Whenever I start working with a new client, I want to know their medical history — just like a doctor at a doctor’s office — because I’m looking for a few specific things. One of those things is infection. Scientists are discovering that untreated infections, including candida and lyme disease, can be contributors or even the initiators of thyroid disease.
What is lyme disease?
If you’ve heard of lyme disease before, you probably associate it with ticks. That’s because the bacteria that causes lyme disease is often transferred to humans through tick bites. It’s found throughout the U.S. and in more than 60 other countries, and affects 30,000 people each year.
Many people get lyme disease from the nymph or baby form of the tick, which is about the size of a poppy seed. Because the insect is so small, the bite is often painless and goes unnoticed.
Lyme disease is often called “the great imitator,” because its symptoms can mimic many other diseases, and it can be very difficult to diagnose. Patients are often misdiagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and even depression.
The difficulty in diagnosing the disease can lead it to go untreated for quite a while, and if it’s hard to diagnose, chronic lyme disease is even harder to treat.
Early Lyme disease symptoms may look like a flu-like illness (fever, chills, sweats, muscle aches, fatigue, nausea and joint pain). And while a rash shaped like a bull’s-eye is considered characteristic of Lyme disease, many people develop a different kind of Lyme rash or none at all. In fact, estimates suggest that anywhere between 30 and 80 percent of those infected never get a rash.
How lyme disease and thyroid disease are related
The longer lyme disease goes untreated, the more it spreads. It can infect every organ and system of the body. More importantly to this discussion, lyme disease can cause what’s known as a molecular mimicry autoimmune response.
In short, the lyme bacteria looks like thyroid tissue to the body’s immune system, and as the immune system works all out over time to eradicate the infection, it also begins to attack the thyroid. This autoimmune responses is thought to be one possible root cause of Hashimoto’s and other autoimmune thyroid conditions.
Fortunately, some research shows that once the infection is removed, the immune system calms down and slows or stops attacking the thyroid. That means it’s vital for thyroid healing to determine if you have an underlying infection, like lyme disease, and to treat it properly.
How to diagnose and treat lyme disease
As with almost everything regarding our thyroid health, the first step is to get more information and a clear diagnosis.
If you suspect you may have an underlying chronic lyme disease infection, you will first need to get tested. You can start with this free lyme disease quiz which helps predict the likelihood of an infection. Take your results with you to discuss with your doctor.
Your doctor can order a simple blood test to look for lyme disease, or you can get the test for yourself at a lab like this one.
Once you have a positive diagnosis, it’s important to work with a doctor who has experience treating chronic lyme disease. It’s difficult to treat, and doesn’t necessarily respond to the same treatments that early lyme disease might respond to.
You can also take your health into your own hands in partnership with your health team. Check out this great free video series on treating lyme disease to start.
You might also consider the Klinghardt Protocol at home, which starts by reducing your toxic burden and healthy diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes that are consistent with healing your thyroid as well.
How to prevent lyme disease
As you can see, lyme disease isn’t just the inconvenience of a tick bite; it’s a serious disease that can cause lasting effects and medical problems, so if possible, we want to prevent it for ourselves and our children.
Start by nourishing yourself to stay healthy. A little TLC goes a long way, not just for treating your thyroid. Build up your body and your immunity with a healthy diet, stress reduction, and fewer toxins in your life, and your natural immune response will be stronger and better able to fight off infection
Next, use a natural tick spray whenever you’re out in the woods or in areas with tall grasses:
2. Add witch hazel to fill almost to the top.
3. Add 10 drops of each essential oil: Rosemary, Clove, Cajeput, Lavender, Cinnamon and Eucalyptus. This is the brand of oils I use for myself and my family.
Thankfully, both lyme disease and autoimmune thyroid disease are treatable, and I’ve seen many clients successfully treat and heal both and get back their body and their life!
If you have or suspect you may have a chronic lyme infection, I highly recommend you check out this free lyme disease healing video series! It offers so much about about Lyme disease and how to fight it naturally.
In addition to the article you just read, I provide a ton of resources on healing your thyroid naturally, including:
1. Our totally free Thyroid Healing Type Assessment, Report and Coaching Sessions
2. Right here on my blog, where I talk about what’s worked best for me and my clients, as well as the latest research and resources I come across. You can subscribe to get new blog posts delivered right to your email by signing up on the righthand side of the page.
3. My book, Healing Hashimoto’s Naturally — part memoir, part instruction manual for how I personally healed my Hashimoto’s disease.
4. My exclusive free 6 Thyroid Myths That Can Keep You From Healing workshop — with info on the comprehensive Thyroid Fix in 6 program, which walks you through, step-by-step, the exact actions you need to take to heal your thyroid and get your life back! We’ve seen hundreds of participants in the Thyroid Fix in 6 avoid, decrease, or even eliminate the need need for thyroid medications.
5. The incredible Your Best Thyroid Life Video Bundle, in which I personally invited 27 of the world’s top health experts to share their best tips for living with and healing thyroid disease.
Jen Wittman is a Certified Holistic Health Expert, Chef, Author & Vitality Coach, who teaches women how to reverse thyroid and autoimmune conditions naturally. She’s helped hundreds of women decrease (or even eliminate) their need for thyroid medications and has helped others stay off thyroid medication entirely.
Through her free Thyroid Healing Type Assessment, Jen teaches easy and simple steps to thyroid healing that can fit into your busy day. She also provides print outs to bring to your next doctor’s appointment so you can get the support and respect you deserve.