The Lyme Connection
By: Rebecca Stadnicki
How Lyme Disease brought me to health coaching
About 12 years ago I began experiencing severe fatigue, low energy, depression, and digestive issues among others. At the time I was raising three young daughters, working odd shifts at a hospital and not taking the best care of myself. My stress levels were high, I wasn’t eating or sleeping well and having the energy to get through my day was getting increasingly difficult. I took every bit of energy I did have to read, research and educate myself on what was happening to me. My efforts led me to some wonderful holistic practitioners and it was discovered that I had chronic Lyme disease. I began to understand that my eating habits, stress levels, sleep issues and lack of movement had created the perfect storm for Lyme to take hold of my life. So along with the recommendations from my physician I began making healthy changes on my own to my lifestyle. As my symptoms improved so did the health of my family, especially my oldest daughter who was struggling with an autoimmune disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, I saw how powerful the choices we make in our lifestyles had on our health and wellbeing. This experience has given me the passion to help others navigate through their own journeys by educating, guiding and supporting them towards the best quality of life possible while dealing with a chronic illness.
What is Lyme Disease?
According to the CDC, Lyme Disease is caused by bacteria transmitted through the bite of an infected black-legged tick. Common symptoms can include a bulls-eye rash, fever, chills, fatigue, body aches and headache. When caught early, treatment can be very successful. But if left untreated, it may later manifest itself into arthritis, cardiac and neurological disorders.
Ticked off by your child’s behavior…consider Lyme
Lyme disease affects people of all ages. Twenty-five percent of reported cases are children. Unlike adults who can verbalize how they feel, children often have a harder time and may exhibit abnormal changes in their learning and behavior patterns as a result of Lyme disease. In some cases, a child can be misdiagnosed with ADD, ADHD or other behavioral issues.
Here is a list compiled by Charles Ray Jones, M.D., Lyme pediatric specialist who is the world’s foremost expert on pediatric tick-borne disease:
· nausea, abdominal pain
· impaired concentration
· poor short-term memory
· inability to sustain attention
· difficulty thinking and expressing thoughts
· difficulty reading and writing
· being overwhelmed by schoolwork
· difficulty making decisions
· uncharacteristic behavior
· outbursts and mood swings
· noise and light sensitivity
So, if your child is struggling with symptoms such as these than Lyme disease is something you may want to consider discussing with your physician. Early onset Lyme disease is very treatable in children, but only if you act fast.
Lyme Disease facts (Lyme Light Foundation)
· Lyme Disease is a world-wide infectious disease reported in 50 states
· Lyme Disease has been found on every continent except Antarctica
· Fewer than 50% of people infected get the bulls-eye rash
· Some develop flu-like symptoms a week of so after becoming infected
· Many people are asymptomatic but can develop Lyme symptoms months, years or even decades later
· A deer (black-legged) tick are often the size of a poppy seed and can leave an undetectable bite
· The Lyme spirochete (spiral shape) bacteria is hard to detect and kill
· Lyme Disease is growing at epidemic proportions in the United States
· It is called the great imitator; appearing like many other health conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, Bell’s Palsy, multiple sclerosis and lupus
How health coaching can help Lyme and autoimmune symptoms
Symptoms of Lyme disease and autoimmune conditions are very similar. They can have a huge effect on your mind, body and quality of life at any age. They can interfere with relationships, career, school, family and everyday life. Poor food choices, stress, lack of movement or exercise, sleep disturbances and a negative mindset can worsen symptoms. A health coach is a supportive mentor who guides you through making healthy changes in your lifestyle. Together we explore the different areas of your life and work towards creating the best possible balance. A physician has a limited time to devote their expertise to the treatment plan for your illness. A health coach continues the journey as you recover providing resources and recommendations that empower and inspire you to make your own decisions for a sustainable outcome. We meet you where you are, making suggestions based on where you want to be using an approach that is the least stressful, physically, and emotionally.
What steps can you take now?
There are so many advantages to a healthy lifestyle, the most important one is keeping the immune system as healthy as possible in order to fight bacteria and viruses. Unfortunately most of us won’t make that choice until we are forced to due to an illness or health scare like what happened to me and my daughter. There is no reason to have to wait here are 3 simple suggestions to start with that can benefit anyone at any age.
· Clean, whole food diet
· Improve sleep
· Reduce stress
Being healthy is a process. Take small, simple steps and soon you will start to see changes in your mood and energy levels which will encourage you to continue your journey for a healthier life. Always remember to strive for progress not perfection.
Don’t forget to sign up for Rebecca’s special offer for CHHF families. Click on link below.
Rebecca Stadnicki is a Certified Holistic Health Coach. Her personal journey with Chronic Lyme disease and her daughter’s struggle with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition inspired her to help those also struggling with symptoms. She helps clients improve their quality of life by supporting them in making healthy lifestyle changes.