Feature

Health scare of the week: The damage ‘detox’ can do

Detoxification diets can cause dangerous imbalances in the body and trigger severe reactions.

Beware of extreme diets presented as a means of “detoxifying” your body, says the London Independent. They could do severe damage to your health. Dawn Page, a 52-year-old British mother of two, was advised by a “nutritional therapist and life coach” to go on the “Amazing Hydration Diet” in hopes of losing a few pounds and “detoxifying” her body. After a few days of eating little and drinking large amounts of water, she became ill, but the “therapist” told her it was “all part of the detox process.” Several days later, Page suffered a grand mal seizure that ended up damaging her brain permanently. She had consumed too much water and not enough salt, disrupting her body’s natural balance and causing the brain to swell. “Detox” diets are based on the theory that toxins from food build up in the body and have to be purged through extreme reductions in food, a heavy dose of supplements, or a large intake of water. Such diets, doctors say, can cause dangerous imbalances in the body, and can trigger severe reactions. Hospital dietitian Catherine Collins says that once people have treated their bodies irresponsibly, hospitals end up having to “deal with the consequences.”

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