Sunday, July 24, 2005

Executive Summary of Salt/C

For those who just want a quick overview of how the Salt/C protocol works, here is an 'Executive Summary,' as it is being used in the Yahoo LymeStrategies group. This is simply a summary of what is working for many people who are using Salt/C. I am not a medical professional so therefore this is intended as a report and not advice for any health problem.


OVERVIEW

Salt/C is as simple as it sounds, taking the right salt with a good quality vitamin C product. The basic protocol is as follows. People usually begin with 1g per day of salt and 1g per day of vitamin C, and then gradually ramp up (increase the dose) over a period of weeks or even months to around 8-12g per day of each taken throughout the day. The rule of thumb for maximum target dose for most people with Lyme is 1g for every 15 lbs (6.75 kilos) of bodyweight. People who also have CFS should target a lower dose, which will be explained below. The rule of thumb for how fast to ramp up is to GO SLOWLY. Unlike ‘quick fix’ treatments we have all been conditioned to expect in medicine, this is a gentle and gradual, but very powerful treatment. Regaining your health through Salt/C is no race; everyone improves at their own rate.

THE SALTS

The best salts for Salt/C are the "CMC" brand salt tablets featured on LymePhotos.com, also Krystal Salt (Hunza or Himalayan), or RealSalt. Some people use Celtic sea salt and a few other unprocessed natural salts. The Krystal Salt is probably considered the most powerful and effective, and has a nearly perfect mineral balance. People using the CMC salt usually add a liquid mineral supplement as the CMC tablets are a pure NaCl formulation (pharmaceutical grade), and extra minerals are needed to offset the high sodium levels. Most people using Salt/C do not even CONSIDER using Table salt. Not only will that not work right, but 12g per day could be harmful due to the additives it contains. There is no agreed-upon best vitamin C product. Some people do better with natural preparations of vitamin C, others do better when bioflavinoids are included (slower release, such as Ester-C). But most people are able to use a standard vitamin C product successfully.

THE RAMP-UP

The period of time in which people ramp up to full dose is dependent on how well they feel as they take the salt. When they feel very poorly at a dose, usually they stay at that dose until they feel better again, and then increase the dose again. Or they may lower your dose until they feel better, then try increasing the dose again later. Some people can ramp-up to their full dose within 1-2 weeks, adding 1g per day, some add only 1g per week, and some people take many months to get to higher doses. The full dose varies, generally people target 8-12g, some go higher. This is based on body mass, the rule of thumb given is 1g per 15 lbs of body weight. However this is an arbitrary rule based only on anecdotal evidence. For people who are or suspect they might be salt sensitive, a much lower target is suggested, possibly half the amount of salt, or 1g per 30 lbs of body weight. Most people will feel a little better the first few days, but then gradually feel worse. This is defined as a ‘die-off’ reaction from killing pathogenic bacteria and other bugs, or a ‘Herxheimer’ effect (‘herx’ for short). For some people the herx involves exacerbation of symptoms they have had before. For others it involves completely new symptoms, often neurological in nature. The herx symptoms also tend to ‘flare-up’ every 3-5 weeks during Salt/C. The people who have succeeded in full remission of Lyme Disease have remained on the full protocol for at least 9 months, and up to 2 years. Some have chosen to remain at full dose after reaching "symptom-free" from Lyme, others have reduced to just a low "maintenance dose" (average 3 grams/day) and remained symptom-free.

THE WATER

Be sure to drink lots of pure water, sometimes with balanced trace minerals if possible (such as 'Concentrace' by www.TraceMinerals.com). Drink whenever you feel thirsty. Salt/C is an unsafe therapy if a person does not or can not drink a lot of water to flush out the excess salt. The rule of thumb is 8 oz of water for every 1g of salt. For people with weaker kidneys that may not be enough. So drink extra water, be sure to stay properly hydrated.

HELPFUL ADJUNCTS

Most people using Salt/C are also using other natural treatments as adjunct. This is usually customized to the needs of the individual, and often the adjuncts are designed to help manage the herx symptoms. Some common areas for adjuncts include detoxification enhancement (gentle liver cleansing), metal binding (Chlorella, Spirulina, etc.), immune enhancement, anti-candida supplementation (Candex or Candidase, or others), glutathione boosting (whey proteins, Recancostat), adrenal support, heart support (cayenne or combination heart supplements), and natural antibiotics (colloid silver, oregano oil, olive leaf extract, etc.) . Some people are using Salt/C in combination with prescription medications, and in some cases Salt/C appears to enhance the effects of the medication.

THE WARNING LABEL

Although many people are improving using Salt/C, and a few consider themselves 'cured', people also have had serious negative reactions. One person with MS had a worsening of her condition and lost her ability to walk. A few people appear to have had mild kidney damage and mild vision disturbance. This is a small minority, but every person counts. So here are some contraindications and warnings.

