ABOUT HERXHEIMER REACTIONS??? Jelly, Mikie, Maddog, Pat, etc..

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Plantscaper, Mar 10, 2003.

  1. Plantscaper

    Plantscaper New Member

    I WOULD LIKE TO FIND OUT WHAT SYMPTOMS HAVE BEEN EXPERIENCED BY PEOPLE ON EITHER ABX OR OLE THAT THEY WOULD LABEL AS a "HERXHEIMER REACTION". My main question is, "Is herxing usually a really exaggerated response of symptoms that one haS BASED on PRIOR/CONTINUING SYMPTOMS? VERSUS "Is this a bad reaction based just on one's response to the medication?" HOW TO DISTINQUISH BETWEEN THESE TWO DIVERSE ELEMENTS AND WHETHER THE LAST ELEMENT CONSTITUTES A HERXHEIMER REACTION? I should add that my prior symptoms have included migraines, brain swelling with sinus infections and hypoglycemic symptoms..so I think I was herxing with those symptoms..but the reaction was so intense, that I wondered if there is something in this that I may be allergic to, etc.. LOL, AMELIA
    [This Message was Edited on 03/10/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 03/10/2003]
  2. Anita B.

    Anita B. New Member

    I have taken large doses of olive leaf extract (at times taking 9 to 12 capsules per day), without experiencing any herxheimer reaction, and I have tried several different excellent brands. I realize that some people do experience herxheimer reactions from taking olive leaf extract, but when I read one of your previous posts, my first thought was: are you sure that it isn't one of the other ingredients of the product you're taking that is causing the symptoms you are experiencing? Maybe what you're experiencing is not so much a herxheimer effect, but rather more of a toxic reaction to one or more of the ingredients in the capsules you're taking. All of the brands I've tried have had only olive leaf extract in them. The product you are taking has, you said, other ingredients, such as astragulas (a mushroom that is believed in Chinese medicine to strengthen the immune system) and clover flowers. Sometime ingredients that one person can tolerate another cannot tolerate. You may want to consider taking a product that contains only olive leaf so that you can be sure the symptoms you're experiencing are due to the olive leaf and not due to one of the other ingredients.
  3. rfg958

    rfg958 New Member

    I posted earlier about my sensitive system and I think I get a Herxheimer-like response to many, many good things. I think it is like a detoxing effect. I am wondering if I would do better if I would learn to take it all a little slower for a while. rfg (could stand for "really friendly gal" but is really my initials Rita F. Graber)
  4. Plantscaper

    Plantscaper New Member

    Excellent point, Anita B.- This is my querry..I wanted to make sure this is a true herx and not a toxic reaction based on allergies, too much of a good thing, or altitude problems, or just a poisonous reaction..But people talk about "herxing" here, often, but they usually do not go into what their "herxing" is all about..so I wanted to hear what others have experienced, so that I could be sure that the h**l that I went thru was because of "herxing" and I will look for a pure Olive Leaf product and will adjust my dose to my tolerance level. Rfg: What good things do you herx on and what are those symptoms like? Since it took me about 3 days off the OLE to recover my prior pre-OLe status, I think I need to adjust my level...Thanks to both of you for your feedback! LOL, AMELIA[This Message was Edited on 03/10/2003]
  5. PatPalmer

    PatPalmer New Member

    This is a good question & bit of a toughie,

    I would expect a reaction when on medication to be a good one, unless I have been warned beforehand of possible side effects. The side effects could be a herx, that you are allergic, the dose is too high, anything.
    It depends on what the illness is and what drug you are on.

    Some drugs as you probably know can react with others, such as St Johns Wort, a natural product & OK on it`s own, but not good if used with some prescription drugs.
    If you`re on the Pill, that can be cancelled out by certain things too.

    If mixing natural products and drugs you should really do research first or enlist professional advice.

    I am not on meds and read all I could possibly find on OLE, there was nothing to say it reacts with other stuff, and is reasonably safe in high doses. If you do NOT have a high bacteria/viral/yeast count, you will NOT Herx.
    If high, you will.

    If you know you have a high B/V/Y infection I think it is safe to assume you Herxed badly because your OLE was a very high dose,too much too soon, your system was overloaded with toxins, so your response was a Herx to the medication.

    Hope you`re not as confused as I am, so will finish off here.
    Be interesting to see what anyone else thinks.

