Detox diets, pills, and other products are all the rage right now, but are they as safe and effective as advertised? Here’s your guide to detox side effects.
Some people use exercise as their main way to lose weight. Others rely on altering their eating habits and may follow a diet like keto. But there's one new weight loss trend that seems to be growing in popularity: detox diets.
It seems like everyone from Instagram models to celebrities is talking about the benefits of detox teas, smoothies, and pills.
Detox diets may be popular, but are they safe? Some people trying these may have never considered detox side effects.
If you're considering doing a detox diet, don't make any decisions before you read this post.
What Is Detoxing?
Detoxing, also known as detoxification, is the practice of ridding the body of toxic or harmful substances.
Detox diets and products may be popular now, but the concept of detoxifying the body isn't new. People have been looking for ways to "purify" the human body for thousands of years.
Saunas and sweat lodges have been used as ways to detoxify the body. Some people believe that sweat is one of the best ways to get rid of body impurities.
Others have used other more extreme methods to purify their bodies. Enemas, fasting, and even bloodletting have all been viewed as ways to rid the body of toxins.
Why Do People Detox?
People that live in today's world have legitimate concerns about the chemicals we put into our bodies.
Some people are concerned about how environmental pollutants could be affecting their bodies. Others may be focused on chemicals and hormones we get from the dairy and meat we eat each day.
Many people believe that toxins are responsible for a variety of ailments in their lives. Toxins have been blamed for nearly everything from headaches and fatigue to obesity and other chronic health conditions.
Detox diets also usually offer positive side effects that go beyond weight loss. Some diets and pills claim to give people more energy, heal skin conditions like psoriasis, and even help improve mental health.
All of these concerns and wanted benefits are legitimate, but detox diets may not be the best way to address them.
The "Benefits" of Detox Diets
There are some legitimate benefits that come from some of the practices that surround detox diets.
The average American diet is very high in processed, high-calorie foods that don't have a lot of nutritional value. A lot of detox diets will focus on cutting out those foods and replacing them with lean meats, whole grains, fruits, and veggies.
Improving your diet is always helpful. The added vitamins and minerals you could get from detox products could also positively affect your diet. But in all fairness, you could get these helpful benefits by just improving your diet and not "detoxing".
The Detox Myth
It is important for the body to be able to rid itself of toxins, but the likelihood of a detox pill or diet doing that is very low. The truth is that the human body already has very effective ways to deal with detoxing itself.
Your liver and kidneys are designed to filter out harmful substances in your body. To some extent, even your skin and lungs can do work to protect the body from harmful toxins.
If your organs are functioning normally and your body is healthy, you don't need to do anything else to help your body detoxify itself. Eating right, exercising, and taking care of yourself are far more effective detoxing methods.
On the off chance that your body does have something dangerous or toxic inside of it, you'd need help from a doctor or medical professional. A green drink or detox pills can't help you fight truly toxic substances.
Dangerous Detox Side Effects
At best, detox products and diets won't largely affect people's wellbeing and could give them some minor positive benefits. At worst, detox products can do some serious harm to the body.
One of the problems around the detox craze is that methods are largely unregulated and untested. You could easily buy something that could end up being harmful to the body.
If you're thinking about doing a detox diet, you may change your mind after you learn about the negative ways they could affect your body.
It isn't uncommon for some detox diets to use laxatives or diuretics so people use the bathroom more.
When those medications are given by doctors and taken over a short period of time they're safe. But when people take them over long periods of time it could lead to severe dehydration.
Dehydration is more than just needing more fluids. Overtime dehydration could do serious damage to major organs or could lead to more serious health problems like seizures.
Detox pills and diets can use a variety of substances to "purge" the body of toxins. The laxatives, supplements, and even the "helpful" bacteria used in some of these products can cause severe gastrointestinal issues.
Some people on detox diets and cleanses can have problems with diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
A lot of detox diets have people eliminate certain foods that are believed to cause the buildup of toxins.
Plenty of people cut meat and dairy out of their diets with no problem, but that's usually paired with changing their diets to make up for the lack of nutrients.
Many of these detox diets involve cutting important nutrients out of your diet without having a safe way to replace them. You could be missing out on crucial vitamins and minerals if you follow detox diets.
The Bottom Line
Your body is already doing a great job of filtering toxins out of your system. The detox side effects you could get from diets and products are severe enough to make anyone think twice about doing them.
We encourage everyone that's interested in losing weight and "purifying" their body to eat right and exercise. That's more than enough to help your body and improve your health.
Do you have any questions or concerns about diets? Contact us today so we can give you the answers you need.