First the contraindications. People with a known history of hypertension, heart or kidney disease, or with CFS (those with ACE mutations) should probably skip Salt/C, or only should use very small doses, and track medical indicators to ensure it is safe for them. People with MS also should probably skip Salt/C, at least until more information is available about the one failure case.

Now the warnings for those well enough to try Salt/C. Probably everyone on salt/c should have a weekly BP check (self-administered, cuffs are not very expensive). If there is ANY concern about the safety of salt/c, a person should probably have regular kidney function testing, with an advanced test for microalbuminuria on occasion (a test for albumin in the urine). And make sure to have an eye exam and physical with heart exam at some point early in the protocol, and maybe regularly during the protocol. Also, a warning about water is in order. If a person does not drink adequate water, the effect on the kidneys is the same as if they increased their salt dose. For those with weak kidneys this could be problematic. If a person is not regular in their water drinking habits, they should create a tracking log or some other mechanism to ENSURE that they get a proper amount of water, at least 8 oz for every 1g of salt, or more.

Salt/C will produce some devastating herxheimer responses. These may obscure symptoms of salt intolerance. Therefore it may be important to go off Salt/C regularly and make sure that any strong symptoms can subside on their own and no new chronic health problems are emerging. The symptoms of salt intolerance or salt toxicity can vary. Based on a brief scan of the research and reports from people believing they are having salt intolerance symptoms, these could include unusual pains or functional limitations appearing in the heart, kidneys, eyes, or nerves. In particular, kidney area pain, severe thirst, edema, extreme mood swings (possibly due to electrolyte imbalances), heart or chest area pains, palpitations, left arm pains, severe shortness of breath, visual disturbances, or motor problems. Some of these types of symptoms can be the result of a herx so the presence of symptoms does not automatically indicate salt intolerance. Therefore, if a person has these symptoms, or other problems related to the organs mentioned that do not seem like a die-off response, they should be careful to record them, lower their Salt/C dose and see if the symptoms improve. If symptoms do not improve, they probably should stop Salt/C and seek medical testing.

The reason for these warnings is that salt is a toxin at very high doses. A dose of .5g/kg is considered unsafe by toxicologists. This would be 30g for a 132 lb person (60kg). Nobody on Salt/C should be taking that high of a dose, so we would seem to be safe. However, some people are hypersensitive to salt, for several reasons including a common mutation in the angiotensin system genetics (ACE). For these people, the effect of salt may be amplified, so they can be harmed by high doses. And the damage is not trivial, potentially including heart, kidney, eye and nerve injury. So why do we even want to take Salt/C then? Because for most people taking natural salts in the doses recommended is safe, and the potential benefits can be dramatic. But for a minority the risk is too great. These people will generally respond to a high salt dose with elevated BP, so regular BP checks are a first line of defense. And the other testing recommended should help ensure the safety of Salt/C. Remember that most ordinary people consume 9 g of salt daily anyway. So the salt doses on Salt/C are not as scary as this cautionary information might sound, but for those with salt sensitivity, an issue independent of Salt/C that affects people everywhere, these are important concerns.

For those concerned about this, but still interested in Salt/C, tests for the ACE gene mutation are available from several labs, so if a person is very worried about this they can get their DNA evaluated.

I strongly suggest that EVERYONE who tries Salt/C keep records of their symptoms, being brutally honest about the results they are happening. That may be helpful in decision-making about ramping-up, ramping-down or discontinuing the protocol during episodes of brain fog that can occur during the herx.

Good luck!


DISCLAIMER

I am not a doctor and am just sharing an anecdotal protocol that has helped some people. I have made every effort to provide a balanced view of the risks and rewards of Salt/C. Ultimately you are responsible for what you take into your body. If you have any concerns about Salt/C, please consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before making changes to your diet as discussed in this protocol.

61 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much !!

March 31, 2009 at 2:18:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How long should it be continued once you reach the maximmum dose?

July 5, 2009 at 12:44:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Kurt said...

How long to take salt/c? That is hard to say. As I have written on my 'salt/c warning label' blog entry, some people probably should not take it at all. However, some appear to do alright.

Assuming you are a person who has no problems with salt/c, most people stay at the maximum dose until their Lyme symptoms decrease substantially. That can take six months or up to two years by most accounts. At that point they scale down to a maintenance dose, usually a half or quarter of their full dose indefinitely.

Please be sure to read my other postings on salt/c, especially the 'warning label' post.

