With Bartonella, there’s what I know as as Lyme patient and what I read on the internet. Tonight I read a little bit about Bartonella. It turns out that in other settings besides the ones where people with tick-borne illnesses congregate, it has it’s own other life.
There are a few things I didn’t realize. First, there are at least 6 species of Bartonella known to infect humans. The one that gets tested for in Lyme patients is the one that causes Cat Scratch Fever. There are tests for some of the others, but it isn’t clear to me which one I have. I’ve tested positive sometimes for Bartonella and sometimes not.
Second, Bartonella bacteria live in the vascular system, making them similar to Babesia. Some species reproduce in red blood cells. These cause recurring bacteremia (or bacteria infection in the blood). Some adhere to the endothelial tissue (the lining) of blood vessels. These can cause endocarditis (swelling of the heart valves). Some species seem able to infect the brain or at least cause severe CNS symptoms. What I knew already is that Bartonella can cause severe gastrointestinal symptoms.
Third, and most importantly, Bartonella is an opportunistic infections. What this means is that a healthy body can suppress or destroy the bacteria, but an immune-compromised individual can get a whopping infection. I think Lyme disease is similar in that way. A person can suppress it as long as they are healthy, but when something else taxes the immune system, the Lyme infection takes over.
As I was reading all this, I thought about what happened when I got sick. First I got some kind of food poisoning or parasite. A few days after it resolved, I started having all sorts of gastrointestinal upset: vomiting, diarrhea, cramping, weight loss, new food allergies, which lasted for over a year. Did a pre-existing Bartonella infection become active? Then, while in the throes of those problems, all the neurological problems with my legs started. Did the Lyme disease become more active once my immune system was otherwise occupied? I have no way to go back and find out. This is merely tonight’s theory.
Here are links to a few of the things I read tonight:
- Bartonella Species Cause Many Illnesses
- Medscape article on Bartonellosis
- WikiPedia (has some decent charts and references) on Bartonella and Bartonellosis
I’m thinking about all this tonight, because my Herx from coiling my head for Bartonella was much worse today than yesterday.
I’m making a judgement call about coiling for Bartonella tonight. I don’t think I’m done Herxing from the last session on my head. But I don’t like to go too long between Bartonella treatments because it can grow back rapidly. So I’m skipping my head until Sunday and doing my abdomen and chest this time.
- Bartonella, abdomen, 5 minutes; chest, 2 minutes
- Babesia, chest, 5 minutes; liver, 5 minutes; ilium, 1 minute each side; shoulder blades, 1 minute each side
- Candida, abdomen, 10 minutes; chest, 2 minutes; face, 2 minutes
My big faux-pas today was that I didn’t rest as much as I should have. I’m Herxing and could have used a 2 hour nap this afternoon. I did get to lie down for a while after I exhausted myself. “Get to” might be a mischaracterization…I had to lie down for a while after I exhausted myself.
- homeopathic support
- juiced greens
- skin brushing
- castor oil pack on liver
I had a B-12 shot today. I’m not sure it does anything to help detox, but it does help protect the nerves while detox is happening.
I’m definitely Herxing from the Bartonella session. The question is, am I still significantly Herxing from the Lyme treatment?
Definite Bartonella contributions: fatigue, low blood pressure, nausea, floaters in my vision, a huge night sweat (double the usual shirt changer), scattered thoughts/difficulty concentrating.
Then there was the extreme pain in my arms and legs this morning. Not the usual lead-weight feeling accompanied by a dull ache. No. This time my pain level was very high. Sharp pain in my arms, shoulder to fingertips, and sharp pain in my legs, hips to toes. My back was also in pretty intense pain. I don’t know if this is the next phase of the Lyme toxins working their way out or if this is some horrible foreshadowing of what I’ll be facing when I next coil my head for Bartonella.