Herxheimer's response was first described by the German dermatologist Dr Karl Herxheimer, and refers to the body’s sometimes severe and often unpleasant response when Candida albicans is destroyed by the use of antifungal substances. Another name is the ‘healing crisis’. Usually referred to as 'die-off', it is not an unwanted reaction in the sense of a side effect to a drug, and it should in fact be recognised as an encouraging sign.
Candida albicans, generally known only as Candida, normally lives in balance within the intestinal tract, but it can spread throughout the body when this balance is disturbed. The toxins released by this fungus weaken the immune system, allowing it to invade other systems of the body, such as the bladder and respiratory system.
The only answer to Candida is to restrict the overgrowth of the fungus. The best way to achieve this is through a strict diet that includes food that counters the growth and spread of the Candida and destroys it. Such a diet must be combined with antifungals (such as Candida Yeast Support) to be effective.
Over 300 symptoms are related to Candida. As yeast is destroyed, the breakdown products and toxins released can cause extremely unpleasant symptoms, both as general malaise with nausea, aching limbs and depression, and locally as an apparent flare-up of previous symptoms in areas where the Candida has colonised. Die-off reactions can be uncomfortable and the Herxheimer reaction can mean major discomfort. The symptoms in some cases are sufficiently unpleasant to persuade the sufferer to throw in the towel and give up the anti-yeast regimen.
The Herxheimer reaction is a severe response to cleansing irrespective of the way it is achieved.
Especially individuals who have a heavy parasitic infection have a tremendous die off reaction. Symptoms may be aggravated when yeast is being destroyed through the use of Candida Yeast Support. Yeast wants to survive and will fight for survival, and this is the cause of the flare-up of the symptoms. It is important not to give up the diet: with a little determination, the fight against Candida can be won sooner rather than later and the symptoms will permanently be a thing of the past.
There are some ways in which one can relieve the symptoms and make the process tolerable.
It is important to re-establish strong colonies of bifido bacteria in the intestines as fast as Candida is being destroyed. By re-inoculating the bowel with proper symbiotic acid-producing bacteria, there is reduction in the compatibility of the intestinal environment for yeast proliferation. Supplementation with a pre- and probiotic like Candida Yeast Support in the last stage of the regimen is therefore essential. A prebiotic supports the growth of the probiotic. Supplementing with probiotics could also form part of the initial supplementation programme.
During this time, it is important to lighten the burden on our bodies by eating lighter meals, avoiding foods we have trouble with, drinking more fluid and cultivating patience. Sickness and cleansing can be taxing on all the organs and our systems can slow down. Clearing toxic chemicals, accumulated intestinal wastes, parasites, Candida, harmful (pathogenic) bacteria or viruses is likely to produce slowed bowel transit time until we achieve some of our cleansing goals.
Constipation should be avoided at all costs because of the danger of reabsorption of toxins and Candida metabolites. Further, microorganisms thrive on stagnant, putrefactive matter within the intestines. Old impacted faeces do not pass from the body with ordinary bowel movements but require special techniques to dissolve the mucoid material. Plenty of fluid, ideally purified water, should be consumed on a daily basis to aid detoxification.
Herxheimer’s response can have an impact on the emotions, and vice versa. When the die-off reaction manifests as emotional disturbances such as depression, morbidity, anxiety, panic, irritability and aggression, it is possible that the immune system is reacting to the presence of excess toxins in the bloodstream so that in addition to die-off there is also allergy to die-off! Furthermore, stress is a frequently ignored factor, which keeps Candida supported even in the face of an otherwise strict anti-Candida regimen. It is one of the greatest challenges to our immune systems, putting pressure on nearly every organ and system in the body.
Dentures can be an ongoing source of Candida re-infection. Aloe vera, grape seed extract or propolis may be used as a refreshing mouthwash or gargle and aloe vera can be used as an overnight denture soak.
Avoid household chemical products and cleaners, chlorinated water, mothballs, synthetic textiles, and damp and mouldy places, such as basements.
Sometimes it is evident that an anti-Candida approach alone is not sufficient to achieve restoration to health. In these situations it is worth considering the possibility of parasitic infection by such organisms as Blastocystis hominis or Giardia lamblia, or an overgrowth of potentially pathogenic bacteria such as Klebsiella, Helicobacter or Citrobacter. The presence of one of these will not only cause symptoms in its own right, but may severely compromise the body's ability to bring Candida under control. If no satisfactory results are achieved, treatment for parasites towards the end of the anti-Candida regimen. Ozone is one of the best treatments – OXYCELL now available at Eezehealth!
When Candida-related symptoms have disappeared, but food intolerance's are still experienced after the treatment regime, a 'leaky gut' could be the cause. To treat a leaky gut while Candida is still actively making holes in the intestinal lining tends to be a waste of money. A leaky gut should therefore only be addressed after antifungals and probiotics have been introduced.
Many are discovering that it is possible to regain health if ways can be found of bringing an overgrowth of Candida albicans under control.