Reactions to Nutritional Therapy and diet changes can be confusing. When you make a dramatic change in your diet or start using therapeutic doses of vitamins or other nutrients, your body might not love you for it right away. I’m sure a lot of you have experienced giving up coffee or sweets and having a headache for a couple of days while your body adjusts to life without your mind’s preferred addictive substance. Even though it’s what your body needs to heal itself, it’s a big adjustment. Here are a few other common reactions to Nutritional Therapy and dietary change.
Digestive Reaction: These can be any uncomfortable symptom of poor digestion such as heartburn, cramping, constipation, or diarrhea. These symptoms can last a few days and might not even show up until a few days into your new diet. They are usually mild and can be managed with more digestive support like drinking plenty of water or taking apple cider vinegar or another bitter food before meals to increase your digestive fire.
Sensitivity or Allergic Reaction: These can show up as rashes or sinus congestion, and in rare occasions, full-blown allergic attacks. The most common food allergens are wheat, dairy, soy, and eggs, but you can be sensitive to anything really. In this case you should stop your new treatment and find an alternate way to work on what you are trying to heal.
Healing Reaction: This is the most common reaction and it manifests as the symptom you are trying to heal. You’ll feel worse before you start feeling better. Examples would be feeling nauseated when you’re working on getting your gallbladder back to proper function, or an increase in heartburn incidence while you’re working on increasing your stomach acid. This type of reaction will typically last 3-5 days. You can either tough it out, or lighten up on what you’ve been doing to make it more bearable.
This last reaction was one that I experienced when I decided to really clean up my diet in hopes of clearing my breakouts. I cut out ALL processed foods and made sure to eat healthy fat and protein with each meal. At the same time I started taking a yoga class that I really liked and it motivated me to practice yoga 5 days a week. These things combined really started moving some toxic products out of my body – and of course it showed up on my face. For about two weeks my skin was worse than ever! I was putting make-up on in the mornings even though I work from home! I had faith that I was on the right path so I just stuck it out. Soon enough, my skin began looking better, and even when I don’t eat “perfect” now I never have the break-outs that I did before.
As always, please consult a healthcare provider if you experience any severe reaction, or your instinct tells you that something just isn’t “right” about how you feel. There are always alternatives to address any health issue you’re trying to resolve.