Nutrition

The Dangers of Detoxes

A detox may seem like a good way to kickstart your health, but make sure you're doing it properly to avoid serious repercussions.

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The new year may seem like a good time for a detox, but you may want to be wary of the effects that it can have on your body if you don't do it safely. A 47-year old woman tried a detox over the New Year period that gave her seizures as a result of extremely low sodium, also known as hyponatremia, according to BMJ Case Reports. Her increased fluid intake and use of herbal remedies was the apparent cause. 

While lots of people try cleanses and detoxes to lose weight or feel better, it's not as simple as many make it seem, according to an article by registered dietitian Robin Foroutan on EatRight.org. Seizures are an extreme, but detoxing without professional help can be risky.

SEE ALSO: The Skinny on Cleanses

The body is always processing both endotoxins—those that come from normal metabolic processes inside the bodyand exotoxins—those that are a result of eating, drinking, breathing and skin absorption. Just like any other bodily process, everyone has different abilities as far as detoxing depending on environment and lifestyle, according to Foroutan. Many people look to boost their detoxing ability, and there are endless cleanses everywhere nowadaysespecially on social mediathat claim to change lives.

However, Foroutan warns that many people who claim to be experts on detoxing are not credentialed and may recommend things, such as fasting, that aren't necessarily safe and can even have an adverse effect on someone's ability to detoxHer recommendation is to make sure that if you think you want to do a cleanse, make sure to work with a health professional who has the required credentials and knowledge of detoxification programs to help you meet your goals. 

SEE ALSO: 12 Food Swaps to Improve Your Diet

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