Eggs have been a scary food for me since I got sick. I have an ugly history with them. And, yet, as I attempt to reclaim every bit of my life that Lyme and the other chronic tick-borne illnesses have taken away, I have decided I want eggs back in my life.
There is more to it than just a desire to eat real chocolate chip cookies, pancakes, and frankly, a fried egg, or a desire to go to a restaurant and order without having to send the waitstaff to the kitchen to find out about ingredients while bracing myself in case they don’t ask the right way. (Recently, I made sure to mention an egg allergy and ask about egg ingredients in a veggie burger, then discovered after consuming 2/3 of it that there was mayonnaise on the bread. That led to a long hour forcing myself to vomit…)
Really, I’ve learned a lot about the food sensitivities I’ve developed since the tick-borne illnesses began to incapacitate me. I have a few theories that have been supported by testing the allergy and provoking the infection. I have an additional theory about eggs that I can’t test, but that is not contradicted by what I’ve learned so far.
In designing any experiment, the first thing to do is to consider existing data or observations that may be relevant to the question at hand.
Prior to 2007, I had no known food sensitivities. I was aware that chocolate caused me to have acne and that avoiding it cleared up my skin. In 2007, I became unable to walk due to neurological malfunctions and unable to absorb food in my gut. I believe this was a result of a bout of food poisoning triggering the Lyme and Bartonella into an active state that took over my whole body, though I wouldn’t take a Lyme or Bartonella test for a full year.
During the spring, I took two courses of Cipro and Flagyl to treat chronic diarrhea of unknown cause. After the first course, I developed an aversion to eggs. Nothing more than always choosing not to have them. I also started having consistent abdominal swelling, while losing weight.
Over the summer, after the antibiotics and a round of Traditional Chinese herbs, both treatment modalities causing significant herxes despite my lack of recognition of what a herx was, I started to feel better. By the end of August, I was sort of able to walk again, maybe around the block.
On Labor Day weekend, I consumed pancakes made with eggs. Within about an hour, all my neurological symptoms came back, I felt dizzy and unable to hold myself up, I got very tired, I felt weak, I lost control of my legs again, and a new symptom emerged: joint pain.
After that I avoided eggs more intentionally. I was afraid of them and continued having an aversion to them.
In 2008, after getting the Lyme Disease diagnosis, I saw a doctor about food allergies/sensitivities. He gave me a big list that did not include eggs. After about six weeks of avoiding all the foods I had developed sensitivities to (as well as eggs), my abdomen stopped being constantly swollen. Instead. it was intermittently swollen. Some of the other symptoms, like jaw pain, became less intense, and my headaches were sometimes less frequent. I stopped having constant diarrhea and it, too, converted to an intermittent problem. I had started taking antibiotics by then, so it is questionable about whether avoiding certain foods was the cause of things ameliorating.
Later, on occasions when I did ingest the foods that trigger sensitivities, I had big reactions: immediate abdominal swelling, headaches, tooth pain, diarrhea and fatigue.
I have consumed eggs, unintentionally, on 4 occasions since 2007. The first time, in 2009, I had a chocolate chip cookie made with eggs. It caused me to get dizzy, lose my peripheral vision, become somnolent, and increased my pain level for several days. It was scary to lose part of my vision.
The second time, in 2012, I ate aioli, thinking it was an oil based dressing, not an egg based dressing. That time, I had a headache at first, felt some change in my vision, felt dizzy, and then had shooting pain up and down my limbs emanating from my spine, following the major nerve bundles, then pain in my abdomen and chest. It knocked me out for several days.
In 2013, I encountered eggs at two restaurants, both times after assurances that no eggs were present in the food preparation. The first one was the veggie burger with mayonnaise. I regurgitated shortly after the meal and took diatomaceous earth to absorb anything I hadn’t successfully evacuated. I had no ill effects besides a sore esophagus and a horrible taste in my mouth. The second time, I suspect there was egg in the “creamy pesto” sauce in a slice of vegetarian lasagna. I didn’t think there was egg in it until I had neurological pain emanating from my sacrum, later that evening. The pain was in my lower back and shot down my legs. I had joint pain that night and for a day or two after.
I learned from an immunologist sometime in 2010, that there is a known IgA response to eggs in some patients that causes the body to attack the nervous system. She warned me that each subsequent exposure to eggs risks a more extreme response and possible permanent damage to the nerve tissue.
On a separate occasion, I participated in a conversation with several other patients with Lyme Disease, there was a consensus that Cipro in particular can cause serious gut malfunctions that can lead to increased food sensitivities, leaky gut syndrome and other immune problems. All agreed that the best course of action was to increase probiotic consumption and that it may take a long time to get the intestinal microbiota to function properly again.
When I was reading up on food allergies, I learned that baking denatures proteins more than frying or boiling, making them less likely to trigger a huge reaction when consumed. Some medical centers use food baked with milk to help desensitize children with milk allergies and allow them to eventually drink the stuff. Furthermore, foods baked with eggs tend to contain only a small quantity of egg per serving, allowing me to ingest a small amount in a given sitting.
Previous experiments that I’ve done with other foods that cause inflammation reactions have been centered on taking the food, seeing how I respond, then coiling for Lyme and Bartonella (both or each separately). I have noticed that the inflammation the foods trigger now mimics more closely the symptoms of a Lyme or Bartonella flare. Coiling shortly after consuming the triggering foods tends to stop the inflammation and symptoms sooner, generate more intense herxes, and reduce the response next time the food is introduced.