July 5, 2009 at 2:47:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,
I was originally diagnosed with MS 7 years ago but in March 09 i was diagnosed with Lyme disease after requesting a test.
My symptoms are MS related: mobility, balance, leg strength, bladder.
I dont have any typical Lyme symptoms like brain fog, cognitive issues.

You mention a MS patient who tried the Salt/C protocol but got much worse and ended up not being able to walk.
I really dont want to take this risk as i was/am a MS patient.

Have you learnt of anymore similiar cases like this?
or any further information of this lady?

thanks

October 11, 2009 at 7:08:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Kurt said...

Hi MS patient,
No, I have not heard of any additional situations like this one case of a woman with MS who lost her mobility while trying salt/c. My guess would be that the increased electrolytes of salt/c combined with poor nerve sheathing caused some new neuronal 'leaks' to appear. Or perhaps new nerve pathways appeared. Hard to say. Anyway, this argues for a very, very conservative approach to salt/c for anyone with neurological issues. Testing with micro-small doses, working up gradually, etc. Every person is unique, what works for one seems to hurt another at times, even with seemingly identical conditions.

October 11, 2009 at 3:35:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any bona fide research to support the salt/C protocol?

October 12, 2009 at 11:40:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Kurt said...

No, I do not know of any formal studies of salt/C. However a number of practitioners have tracked patients, although to my knowledge nothing has been reported to a scientific audience.

October 13, 2009 at 7:24:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have Lyme, major symptoms insomnia, brain fog, some headaches. I made sole today. How much sole should I work up to if I weigh 115 pounds?

October 14, 2009 at 1:38:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Kurt said...

Sorry, I can not give health advice like that. Also, this would depend on your sole concentration, how much salt you added. Sole is VERY dense and highly concentrated, so be careful. I can tell you that the 'rule of thumb' used by many salt/c advocates would be to work up to 1g of salt/c per 15 lbs body weight as a maximum dose. If you have CFS, you should cut that maximum in half due to poor kidney circulation that is common in CFS. I do not know how much sole is 1g of salt, although would guess that is is around one liquid teaspoon.

October 14, 2009 at 2:18:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Kurt said...

Continued.
I just learned on this website [http://www.quantumbalancing.com/news/sea_salt.htm] that sole is 26% salt, so my guess that a teaspoon is about 1g of salt was fairly accurate. That assumes full concentration sole, in other words, all possible salt has saturated into the water and some salt crystals are still visible. On the other hand if you are making a 1% or 3% brine as your 'sole', you would have to adjust the dosages accordingly.

October 14, 2009 at 2:22:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kurt. I have a suspicion that i might have gotten Lyme in late August. Had some tests done, but nothing definite. I am taking Salt/C occasionally. Last time was 3-4 days of roughly 10gsalt/10gC. Have been on same dosage for the last few days after a few weeks of not doing it. I'm not really feeling any worse, and wondering if that is evidence that i don't have lyme. some people are saying that they take a few grams and herx badly. if i am taking 10g each a day and not feeling bad, what does that say to you? also, are you familiar with the CD57 cell count test as a test for Lyme? mine was low at 56, where 60 is the lowest in the normal range. any thoughts?

November 6, 2009 at 9:28:00 AM EST  
Blogger Kurt said...

Dear Anonymous,
you might consider taking the Bowen test for the presence of the Lyme antigen (rather than the antibody test others have). Far more accurate. As far as the CD57 test, I do not know much about that except that it is a NK cell measure, which is suppressed in Lyme. 56 is not a terribly bad score, maybe showing very light NK depression. Probably you should be working with an LLMD (and MD who is 'lyme literate' and specializes). The exact mechanism of salt/c is unknown, although I speculate on some possibilities in my post 'the science of salt/c.' So hard to say what a lack of die-off symptoms means, it may simply mean that the infection is not very disseminated yet (early stage). I do know that if you DO have Lyme, right now you should be on 30 days of antibiotics, such as Doxycycline. You are in the window of golden opportunity, Lyme can only be completely eradicated by antibiotics in only the first few months. I would not use salt/c to treat an early-stage Lyme infection.

November 6, 2009 at 11:57:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi

Do you know if you can take the salt as a retention enema? I've been trying to ramp up taking the salt, and have made some progress, but have quite a bad stomach (h pylori related I believe) and at about 2g with food (1g lunch, 1g dinner)my stomach is now starting to gripe.

Many thanks.

November 16, 2009 at 9:59:00 AM EST  
Blogger Kurt said...

Dear Anonymous...

I know there are websites that say you can use salt as a retention enema, but sorry I have no experience there.

Generally salt/c seems to support stomach acids, so if your stomach lining is weak that makes sense. If 2g is too much then it is too much. I know some people have started with a very low dose, less than 1g per day, and worked up gradually.

November 16, 2009 at 12:22:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, thanks for the reply Kurt. Will have a dig around.

