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Opinions expressed by contributors are their own. Jennifer Crystal is a writer and educator in Boston. Her work has appeared in local and national publications including Harvard Health Publishing and The Boston Globe. As a GLA columnist for over six years, her work on GLA.org has received mention in publications such as The New Yorker, weatherchannel.com, CQ Researcher, and ProHealth.com. Jennifer is a patient advocate who has dealt with chronic illness, including Lyme and other tick-borne infections. Her memoir about her medical journey is forthcoming. Contact her via email below.

Email: lymewarriorjennifercrystal@gmail.com

Articles

Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Babesiosis, Air Hunger, and Lab Work
November 28, 2022
Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Do you have a question for Jennifer? If so, email her at lymewarriorjennifercrystal@gmail.com. Have you had long term p...
Dear Lyme Warrior ... Help! Herxheimer Reactions, Fatigue, and Healing Without the Use of Antibiotics
November 1, 2022
Every couple months, Lyme Warrior Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Here are her answers to questions she is frequently asked. Do you have a question for Jennifer? Email h...
Lyme Disease and Sensory Overload
August 22, 2022
Lyme disease can result in sensory overloading, causing patients to develop a sensitivity to both light and sound.  A few years ago, some new friends invited me for a night out at what I thought was g...
Lyme Disease and The Effects of Vitamin D
August 16, 2022
Lyme disease can deplete your vitamin D levels–which ironically, are essential in your recovery. Read about the positive effects of Vitamin D and techniques to increase it. While kayaking recently, a ...
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Lyme Diagnoses, Testing, and Bloodwork.
August 12, 2022
  Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Do you have a question for Jennifer? If so, email her at lymewarriorjennifercrystal@gmail.com. How were you finally d...
When Lyme Disease Takes Away Your Energy
July 21, 2022
Those with Lyme are not lazy or unmotivated. They are suffering from a lack of energy as a result of fighting an invisible illness.  During my long convalescence with Lyme disease, I was close to bedr...
Lack of Respect for Those With Lyme Disease
July 15, 2022
Lyme disease patients deserve to be treated with respect from not only doctors, but also colleagues, friends, and family.  The other day I went for a standard blood draw, something I’ve been doing eve...
When Lyme Interrupts Your Life Path
July 5, 2022
Lyme and other tick-borne diseases can change the trajectory of your life, but this perspective is what you need to keep moving forward.  I’m a natural planner. As a child, I’d line up my stuffed anim...
Lyme and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
June 16, 2022
Many who contract chronic Lyme disease develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of the stress, pain, and suffering. For many years after my April 2007 relapse of Lyme and other tick-b...
The Most Helpful Thing in My Lyme Journey
June 14, 2022
The article discusses the one thing that has helped me most in my Lyme journey. Lyme warriors write to me every day to ask what helped me get better. Many of them have been suffering from persistent s...
Things I Didn’t Know About Lyme Disease Until I Got It
June 6, 2022
Here is some important information about Lyme disease that I only learned after having contracted it.  Before I was accurately diagnosed with Lyme disease (and other tick-borne infections)—eight years...
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Tick Bites and Co-Infections
May 27, 2022
Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Do you have a question for Jennifer? If so, email her at lymewarriorjennifercrystal@gmail.com. Now that tick season is ...
Is it Lyme or a Co-infection? Knowing the Difference Can Make a Difference
April 26, 2022
In addition to Lyme disease, ticks can transmit a variety of co-infections that make it more difficult to receive an accurate diagnosis and complicate the healing process. As tick populations and Lyme...
Where Am I? Disorientation and Lyme Disease
April 22, 2022
Do you know what it's like to have Lyme disease and suffer from disorientation? It can result in confusion or forgetfulness.  The other night while making dinner, I thought of something I needed to ad...
Dear Lyme Warrior...Help! Self-Image and Memory Loss
April 11, 2022
As a Lyme warrior, how do I love and forgive this new version of myself, even though it’s not who I am at my core? Do you have a question for Jennifer Crystal? Email her at jennifercrystalwriter@gmail...
Lyme Disease and the Eyes
March 18, 2022
Lyme and other tick-borne diseases can cause many ocular manifestations including double or blurry vision, floaters, conjunctivitis (pink eye), inflammation of several parts of the eye, sensitivity to...
How to Promote Healing from Lyme Disease
February 28, 2022
Here are several ways to support one's recovery including following a Lyme diet, detoxing, and listening to your body. If you’ve been diagnosed with Lyme disease, the most pressing question you probab...
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Lyme disease and Mood Swings, Epstein-Barr Virus, and Body Aches.
February 15, 2022
Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Below she answers some that she’s recently received. Do you have a question for Jennifer? If so, email her at lymewarri...
Reactivated Infections: A Possible Piece of the Chronic Illness Puzzle
January 28, 2022
Did you know that old infections can get reactivated due to COVID-19 or tick-borne illness? For almost two years now, comparisons have been drawn between long-haul COVID-19 and long-haul tick-borne il...