I used all of these pieces of information to figure out how to do an experiment that involved intentionally consuming eggs.
I have several hypotheses that I used to make this little experiment. First, I think that the big immunological response to eggs that I’ve had in the past came from the problems in my intestines that allowed undigested/partially digested egg proteins to pass through my intestinal wall and trigger the autoimmune reaction. These I suspect came from the Cipro+Flagyl combination I took in 2007.
Second, I think that intestinal problem is partially or completely resolved by now. I’ve been taking large quantities of probiotics over the years. I continue to eat probiotic foods, including raw milk, yogurt and cultured cabbage on a frequent basis, attempting to establish permanent colonies of good bacteria in my intestines. Thus, although I’m not certain this is the case, I am somewhat less afraid than I’ve been in the past, because the last two egg encounters were not very eventful.
Third, I think that I have an additional sensitivity to the eggs, similar to what the other foods cause: an inflammation response and a trigger that increases activity of the Lyme and Bartonella infections.
The plan was to eat a chocolate chip cookie from a local bakery, one that contained egg as an ingredient. Then wait an hour to see if my body has any response. Record the response. Then coil my central nervous system (head, spine) for Lyme and Bartonella to mitigate any possible double reaction to the egg intake, while preserving my nervous system. I was seeking to discover which symptoms were triggered by the egg and how they responded to coiling.
Then I continued to record my symptoms for the rest of the day. The following day, I did the normal Bartonella coiling, while observing the Lyme symptoms. Today, I planned a full coiling session for Lyme, and the usual modified session for Bartonella that I do on Lyme coiling days.
There was a slight modification to the plan based on my symptoms. I had pretty bad pain in my back, just around my iliac crest on both sides, so I coiled those area for Lyme as well.
7 January 2014
- 12:40pm – consume chocolate chip cookie
- 12:45pm – sharp pain on the top of my head, moves to the right side of head, then becomes a dull, persistent headache
- 1:30pm – dull headache persists, eyelids feel puffy, I feel sleepy and woozy
- 1:35pm – sharp pain coming out of left side of lower spine near iliac crest
- 1:40pm – coil for Bartonella (832Hz): back of head, 10 mins; upper and middle spine, 2 mins each; sacrum, 4 mins
- 2:00pm – left lower back pain subsides; sharp pain on right side of lower spine near iliac crest; headache persists now including left eye pain
- 2:00pm – coil for Lyme (432Hz): each side, top and back of head, 3 mins each; upper and middle spine, 3 mins each; sacrum, 5 mins; each iliac crest/butt cheek, 3 mins per
- 2:40pm – dull headache on top of head persists, stronger on right side, eye pain almost gone; back pain almost gone
- 2:50pm – fleeting sharp pain on left side of head
- 3:10pm – chin pain which seemed to be triggered by visual sensitivity to sunlight
- 3:20pm – sharp fleeting pains that last 2-5 minutes on various areas around my head. This continues with intermittent, extended breaks, until 8pm.
- 7:00pm – exhaustion (fatigue and somnolence) sets in and continues until I go to sleep. I remain lying down for the rest of evening.
- 8:00pm – regular evening Bartonella coiling: top of head, 8 mins; back of head, 10 minutes; abdomen and chest, 5 mins each; sacrum, 10 mins
- 10:00pm – bloodshot eyes; sore abdomen that is painful to touch and the pain remains after pressure is removed; sore, tight muscles aronud neck, ears, and jaw
- 10:40pm – fall asleep
On January 8, the day after I consumed the eggs, I woke up early, 7:45am, with sore muscles, especially in my lower back, from my waist down to my feet. I had a mucus producing cough which lasted all day, as did a mild headache.
Over the course of the day, all my joints hurt except for my spinal column, including aches, stiffness and painful popping. All my musculature hurt and felt tight.
I had no abdominal swelling. I coiled twice, morning and evening for Bartonella.
Today, January 9, I felt somewhat better. I woke up at 8:00am, with considerably less pain. I’ve had a mild headache again today. My joints are still achy, but aren’t popping any more. The musculature on my upper back and neck are still tense and sore. I had a lot of energy in the morning, then crashed at about 2pm, after coiling my central nervous system for Lyme, and have been struggling the rest of the day, with poor ability to concentrate. (Much of this post was written in the morning or is copied from handwritten notes.) I needed a nap. I coiled my full body for Lyme today. I coiled my head for Bartonella twice, this morning and this afternoon. I will do the regular evening coil before bed.
I’ve been thinking about how my body has reacted. To my utter amazement, I didn’t have the huge neurological reaction I’ve had in the past. Rationally, I thought there was a strong possibility that it wouldn’t happen, but I was still terrified by the time I finished off the cookie and started getting a headache.
It looks to me like egg still triggers a Lyme infection activation. It seems like a smarter way to handle it is to coil my whole body for Lyme about an hour or two after eating an egg containing food. I plan to do this again several times over the next few months.
Anyway, my primary goal is to get the Lyme Disease infection to come out of its dormant form until there is nothing left. Repeatedly triggering the infection, then killing off the bacteria that have been activated, should diminish the amount of bateria in my body. The trick is to do it soon enough that the bacteria don’t go back into cyst form in response to my immune system, but not so soon that they are still coming out of hiding after I finish coiling. My secondary goal is to desensitize my body to eggs so that I can consume them, either intentionally or accidentally, without fear of ill effects.