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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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Friday, January 09, 2009

Vitamins B-12 and D....Two important (but often overlooked) Lyme nutrients

Lately, I've been hearing a lot of hullabaloo over vitamins B-12 and D, two in-fashion (and perhaps rightfully so) nutrients that tend to be deficient in the chronic fatigue and Lyme disease communities.

I know, you are probably thinking, "Why do I have to take yet ANOTHER supplement?"

Well, maybe you don't, but here's some food for thought about vitamins B-12 and D. This information may help you to decide whether or not your body requires supplementation with these nutrients.

First, it's helpful to get a blood test to ascertain whether B-12 and D are lacking in your body. If your insurance doesn't cover these tests (some companies are getting finicky and cutting B-12 out of the list), then I would recommend taking B-12 for a short period of time to see if you feel any better, because B-12 is just one of those nutrients often lacking in those with CFIDS and Lyme disease, due perhaps to inefficient metabolic processes in the body. And if you don't get out in the sun, well then, taking a D vitamin might be worthwhile, too. My vitamin D levels were normal until I moved to Costa Rica over a year ago. But nine months of rain last year plummeted my D levels to below normal, and now I've got to replenish the supply.

So why do B-12 and Vitamin D matter?

One benefit of B-12, according to J. Titelbaum, author of the book, "From Fatigued To Fantastic", is that it reduces nitric oxide, a neurotransmitter that those with chronic fatigue (and probably Lyme) have too much of. B-12 also aids in a number of biochemical reactions, and symptomatically, can reduce depression, brain fog, memory and other neuropsychiatric problems. In addition, it can help to reverse hypercoagulation, as well as the risk of some diseases, such as osteoporosis and breast cancer.

If you are low on B-12 and/or have trouble absorbing this vitamin (a common problem in the chronially ill), injections can be a good way to supplement it, especially initially. If you don't wish to be a pincushion, taking a sublingual form of methylcobalamin may be the next best thing.

Now about that vitamin D. Did you know that deficiencies of this nutrient increase the risk of many types of cancer, including lymphomas, leukemia, prostate, lung, ovarian and, (ahem) SKIN cancer. Yes, you heard me right. All that advice to avoid the sun is apparently backfiring. In addition, vitamin D deficiency contributes to weak bones, osteoporosis, a weak immune system (as it plays an important role in immune system regulation), and is implicated in other diseases, such as IBS, MS and diabetes. For instance, Vitamin D is required for secretion of insulin by the pancreas. Without adequate D, the risk for diabetes increases. In fact, some research shows that insulin resistance correlates directly with low levels of vitamin D.

We need our immune systems to fight Lyme disease. And a cancer or diabetes are probably the last cherries you would ever want on your Lyme cake, so do yourself a favor and get your vitamin D levels checked out. Once you do, and if your levels are low, consider supplementing with a dose of 1,000-2,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day.


Renee said...

Hi Connie
It is very important to have these two vitamins checked out...my doctor did this for me when she diagnosed Lyme...I have difficulty with reacting to B12 ( it was a bit low) but I take Vt D in drop form and am very thankful...levels are not to be below 32 with the test she took and mine were at 7. I could tell pretty quickly that it gave me a sense of well being and more energy.

Ironhead said...

Something else you might try, if you drink tea anyways, is Taheebo.

It is known more as an anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-cancer herb...but who knows, maybe it might help other stuff too?

This tea right now is my number one tool against Candida and Lyme.

Karen said...

It is amazing how much I have learned from this blog. I am B12 and Vit D deficient. I was diagnosed with H Pylori about 3 and a half years ago. I was told that that was likely the reason for the B12 deficiency and I needed to start shots immediately.( I don't recall what my numbers were but they were low). I was also told that I would need them for a year, well it's been over 3 years and I am still doing shots. At least now I understand why my levels are still low. Thank you so much.
I also have been using the D ribose for about a month and it is wonderful. I feel better than I have in a long time.

Connie Strasheim (aka Killabugger) said...

Hi Karen,

I'm so glad to hear that D-ribose is helping you with energy!
That's amazing you have had to get B-12 shots for so long. It just goes to show, I guess, how deficient the chronically ill can be in B-12!
Thanks for stopping by!


Connie Strasheim (aka Killabugger) said...

Renee, That's great that you felt such a dramatic improvement once you started Vitamin D! I think it's easy to ignore these vitamins (at least for me it has been), so it's good to get tested or try them from time to time to see if they make any difference in how we feel.
Thanks for your comment and I hope your New Year is starting off well! :)



Thanks for your tea suggestion. I'll have to research that one when I get the chance.


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