Overcoming a Herxheimer Reaction, What Helps
I haven’t been feeling so hot on week 2 of my parasite cleanse (I do a yearly parasite cleanse
), and it’s due to what’s called a Herxheimer reaction. Herxheimer reactions are a systemic inflammatory response to endotoxins released into the bloodstream when pathogens (bacteria, yeast, mold, viruses, etc) are killed off. Some people also refer to this as a healing crisis or die-off reaction. The detox reaction from die-off can be pretty uncomfortable.
My symptoms this week have been nausea, fatigue, headaches, joint pain, poor coordination, malaise, and breakouts. Typically Herx reactions only last a few days but can last as long as a few weeks for some more aggressive antibiotic therapies like those used for Lyme. Treatments for SIBO
, Candida, Lyme and coinfections
, parasites, mold, and other viruses can all cause “Herxing”. These are all things I test for and treat regularly as a functional medicine
Common Herxheimer Reaction Symptoms
- joint or muscle pain
- stomach pain
- change in bowel movements– constipation or diarrhea
- brain fog
- change in appetite
- cognitive impairment
- poor coordination
- change in body temp
What Helps Ease Herxheimer Reactions
Some things that can be helpful for Herx reactions:
- slowing down treatment or taking a few days off to let your body’s liver and kidneys flush out the endotoxin buildup
- dry brushing
- lymphatic massage
- jump roping or rebounders
- enemas or gentle natural laxatives
- sweating, infrared saunas or exercise
- increasing water intake
- upping the leafy greens and antioxidants
- getting extra sleep
- increasing glutathione
- certain supplements which help metabolize or bind to endotoxins and anti-inflammatories.
- epsom salt baths
Have any of you had Herx reactions? What helped you?
If you aren’t feeling well and suspect you may have a gut infection, or exposure to heavy metals, Lyme, mold, or other environmental toxins, you can schedule a functional medicine phone consult to discuss testing and treatment.
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