Stage One: Restoring the Immunity Response
The first stage assumes that you have become sufficiently deficient in some nutrient used by the immune system so that it is unable to mount an effective defense against the infection.
The most likely deficiency is Vitamin D. It is essential to get this important moderator of the immune system up to at least the bottom of the optimal range. The deficiency table gives suggestions of the amount of supplementation suggested to return the immune system to an effective level.
A common side effect of CFIDS is mal-absorption of nutrients -- this then denies the immune system food to keep up the fight. Milk is an ideal food that is easily absorbed and provides many needed nutrients -- unfortunately, most of the milk that is available is both pasteurized and homogenized. Many compounds are destroyed by this processing. A substance called non-denatured whey (meaning not pasteurized nor homogenized) keep theses compounds intact and thus your body can absorb them. After 6 weeks , you should start to add non-denatured whey if herxing is mild or has stopped. This will provide a variety of amino acids and other nutrients to complement the vitamins. You may take amino acid supplements if you wish (just remember, they may also cause herxing because the immune system will fight harder with a "full stomach").
Organic Foods: Although organic food is much higher in nutrients, the mal-absorption of nutrients will not allow sufficient nutrients to be obtained from organic food alone. Vitamin supplements are needed -- ready to absorb nutrients.
FYI: The more severe form of mal-absorption is Irritable Gut Syndrome/Irritable Gut Syndrome.
Products we have used:Citracal
Duration: Until your Vitamin D level reaches 108 nmol/l (43 ng/ml) and you have stopped herxing.
Dehydration may influence the ability of the body to absorb nutrients and /or remove toxins. Electrolyte drinks may be beneficial if not too high in sugars. Make sure that you keep an bountiful water consumption per day [using bottled water helps track how much was actually consumed] - at least 2 quarts/2 liters per day should be a minimal goal.
Change of Symptoms Expected
Herxing is the most likely effect. It will likely start 1 hr after taking Vitamin D/Calcium and last 2-4 hrs. You may wish to measure your temperature (an ear thermometer is suggested) every hour, some people will see a rise of temperature going with the herxing. This is totally natural because it is how the body fights most infections -- raising the body's temperature. If you have a temperature response -- you are lucky because by monitoring the temperature pattern you can keep the herxing in a reasonable comfort zone (i.e. you can see when the herx starts to decrease and not take more until you see the decline) and it can be used to determine when you have stop herxing.
You may also herx from non-denatured whey -- as little as 1/4 teaspoon per day have been reported to produce a herxheimer.
Increase of Body Temperature: I do not know what % will see their temperature increase, I suspect at least 60%. I would recommend buying an ear temperature measuring device, for example we purchased a Braun ThermoScan ($37). If you are herxing from antipathogens, your body temperature will likely not increase -- if your own immune system is doing the fighting, running a temperature is a normal part of how it fights infections and this temperature change allows you to monitor how hard it is fighting -- when it starts going down, send in more reinforcements (vitamins whey)!
We've seen temperature increase from 97.5 to 103+ from vitamin D within a few hours. That is not an ideal situation -- we attempt to target about 100-101 for the peak temperature.
If temperature gets too high for comfort: try a baby aspirin or white birch bark every few hours. This will usually break the fever nicely.
Impact on Lyme
How long will this period take? I expect at least 3 months to get the Vitamin D level up to the target from the literature -- it may take up to a year for some people. Some people may go into significant remission from this alone -- if you are one of those, don't walk away from doing the later stages.
If you find that you can go up to 2000 IU quickly with no herxing or improvement of symptoms please write me -- I am very interested in learning about non-responders [for example: CFIDS due to pollutants may be a non-responder].
Remember the motto:
"No Deficiency Left Behind"