GAPS – Day 6 & Herxheimer Reactions

GAPS book coverI apologize in advance because this blog post will likely be all over the place.

I’m on my sixth day of the GAPS Introduction Diet, stage 1. Probiotics are a very important part of stage 1, but I have not been able to tolerate whey from either raw goat or organic pasteurized cow milk.

This is frustrating because in years past when I was on SCD I could tolerate yogurt from pasteurized cow milk without a problem. I loved it, but now… I get diarrhea within hours or a day later.

The theme of my film is “listen to your gut” and for the past few days I’ve wondered if my flu episode on March, 24th was not the flu but a Herxheimer reaction.
Herxheimer reaction from is described as,

Typically the death of these bacteria and the associated release of endotoxins occurs faster than the body can remove the toxins.

When I awoke on March 24th, I felt achy, my sinuses had a lot of pressure and I felt feverish, bouncing between being cold and hot. further explains the symptoms of the Herxheimer reaction as,

It is manifested by fever, chills, headache, myalgia (muscle pain), and exacerbation of skin lesions.

When I read this morning, I said, BINGO! The day after, March 25th, my flu symptoms all disappeared except in the evening when I had a lot of diarrhea.
At that time, I was confused as to why I could have had the flu, especially since I’ve been taking Vitamin D at 8,000IU and it definitely makes me feel better.

I kept questioning my belief that it was the flu and wondered if it was a Herxheimer reaction and as it turns out, it was! This explanation makes much more sense to me.

Now I’m trying to figure out how this is all happening and how I can get back to tolerating whey and yogurt. I was taking natural antibiotics for a few months and I think that has left my system intolerant to dairy probiotics. Having the Herxheimer reaction makes me think the probiotics were killing pathogenic bacteria that shouldn’t be there.

Were the antitiobics working at all? Did pathogenic bacteria quickly fill the gap after the antibiotics did their job? Given that I had a strong Herxheimer reaction, the first I’ve ever had, do I continue taking more yogurt/whey and just power through the symptoms?

I really don’t know. I’m still trying to listen to my gut for the answer.