Heliobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a type of bacteria that can infect your stomach and damage stomach tissue. This bacterium has adapted to live in the stomach's acidic environment, where many other bacteria cannot survive. (1)
H. Pylori bacteria can reduce stomach acidity to make it more habitable, affecting digestive health and leading to various stomach issues. H. pylori can also penetrate through the stomach lining, which is then protected by mucus and unable to be reached by the body's immune cells. (1)
To get rid of an H. pylori infection, it is recommended to take antimicrobial herbs or medications to help eliminate the harmful bacteria. In addition, certain foods with antimicrobial properties may also help eliminate H. pylori.
If you'd like to learn more about how to get rid of H. pylori, read our article "Natural Foods for H. Pylori Infection."
H. Pylori Die Off Symptoms
Whenever you have a bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infection, rapidly eliminating these pathogens can potentially lead to uncomfortable side effects, commonly referred to as "die off symptoms" or "die off reactions."
The medical term for this is a Herxheimer reaction, or Herx reaction for short. A Herx reaction is a short-term detoxification reaction in the body. The name "Herx" comes from Karl Herxheimer, a German dermatologist that identified and documented patterns of herx reactions in 1902. (2)
These die-off reactions occur when certain toxic organisms are eliminated during a cleanse, such as parasites, Candida, or pathogenic bacteria like H. pylori. Research on die-off reactions states that "in a die-off reaction, there is a release of toxins, proteins, and oxidizing agents that increases inflammatory cytokines." (3)
A Herx reaction is essentially the body's natural response to the process of detoxification, usually triggered by more intense or rapid forms of detoxification. When a pathogenic organism is killed by an antibiotic agent, it can release toxins into the bloodstream. These are processed by the liver and usually go unnoticed. However, when many pathogenic organisms are killed at one time, this can cause more toxins to enter the bloodstream. This can overwhelm the liver and other detoxification organs and may result in uncomfortable detox reactions (Herx reaction).
Essentially, a Herx reaction is your body signaling that it is overwhelmed by the number of toxins in the body and cannot clear them from the system fast enough. A minor Herx reaction is natural, and the body's inflammatory response to this reaction will help it heal and resolve the issue in its own time. However, if you experience an intensely uncomfortable Herx reaction, slow down your treatment and reduce the dosage of your supplements or medications.
What Are the Symptoms of H. Pylori Die Off?
The symptoms of H. pylori die off will be similar to the die off reactions from eliminating other harmful organisms like parasites or Candida. Some of the most common H. pylori bacteria die off symptoms include:
- flu-like symptoms
- brain fog
- body aches
- sore throat
- joint and muscle pain
- skin rashes (4)
When experiencing H. pylori die off symptoms, it may feel like your health is getting worse. However, this is a positive sign of healing and a sign that the bacteria are being eliminated. The die off reaction symptoms are temporary, and if you follow a cleanse protocol correctly, the symptoms you experience will be minimal or even completely unnoticeable.
If you are experiencing uncomfortable die off symptoms of H. pylori, it is a sign that your body is overwhelmed, and it is then recommended to slow down on your detox protocol and to focus on supporting your body's detoxification organs. Focusing on supporting your detox organs before, during, and after a cleanse can help to minimize die off reactions—as can supplementing with a binder like fulvic acid that can help eliminate the toxins circulating through the bloodstream.
Supporting The Body's Detoxification Organs
Your body has natural detoxification organs that filter and process the toxins you ingest from your food or environment. The primary detoxification organs and systems are:
- Lymphatic system
- Digestive system
If you are considering following any type of cleanse protocol, especially one that is targeting a specific pathogen like H. pylori or parasites, it is recommended to first support these detoxification organs—particularly the liver and lymphatic system.
You can support liver health by supplementing with herbal extracts like those in our Liver Detox & Support Tonic and by:
- Avoiding toxins in foods and products
- Drinking plenty of water
- Eating plenty of fruits and leafy green vegetables
- Exercising regularly
- Getting enough sleep each night
- Keeping stress levels low
These tips will also help to support your lymphatic system. Additionally, you can support the lymphatic system by:
- Supplementing with our Lymphatic Cleanse Tonic
- Rebounding (jumping on a small trampoline for several minutes)
- Practicing deep breathing
- Practicing hot and cold exposure (saunas and ice baths or cold showers)
- Getting massages (especially lymphatic drainage massages)
It is recommended to support these detox organs for 15-30 days before doing any other type of cleanse. This will help prepare your body and allow you to get the most out of your cleanse. It will also help make your cleanse more effective while reducing the chance of experiencing uncomfortable die-off reactions.
Using A Binder to Prevent Die Off Symptoms
When pathogenic organisms like H. pylori are eliminated, they release toxins into the bloodstream. These circulate through the system and are filtered by the liver and other detox organs. How well these toxins are processed depends mainly on the health of these detox organs (which is why it is so important to support these organs before a cleanse).
Additionally, supplementing with a binder can help your body process these toxins and reduce the likelihood of getting a Herx reaction. A binder, or binding agent, is a chemical compound that binds to toxins, helping to neutralize them and support their elimination. Most binders have a negative electrical charge, which allows them to bind to positively charged toxins like heavy metal particles, bacteria, mold, and other pathogens.
One of the best natural binding agents is a compound called fulvic acid. Zeolite is another great binding agent that can support healthy detoxification and may reduce the likelihood of getting die-off reactions from your cleanse.
H. Pylori Cleanse Protocol
To get rid of H. pylori naturally and effectively, it is recommended to follow a focused protocol. The steps that are encouraged in this protocol are:
- Supporting detox organs and improving general health with specific herbs, diet, exercise, sleep and minimizing exposure to toxins and stress (15-30 days)
- Removing H. pylori with antibacterial herbs and antibacterial food (30 days)
- Focusing on restoring gut health with probiotics, butyric acid and colostrum to repair the gut microbiota and intestinal lining (30 days)
This protocol follows the functional medicine principle of "remove, replace, repair," which refers to removing harmful organisms and toxins from the body, replacing them with beneficial organisms and nutrients, and repairing the gut microbiota and gut lining. This takes it one step further, however, by encouraging a period of supporting detox organs before the cleanse to support the body and optimize its effectiveness.
Heliobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a type of bacteria that can infect your stomach and damage stomach tissue. This bacterium has adapted to live in the stomach's acidic environment, where many other bacteria cannot survive. H. pylori does this by reducing the acidity of the stomach to make it more habitable, which can affect digestive health and lead to various stomach issues.
To get rid of an H. pylori infection, it is recommended to take antimicrobial herbs or medications to help eliminate the harmful bacteria. Ideally, one should follow a total cleanse protocol to most effectively remove the bacteria and support their body during the cleanse.
When getting rid of any toxin or pathogen in the body, it is possible to experience uncomfortable side effects known as Herx reactions or detox reactions. These reactions are caused by excess toxins circulating in the bloodstream that overwhelm the system.
To avoid or reduce die off reactions, it is important to support the body's detoxification organs before a cleanse, to supplement with a binder during a cleanse, and to stick to a cleanse protocol. It is also recommended to ease off and stop taking the detox supplement or medication if you are experiencing uncomfortable side effects and to proceed slowly only when die off reactions have disappeared.
There is an art to properly cleansing, and it is essential to do it correctly to support your body's health instead of harming it. Therefore, it is recommended to work with a healthcare professional. If you have H. pylori or are seeking treatment, speak to your doctor about the best treatment options.