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Herxheimer symptoms


What if you were getting treated for Lyme…and it was working…and then all of a sudden you felt worse than ever? That’s got to be some kind of cruel joke, right? As unfair as it feels, there is a biological explanation for it. You might be having a Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction, aka a “herx,” when all your symptoms seem to magnify during therapy. Because…of course, right? Here’s what’s happening: the Herxheimer reaction is likely a treatment-linked, bacterial die-off that causes flu-like symptoms—such as fever, sweating, rigors, muscle aches, rashes, nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and headaches—and last for hours or even days. It was originally described and named after the European derms who described it in the late 1800s after noticing an increase in rashes with syphilis treatment, but today, some of us also experience it after Lyme treatments (yes, another pesky spirochete!). It doesn’t matter if we’re treating our illness with a powerful cleanse or traditional antibiotics—the herx doesn’t discriminate! If you think you might be herxing, make sure you get the care you need from a practitioner you trust. You should know that this reaction is sometimes confused with an allergy or adverse drug reaction, and a misdiagnosis could lead to your stopping a treatment that's actually working. The only upside of herxing: it will be over soon, in a few hours or a few days. Stay strong! There isn’t a lot you can do during this experience, but you can try a few things to feel more comfortable such as drinking plenty of liquids, avoiding exposure to toxins (environmental, alcohol, smoke), sleeping more, and supporting the detox process with probiotics. Some people swear by detox formulas containing burbur and pinella, glutathione IVs, infrared sauna treatments, and Epsom salt baths. If you need support while you’re in the midst of a herx, your WanaFam is here for you.

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