8 Detox Symptoms That Show Your Cleanse Is Working


If you’re on a detox right now, I think you’ll agree with me if I say that detox symptoms can be a real pain in the butt!

Some people might even say that being on a cleanse is making them feel worse than they did before they started their cleanse…

Unfortunately, detox symptoms are completely normal, and I’ll tell you why in a second…

But first, just remember that whether you decided to cleanse with a detox diet, a traditional juice cleanse or a complete fast, the benefits you will get out of it will be extraordinary!

Look, you shouldn’t be afraid of the possible detox symptoms you may go through during your cleanse. Here’s why…

In the world we live in, we are constantly surrounded by toxins, air pollution, and chemicals from the food we eat and the products we use.

Doing a cleanse will not only permit you to purify your body, it will also allow you to reset your habits and achieve greater health.

Once the cleanse is over, people report feeling better than ever, being more focussed, energized, and rejuvenated…


It’s amazing!

And that’s not all…

Suddenly your food tastes better, your digestion is more efficient, and your bowel movements are finally regular. Your skin is clearer, your eyes are whiter, and your body is toned.

This awesome feeling of general well-being is a reward anyone can experience if they want to put some time and effort in a detox program…

During your detox, you will feel lighter and cleaner than ever!

But here’s the catch…

The first few days of your cleanse might be more difficult… You may have to go through different detox symptoms that can make you feel pretty crappy!

But this is a good thing…

When you’re feeling ill, it means that your detox is actually working!


When your body eliminates toxins, you can feel it… While the toxins circulate in your bloodstream, you can feel their poison and experience different detox symptoms.

But this will only last a few days… maybe 1 to 3 days… but this can differ from one person to another. Some people may not have any detox symptoms and feel awesome the whole time (lucky them!).

Other people may have a harder time throughout their cleanse.

So how to know if you’re gonna be lucky or not? Well let’s say that the more toxic your lifestyle is, the harder it may be for you…

But remember…having detox symptoms just means that your detox is working!

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When you follow a detox diet, you may notice a change in your bathroom habits. This is because you are eating way more fibre than usual and drinking a lot of water.

Fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of fibre, while meats and dairy contain none…

That can be a huge change for certain people.

And eating more fibre stimulates the digestive system and encourages more bowel movements!

So you can expect to visit the bathroom 1 to 3 times per day….

Your stools may be softer too, due to the sudden change in your diet. Keep in mind that your gut bacteria need some time to adjust to the new food you are providing them.

You may also experience diarrhea if you are taking herbs and supplements that generate bowel movements. These have the ability to flush the content of your intestines, so expect to visit the toilet often…

On the other hand, if you are limiting solid food and you omit to drink enough water, you may experience constipation.

This is why it’s very important to stay hydrated during your cleanse.

If you are fasting with juices or water only, you will have a few bowel movements in the beginning of your fast, but they will stop after a couple of days, once all the food you ate before the fast is eliminated. This is not constipation! Bowel movements will resume once you start eating again.

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It’s not unusual to have a strong body odour as a detox symptom.

This is due to the cleansing of your gut. Accumulated waste and toxins are being evacuated…

Your body does not only eliminate toxins through your urine… you also sweat them out.

And the more toxicity you have in your body, the stronger your body odour will be.

It’s kinda like people who drink a lot of alcohol or consume drugs. Their skin tends to smell really bad…

Or like those people who work hard at the gym but have a very bad diet… You can smell them from a distance!

During your cleanse, make sure to drink a lot of water to encourage more urination and sweating. It’s also going to help your liver and kidneys to filter all these toxins.

You can also go the sauna and sweat those toxins out!

Drink green vegetable juice to maintain good electrolyte levels and counteract the acidic load from the toxins.


Lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system who carries lymph fluid, nutrients and waste products within the body.

The lymphatic system is an important part of the immune system because it defends the body against diseases.

Lymph nodes are like a filter that traps bacteria, viruses and toxins before they are destroyed by our white blood cells.

People whose lymph nodes suddenly swell up during their cleanse were either very toxic, or were infected by a bacteria, yeast or a dormant virus.

Swollen lymph nodes can be felt underarms, the neck or groin.