November 16, 2009 at 1:39:00 PM EST  
Anonymous constipation causes said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

March 17, 2010 at 11:53:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,
I just stumbled upon your site and have been reading your posts with great interest. Have been bedridden for many years with various diagnoses ranging from CF to Lyme/Lupus/pancreas/ruptured appendix etc. Anyway after having been thrown into the 'toohardbasket' by physicians I now totally rely on my faith which told me to fill some glass jars throughout the house with Himalayan rock salt and water and for the last year or so I've drank around 8-10 LITRES of water/day with a TABLE spoon of brine in each glass of water .. steadily improving heheh. I'll be adding more of the good C into the mix and will let you know.
Nice blog.

March 25, 2010 at 6:08:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Sue said...

I've been on the protocol for 6 weeks (dosing about 10/day salt & C), and the last 10 days-ish I've been noticing tiny red spots, bumps, and scabs ranging from pin-prick size to pin-head size on different spots on my body, mostly near my joints (and some on my tummy). Slightly itchy, but not too bad. I have had much severe joint pain the last couple of years with lyme... I can't help wondering if these might be areas where the bacteria and/or worms might be exiting through my skin? I definately feel little bumps underneath my skin in these areas that I tend to think are bacterial cysts. The red spots/bumps/scabs don't sound like a symptom of too much C or salt, from what I've read. Any thoughts about what this could be, or ever heard of anyone with this type of symptom? Will appreciate the info. Thanks for this great site! Sue ps... I also have a blog on blogspot about my experience with salt/c - it's http://savedbysalt.blogspot.com.

May 12, 2010 at 1:24:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Kurt said...

Hi Sue, thanks for your blog reference, always good to connect about salt/c. Yes, I have heard about those red spots, bumps and scabs for years from people theorizing that this is caused by bugs and worms 'leaving the body'. That is a nice comforting thought and perhaps there is some truth to that, however, more likely this seems like a sign of immune activation due to a better functioning immune response to some chronic infections. And that could be anything you are battling, not necessarily the Lyme bugs. For example, various members of the herpes family (HHV1-HHV8) can cause skin outbreaks, bumps and lesions, and we all carry many of those viruses. When one part of the immune system is freed-up I suspect it will proceed to attack other chronic infections, and we may get the associated immune flare-ups.

May 12, 2010 at 1:31:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Sue said...

Thanks for that info, Kurt. The good news about the red spots is that they don't bother me in any way.

I sometimes feel like I "should" be herxing more on this protocol. I have had a few serious herxes since I began several weeks ago, but for the most part they are few and far between. I guess I assumed that in the beginning months I would herx more, but I've also read that herxes tend to come around every 4 weeks or so. For the past couple of weeks, with the exception of a day or two, I have felt actually really fabulous (except for my joints - whenever I climb stairs or attempt to lift anything, I am reminded that my joints are not happy). When I can get down on the floor and do yoga again someday, and when I can bend and get into my kayak again, I will know I am truly better.....

Anyway, any thoughts on the herxes? Does it seem strange that I am feeling fantastic (mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and to a degree physically) in between herxes that come on every 2-4 weeks? For the most part, my energy is really good, too. I've always been a very high energy person and I can't say that I am back to my usual levels, but I feel like I'm 3/4 there (with the occasional draggy day once in awhile).

Thanks so much for your input. Have a wonderful weekend.... Sue

May 15, 2010 at 12:33:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Kurt,
I just stumbled upon your blog as I am researching the Vitamin C/salt protocol. My whole family has Lyme. My husband (49) has multiple neurological symptoms and is the worse. I (47) have mild neurological symptoms (buzzy feeling, muscle fasiculations/twitches) and my daughter (11) has shotting nerve pain 5-10 time a day as her main sx.
Do you think the salt/vitamin C regimen is something that we should consider? Do you think Is it OK to do this while we are also on antibiotics? We have been on antibiotics since April 10 and our daughter since May 10. I do not want her to be on antibiotics long though (we are the most protective of her naturally) and therefore I am looking for a more natural remedy for her as well as us.
Thank you so much for your time.
Karen

July 8, 2010 at 10:03:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Kurt said...

HI Karen,
Salt/c is certainly not a replacement for antibiotics. Lyme is a complicated problem, sorry to hear about a whole family with this (been there myself). There are some good books on natural therapies for Lyme, that is where I would start, particularly David Jernigen's book 'Beating Lyme Disease'. Salt/C is typically used more by people with chronic Lyme problems, if you fit in that category certainly it might help.
--Kurt

July 8, 2010 at 4:19:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Kurt said...

