What is Lyme disease, and what constitutes a Lyme disease diet?

Lyme disease is becoming a widely talked about issue in the gut-health world. Since it has so many impacts on the body as a whole, it is a very important topic to fully understand.

Today’s guest, Dr. Jess Peatross, is knowledgeable on all things Lyme, mold, and infections.

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Lyme Disease Diet [All About Lyme, Episode 62 with Dr. Jess Peatross]

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Lyme Disease Diet ep. 62 A gutsy Girl podcast agutsygirl.com


  1. Gut healing journaling system
  2. Website (Dr. Jess + her work)
  3. Dr. Jess on Instagram

Don’t Miss These Thoughts!

  1. Who is Dr. Jess Peatross?
  2. What exactly is Lyme disease and how does one get it?
  3. What are some symptoms a Lyme disease patient might experience? And what does it have to do with the gut?
  4. For many it seems as though Lyme disease treatment can be tricky. Dr. Jess shares what some of the most common and/or effective treatments are + why it’s hard to heal from Lyme.
  5. Do dietary changes work for her patients with Lyme disease? And what are some specific foods she has them eat and/or remove from the diet?
  6. Are there any nutritional supplements that are helpful for those with Lyme?
  7. Dr. Jess is well-versed in other topics, too, so I wanted to at least highlight them in the episode. The first is mold illness. Like Lyme disease, it seems as though mold illness is another major underlying factor for severe gut issues. So, what is mold illness and how is it connected to the gut?
  8. So much of chronic illness has to do with our drainage pathways. Dr. Jess talks a lot about this so she gives a brief overview of what drainage pathways are and what the first step to opening them up contains.
  9. Finally, besides chronic disease, she also talks about scarring from C sections, augmentations, etc. and how they hold the sympathetic nervous system in overdrive of the trauma that sustained them. I also know that scarring can be one of the main reasons for recurrent SIBO, so Dr. Jess tells us more about what this might look like for someone.

“A body that is imbalanced is a body at risk”

Dr. Jessica Peatross

What is Lyme?

Lyme disease is caused by a corkscrew bacteria known as bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.

Its shape gives it the unique ability to burrow deep into tissue and dig its way in, which is part of the reason this infection can be so hard to fight off.

It often hides deep in connective tissue, such as joints, which is part of the reason it can cause symptoms such as joint pain.

Since b. burgdorferi does not hide in the bloodstream, and instead in the tissue, most of the conventional tests are highly inaccurate. Blood tests used by conventional doctors such as the western blot blood test are known to miss Lyme in 50-80% of patients.

Dr. Jess calls Lyme “the great mimicker” as it mimics other diseases and symptoms due to its wide-ranging effects.

Its location can cause migrating joint pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, and brain fog.

All of these are somewhat vague in nature, which is another reason Lyme is so hard to pinpoint initially.

Lyme Disease 101 Lyme Disease Diet ep. 62 A gutsy Girl podcast agutsygirl.com

How Do You Get Lyme?

Lyme is carried primarily by ticks.

The bacteria is transmitted through a tick bite into the skin of Lyme patients.

Unfortunately, due to climate change ticks are expanding their territory and the places they can inhabit. This makes Lyme a much higher risk than it used to be, regardless of location.

Tick-borne illness such as Lyme have DOUBLED in the last 13 years, with Lyme being the most prevalent.

New studies are also showing that mosquitos can also carry Lyme, which is slightly concerning. This means more potential infections in the future.

Source: HERE

Common Lyme Disease Symptoms

Dr. Jess list some of the common symptoms of Lyme:

  • visual changes – blurry vision
  • migraines
  • co-infection (like stubborn SIBO)
  • TMJ or locked jaw
  • brain fog
  • joint pain 
  • insomnia 
  • hormonal imbalances
  • decreased immune function
  • flares of other chronic disease such as autoimmunity

Lyme infections cause the body to go out of balance, or have trouble maintaining homeostasis.

A lot of mechanisms that we rely on daily are due to homeostasis, such as our sleep cycle, energy, body temperature, hunger cues, etc.

