So What’s The Deal With Detoxing Side-Effects, Anyway?

We get asked about detoxification side-effects often. Whether you may be embarking on a Metabolic Cleanse or dissolving biofilms, you may experience some brief, but not-so-pleasant side effects. This isn’t unusual, but can make our patients nervous if they don’t know exactly what they may feel during the process.

Metabolic cleanses are designed to get your system running optimally again. They include active ingredients to help heal the liver and pancreas and to get bile and toxins moving in the right direction (well, technically, the bile starts doing its job correctly again, and the toxins are permanently evicted from your system).

Biofilms, in brief, are gelatinous, protective coverings that are developed by pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, yeasts and even fungus and parasites, in order for them to successfully thwart the effectiveness of medications and supplementation meant to destroy them. Fairly nifty example of evolution at work, although, not much fun for their human hosts! In patients where low-grade pathogenic infections are preventing wellness we seek to dissolve these coverings in order to better battle the pathogens themselves. It’s nearly impossible for supplements, and even prescription antivirals and antibiotics, to be fully effective against these nasties until their protective coverings are dissolved. Enter stage right: Monolaurin (we recommend Lauricidin brand in our practice), which is a proteolytic enzyme that helps break down these films, and Serrapeptase, a derivative harvested from silkworms (we know, wild stuff, right?)! Needless to say, the pathogens that have found their way into human bodies really like their accommodations, they don’t want to be evicted or killed off. They will put up a fight! They will eventually die off as the medications and supplements we take begin to work and as these pathogen die they release toxins which the body must filter.

These are not always easy processes for the people involved. Although, we know from years in practice and much scholarly evidence, they will feel exponentially better once the process is complete. It’s just the getting through it part that can be a little uncomfortable, while wellness remains the ultimate goal.

Common side-effects from Metabolic cleanses and biofilm dissolution can include: fatigue, mild swelling, stomach upset (gas, bloating, diarrhea), aches and pains in the joints, rashes and sometimes hives, as well as brain fog and mild anxiety (generally brought on by the “not knowing” and the overall feeling of being unwell, if only temporary).

If you are experiencing any combination of these side-effects, please know they are completely normal and nothing to worry about. We know they can be uncomfortable but they are short lived. They are generally only noticeable for the first 24 to 72 hours and will subside thereafter. Our advice is as follows: Get plenty of rest. Sleep is essential whether our immune system is battling something or not. It is that much more important when we are not feeling our best. Our bodies regenerate and do their best immune work at rest. During detoxification make sure you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night. Drink lots of water. You want to keep well hydrated and your system flushed. This will help hasten the process and will help get you through it faster. If your symptoms begin to make you feel sick to your stomach, especially fatigued, or the brain fog becomes a hindrance, you can reach for activated charcoal (which you’ll take about an hour or so after your detoxification supplements, as to give them the chance to work without being absorbed by the charcoal and removed from your system inadvertently). You can start with one capsule and increase to two if your symptoms don’t lessen. Although, we find that one capsule is enough activated charcoal to bind with these toxins and biofilms in order to move them out of your system. Also, a teaspoon of Bentonite Clay mixed with a little water and consumed with your detoxification protocol works as well and in the same way as activated charcoal.

The benefits of detoxification far outweigh the discomforts they bring and again, are not permanent and do not generally last long. Some people will actually go through the process without a single physical sign that things are working as they should. If these tips don’t help the way you feel during a detoxification always consult your practitioner to review the timing and dosage of your protocol.

What’s the Difference Between a Detox and Cleanse?

What started all the questions about detoxing and cleansing?

Since Spiro and I just completed the Beachbody Ultimate Reset, a lot of people were asking us what the diet was all about. In a nutshell, it’s a three week program that eliminates all toxins from your body and ends you eating a raw, organic diet. Each week, you take different supplements that support the transition. I know what you’re saying, forget it. It was difficult, but both of us feel amazing and actually want to continue eating this way. It was a great experience and we’re really happy we did it. The reset was basically a detoxification diet. In this post, I’ll explain the difference between a detox and a cleanse and I’ll follow up with posts that get into more detail on different types of detox and cleanses that are out there.

Detox and Cleanse

For ages, body purification has been an inseparable part of our rituals for good health and well-being. The various processes going on inside the body and the substances that enter it generate toxins which are a threat to your internal system. Harmful substances include cholesterol, irritants, excess fat, sugar, smoking, biological waste and synthetic chemicals. Some, or all of which enter your body from diverse sources like a polluted environment, processed food and unhealthy habits. If these harmful substances keep accumulating inside your system, they can put you at risk of acquiring a fatal disease.

There is a very thin line between a Detoxification (or “detox” as it is called) and a Cleanse. People usually use these terms interchangeably to mean they’re trying to get rid of waste or dirt from the body. However, detox and cleanse are very different processes. Although they both aim to help the body get rid of toxins, they work on different areas of the body and different toxins as well.

Detoxification

Detoxification refers to the body’s natural process of elimination or neutralization of toxic materials from cells, tissues, organs and the bloodstream. It acts to remove toxins from the blood stream, various organs of the body, skin and also the liver and kidneys. A liver or kidney detox is generally accompanied by cleansing procedures to ensure better results. Detox includes ingredients incorporated into a person’s daily diet. These dietary inclusions are meant specifically to eradicate toxins. Detox, being a relatively simple process, can be made part of your daily regimen. Detox targets chemicals, smoke, metals, pollutants, stones and even fat deposits that accumulate in the body and pose harm. Adopting a few detox ingredients in your daily diet has positive benefits including better health, health, beautiful skin, relief from aches and pains, and lesser anxiety or depression caused by hormonal imbalance. Detox can be incorporated in your day to day life simply by choosing to eat fruits, vegetables and high fibre foods. Avoid eating processed and/or packaged food; chips, cereals, prepared frozen diet meals, etc.

Cleansing

Cleansing targets the digestive tract (the organ from the mouth to the anus) and does a typical colon cleansing job. Cleansing uses a particular program or component for the procedure i.e. teas, fiber supplements, etc. It targets waste matter, fungi (like Candida), parasites and harmful bacteria inside your bowels. Both detox and cleanse have several similar advantages. Cleansing is a sure fire process for keeping your digestive tract and colon healthy and your body free from disease.

Our experience from the Ultimate Reset

I have to say that since Spiro and I did our Reset (detox), we don’t have the cravings we use to have. We were eating very satisfying food that was very fulfilling but we still kept “thinking” we needed to eat something else. Most of us are brought up to have meat, fish, etc. and have a side salad, veggies, potato, rice, etc. With the reset, we learned to really focus on all our veggies first and add on from there. Now that we actually can eat other food, we don’t want to. Funny, the first day we were done, Spiro got one of our favorite things; a Costco rotisserie chicken. Ya know what? It didn’t hit the spot like we thought it would. Crazy huh? In just three, short weeks, our taste buds have changed and whole food is what we crave. Now we just have to work on changing our mindset.;) That’s always the hard part. So what do you think? Do you think you’re ready to do a cleanse or detox?

One last note: It’s advisable to talk to your Doctor before starting any program. They can help you determine which is best for you as well as the frequency to engage in such a program.