    Love Pat.
  6. Plantscaper

    Plantscaper New Member

    I think at least part of it was herxing..because I did have an exaggeration of prior and current symptoms, however, I wondered if there was something else as well..I have herxed when I was treated for systemic yeast problems and experienced "die-off"..usually when I am allergic to a herbal medication,intense itching that lasts about 24 hours is in the picture..But besides brain inflammation this time,it felt like someone was chiseling on my head or trying to use a nutcracker to split it open..and my brain seemed so exposed to anything..talk about Sensory Overload..and it spawned horrendous migraines!!!! I just wanted to see what kind of reactions others had with their herxs, as I haven't seen actual descriptions of their symptoms..and it would help me judge my own experiences in a greater light....AMELIA
  7. AnnG

    AnnG New Member

    I have seen this a number of times and I must admit...I have no idea what you are talking about!

    Fill me in?
  8. Plantscaper

    Plantscaper New Member

    TO MY KNOWLEDGE, HERXING IS THE RESULT OF KILLING THE PATHOGENS (bacteria ((especially mycoplasma)), fungis, parasites, viruses, etc.), that have brutally taken advantage of our bodies, or in the case of ABX (rendering them without their needed host cells, in the case of bacteria, for which it was designed), which results in a enormous amount of toxins being released into the bloodstream which makes one feel very bad...But defining whether the symptoms you experience are herxes is the question I have put forth..}}{{ AMELIA[This Message was Edited on 03/10/2003]
  9. CelticLadee

    CelticLadee New Member

    The Physician's Page
    Vol. 1, No. 4
    © A Publication of The Road Back Foundation


    Treating the Jarisch-Herxheimer (JH) Flare Reaction


    Stuart L. Weg, M.D., Dir. of Anesthesiology & Pain Manage-ment at Bergen Pines County Hospital, Parmus, New Jersey. Dr. Weg is certified by the American Board of Anesthesi-ology with added qualifications in pain management.

    The observed temporary worsening of clinical status in patients undergoing anti-infective treatment is called the Jarisch-Herxheimer (JH) reaction. It may be referred to by some of the terms listed below. This phenomenon, described in the cover article, is not just present in rheumatologic disease but is common to all forms of anti-infective therapies that I have used for most chronic painful states. This apparent common etiology of all chronic pain and arthritis is not within the scope of this discussion but will be covered in the future.

    The JH reaction can take the mild form of sleepiness and fatigue to full blown anaphylactic shock. The timing varies from almost immediately, as is the case of IV antibiotics, to up to a week or two later. This depends on the rate that toxins are produced and how fast they can be metabolized or eliminated. Drug levels are important, but often cannot explain the timing of a reaction. In some cases an overwhelming, waterfall effect is present, while in other patients there is a slow, gradual building of symptoms. I have seen cases where adding another unrelated medication caused the antibiotic to become more bioavailable and that precipitated a JH. There are cases where simply changing a single 100 mg daily dose of minocycline to two 50 mg split doses has provoked a JH due to an absorption increase. Reducing, suspending or changing the offending medication is the most obvious treatment. Patients must understand that early signs of the JH reaction may not be present; even the most conscientious and observant physicians may not stop or lower the medication in time to avoid patient discomfort.

    The classical discussions of a JH describe the presence of bacterial debris or toxins from anti-infective therapies that cause this reaction. This is certainly true, but another byproduct is also formed when cell wall deficient bacteria or L forms are attacked. I have noticed that some JH present as a flu syndrome. Other patients develop purulent drainage from the head and neck, urine and other areas. When I have cultured these patients, I have been able to isolate adult (non L-form) bacteria. Treatment with medications that favor the destruction of L-forms who are unwalled forms will also favor or select for the survival of adult or walled forms of bacteria.1 Microbiologists call this change of the form of bacteria pleomorphism. The induction of walled forms of bacteria has been studied and should be kept in mind when considering treating a JH reaction.

    Treatment of a JH should be aimed at eliminating toxins from the killed bacteria and destruction of newly induced adult bacteria. Consideration should also be given to the possibility of overgrowth of endemic yeast infections. Often there are symptoms that clinically indicate the presence of histamine. The physician's diagnostic skills and clinical judgment must be called into place to differentiate between a direct toxic reaction versus the appearance of an adult form organism or the more insidious development of yeast overgrowth.

    For the ease of the reader, I am classifying the JH reaction into two categories:

    1) Acute - life-threatening. These may also be called anaphilactoid.

    2) Non-acute or non-life-threatening- not anaphilactoid.

