We are exposed to chemicals and toxins on a daily basis, at work, at home, in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink. As the public becomes more aware of the toxins residing in their bodies through pollutants like heavy metal pesticides, etc., and improper nutrition due to poor diets, there is growing interest in cleansing and detox protocols. .
Do a google search on “clean”. There are almost 15,000,000 results! There are body cleanses, liver cleanses, colon cleanses, cleansing diets, juice fasts, detox recipes, etc. It is a vast subject and a great deal.
So you’ve done some research, maybe you bought a packaged cleanse on the internet or at your local health food store, or you got a diet book on various types of cleanses and got started at full speed. You have been on the protocol for a couple of days and you feel very, very bad. You have headaches, you have low energy, you may be suffering from some diarrhea. You’re wondering if these cleaning things are so over the top because you’re supposed to feel better than when you started out, not worse. You’re ready to throw it all away and go back to your old ways.
In reality, it is very likely that the cleanse is working exactly as it should and what you are feeling is probably a Herksheimer reaction. Herksheimer reaction is a term that describes the principle that it gets worse before it gets better when you use, for example, an antibiotic or other health solution. This is due to the release of toxins as the body responds to the remedy. Many people have a lot of insects and toxins in their system and if you kill them too quickly, you will get a Herksheimer reaction (weakness, nausea, etc.).
The safest solution is to work with your ND or your healthcare professional to ensure that you experience minimal adverse side effects when you begin your cleansing regimen. If you do it alone, follow the cleaning instructions you have chosen to the letter. If you have a strong Herksheimer reaction, you should probably reduce the dose or extend the cleanse for a longer period of time. Of course, if adverse symptoms persist, consult your healthcare professional.
Cleanings work, but not all cleanings are right for everyone. Also remember that toxins in your body didn’t build up overnight, so don’t expect to feel on top of your game the day after starting a cleanse.