So I've been looking into some other possible causes for my liver enzyme elevations. I am strongly against switching to herbs at this point since I am having very severe symptoms that include a lot of neuropathy in my hands along with debilitating exhaustion, severe pain in my joints and ribs, lightheadedness and many others. So far, I have only taken a few antibiotics for very short lengths of time due to being pulled off meds for liver enzyme elevations.
I do not want a repeat of last month where I'm having weekly excruciating headaches accompanied by loss of consciousness and seizures. I am scared to go off antibiotics. Scared to go to something weaker (herbs) that has not worked for me in the past. So I am attempting to figure out on my own some other explanations for the liver enzyme elevations so that I can discuss them with my LLMD this week and hopefully stay on antibiotics.
The main possibility that I'm going to focus on is bacterial die off. Since bacteria that has been killed is filtered through the liver, it makes sense that when an antibiotic is working, more bacteria would be killed off in my system and my liver enzymes would go up. Therefore, the elevation of liver enzymes would be a positive sign that whatever I'm taking is working to kill off something.
Another possibility is that one of the co-infections (mainly bartonella or erlichia) is causing the elevations. That would explain why my liver enzymes went down and then back up while OFF antibiotics last month.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Saturday, March 3, 2012
For those of you new to Lyme, there is an important test that some LLMD's will use to as a supportive tool for diagnosis as well as to gauge when it is safe for you to go off treatment. The test is known as the CD57.
The CD57 is generally run through either Labcorp or Igenex labs. It costs about $140. This test measures a specific subset of your natural killer cells.This particular subset (CD57) is often low in patients with chronic Lyme, although many people who have chronic Lyme will still have a normal number due to co-infections. Therefore, a low CD57 count can assure you that you have Lyme, but a high or normal CD57 does not necessarily mean that you do not have Lyme. So far, it is believed that only borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme) can lower the CD57.
I had my CD57 run when I did my Western Blot. I went through Igenex. A normal number is over 200. Anything lower than 100, most LLMD's believe signifies chronic Lyme. Under 20 is considered "severe illness." Guess what mine was? Under 20!
Generally it is believed that it takes a significant amount of time for the CD57 to lower into chronic Lyme levels. Some doctors believe between 6 months and several years. My CD57 was run about 3 months after my initial severe flu-like illness. There was no way that's when I contracted Lyme for the first time. It was likely that I had Lyme for a lot longer than I thought.
The CD57 counts are also used to help determine when it's safe for a patient's immune system to take over fighting Lyme. It can help determine when it's safe to go off treatment. Most Lyme-literate doctors like to see the number above 200 before treatment is halted.
Some believe that there are ways to raise NK cells in the body. Moringa and reishi along with other transfer factors are some of the ways people have tried. You should always consult with a doctor prior to taking any supplements. Especially if you are also on medications or herbs. I decided to not try to artificially raise my CD57. I want to make sure that when it does go up, it's from Lyme being under control, not from taking a supplement.
After attempting to treat babesia for several months, I did another CD57. It rose 2 points. Not measurable progress according to my doctor. I have a long way to go...........
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Here is my current list of symptoms that has been going on for the past several months.
- Eye twitching
- Muscle Twitching
- Hand and Feet Numbness/Neuropathy
- Limb Paralysis
- Joint pain (knees, wrists, ankles, shoulders, fingers)
- Muscle Pain
- Blurry Vision
- Foot Pain
- Rib Pain
- Air Hunger
- Stiff Neck
- Seizures (2)
- Seeing Spots
- Heart Palpitations
- Low Temperature (95 or below)
- Feverish Feelings
- Night Sweats
- Cold Intolerance
- Shaky and Exhausted after Eating
- Blood Sugar Fluctuations
- Weight Loss
- Muscle Weakness