    Acute - Life Threatening

    The severe acute reactions are probably related to a massive response of the immune system to toxins. There may be a large release of histamine as well. Such anaphilactoid reactions need immediate attention and should be considered life-threatening. The most severe problems involve swelling of the neck areas and closure of the airway. This must be treated at once with epinephrine followed by transportation to a hospital. The management of severe anaphilactoid emergencies is well known by healthcare personnel and beyond the ability of the patients to handle at home. A drop in blood pressure is also common along with skin changes due to dilation of the blood vessels. This can lead to cardiovascular collapse unless aggressively treated and also needs hospital management. Milder cases featuring asthma may respond to inhaled broncodialator medications, but this can sometimes delay the patient from seeking early medical attention and avoiding catastrophe. Skin rashes are not life threatening but often are quite distressing. A more detailed

    1 Mattman, Lida Cell Wall Deficient Forms, Stealth Pathogens 1993 CRC Press

    Anti-infective therapies or approaches that can feature the JH

    Antibiotic/antifungal therapies
    Oxidative therapies
    Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation
    Hydrogen Peroxide therapy
    High dose vitamin C therapy
    Induced Hyperthermia
    Sunlight exposure
    Various herbal therapies
    Bee sting reactions
    Iodine reactions
    Terms in Use for JH

    Herxheimer Reaction
    Die Off Reaction
    Flare Reaction
    Coming Out Reaction
    Summary of Treatment Features of Life Threatening JH Reactions

    Treatment of histaminic states
    Acute life threatening histamine shock or airway swelling
    Epinephrine with fluids for shock
    Mild JH Reactions

    Anti-histamine medication e.g.benadryl parenterally or by mouth
    Supportive Care for Anaphylactic Type JH Reactions

    Management of Bronchospasm (acute asthma) with Bronchodialators

    discussion of these kinds of problems is presented in most textbooks of medicine and all manuals for emergency care.

    Management of Non-life Threatening JH Reactions or Clinical Flares

    The more typical JH reactions to anti-infective therapies are: worsening of symptoms, febrile states such as night sweats, flu-like picture, hot swollen joints, mental depression and fatigue. I recommend home therapies designed to clear the blood and make the patient more comfortable. My routine calls for baths in hydrogen peroxide and Epsom salts. These baths are very effective and have tremendous anti-infective effects. They may work for only a short time at first and may need to be repeated. The peroxide easily enters the body through the skin and rapidly detoxifies and sterilizes the blood. There will be a marked reduction in tight muscles that can be a part of a JH reaction. Unfortunately peroxide can have a JH reaction of its own, but this is more pronounced when it is used IV rather than in a bath. Magnesium in the Epsom salts also passes easily systematically; it has a local anesthetic, antispasmodic effect and an overall improvement in the performance of most systems. Oral peroxide is available but not discussed here. The IV route for both peroxide and magnesium is used to stop the JH reaction in office management. The same benefit of blood detoxification and general enhanced clearing of tissue toxins and bacteria can be claimed for high dose ascorbic acid (20-50 GMs IV). Vitamin C can be given in oral form too. Ascorbic acid powder equals about 5 grams per level teaspoon. This dose can be taken with water or juice as often as needed or until there is GI intolerance such as diarrhea. The clinical effects are similar to peroxide. In fact, the two can be given to a patient on the same day with excellent results. It must be remembered however; the vitamin C will also neutralize peroxide and thus should always be given after the bath. Mild JH reactions are also seen with vitamin C therapy again mainly when given IV. Such therapies as peroxide baths and vitamin C are easy to do at home and extremely effective at helping patients make a quick, safe recovery from a JH reaction.

    Other oxidative office therapies can be alternated with these modalities or with antibiotics to hasten detoxification of bacterial toxins. Ultraviolet blood irradiation (UBI) involves removing a small portion of the circulating blood and cleaning it under UV light before returning it to the patient. The mechanism of action is not well known, but such treatment has been used for over fifty years mostly outside the United States for improvement in immunologic function. This treatment also ameliorates the JH phase of anti infective therapy. It is further noticed that direct exposure to sunlight has a similar effect to UBI in many patients. Therefore my patients are asked to get sun exposure if the climate allows not using sunscreen up to the point of mild burning. I caution them that minocycline will cause them to be sensitive, but that they can go out with care and receive great benefit. And as I had expected, I do see stable patients develop mild JH reactions after such activities as fishing trips which cause a huge UV sun dose and large destruction of circulating bacteria.

