Detox Side Effects: What to Know Before You Start
Did you know that it can take years for toxic exposure side effects to occur? You can have an exposure to a dangerous chemical or toxin and then not have negative health effects for months or even years. (source)

The reason for the delayed response is bioaccumulation. Bioaccumulation is the buildup of harmful chemicals that are not able to be broken down or excreted fast enough, if at all. 

Our bodies are pretty amazing. There are constantly a lot of detoxing processes naturally occuring in our bodies automatically without us doing a thing. High five to all the livers out there working right now as you're reading this! 

side effects of detoxing and detox symptoms

Always listen to your body, and if symptoms persist or become severe, consult a healthcare professional. In addition to these tips, be sure to exercise regularly, stay hydrated, eat a balanced diet, get plenty of sleep, monitor hormones, and maintain healthy stress levels.

The Detox Process

We're constantly exposed to toxins, chemicals, heavy metals, and synthetic ingredients. They are in our food, water, products, and air. While we can do our best to minimize our exposure, we can't avoid them completely. 

Toxins enter our bodies through:

  • products we use topically on our skin
  • physical contact
  • the air we breath
  • chemicals we inhale 
  • food we eat
  • medicines and synthetic vitamins we ingest
  • chemicals in our water
  • biochemicals used in farming 
  • household toxins including synthetic scents and household cleaners

The toxins are processed in our:

  • liver:
    • this is the hardest working detox organ and does most of the work
    • converts toxins into urine that passes through the kidneys or bile that passes through the gallbladder
    • if the liver is overloaded and isn't able to convert all the toxins, some of the toxins are stored in fat causing excess weight gain

Then excreted through:

  • kidneys:
    • processes and detoxes blood
    • excretes toxins via urine
  • lymphatic system:
    • part of the circulatory system that pumps cells and blood throughout our body and into detoxing organs
    • if the lymphatic system gets stuck or overloaded, there is a bioaccumulation of toxins that can't be processed
    • keep the lymphatic system flowing by drinking clean, filtered water (I use a Berkey, use code tcmberkey), exercising, and dry body brushing
  • skin:
    • removing dead skin cells 
    • sweat
  • lungs:
    • exhaling carbon dioxide
  • digestive tract and colon:
    • solid waste (yep, poop)
side effects of detoxing and detox symptoms

The Toxin Journey

Here's how a toxin travels through your body:

  • You put on a store-bought lotion with fragrance and parabens. Both are known toxins that should be avoided.
  • The toxins are absorbed into your skin.
  • They enter your bloodstream and lymphatic system.
  • They get sent to the liver.
  • The liver processes them and sends them to be excreted via urine, bile, or solid waste. 
  • You sweat some of the toxins through your skin.
In perfect conditions, your body has processed and removed all the toxins from your body. 

However, the average person also used shampoo, condition, face wash, makeup, and hair products that all have harmful ingredients. And that's before breakfast! This is why our bodies are overloaded and have bioaccumulation and need help detoxing. 

Here are some of my favorite DIY personal care products. I make these to minimize my exposure to harmful ingredients:

Detox Side Effects: What to Know Before You Start

While are bodies are hard at work to naturally detox, there are easy and gentle natural detoxes we can add to our daily routines to help out. Your liver is practically begging for it!

side effects of detoxing and detox symptoms

But before you start incorporating detoxes into your daily routines, you need to be aware of possible side effects. Even the gentlest of detoxes can cause side effects. While sometimes it appears that things are getting worse, it's actually part of the healing process. 

Things I've Said When Starting New Detoxes:

My back is breaking out! Dry body brushing is horrible for my skin.
Oil pulling makes me pee way too much. This can't be healthy.
I'm burping vinegar. This shot is making my indigestion worse.
I have a headache again. This is a sign my body needs more caffeine, not less!

Thankfully I pushed through the initial side effects and symptoms to allow my body to complete the detox process and have added these gentle detoxes into my daily routine. 

Common Detox Symptoms & Side Effects:

When you start a detox, your body begins to release stored toxins, breaking down the bioaccumulation, which can temporarily cause some uncomfortable symptoms. These symptoms are a sign that your body is working hard to eliminate these harmful substances. 

  • Headaches
    • As your body clears out toxins, you may experience headaches, especially if you're reducing caffeine or sugar intake.
  • Fatigue
    • Detoxing can make you feel more tired than usual as your body uses more energy to eliminate toxins.
  • Digestive Issues: 
    • Changes in diet can lead to bloating, gas, or changes in bowel movements including constipation or diarrhea. 
  • Mood Swings: 
    • Fluctuating blood sugar levels and the release of stored chemicals can affect your mood.
  • Skin Breakouts: 
    • Your skin is a major detox organ, so you might experience rashes or acne as toxins are expelled.
  • Flu-like Symptoms: 
    • Some people report feeling achy, having a sore throat, or experiencing mild fevers.
  • Body Odor:
    • Accumulated waste and toxins are being evacuated through sweat and your skin.
  • Body aches:
    • This is your muscles and joints inflammatory response to coming into toxins as they are move through your body.
These symptoms are usually temporary and should subside as your body adjusts and becomes cleaner. Speed up the process with plenty of exercise, sleep, and water. The symptoms could last a few days to a few months. It took time to accumulate the toxic buildup, it will take time to release it.

Always listen to your body, and if symptoms persist or become severe, consult a healthcare professional.

Gentle Detoxes to do Daily

Here are my favorite gentle detoxes. I do each of them at least a few times a week and sometimes daily:

Detox #1: Morning Detox Shot with Lemon Juice, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Cayenne Pepper

master cleanse shot with apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, honey, turmeric

Detox #2: Castor Oil in Your Belly Button

naval pulling with castor oil by putting castor oil in your belly button to lose weight

Detox #3: Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil

how to oil pull to lose weight with coconut oildiy oil pulling chews to lose weight with coconut oil

Detox #4: Detox Epsom Salt Bath

detox bath recipes with epsom salt and essential oils

Detox #5: Dry Body Brushing

how to dry body brush to get rid of cellulite and lose weight

Final Thoughts

Detoxing is a beneficial practice that can help rejuvenate your body and improve overall health. By understanding detox symptoms and integrating simple, natural detox methods into your routine, you can support your body's natural cleansing processes. Remember, consistency is key, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will enhance the benefits of your detox efforts. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new detox regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions.

Embrace these simple DIY detoxes, listen to your body, and enjoy the journey to a healthier, more vibrant you!

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