Sometimes Symptoms Get Worse Before They Get Better

Sometimes Symptoms Get Worse Before They Get Better

Rebalancing your gut is a transformative experience but it's important to know that sometimes symptoms get worse before they get better. For some people, rebalancing can bring about uncomfortable symptoms that may seem counterproductive. This phenomenon is known as die-off, or a Herxheimer reaction. While it might feel discouraging, it's actually a sign that your body is healing.

Tune In . . .

Links from episode . . .

Subscribe to the Follow Your Gut podcast wherever you love listening.


Rebalancing your gut is a life changing experience but it's important to know that sometimes symptoms get worse before they get better. For some people, rebalancing can bring about uncomfortable symptoms that may seem counterproductive. This phenomenon is known as die-off, or a Herxheimer reaction. While it might feel discouraging, it's actually a sign that your body is undergoing a significant transformation.

The term "die-off" or Herxheimer reaction refers to the process where harmful bacteria, yeast, parasites, mold and other pathogens in your gut die in large numbers. When you start taking Cleanse and Nourish and eliminate the foods that feed these undesirable overgrowths, they begin to die. As this happens, they release toxins into your body, which can lead to a temporary worsening of symptoms. These symptoms can include:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Digestive discomfort (bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation)
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Skin rashes
  • And most common, the worsening of whatever symptom you had in the first place

So, Why Does This Happen?

Your gut is a complex ecosystem, home to trillions of microorganisms, both good and bad. When the balance is tipped in favor of beneficial bacteria, the harmful ones are starved of the resources they need to thrive. Their mass die-off can overwhelm your body's detoxification pathways, leading to uncomfortable symptoms.

Not Everyone Experiences Die-Off.

It's important to know that not everyone will experience die-off symptoms. Everyone's gut microbiome and immune response is unique, so the process of rebalancing will vary significantly from person to person. Some may go through their gut-healing journey with minimal discomfort, while others get worse before they get better. This episode isn’t intended to scare you but to empower and validate your experience. It is really important to not compare your rebalancing journey with anyone else's. It is so easy to want to look at someone elses experience and try to find answers for ourselves but the truth is, the more you can embrace your healing journey or your child’s, the more healing you will find.

Die-Off is Not a Measure of Effectiveness

If you are someone who doesn’t experience die-off though, its important to know that die-off does not indicate the effectiveness of the rebalance. It's simply how your body reacts to the shift of balance in your gut.

How Long Does Die-Off Last?

The duration of die-off symptoms can vary so much from person to person. Generally, it can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. It is hard for me to know how long it will last for you or your child. To come up with your own best guess you can look at your level of imbalance and the current state of your body. Everyone's gut microbiome is unique, and the extent of imbalance and type of harmful microorganisms present can affect the duration of die-off. You can evaluate how efficiently your body detoxifies? These are factors like hydration, liver function, sleep quality, stress level, and overall health. 

For most people, die-off symptoms typically peak within the first week of starting the Women’s or Children’s Gut Rebalance Kits and gradually decrease as the body adjusts. 

Breastfeeding, Pregnancy, and Die-Off: What You Need to Know

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding while rebalancing, you might have concerns about how die-off could affect your baby. The good news is that the toxins released during die-off do not pass through your breast milk or placenta, so your baby will not experience die-off symptoms from your body's detoxification process.

Why Toxins Don't Pass Through Breast Milk or the Placenta

Breast milk and the placenta are highly regulated by your body to protect your baby. The body's natural barriers and filtering mechanisms ensure that harmful substances, including the toxins released during a die-off reaction, do not reach your baby. These mechanisms include:

  • Blood-Milk Barrier: This barrier functions similarly to the blood-brain barrier, selectively allowing certain substances to pass while keeping others out. It prevents toxins and pathogens from entering the breast milk.
  • Placental Barrier: Your placenta acts as a selective barrier that filters nutrients to your baby while blocking many harmful substances.
  • Selective Permeability: The cells in the mammary glands and placenta selectively transport beneficial nutrients, antibodies, and other essential components, while excluding most harmful substances.
  • Metabolic Detoxification: The liver and kidneys play a crucial role in detoxifying the body and preventing the accumulation of toxins that could otherwise reach your baby.

