Detoxing symptoms are a real PAIN!


25/03/2012 by Katrina

“Fruit and smoothie detoxing is totally awesome dude!”

This is not as hippie as it sounds. It is my findings from a bomb of research that I have done about healing your body through nutrition. Even if you have no aches, pains or diseases, and you are the healthiest person in your street, every body still needs a chance to heal from things we have eaten and that is why a juice detox is so effective and totally awesome dude!

Kirk and I started this juice/smoothie reboot to help us work out how to help minimise his back pain. We have been researching so much and learnt an enormous amount about juicing (along with the help of my friend Betty Rawker who is also juice detoxing as we speak!). Our focus has expanded a bit since we started.   We still want to aim for back pain relief, but we also want to be really healthy and give our systems a good cleaning out from all the rubbish we have eaten the last 30 years.

Initially we though we would do a 7-day reboot, but now we are aiming for something a bit higher…like 20 days and then we’ll go from there. This will give our bodies time to heal in the places that are really damaged. The experts say that you can stop your detox two days after your felt your last negative detox symptom. Who knows how long that will take! All I know is that for my birthday, I will be celebrating with a big glass of boutique juice!

What our fridge is looking more and more like - Image Credit

When we started, we knew we would experience headaches and fogginess for the first two days or so. What we didn’t expect were the aches and pains we are experiencing now, and other side effects we may experience down the track depending on how beat up our body systems are.

Negative detox symptoms include: aches and pains, pimples, back pain, bad breath, body odor, changes in sleep/increased dreaming, coated tongue, constipation or diarrhoea, dizziness, feeling cold, frequent urination, headache, intestinal discomfort, nausea, weakness. Sounds lovely doesn’t it! Are you sure you don’t want to join in on the juice fast with us?😉 Reading through all those symptoms doesn’t sound too good, but when you understand the reasons why some of these may be happening, you rejoice when these symptoms appear as you know your body is doing something amazeballs!

Headaches and brain fog – Kirk and I experienced this from the first day. All you want to do is sleep. Going from bright light to dark light is a bit of a pain. Your body has lots of toxins and by cutting out those processed foods,  caffeine, etc., it is trying to eliminate those toxins at a fast rate—faster than your body is used to dealing with. So, both the toxins that are trapped and the ones that are on their way out, traveling and dancing all through your body, trigger a headache.

Aches and pains – if you have some old injuries from the past or an illness, they will probably flair up now.  While fasting, your body is working at its very best healing level. It searches your insides for any dead or damaged tissue, and goes straight to work removing those damaged cells. This can cause some serious aches and pains as it can stimulate the nerves in the surrounding area. You can also experience stiffness as your muscles become tight and sore with all the toxicity going on in there. I have been really affected by this in my lower back, hips and legs from the second day of our detox. Kirk is in huge amounts of pain from his Ankylosing Spondylitis as there is a lot of healing needed in his spinal area. The positives in all this is that it is a normal part of the detox process, it will get better, and it is a sign that the body is healing itself.

Intestines – food gets majorly stuck in the grooves of your intestines. This food can stick to the sides and almost cement itself to your intestinal lining for  years. Gross! When you do a juice/smoothie fast, you are giving your body a chance to unstick this mess and let it pass through. There is so much bacteria in this fermented food that you really want to get that out.

Mucus – such a gross word. I can totally picture a huge booger when I read that word. Anyway, on and off throughout the detox, your lymphatic system gets rid of mucus through your nose or throat and you may think you have come down with a cold. The volume of mucus can supposedly be shocking. The sinuses go through periods of being clogged, then will totally clear. Once your body has gotten rid of it, you will be better than normal with clear nostrils, sinus issues gone and feeling great!

Organs – these poor things are trying to get rid of everything they have filtered over the years. Our liver has been keeping us alive by holding onto the junk and filter through the good stuff into our systems. Be careful about reusing the toxins that are being released into the system so make sure you exercise and drink lots of water. I have even heard that taking a really hot shower first, and then turning the shower to cold will help as the organs contract to protect themselves from the cold therefore sending lots of blood to those areas. This helps flush the toxins out of the body…but I am not too keen on trying this one yet. Maybe as a desperate measure. I am not too good with cold showers:)

So after discussing all this over our green juice this morning Kirk and I decided to go for a big walk to get these toxins out quick smart. Anything to avoid mucus.

