Lyme Disease Community
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Avatar universal

Doxycycline and Dairy

I was just diagnosed with lyme disease and will be taking Doxycycline for 30 days.  Can anyone tell me if I must avoid dairy entirely or just avoid it a couple of hours before and after taking this antibiotics?
27 Responses
Avatar universal
2 hours distance should be fine, but I did read something online saying some people need longer than this if their digestive system is slower than average.
You need to avoid other foods rich in calcium too, it's the calcium that blocks absorption.
Avatar universal
There is a link posted to a recent article on this forum that includes this very topic.  It is indeed calcium that is the issue, so no calcium rich foods or supplements within 2-3 hours of a dose.  You might Google "dairy rich foods" to see what else to restrict.

I am starting Doxy tomorrow (twice a day), so I will be limiting my dairy and calcium supplements to lunch time. I am going to have to put a note in the fridge so I don't forget (a frequent occurrence).  I love cheese!
Avatar universal
Thank you for the reply.
Avatar universal
Thanks ricobord.  Problem is I am a vegetarian and depend on cheeses, yogurt and dairy.  If I wait 2-3 hours I should be safe, correct.
Avatar universal
I think 3 hours should be fine.
You could keep rice milk in the fridge so at least you can use that in tea and coffee when you're in the no dairy zone. Just check you're not buying one "enriched with calcium".
And I guess you could prowl around the supermarket looking for dairy alternatives. gg custard is good nutritionally instead of yoghurt, provided you make it yourself with real eggs.
Avatar universal
I am so pleased to have found this website.  It appears that many of you are very knowledgeable in this disease.  Since my diagnosis is less than a week old am spending hours on the internet doing research on the subject.  The information out there is overwhelming and apparently controversial.  Will do my best to sift though the piles of data as well as rely on some of you well informed participants on this website.  You will be hearing from me again and again with what may appear to be baby step questions so please bare with this neophyte.  In the meantime have a great week-end all.
Avatar universal
We're glad you're here -- sorry you have reason to BE here, but it's good company.  

Take care, and don't despair!
Avatar universal
I like dairy, too. I regularly eat yogurt and cheese, and sometimes milk with cereal. I just started doxy last night and I am already missing my yogurt.

Do you know how long you had Lyme before you got diagnosed?  Did you have any trouble getting diagnosed?
Avatar universal
I was bitten by a tick early July.  Had it analyzed and indeed it was a deer tick.  My symptoms were that of Bell's Palsey where half of my face became partially numb.  The first time it happened I thought that I was having a TIA and took myself to the emergency room.  They too thought it to be a TIA.  To shorten a long story I had an ultra sound, blood test and MRI all of which were negative.  No stroke, no Bell's Palsey and the doctors were at a loss as to what it could be.  My doctor works with lyme disease and has made it her specialty. I live in an area where lyme is rampant. We discussed my other symptoms keeping in mind the tick bite in July as well as numerous other tick bites that I never had analyzed and voila, lyme disease.
I just finished reading Healing Lyme by Stephen Buhner and he strongly suggests that you add herbs to the antibiotic regimen. He feels that they are synergistic.  I am starting the doxy today as I ordered several bottles of probiotics and did not want to start without them.  Am also looking into other protocols such as those of Klinghardt and a few others.  As far as a good doctor who specializes in lyme I am not too sure that mine is the answer.  Have contacted Lliads for names and a local support group whom I will speak with today.  If I am going to go through this nightmare then I want to do it with the best or self medicate. Am doing copious research and should come to some kind of conclusion within the next few days as to which protocol I am going to follow.
How about you, how did you get diagnosed?
Avatar universal
I got diagnosed only after I figured it out for myself via online research. I'd had chronic symptoms for 16 months, but had gotten infected 6 years earlier.

I went through a dozen doctors, multiple MRIs, CTs, blood tests, 2 ER visits, and a hospitalization with no answers.  I was referred to an MS specialist, but before the appointment, I went to a LLMD in my area who came highly recommended.  I was diagnosed with Lyme and Bartonella there.  Recently, 11 months after I started treatment, I was diagnosed with Babesia as well.

None of my doctors thought of Lyme.  I suggested it when my neuro was stumped. I tested negative in the blood and CSF, so he and every doctor after that said it couldn't be Lyme. Except the LLMD and PA, of course. I tested positive at IGeneX using IGeneX's interpretation.

My symptoms are more like the European neurologic version (borrelia garinii) of Lyme Disease. I got mine in Australia, where doctors & labs have so far identified three different species causing Lyme, including b.garinii. I am very consistent with the Australian presentation. Very few patients there test CDC positive. Unfortunately, doctors here have been told to blindly follow the tests, even though up to half of US-acquired Lyme patients also test false negative. My hospitalist insisted I didn't have Lyme and Babesia as I suspected because it's was "Too unlikely!"

My doc uses the integrated approach of herbs and antibiotics.  I do not think that herbs can cure a disseminated case of Lyme, although many have achieved a level of remission and wellness where the immune system holds it in check.  I am going for a complete cure, so I'm taking abx and herbs.  Several of the various supplements I have taken have really helped. Magnesium and methyl-b12 shots were the most noticeable.

Keep us posted!

Avatar universal
Just wrote you a long comment and it did not post.  Que pasa!  Tired will try again tomorrow.  Have a great evening.
Avatar universal
The MedHelp computer system is having some problems lately -- I'm guessing you tried to post and got a blank pane saying 'failed to post'.

