A detox cleanse is a great way to remove toxins from your body and make long-lasting improvements to your health. Detox cleanses work by triggering processes in the body that purge toxins, clear excess waste, promote weight loss, enhance energy levels, and improve mental and physical health.
While detox cleanses can offer so many amazing benefits, it is also very common to experience uncomfortable side effects along with a detox cleanse. In this article, we want to discuss what to expect when you detox so that you are better prepared, and so you can know how to make the most of your detox cleanse.
What Is Detoxification?
Simply put, Detoxification, or detox, refers to the process of removing toxins from the body. Toxins may enter the body from a number of sources—including the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, the personal care products we use, the utensils we cook and eat with, and so on. When toxins accumulate in the body, it creates what is known as a toxic load.
Toxic load refers to the accumulation of toxins and chemicals in our bodies that we ingest from a variety of sources. Each person has a different toxic load based on the amount of toxins accumulated in their body. The goal of detoxification is to eliminate toxins from the body and to reduce our toxic load, improving our health in the process.
Most of us are in desperate need of detoxification. We have had toxins storing in our bodies, organs and tissues for years—even decades—and they have not only hindered the proper function of important body systems (especially liver, kidneys, adrenal glands, and gut), but they have also attracted a host of harmful organisms like parasites, Candida and pathogenic bacteria.
Through detoxification we can change our inner environment from one of toxicity to one of true health. Consider for a moment just how many toxins you have ingested over the years. If you are reading this, it is likely that you are becoming much more conscious of your health, but even so, you come into contact with toxins on a frequent basis.
Most of us hope that when we consume a toxin our body will process it and we’ll be fine—and thankfully this is often the case. However, the body does not process it all, especially if our detox organs have become compromised or overworked. A detox cleanse is necessary to dig deeper and to remove these stored toxins so we can restore our body’s health. One of the best ways to do this is by supporting your body’s natural detox organs, and by doing more intensive detox cleanses a few times each year.
Supporting Your Body’s Detox Organs
Our body already has many organs and systems dedicated to detoxification—such as the liver, kidneys, gut, skin, and lymphatic system. These organs are vital to our health, and are working constantly to fight off the toxins that we ingest. Unfortunately, if these organs are overwhelmed with toxins, their function becomes impaired, and as a result, more toxins are able to bypass them and enter our system.
For this reason, one of the greatest ways to support the body’s detoxification is to focus on detoxifying and restoring the health of the liver and other detox organs. This can be done with certain dietary and lifestyle factors, as well as through utilizing certain superfoods known for their incredible detox benefits.
The liver is especially important when it comes to detoxification. The liver performs over 500 different tasks for the body, with the neutralization and detoxification of toxic substances being one of its primary roles. Unfortunately, the liver may also become overwhelmed if our toxic load is too high. This can lead to improper liver function, which can result in a number of negative health effects such as high blood pressure/high cholesterol, low energy, poor metabolism, and excess weight gain among other ailments.
One of the greatest ways to support the body’s detoxification is to focus on detoxifying and restoring the health of the liver. This can be done with certain dietary and lifestyle factors, as well as through utilizing herbal remedies for liver detoxification such as our Liver Detox Tonic.
The most important factor for any form of detoxification is to avoid toxic substances in the first place. Do your best to educate yourself on what you consume, and avoid substances that are filled with toxic chemicals and preservatives or grown with pesticides and genetically modified ingredients.
The body has a natural tendency toward healing and repairing itself when it is no longer affected by harmful toxins and is given the proper nutrients to heal. It is important that you nourish your body with the proper nutrients during or after a detox depending on the type of detox that you do.
How to Do a Detox Cleanse
There are many different types of cleanses. The cleanse that you take should match your intentions and motivations for cleansing. If you are looking to remove built up toxins and waste, then a juice cleanse or a raw food cleanse might be enough. If you are focused on getting rid of parasites, then a parasite detox cleanse is the obvious choice. If you want to remove the build-up of heavy metals, then a heavy metal cleanse is the way to go.
If you are just looking for a general, whole-body cleanse then cutting out toxic foods, eating more natural and organic whole foods—especially plant-based—eating moderate portions, drinking plenty of water, and getting moderate sleep and exercise can be a great place to start. Any kind of change in your diet like this will likely bring on some of its own cleansing benefits.
Also, just because a cleanse may be more focused on one area, it doesn’t mean its benefits are limited to that. For example, a liver cleanse focuses on cleansing the liver, but the liver is so connected to the body as a whole (as is every other organ) that cleansing the liver can also help to restore gut health, remove heavy metals, and kill parasites and pathogenic bacteria.
To know what cleanse is right for you, consider what your motivations are for cleansing. If you want to just give your body a rest, try a simpler and broader cleanse. If you have a specific intention for your cleanse, such as getting rid of Candida, then opt for the more specific cleanse to accomplish your detox goals.
What to Expect When Doing a Detox Cleanse
Everybody is different. Not only are each of our bodies different, but our lifestyles are different, our diets are different, the climates and environments we live in are different, and the amount of toxins that we have in our bodies is also different. Therefore, every cleanse will also be different depending on the individual person, their current state of health, what kind of cleanse they do, and how long they do the cleanse for.
