Detoxification - Cleansing from the Inside out

When you start a cleansing program like fasting, or make a lifestyle change, like dramatically improving your diet, exercising, discontinuing an unhealthy habit like smoking or drinking caffeine, you are likely to experience symptoms of detoxification.

These symptoms may include headache, stomach ache, cough, diarrhea, constipation, skin eruptions, rashes, clogged sinus or draining sinus, fever, feeling rundown, or flu-like symptoms.  


These symptoms are sometimes called a Herxheimer reaction. How long these symptoms last and how uncomfortable you are may indicate how much your body needs a good cleansing.   There are many ways to cleanse and detoxify the body naturally.  Whether you prefer juice fasts or fiber supplements, cleansing is an excellent way to kick-start your weight-loss and healthy-living regimen. 

The cleansing process is disturbing to some because they do not understand why they are feeling bad when they are doing so many good things for themselves.  We have also developed the habit of running for something to stop these symptoms as soon as they start. 

We must realize that when we DO get "sick", this is our body trying to save itself. All the avenues of elimination increase their activity.  We don't like it, so want to run and get something to stop it, when it may be better to just let "nature" take it's course, and let the body do the work of healing itself. 


Usually these symptoms last a few days, then subside. Then they may return later as your body continues to cleanse. The body will continue this cycle if you are committed to your program, but more and more time will go by between these uncomfortable bouts. If you are particularly uncomfortable, you may be trying to do too much too soon.

Change your diet for the better graduallyFor example, if you stop coffee suddenly, you will have headaches, better to decrease a little at a time.  Add any supplements you may be using by increasing amounts gradually. 

It is best to seek the guidance of a health care provider during this process. Call your nutritional health care adviser if you are discouraged.

Be sure to drink enough pure water. A general rule of thumb is to drink 1/2 your body weight IN OUNCES of water each day

One thing interesting about this whole cycle of detoxification is that when you are feeling your best, your body may, in the next day or so, begin another cleansing cycle. This is because it again has the energy it needs to cleanse itself. It is very important that you rest as much as possible when your body needs it - don't push yourself. 

It is very common for people when they feel the slightest discomfort to want to give up.  If you are confident that your feeling the affects of detoxification, and have consulted with your nutritionist or health care provider who knows about cleansing for health, don't give up - you have invested time and money into putting together your health program. You owe it to yourself and your body to be committed and to carry it through.

Disclaimer:  I am not a doctor, and do not prescribe or diagnose disease.  If you decide to do a cleansing program based upon this article, you are responsible for your decision, and the consequences.

Updated 3/28/13

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