Detoxing for a day or even a few days is probably not too harmful…if you’re in good health. However, detox diets aren’t recommended for anyone with chronic conditions, like diabetes, or heart, liver, or kidney disease, or for certain populations, like pregnant women, children or teenagers, and older adults. Short-term side effects of detox diets include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lightheadedness, and swings in blood glucose levels. Longer-term, and more serious, effects include loss of lean muscle mass, irregular heartbeat, heart or kidney damage, bowel perforation (if enemas are involved), infections, and severe dehydration. So, resist the temptation to detox and remember that any benefits you might derive from it will be very short lived. As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race!
Understand the general principles of diabetic dieting to better determine what requirements a detox plan must satisfy before being sound for diabetics. According to the Mayo Clinic, diabetics regulate their blood sugar levels through diet by controlling both the quantity and type of carbohydrate consumed, with slower digesting carbohydrates being preferable as they impact blood sugar levels less significantly. These slow-digesting carbs consist mainly of fruits and vegetables, making these staple items in any diabetic diet.
Follow nutritionist Jay Robb's (Everydiet.org) Fruit Flush for a healthy three-day detox for diabetics. Throughout day one of the plan, consume a protein shake every two hours (from 8 am until 4 pm) using whey protein. At 6 pm, consume a healthy dinner consisting of chicken breasts (around four ounces), three to six cups of vegetable salad, and a tablespoon of olive oil. On days two and three of the plan, consume fresh fruit every two hours (again, from 8 am to 4 pm) with a healthy dinner consisting of a protein shake, half of an avocado (for healthy fats), and vegetable salad at 6 pm. This plan comports with the principles of diabetic dieting by relegating your overall nutritional intake to healthy, slow-digesting carbs like fruits and vegetables while providing plenty of added nutrition in the form of protein, lean meat and healthy fats. At the end of the three days you will have likely lost a few pounds without diverging too far from your original diabetic diet.
Restructuring your daily meals for longer than a week can help you realize that sugar might not be totally to blame for all of your sluggish behavior. Sassos says making a longer diet change can push you to also prioritize getting enough sleep each night, and also work on ensuring you're properly hydrated each and every day. "Getting enough sleep and drinking enough water are often neglected," Sassos says. "No one prioritizes this in their routine, and yet they're the simplest things that you can do for your body for overall health and to wardoff sugar cravings."
Stay hydrated: Keeping up with water and unsweetened beverages is important, as a lack of water or fluids can make it that much harder for your liver to handle excess sugar. While chugging a liter of water can't "flush" out the sugar in your system, Sassos says warm fluids like warm ginger tea may help to speed up the digestive process for those who are searching for some immediate relief — but that's not an effective long term solution.
If you work with your primary care doctor to control your diabetes, you may have to go to extremes to monitor your blood sugar. This type of care involves pricking your finger for blood samples or even injecting yourself with the insulin your body is not creating for itself. If you want to live a healthier life that is free from the pain of blood draws and injections, the 6-Week Diabetes Detox program may be the right step for you.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the importance of the emotional support that I received from my mother and daughter. After I recovered from the diabetic coma, they took care of me when I was released from the hospital. Their support allowed me to “detox” my mind and remove all of the negative thoughts that I was getting from my endocrinologist.