How to Determine Detox Duration

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When you undergo a detoxification program, or detox, it's important to have a clear understanding of when to end the program and resume a healthy diet. This is especially true if you are using one of the many fasting methods of detox. Continuing to fast past the point of effective detoxification can have adverse effects on your health and mental well being. By paying close attention to a few simple signs, you will know exactly when to end your fast or general detoxification program.

  • Examine your tongue. While you are in the detox process, your tongue will develop a white fuzz-like coating. This coating will slowly lessen, until it disappears completely. When the tongue coating is completely gone, your detox is complete.

  • Pay attention to body odors. Many people experience an increase in body odor while detoxing. As your detox progresses, you may notice subtle changes in odors, which happens as the toxin levels in your body change. Toward the end of a detox program, you may experience a drastic reduction in your typical body odors. Some people find they no longer need to use deodorant after they detox. Other people experience a change in odor of urine and or bowel movements while detoxing. Just like body odor, urine and bowl movement odors may intensify during a detox program. As you remove toxins from your system, these odors decrease as well. When you notice these odor changes, it is time to consider the end of your detox program.

  • Watch congestion. As you clear toxins from the body, you may notice an increase in nasal, or chest congestion as circulating toxins increase the level of mucus produced. Another form of congestion, water retention, may also increase at the height of your detox program. These symptoms will lessen dramatically as your program continues. When congestion goes away or declines significantly, you may be read to return to a healthy eating program.

  • Evaluate your overall well being. Those experienced with detox are in tune with their bodies and have a strong sense when to stop the program. They experience a feeling of complete well being and wholeness. If your fasting program lasts more than two weeks, you should re-evaluate your detox signs and your motivation for fasting. For non-fasting detox programs, the process is more gentle and takes a bit longer. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a non-fasting detox program to last up to a month.

Tips & Warnings

  • Drink plenty of water during your detox. One-half your body weight in ounces is recommended.
  • Do not confuse a fasting detox with fasting to lose weight. Fasting in order to lose weight can be dangerous.

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References

  • "Staying Healthy With Nutrition;" Elson M. Haas, MD with Buck Levin, PhD, RD; 2006
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