December 17

What is a Herxheimer reaction? Part 3 of 3


Let’s kick off Part 3 with this little section from Part 1.

Have you ever gone through a treatment/therapy that was supposed to help you feel better, only to feel worse? Whatever symptoms you were struggling with before your treatment now include increased headaches, nausea, fatigue, brain fog, increased muscle and joint pains and yes, on occasion, diarrhea (oh joy). It feels like someone with a twisted sense of humor is playing puppeteer with our hope strings, hope for relief and hope for a chance at living.

Is it possible there’s more to the story?

Disclaimer: This post is written out of my personal life experiences. I do not treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease on this blog or with my healthstyle and product recommendations. I share with you things I learn from my experiences and what works or doesn’t work for me. Some things I share may resonant with you. Some may not. And that’s okay! We never know what may ripple on the water of our lives. I am glad you are here!

It never gets old to me to celebrate you, especially if you’re here at Part 3! You are a blessing!

In my first post about the Herxheimer reaction, we discussed the body’s reaction to cellular die-off causing an inflammatory response similar to the flu. We covered the many different names this set of symptoms is called and a window into my experience with herxing connected to treatment for Lyme disease.

In my second post we discussed, what things cause a herx for me: killing and moving. We went a little deeper on the process our bodies go through and the importance of mobilizing toxins to leave the body safely without re-absorption.

Today’s Big Question: What things work for me to shorten a Herxheimer reaction or minimize/manage my symptoms?

My first question whenever my mom or healthcare practitioner gives me the lowdown on a health thing is,

“So what can we DO about that?”

I’m a doer.

I love discovering solutions to problems that WORK! 

That, quite frankly, is the heart behind everything I put out for you guys. There’s always something we might do differently!

What can we do for self-care to support our body as it is balancing and sorting things out?

One: Hydration

Increase the amount of clean water you drink. Your liver and kidneys will thank you.

Talk to your healthcare practitioner about how much water is effective for your body to take in. I personally consume between half a gallon to one gallon of water daily. My sources recommend starting by adding 20% more clean water to your average daily intake. 

What does “clean water” mean?

It means the source of your drinking water matters.

Much of our society’s water is not clean, meaning: bacteria, viruses, traces of toxic metals and industrial contaminants are found in nearly every city water system.

The laws for monitoring US tap water have not been updated for over 40 years and the government requires testing for only 91 out of thousands of contaminants known to be dangerous. 

Even bottled water is suspect.

There are no legal standards for the purity of bottled water sold. Most is just tap water filtered for taste. Bottled water can contain thousands of harmful chemicals including hormone disruptors leeching into the water over time from the very plastic bottles you buy to bring it home!

 If you are curious about a cost-effective way to access clean water, check this out. The technology and results of filtration are independently tested and 3rd party certified for accountability and dependability. You can purchase it here.

Two: Epsom salt baths/saunas

The skin is one of the body’s pathways for waste removal.

In Chinese medicine the skin is considered the third kidney and is linked to the kidney, bladder and adrenal organs.

Many people use Epsom salts in a warm bath for comfort and sing praises over how well they work for reducing pain. For more on Epsom salts check this out.

How Epsom salts work is not well-researched and the scientific data isn’t there to say one way or the other if they help support the body in removing toxins, but I’ve heard from almost every holistic practitioner I’ve worked with that Epsom salt baths are beneficial to the body and I use them to support my own herx recovery process.   

Saunas promote sweating which is another pathway for impurities to leave the body. Saunas have been used for health support in many cultures for centuries. Like Epsom salts, many people swear by them, however there is not much research on what specific health benefits saunas provide. Here is a little more info.

If you might want to use a sauna, check with your medical doctor first. Saunas are dangerous with some health conditions and medications.

If you are going to use a sauna, be sure to shower immediately after sweating it out. The intention is to eliminate the toxins and rinsing away your sweat before it has a chance to dry on you or re-absorb into your body is important. I personally use a sauna on a regular basis and find it effective in the results I’m working toward.

Three: Supplements

Some supplements act as binders and can prevent or lessen the intensity of the flu-like symptoms as the body works to self-cleanse through its normal processes. Most of my detox support supplements contain blends of ingredients formulated to achieve a specific result.

One ingredient I’d like to feature here is: Activated Charcoal of Willow Tree Bark. 

This powerful ingredient is a part of my favorite detox support supplement because it can bond and carry thousands of times its own weight in toxins and other chemicals.

Another ingredient I’d like to feature in this category is: Zeolite.

Zeolites are natural volcanic minerals mined in certain parts of the world. Zeolite has a very unique structure consisting of large, vacant spaces that allow for free radicals to be attracted to it, then trapped and eliminated from the body. It’s honeycomb-like structure allows zeolite to work at the cellular level to trap unwanted materials.

And because it is one of the few negatively charged minerals in nature, zeolite acts as a magnet drawing free radicals and other inflammatory unwanted substances to it.

The third ingredient I like to feature in the detox support process is: Chlorella.

Chlorella is a pure, green algae rich in chlorophyll that aids in processing oxygen. This supports the body’s natural cleansing process in key elimination systems such as the bowel, liver and blood. 

My detox support supplement bench is deep, and this powder I mix with juice or water is in my starting lineup. The combination of charcoal, zeolite, chlorella and nutrient-dense superfoods it contains attracts and removes free radicals and unwanted substances, support balanced pH levels, and supports healthy immune function while bolstering the body’s natural detoxification processes.

