Severe muscle spasms and pain

Dear Stephen,
Can you briefly explain the mechanism by which lyme causes muscle spasms? I know that low magnesium, calcium or potassium could cause spasms, but I know that there are other factors at work as well. Are severe muscle spasms—the double-you-over kind that cause pain to the point of throwing up and make a person look like they are having convulsions—an indication of neuroborreliosis? Hubby was in the ER Sunday as 6 mg of IV Ativan was not touching the muscle spasms. IV Demerol greatly reduced pain and muscle spasms and also tremors / myoclonus. Left with an Rx for Darvoset which seems to be working about as well—have decreased IV Ativan to more usual dose of 3.5-4.5 mg daily. Concerned about adding a narcotic to Ativan. Any herbal suggestions for pain or severe muscle spasms? Have tried numerous things. Lobelia tincture (7 drops) was too strong—decreased respiration and caused him to pass out. Parrot’s Beak tincture (related to Wood Betony) somewhat helpful for muscles, but more than 15 or 20 drops at a time causes him to feel lightheaded. Kava (5 drops) tincture won’t work either as extremely bitter herbs cause dry heaves plus made him woozy. Thanks for any suggestions.

Stephen’s response:
He seems to be exceptionally sensitive to medications so I would proceed with caution. I do think that a calcium / magnesium supplement is the best place to start. I generally use 3,000 mg calcium / 900 mg magnesium daily to help this condition.

The severity of his cramping is something new to me, I have not heard of it being this bad from any other lyme patients to date, so the place I would begin is with the supplement.

You might also try devil’s claw, passion flower, or black cohosh. However, given his sensitivity, I would begin with very small doses, 5-10 drops at a time.

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posted on December 26, 2006 in Herbs, miscellaneous, muscle/skeletal/joint, Symptoms

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  • Anne

    February 12, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    I have been in the er with severe and prolonged muscle and tendon pain from Lyme. It has been unbearable and is being traced to autoimmune and mold in addition to being exposed to flesh eating bacteria before being fully healed. Hopefully these are helpful clues that could help us all.

  • dave

    May 19, 2016 at 6:02 am

    A couple other considerations. Many people become highly sensitive to lyme toxins and their immune goes crazy causing a myriad of symptoms, sometimes extreme. In many people this occurs because they are not able to excrete from the body, which can even be tied to genetics. Taking a few grams of activated charcoal or cholestyramine (be careful with cholestyramine, it causes many to herx and can aggravate sensitivities greatly) 1/2 hour before eating a fatty meal can substancially reduce the toxic burden on the body and alleviate the symptoms. For some, this is the final “miracle” that gives them their life back.

    Also, interferon, an immune cytokine that can be produced in large quantities in lyme victims, shunts production of Coenzyme A, which has a downstream effect of lowering CoQ10, which can cause muscle spasms, even some pretty dramatic ones. Ones susceptability to this can be genetic as well. It is very similar to the process that occurs when taking statins.

  • dave

    May 19, 2016 at 6:06 am

    * 200 or 300 mg daily dose of CoQ10 can fairly quickly alleviate the symptoms if that is the cause. If age 50 or older, use the active form, ubiquinol, instead of the more common and cheaper form ubiquinone, as people lose the ability to convert it as they age

  • Eileen Dannemann

    May 24, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    If you watched the documentary UNDER OUR SKIN, you will see how typical spasms are in Lyme Disease. (Watch Netflix for $9.99 both Under Our Skin and its update Emergernce. Very enlightening as to the biofilm created around the pathogens as they start colonizing. The biofilm prevents the body or the diagnostic machines from see it. It can be cured by SALT. Go to Salt has always been sacred…for a reason..

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