This is part of the reason that Lyme is truly so destructive on overall health, as it impacts so many different reactions within the body.

In terms of its impact on the gut, Lyme has several negative effects.

Since Lyme has such a negative effect on the immune system, it actually makes it easier for pathogens to make it to the gut. The immune system lacks the capacity to fight off these foreign invaders and more infections can spring up in the gut.

This can be anything from parasites to yeast to mold.

Manifestation of Symptoms

You may be wondering, how long does it take for these symptoms to start showing up?

And the answer is- it totally depends.

Dr. Jess explains how the individual’s immune system actually determines how long these symptoms will take to occur. It also controls how severe these symptoms may be.

If someone’s immune system is in good standing, you can expect to see a “bulls-eye” rash appear quickly after the bite. This rash is your body’s reaction to Lyme initially, and it actually a good sign of immune function.

After the rash occurs, it is fairly variable how long the symptoms will take to occur.

This often happens anywhere from 2 weeks to a month or so after being exposed to Lyme.

It only takes about 24-72 hours for the ticks to transmit the bacteria, but symptoms usually do not occur until the bacteria starts fully colonizing in the body.

Lyme Disease Testing

Dr. Jess recommends several different tests that she uses in her own coaching:

  • vibrantlab
  • armin labs
  • IGeneX
  • western blot (a last resort but is ok if on a tight budget)

All of these tests are blood tests but have more sensitive markers than traditional blood tests.

They test for different bands of tick exposure, which can point to Lyme disease.

Treatment of Lyme Disease

Dr. Jess explains how her Lyme treatment actually differs slightly from the traditional treatment.

Most doctors go straight for an antibiotic treatment, which can work, but also leaves room for bacterial resistance. Bacteria can easily alter and form resistance to certain antibiotics, which lowers their potential for success.

Dr. Jess uses a two-step approach to healing Lyme consisting of opening drainage pathways and then killing the infection.

Drainage pathways Lyme Disease Diet ep. 62 A gutsy Girl podcast agutsygirl.com

Opening drainage pathways

Opening drainage pathways helps to reset the body to homeostasis and normalcy BEFORE attempting to kill anything.

This allows individuals to actually dump toxicities and exposures out of their body through multiple pathways such as the liver, bowels, and kidneys.

Since bacteria feed on organic waste, removing this waste also helps to determine why the bacteria was there in the first place.

Once the drainage pathways are opened- individuals able to sweat, consistently go to the bathroom, and establish normal sleep- they are ready for the next phase.

Killing phase

By using antimicrobials, Dr. Jess focuses on killing the Lyme bacteria.

Some of her suggested antimicrobials include:

  • Biocidin
  • CellCore products
  • biofilm busters

She also recommends some herbs that have antimicrobial properties such as:

  • clove
  • wormwood
  • black walnut hull
  • berberine

Some of these herbs also have anti-inflammatory properties, which is an added bonus!

Drainage Pathways

Drainage pathways are actually one of the MOST important parts of your body to understand. These pathways allow you to remove any toxins that you may breathe in, eat, or inhale through your nose.

Since we are constantly being exposed to toxins, it is CRUCIAL that we have well-functioning drainage pathways.

These include organs such as the kidney (filtering urine), liver (filtering out toxic material), bowels (rids bodies of unwanted substances), and sweat glands.

Unfortunately, these pathways can often become overwhelmed and blocked. This results in a build-up of toxins, which can just lead to further infection.

Dr. Jess reveals two common drainage blocks and how she remedies them:

stagnant liver

  • castor oil packs to encourage production of bile
  • increased consumption of bitter vegetables and herbs
  • coffee enemas

blocked sweat pathways

  • sauna or hot baths
  • slowly increase exposure

By working with a practitioner, you can hone in on opening these pathways, which is so important to overall gut healing.

Lyme Diet

Food list for Lyme Disease Diet ep. 62 A gutsy Girl podcast agutsygirl.com

A Lyme diet is almost identical to an anti-inflammatory diet.

