So, you’ve decided to get your body back on track and decided the best way to start is with a detox, good for you! But, once you start you may experience some unpleasant side effects, while not lethal, these detoxification symptoms can be most unpleasant. Here we will explain what to expect and what you can do about to feel like your healthy self again.

Back to basics

Let’s start at the beginning and get to grips with the real question––what is a detox cleanse? A detox cleanse is what happens when you take the active decision to eat better to aid your body in the detoxification process by limiting your body’s food intake to healthier foods for a set period of time, perhaps in preparation for an overall diet change.

The detoxification process is a natural bodily process involving multiple organs––liver, stomach, kidneys, intestines, etc.––that cleans your system from unwanted products by transforming them, neutralizing them, or simply getting rid of them.

Think of a machine; oil a machine with top-grade oil and it’ll work like a dream put in something substandard and sooner or later you can expect problems.

The same goes for your body; your food intake affects how well your body performs. So, if you continuously eat less-than-healthy food, you can expect less than satisfactory results in this case quality matters, not calories.

checking the fridge

Most common symptoms of a detox cleanse

When choosing to start a detox cleanse and deciding to start a healthier lifestyle, many people experience unwanted detoxing symptoms at the start, and their bodies adapt to its new nutrition. Here we’ll tell you all about what to expect and answer the big question––what are the symptoms of detoxing?

  • Tummy Troubles

Got a bubbling in your stomach and it’s not jitters if you’ve just started on a detox cleanse (or really any diet change) one of the first things you may experience are tummy troubles.

These can be located in your upper abdominal area (stomach) or lower (bowels) and can be very unpleasant, but are very typical symptoms.

As your body adjusts to your new regime you may experience increased gas, leading to flatulence, and an increase, or conversely decrease, in bowel movements.

Don’t panic, although slightly embarrassing these are all extremely normal as your body adapts.

  • A Pain in Your Head

As if tummy problems weren’t enough to deal with, now you’ve got an unmovable headache––ouch!

Especially in the first days of your detox, you may experience a throbbing pain in your head. If you were a migraine suffer, to begin with, this could be multiplied.

Ensuring you get enough water and other healthy liquids in your system will ease your symptoms and help combat that detox headache.

  • Breakouts and Dry Skin

Body beautiful––here I come! But, wait! What has happened to my skin?

If you’ve noticed you’ve got more spots than usual, or your skin has lost its shine and gone a little dull and dry, this is another unexpectedly standard symptom of detoxing.

As your body gets rid of its toxins processing them through your digestive system and bloodstream, you may notice your skin is looking a little worse for wear.

But, don’t despair, it won’t last, ensure you have an adequate fluid intake and healthy diet and soon your skin will be looking more radiant than ever.

  • Tired and Moody

The bear has awoken! Oh wait, that’s me! Yes, it’s unfortunately true that as we start a detox we are a little more irritable than usual.

You can also expect a range of other emotions to add to that basket as your body adapts to dietary changes. These include pleasant symptoms such as euphoria, and clarity, to not so nice ones as tiredness, moodiness and more.

Take it within your stride and try not to worry too much, as you adjust to your new diet, your emotions should even out and return to normal. In the meantime, keep hydrated and get enough sleep, so you are prepared to keep your emotions in check.

These are the top most common detoxing symptoms, you may also experience cramps, sleep issues such as insomnia or restlessness, and even congestion, to a slight degree. If you are experiencing any other symptoms, such as muscle aches, additional pains, or sickness, or your symptoms are severe, there could be another underlying cause, and you should consult with your doctor to find out why.

How long do detox symptoms last?

Almost as soon as you start a detox, symptoms may begin to appear, and these can usually last between 24-72 hours. In some cases, it may even be a little longer.

If you’re still noticing unpleasant side effects after a couple of weeks, it’s really time to sit down and reassess what’s going on with your diet. Sometimes you may, unintentionally, find yourself lacking in a specific nutrient or perhaps you’re just not getting enough overall to keep you going.

Whatever the reason, if symptoms persist, take a second look at your detox plan.

What can I do about my detoxing symptoms?

We know that detoxing symptoms can (literally) be a pain, and there is very little that you can do to make them disappear completely; they are a natural part of the process.

Self-care activities such as taking a warm bath or shower, doing breathing exercises, going for walks in fresh air, getting enough sleep, and ensuring your body has plenty of fluids (water is best), will go some way to easing your symptoms, or at least make the detox period pass more smoothly.

Remember always to take care when detoxing and if you notice any severe symptoms to contact your doctor immediately.

Install This App to Build Up Your Cardio
Running is a great way to pump up your endorphins! It keeps you sharper, healthier and happier.
Written by Maria Isabella Neverovich
Maria is an Irish writer, Health Editor at Verv, lover of forests, mountains and all things nature. She enjoys discovering new vegetarian dishes, creating...
View all articles

Get our health & fitness newsletter

Great!

You’re subscribed.
Thanks for joining us!