Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is contracted from the bite of a black-legged tick carrying this bacteria. While difficult to treat, infrared sauna therapy is a natural, non-invasive treatment option for Lyme Disease. This article will describe the four benefits of infrared sauna for Lyme disease patients.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is the fastest-growing infectious disease in the United States, with the CDC estimating 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease per year, and records show that it may be closer to 400,000. What’s more, a shocking 1.5 million people have chronic Lyme disease.
Even with timely diagnosis and appropriate antibiotic treatment, more than 20% of individuals develop chronic symptoms such as fatigue, pain, sleep disruption, and cognitive difficulties.
This condition is known as chronic Lyme disease. There can be two different presentations of chronic Lyme disease.
In the first scenario, an active infection is causing continuing inflammatory symptoms. While in other cases, it is more of a post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS) characterized by symptoms that manifest within six months of treatment and persist for six months or longer. This situation is more related to inflammatory damage that lingers after successfully treating the infection.
Symptom-wise, while a rash can develop around the original tick bite and expand outward, not everyone will develop a rash. Lyme disease also progresses through stages that can overlap and cause a variety of symptoms.
It’s important to be aware of indications of the infection other than the rash. Here is a list of the common symptoms of Lyme disease:
- Stiff neck
- Chronic fatigue
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Joint pain and degeneration
- Anxiety and depression
- Brain fog
- Nerve damage
Treatment for 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. This is where nutrition, supplements, and alternative therapies like ozone therapy and infrared sauna play an important role.
What is an Infrared Sauna?
An infrared sauna uses infrared lamps that use electromagnetic radiation to warm your body. Infrared sauna light energy penetrates the skin, heating the body from the inside. This then induces your body to sweat.
When Lyme disease infects a person’s bloodstream, toxins accumulate in the body’s fat cells. Healthy heat from an infrared sauna helps to detoxify the body’s cells, expelling the toxins that currently inhabit your body.
The light from an infrared sauna also produces a higher rate of renewed cellular activity and nutrient delivery due to improved blood circulation.
Four Benefits of Infrared Sauna for Lyme Disease Patients
Infrared saunas eliminate significantly more toxins than traditional saunas, as the heat can penetrate deeper into muscles and tissues. Infrared saunas are typically less aggressive than traditional saunas, too. In terms of Lyme disease, this gentle heat that’s given out helps to debilitate and potentially kill other unwanted organisms within the body. More than that, here are four benefits of using an infrared sauna for Lyme disease patients.
The kidneys and liver are overextended for Lyme disease patients due to inflammation and infection. The bacteria circulating within the body of someone with Lyme Disease create a build-up of toxins. Infrared saunas help flush toxins like BPA, PCB, mycotoxins, endotoxins from the destruction of the bacteria, and heavy metals through perspiration. This prevents toxins from building in the internal organs, which can cause more problems.
Improved Immune Function
Research has suggested that the increased body temperature induced by the sauna may cause improved immune function. Studies have noted increased white blood cells, lymphocytes, neutrophils, and basophils after sauna bathing. The body’s white blood cells quickly propagate because of the increase in temperature and can fight off the harmful pathogens and microbes that are invading the body.
Further, with improved circulation caused by heat, the immune cells can reach all body parts to help fight Lyme Disease infection.
Reduces Oxidative Stress
Our ATP, our “energy currency,” is produced in the mitochondria of our cells. When the mitochondria, or the power generators of cells, become impaired, this can lead to fatigue, brain fog, a leaky gut, and more. Oxidative stress, toxicity, and chronic infections such as Lyme all damage the mitochondria and create more oxidative stress. Infrared sauna therapy boosts metabolic function and reduces oxidative stress.
Meanwhile, a body carrying out efficient detoxification obtains a higher threshold to tolerate oxidative stress – whether it be from the environment, negative genetic predispositions, or disease states.
As the body’s core temperature rises, your circulation increases. This allows more oxygen, nutrients, and immune cells to reach areas of the body that need it. This may reduce pain and inflammation in the joints. Further, this increase in blood flow relaxes the muscles and joints, which may also decrease symptoms of Lyme Disease.
Work with a Functional Medicine Practitioner
If you have Lyme disease, working with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment for your needs is essential. In addition to conventional medicine, alternative therapies may be the difference between putting Lyme in remission or continuing to struggle. If you’re interested in learning more about Lyme disease, infrared saunas, and the functional medicine approach to treating Lyme disease, contact us!