Herxheimer Reaction

Lyme disease and tick-borne diseases are complicated illnesses and because of that, treatment can be complex. Patients who’ve gone through treatment will often say “your symptoms get worse before they get better.” One of the reasons for this is something called a Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction.

The Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction –often shortened just to “Herxheimer” or “herxing”—happens after you start antibiotic treatment for spirochetal infections like syphilis, Lyme disease, and tick-borne relapsing-fever.

The reaction was first described in 1895 by Adolf Jarisch, an Austrian dermatologist, and later in 1902 by Karl Herxheimer, a German dermatologist. Both doctors documented a pattern of an increase in symptoms shortly after their syphilis patients started treatment. Source: https://www.lymedisease.org/lymesci-herxing/

  • From Candia Inloes (Febraury 2023): “People react differently. Some do experience a Herxheimer effect, where they may be very uncomfortable or even experience flu-like symptoms as their body eliminates toxins and congested energy begins to flow. I experience tingling in my feet and hands almost immediately upon touching a grounded mat or mattress cover. I often feel the effect in my lips and sometimes even have a metallic taste in my mouth. I personally do not find this discomforting or something I regard as suspect or want to avoid. Rather, I lean into it and really enjoy it for what it is. I have had horribly debilitating issues with my thumbs, something called Thenar Eminence, as well as a damaged piriformis involving both my Iliacus and psoas major which significantly impaired my ability to walk. I have only been grounding for a month and all of these have remarkably improved via grounding.”

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