Fasting, Cleansing & Detoxification Reactions

12 Flares 12 Flares ×

By Matthew Sun

During a fast, cleanse or detox the body takes the opportunity to eliminate a lot of toxins that have built up over the years. The toxins are predominantly stored in fat and mucous cells. But also other tissues throughout the body. There are many different types of detox recipes a person can follow and also a lot of reactions that can occur, some of which can be very unpleasant.

The reason for the cleansing and fasting reactions is that toxins are released into the system via the blood and other eliminating fluids. As these toxins circulate through the body on their journey out, they can cause other parts of the body to be affected. For example a common detoxification reaction is the headache. This occurs because the toxins in the blood cause it to thicken and hence cause a headache. A simple remedy is to drink more water, have a bowel movement or slow the cleansing down by moderating the herbs you are on. I will go more into reactions and what to do later.

List of 4 different cleanses, detox diets and fasts.

List of Reactions

EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCES – During fasting a person is forced to stop eating and in many people, eating was done as some kind of emotional comfort. Eatingcan be a distraction from some underlying problem. So during a detox this problem, or problems may arise. This is a good time to look deeply within and meditate to overcome the disturbance.

HEADACHES – Toxins can cause muscle tightness in the neck and shoulders. This can result in tension headaches. Massaging the neck and shoulders will help relieve the tension. The herb Fever Few, which is available in health food stores, is well worth trying. The thickness of the blood also can cause headaches.

COLD VIRUS – Is a cold virus what we have been led to believe or is it actully a symptom of the body eliminating toxins. Please refer to the article Flu Symptoms or Cleansing Reactions? In any case try to drink more water and rest, because once your body is free of toxins, you will not get the ‘flu’.

MUSCLE TIGHTNESS – The muscles may become tight and sore due to toxin irritation. The legs can be the worst affected as toxins accumulate in the legs. A self massage, hot baths, stretching and exercising will help to release the toxins. Keep exercise light as you need to conserve your electrolytes for the liver.

NAUSEA – When waste is released too quickly by the lymph glands, some of the toxic overload is taken by the liver and secreted with bile into the stomach. This causes nausea. Drinking water or carrot juice will dilute the bile and toxin mixture helping to flush it from the system.

BACKACHES – Back pain may increase due to toxins in the lower intestine. The blood vessels that draw nutrients from the colon are very close to the nerves of the spine. Back pain often decreases after elimination of the toxins. Back exercises also can relieve some pain. A cold pack also will help. Using an enema kit will be the best remedy.

BAD BREATH – Waste passes through the lungs which are an eliminative organ. Brushing the tongue with a tooth brush, using dental floss and rinsing with herbal mouthwash will reduce bad breath.

CANKERS – These may develop from a toxic buildup in the mouth. Unhealthy bacteria increases between the teeth. The tongue becomes coated with waste. To stop cankers, gargle with apple cider vinegar mixed with water several times daily. Dabbing the sore with tea tree oil or vitamin E quickens the healing process.

DIARRHEA – Fruit juices have a laxative effect which is more pronounced after water fasting. It can be stopped by using the enema. Using psyllium husk during diarrhea will help regulate the system. Also cut back on laxative herbs if you are taking them.

BLACKOUTS – During fasting the body conserves energy. The heart pumps slower and blood pressure lowers. The blood is also thicker due to toxins. Standing or moving quickly from a resting position will cause the blood to flow to the legs. For a few seconds, the brain may not get enough oxygen, causing blackouts and dizziness. To stop a blackout get down on one knee or sit. Lowering your center of gravity will instantly stop a blackout. Blackouts are more frequent during water fasting.

NERVOUSNESS – The elimination of toxins can irritate damaged nerves. Exercise will relieve tension. Use quarter slices of avocado to slow the fast.

SKIN DISTURBANCES – The skin may become oily as rancid oils are purged from the body. People with problem-free skin may have a few days of pimples or boils. A pallid complexion is also a sign of waste in the blood. When cleansed of mucus and toxins, the skin will be healthy, soft and unblemished.

TIREDNESS – Tiredness is normal during water or restricted juice fasting. If the tiredness is too much, increase the quantity of sweet juices like melon and carrot juice. The tiredness is also caused by the body using most of it’s energy to break down and eliminate the toxins.

Specific Health Conditions and Fasting Advice

HEART DISEASE – Include bananas and avocados when juice fasting to balance the blood sugar level. Toxins in the blood and reduced blood sugar levels may cause a weak heart to labor. Like any other organ, the heart needs nutrients, a toxin-free environment, and time to heal.

HYPOGLYCEMIA – Do not juice fast unless you use bananas and avocados to balance the blood sugar level.

