The first thing that must be asked before beginning any detox is:
Are your detox organs working effectively?
It doesn't matter what specialized, expensive, unusual, pharmaceutical, traditional, etc. treatment you use, if you are not at the very least pooping daily, drinking enough water/urinating often, and sweating, or if your detox plan doesn't include how it is that these are going to be monitored and increased as needed, either on your own or facilitated with colonics, enemas, saunas, etc., then the treatment is likely to be complicated at best, and might make you sicker.
This point is not to be taken lightly.
The human body excretes what it can, mostly through the poop, urine, sweat, and breath, when exposed to toxicity. In the event that the body cannot get rid of all of it, it makes a strong effort to put what's left somewhere in the body where it will do the least harm: fat cells (leading to a difficulty losing weight), skin (leading to eczema, rashes, and other skin disorders), bones (brittleness), etc.—those are unpleasant "side effects", yes, but they won't kill a person like damage to the vital organs will, which is why the body does it.
If a person uses a pharmaceutical or other strong agent to move toxins when the exit routes of the colon, kidneys, skin, etc. are not open and working effectively, including proper use of binders, some of those toxins will get moved around, causing inflammation and stress on the system, then put back into another fairly safe space, which is not great, but okay; and some of them will end up in dangerous, vital areas: heart, brain, blood vessels, stuck in the kidneys, etc., simply because it's too much for the body to handle at once.
This scenario can range from noticeable but mild symptoms that pass, to debilitating symptoms that also pass without real issue, to severe and dangerous disease states, like much worse and lasting neurological function, kidney failure, stroke, etc. than what the person had before.
Symptoms while detoxing are always a sign that the treatment is out of balance; they are not an expected reality to be heroically tolerated.
To avoid this scenario:
Get knowledgeable help
As a clinic, we are very much in support of people learning to treat themselves at home; modern natural medicine evolved out of the people's medicine: that which individuals, families, and communities knew how to do for themselves. This cultural information, connected to the land they lived with, was passed down for generations—hundreds of years or millennia in some places. Since most modern families, especially in the US and other colonial areas, have lost touch with these deep roots, people don't usually have that knowledge or a wise grandma to properly advise on home healing scenarios.
Because of this, it makes sense to hire an appropriately trained practitioner, many of whom, like Dr. Sarah, teach their patients to utilize what used to be common knowledge, so that over time they are doing more on their own, with less reliance on any practitioner.
If that's not an option
In today's world where we are bombarded with 80k+ manmade chemicals per day, detoxing is a good idea. We don't mean to put people off of it. A favorite phrase of Dr. Sarah's mentor, Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, is, "If you're not detoxing, you're dying." But if not done thoughtfully, it can make the scenario worse.
If you are unable to access a practitioner that knows much about detox, then detox the low and slow way: fill your diet with healthy, nutrient dense, organic and local foods that give your natural chemical pathways what they need to function (they're like factories, with an input of toxins and an output of neutralized or packaged waste to ship out, and they need items to keep the machines running, workers to do the packaging, etc.—all of these things are simply nutrients); look for ways reduce your personal toxic exposure in your home, workplace, car, etc., which will lighten the load on those overburdened factories; and spend time in nature.
Even the pretty benign recommendations in the material above can cause problems in some individuals, and are not complete enough by itself to make accurate or wise treatment decisions. Please talk with an appropriately trained healthcare provider who knows your scenario before making lifestyle changes.
Photo Credit: Josh Calabrese