Posted December 9, 2014. More thoughts on alcohol and Lyme disease. I was running with a friend the other day and he said, “Oh, the other night I saw that friend of yours who has Lyme disease. She looked pretty good, she was having a glass of wine.” My heart sank as we powered up the hill. This friend of mine to whom he was referring, has had Lyme disease and has struggled for 10 years. She remembers the tick she got while gardening in her back yard. I cannot tell you how many hours I have spent with her on the phone, counseling her about diet, medications, and driving her to doctors appointments, etc. I have spent countless hours talking to her about alcohol and how it interferes with the body’s ability to heal. See this post for more information on alcohol and healing. http://lymesymptoms.com/alcohol-and-lyme-symptoms/
Here’s the bottom line on alcohol: Alcohol is pro-inflammatory. It makes your blood acidic instead of alkaline. When you drink alcohol you have a cortisol spike. It is hard to sleep with a cortisol spike, so then you don’t get that all-important restorative REM sleep.
Your doctor may tell you a glass of wine is fine. Your doctor is not the one suffering with Lyme symptoms and Lyme disease the way you are. Your doctor just wants to get you out the door because frankly he or she is just trying to see enough patients to be able to pay the electricity bill and nurses salaries this month. In addition to the cortisol spike, alcohol turns into sugar. Bacteria need sugar to survive.
If you are serious about recovery, be willing to give up alcohol for the time being. It does not have to be forever. Later you may be able to drink alcohol with no problem. I personally have elected not to drink alcohol even though I am recovered from Lyme disease and all Lyme symptoms, because alcohol interferes with my athletic ability and enjoyment of life. You may be fine to return to it later. But if you insist on drinking alcohol while dealing with Lyme disease, think twice before you complain about your inability to recover.