This is what makes the Women’s and Children’s Gut Rebalance Kits so powerful. By supporting your gut you are indirectly supporting your liver and kidneys and they will naturally begin functioning more optimally and flush built up toxins and pathogens on their own.

What about the Rebalancing Supplements and Breast Milk

While toxins from the die-off process are effectively filtered out of your body, the supplements do pass through your breast milk. So you may notice your breastfeeding baby experience die-off symptoms but this isn't a reaction to your die-off. It is the supplements working their magic in your babies body and killing off bad bacteria, yeast, mold and other pathogens and their body releasing the toxins. 

How to Support Your Body During Die-Off

If you do experience die-off symptoms, there are several things you can do to help manage and mitigate the discomfort:

  1. Make sure you are drinking an abundant amount of water. This will help flush out the dying yeast, bacteria and parasites from your body, which helps quicken the detoxification process.
  2. Epson salt baths will help in draw out toxins and alleviating muscle aches or skin irritations.
  3. Speaking of skin, the third tip here is oatmeal baths. Throw some organic rolled oats into an old sock, tie a knot and throw it into your bathtub. And you can squeeze like the oat milk onto you or your child's skin. And it is so soothing for any topical rash, diaper rash, eczema, psoriasis.
  4. Topical relief. It is important to make sure that you are only using topical products that are PH balanced and support your topical microbiome. Chemical-based products counter all of the hard work that you are doing internally to heal your body. The Balanced Bacteria Skincare Kit and Relieve Healing Gel are really nurturing and healing if you need anything to support your skin through your healing journey. Also, organic coconut, olive and castor oil are amazing. 
  5. For internal support as an alternative to Ibuprofen Balance CBD is really supportive in the die off phase and many people actually incorporate it throughout their whole rebalancing journey and beyond because it is really healing for your digestive, mental hormonal and sleep health. It will help alleviate headaches, body aches, hormone imbalance, restless sleep and so much more.
  6. I would highly recommend you consider incorporating celery juice during your die off phase, if not throughout your entire rebalance. Celery juice is known for its natural detoxifying properties and AIDS in flushing out toxins, including the dying bacteria, yeast and parasites that contribute to your die off symptoms. By supporting your liver during your rebalance, celery juice helps in eliminating waste and promoting a healthier gut environment. Imbalances cause inflammation in the body and celery juice contains anti-inflammatory compounds that will help reduce inflammation and support your body's response to die off. Another last thing about celery juice is that it has an alkalizing effect on the body. When bad bacteria, yeast and parasites die off, they often release acidic. Byproducts causing an imbalance in PH levels. Consuming celery juice will help restore the alkalinity in your body, creating an environment that is less favorable to that bad bacteria, yeast and parasites, meaning celery juice will help enhance your healing journey.
  7. Make sure you are following the food side of the rebalancing protocol. When you purchase the Women’s or Children’s Gut Rebalance Kit you get free access to my course where there is so much guidance and support for the foods to eat and avoid. This is really important because if you continue feeding the bad microorganisms while the supplements are killing them your die-off will be much more significant as there is a battle happening inside your body. 
  8. Lastly, have patience. Remember that healing is a process. Give your body time to adjust and don't rush it.

For more tips and if you want to shorten or minimize your potential die-off phase be sure to listen to episode 101; How to Prepare Your Body for Cleansing.

The Healing on the Other Side

While die-off symptoms can be really hard, they are most often short-lived. And once your body has adjusted to the new balance in your gut, you will experience significant improvements in your overall health and well-being. Your digestion, hormones, energy levels, skin, mood, and immune system will all be better than ever before.

It will all be worth it. Commit, trust the process and remember your why. Why you are rebalancing in the first place and hold onto the unwavering knowing that the happiest and healthiest version of yourself and/or child is on the other side of this.

Back to blog