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  • Chronic Lyme Disease Workout Protocol?

    Hi BM Team,

    I am 23 years old (soon to be 24) with a passion for training and powerlifting. Having always been the smallest, weakest kid in the room growing up, lifting gave me an avenue to become stronger, both physically and mentally, build size, and gain much needed confidence.

    i was diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease (borrelia), in conjunction with several (often present) co-infections (Bartonella, Babesia, rickettsia, mycoplasma) in August of 2018 via blood and urine testing.

    The onset of my symptoms, however, occurred months prior. In April of 2018, I began having multi-systemic, strange, random, migrating symptoms that only progressed in intensity. Some of these included numbness and tingling in extremities, rapid heart beat, sharp back and leg pain, intense chest pains, brain fog and haziness, and constant air hunger/shortness of breath (and not merely when I was engaged in physical activity). The latter can be described as always feeling a deep breeath is needed, yet not being able to take one.

    While I will spare the details of my medical journey and diagnostic rollercoaster, I will state the obvious - I have been unable to get back into lifting - or anything resembling what I used to perform- since April of 2018. As you can imagine, this has taken a huge physical and mental toll.

    The extent of my physical activity over the last few year has included walking and non-consistent light resistance band workouts. I of course eased into these, which seemed to help. However, there have been times where even an extremely “light” or easy workout seemed to set me back and wipe me out.

    I appear to have turned the corner over the last few months after a combination of conventional antibiotic/antiparasitic and traditional herbal therapies (although this has and can reverse course at any time..). My medical professional has recommended I start easing back into physical activity (resistance bands, light weights, walking, etc.) to help stimulate my immune responses and get my brain and body back into the swing of things. Completed my first “workout” with weights earlier this week. Started very light, with very few sets, but even this seemed to wipe me out for a few hours after.

    I’m hoping you have some recommendations for best ways to get back into things from a programming/weight-lifting perspective given my history and the day to day fluctuations that come alongside?

    I really appreciate any and all feedback/suggestions.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Dylan

  • #2
    Dylan,

    Thanks for the post and I can appreciate that you've been through some things to get to this point.

    That being said, I'm curious as to who diagnosed you with chronic lyme disease? Specifically, what is their medical training?

    We agree you should exercise and would recommend our Beginner Prescription or Template, barring any contraindication from medical conditions.

    -Jordan
    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
    ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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    • #3
      Hi Jordan,

      Thanks for the quick response.

      I was diagnosed with Lyme disease by two separate MD’s via a combination of blood and urine testing (western blot, etc.) and some of the co-infections (bartonella, babesia, etc.) through such methods as well. Prior to my diagnoses, I saw just about every expert in their respective domains in the NYC area regarding my various symptoms - all to no avail. I have seen some naturopaths/functional practitioners, but only after antibiotic and anti parasitic remedies did almost nothing by themselves via the traditional route.

      i understand the term “chronic Lyme” is a bit controversial - or perhaps misunderstood - in the medical community. My understanding is there are various different “camps” that have different views regarding chronic Lyme infection (see Lyme wars per Dr, Richard Horowitz).

      While I won’t get into the politics, I can personally acknowledge that I never found a tic on myself - something that seems to be prevalent with many others. I can also say that the symptoms and troubles that have come alongside the last 18+ months, despite treatments, have been nightmarish for any healthy person, on both the physical and mental front.

      Regarding working out- excited to give it a go, but my air hunger and random shortness of breathe still scare me and sometimes amplifies when I workout (and sometimes flares up randomly only to go away). My breathing exams and cardio tests are normal, so I know I need to build my capacity back up.

      Dylan

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by dylan_dinolfo View Post
        Hi Jordan,

        Thanks for the quick response.

        I was diagnosed with Lyme disease by two separate MD’s via a combination of blood and urine testing (western blot, etc.) and some of the co-infections (bartonella, babesia, etc.) through such methods as well. Prior to my diagnoses, I saw just about every expert in their respective domains in the NYC area regarding my various symptoms - all to no avail. I have seen some naturopaths/functional practitioners, but only after antibiotic and anti parasitic remedies did almost nothing by themselves via the traditional route.

        i understand the term “chronic Lyme” is a bit controversial - or perhaps misunderstood - in the medical community. My understanding is there are various different “camps” that have different views regarding chronic Lyme infection (see Lyme wars per Dr, Richard Horowitz).

