Smoking and Lyme Disease: why it is a bad idea

Fair Disclosure: I am a smoker. Not a reformed former smoker. A

BUT I can tell you that is a NOT a good idea for your health.
Specifically it is a bad idea for Lyme patients.

Remarkably here is a lymenut topic where no one can articulate why
smoking is bad and bad for Lyme patients.

OBVIOUSLY any idiot including the "better health guy" idiot knows at
this point that smoking is terrible for you. It causes lung cancer,
emphysema, high blood pressure, heart disease and a host of ailments
known and unknown.

There is no instance in which any purported and unproven health
"benefit" outweighs the entire picture: it is bad for you.

But specifically it is bad for Lyme patients (and babesia patients

Here's why. Lyme is caused by a mostly anerobic bacteria. One reason
that people's spect scans are bad is that inflamation and scarring of
vessels impinges on oxygen flow and supply to the brain. Bb thrives in
low O2 environments. One reason that the brain is a good place for it
is that less O2 gets to the brain than other vital organs and even
less when you have Lyme. Also the blood brain barrier protects the
bacteria from antimicrobials to a large extent.

this is actually a good article discussing mechanisms of surival:
The Pathogenesis of Lyme Neuroborreliosis - from Infection to

You can read more than the abstract, on the right side of the page
near the top you can get FREE full text. Read it.

Smoking deprives the brain of oxygen. It also causes scarring of the
vessels. By smoking you are making your body and brain a MORE rather
than LESS hospitable environment for Bb to survive and thrive.

Babesia affects red blood cells and their ability to carry oxygen. The
combination of smoking and babesia is bad. Lyme + babesia+ smoking is

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a smoker. I'm not preaching. Lots of reasons
people smoke. People with Lyme might find it difficult depressing
painful to stop smoking. I'm not telling anyone what to do. Just why
smoking is a particularly bad idea for Lyme (and babesia) patients.;f=1;t=063527

Author Topic: Smoking and Lyme
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posted 17 February, 2008 09:48 AM
I'm quitting smoking..... again. Tuesday, actually. Why not today?
This very minute?

Because my mother and I are spending tomorrow together and she smokes.
Don't want to do that to myself.

But anyway, getting to the point here...

I've quit in the past and every time have felt like I've had flu the
entire time. Fatigue, body aches, and a general feeling of blah.

The longest I've quit for was 3 months. The "flu" only went away when
I started smoking again.

Of course, at that point, the thought of lyme being at the center of
my health problems wasn't even a blip on the radar. And I wasn't
nearly as ill then.

So I'm wondering. Is there some mechanism or reason why smoking would
maybe supress the bugs?

Has anyone else experienced this when they quit smoking or am I just
"special" in a nod-and-smile kinda way?

Thanks for any input on this.

If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. -
Lewis Carroll

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posted 17 February, 2008 10:09 AM
I am not aware of smoking suppressing bugs - just suppresses ability
to get well.

In Better Health,
Scott (aka "The Better Health Guy")
Contributor to "Public Health Alert"

Posts: 3191 | From: San Jose, CA | Registered: Jul 2005 | IP:

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Member # 81

posted 17 February, 2008 10:12 AM
Well, something I read recently suggested that the immune system was
depressed in smokers (can't remember the exact component, but it
related to the disease fighting ability), so might it be possible that
when you stop smoking, the immune system kicks in better and your
"flu" is the result of a more vigorous immune response? Just guessing

If more vigorous immune systems fight lyme better, I don't know,
because apparently an immune system in hyperdrive trying to catch an
elusive critter that keeps changing.....that might not be so good.

Yours in puzzlement.
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posted 17 February, 2008 10:45 AM
That's a very interesting idea, Lou.

I've read that nicotine acts as an antidepressant.
They've found antidepressants to be helpful in dealing with pain.

Could it be the combination of increased immune response, along with
no longer taking in the nicotine??


Perhaps when stopping smoking, while fighting Lyme, temporarily adding
an antidepressant might be a helpful way to deal with those "flu"

You could try taking Tulsi (aka Holy Basil), it's an adaptogenic herb
that helps with depression. It's much easier to stop taking than
trying to wean off antidepressants and doesn't seem to cause the same
side effects.

Maybe that could help you quit without too much added stress. If you
try it, please let me know how it goes.

