Herxheimer Reaction?

Discussion in 'General Health & Wellness' started by 19Cody29, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. 19Cody29

    19Cody29 Member

    Hello everyone! I am 19 years old and for the past 3 years I have suffered from anxiety and panic attacks.

    First, a little history of my condition:
    When I was 16, my parents took me to a dermatologist in order to treat my acne that I had at the time and the doctor prescribed me antibiotics. After taking the antibiotics for 2 months I had my first panic attack. I remember it vividly: I was sitting on the couch looking at my laptop computer and felt completely calm, then out of nowhere, my heart began to race extremely fast and thought I was going to have a heart attack. I stopped taking the antibiotics but the entire year after this occurrence was hell on earth. Every night I was either waking up in the middle of the night with a panic attack or having an attack in the process of falling asleep.

    all of these attacks were caused by a fear of my heart beating too fast, (a fear caused by the very first attack). I was having attacks every day at school, especially when we had to take a test since we weren't allowed to leave our desks for any reason. After going through a year of hell, the constant panic attacks suddenly and unexpectedly stopped and my anxiety levels decreased to almost zero. Over the following 2 years, I had only occasional panic attacks about once every two months that were brought on by stressful situations. More recently, I was alternating between anxiety and calmness. My anxiety spells lasted one day and then a week of calm and then a day of anxiety and week of calm and so on.

    In an effort to completely rid my self of anxiety, I began doing research on the internet for natural cures and found out about the interesting gut-brain- immune system connection. I have noticed that my stomach has not been the same since I took the antibiotics three years ago. I have random, uncomfortable bloating, gas, acid, and nausea with almost anything I eat and I get sick easily. So, about 3 week ago, I started taking a daily probiotic supplement in order to hopefully reverse the damage caused by the antibiotics (which I believe caused my anxiety problems). I have also been eating probiotic yogurt, and drinking raw kombucha.

    A week after starting the probiotics, I started getting a sore throat on and off and soft stool. Then, 3 days ago while I was driving to work, I started feeling very nervous and ended up having a full blown panic attack. I managed to calm myself down while continuing to drive to work. That day and the following day, I felt super anxious and depressed. Today, my head started feeling hot (almost like a fever) and my body felt crummy, nervous and depressed. As the day went on the hot head feeling, anxiety and depression started going away.

    But now I am having random spells of crying and extreme emotions, especially If I listen to a sad song. I don't even feel that depressed, but I just keep having crying spells at the slightest emotional stimuli. Anyway, sorry for the extremely long story. My main question is, is this a Herxheimer Reaction that I am going through? I am actually not sure and keep telling myself that it could just be from the anxiety. If it is a Herx, how long will it last?

    Once again, sorry for the long story and any help or answers are greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2015
  2. hangininthere

    hangininthere Well-Known Member

    Hi Cody.

    It could be herxing, or a bad side-effect to the tea and/or probiotic, or both.

    The symptoms of herxing I get are sore throat, headache, fatigue, flu-like achy feeling all over.

    I suspect the tea is what may be causing you anxiety. Just my guess, knowing how I react to most herbal supplements and teas. I would stay off the tea. I googled it and the tea can cause the flushing, hot feeling. And diarrhea.

    The way to find out if one or both are causing your symptoms is discontinue them and see if you start to feel better like before.

    If it's herxing, you need to take a break anyway. Because a severe herx is unhealthy.

    Always try just one thing at a time, so you know what reaction you get from it. So you'll know which thing the reaction came from.

    I'd say take a break from both for a week or more and see how you feel.

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2015
  3. 19Cody29

    19Cody29 Member

    Thanks for the reply Patti.

    Actually, the tea makes me feel better. Also, these symptoms started after a week of daily probiotic use so you would think that I would have reacted sooner if it was a bad reaction. I will take your advice though and lay off of both for a little while.

  4. hangininthere

    hangininthere Well-Known Member

    You're welcome, Cody.

