Detox. It’s such a contentious word in the medical community. I can feel your eyes rolling at the excessively-used, trendy term to sell healthcare products. In fact, it's so contentious that a wellness specialist coined the term "retox" to address the negative connotations of with living deprived with the term "detox." But that's another story for another day!
In treating Lyme Disease, detox plays a major role in recovery because the patient is burdened by an overload of toxins faster than the body can rid them through normal channels, like the liver, lungs, lymphatic system, skin, blood, colon and kidneys. Herxheimer reactions occur when the patients detox channels are overloaded.
Epsom salt baths are one of the many tools to ease the Herx. Sometimes a detox tool like a salt bath, the detox happens so quickly, it can physically hurt to the point that it literally feels like you’re dying. This is not exaggerated. But, the more you do them, the less painful they become.
Two years ago, while into a heavy IV treatment, I would do salt baths regularly. The first few times felt like torture. I’d cry after five minutes sitting in the tub. My heart raced and blood pressure dropped (dizziness), my body shook uncontrollably as if I was having a seizure, only I was conscious. The pain is indescribable because it’s all over and yet nowhere in particular. I stopped doing the baths last year when we had a drought. I wasn’t doing heavy treatment so I thought I didn’t need them & I replaced them with infrared sauna.
When I relapsed this year, I added the baths back in. Again, I cried the first five minutes. Mr. Wild Dingo had to help me from the tub. I was so unstable and weak I couldn’t stand. I kept doing them and they became easier.
This weekend I felt good, so I treated myself to a glass or two of wine. I wasn't just intoxicated from those two glasses, I had alcohol poisoning! I was nauseated, shaking uncontrollably, breathing shallow and heart racing. I should have known my liver wasn’t ready for wine. Next day, I went back to the tub to detox. Again, I had a terrifying detox reaction: nauseated, shaking, heart racing, blood pressure plummeting, fever, sweats, chills, headache and shallow breathing.
This can be dangerous. Heavy, fast detox or Herx’s can be so severe, they can be fatal. It boggles my mind that a bath can kill a Lyme patient. That’s why consistent, varied detox is so important, to aid ALL the channels. Four years into treatment and I still have to relearn these lessons.
I'm taking a week off all meds just to do a week of detox. That will be hard enough without having to deal with the toxins from both more die-off of the pathogens and the drugs themselves.
And that's your Lyme Disease Awareness education for today. Here's a photo of bubbles in my pond, because it's prettier than bubbles in my bath.