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What is detox?

Detoxification, or detox, is the natural, ongoing process of neutralizing and eliminating potentially harmful compounds (called toxins) from the body.

Toxins can include perfume, alcohol, cigarette smoke, pesticides, mercury, food additives, oral contraceptives, and cleaning supplies. Toxins are transformed chemically to less harmful compounds that can be excreted via stools or urine.

Why do we need to detox?

Our bodies are able to detoxify chemicals without help. However, many experts believe that the enormous number of chemicals we ingest daily through food, water, and the environment can accumulate.

The buildup, called the toxic burden or body burden, can overwhelm the body's capacity to detoxify and may lead to hormonal imbalance, nutritional deficiency, and inefficient initially, there may be subtle warning signs, such as fatigue, poor skin, and pain, but overtime, it is believed to lead to disease.

What is a detox diet?

A detox diet is thought to strengthen organs involved in detox and promote the excretion of stored toxins through the organs of elimination: the skin, intestines, liver, lungs, kidneys and lymphatic system. A detox diet program may include a special diet, herbs and supplements, hydrotherapy, exercise, breathing techniques and/or sauna.

Benefits of a detox diet

• Detox diets are thought to prevent chronic diseases, such as arthritis, heart disease, and cancer.

• People who try a detox diet often find it can improve toxicity symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain, headache, pain, premenstrual syndrome, unhealthy skin, poor concentration, anxiety and irritability, frequent colds, heartburn, constipation, and gas.

• Detox diets may be recommended as part of a supervised treatment plan for chronic disease such as autoimmune disease, multiple chemical sensitivity, Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, digestive disorders, heart disease, and arthritis.

How do I get started?

It's important to see your primary care provider for a thorough assessment to ensure that your symptoms are not caused by a medical condition that requires treatment. Even serious diseases, such as cancer, can present with seemingly minor symptoms such as fatigue and back pain. Or, they may only be detected by laboratory tests.

How do I choose a detox method?

If you are trying a detox for the first time, it is best to take a gentle, gradual approach.The detox diet plan is a basic detox diet that many people recommend.

Detox diets can target the different organ systems involved in detoxification: the skin, liver, kidneys, colon, lungs and lymph system. A natural health care practitioner can design a program that suits your needs by targeting specific organ systems. For example, a person with a skin condition may benefit from a program that addresses the liver, intestines, and skin.

Other forms of detox include juice fasts, macrobiotic diet, colon cleanse, and liver flush.

How often do people go on a detox diet?

Detox diets are generally recommended one to two times a year to improve overall health and prevent disease. In some cases, health practitioners may recommend a detox diet more frequently or may recommend a longer detox diet. Detox diets are best done during the warmer months. They are usually not recommended more than three times per year.

What should I eat after a detox diet?

A detox diet is a cleansing process. After the detox diet is over, it is beneficial to rebuild and tonify the body with whole foods and soup. Many people use it as a springboard for a healthy lifestyle and continue eating many of the vegetables and fruits they ate on the detox diet.

Is there anyone who should not try a detox diet?

Consult your primary care provider to find out if a detox diet is appropriate for you. A detox diet should not be used by pregnant or nursing women, children, or people with anemia, eating disorders, heart problems, lowered immunity, low blood pressure, ulcers, diabetes, epilepsy, cancer, ulcerative colitis, unless recommended and supervised by your primary care provider.

Should I stop my medication during a detox?

No. Do not stop taking any medication without consulting the prescribing doctor or your family physician.

What are the possible side effects of a detox diet?

Some people may experience headache, acne, weight loss, or fatigue during a detox. These symptoms usually diminish after a few days. For this reason, many people take time off work to begin a detox or start the diet on a Friday night.

How do I choose a detox method?

If you are trying a detox for the first time, it is best to start with a gentle cleanse. Detox diets can target the different organ systems involved in detoxification: the skin, liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs and lymphatic system. In general, it is usually recommended that you begin with the intestines. The reason for this is if you focus on the liver first, the stored toxic substances that are released from the body tissues may become reabsorbed if the bowels are not moving adequately enough to expel them and can monitor your progress throughout the program.

A natural health care practitioner can design a program that suits your needs by targeting specific organ systems. For example, a person with a skin condition may benefit from a program that addresses the liver, intestines, and skin.

How frequently should I detox?

Detox diets are generally recommended 1 to 2 times a year for general health improvement and prevention.

What should I do after I finish the diet?

A detox is a cleansing and eliminating process. After it is over, it is beneficial to rebuild and tonify your body with nutrients that support the function of the organs that have been cleansed. In addition, some of the practices that you learn during the program can be continued as a regular part of your lifestyle.

Is there anyone who should not try a detox diet?

People with kidney disease, liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, heart disease, cancer or other serious disease should only attempt a new program with the supervision of a qualified health practitioner.

Should I stop my medication during a detox?

No. Do not stop taking any medication without consulting the prescribing doctor or your family physician.

Are there any side effects of this diet?

Some people may experience headache, acne, weight loss, or fatigue during a detox.These symptoms usually diminish after a few days. For this reason, many people take time off work to begin a detox or start the diet on a Friday night.