Karen,
One other thought, you have mentioned a lot of neuro symptoms. Those can be helped often by taking sublingual methyl form B12. In fact some antibiotics (particularly tetracyclines) actually deplete B12. This is an area I am studying right now, how Lyme and other co-infections deplete B vitamins and how that creates many of our symptoms.
You can email me if you like (see the 'Introduction' post), and I can share more about that, as I am not ready to post on the B12 connection quite yet.
--Kurt

July 8, 2010 at 4:23:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband has actually been receiving B12 injections. He gets them 2-3 x per week. Also, he gets an IV with glutothione, Alpha Lipolic acid and I believe B12 as well. I take B12 sublingual. My husband has had Lyme for atleast 2+ years (from time of sxs to diagnosis). I had a known bite last July 31 and began treatment April 1, 10. My sxs began this past Feb/March. I had tested negative on several tests until we used Igenx.

July 13, 2010 at 9:46:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Kurt said...

Karen,
Good that you are both getting B12. Getting the right form is essential, methyl forms are best. You might benefit from the book 'Could it be B12' by Pacholok & Stuart.

Based on what I have read, NEVER take cyanocobalamin, even though it is the most common form for sublinguals and injections. That is an inactive form that can make some problems worse, it partly breaks down into trace levels of cyanide which burdens neuro detox. Also, hydroxycobolomin is controversial, I would not get that either, only use the methyl form (methylcobalamin). Methylfolate can also be helpful, this is all explained in that book.

July 13, 2010 at 1:53:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kurt,

I stumbled upon your blog after starting the Salt/C regimin this week. I was diagnosed with Lymes last year, put on 2 forms of antibiotics (Cefuroxime Axetil and Doxycyckube Hyclate) for 8 weeks. Felt better until a stinging rash appeared, along with recognizable symptons of Lymes. I was tested again and it was back. Or, it never left my system and only relapsed. During the course of this ordeal, while it hasnt put me out of commission, I am left with joint pain after runs and yoga, as well as neck pain, etc. I am a firm believer in alternative medicine. So I am optimistic about the Salt/C approach. My body has handled it well this week and I started at 3g of salt and 3g of Vitamin C. At this point I have not noticed any difference. Have I not allowed sufficient time to pass? Also, if ever i decide to stop the protocol will all the benefits gained be reinstated? Thanks for 'leaning forward.'

August 10, 2010 at 5:58:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Kurt said...

Anon,
Are you following the protocol? That includes a ramping-up period. You might not respond much to the lower doses, every person's response appears to be somewhat individual. As for stopping, from what I know and have experienced, there may be some regression after stopping, but some of the benefits can be retained. I used salt/c for about two years and did gain some permanent benefits from that, I believe it helped straighten out some digestive issues.

August 11, 2010 at 3:17:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Kurt and others

I commenced salt/c for what I suspect is chronic fatigue syndrome and adrenal fatigue. I have been using a grey hand havested celtic salt which tastes great in filtered water. I've been doing this for about 3 weeks.

The last few days I developed what I thought was a head cold. Started off with a very bad sore throat, and then progressing to alot of mucus coming from the nose, and very runny at night. Is this a typical herxheimer reaction or do u think its possible I simply picked up a cold from work?

Thank you.

November 16, 2010 at 11:33:00 PM EST  
Blogger Kurt said...

Anon,
This can certainly be a herx reaction, that is fairly common. But also, if salt/c is helping your immune function in some way this might also be an ordinary viral response. I went for years of Lyme/CFS without normal colds, and after salt/c and B12 have them again at times.

November 17, 2010 at 12:58:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Kurt. Very much appreciated.

November 17, 2010 at 11:56:00 PM EST  
Blogger A.T. Sharp: said...

I find this protocol very interesting. I just started it yesterday and was advised to lower the dose. I was doing 2.5 grams salt/c at 3 times a day on the first day. I'm now at 1.25 grams only twice a day. I'm doing it for a parasite cleanse and a precaution to make sure the Lyme bugs are dead.

I had early stage Lyme, caught in time and treated over 4 months with standard ABX. However, even though I'm well now, I have lingering traces of symptoms. Elbow/arm pain, letter reversal, occasional balance issue, short-term memory block). Some suggest it could be Babesia; I disagree. None the less, I want to flush everything out.

So I'm feeling energetic and have a positive outlook, but am apprehensive. I plan to document and check my progress daily. This article and comments are very helpful. Thanks.

