Starting the Salt/C protocol
Here is my experience over the first few months of using a Salt/C protocol. This is a 'reduced' salt load protocol. Because I am over-sensitive to most treatments, and seem to have weak kidneys, this is a very conservative approach, and it seems to be working as well as the more aggressive protocol that some people are advocating. Please note that I worked up to this serving of Salt/C very gradually, over several weeks. I started out at just 1g of salt per day, and 500mg of Vitamin C every other day. Being gradual with this is important because of the possibility of a die-off reaction as the salt begins powering the immune system to kill the Lyme bacteria (or possibly even killing bacteria directly in some locations in the body, such as in the digestive system).
I take 4g of salt and 1.5g of vitamin C per day. I alternate between natural whole salt, and salt tablets. The salt tablets are 1g. The natural salt is granular, like table salt, but it is from an ancient sea. For the granular salt, 4g is about one teaspoon. I take a half teaspoon just before breakfast, a quarter teaspoon before lunch, and a quarter in the late afternoon. If I have very low energy I add an extra eighth teaspoon at diner. I do NOT use table salt, only medical grade pure salt tablets, or natural 'whole salt' such as RealSalt or Krystal salt. The Krystal salt is probably the best, based on reviews from a lot of people using Salt/C. Also, I take each serving of salt in a glass of water, at least 8 oz. The vitamin C I use is Ester C, which is a slower release. I take 500mg of the Ester C with each 1g of salt, for the 1.5g vitamin C per day. This is generally considered a safe dose of vitamin C, although some doctors prefer 1g per day (important for those who have a history of kidney stones, for others much higher doses seem to be fine).
Several groups are advocating much higher doses of Salt and Vitamin C for Lyme, I have their links on the blog main page. They believe a therapeutic dose is 12g of salt and 12g of vitamin C per day. I have not tried that high of a dose yet, and am hoping that this lower and somewhat safer dose will continue to work for me. Perhaps some people need more, I know we are all unique. Some people may do better on the full 12g protocol. I'll describe my experience of starting the Salt/C protocol, and also include some information on the different salts I have tried.
According to reports by people using the salt/C treatment, at first most people experience some extra fatigue, some sleep during the day for a few days. This happened to me a few times, and I NEVER have slept during the day before. Even as a child I could not often sleep during the afternoon nap time. So the salt must really be having an effect. However, I found that I cant take it in the late evening, or it actually keeps me awake at night. Different people respond differently. Some people have the opposite response, and take the salt at night to help them sleep.
New symptoms may appear on Salt/C, particularly in the early weeks, but old ones diminish, so there is some sort of trade-off, probably due to the bacteria moving around. Many people feel little pin pricks around the body and on the skin, and the belief is that this is co-infections, parasites trying to escape the salt. Some people experience small bumps on the skin, such as on the back or arms or chest. They feel like insect bites, and some hypothesize that they are due to parasites, microfilarial worms, trying to exit the body.
There is a silver lining to all the flare-up, or symptom worsening on this treatment; the salt/C treatment gives most people more strength so they are more able to tolerate the die-off effect better. That is true in my case. I feel a little better almost immediately on the salt, and can tolerate the die-off better than I ordinarily would. This is unique among ALL of the Lyme treatments I have ever tried or read about. Virtually all of the other treatments make you both sicker and weaker at the same time, and you have to endure a lot to get better slowly.
Here are some other possible reactions to salt. Sometimes there are some heart palpitations when starting the salt, that is normal and will eventually resolve, and they are not too bad. It probably has to do with the shock of the nerves working properly again, and the body making adjustments as the bacteria load increases. Usually it passes quickly, but when that persists, I prop myself up on a few pillows for a half hour and rest, and then it passes. Does not happen often anymore, and some people never have this particular symptom. I also have experienced a heart mini-palpitation sometimes when I change position, usually when I lie down, I believe this is an adjustment, it does not persist. The Lyme bacteria often infects the heart, so that may be involved. That is then a good sign, if it is removing an infection from the heart area!
Another common symptom worsening from the salt is joint pain, I have had a little of that, not too much though. Also, some people get more vision disturbance events and have strange persistence in their vision (something they look at that is bright persists for 10-20 minutes after they look away from it), but that just means the bugs are dying and releasing their toxins, and the body clears that up regularly. Also, be aware that all of these reactions happen with ANY successful Lyme treatment.
