Herxheimer Reaction

About the Herxheimer Reaction

Occasionally when undergoing a detoxification process, an individual may experience what is known as the "Herxheimer Reaction." This reaction occurs when the body detoxifies too rapidly, especially in cases where the system is particularly toxic. Some people may experience a number of symptoms while detoxing, including stomach upset, headaches, fatigue, and general malaise. In order to lessen these symptoms it is important for you to take extra care of yourself during detoxification. The following tips may help alleviate some of the symptoms of the Herxheimer Reaction:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat natural, whole foods, organic when available, and avoid processed foods as much as possible
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Exercise, without overdoing it
  • Practice relaxation techniques, such as yoga, aromatherapy, meditation, and acupuncture.

The Herxheimer reaction is caused when the blood stream is overrun with toxins during the detox process. Stored toxins from the liver and kidneys are released and cause the body to exhort itself to eliminate these toxins. This strain and increased demand are what cause the reaction and sometimes a temporary worsening of preexisting conditions.

Fortunately, the Herxheimer reaction is temporary and usually lasts only one to three days. Symptoms often improve immensely or even disappear after a bowel movement. In rare instances the reaction can last several weeks and the detoxification process must be suspended.