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- MayoClinic.com: Detox Diets: Do They Work?
- Harvard HealthBeat Publications: The Dubious Practice of Detox
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Food detox diets cause light-headedness, lethargy and mental confusion. Detox diets also contribute to dehydration because the low calorie, high liquid intakes work as laxatives to flush your system. Due to the high liquid content, food detox causes frequent urination and liquified bowel movements.
Women are prone to incontinence, especially if they are elderly or pregnant. Incontinence causes frequent, uncontrolled urination and sometimes, continuous leaking from the urethra, which carries urine from the bladder. Incontinence can occur when coughing, laughing or during exercise. If you already experience urinary incontinence, the cleansing properties of a food detox will cause your bladder to fill more rapidly than normal, making it more difficult to control urination.
The normal urge to urinate takes place when your bladder holds 1 cup of urine. Your nervous system alerts you when the bladder reaches this point. Your bladder can hold up to 2 cups of urine if your nervous system is working properly.
The purpose of food detox diets is to remove toxins from the body through fasting, diuretics and laxatives. Most food detox diets consist of eating raw vegetables, fruit and tea laxatives, which flush the intestines and urinary tract. Alternative and integrative medicine advocates recommend following a detox diet for up to 10 days. During this time, you will experience the need to urinate frequently throughout the day and night as liquids fill your bladder.
Susan Moores, R.D, consultant for the American Dietetic Association disagrees with detoxifying the body through cleansing diets. There is no factual evidence that food detox diets are effective for health and well-being. The extreme low calorie intake and overuse of liquids causes more harm than good to the body. Medical experts at Harvard Health Publications state that the liver and kidneys are capable of removing all toxins from your body without the need for detoxification 2.
According to Harvard HealthBeat Publication, following a food detox diet causes loss of nutrients and electrolytes from frequent urination 2. The diet also eliminates the good bacteria from the intestinal tract, which causes intestinal distress. The imbalanced diet does not provide adequate protein or fatty acids that the body needs to function properly. Food detox disrupts the body's acid-base if a person follows the diet for too long or on a regular basis. The increased acid, known as acidosis, can lead to death.
Consult your physician before following a food detox diet, especially if you have an existing urinary condition.
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