Healing Chronic Underlying Infections
Infections are a hot topic these days. And for good reason- they ARE incredibly common. Nearly every one of my clients has something going on underlying- Lyme, EBV, parasites, and yeast overgrowth are among the most common. Once we realize that these problems can be playing a huge role in our health issues, it is only natural to want to “fight” them and start working on the offensive to get rid of them. However, this is NOT always the best idea.
How we get these infections
So why exactly are these chronic forms of infections so common? There are so many reasons! The most obvious ones are that we grow up in a toxic environment with a really crappy diet, lots of stress, and we have been taught such a backwards way to look at health thanks to conventional medicine. We can also inherit these issues while in the womb which is probably the most troubling of all!
Candida: Overuse of antibiotics, birth control use, and imbalanced diets can all be causes of Candida overgrowth. The most common culprit that is blamed is excessive sugar intake with CAN be a contributor- but this doesn’t meant that going sugar free will heal you from Candida. I’ve known many people that stayed on sugar-free diets for YEARS just to keep symptoms at bay- and that is literally all it does. It keeps symptoms at bay without solving any of the underlying issues.
Candida is especially related to a copper imbalance, just like a majority of the things we’re talking about in this post. You can read more about Candida specifically here.
EBV: Epstein-Barr virus is one of the most common chronic infections we come across. A large majority of the population has been exposed to it and for generally healthy people it can stay dormant in the body. But for many, EBV can be reactivated for various reasons- relentless stress going on in life, a major traumatic event, pregnancy, etc. If you have had strep throat or mono in your life, then that would be the biggest indication that you are a carrier of EBV but many people with EBV didn’t have these specific occurrences. EBV can also be passed on in the womb like the other infections we’re talking about in this post. You can read my full post on EBV here.
Lyme and Co: Lyme tends to have many components to it as its rarely alone. Lyme is mostly known for its association with tick bites but in reality you can contract Lyme from ticks, spiders, mosquitoes, fleas, and any other biting insect. I know- it’s a bit overwhelming to think that Lyme or its common co-infections can come from anywhere. I have my whole Lyme post here for those that want to read more.
Parasites: Parasites are a lot more common than you would think. Most people are told that they are very rare in first world countries, but in reality we have become the perfect host for things like this thanks to our terrible lifestyles. Parasites also tend to be just one part of the picture- they are rarely alone in the body so they are very common to find with any of the above infections as well. You can read all about parasites here.
Parasites, viruses, bacteria, and heavy metals all love to stay together in the body- this is one of the biggest reasons why I believe we need to work on healing the HOST first, not so much the individual issues!
Where to Start your Healing
If you have any or all of the above infections, please keep this important information in mind: healing the terrain is MORE important than directly attacking the infection, especially at first. We have to work on getting strength up in the body before it can physically handle detoxing pathogens of any kind. I have seen some practitioners say they won’t even touch detox until at least a year of basic healing- and I am apt to agree with them. Even if we’re starting to feel better and then decide to go on the “attack” it might not be time yet and you can bring yourself right back to square one. I have seen countless times that once the body is ready to start working on heavy stuff it will just start without any massive prodding.
This means basic foundational care:
- Clean up your diet– Get rid of the junk! Processed foods, soda, coffee (at least switch over to organic, low-mold brands if you don’t want to give it up completely), and refined carbs. Not everything has to be organic, but I really encourage everyone to just do their best. Meats, dairy, and any grains that are consumed are best organic. This post outlines a bit of what I think is most important to get organic and why.
- Assess your Minerals– The most common pattern I am seeing lately with a chronic infection is a higher calcium level with a potassium level that just will not budge (or tanks often). Minerals are at the absolutely base of our foundation- without them, we cannot function. As you get your minerals balanced, it will be easier for your body to handle the pathogens as well. A copper imbalance is one of the MOST important aspects to address when there is any kind of infection. Bioavailable copper helps with keeping viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites under control. When it goes rogue then we can really have a giant issue with these infections!
- Heal your gut– Without sufficient stomach acid and bile flow, we cannot utilize our nutrients. Our gut is also an incredibly important part of the immune system. In fact, when we have “leaky gut”, the toxins that are going through that gut lining actually make their way into the lymph system! This is just another huge reason why we need to respect our bodies as wholes- everything is connected.
- Work on your detox pathways– Liver, Lymph, Colon, Kidneys, Skin- we try to assess the most important things to start with once we see a person’s HTMA. Sometimes we need more adrenal healing before even thinking about detox support.
- Start supporting your adrenals– Again, I love HTMA as it can tell us the exact state of your adrenals. This is one of the most important parts of foundational care. If your adrenals are stressed out or completely exhausted then there should be more of a focus on healing them first before even thinking about detoxing anything.
- Clean up your environment– This can be a rough one because there is only so much that we can control. Just do your best in your home! Deodorant, makeup, shampoo, toothpaste, dish soap, etc are just some examples of things that tend to be big offenders for toxins that can mess with our liver function, and they can have very negative impacts on our endocrine function. Learn more here!
- Work on emotional trauma- This is something I have had to learn the hard way myself. Emotional trauma from past abuse is something that can stick with us until we’re ready to deal with it. This can become a constant stress on the body which can suppress the immune system. If the immune system is suppressed, it will be impossible to heal from any chronic infection, period. Things like homeopathy, acupuncture, EMDR, Reiki, and EFT are among the most popular methods to use to start healing from emotional trauma. My big list of ideas is here.
So as you can see, there is a LOT that should be set up in place before attacking infections.
I can’t even believe the amount of “natural” docs and practitioners that actually advise their clients to start on a major detox protocol right off the bat. This might work for some people, but many people will CRASH with this method. When we give the body the tools it needs, it can start to work on things in its own time. I have seen this countless times with my own clients. Start with the foundation, and regain your strength first. Work with someone that makes sense to you as well- if you don’t feel good with an attack protocol, then listen to your body and find a different method!