Lyme Disease and Facial Nerve Paralysis / Bells Palsy ~ Stay Away From Steroids!

A close friend of mine texted me because her son woke up with unilateral facial nerve paralysis (paralysis to one side of the face ~ often appears as drooping as seen in strokes). She mentioned that she felt it was Lyme related due to symptoms he had about 5 weeks prior ~ fever, headache, stiff neck. They are a very outdoorsy-type family and living in Maine......I had to believe she's right!
When I saw her a few days later, she was concerned that they had given her son both Doxycycline (antibiotic and great first choice) and a steroid (this is where the concern lies). See my friend has suffered through me preaching Lyme education for years so I'm sure she's heard me advice other people not to use steroids for ANYTHING while suffering from Lyme. She's also an amazing mom who researches to advocate for her kids BUT there just isn't that much out there about this particular topic.
Being a Speech Pathologist and post-Lymie, I've researched Facial Nerve Paralysis for years (most people refer to this as Bell's Palsy though in the medical world it is generally known as FNP unless there is no known cause at which point it is called BP). I don't know if knowing that really matters but my geeky brain feels the need to type it ;)
Having this background, I understand why his doctor advised both treatments - antibiotics to kill the Lyme spirochetes and the steroid to reduce inflammation to the facial nerve. BUT....here is where the problem lies.......When a person is infected with Lyme or co-infections, their immune system is already compromised. Suppressing the immune system further creates an environment for Lyme to spread and multiply and never allows the antibiotics a chance to work. This can further progress the disease from beginning stages to Neurolyme fairly quickly (based on the research I've done).
I also have first hand experience with being on steroids with Lyme prior to finding a LLMD who diagnosed me. My general practitioner (who didn't believe I had Lyme ~ shocker I know lol) put me on steroids due to recurring skin rashes that he couldn't explain. I mean to him I was a crazy hypochondriac with a random rash. So, I think to get rid of me, he put me on steroids to "band-aid" the symptoms, which did just the opposite. My Lyme symptoms flared!! We're talking brain tingling, severe light sensitivity, dizzy spells! This continued months after I came off the steroids and soon after more symptoms began to be piled onto my already full plate. Upon her hearing this, she called her doctor and informed him that she would not be giving the steroid to her son. Her doctor apparently said this was fine since he should progress fine without it (so why give it??).
I'm keeping this post short because the importance of this post is only to heighten awareness around Lyme Disease and the importance of staying away from any type of steroid!! You may be the one having to educate your doctors about this as it appears they still just "don't get it".
As always email or post comments with any questions :)


Coconut Oil and Lyme Disease.......Why Not?

I usually keep the focus of my blog strictly Lyme and tick-borne disease but today I'm feeling a bit rebel and feel the need to talk Coconut Oil! Yes.....I fully admit, my old and now new again, obsession!!

See when I was being treated for Lyme, Ehrlichia and Babesia and taking a billion pills/herbs a day and on a strict Gluten Free Diet, Coconut Oil was only a small part of my daily routine and with the medication/herb routine I had, it was close to impossible to pin-point which things were helping with what! And honestly I didn't care - I used to tell my LLMD "Just stick me with like 20 IV's and get this (we'll pretend I said "Crap") out of my system!".  I'm sure my fellow Lymies can relate ;)

But as I'm now symptom free from Lyme and the other mentioned co-infections.......the positives of the few things I take (Coconut Oil, Flax Seed, Maca Root and a Daily Vitamin) are much easier to see and correlate. So let my preaching begin...........

The first thing I tend to hear when I mention Coconut Oil to people is......"fats aren't good for you". And in some sense they right......BUT CO's saturated fat is what they call a medium chain triglycerides (MCT). MCT's are processed differently then long chain triglycerides in that MCT's are quickly sent to the liver to be used for energy, whereas, LCT's are often stored in the body causing an increase in body fat. CO increases your bodies metabolism therefore helping you burn calories more efficiently. 

Coconut oil consists of three saturated fats: Caprylic Acid, Capric Acid, Lauric Acid. It has been shown that lauric acid (the saturated fat in CO and also found in breast milk) increases the good cholesterol in the blood to help improve cholesterol ratio levels and increases the immune system.  Coconut oil lowers cholesterol by promoting its conversion to pregnenolone, a molecule that is a precursor to many of the hormones our bodies need. 

Coconut oil can help restore normal thyroid function. When the thyroid does not function optimally, it can contribute to higher levels of bad cholesterol. This is certainly one benefit I've found since I began using CO and Maca Root again. I was "borderline" hypothyroid after my Lyme treatment and now with the addition of these, I've noticed I have more energy and have even lost a few pounds (what girl doesn't love that?). 

I also no longer suffer from dry eye or sinus dryness which kept leading to sinus infections. My skin looks moisturized (even without the CO on) and....this one still blows me away......the scar from the eyebrow ring that I took out 12 years ago is healing!! For 12 years I was left with an indented scar on my eyebrow and within 2 months its almost flat. My mom would tell you the 12 years was karma for "self-inducing" a scar on my face lol.

Another amazing quality of CO is its antifungal and antimicrobial ability. Coconut oil is great for treating systematic yeast infections, which most of us Lymie's have from months or years of antibiotics. Many people actually report a herxheimer effect when starting CO, so I suggest you start slow (1tsp per day and work your way up to 3-4tsp). I am now taking about 3tsp. per day and no longer have sugar level crashes either :)

Below is a very incomplete list of the health benefits of Coconut oil:

- Antifungal (yeast, athletes foot) and Antimicrobial

- put directly on a cut, blister or burn

- eye make-up remover or to diminish age spots

- anti-aging moisturizer

As a natural SPF 4 sunscreen
- Psoriasis and eczema
- prevent or reverse Alzheimers
- energy
- lowering bad cholesterol
- stabilizing the thyroid gland
- decrease allergies but rubbing CO inside your nose
- decrease cellulite
- weight loss (speeding up the metabolism)
- improving sleep
- a tablespoon melted into a cup of warm tea can help sooth a sore throat
- can help relieve the itch of chicken pox or poison ivy
increase absorption of calcium and magnesium
- helps remineralize teeth
- helps with anxiety/depression
- as a natural deodorant
- a natural baby lotion and can even be used for diaper rash
- speed up recovery from UTI's
- cold sores
- increase mental alertness
boost circulation and help those who often feel cold
- increase the length of your eyelashes
- stabilizing blood sugar
- increases your immune system
- dandruff (use as a conditioner)
- treats ringworm
- prevents gingivitis
- eliminates lice
- natural lubrication (most sites recommend not using this with latex)
- soothes pain due to teething
- cradle cap

Honestly, I could go on and on and make this a "Coconut Oil ~ 500 uses" post, but I'm sure anyone interested, will do their own addition research. It's definitely worth trying ~ people have been using this for thousands of years and still rave about it!! So whats the harm in trying??

Lastly and Most importantly, when picking a Coconut Oil to use - go with organic unrefined (refined means it has been dried and bleached and therefore looses many of its natural properties). Best of luck and as always ~ email with any questions :)