Lyme disease patients often find themselves dealing with a plethora of chronic health ailments, making their day-to-day life arduous. From chronic widespread pain and inflammation to fatigue and cognitive decline, the overall health of someone with Lyme disease is heavily compromised.
Lyme disease can also lead to nutritional deficiencies that, if left unchecked, could progress to worsening of symptoms or new coinfections altogether. Many vitamins are lowered in people with Lyme disease, but there are some that can help battle the chronic symptoms associated with the condition.
What vitamins are good for Lyme disease?
Since Lyme disease can cause the immune system to become weak, being able to battle other infections becomes much more difficult. The immune response slows with the onset of the infection caused by the Borrelia bacteria, and for those with a lowered immune function, nutritional deficiency is not that far behind. This is because the body needs all systems to work symbiotically for the absorption of proper nutrients, as well as the ability to send them where they need to go.
In the case of Lyme disease, some vitamins are better than others in battling chronic symptoms. They include:
- Vitamin B1
- Fish oil
- Alpha lipoic acid
Vitamin B1 has been shown to help improve energy levels, and thus can help people with Lyme disease combat chronic fatigue. Fish oil is known for its brain-boosting abilities, which can lead to improved cognitive function in people fighting Lyme-induced brain fog.
Is vitamin C good for Lyme disease?
Vitamin C has long been hailed as an immune-boosting vitamin, and for good reason. It helps in the production of lymphocytes and phagocytes, the white blood cells that help battle infections. For people with lowered immunity such as Lyme disease patients, healthy doses of vitamin C can help improve their ability to fight off further infection.
The supplementation of vitamin C for people with Lyme disease isn’t a cure, and will not reverse all the effects of the disease. But it can help in making the immune system more responsive to pathogens, and thus could be a helpful improvement in the worsening of symptoms caused by coinfections.
Can Lyme cause magnesium deficiency?
Magnesium is a huge player in enzymatic process. It helps the body produce the energy it needs, as well as aiding in muscle contraction and relaxation. Magnesium has also been shown to:
- Help with protein production
- Regulate hormones
- Improve nerve response
- Help repair and maintain cells
The reason many patients with Lyme disease experience a magnesium deficiency is because of the surges of stress that can occur when dealing with a chronic disease; stress levels are highly associated with levels of magnesium. Some studies have suggested that magnesium levels can also become depleted by the Borrelia bacteria feeding on it while in the body. The most effective forms of magnesium for those suffering from Lyme disease are citrate, malate, or glycinate.
Other nutritional deficiencies in chronic Lyme disease patients
Chronic Lyme disease doesn’t just cause unwanted symptoms. It also leads to the depletion of many nutrients that the body needs to help battle the Borrelia bacteria. These include:
Used in the growth and maintenance of cells, the body needs coenzyme Q10. It is used in the production of energy as well; thus when energy levels go down in patients with Lyme disease, it could be because of depleted levels. Coenzyme Q10 deficiency can also lead to unwanted ailments such as migraine headaches and early forms of Parkinson’s disease.
Some people with Lyme disease suffer a weakened ability to synthesize vitamin D. Being deficient in this vitamin can lead to even further immune dysfunction, thyroid issues, and increased inflammation.
Because digestion is often compromised in people with Lyme disease, it can be hard to absorb vitamin B12. The vitamin itself is already difficult to digest, so that problem only worsens with the infection. A low level of B12 can lead to the worsening of symptoms such as palsy, chronic pain and fatigue, and cognitive decline.
Zinc is a vital component in the replication and repair of DNA. People who suffer from Lyme disease often deal with the body’s inability to properly synthesize hemoglobin, which leads to lowered levels of zinc citrate. When this happens, symptoms such as depression and susceptibility to frequent infections could occur.
Many people with Lyme disease suffer pain and inflammation in their joints. Supplementing with chondroitin sulfate may relieve those symptoms due to it being a crucial part of building cartilage.
The use of antibiotics is the only way to initially treat Lyme disease, and even then, it’s not always 100% effective. When people go through a heavy antibiotics course, the level of healthy bacteria (probiotics) in their gut is negatively affected, and thus, people with Lyme disease often have an imbalance in their gut flora.
Dealing with chronic Lyme disease can be a long and painful journey, but ensuring you get the proper nutrient intake could help when dealing with symptoms.