Lyme Disease and Fatigue
January 21, 2022
The severity of fatigue that comes with Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses can be difficult to describe because Lyme disease fatigue is a whole different story When I was sick with COVID-19 in 2020, ...
What it Means for a Patient to be Heard
December 15, 2021
A friend experiencing unusual fatigue finally went to see a doctor recently. “I was so nervous,” she told me. “I was afraid he wouldn’t believe me.”
Adjunct Therapies That Have Helped with My Tick-Borne Illnesses
November 30, 2021
Jen Crystal discusses the adjunct therapies that helped her in her Lyme disease journey. Patients write to me every day asking what helped me achieve remission from tick-borne illness. I wish there wa...
How Does Having Lyme Disease Affect Your Relationships?
November 8, 2021
Countless Lyme disease patients have asked me, has Lyme disease affected your relationships?
Lyme Disease and Depression
October 6, 2021
Many people who are fighting Lyme disease also suffer from depression. “Maybe you’re just depressed.”
Dear Lyme Warrior...Help! Lyme Treatment and Dormant Spirochetes
September 26, 2021
Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Do you have a question for Jennifer? If so, email her at lymewarriorjennifercrystal@gmail.com.
Anxiety and Lyme Disease
July 12, 2021
Tick-borne illnesses can not only exacerbate underlying anxiety, but also cause it. I have always been an anxious person. My mother says that as a child, I looked carefully around any new environment,...
The Value of Independence for the Chronically Ill
July 2, 2021
"I needed help with everything: cooking, cleaning, even washing my hair. As medical bills mounted, my savings quickly dwindled, and along with it, my precious independence." When my friend’s son was a...
Dear Lyme Warrior...Help!
June 28, 2021
Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Do you have a question for Jennifer? If so, email her at lymewarriorjennifercrystal@gmail.com.
Gastrointestinal Issues with Lyme Disease
June 21, 2021
Lyme disease patients can develop gastrointestinal issues from the prolonged use of antibiotics and the infection itself.  When patients consider taking long-term antibiotics for persistent Lyme disea...
The Danger of “Waiting and Seeing” With Lyme Disease
June 14, 2021
When someone finds an engorged tick, their doctor may tell them to “wait and see” if they develop a rash or other symptoms. This approach is downright dangerous. Here’s why.   Though ticks are a year-...
What Helps Improve Cognitive Function for Lyme Patients?
June 2, 2021
Here are some tips to help improve cognitive function for those suffering from Lyme disease. When Lyme disease bacteria ( spirochetes) cross the blood-brain barrier, they can cause myriad neurological...
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Pulsing Antibiotics, Rashes, and Insomnia
May 26, 2021
Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Do you have a question for Jennifer? If so, email her at lymewarriorjennifercrystal@gmail.com.   Is it helpful to pulse...
Did You Pull a Tick Off of You? Here’s Why You Should Keep It
May 20, 2021
Ticks can carry multiple disease, including Lyme disease and other co-infections, which is why you should save the tick and send it out for testing.   Recently, a friend texted me a photo of a tick sh...
The Lyme Diet
May 12, 2021
Tips for what to eat when you have Lyme disease Many patients write to me asking about what is commonly known as “The Lyme Diet.” Since I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I stick to a low-sugar, gl...
5 Reasons Why You Should Care About Lyme Disease
May 4, 2021
"The fact is, everyone should care about Lyme disease. Here are five reasons why." May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Some people may think, “Oh, I already know about Lyme disease. You only have it ...
Lyme Symptoms: Nervous System Inflammation
April 26, 2021
We patients must remember that Lyme is an inflammatory disease. Flare-ups often involve increased inflammation.
Tips for Time Management When Living with Chronic Illness
April 16, 2021
by Jennifer Crystal Time management is not easy for the chronically ill, but these tips have helped me to make my life not just manageable, but also enjoyable. During my acute phase of Lyme disease, b...
The Impatient Patient
April 12, 2021
by Jennifer Crystal When would I get better? Why was I not seeing improvement every day? Recently a friend’s toddler son asked her for a snack. Holding his baby sister, my friend told her son he’d nee...
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Anti-Inflammatory Diets and GLA's Peer to Peer Mentorship Program
April 6, 2021
by Jennifer Crystal Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Do you have a question for Jennifer? If so, email her at lymewarriorjennifercrystal@gmail.com. Why ...
Excessive Thirst and Lyme Disease
March 29, 2021
Did you know that Lyme disease can result in excessive thirst? Read about a woman's Lyme journey, how she persevered after doctors had brushed her off, and what she did to combat the thirst.  One of m...
Saving Spoons: Not Just of Energy, But of Time
March 22, 2021
Those with Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses may struggle to complete daily tasks and activities due to a lack of energy. The “Spoon Theory” has become well-known in the chronic illness worl...
Beating the Winter Blues
March 8, 2021
By Jennifer Crystal In the best of times, late winter can drag for people. Cabin fever and a longing for sunshine and warmth make us feel like we’re in the movie Groundhog Day, repeating the same scen...