If it is due to increased immune response, heavy detox support might
be helpful because your body will be trying to detox from the smoking
cessation too. Lots of Epsom Salts baths, drinking plenty of lemon
water, etc.

Good luck with your "quit". I hope you are able to get through it
without too much malaise this time & I do hope that you are able to
find a way to make it stick.

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just don
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Member # 1129

posted 17 February, 2008 10:47 AM
I have heard EVERY excuse known to man,,,to justify smoking.

It just doesnt make sense to ME. heard it tastes so good. It does??

I am SURE those "HOOKED" on it would disagree,,,but to me not ONE
thing positive is done for yourself,,,sticking those UGLY things in
your face and setting it on fire.

BET not ONE SMOKER would tolerate me getting a burning anything THAT
close to their face!!

Health harm is many faceted. Then they go to the end of the earth to
get a lyme CURE,,,all the while the reason they are probably NOT
getting well is right under their nose!!

Let me spew toxic fumes their way all day!! I used to set in meetings
and they revelled in their ability to blow it RIGHT in my face!!Got so
hazy in there couldnt see other wall 8 feet away.

Put ten chimneys in a small room and see how long it takes!! back then
non-smokers were about 10-20 percent minority!!

I KNOW its HARD,,,very hard to quit,,,but the biggest obstacle is
their own mind. ONCE their mind is made up to quit they do,,,until
then it NEVER happens.

besides who needs such high expenses as THAT every week, day,year.
Those that smoke,,,I DARE you to figure up how MUCH it costs
you,,,cash,,,then what it costs health wise!!Then how much it holds
back your treatment!!

how much is your life worth today?? MAKE UP YOUR MIND,,,and just do
it,,,it only hurts for awhile!! Sure the desire will remain to the end
of your life,,,prove your stronger than that!!

Would you continue to put up with a illegal drug abuser in your
household??Is there a difference!!??

Dont miss your chace to CONTROL your destiny!! QUIT TODAY!!!remaining--
just don--

just don

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posted 17 February, 2008 11:01 AM
just don,

You are obviously not a smoker (nor am I). I know smokers who have
tried many ways to quit. It's not an easy thing.

You are right that it is hard to quit - probably harder than us non
smokers could even imagine.

And you are right that you won't quit until you are ready. I don't
think beating them up for smoking helps either.
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posted 17 February, 2008 11:06 AM
I quit smoking years ago for several months and my anxiety sky-
rocketed and never diminished - not to mention I chewed gum like a

I have definitely noticed that when I was having my breathing
difficulties, sometimes smoking actually helped! In fact, there were
many times I was out and suddenly developed a scratchy throat and a
dry cough that would not let up until I took that first drag off my

Smoking is known to help irritable bowel syndrome, and I think it is a
lie that smoking causes cancer, heart disease, etc...

My personal belief is that people who have this desire to smoke
intuitively smoke because they have some sort of parasite that smoking
suppresses. I may even go so far as to say that perhaps they got the
parasite BY smoking in the first place - but still, even if that were
true, I believe they continue in order to suppress the bug they
caught, irrespective of whether they caught the bug before or after
beginning the habit.

I believe this is the same for heavy drinkers and alcoholics. They
have parasites, but we sit there and try to shrink them down.

Also, I had occupational levels of arsenic a couple of years ago,
which probably was from my smoking. But what kills Lyme? Arsenic.

And look at all the side effects coming from that drug that helps
people quit smoking - people are having nervous breakdowns, going into
rages, and committing suicide. Hmmm? Sounds like they followed what
society dictated was proper - got rid of their disgusting smoking
habit. But at what price?

When I no longer have the desire to smoke, I know I am parasite-free.
Until then, let me puff away happily on my Carltons.

Do you have Microwave Sickness?

Mobile and Wireless: The Largest Biological Experiment Ever:

Posts: 1854 | From: Kutztown, PA | Registered: Sep 2006 | IP:

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posted 17 February, 2008 11:19 AM
just don - wow. I can tell you don't smoke. But you must have some bad
habit of your own to rip smokers apart like that. Do you use a cell
phone by any chance? Because it's KILLING me, and I can't even be in
the same BUILDING with a cell phone user, let alone the same room.

