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    Old 08-19-2007, 05:00 PM   #1
    joe7777's Avatar
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    Question Lyme Disease and Exercise

    I am 57 years old and I was recently diagnosed with Lyme Disease. I began feeling tired with sporadic fever chills, at night, for about two weeks. I then ran a half-marathon a week ago and the doctor indicated that the stress of the long distance run may have exacerbated the condition leading to the symptoms becoming more prevalent. The doctor prescribed Doxycycline for 4 weeks and thus far my body is responding well to the medication as the fatigue symtpoms are progressively subsiding.

    Since my energy level is improving, is it advisable to begin running again or would that counteract the effect of the antibiotics? I would be interested in anyone else that has successfully recovered and their excercise habits during the recovery period.

    Thanks, Joe7777

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    Old 08-19-2007, 05:54 PM   #2
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    Re: Lyme Disease and Exercise

    Hi Joe7777, welcome to the board!

    Do you think you have been infected for two weeks? What dose of Doxy are you taking? It is prescribed for only four weeks? Did you have night sweats?

    Below is a Lyme symptom list. You can have any combination of symptoms.

    Unexplained fevers, sweats, chills, or flushing
    Unexplained weight change--loss or gain
    Fatigue, tiredness, poor stamina
    Unexplained hair loss
    Swollen glands
    Sore throat
    Testicular pain/pelvic pain
    Unexplained menstrual irregularity
    Unexplained milk production: breast pain
    Irritable bladder or bladder dysfunction
    Sexual dysfunction or loss of libido
    Upset stomach
    Change in bowel function-constipation, diarrhea
    Chest pain or rib soreness
    Shortness of breath, cough
    Heart palpitations, pulse skips, heart block
    Any history of a heart murmur or valve prolapse?
    Joint pain or swelling
    Stiffness of the joints, neck, or back
    Muscle pain or cramps
    Twitching of the face or other muscles
    Neck creeks and cracks, neck stiffness, neck pain
    Tingling, numbness, burning or stabbing sensations, shooting pains
    Facial paralysis (Bell's Palsy)
    Eyes/Vision: double, blurry, increased floaters, light sensitivity
    Ears/Hearing: buzzing, ringing, ear pain, sound sensitivity
    lncreased motion sickness, vertigo, poor balance
    Lightheadedness, wooziness
    Confusion, difficulty in thinking
    Difficulty with concentration, reading
    Forgetfulness, poor short term memory
    Disorientation: getting lost, going to wrong places
    Difficulty with speech or writing
    Mood swings, irritability, depression
    Disturbed sleep-too much, too little, early awakening
    Exaggerated symptoms or worse hangover from alcohol

    It is very important to see a kowledgeable doctor. Many doctors do not understand Lyme and treat with outdated protocols. Besides Lyme, ticks can also transmit several co-infections including Babesiosis, two types of Ehrlichiosis (HME & HGE), Bartonella, and Mycoplasma. It is estimated that 60% of people who have Lyme are co-infected. It may affect treatment choice and progress. It is important to be tested for these by a Lyme reputable lab such as IgeneX in Palo Alto, CA. Have you been tested for these?

    If you need a doctor recommendation, let us know. It is very important to get the proper treatment as early in the infection as possible. Doing so may prevent long-term complications. Early infections are the easiet to cure.

    There are a few tips about Doxy. Do not have any dairy, magnesium or iron products two hours before or after taking it or it will not be absorbed properly. If it makes you nauseous, eat something substantial and non-dairy before taking it. Avoid the sun. You can get a severe burn in minutes even when wearing sunscreen. Do not lay down for at least an hour after taking it or you can ulcerate your esophagus. This is very painful! Drink a full glass of water when you take it for the same reason.

    Whenever you take any antibiotics, make sure you take high-quality acidophilus capsules. They replace the good bacteria in the body and help to prevent yeast overgrowth. The best ones to get are refrigerated. Most healthfood stores have them. Wait at least two hours before or after taking the antibiotics to take the acidophilus.

    Be aware of the Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction (herx). Often when people who have Lyme take antibiotics, their symptoms become worse or they get new ones. When the antibiotics kill the bacteria, toxins are released making them feel sicker. It can be very scary when it happens, but it is a good sign the antibiotics are working.

    It is good to document your symptoms daily. One easy way to do this is to list the three main symptoms you have each day with a numercial rating of their severity, from 1-10. Over time when you review this information, you can see when your herxes occur and how you are responding to the meds.

    Regarding your question about exercise (I am finally getting to it!) you really do need to be careful of any sun exposure when on Doxy. Some people who take Doxy even get burned knuckles from the sun coming into the car when they are driving.

    Exercise is important to recovery, but it is also important to listen to your body. Some doctors believe it is better to do non-aerobic activity such as weight training or yoga. If you want to try, I would suggest doing a fraction of your normal workout (not in the sun!) and see how you recover afterwards and the next day. If it is too much, you can switch the type of exercise for the time being. If not, maybe try a little more.

    It is also important to learn as much as possible. I recommend reading Dr. Joseph Burrascano's 2005 Diagnostic Hints and Treatment Guidelines For Lyme and Other Tick Borne Illnesses (on-line). He is one of the top Lyme doctors in the country, and many Lyme doctors follow his protocols. He discusses diet, exercise, and supplement recommendations too. I also recommend the book "Everything You Need To Know about Lyme Disease (2nd edition)" by Karen Vanderhoof-Forschner.

    Good luck with your treatment!

    Old 08-22-2007, 10:06 AM   #3
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    Re: Lyme Disease and Exercise

    Hi Joe, Sorry of your diagnosis. Having catagorizing myself as an athlete all my life I can only let you know how things are for me. I have been told by my lyme doctor that exercise is good. Since treatment in Jan this year i began to feel good enough to get back to the gym, biking and a little hiking. I have had lyme for 4 years ( I think). Lyme bacteria can get into your muscles. I have noticed that as I continued to push myself I began to get worse again. Right know I have crashed again and can only do half of what I was doing 2 months ago. For me it feels like over training and absolutely no muscle recouperation/rebuilding. All I can say is I think exercise in moderation is good. Moderation though is hard for me and for you too I'm sure. Take Care, Leb

    Old 08-24-2007, 04:53 AM   #4
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    Re: Lyme Disease and Exercise

    Thank you for the very informative response. I've been on Doxy (two pills a day) for the last two weeks, and the doctor recommended to continue for another 2 weeks. Fortunately I've had no side effects. Although I began feeling better, I've been very cautious in not pushing myself and did not start running again. Unfortunately, in the last two days I developed chills followed by sweats with low grade fever and pain in many of my joints, specifically in the shoulder and neck area. Motrin has been effective in reducing the fever and relieving the pain. Are these common symptoms and should I expect them to continue for a while?

    Old 08-24-2007, 06:46 AM   #5
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    Re: Lyme Disease and Exercise

    Yes Joe, These are symptoms of the doxy working. It is killing the bad bacteria and dumping them in your system. It is common to get symptom like this during treatment. sometimes you can feel so bad that you feel as though you need to go to emergency room. If it is true you have not been infected that long it may not be as severe. A 4 week treatment on doxy is not long enough. There is sooooo much argument out there on the perfect length. 6 - 8 weeks is a much more preferred and prescibed treatment (if lyme is caught immediately after bite) by knowledgeable lyme doctors. I so hope you kick it quick, It seems to be taking me forever to try to get back to all that I love THE OUTDOORS and EXERCISE ! Take Care once again, Leb PS Ticker know more on treatments and stuff and I perhaps you'll hear again from Ticker

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