My experience with a Jarisch-Herxheimer (Herx) reaction came approximately 4-5 years ago. It's a long story, but I had a Rhuematologist mis-diagnose me with RA and had been put on 21 different medications and was EXTREMELY ill. A new RA doctor took me off all meds. for 6 months and then put me on oral Doxycycline and Rifampin. I knew within hours that "something" was changing in my body... and within 24 hours guessed that it was a "herx" - something I had read about but never experienced. I went straight downhill for approx. 10 days and then couldn't take it anymore. The next morning I woke up with NO PAIN, NO JOINT CREAKING, A CLEAR MIND.....ETC.! I was convinced "it" was over. This lasted about 5-6 days and then I slowly went down hill again and have been fighting Lyme ever since.
It is my understanding that this extreme decline (Herx) is a result of the bacteria dying off so quickly (which releases toxins) that the body's normal ways of ridding itself of the toxins becomes overwhelmed. During my 10 day decline I had diareah, vomiting, crying, constant sinus, sweating so severe that I would have to change pajamas 2 or more times a night and lay down towels over my bed sheets. I could barely eat, the pain was overwhelming, and was extremely fatigued, but couldn't get any real sleep. The only thing that kept me going was the knowledge that this might be a Herx and I would therfore end up feeling better when it was over... and I did for a while. After experiencing this Herx, any shred of doubt that I had Lyme was gone. It was like nothing I had ever felt before or since. It can be overwhelming, so if it does happen to you and becomes severe, please let your doctor know what is happening.
Hope this helps.
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10/01- Igenex and CDC LD positive
Rx's: Wellbutrin 300, Paxil 60, Xanax 5, Acidophilus, Invanz IV, possibly Gammaglobulin, Flagyl, HBOT