Detoxing: Why it doesn’t feel good and what to do about it

Courtney Rupertus
Detoxing: Why it doesn’t feel good and what to do about it

If you’ve decided to follow any sort of cleanse, detox regime, or are simply trying to cut out a few things (like smoking, sugar, or caffeine) you may have noticed that, well, you don’t feel as good as you were expecting.

Typically, we naively convince ourselves that once we start eating right, stop drinking coffee or alcohol, or even harder to do, quit smoking, that we will instantly feel healthier than before.

The unfortunate reality is that we all will experience detox symptoms that really don’t feel so great. Some symptoms that your body is detoxing can look or feel like the following:

  • Skin breakouts
  • Bloating, stomach pains
  • Headaches
  • Food cravings
  • Trouble sleeping, nightmares
  • Diarrhea and constipation
  • Fatigue, drowsiness, low energy levels
  • Irritability
  • Congestion or mucus that feels like a cold

 Sometimes you feel even worse than you did before you started cleansing, and might think, “Why am I putting myself through this?” Just know that these symptoms are normal, and that your body is busy releasing all of the built up toxins that have been hanging out in your body for so long.

When your body is done its natural detoxification, you will feel more energized, more alert, have clearer skin, have regular bowel movements, possibly lose weight, and experience clearer sinuses.

If you experience unbearable detox symptoms, flu-like symptoms, or a rash it could be a sign that you are detoxing too fast. Cutting too many things at once can cause you grief, especially if it’s your first time, so slowly, slowly eliminate one or two foods from your diet and progress from there.

Toxins are typically released through several pathways of elimination in the body, which include your colon, liver, kidneys, lymphatics, lungs, skin, and blood.

You can help support these pathways and ease your symptoms the following ways:

  1. Dry-brush your entire body, including your face in a circular motion, directing blood towards the heart.
  2. Maintain your bowel health with probiotics, fermented foods, and fiber.
  3. Take an Epsom salt bath or add some bentonite clay to your bath.
  4. Use an activated charcoal beauty mask on your face and body.
  5. Try ‘rebounding’ on a mini trampoline to assist with lymph drainage. 

 Quitting smoking? It can help to seek out further support and try to make it through without overhauling your entire diet as well. Quitting an addictive habit can be extremely challenging, and the adverse effects of withdrawal and detox can be intense, which makes it harder to do than just going on a cleanse.  u