coping with a Herxheimer reaction
Dealing with the common healing crises, or Herxheimer reactions, that occur during treatment of Lyme disease can be confusing. When it is considered a Herx and not just a worsening of the disease? When you feel so sick in the first place, how much more can you take? Though it may take time and a bit of experimenting, you will eventually learn to distinguish between a downturn in your condition and a Herx. Here are three things to bear in mind while learning about the difference:
Most people are affected by an increase in dosage, regardless of the type of treatment they're on, Therefore, a Herx often accompanies an increase in medication. The larger the increase, the bigger the chances are of experiencing a Herx. Proper treatment includes killing the spirochetes, the Lyme bacteria, which results in a die-off. The die-off creates toxins which are then available to be flushed out of the body. The elimination organs are most affected, the liver, lymphatic system, kidneys and skin. Help them by actively detoxifying during your healing journey.
Detoxification is necessary to relieve the symptoms created by the Herx, and it can be accomplished in numerous ways. Gentle cleansing from the inside out is generally a good idea, and a fine-tuning of diet and nutrition is highly recommended. Begin by reducing or eliminating your intake of unhealthful foods and drinks such as alcohol and anything with sugar in it, junk or fried foods and prepackaged or fast foods. Cow's milk is often an allergen and is not recommended while healing from Lyme, though goat cheeses and other goat dairy products may be substituted. Replace junk food with whole grains, organic fresh fruits and dark green veggies.
Herxheimer reactions can be reduced and often eliminated with the use of supplements Parsley and Burbur. Other ways to detox are daily cleansing, and drawing the toxins out through the skin, for example, using bentonite clay. First thing in the morning, apply clay to your body, then wash it off in the shower. Begin your day with a detoxifying shower or bath to rid your body of the toxins that have shed onto your skin during the night to be naturally eliminated. Also, use foot baths during the day, adding a tablespoon of powdered mustard, garlic and just a teaspoon of cayenne to draw toxins out of the bottoms of your feet. Fill the bathtub with just a few inches of hot water, add the spices and sit on the side, resting your feet in water that comes just below your ankles.
Knowing that you are on your way to healing is another thing to bear in mind during these intense healing crises or, as some people like to call them, opportunities. Our bodies need to eliminate toxins in order to be strong and healthy again. Be patient with yourself, shower yourself with compassion and most of all, try to remember that the Herx is just another sign that you are on the healing path.
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