Patty Baiano, founded BodyFit Coaching as a result of her own personal journey through auto-immune, Lyme disease, chronic illness and constant frustration with main-stream medicine and big pharma–institutions who were not providing answers or solutions for reclaiming her health.
Over several years of persistent effort, I was able to recover my health completely — the things that I learned along the way changed my life forever. My struggle with chronic Lyme disease taught me things that most other physicians do not know. I now use that knowledge to help others understand and overcome this often-frustrating illness.
EXCLUSIVE BONUS: Click here to get Patty's top 911 Diet Rescue Tips & Hacks! Let's face it, dieting is HARD. But sticking to a diet is not just about WILLPOWER! There are other psychological & physiological factors that can drive you to cheat but we have the tools that can help you succeed!
Inflammation is a defense mechanism in the body. The immune system recognizes damaged cells, irritants, and pathogens, and it begins the healing process.
When something harmful or irritating affects a part of our body, there is a healthy and natural biological response to try to remove it. The signs and symptoms of inflammation can be uncomfortable but are a show that the body is trying to heal itself.
It can be beneficial when, for example, your knee sustains a blow and tissues need care and protection. However, sometimes, inflammation can persist longer than necessary, causing more harm than benefit.
Chronic or Acute Inflammation
These are the two types of inflammation that differ in how quickly symptoms escalate and how long they last.
The following table shows the key differences between acute and chronic inflammation:
|Caused by||Harmful bacteria or tissue injury||Pathogens that the body cannot break down, including some types of virus, foreign bodies that remain in the system, or overactive immune responses|
|Duration||A few days||From months to years|
|Outcomes||Inflammation improves, turns into an abscess, or becomes chronic||Tissue death and the thickening and scarring of connective tissue|
What is chronic inflammation?
This refers to long-term inflammation and can last for several months and even years. It can result from:
- failure to eliminate whatever was causing an acute inflammation
- an autoimmune disorder that attacks normal healthy tissue, mistaking it for a pathogen that causes disease
- exposure to a low level of a particular irritant, such as an industrial chemical, over a long period
Chronic inflammatory diseases include an immense array of disorders and conditions that are characterized by inflammation. Examples include allergy, asthma, autoimmune diseases, coeliac disease, glomerulonephritis, hepatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, Psoriasis, Crohn’s disease just to name a scant few.
From the table above, we know that pathogens that the body cannot break down, including some types of virus (Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), Herpesviruses, Lyme Disease), foreign bodies that remain in the system, or overactive immune responses are the cause of Chronic Inflammation.
Dr. Bill Rawls, Medical Director for Vital Plan, an herbal supplement and wellness company, writes: Let’s start with the fact that EBV is much more common than you might imagine: >95% of world’s population has been infected with it.
Either way, whether EBV is completely dormant or infectious without symptoms, the virus generally doesn’t cause any significant problems as long as immune system functions are robust. You can carry it for a whole lifetime and not know it — as most people do.
However, allow the immune system to become disrupted—by stress, poor diet, and other key factors—and EBV can reactivate, causing symptoms similar to the mononucleosis, but much worse.
Autoimmune diseases have also been linked to a variety of microbes, including EBV, but also additional herpesviruses; other viruses including Parvovirus; a protozoan called Toxoplasmosis; and bacteria including Mycoplasma, Yersinia, and others commonly associated with chronic Lyme disease.
Often referred to as stealth pathogens, the microbes mentioned and many others share similar stealthy characteristics:
- They have the ability to live inside cells.
- They infect white blood cells and are carried throughout the body, especially to areas of inflammation.
- They can persist in a dormant state.
- They are master manipulators of the immune system.
- They can exist in healthy people without causing illness.
- They are present in all populations of the world.
The deeper you dig, the more connections you find between chronic illnesses and stealth microbes. But after a while, you begin to appreciate that it’s not as much the microbes causing problems as it is disruption of the host’s immune functions that allows those microbes to flourish.
In other words, a person could be harboring a variety of stealth microbes—EBV, CMV, HHV-7, Borrelia, Bartonella, Mycoplasma, Chlamydia, and others—and not be ill as long as their immune system functions are robust.
Let immune system functions waver, however, and like a volcano erupting, the microbes flare up and cause illness.
If immune system function is robust, a person can harbor these types of microbes indefinitely without ever having symptoms. When illness does occur, it’s typically chronic and debilitating, but not life-threatening. Additionally, the degree of chronic illness is highly variable. Some people are severely debilitated, while others are only marginally miserable.
My Disillusion with Conventional Medicine
My experience with having auto-immune thyroid disease in my early twenties, and then an onslaught of viral infections starting in my late forties, gave me a personal glimpse at the sheer lack of understanding or even willingness of physicians to treat chronic illness.