    Yes, take a break to see if you feel better.

    Then reintroduce one at a time, maybe in a smaller dose so you herx lighter, which is healthier.

    I googled some more about herxing, and it says anxiety can be a symptom, too.

    Good you're addressing gut health.

    Sounds like a strong herx. Take a break for sure, which gives your liver time to clear itself of the die-off. A herx is when your liver is overloaded from the die-off.

    It can take a while, taking breaks, but the herxes will get milder and milder, til no herxes anymore from each particular remedy you try.

    I hope you get some more replies and opinions.

    Hang in there.

  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Dear Cody,

    I took the liberty of placing paragraphs in your post. Many of us cannot read long posts with no paragraphs. It would be a shame if someone wanted to read but could not.

    Antibiotics can have severe side effects and stopping them can cause the immune system to rebound, killing off many pathogens. If more pathogens die than can be excreted, they become toxic in the system. This is Herxing. It makes one feel very sick but, in the end, it helps kill off offending pathogens.

    Adding probiotics is a good decision but, again, it can disrupt everything and the body has to get used to them. Good luck to you.

    Love, Mikie
    Waynesrhythm likes this.
  6. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi Cody,

    Whether or not you're experiencing a herx reaction, I would suggest backing off (perhaps completely) on what you're doing for now. Once you get to more of a baseline in your health and emotional states, then add one thing at a time, and see how your body reacts to it.

    In the mean time, I would suggest you consider doing a coffee enema. When the first natural cancer centers started cancer killing protocols on patients, it would dump so much debris in the body all at once, that people would die of the toxic overload. Once patients started using coffee enemas to relieve this extreme toxic burden, they quit dying. Coffee enemas are VERY effective in quickly detoxifying the body.

    Symptoms of toxic overload often include anxiety and/or depression, so I think there's a good chance you are dealing with a toxic burden. Regarding building your gut flora, I would recommend looking into the work of Dr. David Perlmutter if you haven't already. He's one of the foremost practitioners who focuses heavily on restoring gut flora and gut function.

    I just read his latest book, "Brain Maker". He considers rectal implantation of probtiotics to be a very powerful therapy, and describes a patient of his with Tourette's Syndrome who improved dramatically almost immediately. He describes FMT (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation) to be even MORE powerful, and relates the story of a man with MS who recovered completely using them. You might find the following article of interest.

    Gut-Brain Lnks Grab Neuroscientists

    I think the epilogue (What the Future Holds) in "Brain Maker" would be an interesting read for anyone who has an interest in this topic. You can read it on Amazon by clicking on the above link, clicking on the image of the book on the left, going to the table of contents, and then clicking on epilogue.
    Good luck in finding some good solutions for yourself. I admire your determination and tenacity in getting to the root causes of what you're all dealing with. ;):)
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
  7. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Wayne, My Friend, I haven't seen your posts for a while. As always, you offer good advice on checking out ways to detoxify the gut. I just saw Dr. Perlmutter on PBS and he was talking a lot about prebiotics and probiotics. As you know, I've been taking probiotics for decades. The gut is central to our immune systems. Not only that, but a sick gut can lead to Leaky Gut Syndrome, a serious problem.

    Hope you are doing well.

    Love, Mikie
    Waynesrhythm likes this.
  8. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi Mikie, thanks for the warm welcome! :)

    Yeah, Perlmutter is my go to guy when it comes to gut health. He spends a lot of time keeping up with the latest research, connecting a lot of dots, and then incorporating his findings into his own practice, often achieving remarkable results. Here's his latest video, comparing the human and ocean microbiome.

    In his latest book, he has a VERY interesting section on autism. A couple of tidbits: If a mother has the flu during pregnancy, the odds of the child developing autism doubles. If the mother takes Abx during pregnancy, the odds of the child developing autism increases several fold.

