Blog, The Lyme Survival Guide

Just got my Infrared Sauna for Lyme Detox!

Both my Lyme Doctor and my Psychiatrist/Naturopath have been telling me for months now that I need to start adding an Infrared (IR) Sauna to my routine to help boost my detox protocol. The problem is most days (due to nausea or pain or whatever) I can barely get out to go to the grocery store that’s A BLOCK AWAY FROM MY HOUSE, lol, so regularly going to some spa wasn’t realistic for me right now. So in the meantime we’ve just been adding more items that help with detox that I can just consume – such as:

  • GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract)
  • Lypo-Spheric Glutathione

But then I found that you can buy portable at-home IR saunas for around $200 – and it’s my birthday this week – so I was like YUP! and ordered it off Amazon. I picked the one by SereneLife because the reviews looked promising, and it was on the cheaper end. Hopefully I made the right choice.

I set it up last night, and my husband was the first guinea pig. 🙂 He loved it and started sweating like crazy in a few minutes.

Chris IR sauna.JPG

Then I got in a bikini and tried it for myself!

Lisa IR sauna.JPG

It’s definitely hilarious to just look at – it’s like a badly designed futuristic space suit, lol – but I was a little bummed because I couldn’t get as much sweat going as Chris did. As you see in the picture my right arm is all the way out of the zipper slot because I have to have my PICC line out of the arm hole completely to protect against any sweat or moisture getting on the dressing. Unfortunately that meant that a lot of the heat was seeping out of the arm hole, so inside it wasn’t warm enough to make me sweat like Chris did. But I did sweat a little, which was more than I’ve done in 2 years!

FYI that’s not a real sleeve tattoo, it’s a fake tattoo sleeve I wear over my PICC line to keep it safe and to pretend I’m cooler than I am. 😉

I’m hopeful though that I’ll figure out a solution – there are quite a few Lymies or Cancer patients with PICC lines who have found ways to do it safely – but I’ll be asking my doctor tonight what she recommends.

Saunas have lots of varying health benefits that you can find easily with a quick Google search, but I’ve been learning a bit about why they are also so helpful for Lyme patients.

Why it’s helpful for Lymies

As the Lyme bacteria die, they release toxins which are like a final little “f-you” by the bacteria, because it means that as they die they poison you, and it starts a domino effect of new or worsening symptoms. This is what causes Lymies to start to feel way way way worse in-treatment – similar in a way to how chemo makes the patient much sicker and weaker. In Lyme it’s called Herxing, or the Herxheimer Reaction.

It’s not just something you put up with till the symptoms fade, it’s something that has to be monitored very closely and treated very delicately, because if you kill too many of the bacteria too quickly your system can get flooded with these toxins, which can not just make you feel awful but can also cause more damage to your system, as well as distract your immune system and weaken it further. And, when you are herxing really badly, you have to pause and pulse the medication and IV therapy, which just lengthens the amount of time of your treatment… so yeah, it sucks.

This is why detoxing is so important for the Lyme treatment process. My doctor explained it really well to me. She said, “Your body gets rid of toxins through peeing, pooping, and sweating”.

Here’s where it gets tricky for me though. I have IBS-C (possibly from Lyme – I hope cuz then it’ll go away!) and have had it for almost 10 years now. The “C” stands for constipation :), so it’s not always the easiest thing for me to release toxins that way. And a few years ago I developed a heart condition called POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) which causes me to easily faint if I stand up too quickly or during cardio exercises. So due to these limitations I’ve basically been sweat-free since I started treatment almost 2 years ago, which means I’ve been missing out on a powerful, natural detox method.

Until now! Hopefully…

Once I started researching about home IR saunas I kept seeing article after article from Lyme patients, cancer patients, and people with chronic pain swearing by this thing – so it got me really excited.

Fingers crossed I can find a way to protect my PICC line and say “Screw you bacteria die-off toxins!” while getting a great detox sweat in my weird space suit. 🙂 Wish me luck!

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