Detox symptoms might be bad. Or they might be ok to deal with. It’s all depends on your current state of health and the level of toxins in your body.
The good thing with detox is that if you experience some of the symptoms below, while eating 75% of raw food diet or higher, it shows that your body is trying to heal itself quite rapidly, getting rid of toxins and other nasties that shouldn’t be there.
Here are many of symptoms reported by others, and which you might experience also, especially in the beginning of your raw food journey. See if you could identify some of them:
- Sudden cold or hot flushes (I have to say that I did not experience these)
- Fever, including sweats during the night (I had about 3 nights of heavy sweating so I needed to get up during the night to change my clothing)
- Diarrhea (normally it is very short lived experience and stops after couple of days)
- Desire for poor/unhealthy foods (as you eliminate traces of unhealthy foods from your body, you may experience these cravings again)
- Taste of old medicines (many people reported these symptoms even after being a few months on the raw food diet)
- Mucus discharges (I think this is number one symptom and most people experience it in the beginning)
- Emotional releases: anxiety, depression, and/or emotional imbalances (it is important to realise that when you are feeling low it might be because of the detox)
- Bad breath (the heaviest detox occurs during the sleep, so first mornings on the raw food diet you might see this handsome furry coated tongue in the mirror)
- Coughs (one of the easiest elimination channels for your body – your respiratory organs)
- 'Cold' symptoms (sneezing, runny and itchy eyes)
- Drowsiness (I experienced that and found it a bit unnerving. As long as you try to sit down for couple of minutes, you should be ok)
- Headaches (often they are very mild and stop after a few days)
- Momentary aches (sometimes you can’t even understand where exactly that sudden pain was)
- Nausea (in my experience nausea was a rare symptom and stopped after 3 days or so)
- Unclear thinking (also, it usually doesn’t last for more than a few days, and comes in short bouts)
- Weight loss (most people report quite a significant weight loss. My weight dropped in the first few weeks and some people became worried that I look a bit too skinny. After few weeks I have gained some of my weight back, and didn’t have any more problems with weight)
- Tiredness, loss of energy (especially in the beginning, you might feel very-very tired, as I had during the detox)
- The tongue gets coated and tastes bitter (nice look in the mirror.. Toothbrush your tongue and it will look as good as new)
- Need for more sleep (your body is detoxing, so give it a rest!)
- Irritability and irrational emotional outbreaks (I think you feel them even more if you are quite a sensitive person like me)
- The urine becomes foul smelling and dark (drinking more water will help your kidneys to clean even faster)
- The skin problems: pimples, pustules, itching rashes, and/or sores (usually most people report having a few pimples for a very short period of time)
- Cramps, pain, and/or unpleasant rumblings in the stomach and/or intestines (they might be very prominent in the first few days and especially if you have some digestive disorder like Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
(Reference: ‘The Sunfood Diet’ by D.Wolfe, ‘The Live Food Factor’ by S. Schenck, and my own personal experience).
Dr. Doug Graham wrote (‘The 80/1010 Diet’ book) that he saw people losing 25 and even 40 pounds of weight in the first week of switching to 100% raw food diet, which happened due to these people’s detoxification processes.
If you think that you don’t have much to lose and that you are slim enough, don't worry. Even if you lose some of the weight in the beginning, your weight will normalise after few weeks. If you think you are skinny, you will probably regain some of your weight back when the detoxification process is completed.
The main thing with detox is not to be afraid of the detox symptoms. They are there temporarily, and rarely last more than a few weeks.
If your symptoms are heavy and severe, and you find it difficult to function with them, then you can add some steamed vegetables, nuts, seeds, or fatty raw foods such as avocado into your diet. These foods, as suggested by D. Wolfe, help the detoxification process run much smoother and more gentle.
My own detoxification symptoms included: mild headaches, sinuses discharge (as if I had cold), sweats during the night (as if I had fever), and mild depression and irritability. The main thing is that in most instances I knew that these were my detox symptoms and they would soon go away. I knew that my body was cleaning itself, and healing what needed to be healed.
I was very grateful for that, and even occasionally I had tears on my eyes when I realised the profundity of this process, and the wisdom of my body to repair the damage I’ve done in the past, and that my body wants to live and to evolve as much as I do.
So I suggest you do the same – be grateful if you have those symptoms. Be happy that you body functions at its best and is trying to save your precious vehicle that will last you for many many years to come.
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