When dealing with yeast or bacterial issues, we often hear about die off reactions. In traditional medical terminology this is what is known as a Herxheimer reaction. The term Herxheimer reaction was originally coined to describe treatment reactions in those people with syphilis. The term is also used in the Lyme community since parasite die off can also cause a Herxheimer reaction. When we talk about yeast Herxheimer reactions, we can see an increase in yeast symptoms such as inappropriate laughter, silliness, goofiness, giddiness, increased sensory issues and self stimulatory behaviors.
If the problem is bacterial in nature and the child with Autism is neurologically sensitive to those organisms, what you may see is moodiness, irritability, aggression, self injurious behaviors and some children with bacterial issues even have tics. And when you start treating for these infections, these things can actually get worse before they begin to improve. There is a lot of information out there about how to deal with this.
Activated charcoal can help tremendously with a Herxheimer reaction. Activated charcoal is taken orally and it binds with toxins in the digestive tract, preventing them from being absorbed. The suggested dose is one or two capsules per day and that usually does the trick. Each capsule is about 250 – 300 mg. It can really help to stop those die off reactions. Another possible remedy for children that can tolerate this is to squeeze a lemon and a lime into an 8 ounce glass of water. The child can sip the water with the juice every 15 minutes or so throughout the day. This serves to alkalinize the body and creates a PH shift making the system less acidic. That can often times halt a die off reaction as well. But that will only work in children who can tolerate that type of taste.
I wanted to share a couple of potential options to help stop die off reactions. We have used this often when treating patients undergoing intensive Lyme disease therapy. The lemon and lime drink often works to help resolve the fatigue, joint aches and fevers they suffer from. It could help your child as well.