January 23, 2011 at 9:54:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Kurt
I have Chronic Lyme (CD 57: 22)(my whole 59 years probably) -- nematodes, spirochetes, probably Babesia and Bartonella, yeast, mycoplasma all seen upon microscopy. I read somewhere a short page on the Salt/C protocol and at 220 lbs went right to 1 tsp (1 gm) Sea Salt/C 3 times a day. I did that two weeks and felt very good. I ran out of sea salt (from Trader Joe's) and naively switched to kosher salt before I ran to the store for more sea salt. After one day of that, I swelled up in face, hands, and feet and my LLMD said it has to be sea salt! I was still a little swollen, so I didn't restart, but now it's been about five days off and I feel terrible: bilat ulnar nerve pain, anxiety, insomnia, back pain, neck pain, bilat torso pain. I'll go to the doctor today again, but what do you think about starting up again? Do you think this is a herx? Where can I find out more about the protocol? Thanks!

April 19, 2011 at 5:39:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Kurt said...

Hi Anon,
The full salt/c protocol is discussed on the Yahoo group LymeStrategies. [http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/lymestrategies/]

There might be someone there who can make suggestions. I do know that swelling is an undesireable side-effect, I doubt that is a herx, more than likely some type of sodium regulation problem triggered by the salt loading. Going right to 1tsp 3x daily would probably wreak havoc with aldosterone levels and sodium regulation. Who told you to do that? The salt/c protocol is a gradual ramp-up, the body must get used to this type of change. Also, 1tsp is about 5gm, not 1gm, so you started with a full dose, 15gm/day. If you were not taking much salt previously that might have caused all kinds of reactions, from bacterial die-off shock in the gut to a dehydration of the gut (if you did not have any glucose, too much salt without glucose pulls water out of the gut), and who knows what else. Sorry, I'm not a doc, this is all speculation, but definitely I recommend you get involved with a group using salt/c that follows a graded approach like LymeStrategies. Personally I do not use salt/c anymore because over several years I could not get it to work beyond the initial small improvement, and have learned more about dehydration/rehydration risks from salt alone. So now I do still take a lot of salt, but in a better balanced rehydration drink that is not as prone to causing those types of problems. FYI, I do play to post on rehydration therapy some time soon, it has been very helpful for my CFS and other symptoms.

April 21, 2011 at 3:26:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kurt, I have tested positive for Lyme (Borrelia Caucasica, Burgdorferi, Kochiii and Bartonlla Quintana) I have been on rounds of 3 different oral antibiotics and on a picc line with rocherin for 30 days. I asked my previous doctor to leave the picc line in place, but he would not listen. I have switched to a new doctor and I have confirmed RA, Reiters, Epstein Barr due to the Lyme. They currently have me on Humira to reduce the inflammation before they start any more antibiotics. I am very frustrated and feel very bad. These parasites have blurred my vision, enlarged my lymphnodes, given me chills, fever and made me feel like giving up and laying down. I want to start this salt/vitamin C protocol. Thank you for the Light (-: Tami

July 13, 2011 at 4:38:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day — or 1,500 mg if you're age 51 or older. Recommending 12,000 mg a day sounds like a recipe for disaster, especially considering 60% of Americans are obese and probably already have high blood pressure.

September 7, 2011 at 7:45:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Kurt said...

Anon,
Did you read the 'WARNING LABEL' part of this blog post? I am not recommending anything, just reporting what people are doing. Also, if someone ramps up carefully and slowly they will discover their tolerance, which for many people is 8-12g. If you read the average salt intake of Americans, many already consume 3,700 mg daily, which means some consume more than that amount (fast foods, packaged foods have high salt content). Anyway, this is a protocol only to be followed by reading the directions, not just taking huge doses of salt, which I agree, would be pretty risky.

The Salt Institute claims the CDC has an anti-salt agenda and I think that is right. Humans can tolerate a lot of salt, in fact a low-salt diet is pretty dangerous for many people. Only the small minority with ACE-deletions (a genetic issue) are significantly at risk, I believe that is only a few percent of the population. See 'http://www.saltinstitute.org/' for more information.

September 7, 2011 at 11:11:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, you said if you have CFS to maybe skip salt C. What if you have CFS but it is from Lyme and babesia and therefore may still be Lyme and babesia in spite of treatment? My LLMD didn't have the answers to what's causing my continuing symptoms, and I'm no longer doing treatment. I'm unsure if Salt C would be good for me or harmful. I don't think I have an ACE issue. Thanks for your thoughts on this.

November 12, 2011 at 5:18:00 AM EST  
Blogger Kurt said...

Hi Anon,
Research shows that most CFS patients have reduced bloodflow to the kidneys. I believe the amount of bloodflow is around 50% of normal. That means that higher salt loading, if it gets into the blood, might strain the kidneys. Of course if the salt stays in the gut, there is less problem, and I have no idea how to determine whether the salt is absorbed. I have wondered whether people with leaky gut are going to absorb more of the sale, just a random thought. Anyway, when I was using salt/c, I never went over about half the recommended dosage for Lyme, and I also have CFS.

