What the heck is a Herx?

Hello there,

As I’m writing this I’m coming towards the end of my first two weeks of treatment. In some ways it’s gone really quickly, but in others…the days have dragged by. As some of you may already know, if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, the treatment is already really hard, and is causing side effects.

One of the main thing people who are undergoing treatment for Lyme disease experience is a Herx Reaction. I had my first one earlier this week, and it was without a doubt, some of the hardest days I’ve ever had. Many people won’t know what a Herx reactions, so I thought I’d take the time to explain.

The Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction, is usually known as a Herx reaction, or just simply a Herx. It occurs when large numbers of harmful micro-organisms die off at the same time, thereby releasing their toxins all at once, faster than the body can get rid of them, and so causing severe inflammation. It doesn’t just occur in the treatment of Lyme, but in other illnesses too.

The most common symptoms are headaches, joint and muscle pain, sore throat, sweating, chills, and nausea. But as with the Lyme Disease, it can affect pretty much every part of the body, and varies from person to person. It needs to be monitored closely though, because in severe cases it can lead to septic shock, which can be fatal.  You can’t take any over the counter painkillers during a hero, because they can mask the seriousness of it,  you just have to let it’s run it’s course and rely on natural ways to aid the body in its expulsion of toxins.

In my case, I felt weak and tired for a few days at the start of my treatment, had muscle and joint pain, but it was nothing I couldn’t handle. Then on Wednesday, I got a migraine, but it wasn’t like any migraine I’d ever had before, because although the pain seemed to centre in my head, it radiated out through my whole body. Every time I moved any part of my body, the pain would flare, I couldn’t take any light all, and talking made the pain so bad I thought I was going to be sick. I’m used to having a headache, I’ve had one pretty much constantly for the last few years, but this was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. The headache was there constantly for 3 days, it was better at some times than others, for which I was very glad, but it was still incredible bad even at those times. The two days after it finally left my body felt shellshocked.

I tentatively hoped that maybe after the headache had cleared I would have a few “good days” which, even more hopefully, would coincide with my birthday week. However it doesn’t look like this is going to happen. Yes my headache is no longer excruciating, but it’s still slightly there in the background, as though as a warning to me not to overdo it, and I’m still so exhausted I can’t really get out of bed. So it’s in bed I shall stay for the foreseeable future.

As unpleasant as it is at the moment, this is supposed to mean that treatment is working, because the Lyme bacteria are dieing off in large numbers, which means that there’s the possibility of good days on the horizon. I’m trying to hold on to that. I’ll be back soon with a full update on my first two weeks of treatment.

Until next time, Rhosyn.


17 thoughts on “What the heck is a Herx?

  1. I promise! Just try to hang in there. I had a difficult time emotionally about year 2. I felt like I was making no progress. But, I’m glad I sucked it up. Year 3 of treatment is going way better. How long have you had Lyme do you think?

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  2. Pingback: TREATMENT - Blonde Voyage

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