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Herxheimer Reaction & Ozone Therapy: What to Know

Holtorf Medical Group

The Connection Between Ozone Therapy & a Herxheimer Reaction

Ozone Therapy is a whole-body healing treatment that is often a core component of an integrative medical plan for those dealing with chronic infections Lyme disease or are immunocompromised.

This is because all pathogens die in the presence of oxygen, making Ozone Therapy a potent anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral.

Ozone Therapy works by introducing ozone into the bloodstream, typically through an IV. Ozone, which consists of three oxygen atoms bound together and is nicknamed a “supercharged” form of oxygen, then encourages bio-rejuvenation.

This process is associated with numerous potential benefits including:

  • Stimulating the immune system
  • Improving detoxification
  • Increasing circulation
  • Enhancing energy levels
  • Reversing signs of aging

Learn more about the benefits of Ozone Therapy here

One of the reasons Ozone Therapy has become increasingly popular over the past couple of years is because it is known to have very few side effects. In preventative care, it is an excellent way to boost the body’s natural defenses and overall health. For those with chronic conditions such as Lyme disease, it is an effective way to kill viruses, bacteria, yeast, and those hard-to-treat, resistant pathogens.

However, when the body’s detoxification pathways receive a boost from Ozone Therapy to remove such resistant pathogens, there can be a temporary side effect known as a Herxheimer Reaction.

What Is A Herxheimer Reaction?

The Herxheimer response is a natural bodily process triggered by a greater prevalence of endotoxins. These substances are released when harmful microorganisms and bacteria are destroyed or die off. As damaging bacteria are destroyed, they release previously contained endotoxins into the bloodstream. This allows the toxins to be transported to the appropriate system and subsequently expelled from the body. However, rapid destruction of bacteria can cause an influx of endotoxins resulting in greater toxicity.

When this occurs, the immune system responds by triggering an acute immune response resulting in inflammation that may be experienced throughout the body. This can cause worsening of current symptoms and the development of new flu-like symptoms such as brain fog, lethargy, chills cold sweats, sore throat, muscle pain, and more.

Most Herxheimer Reactions after Ozone Therapy only last a couple days to a week but those who are dealing with the intense detoxification of endotoxins may endure symptoms for longer.

Other Causes of Herxheimer Reactions

The Herxheimer Reaction was orginally documented by Austrian dermatologist, Adolf Jarisch, in 1895 in relation to the treatment of mercury poisoning.

However, seven years after, Jarisch’s publication, Karl Herxheimer documented his own description of the reaction in treating syphilis and this publication gained more popularity, hence why the name, Herxheimer Reaction. (Some describe the reaction as a Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction to honor Jarisch’s work).

In addition to mercury poisoning and syphilis, a Herxheimer Reaction can also be caused by:

  • Autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Lyme disease
  • Co-infections
  • Antibiotics

Reducing a Herxheimer Reaction

Even though a Herxheimer reaction indicates that treatment is working effectively, it doesn’t make the patient’s condition any more comfortable in the immediate. Fortunately, there are many ways of limiting the symptomatic impact of a Herxheimer reaction without inhibiting treatment efficacy. The following suggestions can and should be used when detoxing, using antibiotics, or being treated for infections and other forms of chronic disease to limit Herxheimer intensity.

{Learn how to relieve the symptoms of a Herxheimer Reaction](

To book your Ozone Therapy appointment and enjoy this whole-body healing service, contact us today.

Holtorf Medical GroupThe Holtorf Medical Group specializes in optimizing quality of life and being medical detectives to uncover the underlying cause of symptoms, rather than just prescribing medications to cover-up the symptoms. We are experts in natural, prescription bioidentical hormone replacement and optimization, complex endocrine dysfunction, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and Lyme disease. We’ve dedicated our practice to providing you the best in evidenced-based, integrative medicine that’s not only safe and effective, but provides measurable results.

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