5 surprisingly dangerous side effects of detoxing to know
The Truth About Detox Diets
They’re popular, but they aren’t proven to do what they say they’ll do: flush toxins out of your system. In fact, they may be risky and even backfire.
Still thinking about it? You should know this first.
What You Can Eat and What You Can’t
That depends on the particular detox diet you’re following. There are many of them. Some involve fasting, or just drinking liquids. Others allow some foods, like fruits and vegetables. They typically are short diets — they’re not a way of eating you can stick with in the long run.
Level of Effort: High
You’ll be hungry and may feel weak. Whether or not a detox diet is safe depends on the plan and how long you stay on it.
Most people don’t feel good on low-calorie, nutrient-poor diets. Potential side effects include low energy, low blood sugar, muscle aches, fatigue, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, and nausea.
If the idea of detoxing appeals, you might try “clean” eating that focuses on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein — basically, whole foods without a lot of processing. That’s good for you and more likely to give you results that last, especially if you make exercise a habit.
Limitations: You’re going to go without a lot of the foods you usually eat. Detox diets are typically very rigid and involve eating the same few things over and over.
Cooking and shopping: Depends on the detox plan you’re following. Because there’s not a lot you’re allowed to eat, you won’t have a long shopping list and prep work should be minimal.
Packaged foods or meals: Some detox plans recommend herbs, pills, powders, enemas, and other forms of colon cleansing. Methods vary and often include products that are only available from the author’s web site.
In-person meetings? No.
Exercise : Not required, and you may not have the energy for it, because you’re not getting that many calories.
What Else You Should Know
Costs: Besides your grocery shopping, a detox diet may also call for some supplements and other products, which vary in cost.
Support: None, except for resources you may find online.
What Dr. Michael Smith Says:
Does It Work?
If your goal is weight loss, a detox diet might help you drop a few pounds, but you’ll likely just gain it back. In the end, you haven’t accomplished anything, and it’s certainly not a healthy approach.
If your goal is to detox your system, don’t waste your time or money. Your body is an expert at getting rid of toxins no matter what you eat. Toxins don’t build up in your liver, kidneys, or any other part of your body, and you’re not going to get rid of them with the latest detox wonder. Especially avoid diets that promise to detox your liver with supplements or “cleanse” whatever the diet determines needs washing out.
The only type of detox diet that is worthwhile is one that limits processed, high-fat, and sugary foods, and replaces them with more whole foods like fruits and vegetables. That clean-eating approach is your best bet to getting your body in tip-top shape.
Is It Good for Certain Conditions?
Not only are detox diets not good for people with certain medical conditions, they could be harmful. There is no research showing they improve blood pressure or cholesterol or have a positive effect on the heart. For people with diabetes, they may be quite dangerous. Any diet that severely restricts what you eat could lead to dangerously low blood sugar if you take medicine for diabetes.
The exception would be a detox diet that just focuses on clean eating. This approach could be great for anyone living with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even heart disease.
How do you clean your blood?
Detox is a major buzzword of the 21st century. From diet detoxes to cleanses to blood detoxes, there are many different programs and techniques that promise to help you cleanse and detoxify your body.
Ideally, after you perform one of these detoxes, you’ll feel more energetic. However, many of the claims don’t have a lot of research behind them and overlook the role your liver already plays in cleaning your blood.
How does your liver clean your blood?
The liver is one of your body’s largest organs. It’s vital in detoxifying your body.
• filters your blood
• processes nutrients
• removes toxins, such as the byproducts from the breakdown of medications and alcohol
Contained within your liver are thousands of lobules. These small areas filter blood and produce and release a substance called bile to break down substances in your body.
Some of the specific ways your liver breaks down toxins include:
• changing ammonia to urea
• processing and eliminating excess bilirubin, which is a waste product of the breakdown of red blood cells
• producing immune system cells to eliminate bacteria and potentially harmful toxins from your blood
While your liver may be your main blood filtration system, you have several other filtering organs:
• Your lungs filter harmful substances in the air, such as toxins from cigarette smoke.
• Your intestines destroy parasites and other unwanted organisms.
• Your kidneys filter excess toxins and waste from your blood and release them in your urine.
Products that claim to clean your blood
Many products on the market advertise themselves as detox agents.
Many health food stores and pharmacies sell â€œdetox teasâ€ made from a variety of herbs. Examples include dandelion and nettle leaf, which have diuretic properties. Other products, such as senna leaf, have a laxative effect.
According to Cleveland Clinic, these teas probably don’t have any better detox properties than a cup of green or black tea.
Charcoal drinks and juices
Doctors have used activated charcoal for years to reduce intestinal absorption and effects of certain poisons. Now, juice and drink manufacturers are adding amounts of charcoal to drinks, promising to detoxify your body. They claim the charcoal can bind to the toxins in your intestinal system to reduce the levels of harmful substances that get into your blood.
