Lyme Disease and Regulating Body Temperature ~ Why I Can’t Keep Warm
I Stay Cold All the Time and Lyme is the Culprit
Body temperature and Lyme disease what is the big deal?
Here in North Carolina we have enjoyed some recent warmer weather and I could not be more thrilled about the warm up! Since October I have been bundled up in layers. It can be sixty degrees outside and I walk around with three shirts, a jacket and a toboggan on my head. I am freezing. This is the story of my life. I cling to my sweaters like security blankets.
I have Lyme disease and I CANNOT get warm. So yesterday when the temperature rose to right below eighty degrees, I was in heaven. For the first time in many moons I was able to walk around my home with just a single long-sleeved shirt on.
When I say that I am cold. I mean I am literally shivering and have goose bumps the size of Easter Eggs. I feel the chill right down to my bones. My hands feel like icicles and my toes are numb and blue.
Some of this is due to Raynaud’s disease which I have had for several years. It affects the circulation to my extremities. My under active thyroid is also a contributor to my chilly days and nights. But during a recent conversation with my Lyme doctor, I learned that my Lyme disease and co-infections are likely the largest contributors to my inability to keep warm.
Lyme Lowers Body Temperature
The bottom line is that Lyme disease lowers body temperature. If you have Lyme disease than keeping warm in the winter can be a real problem. Since Lyme bacteria flourish in cooler body temperatures. For me winter is one long struggle to keep warm. I have found that ginger tea helps to gently warm my body during the winter season.
So what exactly is the real threat with lower than normal body temperature, other than the obvious, Lyme bacteria LOVE it? When your core body temperature is too low it can decrease the production of all hormones! You can also become more receptive to other degenerative conditions. Your body fluids become thick and slow-moving. Waste that would normally move quickly through your body instead becomes like sludge and your body becomes a toxic waste container. Lyme patients are also at a higher risk of having thick blood.
Possible Heparin Injections
After discussing that I had thick blood which contributes to my poor circulation, my Lyme doctor suggested I begin daily Heparin injections. These are injections that I would have to give myself in my belly. Heparin is a blood thinner. The moment I heard the words, “inject yourself,” I knew it was not a practical option for me. Since I get light headed when I nick a finger, I cannot imagine giving myself injections on a daily basis.
So what was his solution? Nattokinase an enzyme that aids in thinning your blood and lowering blood pressure. To say I jumped at the chance to take a supplement over an injection is an understatement. I am now on Nattokinase every day to improve my circulation.
What controls my body’s temperature?
Now I am no scientist or smartie pants, but the little I have learned through reading about this subject has been fascinating. Your hypothalamus regulates your body’s core temperature. In short it helps control your body’s internal balance. It is a master gland that affects the production of thyroid hormone and others. Lyme disease patients are generally in a state of adrenal exhaustion.
I have been told by my own LLMD that I am suffering from adrenal fatigue. The suggestions that he has given to remedy this problem are really quite simple. By healing my adrenals, I am hopeful that regulating my body temperature will improve.
Suggestions For Managing Adrenal Fatigue
It has been stressed to me more than once, by more than one doctor that I should rest when I feel tired. This is more difficult to do on some days than others, but I try to listen to my body’s signals and ease up on daily activities on my more heavily fatigued days.
Obtaining deep sleep is a real struggle for me, as it is for the majority of people who suffer from Lyme disease. But, I try to do what I can to avoid staying up late and getting to bed on time every night. Just the simple act of setting a sleep schedule and sticking to it can help with resetting sleep patterns. Getting eight to ten hours of sleep per night is critical to those of us who suffer from Lyme and Adrenal exhaustion.
Avoiding problem foods can be difficult at best, but there are certain foods that I know to avoid. Especially sugars, processed foods and gluten. I try to stick to a clean diet as much as possible to aid in recovery from adrenal dysfunction.
Reducing daily stress has been a necessary part of healing my adrenal function. I do what I can to maintain a low-stress lifestyle and keep all negative thoughts and relationships at arm’s length. Low stress contributes to healthy adrenals.
Supplements That Help Me Manage My Adrenal Fatigue
Ashwagandha is a herb that I take for immune support, adrenal fatigue, thyroid function and to combat stress.
Some other supplements that I have found helpful with my adrenals are Vitamin C, B12 and Magnesium.
Disclaimer: as with any herb, supplement or medicine, please consult your doctor before introducing anything new into your daily routine. I am only stating what has worked well for me.
On the flip side, I am dreading the heat of the coming summer.
With all of this talk about being cold, there is also a flip side to it. The heat of a Southern summer can be stifling and the humidity makes it ten times worse. My Lyme disease symptoms increase when my body becomes overly heated. This can happen even taking a hot shower! It is a fine balance between warmth and actually being hot, that makes all the difference.
Why Heat is So Hard on Lymies
The main objective when you begin treatment for Lyme is to KILL the bacteria. Depending upon how well a person has detoxed during treatments they can be harboring burdens of toxins and die off. When the body heats up, these toxins make themselves known, bringing symptoms to the surface. I have learned that detoxification is the key to surviving Lyme treatments.
Although, I do now welcome the heat of summer in the south EVER. I am slowly learning how to manage it! I keep to the shade when I have to be outside on a hot day and I make sure to drink plenty of water. The fatigue and almost herx like reactions are not nearly as intense when I listen to my body and keep as cool as I can.
Though I do have to walk that fine line between being cool and not cold. If I’m not careful the pendulum of body temperature will swing too far in the other direction. This is my life with Lyme, life on a constant balance beam.
If you have made it this far, I would like to thank you again for reading and I wish you a happy balanced spring.
Want to read more about how the weather affects Lyme disease? You can read my article here: How the Weather Affects Lyme Disease and Chronic Pain.
Until next time, take care and keep encouraged,
A Few Of My Favorite Products!
You can read my review of this wonderful diffuser here: Organic Aromas Raindrop Essential Oil Diffuser Review
You can read my review of this wonderful superior CBD Oil from Honey Colony here: Honey Colony’s Superior CBD Review
This is an amazing product for pain relief, review coming SOON! Click on the Oska Pulse picture to find out more!