For many, it’s a rash followed by a doctor’s appointment with some antibiotics, analgesics, rest and, if blessed, that is the end of it. But for some it’s more than that. It’s scarcity, it’s pain, it’s decreased quality in daily life, and, for others, it’s disruption within families. It’s Lyme disease. A German physician, Alfred Buchwald, discovered the symptoms of Lyme disease 130 years ago; however, it wasn’t recognized in the United States until the 1960s and 1970s. And it wasn’t until 1981 when it was officially classified.

In the 1970s, a group of children and adults in Lyme, Connecticut, suffered from symptoms such as swollen knees, paralysis, headaches, chronic fatigue and even flu-like symptoms. Patients had multiple visits with doctors and hospitals. Not understanding the disease, they were left undiagnosed and untreated. Through the years from the 1970s until now, doctors have used antibiotics and non-steroidal drugs such as anti-inflammatories. For some though, it’s not enough.

According to, 72 percent of those that suffer from chronic Lyme disease (CLD) say that their quality of life is worse than those that suffer from type 2 diabetes or heart disease. That is a high percentage of people that are out there searching for ways of relief. Lyme disease can even hinder proper brain function.

So is there hope? When a patient is diagnosed with Lyme disease and is then placed on antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs, there are other methods to integrate and help combat the symptoms to either lessen or rid the discomfort of one’s daily lifestyle. A good essential oil, for example, when applied gets down into the cellular level of the affected area, such as the joints. It provides relief and gives the ability to naturally give more stability to accomplish daily tasks along with rest and relaxation. Glutathione repair, vitamin D3, proper nutrition and exercise also can help.

Pain is a key factor, including joint discomfort, aches and lack of mobility. There is also the inability to do daily tasks, like stair climbing or squatting, or even simple things like washing dishes and folding laundry. With that, we then can develop weight gain and depression. It becomes a spiral

effect of debilitating uncertainty. So how do we address this? We start by looking at the major joints. If Lyme disease is treated in its late stages, it is then spread throughout the body into the joint’s causing Lyme arthritis. In that same scenario, it also can cause harm to the nervous system and the heart.

The hope is within the gut, otherwise known as our microbiome. The microbiome is an ecosystem of bacteria that helps us digest our food properly and process the right nutrients so that it will get sent throughout the whole body. Without a healthy gut, our joints, brain and other body parts have a difficult time functioning, which then decreases our quality of life.

So how do we get better gut health? Glutathione is the body’s antioxidant system. It helps fight free radicals and toxins that with Lyme disease the liver has a difficult time filtering out. With that said, it is crucial that our glutathione is healthy. Glutathione is like sticky paper that captures toxins and allows nutrients and proteins to enter the body and get properly distributed to all the areas that need help. There is only one problem; when it is destroyed by toxins, it can’t do its job to help the microbiome fight off bad bacteria. So now we are looking at a plethora of other symptoms that are caused by that, including inflammatory disorders and autoimmune diseases. Going to the root of the cause is where to begin.

Julianna Buongirno, founder and owner of Pathways To Freedom Health Center, is an integrative nutritional health coach and wellness advocate. She focuses on chronic pain in addition to working with children on the autism spectrum, neurological health, weight loss and weight management. Connect at 860-801-3382 or