Detoxes & Cleanses – What to do when a patient inquires

May 29, 2018   |   Evidence in Integrative Healthcare

There is no convincing evidence that detox programs remove toxins form your body or improve health. Detox programs cover a wide variety of suggestions including, but not limited to: fasting, taking only juice or liquids for days, eating restricted selections of foods, using dietary supplements, enemas, laxatives, colonics, or combinations of plans.

Here are some cautions to consider when patients ask about detox plans:

  • Unpasteurized juices have a potential to make people sick if harmful bacteria are present. This is especially dangerous for children, elderly and those with weakened immune systems.
  • Consuming large quantities of juice can be harmful to people with kidney disease or for patients who form kidney stones, if the juice is high in oxalate such as spinach, rhubarb, almonds, beets, raspberries and stevia sweeteners.
  • Use caution and coordinate care, when recommending fasting with any Diabetic patient. They have higher risk factors when attempting dramatic calorie changes.
  • Diets that dramatically restrict calorie intake will usually cause temporary weight loss. This weight loss is not long lasting.
  • Serious side effects are seen in people with a history of GI disease, colon surgery, kidney or heart disease.
  • Laxatives used in detox programs can cause diarrhea and dehydration. This can lead to serious electrolyte imbalances.
  • Fasting can cause headaches, fainting, weakness and dehydration. Patients should be warned of potential side effects.