The difference between gentle cleansing and intense detoxification may be one of safety. Gentle cleansing would help to reset an eating pattern that was aberrant for a short period of time in an otherwise metabolically healthy person.
Detoxification is designed to purge toxins from the body in a person who has increased exposures to environmental toxicants. Often the process for intense detoxification also helps to reset metabolism in a person who has significant metabolic dysfunction – obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, and the like.
Those who blithely propose intense detoxification say that feeling sick for the first three days is a sign that the therapy is working. They say that feeling better is a sign the toxins have left. DO NOT BELIEVE THIS.
Feeling sick during detoxification is a sign that the process is proceeding too quickly, that the body cannot clear the toxins that are being purged from the tissues, and that you are becoming acutely toxic. In this circumstance, the body will try to get the toxins to a safe place. Feeling better often means that they have been placed back into body tissues for storage. Feeling poorly during a detox often means that the process for detoxification is significantly impaired and therefore cannot be pushed without understanding the defect and supporting the system appropriately.
Sometimes these defects result from relative malnutrition or genetic inefficiencies, defects in antioxidation, or hormone imbalances. Recently, a patient performed her own intense detoxification and felt tired, achy, and flu-like in the first few days. She then developed more significant muscle and tendon pain, but insisted on continuing with the detox against medical advice. When we retested her antioxidation status after the detoxification process, the status had significantly worsened. The detoxification was too strong in all likelihood because of genetic inefficiencies and the significant presence of heavy metals.
Beware the quick intense detoxification protocols. If you have detoxification challenges, metabolic imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, hormone imbalance, or constipation, an initial evaluation and a more considered detoxification process would be best. Call 203-863-3615 if you’d like to set up such an evaluation.