The treatment of bacterial or fungal infections can trigger a “Herxheimer Reaction”. This is not necessarily a bad thing, though at the time it can be a bit uncomfortable. It indicates that there is a rapid die-off of fungus (or bacteria) and that the detoxification you are attempting is working. The focus of today’s post is on fungal die-off.
Fungus cells contain toxins. Whether it is your own immune system (T-cells, macrophages, antibodies) or an antifungal remedy attacking and killing these cells, the dead fungi can release their stored toxins into your system. The photo below shows a fungus cell, which has very similar characteristics to a plant cell, with a very thick, sturdy outer cell wall (yellow area in photo).
Fungi live as parasites within your body, consuming your nutrients and when virulent, attacking your living cells and organs. These fungi cells are strong and quite stable. Inside their thick cell wall are a host of toxins which they use to decompose surrounding tissue such the activity of this mold in the photo below.
When the fungus dies, its cell walls will break down releasing all those chemicals it has stored, known as mycotoxins, which flow into your body. Most people do not have any reaction to these mycotoxins. However some people do react, especially if this detox is rapid.
Symtoms Of Herxheimer include:
Flu-like symptoms Muscle aches
Herxheimer is not necessarily bad. While it is uncomfortable, it is also an indication that the fungi are going through a die-off as your body detoxifies. This is a good thing. However, when there is intense discomfort, the you would normally back-off on your medication or natural remedies for a few days.
Prescription antifungals include: Diflucan, Nizoral, Sporanox, and Nystatin.
It is interesting to note that one of the main causes of internal fungal disorders is the overuse of prescription antibiotics. Antifungal drugs also have their own negative side-effects and are not generally prescribed for long periods of time.
Alternative remedies and solutions include:
• Diet — reduce your intake of carbohydrates and sugars which feed the fungus (including alcohol, processed foods, and soda). Try to convert a Mediterranean-like diet that is high in protein, vegetables, fish, chicken and meat. Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil for cooking and on your food. The real food in your supermarket is located along the walls. The processed, boxed and canned foods are usually in the center aisles. Shop your food along the walls.
• Supplements and foods –
Grapefruitseed Extract Whole Lemons Caprylic Acid Probiotics
Malic Acid Vinegar Vitamin E Oil of Oregano
Another solution to Herheimer is just to stay underwater and avoid all the fungi, mold, bacteria and mycotoxins on land. This photo below shows a healthy reef in Belize. Sometimes I think about just staying down there.
If you can get very close to these hard rounded corals with a good macro lens, you can capture the individual colonies growing on their surface (in the picture below). It works a lot better to have a good camera to capture these pictures. It only took 5 years of struggling with my old model to come to this conclusion. Divers can be stubborn.