Long Haul COVID-19 Brings Attention to Persistent Lyme
March 1, 2021
by Jennifer Crystal This past January, the New York Times published an article entitled “ What if You Never Get Better From Covid-19?”. Many Lyme patients sent it to me in frustration. “This is just l...
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Steroids and Air Hunger
February 22, 2021
by Jennifer Crystal
Could You Be Co-infected With Bartonella?
February 18, 2021
 
I Have Lyme Disease. Should I Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?
February 8, 2021
Sometimes the Memory is Better Than the Real Thing
February 1, 2021
By Jennifer Crystal
Lyme and the Limbic System
January 19, 2021
By Jennifer Crystal
Staying the Course When the End is in Sight
January 11, 2021
by Jennifer Crystal
Dear Lyme Warrior...Help! Rheumatoid Arthritis, the CD-57 Test, and the Use of Sleep Medication
January 4, 2021
by Jennifer Crystal
2020: The Lyme Year in Review
December 29, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
The Holidays: Ways to Participate When You Can’t Be There in Person
December 21, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal As the holidays near and COVID-19 numbers spike, people are scrambling to figure out plans. Should they travel? Can they see family? If not, will the holidays still be the holidays...
The Role of Technology for Lyme Disease Patients
December 14, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Lyme and Memory Loss
December 7, 2020
What causes memory loss specifically? And what does it feel like to experience it?
Lessons from Lyme: Lockdown Isn’t Forever
November 30, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Dear Lyme Warrior...Help! Lyme Disease Remission and Alzheimers
November 23, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Wondering What to Say to a Lyme Patient? Try These Conversation Starters
November 15, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
The Relationship Between Candida and Lyme Disease
November 9, 2020
Strategies and treatments for Lyme patients to avoid Candida overgrowth  
Living With Lyme Disease: The Beauty of Adaptation
November 3, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
What Avril Lavigne's Virtual #FightLyme Concert Taught Me
October 30, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
My Lyme Disease Is In Remission. How Do I Keep It That Way?
October 20, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Lyme and Covid-19 Vaccine
October 15, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Living in the Present While Worrying About the Future
October 6, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Breaking Down Lyme Disease and the Blood-Brain Barrier
October 1, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
What Lyme Patients Can Teach Us About the New Normal
September 25, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Have You Heard of the Tick-Borne Disease Babesiosis?
September 15, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Intravenous Antibiotics for Lyme: Pros, Cons, and the Lived Experience
September 3, 2020
Has your doctor recommended you get a PICC line to treat your Lyme disease? Here are the pros and cons of IV antibiotics for Lyme. When diagnosed right away, many cases of Lyme disease can be treated ...
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Tick Bites, Being Bedridden, and Migraine Treatments
August 27, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Cooling Off When Swimming Isn’t an Option
August 19, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Corona With a Twist of Lyme: Part 4
August 13, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Differentiating Between Babesia and COVID-19 Air Hunger
August 5, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
We’re Not Out of the Woods Yet
July 29, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Calculating Risks
July 17, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Finding a Job with a Chronic Illness
July 10, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
You Know Your Body Best
July 7, 2020
We grow up thinking of doctors as all-knowing. That whatever "the doctor" said—be it the Primary Care Physician, the family doctor, or the ER doctor—was once deemed absolute. This doesn’t have to be t...
Managing Burning Extremities
June 26, 2020
Dealing with unexplained symptoms? Don’t rule out Lyme & other tick-borne diseases.  Last night I went to sleep about an hour past my usual bedtime. Revved up from a busy day which included teachi...
The Comfort of Solidarity
June 19, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Speaking Up for the Immunocompromised
June 17, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Corona With a Twist of Lyme: Part 3
June 11, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Antibiotics and Memory Issues with Lyme
May 28, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
The Importance of Being Vigilant
May 21, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
What a Difference a Year Makes
May 13, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Don’t Forget It’s Tick Season, Too
May 4, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Lyme and COVID-19 Panel: Follow-up Q and A
April 24, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Corona With a Twist of Lyme: Part 2
April 21, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Top Ten Myths About Lyme Disease
April 6, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Keeping the Big Picture in Mind: Don’t Overlook Your Other Health Issues
March 31, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Corona With a Twist of Lyme
March 26, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
The Importance of Digging Deep
March 24, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Lyme Brain: The Science and the Experience
March 18, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Herxheimer Reactions and Colleges in High Tick Areas
March 6, 2020
By Jennifer Crystal
The Leaps of Lyme
February 29, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Mixed Messages: Finding Your Truth
February 20, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Hugging it Out: How Physical Connection Helps Us Heal
February 14, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Stop the Itching! Lyme and Hives
February 13, 2020
Do you get unexplained hives? Could it be Lyme disease?
When Nothing’s Funny, Even Simulated Laughter Can Be Good Medicine
February 6, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
No Set Protocol
January 28, 2020
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Anxiety and Chronic Symptoms
January 14, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
2020 Vision For Lyme Warriors
January 3, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Tick-Borne Disease: The Year in Review
December 29, 2019
by Jennifer Crystal