Detoxing is a great idea and everybody knows it. Who isn’t feeling tired, stressed, overworked and sluggish these days? We all know that our lifestyle is too stressful and that we are probably eating the wrong foods, too much of the time. Also, we have all seen the news programs and documentaries, telling us about the de-natured food, the poisoned food, food which is obviously affecting our health. So it’s a no brainier, most people will agree that our lifestyle is not so healthy and that a good detox (whereby we purify our bodies and regain our health balance again) is a good idea.
However, very few people actually go on a detox, and this is probably mainly because of the hassle involved, in taking time out to make healthy choices and arrange some life style changes, for a few weeks, while the detox is on-going. But even more pertinent, is that out of the few people who do go on a detox, the majority fall off the wagon, because they start feeling ill, and in some cases emotionally upset. So not only are they going out of their way to make life changes, but these life changes are causing a lot of distress. It’s at this point that many well-meaning people give up on the detox, which is really a pity; so what can we do to handle the detox side effects ion a better manner, in a way which makes the detox doable, so that we get the long-term benefits which we need from the detox?
Detox Side Effects
The first thing which we have to consider when dealing with the topic of detox side effects, is to have a clear understanding as to what these detox side effects are!
All too often I speak to someone who is attempting a detox, only to find them complaining of headaches, irritable bowel movements, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, emotional disturbance and so on. They believe that the detox diet is doing them harm or that the physical exercises, which accompany the program, are not agreeing with them.
So first of all get informed as to what constitutes detox side effects.
Detox Side Effects include the following:
- Stomach Irritation
- Irritable bowel symptoms
- Aches and pains
- Lower back ache
- Cold and flu like symptoms
- Dull or throbbing headache
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Bad breath
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Feelings of irritation
- Feelings of anxiety
- Feeling angry
- Feeling confused
I know all of this sounds dreadful, but it is highly unlikely for anyone to get all or nearly all of these symptoms. For most people, either they will have no symptoms or they will only have a few of these symptoms.
So why are these symptoms coming about?
The reason for the symptoms is because of the sudden release of toxins, within the system. We are receiving toxins from all sorts of different locations. Preservatives in our foods, pollution in the environment and toxins coming about from eating too much, of the wrong foods, are the atypical sources of toxins.
When we make an effort to remove these toxins, the toxins don’t just disappear, rather they dissipate, and this dissipation of toxins means that they gradually leave the cells of the body and make their way out of the body. Ideally they are excreted via defecation, urine, sweating and breathing; however, if there is a backlog of toxins, they will end up building up in the system and causing some problems.
Looking at the mechanism behind this, we find that when we are filling up with toxins, our body protects us by putting the toxins somewhere, where they are relatively inoffensive. The body will put them inside some cells and basically cordon them off. When we start to detox, these toxins start to leave these cells and they circulate around the blood and lymph system and tend to get excreted; but a build-up can occur due to a backlog.
Depending where the blockage is occurring, this will tend to have a big effect on the symptoms. Blockages in the intestines, for example, will create situations such as stomach problems and bowel problems. Bad breath and bad taste can also come about from these backlogs.
Aches and pains can come about from a general raised level of toxins, within the lymph system and blood stream; cold and flu like symptoms can also arise this way.
Headaches, tinnitus and dizziness usually come about as energy in the body, is suddenly released in spurts, thus causing an imbalance. Headaches can also tie in with dehydration which can also come around as a side effect.
Mood symptoms are a result of the sudden increase in toxicity, which throws the body’s balance out of kilter. Also in many cases we cushion ourselves from emotional distress, in life, by stuffing ourselves with unhealthy foodstuffs. While these effectively hold in the distressful emotions, as the toxins from these unhealthy foods, is released some emotional distress is also released. This might sound a bit esoteric, but as we release toxins from the body, emotions which have been repressed, in one way or another, tend to also get released, which can be uncomfortable but which is good in the long-term, as it releases emotional blockages in the process.
How are we to handle These Detox Side Effects?
Ok there are several things which we can do in order to handle detox side effects.
