"Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Yolanda Foster has been struggling with chronic Lyme disease for almost two years now, which is a bacterial infection caused by a tick bite that, if left untreated, can cause sufferers to deal with chronic physical and cognitive impairments. On recent 'RHOBH' episodes, it looks like the Holland native is on the road to recovery. Her cognitive function, according to her, had greatly improved. "I'm about 70%," she told fellow cast members Brandi Glanville and Lisa Vanderpump on a recent episode. Unfortunately, according to her blog, she has suffered a couple setbacks in recent weeks, including yesterday. Last night, instead of giving us her take on the most recent episode, she wrote:
Unfortunately, I won't be able to write a blog as my brain is out of order at the moment. I have started a 20-day intense treatment to try to repair the damage the Lyme has caused neurologically. Unfortunately, I am experiencing worse symptoms than before the treatment started. But I was promised that it would get worse before it gets better.
My apologies for not being able to pull it together -- hope to be back at it next week.
According to The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Lyme disease, if caught early, can be successfully treated with 3-4 weeks of antibiotics. If left untreated, however, the bacteria can spread throughout the body and the disease often becomes chronic. And while studies have shown that three months of intravenous treatment have greatly improved those impairments, once the treatment is stopped, the symptoms persist.
Unfortunately, that may be what is going on with Yolanda.
If you remember, Yolanda had a port implanted into her body that dispensed antibiotics several times a day and appeared to help her physical and cognitive symptoms, but she later removed it on a recent episode of 'RHOBH' due to concern of it being right next to her heart. Now, months later, it seems that her symptoms have returned.
"In Lyme disease, a frequent complaint is 'brain fog,' or cognitive dysfunction, that interferes with school or job performance," explains Dr. Marian Rissenberg, a neuropsychologist in Mt. Kisco, NY. "A number of research studies have looked at the nature and extent of the impairment in information processing that occurs in Lyme disease, and have found that the executive processes are selectively affected...Apparently, the higher level brain functions, or information processes that we have been talking about, are not that important, according to your immune system, relative to the workings of your heart and lungs, for example. Neither are the digestive functions, which can be slowed down for a few days. So these nonessential systems are put into “power-saver mode” while the immune system directs energy resources to battling the bad guys. Your brain is on “brown out”, and the highest level, most widely communicating circuits, the Executive processes – the control center – are the first to go."
Let's hope that Yolanda's latest treatment goes well for her.