Herxheimer reaction is the process of an overload
on the excretory systems primarily the kidneys,
liver, lungs and skin. This is caused by an
excess of poison or toxins that overload the
system. This process called herxheimer reaction
is very problematic and must be given careful
attention. It occurs when one takes an antibiotic
or natural compound to treat candida,
infections and parasites.
Its symptoms are the same as the initial disease
or problem being treated but immensely pronounced.
It is often described as flue like symptoms.
Headaches, brain fog and the symptoms of the
disease will become pronounced.
When one first experiences herxheimer reaction
they are likely to assume it is a separate disease
and attempt to treat it or discontinue any recent
treatments. It is simply the result of the new
treatment killing the toxins faster than the
excretory system is able to handle it. This
leads to a build up of the toxins, bacteria,
or die off of parasites at a greater rate than
the excretory system can remove from your body.
Many experts recommend that
one discontinue the treatment until the body
normalizes, then resume at a lower dose. Continuing
this process until the symptoms are manageable,
then gradually resume the prescribed dose. Because
the excretory system balance is controlled by
water, salts and nutrients it is suggested to
increase at least the water and salt
intake to help flush the toxins out of your
Caution: Herxheimer reaction's biggest action
is often in the brain so be sure you pay special
attention to your mental symptoms and do not
push it too hard.
Keep in mind this reaction is a necessary process
to eliminate the deadly toxins, bacteria or
parasites in your body.
Wikipedia: "The Herxheimer
reaction (also known as Jarisch-Herxheimer or
herx) occurs when large quantities of toxins
are released into the body as bacteria (typically
Spirochetal bacteria) die, due to antibiotic
treatment. Typically the death of these bacteria
and the associated release of endotoxins occurs
faster than the body can remove the toxins via
the natural detoxification process performed
by the kidneys and liver. It is manifested by
fever, chills, headache, myalgias, and exacerbation
of cutaneous lesions. Duration in syphilis is
normally only a few hours but can be much longer
in other diseases. The intensity of the reaction
reflects the intensity of inflammation present.
The Herxheimer reaction has shown an increase
in inflammatory cytokines during the period
of exacerbation, including tumor necrosis factor
alpha, interleukin-6 and interleukin-8."
is a phenomena that results when there is an
intensification of the disease symptoms and
often an expansion of similar symptoms to other
places all of a temporary nature, after which
the patient is improved or well. Often it appears
to some as if they have the flu, and so is described
as "the patient having flu-like symptoms."
"Flu-like symptoms" is an over-simplification
of what happens in varying cases and with varying
try to suffer through the herx. Herxheimer reactions
can be very serious. When I herx, I quit taking
my abx until I feel better...then I start again.
Stopping the abx for a few days or so will not
put you behind. A lot of Lyme sufferers have
found that this works best. Some people even
take their abx every other day. Whatever works
the best for you is what you should do."
There is reason to believe that the liver becomes
congested in its attempts to clean the bloodstream
of the spirochetal endotoxin. Support for the
liver may lessen the intensity of the herxheimer
reaction. Drinking lots of clean filtered water,
with lemon juice added and taking liver support
herbs like milk thistle, Jerusalem artichoke,
licorice and dandelion root is recommended.
Of all of these, it has been my experience that
milk thistle is, by far, the most important.
ThistlRx is a product commercially available
that has all of these ingredients and provides
spectacular benefits for patients with all manner
of liver diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis
C and cirrhosis..." http://lymeaway.wordpress.com/2008/10/07/action-vs-reaction/
Herxheimer can last from a few days to two weeks
or more, depending on how disseminated the Bb
bacteria is in the body. The greater the dissemination,
generally the longer a Herxheimer will last.
During this time, in addition to the temporary
worsening of previous Lyme symptoms, one may
also experience chills, fevers, headache, nausea,
and even a drop in blood pressure levels. Don’t
be alarmed by this, and don’t stop taking
the antibiotics that have been prescribed. Do,
however, contact your physician to let him know
what you are experiencing, so that he can determine
if your symptoms are due to Herxheimer and rule
out a true allergic response to the drugs. Two
“natural” ways to reduce the symptoms
of Herxheimers are hydration (2 to 3 quarts
of quality water a day) and the bioflavonoid
quercitin (500–1500 mg per day). Another
important consideration to be aware of is that
major Herxes generally occur during the Bb bacteria’s
growth phase (which phase is also known as a
“Lyme cycle”). This is also the
time during the Bb bacteria’s life cycle
that antibiotics are most effective in eradicating
them, since they are most vulnerable during
this phase. Lyme’s growth phase occurs
approximately every three to four weeks (up
to six weeks maximum), and therefore, intermittent
symptom flare-ups or Herxes usually also will
occur at those same intervals. These cyclerelated
Herxes continue to occur over time until a sufficient
quantity of Bb has been killed off. In most
cases, symptoms of subsequent Herxheimer reactions
are shorter and less severe than the initial
one, indicating that treatment is progressing
successfully. If your reactions continue to
be of the same severity and duration, this may
be a sign that there is dysregulation of your
immune system that needs to be addressed or
that the antibiotic regimen may need adjustment.
Also, there are times when untreated co-infections
need immediate attention, after which time Lyme
can be successfully addressed. Whatever the
cause, it is important to alert your physician
if your Herxheimer symptoms continue unabated."