As always, sourcing matters. Look for detox support supplements that are third party certified with ingredients that are lab tested for purity. You can purchase it here.

Four: Support your body’s digestion and elimination


My girlfriends who are also chronic illness warriors and I love to swap poop stories! Lol!

Do you poop once a day? 

Our bodies are made to evacuate at least once a day. Some say healthy bowel function is moving the bowels 2 or 3 times a day with soft, formed and easy to pass stool that floats vs sinks.

If you aren’t pooping daily, where is the waste going?

It has to go somewhere and as we discussed earlier what our bodies can’t process and eliminate they re-absorb and store. This reabsorption of our cellular waste takes away from our health and increases our inflammation. Explore this article.  

There is extensive research on the health benefits of green cruciferous vegetables and how they support digestion and elimination. Unfortunately, in a USDA report on food availability, only 22% of adults in the U.S. reported eating vegetables daily and that number includes French Fries.

The digestive enzymes help the body break down and unlock the nutritional value in our food, dietary soluble fiber and phytonutrients in one serving of these greens that work for me is equal to 2 pounds of vegetable and only 15 calories. They also contain pre and pro-biotics which play a significant role in achieving and maintaining gut health. You can purchase them here.

A healthy gut plays a vital role in supporting the body through a herxing season or any season of our health!

Our guts are where nutrition is absorbed for energy and a large part of where our bodies eliminate waste. Go guts!  

Five: Rest

Anytime we have a health supporting treatment, therapy or other modality done to our body, it requires energy for the body to process the experience both physically and emotionally.

My Mom is fond of sharing what her Grandfather used to say to her,

“Rest is a weapon.”

Rest can take many forms. It can be a nap, scheduling low energy activities for a day or two after a health supporting treatment, going to bed early, working from home, meditating for 10 minutes, deep breathing and many other valuable tactics.

Give yourself permission to rest friend.

Rest is critical work in a health journey.  I encourage you to make it part of your life rhythm during the seasons of your journey.

Six: Anti-inflammatory Lifestyle

A herx occurs when the body is overwhelmed by more toxins and the inflammation from these toxins than it can eliminate.

Evaluate what toxic and inflammatory substances you may be adding to your body during a season of herxing.

If you’re struggling, avoid adding to your body’s toxic load in the form of additional chemicals and toxins in your food, air and personal care products.

Inflammation and herxing are connected. And to be honest, inflammation used to confuse the heck out of me. So, I wrote an e-book to teach myself a few things! 

In What the F is In*lammation I explore inflammation to bring clarity to this fuzzy word and help you take back the reins to real health! I share the various ways inflammatory substances creep into our bodies and easy swaps to reduce the presence of inflammatory toxins in our healthstyles.

Begin by noticing what you’re eating, breathing and putting on your skin and evaluate whether it supports your ultimate goal of reducing inflammation.

Seven: Exercise

Movement is key to supporting the body as it works to eliminate unwanted substances.

It is no end of difficult to get up and work out or go for a walk when we feel like poo… and are running off to poo way TOO OFTEN. However, when you can, it is a great support.

Our lymphatic system is part of how our bodies process and eliminate toxins alongside the other detox organs.

The only things is this: our lymph system is a passive system. What does that mean? 

Our heart is the muscle that pumps, so blood can move through the body. Our lymph has no “heart,” no ignition source. How does the lymph fluid move and do the important work of supporting our detox process and shortening our herx?

The muscular contractions throughout our body as we exercise serve as the ignition source to the passive lymph system.

It definitely seems counter intuitive to exercise when we feel unwell, but when you are able to and you are medically cleared to participate in physical activity, it makes a positive impact on the body’s ability to cleanse itself. In addition to supporting the lymph system, exercise also supports Point Four above! “Supporting your body’s digestion and elimination.”

Exercise helps the poops too. It really does. 😉

The last area I will mention exercise connects to is the sweating component we discussed in Point Two! I love how our bodies are interconnected and when we begin to form our most effective healthstyle the things we do that work for us connect to all areas of our wellbeing!

The side effect being, we won’t always have to think so hard to be healthy!

Cultivating a healthstyle is work and maintaining it requires consistency, but once we discover what works and find the areas with common threads we are able to settle in and simply enjoy the experience of doing things that take us where we want to go.

Exercise/movement of some kind is a key component in that journey.

Eight: Ask for help

We all need help. It’s okay to ask for some. Contact your health practitioner if you are experiencing the icky-sickies after something that has been prescribed or recommended for you.

Some practitioners go with the “low and slow” approach to treatment, meaning they gradually work up to full dosing or high impact treatments to give the body a chance to adapt. Either way, the person overseeing your treatment wants to know if you are getting a negative response from your body to anything they have prescribed or recommended.

It gives them the ability to pivot and work with you for your most effective experience.

If you have questions or concerns about any symptoms you may be experiencing, please contact your doctor or licensed health care practitioner.

I encourage you to listen to your body and strategize ways to support it through seasons when your body is challenged or extra demands are placed on your system.

Thank you so much for joining me for this three-part series!

An understanding of a herx reaction and how to navigate through the symptoms for increased comfort, results and quality of life has played a significant role in my health journey.

I’ve had many serious infections and challenges that push my body’s detox pathways to their limits. So, navigating a herx, whether an intense and prolonged one, or a light short one is something I do on a regular basis and having tools to positively impact the process is a tremendous blessing. I hope what I have shared can be a blessing to you.

I would love to meet you, please feel free to reach out with any questions about my journey or any of the support products I have found effective for my body.

To your health!


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