MedHelp is working on it, but till it's fixed, there is a character limit per message of 1000 characters -- but I never know when I hit that number, so I just keep typing, and when I hit 'post a comment' and get that 'failed to post screen', then hit the back arrow, and you will return to this page, where your typed text is still in place.  

So highlight the text, copy it, and paste it somewhere else (in a Word doc, in a draft email, whatever), and then copy a short chunk and paste it into the window, hit 'post', and the keep copying and pasting into successive comment windows till you're done.

It's a hassle, but better than losing a whole long message.  I've also noticed that the scroll bar on the right side of the comment-compose window I'm typing in now shows an approximate 1000 word message when the slider in the scroll bar gets down to the bottom and is square rather than tall.  So at that point, you've just about hit 1000 characters and need to paste.

Good luck!  
Avatar universal
Will do and thanks for the info. Yes, I did write some long well thought out comments only to lose them.  In the future will make them shorter and to be continued.
Avatar universal
Sorry that you had to go though so much suffering before your self diagnoses.  Unfortunately most doctors haven't a clue and this is a real problem for Jo average who is not inclined to do the research.  Did you know that there are 2 gods in this world, yes, it is true.  The first being God the Father and the second being god the doctor.  When the latter says "jump" the patient says "how high," and this is the problem.  You were smart enough to do your own research then find a doctor to guide you through this maze of problems.  Kudos!

Based on my very extensive one week of research I too have concluded that the integrative method is the way that I want to go.  I have copied and read Dr.Burrascano's protocol as well as purchased and read Stephen Buhner's Healing Lyme.  Both are excellent, however, Buhner uses herbs that I believe will only add to the program.    to be continued
Avatar universal
Checked with a few sources and they suggested that I wait for 4 hours before ingesting any form of dairy.  They did not feel that 2-3 hours was enough time.
Avatar universal
Since you just started your Doxy this week then we are both beginning a very long journey.  How would you like to keep a log and share what you are doing, specifically what you are taking, how much of each and how often?  I would do likewise and we can compare notes. Let's share what appears to work and what doesn't. Anyone else who cares to chime in please do so as the more feedback the merrier.
Avatar universal
Strangely enough, I am now on Doxy nearly a year into my treatment.  My doc rotates abx as soon as a patient plateaus on one.  He also usually gives two at a time.  I have been on a whole bunch of them, probably more than is typical due to some complications that forced even more switches.

The big guns for me have been Bicillin LA shots.  Usually late stage neuro disease like mine calls for IV Rocephin, but I was having gallbladder pain.  Since Rocephin can be hard on the gb, I started Bicillin shots instead.  Since they're working, I'm still on them.  I do not think orals alone would have cured me. I had what they call encephalopathy.

I think it's a bit odd that I was prescribed Doxy at this point, as it's usually used early in treatment.  I will be asking about it at my next appointment.
Avatar universal
That's interesting. If it's 4 hours that sounds as if you basically have to cut out dairy altogether, right?
Now I think of it, what does it say in the leaflet that comes with the doxy? Usually they are specific about the rules!
Avatar universal
Depending on how often the doxy is taken, it might be possible to create a 'window' around, say, lunch, and eat dairy then.

I cut dairy out of my diet a while back, and get calcium from other things.

Good plant sources of calcium include:

--    Green leafy vegetables: spring greens, kale, broccoli, parsley.

      (Spinach is not a good source of calcium. It is high in calcium, but the calcium is bound to oxalates and therefore poorly absorbed.)
--    Fortified foods such as soya milk
--    White flour (as calcium is added by law) and white flour products
--    Calcium-set tofu
--    Oranges
--    Figs and black molasses
--    Drinking 'hard water' (meaning water with a naturally high mineral content) can provide 200mg of calcium daily, although soft water contains almost none
Avatar universal
Four hours gives you plenty of time to eat dairy at lunch.  The information pamphlet on Doxy made no mention of deleting dairy.  It was at the suggestion of my doctor.
Avatar universal
You mentioned a lot of good sources for calcium, that be said, I believe that we were less concerned with the calcium intake and more concerned about not being able to include it in our diet. I miss my morning cup of java with milk so I have switched to peppermint tea.

Soy milk is a source of calcium but I would stay away from it unless it is organic. Almost 100% of the soy grown in this country is GMO and the organic labeling has recently come into question. It is a real problem where so many of the big corporation who bought out some of the smaller and more successful organic companies and gave big bucks to fight proposition 37.  They want to continue using GMO products without stating it on their labels. Monsanto is as evil as it gets.
Avatar universal
i was told by my doctor to take yogurt while taking doxycline. she did not say 2 hrs before or after. i eat yogurt just before my doxycycline. now i am worried and confused. i am already done with my antibiotics for 10 days. im wondering  if i got the most of the medicine since i have been taking it with yogurt. please help
Avatar universal
I answered your poll----here is a copy of it:

The further away from doxy that a person takes yogurt or any other calcium containing food the better---- milk, ice cream, foods high in calcium etc.

As you said----- you didn't get 'most' your meds but you did get some, maybe even more than" some;" I've never read information about just how much is not absorbed.

But----- if you only took doxy for 10 days (did I read that right?)------Or did you mean you've finished with it?
Avatar universal
hello cave76 i have finished my medications only 10 days. thank you so much for replying to me. i was concerned that my infections didnt resolve it all because if i have been eating yogurt with it and not getting the most of my doxycycline would that also means that it didnt kill all the bacteria?
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