    He feels we're in just the beginning stages of what there is to learn from the burgeoning fields of probiotics and FMT. He thinks probiotics from food are preferable to those you buy in the store. He also believes that when someone is doing antibiotics, it's wise to take probiotics both before and after each Abx administration.

    Even though I've incorporated raw goat milk cultured products into my diet, I plan to expand on that considerably. I just had some home made sauerkraut a couple nights ago, and noticed I slept better, indicating to me a lessening of stress in my GI tract. I'm feeling optimisitic as to where this might all take me.

    I'm also finding benefit from supplementing with a new product: [Source Naturals Coenzymate B Complex Orange, 120 Tablets]. and zinc, which often become severely depleted in somebody dealing with pyroluria, a genetic metabolic disorder I've come to believe runs in my family. It's quite a fascinating topic if you ever decide to check it out. I think many in the ME/CFS community are likely dealing with pyroluria, or with symptoms which results from having it.

    Though I can't say I'm significantly more functional so far, I have noticed my mental stamina has improved from the B vitamins and zinc I've been taking. Which gives me hope, a precious commodity indeed! And when I'm hopeful, it gives me a little more determination and resilience to carry on--perhaps even with a little spring in my step! ;)

    All the Best, to you, and to Everyone on the ProHealth board, Wayne
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
  9. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Dear Wayne,

    I'm so glad you are finding help with your health. I get my probiotics here and they are just what Dr. Perlmutter suggests. I use the methylcobalamin (probably spelled that incorrectly) vitamin B-12 and it helps. It's part of the methylation protocol which I haven't done for a while. As you know, the peptide injections had gotten rid of most of my symptoms from CFIDS/ME, FMS and Sjogrens; however, I am slipping back but can't afford the injections. I will try a couple of them, hoping they will give me a boost.

    I think Dr. Perlmutter is one of the best docs I've ever seen, with his research and applications for his patients. I think it was he who said a child is at risk for problems later if he or she is delivered by C Section. I have never understood why docs don't mention taking probiotics when prescribing antibiotics. A few will suggest yogurt but that isn't enough to recolonize the gut when the antibiotics wipe out all the good bacteria. Docs should be telling their patients to take prebiotics and probiotics every day and not just when taking antibiotics. Most docs know nothing of getting things from diet and supps. All they know is running tests and prescribing meds. The meds often do more harm than what ails us.

    I love the programs PBS provides on health. A Doctor Masley did one on healthy hearts and I got the material. We all die of massive heart attacks in my family unless an accident takes us earlier. I have been incorporating his suggestions, working my heart and lungs out at the targeted heart rate for 30 mins., three times a week. I should do that at least five times a week but, if I did, I'd never get anything else done. People with what I have do not get energy from working out; we just get more tired. I've lost 20 lbs. but have gained 5 back as my body gets used to the workout. So, I'm going to be really working more on my diet.

    Thank you so very much for sharing your knowledge here with everyone. That's the whole idea of this website. I'm still here after 15 years because it's the best place to learn about our conditions and get the support of other who know what we go through. Take care.

    Love, Mikie
    Waynesrhythm likes this.
  10. pjmccoy

    pjmccoy Member

    Were you able to resume the peptide therapy for Sjogrens? I have no idea what the cost is or who the physician is who uses it for Sjogren's. Please share. Thank you.
  11. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Hi, PJ,

    I finished my year of the peptide injection therapy and only get a 'booster' injection from time to time. My SS symptoms seem to be mostly under control but, for about the last six months, I've been in a flare of exhaustion. I never expected these injections to be a magic bullet, and they have not seemed to restore my energy, but I am better off overall than before I did the series of injections. I just wish this exhaustion would improve. There has been a stressful situation which might be the cause. That stressor is mostly resolved but stress can do a number on our health long beyond when the stressor ends.

    My doc is Dr. David Gomeringer in Ft. Myers, FL. There are only about 25 docs in this country who do this treatment and even my doc doesn't know the names of the others. Good luck to you.

    Love, Mikie
    Waynesrhythm likes this.