Don’t worry, it’s normal...

Side effects may include:

It’s what everyone searches for on the label – often found in size 0 font on a pamphlet that resembles origami included in the packaging of the medicine or supplement just purchased.

It’s what everyone wonders to themselves when experiencing even the smallest sensation after trying something new.

Either way - when you’re prescribed medicine or seek out a supplement, the way you feel in the hours or days after begs the question: is this normal?

More often than not, the answer will be yes!

What does a detox actually do?

A detox is a process that rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances in a bid to improve health. It is broadly acknowledged that everyone is exposed to a multitude of toxins on a daily basis - and that exposure can contribute to a corresponding multitude of health challenges.

Stimulating the body to purge those toxins can put pressure on organs that are already dealing with the effects of harbouring those toxins. When detoxing, toxins are being released for elimination. When this occurs it can result in an inflammatory response which is ultimately the root cause of symptoms like headaches, fatigue and irritability.

What does a detox feel like?

A detox is generally undertaken at intervals that interrupt the daily routine – the goal is to disrupt the toxins that are within the body, and this disruption creates that unfamiliar territory the body needs to react to.

For comparisons sake, consider this – a primarily sedentary person decides they will go for a run. Their body isn’t used to the muscular or cardiovascular strain a run takes on their body because for the most part, they’re sitting at a desk, dinner table or couch. The next day, the impacts are noticeable – muscles ache, joints ache; they might feel fatigued or experience a headache from mild dehydration.

Not many people will question these feelings – they went for a run after not exercising for a long period of time! Of course their body would react.

This is the same response the body has to a detox – a sharp shift to what the body is used to results in the same responses.

Great expectations

So with all that in mind, what should someone expect when going through a detox?

The changes the body experiences will often result in symptoms including:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue and at the same time, restlessness
  • Cravings – associated with
  • Diarrhea and/or constipation
  • Bloating
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Skin irritation including breakouts and/or acne

While the body is detoxing it is experiencing withdrawal – from toxins, foods (think – sugar, caffeine), alcohol to poisons absorbed every day due to environmental exposure. It is proven and thus expected that withdrawal is associated with those same symptoms attached to detox like headache, fatigue and anxiety.

It is entirely understandable that people question whether experiencing these symptoms is normal – these feelings aren’t ‘normal’. Why? Because people don’t detox every day.

Like no persons fingerprint is the same, no persons reaction to a detox will be the same. But understanding that feeling different should be expected is key in enabling you to take a step back, consider what your body is going through and embrace that shift toward a healthier version of yourself.


LA Moutsias


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