KIDNEY PROBLEMS – Fasting can irritate damaged kidneys due to the amount of toxins they filter. Try short juice fasts of 3 to 5 days before progressing to longer fasts. Avoid high-protein meals, refined flours, commercial oils and fats.

LIVER DISEASE – The liver can become toxic due to abuse. If the liver is badly degenerated, cleansing must be done in stages. Start with short juice fasts and lead to fasts over five days. Avoid heavy proteins, refined flours and fatty foods. Eat meals of fruits or vegetables between the fasts.

AGING – There is no such thing as being too old to fast–it is exactly what the body needs to feel young again. Shorter fasts are recommended to start. Assess your physical state as you proceed. If juice fasting becomes too intense, bananas and avocados will lessen the intensity by slowing the cleansing.

ULCERS – Fasting will help significantly. Choose the juices that do not irritate the condition.

General Advice for Cleansing, Detox and Fasting Reactions

-Drink more water

-Do an enema

-Use a proper detox kit such as the Bio Cleanse. It will absorb toxins and eliminate them more easily, thus reducing cleansing reactions.

-Eat a baked potato slowly if on a Bio Cleanse.

-Eat something light or have some fruit juice, depending on what kind of fast you are on.

-If taking herbs, take a little less.

-Do not allow cleansing reactions to go on for to long at an unbearable rate, there is no need to “tough it”. Just slow it down a little. You can always do another cleanse later, or stretch this one out a bit more.


  1. thanks

  2. Paulinha

    help !! I am on my fourth day water fasting and i am starting this morning with bladder infection symptoms …. is it a sign of detox? I have been drinking three liters of water per day. I Must stop fasting now?

  3. How long should the body arches ;last?

    • matts118

      Depends on how many toxins are inside you.

      • I have been experiencing a darkening on my thighs I believe because of toxins in my legs. Has anyone else been through this?

        • Nita Hudson

          Did anyone respond to you Lisa? I’ve never heard of this. Is it your actual skin or are you just seeing veins/etc better underneath? Lots of stuff comes out through our skin. I always get super dry & flaky during a fast. I would suggest dry brushing at night before a warm shower or even better, a bath with Epsom salts. And then use coconut oil (it’s greasy so be prepared to dress in long sleeves, sweats & socks to get it to soak it) or olive oil (also greasy – both are worth it) to moisturize all over as an extra support to your body after dry brushing/soaking because your skin is your largest organ…it could just need some extra support! The magnesium in an Epsom salt bath is good for repair and rest!

        • Mitory machuo

          I just had so much pain on under my feet can’s stand it

    • How long did your body aches last? I’m on day 4 of a raw food type fast and I’ve been aching from legs to neck.

      • Depends on how toxic your bods is. Try something like this to speed it up

        • Fred James

          For a good detox, start about a week before the actual detox with a couple of grams of MSM morning and night and lots of water this will make the cells more permeable to let those toxins loose, then the fast really cleans well. I like to take activated charcoal (1-1/2 to 2 hours after eating) as well it helps to attach to the toxins for faster removal.

          • Nita Hudson

            Be sure and take vitamin C with your MSM. It makes it work better. Also, just be prepared that MSM has some detox properties too especially if you’ve had a share of antibiotics in your life.

            The charcoal is a good idea but take it hours away from other supplements or meds.

            I like to take a milk thistle at night just to provide some extra healing for my liver as it processes all the crazy stuff from juicing.

  4. What is good to drink that’s natural to help with leg cramps while fasting

    • Celery, apple and carrot juice.

    • Nita Hudson

      Cramps are from need for potassium so take a mineral supplement and an Epsom salt bath (after dry brushing is best) will give you a dose of magnesium to support the detox & maybe help cramps too.

  5. Kallie Georgiadis

    Hey, started a 10 day green detox this week. Made it to day 4 and started experiencing major pain in my lower back (kept me up tossing and turning all night) I understand that this is because of the lower intestine detoxing, and it makes sense being that I have suffered constipation issues all my life. However, I am a stylist and am on my feet all day so I just felt it would be better to stop it before the symptoms got worse and interfered with work. I ate a salad with some chicken last night and am still experiencing back pain. Does anyone know when this will subside?

    • matts118

      Hi Kallie. It’s hard to know when it will subside. For detoxing this is why we always recommend . It has a book to guide you with a proper program, herbs to move your colon, a shake to mop up the toxins and probiotics to finish it all off. A very good program.