It focuses on whole, unprocessed food while minimizing the number of inflammatory foods consumed.

Dr. Jess recommends to “shop the perimeter of the grocery store” if you unsure where to start. This is the part of the store that will usually contain all the fresh fruits and vegetables, and fresh meat.


  • grass-fed meat and wild-caught fish (omega-3 fatty acids)
  • fresh fruit and vegetables + leafy greens
  • unprocessed whole grains
  • nuts and seeds
  • beans
  • ginger and turmeric (both anti-inflammatory)
  • olive oil- healthy fats help to reduce inflammation


  • seed oils
  • artificial sweeteners
  • food coloring and dyes
  • processed gluten
  • ANY PROCESSED FOOD (chips, processed meat and cheese)
  • nightshades (eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes)- correlated with higher inflammation, try experimenting with this

Taking out foods such as added sugars and processed gluten can be extremely hard for those with stealth infections.

These pathogens often control your cravings and will lead you to crave food that they feed off of. It truly is the practice of extreme self-control that will get you on the path to healing.

In addition, some individuals do find some relief on a gluten-free diet, but it really comes down to the individual.

Try experimenting with taking gluten out, as it is a common inflammatory food.

Lifestyle Changes

On top of changing to an anti-inflammatory diet, it can also be helpful to make some changes to both your eating and lifestyle.

This can help reduce inflammation and make the treatment process easier.

Chronic inflammation both amplifies symptoms and slows down healing.

  • include a variety of food – ensures that you are getting the necessary amount of vitamins and minerals
    • can also turn to supplements if nutritional deficiencies are suspected
    • the more color in a meal, the higher it will be in antioxidants (prevents inflammation and damage on cells by oxygen)
  • exercise – helps to decrease inflammatory response
  • sleep- make sure you are prioritizing sleep
    • decreased levels of sleep associated with increased inflammation
  • adjust diet to what FEELS good to YOU- very individual on how certain foods will feel
  • no single diet fits everyone’s needs and symptoms
  • decrease stress levels – this one is SO hard I know, but it really helps reduce oxidative stress on the body

These changes can really help to get your body to a place where it can properly tackle the bacterial infection.

Source: HERE

Supplementation for Lyme

While Dr. Jess does not use many supplements in her everyday life, she does have a couple that she likes using.

  • vitamin D
  • vitamin C
  • organ meat supplements (contains essential B vitamins; When you use THIS link you’ll automatically save 15%. PLUS, when you order 3 bottles or more you’ll receive FREE shipping and handling!)
  • humic and fulvic acids (soil based vitamins that can help detoxify as well as encourage certain biochemical reactions)

Personal recommendations:

Now I may be a little bit biased, but I think there are 2 main Gutsy supplements that are perfect for getting your body back in balance.

  1. Nourish Plus – this multivitamin provides key nutrients to help your body have optimal energy levels and absorption for proper healing
    1. great foundational start
  2. Tummy Soothe – this supplements contains IGG antibodies specifically designed to help improve immune function and decrease inflammation
    1. helps calm down inflamed body systems and provides immune support


Mold is another pathogen that tends to go hand in hand with Lyme.

It is a multi-celled fungus that is prone to growing in water-damaged spaces.

Mold can be absorbed through our skin, breathed in, or even consumed through our food.

Like Lyme, it directly attacks the function of the immune system which can lead to a wide array of symptoms. Oftentimes mold exposure actually is the catalyst for a host of other chronic diseases and autoimmune issues.

Other fungal offshoots of mold can cause issues such as SIFO, small intestinal fungal overgrowth, or candida issues.

These spores behave in almost the exact same manner as mold, growing in the gut lining. This affects the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis (just like Lyme) and makes one prone to a whole host of other chronic infections.


For all of these infections, AWARENESS is absolutely crucial!

Lyme and its fungal counterparts all are extremely detrimental to overall health and well-being and it is crucial to know both how to identify it and what to do about infections.