So if you have swollen lymph nodes during your cleanse, this is ok. This is a detox symptom that is telling that your immune system is fighting for you. Your detox is working!

Just like lymph nodes, allergy symptoms can arise when the immune system is fighting to eliminate toxins. You may experience detox symptoms like body aches, a sore throat or a runny nose.

This is like when you are in contact with an allergen. Your body’s defence mechanism fires up against this invader and provokes an allergic reaction.

Similarly, when the toxins are released during your detox, they are also perceived as foreign substances, provoking an immune response and allergy symptoms.

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Gas and bloating are not detox symptoms that normally happen during a fast, but rather during a detox diet.

Because of the high volume of fibre you are eating, your digestive tract may take time to adjust to this new diet. More fibre encourages the growth of good bacteria, which can provoke more activity in your intestines.

Chew your food carefully, this will start the digestion process. Anything that you don’t chew properly, your stomach will have to do it for you!

Eat slowly to avoid swallowing air. When your intestines are not able to move the air efficiently, it provokes gas and bloating.

Avoid yeast and animal products if you want to limit the putrefaction in your gut and the rotten egg farts.

The best way to avoid gas and bloating is to have a healthy flora… And you can achieve that by taking probiotics daily.

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If you are fasting or following a keto diet (ketogenic diet = high fat & low carb), you may experience nausea or even vomiting. This is usually due to the presence of ketones in your blood.

Ketones are dumped in the blood by the liver when its glycogen (sugar) reserves are depleted. This happens after 24 hours of fasting, or between meals on a strict low-carb diet.

When your body is deprived from carbohydrates (its main fuel), it must turn to fat for energy.

This is when ketones are produced by your liver from fatty acids, and will be used to feed your brain and the other cells in your body.

Ketones will substitute glucose for the duration of your fast, on which your cells would normally survive…

You will notice that you are in “ketosis” when you feel nauseous and when your breath smells fruity or like nail polish remover… (weird)

Nausea can also be caused by a large amount of toxins circulating in your blood. This should pass after a few days…

Did you know that the best homemade remedy for nausea is ginger tea?

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Mood swings are very common detox symptoms in the beginning of a cleanse…

While your metabolism adjusts to your dietary changes, you might be grumpy and irritable. Several factors can provoke irritability, like the waste that is circulating in the bloodstream, or the withdrawal from caffeine and sugar.

If you are suffering from a candida overgrowth, you may experience die-off symptoms that will affect your mood. When many fungal organisms are destroyed at the same time, it releases a large load of toxins that can overwhelm your detox organs and provoke all sorts of reactions like allergy symptoms and irritability…

Using bentonite clay during your detox is a great way to eliminate the toxins faster and reduce detox symptoms.

When bentonite passes through the intestines, the clay molecules absorb the toxin molecules and expels them on the way out. Magic!


Headaches are usually caused by the withdrawal of caffeine. This usually lasts 2 days and can be quite intense for heavy drinkers.

This is why I recommended to stop consuming caffeinated drinks a couple of days before you start a fast…

Quitting smoking, alcohol, drugs, medications, and sugar can also be responsible for your headaches. All these substances are very toxic so just like tobacco, their elimination from the bloodstream can be painful.

Headaches are also one of the numerous detox symptoms caused by the elimination of toxins. Once toxic waste is liberated from your tissues, it circulates in your body before being eliminated. These toxins are felt like a poison and can cause discomforts such as headaches or migraines.


Being tired in the beginning of your cleanse is normal.

It can be caused by the liberation of toxins or an increased metabolic demand…

You would think that eating healthy food would give you more energy… and you are right! But detoxing from caffeine, sugar and fatty foods can cause you to go through a few rough days before you feel energized.

If you are doing a fast, the absence of calories will also cause fatigue. And the first 3 days are the worst.

After those 3 days, your energy will rise and you will feel awesome!

Bottom line…

Stay hydrated, sleep when you are tired, practice gentle yoga, go for walks, meditate… Just take it easy and enjoy the ride!

Dominique believes in the power of healing through fasting and colon cleansing. Over the years, she has seen miracles happening in her clients lives and in hers. A true advocate of lifestyle medicine, her passion is to educate people about the benefits of a whole foods plant-based diet. You want to change your life and reach optimal health? Then you’ve come to the right place!
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