However, there isn’t a lot of research to support the benefits of charcoal added to drinks. No science confirms that charcoal’s especially helpful in detoxifying your blood or keeping you healthy. Some people who consume these drinks say they feel better when they do, while others may not experience results.
The Mayo Clinic has a long list of medications that interact or lose effectiveness when activated charcoal is taken by mouth. You should never take activated charcoal if you have a history of bleeding in the stomach or colon, had recent surgery, or have problems with digestion. It’s possible to overdose on activated charcoal. We recommend not taking activated charcoal by mouth without first talking to your doctor.
The FDA does not approve or monitor activated charcoal or any other natural remedies.
The concept of detox diets has been around for decades. They usually consist of a restrictive diet to cleanse your blood and typically promote weight loss. Detox diets usually eliminate substances such as:
• red meat
• refined sugars
Some detox diets can promote healthier eating. Others can be very restrictive, such as juice cleanses or other diets that revolve around very few foods and drinks to help you gain energy.
Since your body can primarily flush out toxins on its own, a restrictive diet plan isn’t necessary. A healthy eating plan, such as one that contains plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains, can help.
Protecting your liver
Because your liver is such an important organ in cleaning your blood, you should take steps to protect it. Fortunately, many regular healthy habits can help to keep your liver in shape. Some tips:
• Get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B. These conditions are viral infections that can damage your liver.
• Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can contribute to a condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Eating a nutritious diet and exercising can help you maintain a healthy weight.
• Don’t share needles or use contaminated needles. If you get tattoos or body piercings, ask about the shop’s cleaning practices to ensure the needles aren’t contaminated.
• Practice safe sex. This reduces your risks of sexually transmitted infections such as viral infections of hepatitis B or C.
• Follow the recommendations listed on your medications. This is especially true when your medication’s label says not to drink alcohol while taking it.
• Refrain from excessive drinking. Your liver filters and detoxifies alcohol on top of many other products. When there’s too much alcohol in your blood, the excess can scar and destroy liver cells.
• Refrain from using illicit drugs. Your liver filters toxic byproducts from drug use. Chronic use can lead to severe damage to your liver, especially when combined with alcohol.
Below are 5 important side effects of detox you need to be aware of when starting a detox plan. You need to know what to expect because even though Detoxing can improve your health, it’s not easy.
There will be a huge challenge that you will need to face Whether you’re planning on undergoing an extreme cleanse or a gentle detox. Read on to get the full scoop…
5 Surprising Side Effects of Detox
Headaches are a very common side effect of detox, It’s mostly because of your body going into withdrawal.
Let’s say you have a 2 cup of coffee morning routine that you have to give up or cut down, suddenly, your body gets little to no caffeine which will definitely bring on a mild to a severe headache.
Your body is accustomed to the regular consumption of caffeine and will go through withdrawal when it is no longer present.
You can experience withdrawal from sugar and foods that act like sugar in your body as well. Any detox diet will eliminate junk food and high glycemic foods.
If you’re accustomed to eating them you’ll likely experience a headache.
You can reduce the effects of a headache by making sure you’re well hydrated. This flushes the toxins from your body. Also, headaches can be caused by dehydration which is also a common side effect from a detox diet. Drink a lot of water or tea.
Diarrhea is caused by a number of things. When you detox you’re intentionally influencing the release of toxins from your tissues so you can purge them from your body. They are expelled from your body when you go to the bathroom and when you sweat.
You’ll likely go to the bathroom often as your body eliminates toxins. You may also experience diarrhea simply due to the detox products or foods you’re consuming.
For example, if you’re drinking a detox tea or taking herbs then you are promoting a laxative effect. Also, if you’re juicing then you’ll likely be consuming much more fiber than you’re accustomed to which can cause diarrhea.
Often the first few days of a detox are a bit disruptive. Your body is adjusting to your new eating habits or routine. This can cause a bit of insomnia. It’s best to try to detox over a weekend when you can grab naps throughout the day and not get overtired.
4 Mood swings and irritability
It’s very common to feel quite moody when you’re detoxing. Not only are you dealing with the stress and emotional issues of not being able to eat normally, you’re also purging toxins from your body which can cause hormones to become temporarily imbalanced.
Not to worry, when the detox is over you’ll feel ten times better and your systems will have essentially ‘reset’.
5 Renewed energy, vitality and mental clarity
Once the detox is over most people report feeling fantastic. They have more energy. They have more mental clarity. They are also better able to manage stress and lose weight.
Once your detox is complete, and even prior to completion, you will likely begin to feel quite wonderful. This is because the toxins have left your body and you’re regaining your health.
Conclusion On The 5 Surprising Side Effects of Detox
Detoxing can be difficult, depending on the detox plan you’ve chosen and your detox goals you may experience a few side effects. Many people report that the benefits far outweigh the temporary side effects.
Detox smartly so be prepared for the side effects. Choose a plan that’s right for you and make sure you’re healthy enough to detox by consulting your doctor before starting any detox plan.