    • Suttonsquatter

      I am on day 8 of a 10 day detox program (Purium). Major lower back pain about days 4 – 7, started getting better on day 7. It kept me up too which I couldn’t afford. Most would advise against an OTC like Ibuprofen but it’s what saved me from going off the cleanse. If you stop mid-week, I’m told by an ND that the toxins stop midstream and remain in your system. Frankly I was worried about kidney damage then happened upon this info about lower intestine issues. Every time I’ve done a detox (I’ve done about 4 or 5 by now), I get this lower back pain. I eat a clean dinner (organic protein like chicken or fish, and a green) during my ten days and still had the pain like you. Been holding out hope all week and it finally seems to be improving. Hope yours improved too!

      • matts118

        Sorry to disappoint but chicken or fish is never healthy, organic or not. You cannot Detox while eating meat. It’s dead.

      • Nita Hudson

        I always try a baked sweet potato or a banana (magnesium & potassium boost) when I’m feeling like I need a little food, but don’t want to go all out. Remember roughage like lettuce makes your digestion work hard. Your probably missing some nutrients OR your back is just your body’s “sore spot” that flares during the healing. That’s mine. Mine always hurts too so I use a heating pad a lot at night. All of my joints & muscles ache, but I’ve had a huge dump of antibiotics lately so I know it’s just pulling the antibiotics & the old infection out…it’s awful to ache so much but stay away from ibuprofen. You can buy the hot patches to tape on during the day while you’re on your feet. Worst case scenario, have a day with some bananas, and maybe try a watermelon juice to cleanse your kidneys. Kale is hard on kidneys so I would avoid that too.

    • Fred James

      Try 2 gms of MSM morning and night, it will help with the detox and with the back pain.. It takes about three days to really kick in, but it is a major help with both the detox and the pain.

  6. Vanita Kakkar

    I am just finishing day 2 of a 10 day metagenics cleanse and doing ok, except my dentist just told me that I have a mild infection in one of my teeth. He wants me to take ibuprofen twice a day for the next 3 days and if it doesn’t settle down then I have to start mild antibiotics. Can I take ibuprofen without negating the cleanse or should I just stop?

    • matts118

      Ask the company that sells it. It’s not a very natural product anyway, maybe it’s ok.

  7. Day 8 of a 21 day program that involves smoothies, green juice, and nut milks. I am having burning sensation during urination. It was bad enough that I had an STD panel at the lab, but all results were negative. Could this be from the detox? Thanks

  8. Renae Daly

    Thank you for this article. as many times as I have done a cleanse and detox I was familiar with all the other symptoms but never knew that lower back pain was a symptom of I was familiar with all the other symptoms but never knew that the lower back pain that I’ve been experiencing was due to the detoxing effect from my lower intestines which that’s the reason why I’ve been doing the cleanse ….to cleanse out my entire intestinal system

  9. I been usuong teatox for two days and i am experiencing some pretty intense lower back pains. Like i can hardly bend over or move without pain. What should i do?

  10. Taylor Upton

    My teeth are sensitive after i have my juice( with, or without fruit, or lemons/limes). It feels like nerve pain. I have had this before when suffering with a sinus infection…Do you think my sinus are detoxing? Do you have any other remedies that can help? … Supplements i’m missing out on, maybe? 🙂 Thanks~ Been juicing for three weeks now~

  11. Michelle K sharon

    My feet started swelling during my cleanse. I have been drinking plenty of water

  12. This is my second attempt at water fasting. On day two, in both fast, I developed intense hip flexor/hip/lower back spasms. I ended the first fast on day three because of this as I couldn’t sit or lay down. I started this fast with three days of juice fasting but still, day two of water fasting and I was in bad pain. I stretched and took bath and walk around a lot and that helped. But last night I couldn’t sleep and took three Advil:( I really don’t want to quit but don’t know what to do. I can handle the pain during but the day although it’s quite uncomfortable but I can’t sleep. Will it stop? Im 60hours into it now. Thank you!!!

    • matts118

      I would recommend doing an enema and easing your way out of it. This is why i always recommend the Bio Cleanse Detox, it eliminates these kind of problems.

  13. Cleansing is great. Some of you people need to add more fiber to your diet. A life of eating processed foods is going to yield some uncomfortable symptoms when doing a cleanse.

  14. Anju Bajracharya

    I am using detoix slim , its my 10 days. I felt very thirsty and dry. I am still drinking water but its not working. There are many small bumbs in my tongue, walk of my mouth and big bumbs in the throat. Is it normal? Should i stop using detoix. Please help me.

    • matts118

      You should use a program with bentonite clay shakes such as Bio Cleanse Detox, it alleviates these kind of problems.

      • Anju Bajracharya

        It was normal but today i felt dizzy. Do you have any idea how long it take to be normal

        • matts118

          I don’t know, it depends on your state of health, the product and how you perform it. How much longer will the cleanse go on for, are you juice fasting. Please tell me more.