Over time these infections can lead to chronic issues and autoimmunity issues, so it is important to know how to recognize the signs.

Taking a functional medicine approach to these fungal and bacterial issues can be an absolute game-changer for your overall health.

More from A Gutsy Girl

Want to learn even more about the gut and ways to heal it?

Learn all the secrets via my signature book, A Gutsy Girl’s Bible: a 21-day approach to healing the gut. Grab your copy on Amazon HERE.

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Wrap Up

Time to wrap this up. As always, a huge goal for this show is to connect with even more people. Feel free to send an email to our team at podcast@agutsygirl.com. We want to hear questions, comments, show ideas, etc.

Did you enjoy this episode? Please drop a comment below or leave a review on Apple Podcasts.

Bio: Dr. Jessica Peatross

Dr. Jessica Peatross has a passion for uncovering the mystery behind the chronic illness, whether that be stealth infections, heavy metals, stress, trauma or other environmental toxicities.

She is visionary for the future of healthcare and left her position as a board-certified, internal medicine hospitalist to pursue Functional Medicine in order to better serve her patients. By getting to the real, root cause answers for WHY the body might be malfunctioning. 

Her philosophy

….embraces that health encompasses the whole patient – mind, body, and spirit – and Dr. Jess has become one of the most-sought after Functional Medicine Leaders.

She is known for her ability to help identify the root cause of illness, most often traced back to hidden, stealth infections like Lyme, parasites and mold, Dr. Jess’s area of expertise.

After graduating Magna Cum Lade with a BA in Biology, a minor in Psychology, and earning her medical degree from University of Louisville, Dr. Jess worked as a hospitalist for 6 years before beginning to experience what many of her patients experienced, deep anxiety, hormonal imbalances, and mitochondrial dysfunction.

In the process of trying to heal herself, she sought answers to uncover the root cause of disease – something she thought she had learned in medical school but realized she had not. She began to investigate alternatives to today’s modern medical industry that “treats every ill with a pill.” 

Dr. Jess left her hospitalist position and became trained in Gerson Therapy, Functional Medicine, Nutrigenomics, and Ozone Therapy and quickly uncovered that 90% of disease is a result of lifestyle, diet, and environment.

The body has all the answers to heal and reverse chronic disease. 

She has gained notoriety for her Kill*Bind*Sweat method, a timed method of using herbs, binders and sweating to eradicate stealth infections and invaders from the body. Recently Dr. Jess launched her Wellness plus subscription app where she is helping thousands learn how to heal themselves. 

  • Kill – use of herbal supplements to kill off stealth infection
  • Bind – by using a binding supplement, it acts like a sponge to “soak up” the die-off 
  • Sweat – by sweating via exercise, sauna or hot baths, the deceased toxins are excreted by sweat out of the body

She previously devoted her time to consulting with clients around the globe and educating thousands of people worldwide, however with a waitlist more than a year long, Dr. Jess launched a comprehensive online platform and app called Wellness Plus to better serve all those hoping for an appointment.

The new platform offers a plethora of educational courses, live webinars, root cause Quickies, Q&A, and guest vlogs that address the root causes of Lyme, Epstein Barr, mold, parasites, hormonal imbalances, digestive issues, mitochondrial dysfunction, censored topics, and more— the common root causes her patients seek help with from her. 

Dr. Jess is able to heal people without the need for narcotics, immunosuppressants, antidepressants, antibiotics or steroids and in 2020, made the decision to not continue her board certification with the AMA as she no longer practices pharmaceutical-based medicine.

When she is not consulting with patients or speaking at national and international conventions, she can be found, practicing yoga, playing with her fur baby, Blaze, traveling the world or eating her favorite food, blueberries. 

Contact  hello@drjessmd.com to work with Dr. Jess. 

If you liked this episode, you might also enjoy:

  1. Cellular Healing {+ Diet Food List} {Episode 56 with Paola Xhuli}
  2. Guthealingsupplements.com
  3. Detox for Lyme Disease (Episode 99 with Dr. Bill Rawls)


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