Today I wanted to talk about something called a Herxheimer reaction (also called a herx.) Basically this happens to Lyme patients once they begin treatment and the Lyme bacteria begins to die off. As the disease itself dies off rapidly in the body it releases gases or toxins into the bloodstream. This is an inevitable part of the process when you are killing any kind of live organism that has taken over your body in large quantities. What a Herx is, is the symptoms associated with the die off. As the toxins are trapped in your body & not being circulated out fast enough they actually give you a severe worsening of symptoms. During a Herx you will experience your current symptoms times 10, nausea, dizziness, brain fog, headaches, fevers, flu like symptoms, etc. Your body is on toxic overload & it tends to cause a lot of distress.
Lyme patients say the toughest part of treatment is holding on for the ride as you go through this reaction. In fact, this is what makes treatment so incredibly painful. You get much sicker for a long time before you actually get any better. Chronic Lyme is considered chronic because by that point your immune system can not fight it anymore (think of how strong our immune system is), also the Lyme has found ways to hide itself in biofilm (it's protective layer), and inside small blood clots as well as fatty tissue. Therefore when you wage a war with the dormant Lyme it starts a big battle in your body that lasts months upon months.
So there is the long & short of what a Herxheimer reaction is. As my treatment progresses I am sure I will be referring to this word quite frequently to talk about how I'm doing. Thank you for reading & God bless! :)