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 Post subject: Explanation of herxing - increase of symptoms on antibiotics
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:23 pm 
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Explanation of Herxing the increase of symptoms while on antibiotics for Lyme Disease Treatment

Scroll further down for written explanation's of herxing and knowing when you are over doing it.

Informational links regarding herxing: ... e-disease/ ... id/91.html

Help w/herxing

Herxing is a normal reaction w/Lyme, but there is a limit and you must know your limit. The no pain no gain seems to be a dying theory. Can we still get well without severe herxing? You and your LLMD can decide, but I urge you to read this link as herxing can in some cases be very detrimental and even deadly if taken too far: ... p?f=6&t=48

Why do we have to get worse before we improve?
Better explained in the links above, lyme has a cycle of growth, every 4-6 weeks, some strains grow all month. Lyme ONLY dies when it grows, hence the herx cycle. Most links do not mention - with Lyme disease, as long as you are in treatment you can herx off and on all throughout - people have reported years of off/on herxing. Herxing can occur when antibiotics doses are changed or a new antibiotic is added/started and even remaining on the same antibiotics throughout treatment, you can herx.

Echoed across Lyme forums, "good your herxing, you are on the right track!" or "You must get worse before you will ever get better". Herxing can last throughout treatment off and on. The point is to slowly have more good days than bad an with each herx ending you should feel better. This "feeling better" can be so gradual it may not be noticed at all. It is imperative to keep a daily journal/diary of your symptoms. Had I not kept a diary, I would think I hadn't improved at all, it is amazing to go back in that diary and see the symptoms I no longer have and had forgotten about completely. In my diary I rate each day as good, meaning - symptoms low. Tolerable, meaning - symptoms had to be managed w/pain meds or other symptoms relievers, Bad, meaning - BAD, not even symptom relieving meds helped. I total at the end of each month my good/tolerable/bad days. In the beginning I had 3 "good" days per month and 27 bad/tolerable. It has reversed almost - now I have close to 20 good days and 10 or so tolerable or bad. Bad days tend to blend together, I feel at times like I haven't improved at all, but looking at my diary I know I have and I will tell you, it has been a very slow road.

Herxing is created from the die-off of the lyme bacteria. When Bb (lyme) or co-infections die it creates an "ammonia", which you feel as an increase, new or old symptoms flaring. Our body does have its own "detox" system. Anytime you use the bathroom, sweat or cry you are detoxing. But many say the toxins need more help to be eliminated from the body because it creates inflammation & herxing generally is not good for the body. There are many different methods of detoxing, baths, activated charcoal, drinking lots of water w/lemon, ask you LLMD for more help with detoxing.

If herxing becomes too much for you, always contact your LLMD ask about dropping your dose down or perhaps even pulsing i.e, every other day. Herxing is not good for the body and the harder you herx the sicker you feel. For many people herxing doesn't subside on its own and the antibiotic must be stopped or dropped to a more tolerable level. Please always check with your LLMD if herxing has you in the "suicial thoughts" are over doing it. The point is to kill this bacteria, not you!

Lyme treatment can be a marathon, not a race and you don't get well faster, based on hard you herx, that is a myth. Detoxing can be key for some and always ask for symptomatic pain, anxiety, etc., relief from your LLMD, no hero's needed when herxing.

Detox baths, infra red saunas, excercise, plenty of water w/lemon, Activated charcoal are all ways of helping eliminate toxins toxins from the body. More below:

A Herxheimer reaction occurs from the organism die-off. The dead organism triggers the immune system to respond to toxins given off in the dying process. Since our immune system is already overactive, the cytokine production will be stimulated. The already elevated cytokines (such as interferon, interleukin, tumor necrosis factor, etc.), are the cause of most of our symptoms, anyway. So, when they are stimulated even higher by the die-off, all of our usual symptoms will worsen.
Symptoms that are associated with a Herxheimer are the following: chills, fever, night sweats, muscle aches, joint pains, mental fog, and extreme fatigue, or whatever your symptoms are just INCREASED!

You may want to plan on doing nothing when herxing begins, it can occur off and on all through out treatment. Also, keep plenty of pain medications on hand, arrange for a massage therapist, have a Jacuzzi handy, and alert the family that you will need plenty of rest, space, and tender loving care during this time. Always, drink lots of water, everyday whether you are herxing or not, this is very important. Take your weight divide it by 2 and you will have how many ounces per day of water you should drink. (Example 150lbs. divided by 2 = 75, so 75oz of water per day)

If the Herxheimer is too severe, first notify your LLMD and you may have to cut back on antibiotics - herxing is a flooding of toxins that are not leaving the body as fast as they are accumulating.

Some people have eased herxing symptoms with Whole Lemon-Olive Oil Drink (see recipe below.) Taken every day, this drink helps the lymph glands to filter and move the dying organisms. Drink at least two quarts of fresh, filtered water every day to flush the organisms from the body.

Whole Lemon-Olive Oil Drink
1 whole lemon (do not peel)---washed and blended until smooth (might want to cut up and remove seeds first)
1 cup of juice or water added to the blended lemon
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil---blended with the lemon
(Look for a "Virgin/Organic" olive oil)
Pour through a wire strainer
Discard pulp and drink liquid

Activated Charcoal (make sure it is ACTIVATED) can be bought anywhere supplements are sold and really can be a miracle, safe detox (bought at any vitamin store, some grocery stores that carry supplements or online at and - make sure it reads ACTIVATED CHARCOAL) see our link on Activated Charcoal for more information: ... ?f=6&t=286

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Always check w/your MD regarding advice given by me or any member at this forum & any articles & info. at this site. Site disclaimer: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=16

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