Side Effects and Dangers of Detox Programs

While promoters of popular detox programs won’t talk about the possible detox side effects that you may face, they’re quick to tell you that you can lose weight fast, remove toxins from your body, boost your immune system, and so much more. However, there are some dangerous detox program side effects that should be considered before you start a detox diet.

Here are some of the side effects and dangers of detox programs:

Muscle Loss

Many of the detox programs encourage long-term fasting by having participants severely limit their nutritional intake for a period of time, sometimes just a few days but often for several weeks at a time. This long-term fasting can lead to a breakdown of muscle mass, which can take a lot of time and work to build back up.

This detox side effect is because when the body isn’t getting enough nutrients from food, it looks to slow the body’s metabolism, and the best way to do that is to eliminate muscle mass since muscle burn a lot of calories throughout the day. So, while it may be true that detox programs can help you lose weight, if it’s muscle weight, that’s not the type of weight loss you were probably looking for.

Vitamin Deficiencies

If you look at what people are expected to live off of with some of the more extreme detox diets, it’s no surprise that one of the detox side effects is vitamin deficiencies. Since people aren’t often getting enough to eat or enough variety in foods during these crash diets, this can lead to vitamin deficiencies which in turn can do a lot of damage to body systems, and weaken your immune system.

Electrolyte Imbalances

Another thing that many of the extreme detox diets can do is cause an imbalance of electrolytes. Depending on which one you’re on, you may have higher-than-normal blood sugar levels or lower levels. Potassium and sodium levels are also affected during a long-term fast, and all three of these work together to keep your body running smoothly.

These electrolyte imbalances are particularly dangerous for people who have diabetes, kidney or heart disease, and women who are pregnant and nursing. If you fall into one of the previous categories, be sure to talk to your doctor or a nutritionist if you want to detox your body so they can help you find the right diet for you to avoid these dangerous detox program side effects.

Upsetting Gut Bacteria Balance

One of the other detox side effects that people rarely mention and may not even be incredibly aware of is that they can remove healthy, good gut bacteria as they work hard to remove the bad bacteria. There are a number of good bacteria that are found throughout your digestive tract which are responsible for helping with digestion and your immune system.

Upsetting the balance of gut bacteria can lead to a number of problems, starting with digestive issues. It’s also common for people to get sick when they have a bad balance of gut bacteria because these good bacteria help to fight off and kill disease-causing bacteria before they reach the blood stream, so removing them limits the body’s ability to get rid of these pathogens before they can do damage.

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