Talking Ticks with Dr. Casey Kelley

Katie Curnan

Casey Kelley, MD, a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine (IFM), a Director on the board of the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), Founding Member of the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM), and faculty at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, and Founder of Case Integrative Health, talked ticks in the kick off to this new new monthly column exclusively for Ranger Ready. Each month, Dr. Kelley will talk with Alex Moresco, Lyme warrior, tick-borne disease advocate and owner of A Moresco PR
Casey Kelley, MD, a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine (IFM), a Director on the board of the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), Founding Member of the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM), and faculty at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, and Founder of Case Integrative Health, talked ticks in the kick off to this new new monthly column exclusively for Ranger Ready. Each month, Dr. Kelley will talk with Alex Moresco, Lyme warrior, tick-borne disease advocate and owner of A Moresco PR, to answer questions about Lyme disease & other tick-borne illnesses. 

This month, we put out a call for questions from the Lyme disease community. Dr. Kelley, of Case Integrative Health, answered your top questions with the over theme of “gut health."

Q: In your opinion, what is the best diet to nurture the gut?

- Renée

Dr. Casey Kelley: This is a hard question to answer because every gut is different, but in general an anti-inflammatory diet that is low in gluten, dairy, and sugar is a great place to start. Foods that help feed the microbiome (prebiotics) and foods that continue good bacteria (probiotics) are also recommended, as well as things like bone broth to truly help heal the gut. 

Q: Is there a specific order in which you treat your patients gut issues, or is it on an individual basis?

- Sol, NC

A: It is very individualized, but it’s important to remove the bad pathogens, replace things that are missing like digestive enzymes, reinoculate with good bacteria and then repair the gut with things like glutamine. These are the Functional Medicine “4 R’s” of gut healing.  

Q: Why is the gut called “the second brain?”

- Lynda, IL 

A: Great question! There are very strong connections between the brain and the gut. Have you ever been so nervous that you wanted to throw up? Do you ever get hangry? The enteric nervous system, which is the network of nerves in the gut that keep it moving, is highly intertwined with the brain. Most of your neurotransmitters, like serotonin, are actually made in the gut. And we are finding that certain good bacteria in the microbiome can help improve your mood! 

Q: What is one thing you wish that all patients knew about Lyme disease?

- Anonymous

A: Lyme disease is not a death sentence. It’s complex and can take a long time to heal, but in time, with the proper medical team, you can start to win back your health and live a very long and prosperous life with Lyme. This is why at my practice, Case Integrative Health, I take the time to create a custom approach for each patient based on their case - as it should be!

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As always, Dr. Kelley and Moresco recommend wearing insect repellent with Picaridin 20%, the safe and effective alternative to DEET. Picaridin is safe to apply directly to skin every day for adults, children over the age of 1 and women who are pregnant. It protects against ticks and mosquitos for 12 hours, has a non-greasy feel and is non-corrosive, so it’s also safe for clothing and gear. Ranger Ready Repellents with Picaridin 20% has an even better user experience with four different scents of Picaridin insect repellent: Scent Zero, Amber, Ranger Orange, and Night Sky.