Helsinki, June 11, 2015

Before I learned that I’ve been carrying the lyme bug for all these years, I didn’t have the slightest clue as to why I would be terribly ill one day, just to feel much better the day after.

Neither did I understand why I ran completely into the wall – like somebody had pressed “shutdown” – during heavy exercising. Nor why I felt so horrible the next day.

Two years ago, when I was still playing football (soccer) – or rather, excuse me, kicking football which would be the proper verb to use for harrowing around in the lowest soccer league – I could physically get through a whole game without any serious problems. The problems started a few hours after the game, and extended into the day after. Then I got sick, really sick.

Not at all like the delightful feeling that emerges when you know that you’ve been “benefitting from destruction” – when you push your body, breaking it down on purpose, in order to let it grow even stronger than before through recovery. The basic idea of constructive, long-term training, the reason for being awarded with satisfaction and well-being.

Not like that at all, but like sick when you’re starting to get the flu. The body works like crazy to survive, and leaves its host (in this particular case, me) to his/her own. That’s the way I felt – and still do feel – the day after a hard work-out. And I never understood why, not until I got diagnosed.

Chronic lyme disease causes a chronic inflammation in the body.

When we breath in oxygen at rest, the oxygen is absorbed by the hemoglobin in our lungs. But only 25% ever reach the cells – the rest is returned to the lungs, since the oxygen is so tightly bound to the hemoglobin.

During heavy exercise, our body temperature rises and the level of carbon dioxide in the muscles increases. As the carbon oxide level rises, the bind between oxygen and hemoglobin weakens. As a result, more oxygen is freed to reach the cells.

The Lyme bug can’t stand neither high temperature nor oxygen. Intense exercise indeed kills spirochetes, causing a release of endotoxins into the blood.

A lot of the toxics are pumped out of the body during the exercise, through sweating. But when the amount of endotoxins are larger than the body can get rid of in that natural way, the body shuts down and goes into its combat survival mode during the exercise.

And later – when the exercise is over – there’s still endotoxines to get rid of, but as we are no longer sweating them out, the body has to attack it like it attacks any hostile intruder – it starts to produce a large amount of cytokines, activating the white blood cells, preparing for a counter-attack.

That’s where all the energy goes, and since there’s already a chronic inflammation present in the body, there’s already too much of that kind of activity going on. Following upon heavy exercise, the body thus works much harder than what could be considered normal, all other body functions becoming second priority.

No wonder, then, that I’ve found myself completely wiped out the day after heavy exercising. The effort has triggered the same phenomena that occurs when medication and supplements hit the spirochete effectively – I’ve had a herxheimer reaction. I have certainly known that something is terribly wrong, but not the reason why.

So, can you get rid of lyme through exercise? Hardly. But it should logically be possible to actively diminish the amount of bacteria in the body through regular exercise. Such a pity then that heavy exercise makes you feel horrible for the next 24 hours or so.

But knowing this, I can start looking for the optimal balance – trash spirochetes to an amount tolerable to the body. A dead spirochete is a good spirochete. In that sense, my jogging session two days ago was close to perfect; I got away with only minor inconvenience, and managed to make life sour for my intruders.

This could also explain why my lyme disease got so much worse after I decided to stop exercising, although I did that only because all signs pointed in the direction of exercise worsening my problems. The little you know. You have to learn on-the-fly.

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