So What’s The Deal With Detox Side-Effects, Anyway?

We get asked about detoxification side-effects often. Whether you may be embarking on a Metabolic Cleanse or dissolving biofilms, you may experience some brief, but not-so-pleasant side effects. This isn’t unusual, but can make our patients nervous if they don’t know exactly what they may feel during the process.

Metabolic cleanses are designed to get your system running optimally again. They include active ingredients to help heal the liver and pancreas and to get bile and toxins moving in the right direction (well, technically, the bile starts doing its job correctly again, and the toxins are permanently evicted from your system).

Biofilms, in brief, are gelatinous, protective coverings that are developed by pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, yeasts and even fungus and parasites, in order for them to successfully thwart the effectiveness of medications and supplementation meant to destroy them. Fairly nifty example of evolution at work, although, not much fun for their human hosts! In patients where low-grade pathogenic infections are preventing wellness we seek to dissolve these coverings in order to better battle the pathogens themselves. It’s nearly impossible for supplements, and even prescription antivirals and antibiotics, to be fully effective against these nasties until their protective coverings are dissolved. Enter stage right: Monolaurin (we recommend Lauricidin brand in our practice), which is a proteolytic enzyme that helps break down these films, and Serrapeptase, a derivative harvested from silkworms (we know, wild stuff, right?)! Needless to say, the pathogens that have found their way into human bodies really like their accommodations, they don’t want to be evicted or killed off. They will put up a fight! They will eventually die off as the medications and supplements we take begin to work and as these pathogen die they release toxins which the body must filter.

These are not always easy processes for the people involved. Although, we know from years in practice and much scholarly evidence, they will feel exponentially better once the process is complete. It’s just the getting through it part that can be a little uncomfortable, while wellness remains the ultimate goal.

Common side-effects from Metabolic cleanses and biofilm dissolution can include: fatigue, mild swelling, stomach upset (gas, bloating, diarrhea), aches and pains in the joints, rashes and sometimes hives, as well as brain fog and mild anxiety (generally brought on by the “not knowing” and the overall feeling of being unwell, if only temporary).

If you are experiencing any combination of these side-effects, please know they are completely normal and nothing to worry about. We know they can be uncomfortable but they are short lived. They are generally only noticeable for the first 24 to 72 hours and will subside thereafter. Our advice is as follows: Get plenty of rest. Sleep is essential whether our immune system is battling something or not. It is that much more important when we are not feeling our best. Our bodies regenerate and do their best immune work at rest. During detoxification make sure you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night. Drink lots of water. You want to keep well hydrated and your system flushed. This will help hasten the process and will help get you through it faster. If your symptoms begin to make you feel sick to your stomach, especially fatigued, or the brain fog becomes a hindrance, you can reach for activated charcoal (which you’ll take about an hour or so after your detoxification supplements, as to give them the chance to work without being absorbed by the charcoal and removed from your system inadvertently). You can start with one capsule and increase to two if your symptoms don’t lessen. Although, we find that one capsule is enough activated charcoal to bind with these toxins and biofilms in order to move them out of your system. Also, a teaspoon of Bentonite Clay mixed with a little water and consumed with your detoxification protocol works as well and in the same way as activated charcoal.

The benefits of detoxification far outweigh the discomforts they bring and again, are not permanent and do not generally last long. Some people will actually go through the process without a single physical sign that things are working as they should. If these tips don’t help the way you feel during a detoxification always consult your practitioner to review the timing and dosage of your protocol.

Ann Barter

Dr. Ann Barter & Dr. Jennifer Christian

Dr. Barter and Dr. Christian are passionate about
how Chiropractic combined with Functional Medicine can change lives.

Chat with them today or reserve an appointment at one of our offices in Denver and Longmont to find out how Chiropractic + Functional Medicine can change your life.