Die off reaction
Elena Hofmann-Smith, ND
WHAT IT IS AND HOW TO PREVENT IT
When for one reason or another, unfriendly bacterial and/or fungus overgrow
in the intestines, the body has to spend more of its energy dealing with the toxins
produced. This condition is call intestinal dysbiosis
. The toxins which are
produced can confuse the hormonal system, nervous system, cloud mental processes,
interfere with immunity, irritate the lining of the intestines causing “leaky gut”,
diarrhea, constipation and create food allergies which can lead to over-all poor
Overgrowth can happen in response to improper diet, poor immunity,
difficulties in digestion and antibiotic use
. Poorly digested food can lead to
putrefaction (rotting) and encourages the growth of putrefactive organisms.
Antibiotic use destroys the normal balance of gut flora and leaves an open field for
bad bacteria and fungi to move in. Over-consumption of simple sugars and refined
carbohydrates can feed yeasts.
To treat dysbiosis, holistic practitioners recommend several strategies to
restore the normal balance of flora to the gut. Therapies can include
which compete with the undesirable organisms; some strains of
probiotics even eat the bad organisms. It is best to switch to differentcombinations of probiotics about once every month during treatment fordysbiosis.
2) mild silver protein
—a natural antibiotic which kills the bad organisms. This
treatment is followed by an intense repopulation with probiotics.
3) various combinations of botanicals and nutrients
which interfere with
reproduction of the undesirable bacteria and fungi and increase the body’simmunity against the organisms. This is combined with probiotic therapy.
4) Dietary changes
which “starve” the undesirable organisms.
5) Actual prescription antibiotics
directed at specific organisms which may be
When the undesirable organisms begin to die off and break apart, the toxins in
their breaking up cells are released into the gut where they can be absorbed into the
blood stream. This can cause a die-off reaction
with any of the following
symptoms: lethargy, fever, craving sweets, diarrhea, rash, irritability, gas, bloating,
headache, nausea, vomiting, stuffiness. In susceptible individuals with pre-existing
neurological symptoms, their problems can get be aggravated, such as stimming,hyperactivity, irritability, tantrums, and difficulty concentrating.
The strategy for preventing die-off symptoms is to limit the amount of toxins
absorbed at one time
into the blood stream. To do this
1) Start the probiotics slowly and ramp up the dosage.
2) Start the antibiotics slowly and ramp up dosage3) Avoid providing the favorite food to the offending organisms while you’re
4) Improve digestion with digestive enzymes so that putrefaction will be
5) Buffer the toxins by taking alkalizing agents immediately upon
experiencing die-off symptoms. Such products as AlkaSeltzer Gold
, AlkaLime, or AlkaAid
can help symptoms almost
immediately. One of these products should be kept on hand before
beginning the probiotics or antibiotics.
6) Absorb released toxins with oral doses of Activated Charcoal
with the food or in capsules. [Note: autistic children are often intolerant ofthe gelatin in capsules, so if you want to use capsules, make them yourselfusing out of vegetable seaweed gelatin capsules. Charcoal should be kepton hand in case the alkalizing agents don’t control the symptoms wellenough. Activated charcoal is a standard way of absorbing poisons fromthe gut.
7) Absorb released toxins with oral doses of Bentonite clay
8) Provide extra antioxidants
to quench the oxidative reactions created by
the toxins: lipoic acid, Vit A, Vit C
Treating intestinal dybiosis is well worth the inconvenience of the initialrelease of toxins from the dying bad organisms. With the aid of the aboveprecautions, the process can be made more tolerable and shorter in duration.
Vol. 56, No. 2, February 2007, pp 555–567© 2007, American College of RheumatologyA Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study Using Acetaminophen as´n Ivorra,2 Marı´a del Carmen Trabado,3Francisco Javier Blanco,4 Pere Benito,5 Emilio Martı´n-Mola,6 Javier Paulino,7´ Luis Marenco,8 Armando Porto,9 Armando Laffon,10 Domingos Arau Objective. To assess the effects of the pre
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