Again, one major benefit of the salt is that you are stronger on the salt. This is due to the support of adrenals by salt. Also, there are some major and immediate symptom reductions, for instance, my anxiety level is about 50% reduced when I take salt. I have no idea why this is, but I am glad for that. Also, my digestion immediately improved, within a few days. I did have some worsening of Candida symptoms for the first week, then they started improving, and now are much better than before, and that is common. Also, the viral load appears to be reduced. Certainly a good sign.
I did have a Lyme diagnosis before starting Salt/C. I know some people have started the protocol because of their suspicion that they had Lyme. Apparently, with Lyme, you can get a positive result regardless of whether you are on treatment, so some people do start the treatment before they are diagnosed. If their symptoms worsen, that can be taken as a sign of Lyme die-off, although most will still want or need a test result.
I started my Salt/C experiment very slowly. The LymePhotos website recommends 8-12g per day of salt, and that works for some people, but others appear to need much less. I am only taking 4g per day, and I increase to 6-8g per day once every few weeks which I believe provides a 'pulse' and knocks down the bugs. I have read in some places that the Lyme bacteria reproduces on a 30 day cycle, it is very slow, but very hardy. So the 'pulse' approach maybe effective, even if there is only one or two pulses per month.
People who have been sick for a long time have a very high load of the Lyme bacteria, and need to whittle that down slowly. I am definitely in that group and have a very high load. There is a vision test that can show how high a person's Lyme load is. That is at www.chronicneurotoxins.com. I flunked that test only after I started treating the Lyme. I had taken it earlier and passed the test. The difference apparently is that some people detox the Lyme neurotoxins well, and then they will only show the neurotoxin presence when they are killing off the bacteria.
There are three types of salt that are known to work by people using Salt/C. These are CNC salt tablets (by Consolidated Midland), RealSalt (www.realsalt.com), and Hunza (Krystal) Salt. The dose for the RealSalt or Hunza Salt is ¼ = 1g. The CNC tablets are 1g already. I am rotating between RealSalt and CNC tablets. I also am using the Hunza salt, and believe it is the best of the three. CNC must be ordered through a pharmacy, but no prescription is required. The tablets are very convenient and seem important at first, they are medical grade unprocessed salt.
When I use the salt tablets, I take extra minerals with the salt. I take ¼ teaspoon of Concentrace with each 1g CNC salt tablet. Concentrace is a liquid mineral supplement that is balanced with all necessary trace minerals, it is available at most vitamin stores (www.traceminerals.com). If you use the CNC tablets extra minerals such as Concentrace are critical with each dose. If you use RealSalt or Hunza, you will already be getting some minerals, and you do not need as many extra mineral supplements, probably just a daily mineral tablet.
The CNC tablets must be ordered through a pharmacy, or purchased online. No prescription required, but they are usually not a stock item. Here is a source: AmericaRx . I get them at a local pharmacy. Very cheap, $6.99 for a bottle online, a dollar more through the local pharmacy, but no shipping cost if you order from the pharmacy.
In spite of the appearance, table salt is NOT natural salt. It is usually a Sodium-Chloride (NaCl) extract from sea salt. What we are sold as table salt is an extract from real salt. Like something from a chemistry lab, not from the earth. We need the real thing. Most people tolerate natural salt well, because that is nothing but a collection of minerals, and we need all of them. On the other hand, many people react to table salt, including with high BP, because of its unbalanced (complimentary minerals are missing) and adulterated nature (the addition of fillers, stabilizers, and use of bleach for coloration). Some sea salts are good, but some are processed similarly to table salt, including the bleach. A few people have tried Celtic and French sea salts, which are not processed, and think that works for the protocol. However, they are not as pure and may contain harmful metals or toxins from polluted ocean water. The mined salts (RealSalt and Hunza) do not contain those as they are ancient sources.
I do not get digestive upset from the salt, but some people do at first, until the stomach starts healing and gets stronger. Those who are sensitive and want to use CNC dissolve the tablet in water, and sip it slowly over a half hour or so. That works for some people. But for some people that makes the stomach worse, and they do better taking the salt serving all at once. I just use RealSalt or Krystal salt in water, but I can also take the CNC tablets straight. BTW, I was on HCL for digestion before the salt. After the salt, no more need for HCL. The CL in HCL comes from salt.
Regarding adrenals, most people with CFIDS and/or Lyme have adrenal exhaustion. I do take a larger dose in the morning to help the adrenals. I started initially at 1-2g per day on CNC tablets. Then I worked up to 8g per day for a few days, and had a massive herx and could not take salt for several days. Finally I tried RealSalt for a month, then I settled down to current dose levels with Krystal salt, which seems quite effective. I may increase again in a few weeks, still learning.