Lyme disease is an infection caused by the Borrelia bacteria, which is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected ticks. Antibiotics are the primary treatment for Lyme disease; however, some individuals find relief from incorporating herbs and supplements into their treatment plan as well. This article will cover the best supplements for Lyme disease.
The most common symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, fatigue, joint pain, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. Lyme disease can cause more severe symptoms, such as chronic pain, cognitive dysfunction, and neurological problems if left untreated.
All of these symptoms are very unforgiving and frustrating to manage. If you are interested in accelerating your recovery with supplements, keep reading!
Supplements for Lyme Disease
Supplements for Lyme disease can augment your treatment protocol by addressing factors that antibiotics and herbal antibiotics cannot.
Indeed, supplements themselves will not cure Lyme disease. That said, the disease can cause debilitating symptoms and systemic dysfunction in the body.
Supplements are an excellent tool to support systems in the body that the underlying infection has impacted. They also help optimize your body’s functioning while working to kill the infection and repair the immune system.
It’s important to understand that not all supplements are created equal.
Supplements are not regulated by the FDA, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But that means there is no standard for what a company must do to ensure dosage and raw ingredients are the same in either pill or powder form once it’s processed.
It’s vital that you’re consuming supplements well-vetted by a functional medicine provider or a company that puts strict standards in place to ensure quality and effectiveness.
Why Use Supplements in the Treatment of Lyme Disease?
Antibiotics and herbal protocols can vastly impact your Lyme disease recovery. These interventions are vital for destroying and removing harmful bacteria from your body. That being said, these interventions sometimes fail to address other aspects of your health that must be optimized for a successful long-term recovery.
In these cases, nutritional supplements can fill the gap.
Chronic inflammation. Lyme disease triggers an inflammatory response that impacts numerous body parts, from the brain to the gut and joints. In addition to certain herbal protocols, many Lyme patients benefit from additional anti-inflammatory support.
Nutrient deficiencies. Lyme disease stresses the body and can deplete nutrients such as vitamin D, magnesium, and B vitamins. The best way to replenish these nutrients is through dietary and supplement strategies.
Gut dysbiosis. Lyme infection, as well as antibiotic treatment, can promote gut imbalances such as dysbiosis and yeast overgrowth. Gut support in the form of probiotics can help crowd out harmful yeasts and restore a healthy gut microbiome.
Detox. As you might imagine, killing Lyme bacteria creates waste that must be eliminated from the body for successful healing. Your body has several detoxification pathways; however, it can quickly become overburdened by the toxic debris created when antibiotics and antimicrobial herbs kill off Lyme disease. Supplements that support the body’s internal detoxification pathways help alleviate symptoms caused by bacterial “die-off.”
Best Supplements for Lyme Disease
Depending on your unique health challenges, many nutritional supplements can benefit your Lyme recovery process. Below are a variety of supplements that we find helpful when treating Lyme disease. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, and a functional medicine provider will be able to evaluate your specific needs. Also, when choosing the best supplements for Lyme disease, remember to source from reputable, high-quality supplement brands.
Vitamin D is essential for maintaining strong bones and a healthy immune system. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a higher risk of contracting Lyme disease. Research shows that approximately 42% of adults in the U.S. are deficient in vitamin D. What’s more, your body’s need for vitamin D may increase if you have Lyme disease as the infection has been shown to reduce vitamin D receptor expression on immune cells. For this reason and to support your immune system overall, vitamin D supplementation may benefit people with Lyme disease.
The bacteria in our gut, or our gut microbiome, play a crucial role in our overall health. Some research indicates that probiotics may be beneficial for people with Lyme disease. Additionally, if you’re using antibiotics to kill Lyme disease, replenishing some of the strains that are subsequently being killed by the antibiotics will help to maintain the diversity of healthy bacteria in the gut.
Curcumin is a compound found in turmeric. It has potent anti-inflammatory properties and may be helpful for reducing inflammation, pain, and swelling associated with Lyme disease.
People with Lyme disease often have difficulty sleeping. Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate sleep-wake cycles. Taking melatonin can improve sleep quality, and some data suggest that melatonin can help detoxify the brain.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that works as an antioxidant and has immune-supportive properties. Many times viral antibodies can be elevated with Lyme disease. Vitamin C, especially in high dosages through an IV infusion, can be beneficial in lowering this viral load.
Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of “essential fatty acid,” meaning they cannot be synthesized by the body in adequate amounts and must therefore be consumed through food. These fatty acids are essential for reducing inflammation systemically. They can help to lessen symptoms of inflammation from Lyme disease, and they also help strengthen the immune system.
CoQ10 is an antioxidant produced in the body that helps regulate growth and maintenance. It’s required for the mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) to function properly. In Lyme disease, CoQ10 can help dysfunction in the mitochondria, improve fatigue, and help the cell to create energy properly.
Work With Peak Health Institute
It is important to note that while these nutritional supplements may provide some relief from the symptoms of Lyme disease, they should not be used as a replacement for traditional medical treatment.
If you have Lyme disease, it is important to work with a healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs.
At Peak Health Institute, we have done the work of vetting all of the best supplements for Lyme disease for you. We work with high-quality nutraceutical brands that impose stringent regulations, research, and testing on their products.
Schedule a consult with one of our providers today to get started treating your Lyme disease and understand which supplements may benefit you!