Review: 'Through the Shadowlands’ describes Julie Rehmeyer's ME/CFS Odyssey
I should note at the outset that this review is based on an audio version of the galleys and the epilogue from the finished work. Julie Rehmeyer sent me the final version as a PDF, but for some reason my text to voice software (Kurzweil) had issues with it. I understand that it is...
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'Herxing' vs. 'detoxing'

Discussion in 'General Symptoms' started by flitza, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. flitza

    flitza Senior Member

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    Hey, can somebody give me a cogent description and explanation for the phenomena here and in other ME forums commonly referred to as 'herxing' and 'detoxing' and how to tell the difference between them.

    I mean I know what the Herxheimer Reaction is and it's a very specific phenomenon which doesn't seem to occur often among us...
     
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  2. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    A detox is something you do, such as going on a special diet for a few days. Sometimes it's called a cleanse. Personally, I don't think there's much to detoxing, partly because I've never read anything specific about the toxins (as, what are they?) other than vague references to chemicals. Also because I've never seen any details about their metabolic breakdown. Here's what Wikipedia has to say: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detoxification_(alternative_medicine)

    The Herximer reaction ("herxing"), more properly the Jarisch-Herximer reaction, is an inflammatory response to the destruction of certain toxin-containing bacteria by antibiotics. These toxins (endotoxins) are inside the bacterial cells and released when they are killed. It's associated with syphilis and a few other infections, including Lyme disease. Again, here's Wikipedia: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jarisch–Herxheimer_reaction

    So they are different phenomena, unless your cleanse includes Penicillium mold.
     
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  3. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    Here is the Wiki definition of detoxification:
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detoxification

    Detoxing is an alternative medicine concept. Our body is geared to take care of cleansing all by itself.

    Edit to add: As for Herxing, people use that word for all kinds of reactions including non-antibiotics. Even with antibiotics uses, all reactions are not necessarily Herx reactions.

    In my views it is best talking about the exact reaction rather than using a term that cannot describe everything and has very little meaning to the medical community.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
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  4. Never Give Up

    Never Give Up Collecting improvements, until there's a cure.

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    I agree with @Kati, and the "Herxing" idea is just a theory to explain a common experience with antibiotics- there is no proof that the byproduct of dying bacteria makes people sick on antibiotics. It could just be that the medications make people sick until they adjust to them. Getting sick from a medication is not necessarily a good sign. It could be a bad sign. It could be a sign that you need to stop taking a medicine
     
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  5. Valentijn

    Valentijn The Diabolic Logic

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    Um, it's been documented extremely well in the case of syphilis treatments. Spirochetes release endotoxins when dying, which triggers a very specific immune reaction. The Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction itself is not controversial - only the application of it to a wider variety of symptoms and triggers.
     
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  6. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    Right. For some cases it's an immune response, nothing is 'dying off'.
     
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  7. Steve4Andrea

    Steve4Andrea

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  8. flitza

    flitza Senior Member

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    Thanks, IreneF. Yes, as I mentioned I'm aware of what a Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction is. I'm not doing a cleanse. I was just curious about somethings I've read in various threads where people have claimed to be 'herxing or herxing all over the place' or 'detoxing', where it appeared they were referring to a symptom complex.
     
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  9. flitza

    flitza Senior Member

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    I agree with both points. None the less many use these expressions and I wanted to get a feeling for what they are describing with these terms.
     
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  10. flitza

    flitza Senior Member

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    Very interesting reference Steve4Andrea! This defines things for specific HIV etc., related infections but may apply in a general way to some things we are prone to. Perhaps a more general immune suppression/reactivation response.
     
  11. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

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    Yea, I've been guilty of that, @Never Give Up. Having a bad reaction to some treatment I hoped would improve me, and trying to interpret it as somehow a "good" sign that the treatment is working.

    This is probably just hope triumphing over reason. A bad reaction is probably just what it appears to be - a sign the treatment is not beneficial to you.
     
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  12. Never Give Up

    Never Give Up Collecting improvements, until there's a cure.

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    On the other hand, Dr. Chia's POV is that when people start taking antivirals it "makes the viruses mad and they start fighting back", this makes some, but not all, people feel a worsening of symptoms, but that this should pass in 2-3 weeks. It has worked that way for my son, the worsening for a few weeks followed by improvements. Previous antibiotic treatment made him very sick, it did not pass after months of treatment, and in fact, made him permanently worse.
     
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  13. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    A bad reaction may well be side effects of the drug that is not related to outcome. Be careful with interpretation.
    As an example, last year I had to take a course of antibiotics for an infection. i was prescribed an antibiotic that is known for giving side effects. Did I 'herx'? No. Did I need to stop the antibiotics? Not in this case. i simply needed to take the course of antibiotics and ride it out.
     
  14. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    I included the 2nd paragraph mostly for other people.

    I think a lot of the vocabulary is misused.
     
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