    Another approach to treating worsening of symptoms after oral antibiotic or other anti-infective therapy is the use of IV antibiotics. I have used IV doxycycline for quelling such problems. Other physicians have used IV minocycline, IV clindamycin and others for this purpose. In my practice the antibiotics are the drugs of last resort. The most preferred treatments involve the home remedies with peroxide and vitamin C.

    I have tried to avoid the use of anti-inflammatory remedies for the JH reaction. The corticosteroids will control a rash, but I have noted a general deterioration of the patient's condition weeks later. Such topical steroids as are given in inhaled or skin medications are certainly absorbed. Their use will be a quick fix at a high cost due to the setback they cause. The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories that are used orally have the effect of irritating the GI system and are implicated as one of the causes of the leaky gut syndrome also linked to many of the chronic pain states. Again they are drugs of a last resort. Topical soothing lotions such as aloe vera can do no harm and may make a rash feel better.

    Yeast overgrowth must be considered when new symptoms develop after antibiotics are started. I put all chronic pain patients on continuous oral acidophilus supplements before starting any anti-infective therapy. We were noticing yeast emergence in nearly 100% of the patients. With the addition of acidophilus, this problem is becoming a lot less common.


    Worsening or flaring of symptoms after the commencement of anti-infective therapy should be expected and considered a JH reaction. The patient should be cautioned about the signs of a potentially life threatening anaphilactoid reaction and urged to seek medical attention at once. The more common clinical non-life threatening flares should not cause undo concern to the patient and may be treated by altering the medication dosage and with some of the suggested therapies above. Abandoning of the anti-infective approach to chronic pain and arthritic disease would be unfortunate simply because of these expected temporary setbacks.

  10. Plantscaper

    Plantscaper New Member

    I USED VIT. C THE OTHER DAY, BUT DO THE PEROXIDE BATHS WORK GOOD? I wish I could afford oxygen, too, to combat some bad guys!! I used hydrogen peroxide in some form (CAN'T REALLY REMEMBER, BUT IT MUST HAVE BEEN ORAL), BUT MOST people declared it unsafe..But it was the only thing that really cleared up my brain..they were giving people hydrogen peroxide through I.V.s, then, but that stuck out as too dangerous to me..From what source, did you get this information? Ok, I reread from RBF} LOL, AMELIA
    [This Message was Edited on 03/10/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 03/10/2003]
  11. Plantscaper

    Plantscaper New Member

    BUMP FOR JELLY IN PARTICULAR..HOW ARE YOU? missed you...My sister-in-law found out she had breast cancer about 7-8 years ago, but with a lot of internet research and good docs in San Diego she was able to bring it into remission and has been cancer free since then..hope your relative will be able to surmount this great obstacle..and you and family will be well, too.
  12. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    My Herxing is distinct in that I get a burning sensation in my torso area from the inside out. This is the only time I get this symptoms. Otherwise, Herxing also makes me feel as though I have the flu. I suffer fatigue, sensitive skin, aching all over, headaches and diarrhea.

    So, for me, it's an exageration of symptoms I already have plus a couple I usually don't have.

    Love, Mikie
  13. Plantscaper

    Plantscaper New Member

    How long did it take for the "herxing" to calm down and more positive improvements to occur? and does my "herxing" sound normal to you..with extreme fatigue, brain inflammation with nut-cracking headaches, nausea, extreme sensory overload, sinus blockage, etc. I don't have any burning sensations.. and do you know whether homeopathy could deal with the same issues without the herxs..Thanks for your patience and great wealth of knowledge..AMELIA
  14. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I do know that Herxes occur any time pathogens are killed off in the body regardless of what method is used to kill them. When a home remedy or "natural" remedy is used, the Herx is usually referred to as a healing crisis.

    Now, the bad news. I cannot tell you how long your Herxing will last. Mine always lasts about 24 hours, like a 24-hour flu; however, I have heard of people who Herx for weeks on end. I think it all depends on the pathogen, the remedy, and the person's system. Keep a journal and try to see if you can find any patterns. Drink much more water than you think you need to. This will flush out the little buggers. Be sure to maintain your minerals, though, so they don't get flushed out of your system.

    Love, Mikie
  15. Plantscaper

    Plantscaper New Member

    I appreciate your analysis of what may be happening regarding the OLE..I have taken my initial dose of a new bottle of OLE without the added ingredients, and at a lower dosage (but actually, higher oleupein at 20%), and I have not had the Horrendous Headaches I had with that first bottle..so it may be that I was allergic to the extra ingredients..YOu said that you had no herxs with OLE..Did you have any positive outcomes with it? Thanks for the med consultation!! :) AMELIA