Sugar withdrawal has started. I knew it would but I was hoping for a couple of more days of reprieve but, the withdrawal symptoms of sugar detox have started. I have started with headaches, fatigue, mood swings, and diarrhea. On top of that, I am getting a cold- runny nose and sneezing all day.
Why Do We Go Through Withdrawal Symptoms When We Stop Eating Sugar
We discussed earlier how your body processes sugar and the perpetual cycle of eating sugar and craving sugar when you break that cycle there is going to be push back. Some people make the adjust very easily. Those who have tapered their sugar intake tend to have fewer withdrawal symptoms.
Most people who do a sugar detox will experience some withdrawal symptoms. We are removing a toxic substance and resetting our bodies. How the body reacts to quitting sugar is different for everyone. Which symptoms you experience and the severity of these symptoms depend on how much sugar you were consuming.
Withdrawal symptoms can last from a few days to two weeks. The longer your body goes without sugar, the less intense your symptoms and cravings for sugar will be. You may find that your symptoms are worse at certain times of the day, such as between meals. Stress is also known to trigger cravings for sugar, so you may find your symptoms seem worse during times of stress.
Detox Symptoms- Not Everyone Will Experience All If Any Of These
Changes In Bowel Movements
We are changing our eating habits and that means our bodies will react. Adding more fiber, protein and fresh vegetables/fruits can cause constipation, gas and bloating. Addition of healthy fats such as avocadoes, nuts, almond butter, olive oil can cause diarrhea, upset stomach, and stomach cramps. It may take time for your body to resolve these issues. Drinking extra water and adding a probiotic can help.
Great! Now I feel terrible, going to the bathroom all the time, and I STINK! Believe it or not, this is actually a good thing. It is a sign your body is detoxing and remove toxins. You may find you sweat more and have more body odor. Your urine may stink due to the cleansing of your gut. Things you can do to help is to drink more water, exercise, and sweat more, or even treat yourself to a hot sauna or spa treatment. Good news is it does not last long, maybe 1-3 days
Swollen Lymph Nodes And Cold/Allergy Symptoms
The lymphatic system is an important part of the immune system because it defends the body against diseases. If your lymph nodes suddenly swell up during your detox, chances are that you were either very toxic or infected by a bacteria, yeast or a dormant virus. This is a detox symptom telling you that your immune system is fighting for you. Once again, your detox is working! Similarly, when toxins are released during your detox, they are perceived as foreign substances, which can also provoke an immune response and allergy symptoms. Coughing, sneezing, runny nose are signs your body is working the way it should. Taking Vitamin C supplement can help.
Nausea & Vomiting
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 the glycogen (sugar) reserves are depleted.
This condition is called ketosis. This happens after 24 hours of fasting, or between meals on a strict low-carb diet. 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. 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 number 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? If it works for morning sickness in pregnant women, it should work for you too!
You think PMSing is bad, just wait for the mood swings associated with a sugar detox. First off, it is normal and apart of the body adjusting to the new diet and removing of toxins. Along with that is the mental aspect of fighting cravings. But even more interesting is that there is a correlation between sugar and serotonin levels. Serotonin is a chemical that has a wide variety of functions within the body. It is sometimes called the happy chemical because it contributes to happiness and well being. The decrease in sugar causes a decrease in serotonin. You may have symptoms of depression and anxiety, less patient, and restless. That may explain why when you detox you are “ill as a hornet” or “mean as a snake”.
Ways to help with the mood swings include getting plenty of sleep, adding foods such as eggs, cheese, salmon, turkey, seeds and nuts. These foods help boost your serotonin levels. Adding an additional carbohydrate can also help. Regular exercise and plenty of sunshine also boost your serotonin levels.
Headaches are very common in the first few days of the sugar detox. Not only does the reduction in blood sugar levels and toxins cause headaches, but you may also be going through caffeine withdrawals, and additional stress/anxiety caused by reduced serotonin levels.
Ways to help with the headaches that do not include taking medications are drinking a lot of water, taking relaxing baths, good night sleep and naps. If you are able to use the week of preparation for the 21 Day Detox to reduce sugar levels and caffeine slowly, the headaches seem to be less. Good news is that the headaches do not last long as the body will adjust pretty quickly.
Being tired at the beginning of your cleanse is normal. Basically, your body is working so hard to detoxify your body and balance your blood sugar levels. You are not only detoxing from sugar but from caffeine and fatty foods, along with some bad gut bacteria. Reduction of serotonin levels can make you feel tired, sluggish, and moody.
This new induction of healthy foods takes some time for your body to process. Chances are you are also reducing calories so that too can contribute to fatigue early on. Good news is that it takes about 3 days for the body to make its adjustment. Then your energy levels should rise.
In the meantime, drinking more water to help the process of detoxification and keep hydrated. Sleep when you are tired, go for slow enjoyable walks, do yoga or meditate. Additional B12 supplements may help with energy levels.
Taking one day at a time, and realizing that your withdrawals are signs that your body is working hard can be reassuring that all your hard work is not in vain. It is not easy. Treat your body kindly it is in the healing process.