One way to distinguish between just chronic Lyme and CFS is that people with CFS tend to be intolerant of exercise and get post-exertional malaise, sometimes very extreme. If you can exercise and get no 'pay back' symptoms or extreme malaise over the next few days, that MIGHT be an indicator you only have Lyme. But I'm no doctor, these are just my thoughts, anecdotal...please be extra sensitive to your body's response to salt/c if you try it and suspect you might have CFS.

November 13, 2011 at 9:27:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kurt,
I started the Salt & C protocol three weeks ago and have reclaimed over 30 new physical improvements. Starting with the smallest dose 1/4 tsp working up slowly to 1 tsp 3xs a day. I have had no problems with it at all other than being tired at first.I have chronic ms with drop footand use a walker and wheel chair. So far I can feel my feet and hands again, they are warm not icey, pain levels decreased and I am off all muscle relaxants.I am able to use both hands and do tasks without falling.The biggest shock is my nerve dead foot has now some movement.What a shock. There are over 30 more gains.I even lifted the mattress pad to tuck a sheet under! I turned to this treatment as ms meds didn't work on me. Years ago I was Lymes tested by my request. The standard blood test was given and it came out negative. Then arthritis hit me this year and slammed me. Same works on that but the salt and c got rid of the knee and finger swelling.I also had a tight cough that was driving me crazy for over a year and that has cleared up with the coconut oil. I have had no ill effects other than being really tired and draggy when I first started. I added coconut oil to my diet 1 tsp three times a day and that has added to more benefits. So now I am walking using both legs instead of dragging my right side around. It is not perfect but improvement of any kind is a tremendous help with everyday life. I actively manage a house for four and a crazy mutt and still work part time at my business. My swimming stroke is stronger on the right side as well. No neuro ever asked me about testing for Lymes . Not even after I told them at 18 after lying on grass and next day I came down with the flu. When I was better I looked down at my leg and there was a bulls eye ring rash as bigger than my fist. I thought it was a spider bite. Well better late than never.I have an appointment to see a Lymes Dr. Thanks for the great post and Good Luck

May 1, 2012 at 12:52:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My daughter, husband, and 12 year old daughter have severe Lyme. In regard to taking the the salt/vit C protocol, we wonder if taking the salt in capsules will be damaging?

Thank you

August 20, 2012 at 2:19:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Kurt said...

Sorry, I've not tried capsules, but don't imagine that would be a problem. However, I've used salt tablets, and they seem to work fine. But if you want the best effect, it seems that mixing the salt and vitamin C together is what helps most people.

August 20, 2012 at 3:25:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello -- Does the Salt/C protocol reduce the co-infections, e.g. Bartonella et al? Or, does it only effect the Lyme spirochetes?

October 4, 2012 at 11:49:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Kurt said...

I don't know of any research that could answer that question, sorry. The general belief is that it acts on all bacterial forms, however logically the strongest direct action of salt/c would be in the digestive system. There is also a hydrating effect that might help support immune and detox functions, so there may be some general-purpose support.

October 4, 2012 at 3:20:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what if I dont have lyme, but just want to ramp up my immune system. I have chronic prostatitis.

October 14, 2012 at 7:28:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Kurt said...

Hmm for that I don't see how salt/c could hurt, but also, not really a treatment specifically aimed at prostatitis.

Have you considered MMS? Or the use of north-pole magnets? The magnets can help reduce inflammation. I've posted on MMS on this blog also, just to give you some ideas. I use north-pole magnets from LyonLegacy.com

October 14, 2012 at 8:06:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At Anon.. Sea Salt Protocol theoretically creates an undesirable environment for any pathogen, causing it to die, or leave the body as an escape mechanism where it will then die. What I want to know is how the Sea Salt Protocol wouldn't kill off the healthy flora as well. It seems that the pathological flora would have to have a greater sensitivity the the environmental effects of the increase in salt than the normal healthy flora.

December 1, 2012 at 9:43:00 PM EST  
Blogger Kurt said...

the cell wall of pathogenic bacteria tends to absorb salt, bloat, and explode, whereas friendly flora have a harder cell wall and are not as vulnerable. look up gram-positive vs gram-negative bacteria and osmolality (ability to absorb salt). so friendly flora tend to be compatible with a salty environment, don't absorb the salt, think of the pickling process, for example.

December 1, 2012 at 10:55:00 PM EST  
Blogger Ras Mike said...

I do have lymes induced tachicardia and pvc's but I do consume about the regular salt intake per day so If im reading u right if I cut all other salts , then there would actually be no increase on this protocol? Am I correct to assume most of the so called dangers to kidneys and other organs are from the salt and not the vit.c?

