Ever been on a detox diet? Had to take antibiotics for an infection? Felt lousy after the first few days or maybe even couple of weeks? Probably the ‘Jarisch-Hexheimer Effect’ or more commonly referred to as ‘Herx Reaction’ or ‘Herxing’.
The Herxheimer Effect.
Epsom Salts detox bath – pour a few cups of Epsom Salt into warm bath to help pull more toxins out of your body
This is, in fact, a normal and healthy reaction that indicates that parasites, fungus, viruses, bacteria or other pathogens are being effectively killed off – our immune system reacts to the toxins that are released but our bodies cannot eliminate the toxins quickly enough. These toxins can create unrelated and often unpleasant symptoms of their own, or even show signs of original symptoms worsening. Contrary to what it may seem, this is actually a sign that the medicine or treatment you are taking is working, and not, in fact, making you worse.
In a die-off reaction, there is a release of toxins, proteins, and oxidizing agents that results in an increase in inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-6, and interleukin-8.
Herxheimer or Herx Reactions are a short-term (from days to a few weeks) detoxification reaction in the body. As the body detoxifies, it is not uncommon to experience flu-like symptoms including headache, joint and muscle pain, body aches, sore throat, general malaise, sweating, chills, nausea, or other symptoms.
The symptoms of a die-off reaction are generally a worsening of the underlying symptoms of Lyme disease and its associated infections. A majority of Lyme disease symptoms are actually excess inflammatory cytokine symptoms.
In a die-off reaction, there is a worsening of many Lyme disease symptoms including fatigue, brain fog, muscle and nerve pain, chills and sweats, memory, and thinking effects.