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  • Writer's pictureDr Korianne Haas

Tips for dealing with Herxheimer reactions

I learn so much from my patients with known or suspected Lyme disease.  A big part of this illness constellation is an imbalance between the sheer number of toxins the body has to deal with (endotoxins, mycotoxins, toxins from EMFs...) and its ability to eliminate them (via liver, lymph, kidney, GI tract, sweat, etc.).  Strong therapies (like HOT) can tip those scales and result in Herxheimer or “die-off” reactions, which feel lousy for up to 36 hours.  If this follows a HOT, patients almost always note significant and cumulative clinical improvement after it passes.  Nonetheless, I strive to prevent "Herx's" and/or empower patients to manage them well.

My patients tell me that the most effective and fast-acting remedies for Herx symptoms include 1. Alka Seltzer Gold (tip: keep this on hand because it’s hard to find when you need it, only take as directed), 2. Detox baths (tips: add 2 c. Epson and/or sea salts + ½ c. baking soda to a hot bath for 25-35 mins to pull out toxins, drink lots of fluids and get up slowly/carefully) and best of all 3. Coffee enemas.  Tips for coffee enemas: these stimulate the release of bile toxins into the GI tract and cause your liver to make glutathione, the body's #1 antioxidant.  To maximize the detox, take 1 capsule of a trusted brand of activated charcoal (!!please read: Charcoal Warnings first!!) with 8+ oz water 30 mins before your enema (to aid bile toxin elimination) and take an Epson or mustard bath after.  

ALWAYS choose organic, toxin-free, whole bean coffee.  Seeking Health purE, recommended by a pro, is my favorite (I’ve only personally used purE and Longevity.  The latter consistently left me jittery).  Brew coffee or coffee concentrate in a dedicated stainless steel pot with a spout and clear lid (time-saving recipe to follow).  Use a bucket you can see through at first (invest in glass or start with plastic and upgrade to stainless steel once you’re comfortable with the process).  Prepare your nest of pillows and towels in a tub or on tiled floor, near a toilet.  Have a 15 min timer, baby wipes and natural lubricant (coconut oil) within reach.  

Get your Ohm on (phone off, warm socks, snuggly blanket, soothing music, soft lighting...).  Place bucket on a flat, stable surface 10-14 inches high.  Lubricate, prime tubing, lie on your right side, insert, unclamp and relax.  Once the bucket is empty, hold for 15 minutes.  That’s it!  It’s easier to hold after a bowel movement, or you can do a water enema first (same instructions).  If this still seems intimidating and you’re in the San Diego area, text my office and request the contact # for “Cozy Cleaning."  You can call or text them to schedule a visit from an amazing Gershon-literate cancer survivor who brings all the supplies you need including your first batch of coffee to your home, explains the process in more detail and answers all of your questions.  She got me started and I can't recommend her service more highly!

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