I’ve been relatively quiet recently about my journey with Lyme Disease, but it’s not because a lot hasn’t happened because it most certainly has. Rather, I started a new treatment and wanted to wait until I was done or at least almost done before giving an update. I know that a ton of you have been following me, wondering whether or not I’ve improved, and I don’t want to give advice if it doesn’t work. So many people are suffering from this awful disease and I’ve been using myself as somewhat of a guinea pig to see what works and what doesn’t work. I have a mission to help out as many people as I possibly can deal with, heal, and prevent this disease. From someone who has been dealing with it for a year and a half, I don’t wish this upon anyone. If there is something I can do to bring more Lyme Disease awareness you better believe I will do it, hence why I’m writing this blog.
*** DISCLAIMER: TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE STARTING ANY LYME DISEASE TREATMENT. EVERYTHING I TALK ABOUT FROM THIS POINT ON ARE THINGS THAT I HAVE DONE THAT HAVE WORKED FOR ME. IF YOU DECIDE TO DO ANYTHING I RECOMMEND, GET IT APPROVED BY YOUR DOCTOR FIRST. ***
There is another reason why I’m not talking much about it lately. In the beginning of my Lyme journey I went around to many Lyme Disease chat forums only to find that the majority of people are depressed and have let this disease define who they are. I absolutely refuse to be the “lyme guy.” I’m Josh Spencer, Top Beachbody Coach, great father and husband, successful entrepreneur, not the “lyme guy.” Lyme Disease does not and will not ever define me. Is it a part of my life? Absolutely, but it doesn’t have to be my entire life. I won’t let it. For those of you that are all over social media bitching about this disease, calling yourself “Lyme Lisa,” take a step back and think about what you’re doing. There is a hell of a lot more to you than just Lyme. And sure, things might seem dark right now and awfully shitty, but you have to just focus on the good things that are going on in your life. That’s a major part of how I’ve gotten through the worst of this disease. I have a very successful business that I love, a family that means the world to me, incredibly supportive friends, and I focus on them, not what I’ve gone through.
Lyme Disease Update
So how am I doing? To be honest, I’m doing fantastic. Yes, you read that right, I’m doing great right now. In fact, I’ve been so great that I’ve gotten my normal life back and have very little, if any symptoms. I’ll get to more about that here in a bit, but first I want to talk about what I’ve done and what I’m doing. So first, if you didn’t read any of my other posts, this is my second round of treatment and this one is much different from the first. You can see my first Lyme disease update here. If you really don’t feel like reading that post, to sum it up I started antibiotic treatment in October after being official diagnosed with Lyme from the iGenex testing. I was on Amoxycillin and Clarithromycin, taking 6 Amoxycillin and 2 Calrithromycin per day. However, I knew that healing required more than just ABX. I did a ton of research and changed my entire diet, eliminating dairy and gluten, and consumed foods that would only help me heal. In addition, I went through a massive home detox and starting using chemical free and organic products for everything, such as toothpaste, shampoo, bar soap, and laundry detergent. I’m not going to go into detail about exactly what I did because you will find that in my detoxing around the house post, but there’s quite a few other things that played a crucial role in the progress that I did make during that first round.
However, during the latter part of my treatment, early on in the first quarter of this year, I hit a plateau with my progress. I was doing better, but I still had consistent symptoms. That’s when I took a step back and analyzed everything that I was doing. Being a business owner, I’m extremely analytical and always have to figure out solutions to problems, and I took the same approach with Lyme as I do with my business. I started doing more research and discovered some major flaws in my initial treatment. First, the lyme persisters (the little bastards that go into hiding when they sense a threat and come back out to reproduce when there is no longer a threat), weren’t being properly destroyed. Rather, the constant barrage of antibiotics just sent them hiding in my spinal fluid and muscle and connective tissue. I started feeling better because I was getting rid of just about all the Lyme bacteria besides the persisters. In addition, the initial treatment didn’t address the different forms that the borrelia could transform into. When borrelia transforms into the bleb or cyst forms, antibiotics have an extremely tough time attacking it. And borrelia is smart. They will constantly transform in and out of different forms all depending on how much of a threat they feel. Remember, they are just like us and want to stay alive. They will adjust accordingly to survive and reproduce. It’s just nature.
So I sifted through the bullshit all over the internet and found a treatment with research and documentation to back it up. There are so many damn people with their opinions on how to properly treat Lyme, but as you know, opinions are like assholes. I wanted to find something that made complete sense, and that’s when I found a treatment on a Lyme disease forum called “cured of lyme in 60 days.” The guy who created the treatment backed up everything he said with scientific research. It made complete sense to me. I spent hours going through it all and was thoroughly impressed with the plan. And the kicker was that he spent all of that time posting it and backing it up with resources and he doesn’t benefit from it in any way. It was blatantly obvious that he created this treatment to help others combat the disease. After weighing my options I decided to start his plan.