In general, when doing any kind of detox cleanse, there are certain things that almost everyone can expect:
A detox cleanse, by its very nature, is restrictive. You will be cutting out certain things from your diet, and this can lead to cravings for familiar foods. Especially if we have been consuming too much sugar, or are making a significant dietary change, we can expect to experience cravings. These can be mild or intense, and the affect they have overall differs from person to person. If you experience cravings during a cleanse, remind yourself of your intention for cleansing, try to avoid contact with restricted foods or the smell of these food, drink more water, and practice relaxing with the feeling of craving, as well as any other feelings that may come up during your cleanse.
Eating is very emotional for most of us. We don’t only eat when we’re hungry. We eat when we’re bored, when we’re upset, when we’re anxious or afraid—many of our eating habits are connected to our diet. We also tend to eat as a way to distract ourselves from uncomfortable emotions. When you cut out certain foods and eating habits, such as during a cleanse, you may also begin to experience more emotions, as you are removing the very things that you use to avoid difficult feelings.
A detox cleanse is a great way to become aware of deeper emotions inside us, as well as to observe our relationship with food and just how emotional eating can be for us. Additionally, there are likely to be biochemical changes in your body as you cleanse that may also impact your mood.
It is important to be kind and gentle with yourself during a cleanse, and to know that you may experience some challenging emotions at times. All you have to do is allow these feelings to arise—whatever they are—and to allow yourself to feel these emotions. Just by accepting them, and feeling them, they will transform on their own. You don’t have to suppress them or change them in any way. Just feel them, relax with them, let them be, and let them go when they are ready. This, in itself, can be very healing to your body and mind.
Changes in bowel movements
Experiencing changes in your bowel movements is also very common during a cleanse. Changing your diet, drinking more fluids, and consuming foods and substances that trigger elimination are almost guaranteed to alter the frequency and volume of both bowel movements and urination. This is something you should expect during a cleanse, and not something to be alarmed about when it happens.
Increased energy levels
As you continue your cleanse, and your body eliminates built up waste and toxins, you will likely experience a huge increase in your energy levels. This is a great sign your cleanse is working, and a great reminder that you can feel this great all the time—provided that you eat and live in a way that is healthy and minimize your consumption of toxins.
Another great benefit of cleansing is a quality of mental clarity that is almost unparalleled in any other circumstance. Most people that do a cleanse for longer than a few days begin to experience a certain feeling of clarity. You feel more present, alert and aware, you feel less distracted by thoughts, and you feel like things just make more sense. It is a wonderful side effect of cleansing, and often, this mental clarity is among the top reasons that some people do a detox cleanse.
Being Aware of Detox Reactions
It is also important to be aware of possible detox reactions. A detoxification reaction is also sometimes referred to as a die-off reaction, as it commonly occurs when certain toxic organisms are killed during a cleanse, such as parasites, candida, or pathogenic bacteria.
Research on die-off reactions states that “in a die-off reaction, there is a release of toxins, proteins, and oxidizing agents that results in an increase in inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-6, and interleukin-8.”
Some common detox reactions include:
- Digestive upsets
- Tiredness & Fatigue
- Brain fog
- Skin irritations
It is important to be aware of the potential for detox reactions, and also to know that a detox reaction is not a bad thing. In fact, it is a positive sign that your body is in fact detoxing. However, if the detoxification symptoms are too intense or causing severe discomfort, it is advised to slow down the rate of detoxification by cutting back on the cleansing methods that are triggering the reaction.
For example, if one is doing a parasite cleanse, and taking too high of doses of a parasite detox supplement, they may experience more symptoms as a result of their intense detoxification. To reduce the uncomfortable symptoms, one needs to slow the rate of detoxification. This could be accomplished by reducing the dose of the parasite detox supplement, alternating days, or taking a short break to let the body heal and reduce the symptoms naturally before resuming the cleanse.
A detox reaction is especially triggered by intense forms of detoxification, and those who follow more intensive detox cleanses are likely to experience worse symptoms than those who take a gentler approach.
Managing Detox Reactions
If you are undergoing a detox cleanse and are experiencing a detox reaction, there are several things that can help to reduce the symptoms of the reaction. The first one is, of course, to cut back on the substance or method that is causing the rapid detoxification and to be a bit gentler in your approach. That being said, some other ways you can help a detox reaction include:
- Drinking a lot of water
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Taking Epsom salt baths
- Consume Prebiotic Foods
- Ozone therapy
- Supplement with a Liver Detox tonic to support liver function
- Supplementing with Whole Food Zinc
- Supplementing with colloidal silver
- Eating a nutrient-dense diet
Good Preparation Leads to Good Results
A detox cleanse is a great way to remove toxins from your body and make long-lasting improvements to your health. While detox cleanses can offer so many amazing benefits, it is also very common to experience uncomfortable side effects along with a detox cleanse.
It is important to know what to expect during a detox cleanse, as well as how you can manage things that may arise during your cleanse, so you can be as prepared as possible to make the most of your cleanse.
The more prepared you are, the better off you will be, and the better results you are likely to experience. We hope that this article helped you to be better prepared for your next detox cleanse, but if you’d like to learn even more, check out our article “Detoxification 101: Everything You Need to Know”.