February 18, 2013 at 3:39:00 PM EST  
Blogger Kurt said...

Yes, many people do what you suggest, cut out other salts so the total daily salt is not too far above normal intake. Sorry, I can't speak to any medical dangers to kidneys or other organs, each person is different. Some people already get a lot of salt in their diet, and this is just a change in how they take that in. I know from my own experience that large doses can be hard on the kidneys. If a person just had Lyme and not CFS, they may tolerate more. I have CFS and have never tolerated the full salt/c recommendations, and eventually I stopped using the salt/c protocol because it was not correcting the CFS. But I do continue taking vitamin C, but now I use a lower dose of salt in a rehydration drink. That seems to work as well as the higher levels of salt in the salt/c protocol. But probably that treats CFS problems of low blood volume and orthostatic intolerance, rather than the Lyme.

February 18, 2013 at 4:32:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read conflicting articles on the salt/vitamin c regime. One that I read stated to take the vitamin c/salt for a period of 3 days, then to rest for a period of 3-5 days. You are then to continue in this cycle until you are symptom free. I was wondering is this what you have heard or done? Or have you heard to take it continuously?

April 10, 2013 at 10:44:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Kurt said...

Anon, I've never heard of that protocol but the resting could make sense, for the kidneys. On the other hand, that starting and stopping so much might also confuse the regulation mechanisms. Don't know what to say. I took salt/c continuously for several years, but at half the suggested dose since I was sensitive to the higher doses (back pains, possibly kidney stress). Right now I use a milder form, an oral rehydration solution with added elements for a different purpose (to increase blood volume) and I have taken that continuously for several years now. Everyone is different, this is all still experimental, so careful trial and error to see what works is often the best advice.

April 10, 2013 at 11:30:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your response. I was wondering what exactly you mean by "the regulation mechanisms"?

April 11, 2013 at 9:55:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Kurt said...

regulation mechanisms = the regulation of mineral levels in the blood. The adrenals and kidneys regulate sodium levels using special hormones, and the adrenals are managed by the hypothalamus (an autonomic function in the brain), so this is a complex regulation mechanism. I can imagine that system might be taxed by an on-off-on-off salt/c protocol.

April 11, 2013 at 4:32:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't thank you enough for this post. I've been working through treatment of acute\late stage lyme for the last couple of months and it's been a nightmare of antibiotics, anti-parasitics and cyst busters. I was herxing for the first few weeks and then it seemed to taper off. Almost a week ago, I started high doses of Vitamin C to help get over a nasty cold and couldn't figure out why the herx symptoms were back and worse than before! The pain, brain fog, hand shaking and some brand-new symptoms were making me crazy but it looks as though i was inadvertently starting a Vit C protocol without realizing it. Thanks again.

May 23, 2013 at 1:03:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Margaret Horn said...

How do you avoid diarrhea? I have c. diff. I just started using Himalayan Salt liberally on my food, but that's all so far. I am also a Lyme sufferer, and have been dxed with CFS, though I don't know if they are separate or not. Thanks, Margaret

May 29, 2013 at 4:21:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noticed that you said you were using a different protocol since the Salt/C had limited benefit. Could you tell us what you are using now/have found to be of more benefit for CFS? Thanks!

June 28, 2013 at 3:44:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Kurt said...

Thanks for the reminder, I need to write a post about what I am using now. It is a variation on salt/c, not as much salt, and a few more ingredients besides just vitamin C, and also it is based on a type of thin rice milk rather than just water. I call this an oral rehydration solution since that is the more common term for this type of preparation (ORS). The ORS addresses many more issues than salt/c, and it works very well. Please check back or subscribe, I will post something soon hopefully.

June 28, 2013 at 5:48:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read a lot of promising effects from liposomal vitamin C. Apparently, from what I have read, liposomal vitamin C is about 5-times more bio-available than IV vitamin C. Have you heard any information on liposomal vitamin C, and if so, how would you suggest dosing liposomal vitamin C. If lipo c is more "potent" than IV C and IV C is more "potent" than oral ascorbic acid, then it may follow that 12 grams of lipo C may be "overkill" for treatment. Your thoughts?

August 27, 2013 at 12:08:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Ayla Morgellons said...

This was very helpful, Kurt. Thank you for taking the time to frame it out so well.

September 9, 2013 at 9:05:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Kurt said...

To Anon liposomal Vit C comment above, I read about that some years ago and tried using a rather expensive lipo C preparation. And I noticed no significant gains, from the initial few doses there was a brief sensation that lasted maybe an hour or two of increased clarity of mind. That's all, and it did not persist with subsequent doses. So I have to say for me there was not a significant difference. Ester-C seems to work fine.

September 10, 2013 at 3:21:00 PM EDT  
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