Herxheimer Reaction – Feeling Worse Before Feeling Better

herxheimerA Herxheimer Reaction can also be known by other names such as a Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction, Herxheimer Effect,  JHR, Herx, Herxheimer Effect, Herxheimer Response, Herx Reaction, or Herks. Our bodies have an amazing capacity to heal themselves, but occasionally become overloaded through various forms of detox. When the pathogen die-off exceeds our bodies' capacity to 'clean up' the mess, all systems go on overload to compensate. How does this occur? Pathogens (parasites, fungus, virus, bacteria) die. Toxic chemicals (endotoxins) are released from the cell walls of the dying pathogens. An exaggerated inflammatory response kicks in...courtesy of our immune system. We feel 'sick'. That's an extraordinarily 'Cliff Note'd' version of the process!

What are some of the main symptoms of a Herxheimer Reaction?

  • Flu-Like Symptoms
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Swollen Glands
  • Rash or Itching
  • Flushing

What can cause a mass pathogen die-off? So glad you asked! There are many potential triggers and I'll name a few that I'm familiar with -

  • Deep Tissue Massage (ever wonder why they want you to drink lots of water after a massage?)
  • 528Hz Music (DNA Repair) - I have had many Herx Reactions to this one!
  • Whole Body Vibration Machine - it literally shakes the toxins loose on a cellular level. I always get a severe itch when I use the machine. So bad that the itch nauseates me. Now that's a lot of toxins being released! Why? The body is releasing histamines. I wont go into histamine detail, but, suffice to say that they are released to help the body fight foreign matter that could be harmful. And then the full Herx reaction sets in within a few hours.
  • Some Supplements or Medications
  • Vigorous Exercise...if you're not used to doing it.
  • Bikram Yoga (hot yoga)...if you're not used to doing it.

What can you do to prevent a Herxheimer Reaction? If you are going to do any vigorous activity that could potentially release toxins, be sure to drink plenty of water before and after! If you are experiencing a Herxheimer Reaction, you'll probably just have to ride it out. Most only last a day or two. And drink lots of water :)

~ Note: I am not a doctor. I am not giving health advice. I am just sharing my opinion and my experience with Herxheimer Reactions. Please visit your doctor for a professional diagnosis.

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