What are Common Detox Side Effects?

Felicia Dye

Detox side effects can be experienced in various areas of the body. A person may feel generally ill due to the circulation of toxins the body is preparing to expel. If those toxins attempt to escape through the skin, a person may develop rashes. It is also common for those who embark on longer detox programs to experience fatigue and dizziness.

Headaches are a potential side effect of detoxification.
Headaches are a potential side effect of detoxification.

There are numerous methods commonly used to rid the body of pollutants. No matter which one a person chooses, she is likely to find that it involves a severely restricted diet. In many cases, a person is limited solely to liquids. As a result, one of the most common side effects is weight loss. Since some programs are shorter than others and the consumption requirements can be drastically different, the amount of weight loss will vary.

Common detox side effects include fatigue.
Common detox side effects include fatigue.

Other detox side effects that result from the calorie restriction can include fatigue and dizziness. The severity of these problems can vary from slight drowsiness and light-headedness to extreme fatigue and incapacitating dizzy spells. For these reasons, the instructions for some detox regimens advise people not to embark on the program when they have obligations that involve strenuous activity or when they will operate motor vehicles or heavy machinery.

On the contrary, it is also common to find people noting insomnia as one of the detox side effects they experience. This is believed to be caused by changes that occur as the body is purified. Many people also report emotional changes, such as being cranky or having mood swings. This could be connected with a lack of sleep, but it may also be connected to hunger or chemical changes in the body.

To the horror of many, the skin is often inflicted with detox side effects such as rashes or discoloration. This is because a person's outer layer is a major eliminative organ. As toxins are released from other parts of the body, they may try to escape through any means possible, including the skin.

Furthermore, certain items consumed during the detox may cause the body to act differently than it otherwise would. For example, cayenne pepper and ginger root both have a tendency to increase sweating, which can have an impact on the skin. This and other factors can cause a change or emergence of unpleasant body odor.

The release of toxins and their circulation throughout the system may produce feelings of general illness. These are often described as being similar to those experienced when a person has a cold. Additionally, a person may experience headaches that can range from mild to severe depending upon the level of pollution in her body.

Ginger, which is often recommended during a detox, can increase sweating.
Ginger, which is often recommended during a detox, can increase sweating.

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Discussion Comments


Detoxing side effects can be painful and terrifying, so it is always best to wean yourself off any substance under the supervision of a doctor. Many people who are attempting drug detox fail because they can't stand the side effects. A medical professional who is experienced with detoxing may be able to prescribed medications that can ease the side effects of detoxing.

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