the required bands tested positive. But I was told by my Dr. that in the late stage the little buggers hide so well in your body they do not always show up in your tests. At times I've had my doubts that I actually had lyme. So I tested for again for lyme, MS, lupus. RA, bone disease, etc... Yet again I was diagnosed with having lyme and adrenal fatique. I definately believe I have adrenal fatique but sometimes I still have my doubts about lyme. So I have done an enourmous amount of research on line trying to educate myself on this topic and can see some of the similarities. My question to you is most people have joint pain but I suffer not from joint pain but a burning sensation in my bones. It actually feels like I have a sunburn on my bones and it flares up more when I am stressed. Have you heard of others having the same sensation?

Diane said...

Hi Connie, I'm a fellow journey woman! If you can stand Chickory, Dandy Blend is an alternative....but don't do as I did...I ordered 2 lbs without trying it...it's ok, but you really need to like chickory. It tastes too much like instant to me. ;(-

I hope things look up for you soon. I'm experiencing remarkable recovery. Healing the adrenals is possible. I still need my Thyroid glandular and Iodine, but I function all day now and esp in the mornings. It's like night and day.
Best wishes to a recovered body.

BuggyKentucky said...

I love your book, Connie!! Thanks!
I was diagnosed with Late Stage a year ago. Eighteen years worth. Geez, it took the docs long enough!
I've focused so much on my treatment and physical symptoms that I never dealt with or recognized that there was another emotional side to all this besides anger at my doctors. I happened across your site and your sharing of YOUR emotional journey really helped me realize there was another more important aspect to all this than a bunch of meds. I've started on my own journey of healing and I really am grateful to you for sharing. God bless you! Keep strong. Lady!! Pam W

Connie Strasheim (aka Killabugger) said...

Littlebuggers--I have heard of every symptom under the sun when it comes to Lyme disease, including burning sensations. I don't know specifically if yours are common, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was Lyme. Have you ever had a test done by Central Florida Research? They look for the presence of the spirochete in the blood and are hence more reliable than other labs. Best of wishes to you in your healing!

Diane-- Thanks for the suggestion. I may try chicory next time I am home in Denver. Glad to hear you are doing so well in your recovery!

Connie Strasheim (aka Killabugger) said...

Hey Pam,

Thanks for stopping by! I am glad that my book has helped you to address a side of illness that you may not have thought of before. Indeed, I believe that emotions are huge when it comes to healing!
I pray your recovery will be speedy :). If the book has been helpful to you, feel free to post a review on Amazon.com. Your thoughts can help others to decide whether or not the book might benefit them.
In any case, I am glad that you have finally figured out you have Lyme. Hopefully now you can make some great progress in your healing! :) Blessings, Connie

Alfred Barrera said...

Hi there,

I am twenty one years old, and have been feeling fatigued for the past year and 10 months. It's to the point that I am getting very depressed. I have blurred vision, achey cracking joints, and muscle pains, headaches, and im always in pain and feeling very stiff. It's just been getting worse and worse. About 3 years ago I was living in a house that was infested with ticks due to my uncle bringing in his outside german shepard in the house at night to sleep. I would find ticks in the carpet, and on my poor little dog, and my bed was very low to the floor. After I moved from that house I had a weird attack causeing me to feel very out of bodied and everything was dream like. In a month it went away and i was back to normal. A year and 10 months ago it hit me again after eating something with a lot of sugar. I didn't know if it was a panic attack or what. But after that day I hadn't been the same since. It's just been getting worse and worse. It feels as if I am starting to go crazy and no one believes me, and they are saying im a hypochondriac- just because I look fine on the outside. Yesterday I drank a lot of coke and I read caffeine causes inflamation. I can barely even move as I type this and my back aches and i'm very stiff. I am just so confused with what to do. I moved back from new york to be close to my family. In new york I had free medical insurance due to being a poor student with low income. Up there the doctor did blood work- and said i was "normal" and i also got a colonscopy due to pains. He also sent me to a neruologist and he didn't even check me, he just said I was having migraines and perscribed me migraine pills [which i didn't even bother taking, migraines are caused by something- i dont want to treat the symptoms and ignore the cause]. And now here i am in miami, living on the beach and suffering with no one here to help me. All I have is the internet trying to figure out what in the world is wrong with me, and trying to save up money to get my butt to a doctor. I read that the blood test for lyme is 65% accurate and it may not even show up.

Connie Strasheim (aka Killabugger) said...

Hi Alfred,

It definitely sounds like Lyme could be the reason for your symptoms. I am not a medical doctor, but based on what you have told me, I think the likelihood that you have Lyme is extremely high. You need to see a doctor that specializes ONLY in Lyme and who can make a clinical diagnosis (since yes, tests can be inaccurate). Check out: ILADS.org for a referral. I hope you can get some help soon!

Take care,


C. Madeleine's said...
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C. Madeleine's said...
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Alfred Barrera said...

Thank you for getting back to me Connie! I noticed today I have water build up in both my knees. Sucks to have all these issues at a young age and have no one to help you. But at least I know I am not alone. And thank you for having this blog!I went to the site and couldn't find anything on referals.


george.shingleton@yahoo.com said...

I've had good success with peach bark, not so much for lyme spirochetes, but for fungal toxins and as a general blood cleanser. I get it from betterhealthherbs.com, which sells it in both alcohol and glycerine.