Candidiasis, or the infection caused by Candida albicans yeast, can be treated using anti-fungal drugs or herbs with anti-fungal properties. These treatments are toxic to the Candida fungus. The death of multiple Candida yeasts releases proteins and endotoxins into the lymphatic stream of the host. A technical document about the anti-fungal properties of a coconut oil extract, Lauricidin notes that the symptoms that result from the die-off of these organisms are known as the Herxheimer reaction.
This reaction was coined by its founder, Australian dermatologist Jarisch Adolf Herxheimer. He happened upon this recognized collection of symptoms, also known as "a healing reaction" after treating syphilitic lesions of the skin. When the infection of syphilis was treated with anti-syphilitic medications, Herxheimer found that flu-like symptoms would result, and for two or three days, the skin reaction would worsen, becoming larger and more inflamed before it settled down and healed. Herxheimer noted, according to the Lauricidin website, that the people who had the most extreme reactions were the ones to heal the fastest and the most completely.
The most common Herxheimer or die-off symptoms noted on the Lauricidin website are acne, headaches, fatigue, fever, perspiration, night sweats, nausea, vomiting, palpitations, itching and rashes. The symptoms, they note are generally mild and last only a few days but can be longer and more extreme, depending on the health of the individual, other associated conditions, the extent of the infection and the strength of dose and frequency of the anti-candida treatment.
Candida infections tend to occur on the skin in the areas of the body lined by mucous membranes. The mucous membranes line openings of the body that are exposed to the external environment. The digestive system, which is lined from mouth to anus with mucus membranes is highly susceptible to infection with Candida albicans. Common symptoms of small intestinal candida are bloating and gas, which occur as a result of the fermentation of sugars in the digestive tract by the yeast. When oral anti-fungal treatments cause a die-off of candida in the digestive tract, the Candida Diet website notes that the bloating and gas can be exacerbated and changes in digestive function such as diarrhea and constipation can occur.
Joint and Muscle Pain
Joint pain can be a result of injury, wear and tear, allergy or autoimmunity. All of these causes ultimately lead to inflammation of the joint and surrounding tissue and the build-up of byproducts of the metabolic reaction. The Candida Diet website notes that muscle and joint pain can also be a result of candida die-off. The site notes that the byproducts of candida death are also released into the host system, cause allergic reactions and inflammation and can lead to undesirable effects, such as joint and muscle pain.
- Lauricidin: The Herxheimer Reaction--Feeling Worse Before Feeling Better
- The Candida Diet: Candida Die-off
- “Digestive Wellness”; Elizabeth Lipski; 2004
Dr. Shavon Jackson-Michel is an expert in the field of health and wellness and has been writing for LIVESTRONG.COM since 2009. She is a university-level professor and a licensed naturopathic physician providing individualized consultations on natural and holistic approaches to chronic disease at her Bloomfield, NJ office. Dr. Jackson-Michel is a doctoral graduate of the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine.