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Detox - "I feel awful... what is going on?!" - Understanding the "Detox Flu"

Posted May 18 2010 11:03pm
sick-1
A friend of mine and training buddy Darren contacted me the other day having started the Juice PLUS+ "Healthy Habit" to let me know that he and his partner were suffering "constant running noses, lethargy, and severely altered sleep patters...we are waking up at 3am and just cannot get back to sleep!" Classic symptoms of what is known as "Detox Flu" or "The Healing Crisis" and very common for those who start to take in a lot of raw fruits and vegetables nutrition.  Contrary to what you might think if you are going through these symptoms - this is an excellent sign that what you are doing is working!  Today I want to point out what they classic symptoms of "Detox Flu" are, what you can expect, and the way to manage yourself through it.

Remember, when detoxing, you may suffer from symptoms as your body expels the toxins from your body. This is perfectly normal and is not a sign that you’re getting sicker.

To ensure that I am dealing with this issue in the most responsible manner for you I am referring to an article on the Natural Therapy Pages Detox Symptoms

First things first, let me answer the first question that people ask: "How long will it last?"  The answer is simple - it will last as long as your body needs to get rid of the toxins that have built up over a lifetime of poor lifestyle decisions.  This will differ between individuals obviously.  It is a dead giveaway though that the longer it lasts, the more "interesting" your lifestyle choices will have been!

Here is a list of very common "Detox Flu" symptoms that you can expect
  • headaches
  • lethargy
  • temporary muscle aches
  • mucus or other discharge
  • a coated, pasty tongue
  • flu-like symptoms
  • irritability
  • difficulty sleeping
  • weakness
  • cravings
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • gas
You will see that Darren's symptoms are listed amongst those that are on this list.  These contraindications are normal during the detox process as mentioned earlier. You may even find that the detoxing process causes you to suffer the old symptoms that you have had that the body has suppressed. You may think that you are becoming ill but it is important that you continue with the detox and don’t take any medications to help with the symptoms. The aim to flush chemicals from the body, not introduce more!

A healing crisis occurs when the body tries to expel toxins at a faster rate than they can be properly disposed of. The more toxic your system is, the more severe the healing crisis may be. Healing crises are characterised by a temporary increase in symptoms during the process of detoxification. You may actually feel worse for a time and conclude that the detox program is not working. However, the opposite is true. The symptoms are a sign that the treatment is effective and that the body is cleaning itself of all the old, hidden, accumulated toxins.

Coping with "The Healing Crisis"
A healing crisis occurs when the body tries to expel toxins at a faster rate than they can be properly disposed of.  The more toxic your system is, the more severe the healing crisis may be.  Healing crises are characterised by a temporary increase in symptoms during the process of detoxification.  You may actually feel worse for a time and conclude that the detox program is not working.  However, the opposite is true.  The symptoms are a sign that the treatment is effective and that the body is cleaning itself of all the old, hidden, accumulated toxins.

To cope with the healing crisis, it is important to drink plenty of fresh water, juices, and herbal teas. These will help to flush the body of toxins. It is best to use pure water, and not water that comes from the tap. Bottled spring water is ideal. Drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day. If you are feeling lethargic or tired, the body is telling you that you need to rest.

Hot showers may be very helpful. Have the water as hot as you can stand it and scrub the skin well. This will help to eliminate toxins through the skin. Do not eat too much through the crisis. Eat light meals that are easy to digest. Increase the amount of fibre that you are eating and take supplements that cleanse the colon and kidneys. Meditation can also help with the mood swings and emotions that you may experience during the healing crisis.

Tough it out and enjoy the feeling of coming out the other side all shiny and much cleaner on the inside!
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