Sorry to flaunt my ignorance, but what is a Herx reaction? I've been reading about them all over but don't know what they are - although from the sound of it, I may have had them. Hope this isn't highjacking the thread too much.
The full name is Herxheimer Effect. It describes what happens when too many bacteria die off for the body to be able to efficiently excrete them. The dead bacteria turn toxic and the body purges them through severe diarrhea, sweating and possibly, nausea. There is a very unique odor to the stool and sweating, kinda like the smell of death or decay. Sorry to be so graphic.
We all Herx in different ways. For me, it's hard and fast, 24-48 hrs. It always starts with a headache before the purge. Some believe that adding lemon to water, or other fluids, helps shorten the duration and helps lessen the symptoms of Herxing.
To me, Herxing is good because it signals that whatever treatment I'm on, or even my own immune system, is killing off a lot of bad bugs. When viruses or fungi die off, one can have a Herx-like reaction too. Technically, though, Herxing only refers to the dieoff effects related to bacteria.
Hope this helps. BTW, when I'm Herxing, I try to rest a lot, drink lots of fluids and stay close to the bathroom
How do you tell the difference between a drug reaction and Herx? Almost all meds cause nausea and I can get it so severely I want to die. I don't get the smell you describe. I've stopped so many meds because of side effects and I'm no sissy. I always start with the lowest dosage possible. Also, it's hard for me to accept personally because the few meds that have helped have worked well very quickly.
For me if you feel awful, then it clears and afterwards you feel better than before, it was a herx.
How do you know at the time, to be sure, I'd love that answer.
The way I see it whether my body is mobilsing toxins, killing microbes etc from within, or whether I'm taking drugs, herbs or other supplements or foods that my body perceives as toxin, it's still toxins so the effect to me is very similar... perhaps almost indistinguishable?
I'm like you Andreamarie, I react very quickly, and for me as long as I cut back treatment it clears quickly.
Then I look at what I've taken, try to work out if there's any relationship with things that were either herx inducing or toxic/non-ideal for me previously... of course I should've done this before, but somehow crucial information often hides until there's a mini crisis.... and depending on how that analysis goes once I'm feeling strongly I might very gently and gradually try and add back the supplement.
If very slow titring up over 4-7 days brings the same result, I discard it... perhaps save for some future time when I hope I'll feel more robust.
Some people can push through a herx, becuase they are sure it's a herx and are resilinet enough to do that. Personally I react to many, many things and have injured myself thinking something was a herx when it wasn't.
Forgive me if this is not relevant to this thread but I have benefited greatly from treatment for mycoplasma and other bacterial infections with antibiotics over the years and have never "herxed".
I have read posts in the past (not here) which might lead people to believe that this reaction is both a sure sign, and a necessary indication, that things are working. Since I have never herxed, if I were to become sicker on antibiotics, or any other medication, I would stop taking it.
I don't know if one can extrapolate anything from my experience.
I herx. All the time when beginning new treatments, particularly antibiotics. I get a full feeling in my head, the glands in my neck feel swollen, my brain gets fuzzy, I feel down and out of sorts, I feel crappy all over . . .
I know when it's a herx because it will clear up, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, by giving myself coffee enemas. When they work, I heart coffee enemas! When they work, the "Hallelujah Chorus" plays in my head!
I have a detoxification issue. My methalation pathway is blocked. That seems to be why stuff doesn't clear from my system very quickly, and why I herx so much. This block is proving difficult to treat. I've tried the Simplified Yasko, but when I'm off on the levels, I slowly sink into a kind of despair that I don't recognize until I'm pretty bottomed out. Detox issues are complex for me.
I'd like to second what Victora says about the abbreviations. On another forum I am part of there is a sticky where people have added a list of abbreviations commonly used so people can refer to it if necessary.
Depending on the severity of the Herx, I slow down whatever I'm doing to cause the herx (usually some type of detox) and start drinking tons of water, vitamin c and whatever else I can get my hands on to flush the crap out of my body.
Be careful with that stuff. I know people that have had to be hospitalized and I almost went too once. If it's really bad you don't feel like you're going to die, you want to die.
Because antibiotics can kick up my Crohn's, no one wants to give them to me unless necessary. Twelve years ago I had to take them for an H.pylori infection (the bacteria that causes most ulcer disease.) After five months of not being able to tolerate solid food, I felt better in three days.
Two years ago I got a gastrointestinal infection called C.Difficile. It kills people. I took a killer antibiotic (I have good insurance: ten days costs $1,000). The diarrhea and vomiting stopped quickly; I didn't Herx.
I do take Culturelle (my probiotic of choice daily and when I was on antibiotics added another one with a different strain.)
The nausea I've gotten from meds has made me want to die. I have a very distinctive voice and even after telling my doc my name (I worked with him for ten yrs before he was my doc) he didn't know who I was. It's not something even I could work through.
I've heard Herxing associated with Lyme. Maybe it's the type of bacteria.
have you tried any of the simple detox methods? I find that epsom salt baths help me the most; my son found the olive oil/lemon juice drink most helpful for him plus sitting in a sauna.
(I recognize some of you... and/but Victoria already has 'my' name LOL, so I changed the spelling of my name to Viktorya, hope it doesn't end up too confusing between us-- if it does I promise to change it! As it is, changing names from place to place is too confusing for ME, so I try to limit my variations.)