        While I won’t get into the politics, I can personally acknowledge that I never found a tic on myself - something that seems to be prevalent with many others. I can also say that the symptoms and troubles that have come alongside the last 18+ months, despite treatments, have been nightmarish for any healthy person, on both the physical and mental front.

        Regarding working out- excited to give it a go, but my air hunger and random shortness of breathe still scare me and sometimes amplifies when I workout (and sometimes flares up randomly only to go away). My breathing exams and cardio tests are normal, so I know I need to build my capacity back up.

        Dylan
        Yea I don't think it's a well supported diagnosis and would push for a further diagnostic work up if symptoms persist in addition to avoiding non-FDA approved treatments. Also, coinfections have characteristic lab abnormalities and recommended treatment schedules. That being said, I am not in a position to manage your current symptoms or advise you on treatments.

        I am not particularly concerned about intermittent SOB associated with exercise. We would recommend exercise to tolerance on our Beginner Prescription or similar.

        Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
        ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

        Comment


        • #5
          Hello Jordan,
          I actually just had a patient come into my pharmacy last week asking me for OTC recommendations for helping treat their chronic Lyme disease, and I was completely at a loss as I know nothing about its treatment other than some doctors do a second course of Abx. Do you have any general recommendations for education I can provide to patients like this in the future?

          Tyler

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by BeardedPharmacist View Post
            Hello Jordan,
            I actually just had a patient come into my pharmacy last week asking me for OTC recommendations for helping treat their chronic Lyme disease, and I was completely at a loss as I know nothing about its treatment other than some doctors do a second course of Abx. Do you have any general recommendations for education I can provide to patients like this in the future?

            Tyler
            I'd start here: https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/postlds/index.html
            IG / YT

            Comment


            • #7
              Sure. Check these out:

              https://www.idsociety.org/public-hea.../lyme-disease/

              Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
              ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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              • #8
                I am in no position to advise you in terms of how you can train, but having similarly diagnosed with "Chronic Lyme Disease" I am rooting for you. It sounds like you are having a rougher time than I am currently having, although there was a period where I was unable to lift weights or do much at all. When I started lifting, it sucked because I was hurting and I was new to the movements so I was very intimidated. In terms of aerobic exercise, I have just begun to go on runs again for the first time since I was diagnosed with Lyme (2 and a half years ago). I don't know if you are much into aerobic exercise, but at least in terms of lifting, you just gotta take it slow. I would think that the beginner prescription is a great starting place because it teaches you how to use RPE, which can be used to help address any symptoms (i.e. the program can be run conservatively).

                I do have to say that the worst part of our condition is the changes it makes to the brain. I have been conditioned to fear pain to the point that even insignificant pain can cause my mind to freak out. I don't know if you have experienced this yet, but if not, I would advise to you proactively take steps to keep this from happening.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ColoradoMinesCole View Post
                  I am in no position to advise you in terms of how you can train, but having similarly diagnosed with "Chronic Lyme Disease" I am rooting for you. It sounds like you are having a rougher time than I am currently having, although there was a period where I was unable to lift weights or do much at all. When I started lifting, it sucked because I was hurting and I was new to the movements so I was very intimidated. In terms of aerobic exercise, I have just begun to go on runs again for the first time since I was diagnosed with Lyme (2 and a half years ago). I don't know if you are much into aerobic exercise, but at least in terms of lifting, you just gotta take it slow. I would think that the beginner prescription is a great starting place because it teaches you how to use RPE, which can be used to help address any symptoms (i.e. the program can be run conservatively).

                  I do have to say that the worst part of our condition is the changes it makes to the brain. I have been conditioned to fear pain to the point that even insignificant pain can cause my mind to freak out. I don't know if you have experienced this yet, but if not, I would advise to you proactively take steps to keep this from happening.
                  This is an unfortunate experience. We would recommend seeking additional medical care, as this diagnosis is not supported and the narrative constructed around it is potentially harmful.

                  Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
                  ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

                  Comment

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