About to start a detoxification protocol and want to know more about what to expect when it comes to potential detoxification symptoms? In this article, I’ll walk you through common symptoms, reasons for those symptoms you might experience and tips on how to reduce them in the future.
In this modern world, undertaking a detox protocol to support the body’s ability to detoxify is essential. We are constantly exposed to chemicals, pesticides and heavy metals that can add up over time. Taking a proactive approach to lowering toxicants in the body is essential for long-term health, hormonal balance, energy and vitality.
When the body starts to release toxicants faster than it can excrete them from the body, certain detoxification symptoms, often called a Herxheimer reaction, can occur. Although these symptoms are common and temporary while detoxing, there are ways to minimize them to make the process run more smoothly.
Common Detox Symptoms:
skin irritation (itchiness, breakouts, rashes, short-term eczema flare)
strange stool consistency and/or parasites
cloudy or smelly urine
cravings for sweet, salty or high carbohydrate foods (aka junk food)
Additional symptoms that may occur, but I have yet to see on the PBX protocol I recommend:
While almost everyone experiences symptoms at some point, the severity of symptoms are often due to one or more of the causes below.
Common reasons why detoxification symptoms occur:
Detoxification pathways are not open and need support
Too much is being done too soon for the body
No preparation time was allotted for the detox
The body is detoxifying as it should but not enough binders to “soak up” the toxicants
Manmade internal agitators increasing toxic load
Lack of hydration
Open Pathways of Detoxification
The pathways of detoxification are also called drainage pathways, or emunctories. The drainage pathways serve to move the toxins from the cells, bones, fat, organs and tissues into the lymph and eventually on to your liver for elimination via your breath, sweat, kidneys and gut. Moreover, menstruation provides an additional detoxification pathway for women.
As lymph provides the “transportation route,” it is important to make sure the lymph is moving and the lymph nodes are open to remove waste efficiently. Slow moving lymph means waste material cannot be excreted and it will remain in the body causing detoxification symptoms. How to open drainage pathways keep the lymph moving? Check out this article for more information.
Gut and Bowels
The number one rule when it comes to detoxification: 1-3 bowel movements a day are a must. Two bowel movements a day are ideal. If you are doing enemas, that will be your movement for the day. If you aren’t pooping, the toxins have no way of leaving the body and they will re-circulate wreaking havoc on your system. Do not attempt detoxification without having at least one bowel movement a day. Need help getting your bowels moving? Read this.
Too Much Too Soon
The key to detoxification is to go low and slow. If the body is trying to get rid of more substances than the emunctories can handle, the more severe detox symptoms you will have. It makes sense to increase the detoxification products you are taking over time so your body can adjust. If a product says “take 4 drops 3 times a day,” then start with one or two drops three times a day and slowly increase over time. Never take the full amount right from the beginning. This could result in dumping toxicants into your system. More on how to avoid this is detailed below.
It is important to ease into detoxification and well as ease out of it. Your liver only has so much energy and capacity to perform a number of necessary and vital functions. If the liver is taxed with eliminating alcohol or excess fat, it will not necessarily have the energy reserves for optimal detoxification. Reducing, if not completely stopping alcohol consumption two weeks before a detox program, increasing greens for more fiber and phytonutrients, and eating meat once a day or less e.g. 3-4x a week can make a big difference when it comes to your program. If you are on a carnivore diet or practice ketosis, you will still be able to detox, but depending on your electrolytes, liver function and amount of autophagy, you might need to take things slowly.
What I like about the PBX protocol is that no special diet is required. You can eat what feels right for you, just try to add more greens, preferably bitter greens and they support liver health, and reduce fat if you can. It should go without saying that cutting out junk food is an absolute must. Fried foods, sugar-laden desserts and chips are nutrient poor, feed candida, and mess with blood sugar levels. Avoid junk food at all costs. After a few months on the protocol, most people can also drink a glass or two of alcohol without interrupting their progress.
Increase mineral intake (see below) and sulphur containing vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, garlic, onions and organic eggs. Common food allergens are gluten, dairy, corn, eggs, and soy. If you suffer from bloating, gas, asthma, skin issues, endometriosis, PCOS or infertility, these food allergens must be out of the diet. Take probiotics to increase gut health and keep bowel movements regular.
Take a high quality mutli-vitamin or dried organic beef liver capsules that contains folate (NEVER folic acid). If your mutli-vitamin comes from a typical supermarket, megastore or pharmacy it is 99% likely to contain harmful contaminants, cheap synthetic vitamins and needs to be thrown out. If you are one of the estimated 44% of the population that has the MTHFR genetic variant, taking multivitamins with methylated B vitamins is necessary. For others with MTHFR, mutli-vitamins without folate and B12 and adding them in separately will be a better option. MTHFR affects detoxification capacity therefore incorrect supplements can increase toxic load.