- First of all we should become aware that some side effects will occur and expect them, just like as if we went on a boat and felt sea sick it would be expected, even though it feels unpleasant.
- We also have to discern the difference between side effects and ill health. If the side effects begin very soon after we have added in a new exercise or made a new dietary change or begun a new purification process, chances are that the side effects relate to this. If so, maintain the new routine and see if symptoms persist, more often than not they will subside within a day or two. If not then reduce whatever effort you are making, as in reduce exercise intensity, in the case of exercises, and reduce whatever dietary or purification efforts, which you are making. If this does not help, then seek some medical guidance, maybe you are coming down with something, which is completely unrelated, this happens sometimes. If it ends up scuttling your entire detox, then that’s ok, you can always detox at a later stage. Sometimes this kind of thing (suddenly becoming ill or picking up an infection) is purely accidental and at other times it occurs because of a massive release of internal toxins. For many of us, we will need to detox many times, and in some cases a sudden infection is the body’s way of terminating the detox, for now. Listen to your body, never force anything, recover from the infection and go back to the detox at a later stage. Next time it will be less severe; do this two or three times and all symptoms will end. The consoling thought in all of this, is that if you body is feeling so ill, how much crap must have been there in the first place, and to what degree long-term benefits will come from getting rid of it!
- Try to go for a gentle detox, especially if it’s your first time. Detoxifying is a lot like driving a car; you can go fast or you can go slow. You don’t have to drive fast, and most of the time you would probably be better off not driving so fast! The same thing applies to detoxing. Take it easy, don’t push to hard, or you will come up against a lot of resistance, which could impede your progress!
- Water therapy: Water therapy is so easy to do and yet so effective; Simply drinking large amounts of water in a short period of time, will speed up the process of toxins leaving the body.
- Sauna or steam room: Both the sauna and the stream room make the body sweat and sweat and sweat. If you have access to either one or both, make a point of visiting them regularly, on a daily basis if possible. Sweat therapy works, sweat out the toxins!
- Salt baths: Salt baths are another great idea: Simply add in magnesium chloride flakes or baking soda, to a warm bath, and lie there for a good 20 to 30 minutes, and they will draw toxins out of the body.
These are some of the tactics which you can make, to make yourself feel more comfortable, during a detox. In particular, the best way to avoid or reduce detox side effects is to go for a gentle detox. Don’t push too hard. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither where your toxins built up in a day, so have patience!
Many people like to detox in a panicky kind of way, as if they found a cockroach in their bed!
But this is plain silly. For a start achieving a deep level of purification takes time and effort, it cannot be achieved in a week or even a month. So you are going to have to be patient, even if you go at it in an intense manner, deep purification will take months. Secondly, no matter how quickly you get rid of toxins, they will build up again quickly, as a consequence of lifestyle and also earthly pollution. We all share the same Earth, and to some degree the pollution on this Earth affects us all. Finally, we are human beings and a certain amount of toxic build up is going to take place as a consequence of living.
The Best Long-Term Approach to Handling Detox Side Effects
So get this silly notion, of detoxing all impurities in a week or two, out of your mind, it’s not possible and even if it where the toxins would come back quickly!
The only effective long-term detox solution, is to change your lifestyle, bit by bit, over a long period of time. Do this and you will be largely toxin free.
If you take a piece of food up from the floor and eat it , chances are that you will be ok, because of the body’s immune system and the acidic nature of the stomach, even though this food is full of bacteria after been dropped on the floor. However, if you neglect hygiene standards and never clean your house and eat of off the floor all of the time, definitely you will get sick more often.
So the same reality applies to bodily toxins. To some degree toxins are always present (for example even drinking water contains bacteria, but it’s at a tolerable level), but as long as the toxins are within a reasonable range everything will be AOK!
So that’s it in a nutshell; go for regular gently detoxes, be aware that some detox side effects might happen and change your lifestyle, bit by bit over a long period of time, and you will be feeling the beneficial effects both today, tomorrow and for the rest of your life!