If you browse through Lymenet here, you will quickly see that women
get hit harder (on average) with Lyme than men do. In fact, I've read
numerous post on here where the female half of a couple is bedridden
with Lyme for years, whereas the male half of the couple has zero
symptoms, or maybe the flu for a week. And this is important - this
happens regardless of whether or not the person smokes.

How dare you tell me I'm not getting better from Lyme because I smoke.
That's ignorant. Turn your cell phone off, and maybe I'll get better.

Do you have Microwave Sickness?

Mobile and Wireless: The Largest Biological Experiment Ever:

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posted 17 February, 2008 11:28 AM
As a former smoker ( I've been a former smoker several times but I
don't believe I'll smoke again ) I kind of know what you're talking

I do believe,though, that those are the side effects of our bodies
flushing millions of chemicals, and the change in our metabolism that
occurs when we do.

About 3 months after I quit smoking this time was when I really began
to have moments of feeling better re:lyme and co. I know that not
smoking has really helped me.

I will not lie, I miss it. It is a powerful addiction that only those
of you who have known it can understand. Andmost of us who have smoked
go to/went to extremes to keep smoke away from non-smokers.)

Please ignore the rants against smokers. For those of you who like to
do that, IT JUST MAKES SMOKERS WANT TO SMOKE. Be kind supportive and
don't judge.We all have our flaws.

Good luck Curioser, you can do it. And you will feel better for it in
the long run. Call on me for support if needed.
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posted 17 February, 2008 11:32 AM
Whoa. Let's not fight. Does no one any good. As a woman ex-smoker with
Lyme, I can tell you that quitting was one of those things that I had
no choice about doing. I ended up in the hospital a little over a year
ago, unable to breath (literally) and was on IV steroids for 5 days.
That made the lyme REAL happy.
I quit cold turkey and have not looked back.
Do I think it has made a difference in how I feel?
Honestly, not really. Other than being able to breathe and having the
wheezing COMPLETELY stop.....other than that my health has
Do I think that has anything to do with NOT smoking? NO!!!!!
If I were still smoking, I honestly think I would already be dead by
Just my 2 cents.


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posted 17 February, 2008 11:37 AM
Hmmm... interesting thought. Will have to look more into that and will
post if I find anything. Thanks!

Thank you for the info on Tulsi and detox, as well as the
encouragement. Am heading to the health food store sometime tomorrow
and will check for Tulsi.

Will let you know how it goes.

I've also noticed that sometimes a smokey treat helps with breathing.
Unfortunately, I really "have" to quit, largely out of my own
curiosity, but also to get better.

And I have to think of all that money going up in smoke having a
better use in going towards treatment.

I want to find out what's being caused by my illness and what's
actually being caused by smoking. Example: air hunger and coughing.

Are they part of my symptomology or are they the byproducts of a bad

It'd also be interesting to see what my CBCs and thyroid panels are
like after quitting for a month.

Smoking raises the RBC, hematocrit and hemoglobin levels as well as
suppresses thyroid function.

Since I've had low ferritin levels for quite some time in spite of
supplementation, I'd like to know if I'm actually anemic or not. Since
smoking does raise those levels on the CBC, I've never shown as

I posted this, not to justify a bad habit and health hazard, but to
find out why I would feel better when I was engaged in this activity
and worse when I quit. That's it.

I understand many people get flu-like symptoms for about 2 weeks after
they quit. 6 weeks to 3 months seems a bit excessive to me for
withdrawl symptoms. Thus the query.

Unfortunately, I often lack the ability to properly express myself
clearly and on the first try at that.

Thank you for understanding.

Its very difficult to quit smoking. That's why so many of us keep
quitting and then going back.

Its a crutch. Its an addiction.

If I'm not going to let some measly little bugs get the better of me,
I'm sure not going to let some shredded leaves do the same... this

If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. -
Lewis Carroll

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posted 17 February, 2008 11:43 AM
Joysie and Cordor,
Thank you for your encouragement and your stories. Its nice to know
I'm not alone and can beat this thing.

I was typing the previous reply while you were posting your comments
(takes me awhile).

To be honest, I'm used to the attitudes of non-smokers. Been getting
the talk for years.

I take it in the same vein it was given. I think people really DO care
and don't want to see us (smokers) causing ourselves more harm than

If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. -
Lewis Carroll

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