Prioritize sleep and get in the habit of getting to bed by 10pm and to sleep by 10:30pm. Detoxification takes energy and much of the healing takes place over night during sleep.
Ease out of the detox slowly over 2-3 weeks. I’ll never forget an influencer sharing about her 2 weeks at an exclusive clinic in Switzerland. After numerous IG posts of her completing ozone therapy, IV chelation, lymph drainage and eating organic foods she said she like a new person. From Switzerland she immediately flew to Las Vegas for a bachelorette weekend. After 2 glasses of champagne, she spent the next two days in her hotel room. She hadn’t taken into consideration that her liver was still detoxing and not ready for partying after such intense detoxification in such a short period of time. Slowly easing out of the detox will help your liver adjust to your lifestyle.
Minerals and Binders
Minerals are needed for proper detoxification. Taking minerals in various forms aids your body in the detoxification process. Touchstone Fulvic Minerals is 3rd party tested and contains some zeolite to help heal the gut and support detoxification. To put it in very simple terms: when the body releases a heavy metal, a mineral often replaces it in the tissue, organ, etc. Adding trace minerals or electrolytes to your drinking water is ideal.
Binders are just what the name implies – something that binds with a substance. There are many types of binders used for different purposes.The PBX Extra and PBX zeolite are excellent binders and usually sufficient for most people. Nonetheless, if you experience very uncomfortable detoxification symptoms, taking an additional binder such as activated charcoal for a few days can help to bind additional substances and alleviate symptoms. Chlorella vulgaris is another that can be helpful. Take as directed on the package. Please note that charcoal is not to be taken for more than 5 days as it is a very powerful binder and can eventually lead to nutritional deficiencies with longer-term use.
Manmade Internal Agitators
This is the name I give to the category of medical procedures that can deter proper detoxification or the body wants to get rid of the material more quickly than the drainage pathways can handle. Mercury (silver) amalgam fillings and breast implants belong in this category. If you suffer from breast implant illness (BII), I recommend working with a practitioner. If you have amalgam fillings, it is important that the detox products are administered to the back of the throat to avoid direct contact with the fillings.
As this video demonstrates, amalgam fillings release mercury and the vapor released from chewing can enter the brain. Mercury is a neuro-toxin and linked to Alzheimers and Autism. It is imperative to have amalgam removed by a biological dentist with a specific detoxification protocol ESPECIALLY before conceiving.
Water, water, and more water is important before, during, and after your detoxification program. Not just any water, but filtered and structured water with electrolytes added at least twice a day.
Why filtered water? Regardless of where you live today, tap water is contaminated with pharmaceuticals, pesticides and various levels of heavy metals and plastics. Filtering your water is one of the best things you can do for your health and your family’s health.
Structured water creates a gel-like substance in and around the cells that promotes well-being and health.
How much body you require depends on your location, time of year, and how much you sweat. Typically, half your body weight in ounces is recommended, for most people that would mean a minimum of 2 liters per day. Add fresh lime for more flavor.
Gut and Bowel movements and mysterious Guests
You might experience constipation or loose stools while detoxifying. Changes to your stool are quite common. Parasites can often be excreted along with typical waste. This is a good thing! If you see fig-like looking seeds (but haven’t eaten figs), or tomato skins (without having eaten tomatoes), this is a sign you are eliminating parasites.
80% of parasites and their eggs are microscopic and we don’t see them when having a bowel movement, even when not actively detoxifying. But if you happen to see a parasite (don’t worry, it’s dead), then just remember: better out than in!
Perspiration is one of our detoxification pathways. Moving and sweating helps to increase the amount your body can detoxify safely. Sauna, infrared saunas, and exercising are great ways to work up a sweat. Listen to your body though. Don’t do too much, too quickly.
Suggestions if you experience detoxification symptoms:
Your body is doing its best to get rid of what is not serving you. Rest and let it do its job
Headaches/brain fog: increase water, get lymph moving consider increasing binders
Constipation: increase water, consider these tips along with an enema, more movement especially walking
Brain fog: increase binders and water intake, get lymph moving and cold showers
Skin issues: increase binders, water intake and ease up on detoxification protocol
Remember, detoxification symptoms are temporary and are a sign your body is doing its job, but it needs some support. It is important to listen to your body and rest if needed, particularly right before your cycle or during menstruation.
Kudos to you for undertaking detoxification and taking steps for your health! Bravo!
This article was 100% written by a human.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog and on this website are for educational purposes only. The information is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any illness. Please speak with your medical provider concerning your particular needs, especially before starting a detox protocol.
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Herbs and minerals in detoxification
Water for hydration
Structured Water – Dr Pollack