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The Herxheimer Effect

Some of you might never have heard the term ‘Jarisch-Herxheimer Effect’ but generally speaking, most people will have experienced it.

The term was coined from names of two doctors Adolf Jarisch (1860-1902) and Karl Herxheimer (1861-1942) both of whom noticed that in response to treatment, many patients developed not only fever, perspiration, night sweats, nausea, and vomiting, but their ailments became worse before settling down and healing.

Have you been Herxed?

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’.

The Herx Reaction is a short-term reaction the body has as it detoxifies. It is quite common to experience flu-like symptoms including a headache, joint and muscle pain, body aches, sore throat, sweating, chills, nausea or other symptoms.

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

Usually, the reaction lasts a few days. In more severe cases, reactions can last a week or more.

Herxheimer Effect – Get Worse Before You Get Better

It is common for people fighting Lyme’s Disease to experience rather intense Herx Reactions. As their bodies fight off the bacteria and pathogens, headaches, muscle fatigue, joint pain etc are all common symptoms of inflammation. An inflammatory response is your body’s attempt to heal itself after an injury; defend itself against foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria; and repair damaged tissue – a sign that you’re in the healing process.

While ‘Herxing’ – your body and immune system rapidly working to expunge toxins- it is important to help your body along with a few simple steps –

  • Drinking plenty of water – stay hydrated at all times.
  • Epsom Salts detox bath – pour a few cups of Epsom Salt into warm bath to help pull more toxins out of your body
  • Deep Tissue Massage – can help break down the toxins that may solidify inside your muscles

Many people suffering from similar chronic illnesses or inflammatory diseases also supplement their diets with CBD Oil.

Although not everyone will experience a Herx Reaction, CBD users can sometimes experience slight Herx Reactions. Usually taken for its incredible anti-inflammatory properties, CBD also acts as an anti-oxidant. Because of this it can both help and hinder a Herx Reaction. Its anti-inflammatory properties can relieve the inflammation caused by the body’s fight against the pathogens, while the anti-oxidant properties can actually increase the rate in which the body produces toxins – it is the body’s inability to flush these toxins at the rate in which they are created that results in the Herxheimer reaction.

Conclusions about the Herxheimer Effect.

Herxing is a completely normal reaction to medication or treatment of diseases and infection. Before you get discouraged that your treatment is making you feel worse, ride it out. Your body is telling you it is at work!

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