My New Lyme Treatment Plan
What does his plan consist of? First, before starting treatment you’re supposed to go through 3 weeks of using Apricot kernels. I’m not going to go into great detail about the reasons why he recommends doing this, but to make it short, bitter apricot kernels have something in it called Amygdalin that helps attack pathogens. I encourage you to do your own research on apricot kernels and their benefits. There are a ton of articles posted in that forum thread that goes into detail about this. Anyways, so I stopped all of my antibiotics and gradually increased the amount of apricot kernels I was taking in per day to 6 per day (I started at 1-2 per day) over a 3 week time span. Once the 3 weeks were up, I started up on 2 different antibiotics, Tindamax and Minocyline. However, instead of taking them every day, you’re supposed to “pulse” them, meaning you take them every other day. These 2 are very effective at tackling all of the various forms of borrelia. I also have continued taking the apricot kernels (You’re not supposed to take more than 1 per hour), consuming about 6-10 per day. In addition, every day you’re supposed to take a supplement called Pinella Brain Cleanse. This cleans out the dead bacteria from the brain as you are killing them off, therefore reducing brain fog. I believe this has helped me drastically. Since I started taking it my brain fog has been virtually eliminated. Before I started my first treatment and even into the treatment my brain fog was awful and it gradually got better but never went away.
Now let’s talk about probiotics. Everyone knows that antibiotics kill both the good and bad gut bacteria, so if you’re bombarding your system constantly with antibiotics you can easily develop a yeast overgrowth called candida. You don’t want this so you have to make sure that you offset the antibiotics with probiotics. However, Will told me that I absolutely should not take a probiotic on antibiotic days. The reason being that the antibiotics will actually attack the good bacteria from the probiotics rather than going after the borrelia. I want the antibiotics focusing all of the effort on the borrelia, so I’ve been taking a 100 billion probiotic only on my off days, along with drinking 1-2 kombucha drinks. My favorite are the Synergy kombucha drinks with chia seeds. Just in case there still might be a yeast overgrowth I’ve been taking Nystatin once a week. So far I have had no issues of candida.
Now let’s talk about supplements and nutrition. If you suffer from Lyme disease, you know those little bastards like to suck up all of the vitamins in your system so a lot of us are deficient. Before I started my first round of treatment I was extremely deficient in most vitamins. I’ve been taking Vitamins A, D, E, C, and Zinc daily during this most recent treatment. In addition, I’ve been taking Shakeology twice a day on my off days. The reason I’m consuming it only on my off days is because it contains probiotics and again, I don’t want to take in any probiotics on the days I’m taking my antibiotics. I’ve also been having a shot of apple cider vinegar every day to alkalinize the body, and have been having a amino acid (MRM BCAA+G) supplement with a scoop of glutamine every day as well. As far as nutrition goes, I’ve been eating just as clean as I was during my first round of treatment, which is pretty damn clean. No gluten, dairy, and taking in a lot of organic fruits, veggies, and lean meat. During the first round I significantly reduced the amount of fruit I was consuming because borellia feed off of sugar, but the better I’ve gotten the more I’ve increased the amount of fruit. Now I’m at about 2-4 servings of fruit per day. I’ve even added back in bananas to my diet (maybe 1-2 per week), which I stopped eating for about 8 months. And I’ve very, very slowly started adding back in alcohol. I might have a drink or 2 every other week on my off days. I’ve only been doing it, though, because I’ve been feeling so much better. Ideally, though, you don’t want to consume any alcohol while going through treatment, but it’s been a long ass time for me and I want to enjoy going out with my friends just a little bit.
How about working out? I’ve stopped working out completely to let my body do the work it needs to do to destroy the lyme bacteria. I don’t want it focused on healing muscle tissue from the workouts. I’m planning on starting a round of Body Beast, though, once I’m finished so that I can put back on the muscle that I lost. Right now I’m right around 158 lbs, which is about 15 lbs lighter than I was a year and a half ago. All of the weight I lost was muscle. I’m very anxious to get back into my workout routine and put back on some size. The great thing, though, is that because I’ve been eating so healthy that I haven’t put on any body fat. I’m still very lean, just also very weak.
If you didn’t see from the chat forum, the treatment is 60 days. It’s important that you detox while going through treatment because you will constantly be killing off the lyme bacteria. The last thing you want is all those toxins just sitting in your system. There are many ways to detox, but my personal favorite is the infrared sauna. I bought one earlier in the year and have been using it quite often. One of the best ways to detox is by sweating, and well, you sweat like crazy in an infrared sauna. You will have good and bad days as well, which shouldn’t be a surprise to you if you’ve been dealing with Lyme disease. I’m on day 50 of the treatment and had awful symptoms from days 4-6 and 14-20. Since then, though, my symptoms have been minimal and they continue to disappear. I’ve been just about completely symptom free for about 3 days now! That hasn’t happen in the past year and a half meaning this treatment has been working. In fact, like I stated above, I’ve gotten back to my normal life. I’ve been active outside and doing things that I used to do. When you suffer for so long and finally start feeling normal again, it’s such an incredible feeling. I have been slowly getting better for the past 3 months, but it’s been a process.
Once I’m done with this round of treatment I’m taking a break from antibiotics and going the herbal route to maintain the ground that I’ve gained. I’m going to be taking quite a few herbal supplements, including the Restore Program (which I stopped for this treatment plan), Japanese Knotweed, Cat’s Claw, and something called Tribiotics. If for some reason my symptoms return, I will try to find another Lyme specialist, but I think I’m going to be fine. I’ve made steady progress for the past 6 months. Am I cured? Probably not, but I’m getting pretty damn close.