          • Anju Bajracharya

            It will go on for 4 days more.No, i am not having juice. I ate like regulary days but in small amount.

  15. Ellen Calisang

    when i had a detox 4 days ago i experience big mouth sores from my tongue and all over my mouth. Before I used vco or coconut oil or tea tree oil a matter of 2 days it disappears. But now even though i try to apply those oil it seems all my mouth sores keeps on multiplying. what should i do and the doctor said i need to undergo detox every month, should I stop my detox program? Is mouth sores expected when undergoing detox? what should I do with all my mouth sores it seems they are resistant on tea tree oil and coconut oil?

    • It seems like you still have more detoxing to do. Try a good program like the Bio Cleanse Detox, that includes a toxin remover shake, so you don’t have such strong cleansing reactions.

    • Meredith Olson Horne

      I am no expert. But I loved when I did a three day juice cleanse… include lots of kale/chard etc. Had a lot of energy and as i’ve read today about trying to determine why my neck feels swollen I came across the suggestion to swish with apple cider vinegar diluted with water multiple times through the day.?… I would drink it also! Diluted.

  16. Lorraine Eden

    3rd day, yep got the headache, back pain and nausea…..

  17. I’d add to the list of general advice: keep lymph flowing so your body can rid itself of the toxins! How to do this? Movement! Definitely take walks if you feel up to it. Dance when no one’s looking. Stretch frequently. Do yoga or pilates. Rebounding is EXCELLENT for lymph flow but not everyone has a trampoline. There are videos online showing exercises & self-massage techniques for lymph drainage, but truly any kind of movement will help keep things flowing, and maybe boost your endorphins at the same time 🙂

  18. blueskygal

    Thanks for the list. I am experiencing several of these, especially in the mouth which tastes metallic. I am letting go of all the meds i’ve taken in the last year!

  19. I quit marijuana a week ago (smoked nightly for nearly two years). I quit smoking cigarettes also a week ago (smoked for nearly 20 years). I started the gaps diet 4 days ago (progressive food intake over 6 weeks). I started out by eliminating sugars, carbs, dairy, grains, legumes and beans. I did this same diet earlier this year and lost 35lbs over 3 months and still holding. I’m doing it again because of my sugar intake and generally poor eating. I’ve had a history of pancreatitis and GI issues. I am experiencing all the symptoms of stress… headaches, muscle soreness, tension and spasms, teeth clenching, very poor sleep.
    How long should I be dealing with these symptoms and is there any way to make this process easier and quicker?

    • It’s hard to say how long it will take, it’s withdrawal symptoms that are common. If you take a bio cleanse detox kit during the process it will help.

  20. jennifer harlan

    today is my first day for the detox drink. I took it about 10 am, its around 2;30 now and i feel hella crappy all over’ for many yrs ive had consistant pain in the left side of my lower back and leg well now its in my right. ANY SUGGESTIONS SHOULD I Continue

  21. Help! I’m on day 4 of a 10 day water fast.
    My teeth and gums hurt so bad!!
    I’ve had some dental issue that are being lined up to fix but I never thought that a fast would affect my mouth so much.
    Is this somewhat normal and what can I do?

  22. Julia Swain

    Can you detox when you are still on chronic meds

    • Better to ask your doctor. No one can advise on this unless they know what your meds are, and your condition….

  23. melissa privett

    im on day 15 of a 100 percent raw food diet, ive also completely stopped chronic pain meds like norco and valium…cold turkey. my problem is a sudden intense pain in what feels like my kidneys? im worried that im damaging them. is this possible? what can i do to eleviate the pain besides go back to my pain meds? the raw diet is definitely a major change even without stopping the neds,,,,im trying to weigh the costs.

    • No one can really answer this without checking your health history and doing tests. Go see a doctor of some sort.


  1. Authentic Overdrive – The 30 day Paleo Detox Challenge – Day 6 - [...] another useful piece about Fasting, Cleansing & Detoxification Reactions at, which goes into more detail on the medical/scientific reasons…
  2. Tight Hamstrings on The 30 day Paleo Detox Challenge – Day 6 | Free Range Paleo - [...] another useful piece about Fasting, Cleansing & Detoxification Reactions at, which goes into more detail on the medical/scientific reasons…
  3. Body Cleansing Detoxification Juice Recipes | Purathrive reviews - […] Fasting, Cleansing & Detoxification Reactions | – By Matthew Sun. During a fast, cleanse or detox the body…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

12 Flares Google+ 0 Facebook 0 Twitter 0 LinkedIn 2 Email -- 12 Flares ×