Also Known as "Herxing" or "Die off"
The technical term for the Herxheimer Reaction is when endotoxins are released by Borrelia Burgdorferi as a counter reaction to dieing from conventional or holistic antibiotics or the immune system. When the spirochetes die, their bodies. plus their recently released endotoxins, are over burdening your body's ability to remove them. If a herx is bad enough, you have the option to intervene and assist your body in detoxing.
From what I have experienced and have heard from others on countless occasions is that herxing can actually be worse than your original Lyme Disease symptoms. The most common symptoms for a herx are usually fatigue, brain fog and just overall lack of motivation or passion for anything. Some herxes will be mild and may only last for a few hours, and some can be pretty severe and could last up to a few weeks. It is essential to cut your dose down, or just back off of it entirely for at least a few days. You need to allow your body to catch up.
What determines how severe and long your herxheimer reaction is depends on a few factors that include but aren't limited to
With herxing comes good days and bad days. Good days can be very misleading and have you believe that you've conquered Lyme Disease, but this could not be further from the truth. You may actually just be experiencing the level of antibiotics that have become the terminal dose. This means the dose is strong enough to keep the spirochetes at bay, but weak enough to avoid killing any more spirochetes. Increasing your dosage of antibiotics will not only induce a new herx, it will also quickly remind you of the delusions you experienced on a good day.
As your herx intensifies from your recent antibiotic increase, you'll be experiencing what is known as a bad day. Bad days are more common than good days by almost 7 to 1. These are the days that are the most debilitating and crippling to your physical and mental state, but are also the most progressive days due to the killing of the Lyme bacteria. It's hard to imagine this stage of treatment is effective and actually worth the persistence, but it is an imperative for recovery. Unfortunately, the Lyme bacteria will not leave your body with ease as they make their death known through a herxheimer reaction.
You need to understand that herxing is essential to know that the antibiotics you are taking are killing off the Spirochetes and/or any co-infections that may be lingering as well. Finding the right balance between killing enough Spirochetes and a tolerable herx is essential. You can really hurt yourself physically if your die off is too extreme. There is good news though. There are different methods to ease the intensity of a herx. If you want to learn about the methods of reducing the intensity of your die off, check out detoxing.