My personal struggle overcoming chronic Lyme disease eventually led me to totally abandon conventional medicine after almost a year of going from specialist to specialist, blood test after blood test that lead to waiting for months for follow-up appointments only to be told the same thing over and over without any reasonable course of treatment.
My experience led me to years of research into alternative therapies which led me to biohacking and a certification as a Bulletproof Upgraded Human Potential Coach. My studies taught me that the microbes are always there—I had likely harbored mine since childhood. It’s not until a perfect storm of factors comes together to disrupt immune functions that a person becomes ill.
For me, that perfect storm was caused primarily by years of chronic stress, mold and other environmental kryptonite, sleep deprivation, food intolerances, and ultimately the death of my father that created the perfect storm which depleted my immune system to the point that it could no longer fight to keep me healthy and chronic inflammatory diseases took over my life.
There are numerous conventional, integrative, complementary, and alternative medical treatments used to treat and control the symptoms of chronic inflammatory diseases.
Every person is different and every case is different. Conventional medical intervention is oftentimes, if not always, required to some extent in every case.
In my case I went through the month-long course of very powerful antibiotics and antiviral medications to kill the pathogens. But once the antibiotics were done, I crashed hard. In fact, I felt worse afterwards than I did before treatment. More than likely due to the die-off or Herxheimer Reaction.
My recovery did not progress until I started addressing the underlying chronic immune dysfunction.
Not willing to spend another year bouncing back and forth between medical specialists, I proceeded to spend my entire retirement savings on alternative medical treatments. Treatments which were most definitely helping, but not covered by any health insurance.
My new full-time job was healing and reclaiming my life. Unlike most other diseases where you shoot one arrow and try one treatment or medicine at a time, when you’re dealing with chronic inflammation you let loose the entire quiver of arrows in the hope that one will hit the bullseye.
The very first thing anyone with chronic illness should do is address their diet. I cut out gluten, dairy and sugar and omitted known food intolerances. Sleep wasn’t a problem because that’s all I had the energy to do. I then began using a Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen (mHOT) chamber for one hour three times a week. Acupuncture treatments were as frequent. Progress was excruciatingly slow, I didn’t feel better but wasn’t waking up each day feeling worse than the day before so it was a great start.
From there I move up to Major Ozone Hemotheraphy IV’s
Creating the Perfect Environment for Healing
More than anything else, chronic Lyme disease is a breakdown of the body’s ability to fight off everyday threats and heal itself. It isn’t as much the microbes themselves as it is that the microbes are no longer constrained by a strong immune system.
Creating a healing environment within my body was essential for my recovery. Though herbs were essential for my recovery, I recognized that I also had to curb the habits that contributed to my immune dysfunction in the first place.
Even before starting herbal therapy, I had to modify my daily stress load. As the owner of a busy Pilates studio I was responsible for managing both employees and a large client base. Since my brain function had plummeted to that of an 85 year old, this was a very stressful time indeed.
Many clients were very kind and understanding however, there were some that were positively abusive at my forgetfulness and brain-fog. No one truly understood the hell I was enduring. Some even rage-quit the studio over correctable billing errors or my making errors in their scheduling. The only way I could back-off was to cut back on the one part of the business that I did love, teaching clients.
Adequate restorative sleep is essential for overcoming any chronic illness. However, due to the hormonal imbalances caused by the stress and other effects of the illness, my sleep was completely disrupted. It took so much effort for me to restore normal sleep that I’m dedicating an entire future chapter on the sleep hacks that helped me heal..
My diet has always been very regimented. It consists of a Bulletproof/Paleo/Keto/IF/OMAD hybrid of mostly grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish and organic vegetables. But antibiotics had made a mess out of my intestinal tract. But with time and the integration of water-only fasting my digestive issues cleared, including leaky gut.
Stress didn’t go away. In fact, the process of changing my life added new stress, but I learned how to manage stress on the fly and I took control of my healing. Being proactive about your own situation is essential for success.
The therapies we’ll be discussing moving forward are not to be used to diagnose or treat any condition. They are not to be used in place of proper medical care. Listen to your own inner healing intelligence and implement what resonates with you. Remember, many small changes oftentimes add up to the most powerful healing.
The hacks we’ll be discussing in future posts, we’ll classify as Restorative Therapies. They’re the foundation for getting well. Restorative Therapy focuses on optimizing immune function and restoring homeostasis (natural balance in hormone and healing systems in the body), as well as killing or suppressing microbes. What you ingest into your body (food, herbs, supplements etc.) are the cornerstones of Restorative Therapy.
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