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Bartonella Flares and Herxes

Sunday, May 12, 2013

As I’ve been coiling for Bartonella over the past few weeks, I can’t stop thinking about the earlier bouts of Bartonella in my life, the ones that predate contracting Lyme Disease. Partly, I think about those earlier Bartonella flares because I’m having some of the symptoms again. Yet instead of being upset by them, I’m encouraged. I think that by coiling a lot and killing off the infection faster than it can reproduce, I’ve triggered a flare. I hope that’s what’s happening.

Bartonella Flares

Looking back at my own medical history, as well as comparing it to existing lists of Bartonella symptoms, I’ve compiled my own list. These are symptoms I’ve had over the years, prior to being disabled by Lyme, as well as symptoms I’ve had in the past 6+ years of being disabled. There is obviously some overlap with the other tick borne infections. I think these symptoms can be attributed to Bartonella, either exclusively or in addition to their presence in the other infections.

The preponderance of symptoms have a direct or possible link to my central nervous system. Even the digestive and urinary tract symptoms may come from an infection affecting my vagus nerve. The problems  From these symptoms, and from the fact that Rocephin was the only drug that really gave me relief from Bartonella symptoms, I’ve deduced that the bulk of the infection is in my central nervous system.

  • constipation, irritated bowels, slow digestion
  • abdominal bloating
  • abdominal cramps
  • nausea
  • loss of appetite
  • food sensitivities & cravings
  • irritated bladder, need to urinate often & urgently, difficulty/hesitation urinating even with full bladder, bladder pain
  • severe headaches, esp. tension headaches
  • pain & tension in scalp, facial muscles, neck, shoulders & arms, often leading to cold hands and reduced circulation in arms and hands
  • waking up with my arms asleep or tingling and cold, often with them over my head
  • neurological pain, tingling, numbness, vibrating sensations, limbs falling asleep
  • shooting pains emanating from hips or shoulders down the respective limbs
  • muscle twitches
  • knee pain, esp. when tired or needing sleep
  • back pain, esp. lower back, also possible inflammation in spine
  • insomnia, specifically inability to fall asleep or stay asleep
  • psychological or emotional disturbances (beyond normal reaction to environment): agitation, anxiety, depression, hopelessness, aggression, severe mood swings, outburts
  • difficulty with fine and gross motor coordination, clumsiness, butterfingers, misremembering the keys when typing
  • acne, esp on face and buttocks
  • increased PMS: bloating, irritability, headaches, nausea, fatigue, clumsiness, insomnia, difficulty concentrating
  • increased menstrual symptoms: abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, somnolence

These symptoms came in obvious flares that lasted several months at a time prior to my battle with Lyme Disease. The flares would last three to six months. Generally, they would resolve on their own with no treatment. They were usually triggered by a stressful event in my life (ranging from bronchitis to a friend attempting suicide). Eventually, I would recover from both the trauma and the Bartonella flare, not knowing what the Bartonella flare was. I was accused sometimes of being a hypochondriac. But the symptoms were real and obvious, only their cause was a mystery.

The rest of the time, prior to contracting Lyme Disease, I was healthy. My body could usually keep the Bartonella in check until the next stressful event and the next flare. Once I contracted Lyme Disease, the Bartonella symptoms appeared more often. I think the Bartonella stayed active and contributed to a long term stress process that threw my hormones (thyroid, cortisol, insulin & reproductive hormones) out of balance. As I get rid of these infections, I have the opportunity to try to put things right again. Prior to reducing the Bartonella & Lyme loads, attempts to rebalance my hormones have been futile.

When the Lyme & Bartonella became disabling, I developed food sensitivities that made my intestines swell up, gave me diarrhea, caused headaches, jaw & tooth pain, increased abdominal swelling and intense fatigue. I’ve heard that the food allergies go away once the Bartonella infection is gone. (I’ve got my fingers crossed!)

Bartonella Herxes

A lot of the herx symptoms are strikingly similar to the flare symptoms, but several are unique. I’ve experienced the herx symptoms when using iv Rocephin as well as when I’ve coiled for Bartonella, especially over the past year when I got more focused on getting rid of Bartonella rather than merely keeping it from getting worse.

The very first thing that happened was abdominal swelling. I’ve been dealing with it almost constantly. The second thing was constipation. I’ve been dealing with that, too, but it has been offset by the loose bowels of Lyme herxes. The worst symptoms have been kidney pain, which is only relieved by sweating profusely in dry saunas, and killer headaches. The other unique characteristic of Bartonella herxes is particularly foul-smelling urine (different from the smell of Lyme herx urine).

