As a Lyme disease sufferer, devising a healthy diet may feel like rocket science as you attempt to match nutrition to your biochemistry. When deciding what to purchase at the grocery store, you tend to open up the archives of your mind to the “Prohibited Foods” and “Energy-Producing Foods” sections. You may have a dozen other files, but you go for the most pertinent and accessible. Foods that cause allergies, grumpiness and a loss of energy take priority over those that taste yummy or which might be less expensive, hence your selection of the aforementioned archives.
I don’t wish to complicate your already tedious system, but how about adding a section called “Meal Balance And Hormones?” Why should you care about balancing your meals and/or your hormones? Well, doing this could be important for your healing.
Just consider, for instance, that when you tip the carbohydrate-protein ratio in a meal in favor of too many carbohydrates, that this raises your insulin levels past the body’s level of comfort. Conversely, eating too much protein and not enough carbs raises adrenaline and cortisol levels too high. Likewise, eating too much food in one sitting causes too much insulin production, while not eating enough at mealtimes, eating a protein by itself or skipping meals shoots your adrenaline and cortisol levels to the moon.
So what’s the big deal? Let me preface this by stating that since a blog post precludes a dissertation on the dangers of over-the-top hormonal imbalances, I’ll just mention a few of the problems here.
First, if you have Lyme, your poor adrenal glands are working overtime to heal your body and will resent you even more if they have to contend with the extra work of secreting adrenaline and cortisol every time you graze improperly. Furthermore, excess levels of these hormones cause a multitude of imbalances in the body and cause you to use up your structural and functional biochemicals faster than you can rebuild them. (You need your biochemicals to heal, by the way). You may care for your adrenals by avoiding caffeine, sugar and stress. You may take adrenal glandulars and supplemental nutrition to aid these in their recovery. So how about lightening their digestive burden, too?
Conversely, too much insulin from excessive carbohydrate intake causes too much biochemical production, and you’ll have more sugar for rebuilding your parts than your body knows what to do with. So what does it do with that extra sugar? You guessed it. It puts it into storage for a rainy day that will probably never come. The long term effects of an overconsumption of carbohydrates, to name a few, are weight gain, hypertension, abnormal cholesterol and atherosclerosis.
So with all this in mind, you may want to find a good nutrition book with guidelines for healthy ratios of protein, carbohydrate and fat at mealtimes. (Too much or too little fat tends to be less detrimental to the body than a carb/protein imbalance; hence, I haven’t given it much attention here).
If you are like me, you’ll be tempted to stay away from certain complex carbohydrates, as any excess of sugar feeds Borrelia; however, consider that a diet that goes light on the starchy veggies, legumes and grains will tend to raise cortisol/adrenaline levels too high. Yeah, I know you feel better when you stay away from some of these (after all, high cortisol/adrenaline keeps your energy high), and you’re probably allergic to most grains, but try to stick a few of these food types back into your diet, for the sake of your overall health.