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Understanding and Mitigating the Herxheimer Reaction While Cleansing

December 19, 2017

The New Year is fast approaching and this is a time when many of your patients will be interested in doing Aceva’s Revolutionary 5 in 1 Cleansing Program, the Ultimate Body Cleanse. The benefits of doing a cleanse are numerous, including losing excess body fat, enhancing mental clarity, increasing energy levels, reducing sugar cravings and balancing immune function. A majority of your patients should report feeling these benefits immediately or a few days into the program while others may see a majority of the benefits after the program depending on the level of toxins present in their tissues. Before these benefits come to fruition, some of your patients may actually report feeling worse before feeling better depending on how “toxic” they are prior to beginning the cleanse. This is due to what is termed the Herxheimer Reaction.

What is the Herxheimer Reaction?

The Herxheimer Reaction, also called the “healing crisis, and “die-off reaction,” occurs when toxins accumulate in tissues at a rate faster than the body’s ability to eliminate them. If left in circulation for too long, these toxins can spark many symptoms in your patients including headache, nausea, bloating/constipation, diarrhea, increased muscle and/or joint pain, elevated heart rate, skin breakouts and sweating.

Sources of Toxins

Toxins can enter circulation from numerous sources including those consumed from processed foods and the environment, as well as from bacterial and yeast byproducts in the intestinal tract that may be absorbed when these microorganisms die and their byproducts enter into circulation. Once these toxins enter circulation, the body attempts to eliminate them or store them away in adipose or other tissues due to their destructive nature.  

Increased Risk Factors

Individuals that may pose a higher risk of experiencing the Herxheimer Reaction while undergoing a detox program are those who are overweight/obese, consume primarily processed foods, work in a toxic work environment, complain excessively of fatigue and chronic pain,do not comply with taking the supplements outlined in the Ultimate Body Cleanse program and those being treated for Candida Albicans and/or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).

A majority of these risk factors indicate individuals who have higher than normal toxin levels present in their tissues before beginning the cleanse. Weight loss can induce large amounts of toxins being spilled into the bloodstream as a result of adipose cells being broken down. It is also important to note that taking probiotic supplements can also initiate the Herxheimer reaction if there is a microorganism overgrowth present. The beneficial probiotic species help eradicate overgrown microbial species, but this may spark the Herxheimer reaction depending on the severity of the overgrowth and the body’s ability to detoxify properly. Aceva’s Ultimate Body Cleansing program does contain a probiotic supplement, Digest and Protect. If your patient experiences the Herxheimer Reaction while on the cleanse, it may be a sign they were extremely toxic and/or had microorganism overgrowth such as (SIBO) and/or Candida overgrowth prior to the cleanse.

Ways to Mitigate and Ease Herxheimer Reaction Symptoms

You will be pleased to know that Aceva’s Ultimate Body Cleansing program contains supplemental ingredients that have been shown to help prevent and/or mitigate Herxheimer Reaction symptoms. Additional strategies and products that can be used that may also be effective include:

  • Taking A High Quality Multivitamin such as Aceva’s Daily Balance will help provide necessary cofactors involved in the detoxification process including molybdenum and selenium.
  • Relieve Constipation with Magnesium and Vitamin C: Constipation is another risk factor for the Herxheimer Reaction due to preventing toxin removal via stool and can help be relieved by magnesium and vitamin C. Taking magnesium epsom salt baths and using Aceva’s Triple Mag can provide magnesium to tissues in addition to what is derived from dietary sources. Aceva’s Active C can help relieve constipation when taken to “bowel tolerance,” which usually occurs with 5-10 g of ingestion.  
  • Implement Stress Reduction Techniques: Having your patients perform various stress reduction techniques such as mediation, journaling, gratitude practices and yoga will help the body have the resources to dedicate to properly detoxify the body that may have otherwise been used for creating a stress response. Shifting to a primarily parasympathetic state instead of a sympathetic state will aid greatly in the detoxification process.
  • Implement Additional Detox Methods Simultaneously: Using additional detoxification methods simultaneously such as skin brushing, saunaing and contrast showers can further enhance toxin clearance from the bloodstream. This maximizes toxin removal from sweat and the skin, another important toxin release in addition to urine and feces.
  • Ensure Proper Fluid Intake: Drinking extra fluids during a cleanse can help ensure water-soluble toxins are removed in the urine.

Patient Education is Crucial

If it occurs, the Herxheimer reaction typically only lasts a few days and is followed by a sensation of euphoria as long as the body can catch up and remove the lingering toxins in circulation. Educating your patients on this process is extremely important because they may be tempted to stop the program if experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, which can prevent or delay the experience of vibrant health that comes with detoxifying the body effectively. Working through the symptoms associated with the Herxheimer reaction is usually worth it so long as the symptoms do not progress to becoming severe and debilitating to the patient. In the case of severe and debilitating symptoms, it may be wise to have the patient stop the cleanse and reattempt it at a later time when they can enter the program with a more manageable level of toxins after improving their diet and lifestyle for a period of time. The euphoria that usually comes after the symptoms associated with the Herxheimer reaction is worth it and many of your patients will  begin reporting they “feel like a new person” and “I haven’t felt this way in years!” Now that you possess the knowledge and tools needed to address the Herxheimer reaction, you can maximize the results that are associated with performing the Ultimate Body Cleanse program and get your patients another step closer to experiencing vibrant health.

Sources

https://www.thecandidadiet.com/candida-die-off-symptoms/

https://alignlife.com/articles/fatigue/healing-crisis-feel-terrible-trying-eat-healthy

https://www.jillcarnahan.com/2012/11/17/tips-for-dealing-with-herxheimer-or-die-off-reactions/


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