Pam Popper PhD Discusses Symptoms of Detoxing
Making the transition to a whole-food, plant-based diet, involves a process known as detoxification. It is not unusual for a person to experience feeling ill shortly after beginning their healhier lifestyle. Some of the most common symptoms are fatigue, headache, shakiness, and GI symptoms of gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
It has been noted that some symptoms can even mimic those of the flu including an elevated temperature. Generally speaking, the severity of the symptoms is directly proportional to how toxic a person is and the richness of their previous diet. Some choose to make positive changes in their diet quickly which may intensify the symptoms. Making changes more gradually may work better for those who need a slower adjustment period.
According to Dr. Pam Popper, "Some people get sick, which is natural since all of the toxins stored in the fat tissue are now circulating in the system. The fat tissues are the storage depot for all of the pharmaceutical and over the counter drugs that have been taken, and food additives, coloring agents and other negative things that have been consumed." Dr. Popper explains that some may even develop skin rashes, due to the stored "garbage that may come out through the skin." She also says that it's very common for some to experience detoxification symptoms several times while they are moving closer to a healthier diet.
Many people interpret these ill feelings as a nutrient deficiency from their new plant-based diet, and may go back to their old eating habits. When they return to their prior diets, they immediately feel better. This is due to the addictive properties of the food they are consuming. The addictive food stops the detoxification process similar to that of someone taking heroin or cocaine. Don't be discouraged if this has been your experience. These symptoms are short lived, and generally subside after a few days to one week. Some people make the transition easily without any noticeable symptoms. It's important to know ahead of time what to expect, so that we can rejoice knowing our bodies are purging years of stored toxins that have prevented us from achieving optimal health!