One good thing is that I’ve gotten over the hump of the kidney pain. Other symptoms that appeared when I first started coiling for Bartonella, that reappeared each time I increased the coiling time/frequency/intensity, and that have since diminished or gone away include: spine pain, insomnia, and itchiness. The rest of the symptoms come and go.

The other good thing is that the food sensitivities are not as strong. I still have all the same triggers, but if I eat them in very small quantities and very infrequently, I don’t suffer as much as I used to.

The full list, so far, of Bartonella herx symptoms:

  • kidney pain
  • constipation, irritated bowels, slow digestion
  • abdominal bloating
  • abdominal cramps
  • nausea, esp. after breakfast
  • reflux
  • loss of appetite
  • irritated bladder, need to urinate often & urgently, difficulty/hesitation urinating even with full bladder, bladder pain
  • severe headaches, esp. tension headaches
  • pain & tension in scalp, facial muscles, neck, shoulders & arms, often leading to cold hands and reduced circulation in arms and hands
  • tenderness in the back of my head and the base of my neck
  • neurological pain, tingling, numbness, vibrating sensations, limbs falling asleep
  • waking up with my arms asleep or tingling and cold, often with them over my head
  • shooting pains emanating from hips or shoulders down the respective limbs
  • itchiness (anywhere, intense, and lasting up to 10 minutes at a time)
  • burning spots on my palms and soles (though there is no visible skin irritation)
  • muscle twitches
  • knee pain, esp. when tired or needing sleep
  • pain in my hands, forearms, feet & calves upon waking
  • sharp, knife-like pains in the soles of my feet when I first stand up in the morning
  • back pain, esp. lower back, also possible inflammation in spine
  • pain in individual vertebrae
  • pain in hips, pelvis and iliac crest
  • pain in my ear canals and ear, audible pulsing in my ears at bedtime
  • insomnia, specifically inability to fall asleep or stay asleep
  • psychological or emotional disturbances (beyond normal reaction to environment): agitation, anxiety, depression, hopelessness, aggression, severe mood swings, outburts
  • restlessness, feeling like I need to do a million things but unable to decide on one or concentrate on one
  • difficulty with fine and gross motor coordination, clumsiness, butterfingers, misremembering the keys when typing
  • acne, esp on face and buttocks
  • increased PMS: bloating, irritability, headaches, nausea, fatigue, clumsiness, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, night sweats
  • increased menstrual symptoms: abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, somnolence
  • chest pressure
  • overheating in my sleep, sometimes waking up hot & dry, sometimes waking up hot with a light sweat
  • fatigue, feeling worn out
  • difficulty swallowing, choking when I try to swallow food or pills, food going down the wrong pipe multiple times during one meal,
  • foul smelling urine and feces (intermittent)
  • sore gums
  • slightly swollen glands in my neck that don’t go down for months at a time

The key to keeping the herxes moving has been to take Renavive (3 times a day), milk thistle, broccolinate (sulforaphane glucosinolate), lots of water with lemon juice, lots of probiotics, plenty of rest, and coiling faster than the bacteria can repopulate my body. That way the herxes diminish in intensity over time, rather than triggering the same battle without making any progress. (Bartonella Coiling Protocol)

I plan to keep coiling until all of these symptoms go away. That may take some time…

Disclaimer

3 comments

  1. What is coiling? Do you just keep blasting this and endure the symptoms so as to get it done? If you do not keep at it this hard, will it get worse instead of better? Thank you, Bette


    • Dear Bette,

      To learn about coiling, look in the upper left hand corner of this webpage and you’ll find a link called, “What is a coil machine?” which explains what the machine is and my best guess of how it works.

      I have chosen to aggressively treat Bartonella. From what I’ve heard from others who have treated Bartonella, it can take a very long time and they have been successful treating it less aggressively than I am. However, this is the illness that is most active and symptomatic in my body. Therefore I am willing to tolerate the symptoms in the hopes that I get rid of it more quickly and get closer to having my health and my life back sooner.

      When I have taken breaks from treating Bartonella with a coil machine, I feel better at first as the toxins leave my body. Then after a week or two, the symptoms start piling up again. Some days I think I don’t want to treat it anymore and leave well enough alone, but I don’t want to lose the progress I’ve already made.

      I hope this answers your questions. Feel free to contact me again after you’ve read more of my posts.

      Sincerely,
      Rose


  2. OMG for the first time I don’t feel insane. Thank you from the bottom of my pained heart.



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