Detoxification Diet

This article is about the Metabolism Reset Diet. The MRD is a detoxification diet or detox diet.
It is a diet which sets out to bring healing to the liver and improve its level of functioning. 
The liver is one of the components in the body that allows detoxification to take place.
Detoxification is therefore a consequence of the 4 week diet.

My name is Katherine Owen. I completed the Metabolism Reset Diet first in July 2019.
This article is part of my review of the diet.

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Did I experience detox symptoms on the Metabolism Reset Diet?

The first time I did the diet, very much so!
Detoxification symptoms I experienced were as follows:

  • I had various pains in my body.
  • I got extreme pain in my right top right shoulder during the first week.
  • I got bad indigestion for the whole of the 4 weeks, and for the first 3 weeks of 'maintenance'.
    (Maintenance' 'is the optional period after the 4 weeks when you may choose to continue with a few of the elements of the diet.)

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Ghost of symptoms past

  • I experienced profound central fatigue.
    I found myself having to sit down. I would literally feel stuck in a certain position.
    This reminded me of symptoms I had when I lived with very severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis).
  • Throughout the 14 years of being bedbound I had a sharp pain and a kind of puffiness / clagginess in my right forearm. This came back on the diet, but only lasted for about 48 hours.

It wasn't pleasant but it was fascinating to have certain symptoms return that I had had when living bedbound.
It is such a different experience to have a symptom come and go rather than stay around for years and years...
If I had had such an aggravation of symptoms without an explanation I would have added a lot of fear!

Ways in which the detoxification symptoms were not so bad...

Even though I had profound central fatigue on the diet, it passed.
I was able to walk around the house at other times of the day.

I was able to make myself the evening meal each day.  It was unusual for me at the time to have this level of consistent functionality. I cook for myself, but my usual diet is simpler to cook than the Metabolism Reset Diet.

There was no increase in muscle fatigue, perhaps even a decrease.

Post exertional malaise (PEM) possibly reduced during the diet (but not afterwards).

The symptoms that arose had often disappeared 24 hours later or 48 hours later.
It was very clear that I was ‘cycling’ through various symptoms.

detoxification diet tried by person with the illness ME

How long is the period of detoxification symptoms?

Doctor Christianson’s book (see image below) says that detoxification symptoms will reduce after the first week on the diet.

I had some horrid detox symptoms through the whole 4 weeks of the Metabolism Reset Diet and a little beyond as well.

If I had been eating something unusual I would have worried that the diet was doing me harm.
If I had been taking a natural healing supplement I would have worried it was doing me harm.

But because I was following a diet that has been tested. And because I was getting support in the Facebook group, I felt able to persevere.

Detoxification symptoms may be worse if you are living with chronic illness

Doctor Christianson says in his book that the more our liver is clogged, the less able we are to detox.
In other words once you have detoxed a little, your liver gets better at detoxing.
Perhaps for some of us living with chronic illness, a clogged liver is key to many of  our symptoms and therefore the detox symptoms are likely to be worse than for someone who is only seeking weight loss.

Another person with CFS/ME I know who has done the metabolism reset diet also continued to be very ill from detox symptoms in week three of the diet. Unlike myself, she was better in week four.
(NB. She came out of the diet having experienced clear benefits.)

In Dr Christianson’s Facebook group there were others living with other chronic illnesses. They too seemed to experience an extended detoxification period compared to those only doing the diet for weight loss.

If you are doing the Metabolism Reset Diet as a diet to alleviate chronic illness, do allow for the symptoms continuing for the whole 4 weeks of the detoxification diet.

If you find the symptoms hard, is it necessary to do the detoxification diet for the whole 4 weeks?

If you find the detoxification symptoms intense, is it necessary to do the detoxification diet for the whole 4 weeks?

I asked this question in Dr Christianson’s Facebook group for the diet.
I decided to keep going because they saaid four weeks is the recommended amount.
Doctor Christianson has based the diet on research, and four weeks is the time period that has been assessed as beneficial.
Some people who were just doing the diet for weight loss reported that they only got weight loss in the fourth week. This suggests to me there are benefits that come from being on the diet for that length of time.

When I posted about my trouble with detox symptoms in week three, someone else with CFS/ME suggested that I stop the diet.
I considered doing so. My drop in functionality affected my ability to safely share a house with someone.

Please please do NOT take this article as saying that you should continue if the detox symptoms are very difficult.
In case you need it, I give you full permission to only do this detoxification diet for one week, two weeks, or three weeks!
If so, see my recommendations for putting in place elements of the diet that will bring you some of the benefits so that you may be able to do the whole 4 weeks in the future.

Detoxification Diet book cover

Click to buy the Metabolism Reset Diet
in the Amazon Store

After the 4 week detoxification diet - what next?

After the 4 weeks, I chose to continue with the ‘maintenance’ diet. Please see Dr Christianson's book for more information.
At the time of writing, I have done this for the last 7 months. (Back again: Now 2 years.)
I am not strict about it and find it straight forward. 

Prior to doing this diet I thought a detox diet was out of my reach.

I knew of detox retreats which cost a great deal of money.

I knew of the work of Jay Davidson who said that he almost died from his first attempt at a detoxification diet.
He claims to have since worked out a diet and protocol that allows detox to take place more safely, so feel free to look him up.

I am grateful to have found a diet that I can do each year as part of my self healing toolkit.
I have now done it 4 times (in 2 years).

Links relevant to detoxification diet

  • This series of articles is only an overview of my personal experience.
    Please refer to Dr Christianson's book (see book cover above) or his website for information on how to follow the Metabolism Reset Diet. I am not an affiliate of his. I am an Amazon affiliate so if you buy the book through my link I may get some pennies. Thank you.
  • Click to read another of my articles: What is the Metabolism Reset diet? - to decide if it is right for you.
  • Move from Detoxification Diet to read My Results on this Metabolism Reset Diet.
    I also give tips on how to approach the diet gradually so as to reduce detox symptoms.

Click on the link below to move to my article on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diet which links to all the other diet articles on this healing website.

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Disclaimer: I am not a medical practitioner. The articles on this website are not to be taken as medical advice. Please consult a medical practitioner as necessary.

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