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What's the Difference between Detox and Cleanse

Posted by Dr. Adam Killpartrick, DC CNS on Jul 6, 2018 11:25:00 AM

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There’s no denying that detox and cleanse are two of the hottest buzz words in the health community. Entire industries have sprouted up based on the ever-growing popularity of these diets.

Detox and cleanse programs are designed to recharge and rejuvenate the body through diet and lifestyle changes. Now, detox and cleanse are often used interchangeably but they’re focused on different parts of the body.

Recognizing the differences between a detox and cleanse is essential whether you’re recommending a program or undertaking one yourself. A detox or cleanse program is recommended for those suffering from occasional fatigue, headaches, joint discomfort, anxiousness or food sensitivities.

Find out how to create personalized supplement programs for patients.

What Exactly is a Detox?

Detoxification is a cleansing process by which impurities are removed from the blood through the liver and kidneys. It’s designed to eliminate harmful toxins such as chemicals and heavy metals from the body. Detoxification is achieved by converting these harmful toxins into waste and eliminating them from the body.

The process of detoxification is largely dependent on the kidneys and liver, which are the main organs responsible for filtering and excreting waste from the body. Detoxification can only be reached by enhancing the body’s detoxification pathways through the kidneys and liver. This can be accomplished through important diet and lifestyle changes to go along with a supplement protocol.

Now, Tell Me about Cleansing

A cleanse program is primarily focused on cleaning out the colon and digestive tract through removal of toxins, fecal matter, parasite and fungi. Similar to detoxification, a cleanse is performed by making significant dietary changes to help your body rid itself of these harmful toxins.

The term cleanse has come to be associated with fasting but that’s not the case. Fasting is representative of a juice cleanse that doesn’t deliver long-lasting results. Fortunately, starving doesn’t have to go hand in hand with cleansing.

One should pay extra attention to everything that goes into their body during a cleanse. Processed foods are the enemy of a cleansing protocol. It’s essential to drink plenty of water and consume nutrient-dense whole foods while avoiding sugars, preservatives and processed foods. Knowing what to avoid is just as important as eating the right foods.

The idea of cleanse is to remove certain food groups to help a patient feel healthier and achieve their health goals. With a proper diet and routine exercise, a cleanse lets one hit the reset button to get the digestive system back on the right track. 

What are the Best Supplements for Detoxification?

There are specific supplements formulated to prepare the body and accelerate the detoxification process. By taking a detox supplement, the body is given the best chance for success while undergoing a detox or cleanse.

It’s critical to prepare the body before starting a detox or cleanse. In fact, pre-work is a key part of the detoxification process. Start with a glutamine product to support the intestinal wall and prevent hyper-permeability. It’s essential to support the integrity of the digestive system to prevent toxins from being reabsorbed by the body. 

A digestive enzyme helps breakdown food completely to reduce the amount of work the digestive tract has to do to deconstruct food stuff and mobilize nutrients. Complete this pre-work with a probiotic in order to populate as much beneficial bacteria as possible throughout the tract. 

There are also supplements meant to complement detoxification programs. A comprehensive detox formula will include amino acids and key botanicals such as milk thistle and curcumin as well as uva ursi for kidney support.* This ensures each phase of detoxification is addressed in the liver and kidneys.

As a result of the pre-work, the digestive system can handle the elimination of the toxins without fear of reabsorption. Whether it’s a detox or a cleanse, the right supplement can help rid the body of toxins and provide maximum results for the patient.

Let’s Talk about Side Effects

During a cleanse or detox program, it’s possible for a patient to suffer from a variety of symptoms like fatigue, headaches, fogginess or altered digestion. These are simply responses to the body ridding itself of toxic elements and should only last for a short period of time. 

It’s also common that a patient may feel minimal side effects if there’s a customized program based on biochemical individuality. These types of programs are often positioned as “gentle” detoxes. In reality, they’re simply well planned out and tailored programs that suit the patient’s individual needs. However, there are people that respond with a degree of detox symptoms even with a “gentle” detox. 

Unlike the promises of fad diets, detoxes and cleanses can help rid the body of toxins and improve patient outcomes when conducted under the care of a physician.  

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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