Newsletter — Vol. 7, No. 1
from the desk of
Betsy Thomason, BODs steward
Betsy’s Lyme Story and
Quest for Healing
by Betsy Thomason, BODs steward
For a deep dive into the origins of Lyme disease, check out this link:
In 2022, I decided to give my chiropractor the benefit of the doubt and explore hip replacement. I watched hospital-produced videos about the technical aspects of hip replacement. I listened to friends rave about the operation.
I read Lyme blogs that convinced me that the missing cartilage in my hip was gobbled up by Lyme bugs over a period of at least ten years. That’s when I knew my flippant remark—I don’t do replacement parts—was true-blue for me.
One person’s blog about Lyme-related hip replacement convinced me. Her body rejected the artificial part. What do you do with a joint that has been torn apart to make space to screw in an artificial one? All the kings horses and all the king’s men could not put Humpty Dumpty together again. My prayers go to this anonymous person. Your experience convinced me that I’m on track.
In 2022, my chiropractor suggested magnet therapy. After researching, soul searching, and foot dragging, I started the Lyme Magnetic Protocol, joan-randall.com, in May 2022. Joan Randall, who herself experienced Lyme, created the Lyme Magnetic Protocol based on the work of Dr. Isaac Goiz, isaacgoiz.com. Using kinesiology, the practitioner discovers where to place the medium intensity magnets on the body. This allows the body’s pH to normalize. The pathogens cannot survive this pH of 7.35 to 7.45.
Then the detoxification process starts, utilizing every avenue available—bowel, urine, lymph, lungs, sweat, skin. This is intense work for practitioner and client. The detox aspect of one visit can take as much as four to six weeks to clear out of the body. As I have learned, the detox process needs to progress safely. One of my sources for how to detox has been the organization Healing ALS healingals.org, which provides support for people who wish to reverse ALS symptoms and restore function. Since Lyme symptoms can look exactly like ALS, I’ve gained insight and hope from this group.
Because my gut has been harboring the Lyme bugs for over thirty years, my magnet therapy may continue for another year. I’m committed. There is definitely a learning curve with ups and downs, stiffness, spasms, fasciculations, joint pain, fatigue, doubt, and even depression as your body works to detoxify and restore function.
My own healing process has been enhanced by my work teaching effective breathing www.outbreathinstitute.com
and authoring the book Just Breathe Out—Using Your Breath to Create a New, Healthier You. The BreatheOutDynamic system (BODs) has been my guide through pain and uncertainty, reinforcing my determination to be well. One day soon, magnet therapy will have restored my gut. Then I can focus on building hip cartilage. A dozen pig feet are in my freezer, waiting to create bone broth to support my efforts.
Since my early twenties, when I fell in love with solo white water canoeing and climbing mountains in winter, I have been committed to taking good care of my body. Now that I’m in my late 70s, I thought I’d be reaping the benefits. I expected to ski to my grave.
So was I shocked when, at age 74, an X-ray of my left hip indicated almost total lack of cartilage. For the previous ten years, I had been having a nondescript sensation in my hip,
a message that no doctor could decode. But now, there was pain. I was still walking an hour each day and actually felt better during and after my walks. My chiropractor told me I was a candidate for a hip replacement. Without thinking, I said, “I don’t do replacement parts. I’m going to work on rebuilding the cartilage.”
I needed to figure out why my hip cartilage disappeared. I had been following the on-line Lyme group lymedisease.organd reading stories of Lyme-infected people. No one story was the same. But what I learned is that the bacteria associated with Lyme enjoy consuming soft tissue: brain, heart, and of course, cartilage. Is this true? Is this true in my case? Who knows. The point is that this notion keeps me focused on healing.
In 1990 when I was bitten the first time, I was studying respiratory therapy, running a wilderness guide service, launching two teenage sons, and thinking I could do it all. Back then, my first inkling that I had been bitten was roving joint pain, from ankle one day to knee the next.. A one-week course of doxycycline erased all evidence of Lyme and I was fully functional. About that same time, my thyroid went into a slump. Three years of homeopathic remedies restored my ability to produce thyroid stimulating hormone, but left me with low body temperature.
My main issues have been gas and constipation. Decades ago, a poster in my dentist’s office claimed that health begins in the colon. I credit that idea with why I’m alive and active today. I focused on daily bowel movements and whatever it would take to achieve that goal: elimination diets, colonics, enemas, herbal parasite detox, epsom salt, or senna tea, as needed. You name it, I probably tried it. Now I believe that my life-long constipation issue is Lyme-related, with “the bugs” hidden deep in my gut. Although, I’m beginning to understand the important role of body temperature ( see sidebar).
In 2019, I was bitten again. Three months later, I noticed a huge circular red rash covering my entire chest. I used antibiotics for one month and experienced a horrific Herxheimer reaction. A naturopath guided my healing process with herbal remedies that seemed to restore my health. A few months later, that X-ray my chiropractor had recommended showed no cartilage in my hip. My knees began to feel arthritic. Initially I thought it was food related. Then I connected it to the Lyme progression. I continued walking an hour every day, including hills. But I gave up cross-country skiing. Snowshoeing became my winter activity, helping me maintain my sanity.
While writing my own Lyme story, I discovered that low body temperature is associated with Lyme disease. This was news to me.
Now in 2023, thanks to research on the internet, I’ve discovered that my decades-long low body temperature may be providing a safe harbor for the very Lyme critters I’m trying to eliminate.
