Often people accept that not feeling great is part of life and aging. But this simply isn’t true! Many of the symptoms you feel daily could be eliminated with a kick-start to your own detox organs (mainly the liver and the gut). Detoxing isn’t just for weight loss and improved digestion—there are many ways that your body is asking for help!
Ex: Have you ever notice you have unexplained eczema, headaches, PMS, or pain? While seemingly counterintuitive, these issue and others are all highly influenced by gut imbalances that can affect your entire system! Microbiome issues should never be ignored.
Here are the signs I often see in my patients that they need a detox:
1. You can’t fall asleep or stay asleep.
Many of the things we eat and drink have sleep inhibitors in them. Beverages like alcohol or caffeine and foods that you might be sensitive to can interrupt your sleep cycle. Doing a detox or elimination diet is often the best way to figure out these sensitivities, so you can target them with a functional food protocol.
2. You have brain fog and poor concentration.
Food allergies can express themselves in strange ways! Your brain fogcould be caused by a food sensitivity to gluten or other foods, or a diet high in alcohol, caffeine, and refined carb foods.
3. You realize that you have bad breath.
Breath that smells less than fresh is a common symptom of dysbiosis—an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria in your gut, as well as yeast or Candida in the gut. Figuring out what’s going on in your gut is the first step to bringing it back into balance.
4. You have dull skin, acne, and dark circles.
You are what you eat (and what your body absorbs), so a diet full of processed foods, dairy, sugar (which often trigger acne) and foods that you are sensitive to can leave your skin looking less than glowing.
5. You have aches and pains that don’t make sense.
The Standard American Diet leads to inflammation, which can show up in your body as joint pain. Removing inflammatory foods like refined flour and sugar and increasing healthy fats, proteins, and vegetables can help to reverse your pain.
6. You have chronic sinus congestion.
While some foods seem obviously connected to sinus congestion (dairy is a super-common trigger), other inflammatory foods can cause sinus issues. Removing other known inflammatory foods during a cleanse can help you find your triggers.
7. Your PMS is out of control.
Common foods like sugar, refined flour, and processed foods can exacerbate PMS symptoms. If your elimination and detoxification systems aren’t up for the job, that is also going to contribute to hormones out of control.
8. You feel very attached to certain foods like coffee, wine, cheese, or chocolate.
Removing the foods you crave for a certain period of time while truly nourishing your body with whole foods can break the cycle of attachment (or addiction!).
9. You have a short fuse and you’re tired all the time.
Your short fuse and lack of energy could be connected to the foods you eat and even the timing of your meals. If you are filling your body with processed and refined foods sporadically throughout the day—your friends and family should beware!
10. You catch every cold that is going around.
Because roughly 70 percent of your immune system is found in your gut, making sure it’s in top form will likely cut down on the number of colds, flus, and infections you’ll catch.
A detox can help you reset, ditch the unhealthy cravings, and begin to crave things that truly nourish your body. A good detox will eliminate foods and drinks that are overloading your detox system and to which you might be sensitive and provide targeted nutrients that energize the detox organs. You’ll be giving your digestive system a rest, allowing your body to more effectively rid itself of metabolic toxins and those accumulated from environmental exposure and processed foods and beverages. You will also be nourishing yourself during the detox with organic, whole foods, and not starving yourself (which I never recommend). Be sure to listen to your body’s signals, no matter how odd they seem; a detox might be just what you need!
Frank Lipman is an internationally recognized expert in the field of integrative medicine and the author of multiple best-selling books. He’s also one of the lauded instructors in our first-of-its-kindAdvanced Functional Nutrition Program, where we bring the best minds in nutrition together and dive deep into the healing power of food. You can find out more about Dr. Lipman, the rest of the faculty (including groundbreaking doctors like Mark Hyman and Taz Bhatia), and this revolutionary training here.