Dr. Susan Marra, drsusanmara.com1, who has worked with Lyme specialists Dr. Richard Horowitz and Dr. Charles Ray Jones, says in her blog, "Many patients who suffer from chronic Lyme disease and coinfections or chronic complex illness, also suffer from a low core body temperature (less than 97.0 degrees F.). Sometimes this cold body temperature is due to hypothyroidism, which is relatively easy to diagnose with blood tests and a thermometer, and easily treated with some combination of T3 and T4 sustained-release capsules.” I understand that this is not a causal relationship; rather it is an associative relationship. Still it is a fact that I must address.
With further internet research, I discovered the work of Dr. Denis Wilson, MD, published in Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal in the June 2015 issue: Low Body Temperature as an Indicator of Poor Expression of Thyroid Hormone. Dr. Wilson says that the standard indicator of a healthy thyroid gland is the measure of TSH—thyroid stimulating hormone. However, he continues, if you have chronic low body temperature (as opposed to hypothermia caused by cold exposure or dehydration or loss of body fat, as in elders), your thyroid problem is probably related to your body’s inability to convert T4 to T3, which is the active thyroid hormone. Dr. Wilson says it’s a conversion problem, not a supply problem. You have plenty of T4 but you body is not converting it to the useful, active form, T3. He dubbed this Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome in 1988. He was the first to use sustained-release T3 to resolve the problem, with much anecdotal success.
The symptoms associated with low body temperature are vast. Dr. Wilson includes “fatigue, chronic fatigue, and headaches—migraine headaches. A huge percentage of patients with migraine headaches have low body temperatures and I have seen so many people when they get their temperatures corrected, their migraines sometimes disappear completely.” He continues: “Irritability, fluid retention, anxiety, panic attacks, PMS, hair loss, depression, decreased memory and concentration, low sex drive, unhealthy nails, low ambition and motivation, constipation, easy weight gain for sure, irritable bowel syndrome, dry skin, dry hair, insomnia, and even some things that people wouldn’t normally expect like asthma. . . . and hives and allergies can sometimes respond to
normalizing a low body temperature. Carpal tunnel syndrome and conditions caused by fluid retention—so there’s a tremendous number of things.”2
Why is body temperature the culprit? Chemical reactions in our body require a specific temperature range. If there’s not enough heat, the molecules can’t rearrange into useful forms. Over the past 100 years, the body temperature norm has been cooling from 98.6 Fahrenheit to 98.04 for people under 60 and to 97.7 for people over 60, according to healthline.org3. (I’m wondering if people with chronic low body temperature (96.0 to 97.6) are skewing the data.
Here’s Dr. Wilson’s understanding: “I believe that it is the temperature itself that causes the symptomatology because the correlation is so complete. My favorite theory has to do with the enzymes we talked about, the transcription of DNA in the nucleus, and that when DNA is transcribed, it makes proteins and enzymes and structural elements. Those enzymes are the key of every chemical reaction in the body and the speed at which those reactions take place and the efficacy of those reactions depend on the enzymes. The whole purpose of an enzyme is to help a reaction take place at a reasonable temperature, like body temperature, when it would not take place at that temperature without it.”4
Dr. Wilson concurs that “the crux of the matter is that because the conversion of T4 to T3 is dependent upon an enzyme, there are circumstances—including ambient temperature of the body—that will affect the ability of the enzyme to function or affect its functional efficiency. That is what the ‘conventional’ approach is missing.”5
How can body temperature be improved? Dr. Wilson suggests diet, herbs, and T3. In the herb category is seaweed because it contains bioavailable iodine necessary for thyroid hormone production. One particular species is bladderwrack that grows in cold oceans. An internet search for studies of seaweed and thyroid function in humans reveals animal (rat) studies only, and related to obesity, mostly, not thyroid function.
Over the decades, my health modus operandi has been to use non-toxic remedies, starting gradually and documenting my daily progress. Thus, I have started drinking one cup of bladderwrack tea each day. While I’m curious about my body temperature, I’m not going to be a slave to the thermometer. Healing takes months, sometimes even years. If in a year or so my body core temperature is not above 97 degrees, I’ll consult a medical professional and consider T3 supplementation. This personal research is essential to insure that I have explored every avenue before taking a pharmaceutical.
The Significance of Low Body Temperature
by Betsy Thomason, BODs steward
1. Dr. Susan Marra. google: Low Body Core Temperature blog
2. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, June 2015. Low Body Temperature as an Indicator of Poor Expression of Thyroid Hormone. Craig Gustafson interviews Dr. Denis Wilson. [no page numbers—quote is at paragraph 11.]
4. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, June 2015. Low Body Temperature as an Indicator of Poor Expression of Thyroid Hormone. Craig Gustafson interviews Dr. Denis Wilson.
[no page numbers—quote is at paragraph 16.]
5. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, June 2015. Low Body Temperature as an Indicator of Poor Expression of Thyroid Hormone. Craig Gustafson interviews Dr. Denis Wilson. [no page numbers—quote is at paragraph 28.]
Restorative Medicine www.restorativemedicine.org
Maine Seaweed www.theseaweedman.com
PR Health Science Journal. 2006 Mar;25(1):23-9. Supraphysiological cyclic dosing of sustained release T3 in order to reset low basal body temperature. Michael Friedman, et al.
Dr. Denis Wilson’s website wilsonssyndrome.com
Wilson, Denis, MD. Evidence-Based Approach to Restoring Thyroid Health. For free access to pdf, google book title, scroll to en.calameo.com, click on “read the publication” under icon of book cover.
Barnes, Broda, MD. Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness. New York, NY: Harper; 1976.
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