56 thoughts on “Detoxing symptoms are a real PAIN!

  1. Gwenda says:

    Very impressive!! You guys are so committed to good health…and each other!! I’m looking forward to hearing how amazing well you both feel!! xx

  2. […] sure to check out this amazing post by Farmer K on The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly symptoms that come along with a successful body cleaning detox, […]

  3. Stevareno says:

    Thanks, I just started a juice fast and am in the foggy and headache stage. This is helping me stay motivated.

  4. says:

    Thanks for the motivation..;)

  5. Melanie says:

    Wonderful information! A dear friend of mine is experiencing terrible detox symptoms, as her eating a little more than as week prior to the juice fast was truly “SAD” (Standard American Diet).

    She is experiencing weakness, lethargy and brain fog to name a few. Although she initially thought the symptoms she is experiencing was a signal that something is wrong, I advised I was sure it was her body detoxing and ridding itself of years of food abuse and the toxicity and inflammation it caused.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences!

    • Uniqca V. Powell says:

      Let your friend know that she is not alone … Have been fully raw vegan for right at 5 months now, and I initially felt brain fog, dizziness, faint feelings, light headedness and more. Started the raw food way of life on October 8, 2013. Was a cooked food vegan for 15 years and 8 months prior to that. Here lately, I have been feeling a cramping feeling behind my right knee. It feels like it is embedded in some muscle tissues. This cramp alternatives between my calve musscle and behind my knee. I also had experienced heart palpitations. I too often feel weak and lethargic.

      Additionally, I have easy, random bruising on my legs, sometimes I am fatigue, then other times I have energy. Although I am not juice fasting, I am on what appears to be a continual detox. I have seen many benefits though. To name a few:

      1. The deep cough that I had when I started is gone.
      2. The repeated brain fog is gone (still feel light headed and unbalanced from time to time).
      3. The brown spot in my right eye is gone after less than 2 weeks.
      4. My heart palpitations have ceased.
      5. My resting pulse rate went from a range between 74 – 78 to 59 to 62 (yeah)!
      6. This gnawing upper back pain immediately ceased.
      7. Of course, I dropped close to 20 pounds and now wearing size 6 (yeah) … although this was not the reason that I went raw.
      8. Went from having a bowel moment every 3 days to having one daily. Sometimes I have a bowel movement twice in one day.
      9. This cold feeling ran across my left foot one night, then it manifested itself the next day as uric acid that settled into my foot for about one week. It was painful so I just wiggled my toes and foot … day, night and throughout the day and NOW … it is completely gone. That was an amazing detox experience to see.
      10. My hands had become scaly, dark and dry, and that is clearing up. My hands now feel smooth.

      My biggest hurdle is eating enough raw food to sustain my energy without feeling faint or light-headed. However, I have noticed that when I add avocado, raw cashews to my diet, I have more energy.

  6. Ree says:

    Thanks for posting this information about aching with a detox. I am on my third day and yesterday the aches began in my back, hips, legs, knees, feet. I’ll hold on, this is very telling, so I’ll listen to my body.

  7. toracullip says:

    Great to read why you get aches and pains in certain areas of your body, I am also getting pain in my lower back and my hamstrings are sooooo tight!

  8. Leslie says:

    I was wondering why I am so stiff and my lower back is so crazy stiff and sore! I am not even “fasting,” just really upping my juice and fruit/veggie intake (and took out most all meat, dairy, and eggs). Makes sense now!:) Thanks!

  9. Daphne says:

    I am doing an apple 3-day detox and thought i was having kidney failure- thank you! 12 hours to go and I am re-motivated!

    • How did you go Daphne? Well done on doing a detox! I couldn’t believe how much our bodies reacted to toxins. Kirk and I are doing a gut-healing program at the moment (GAPS) and the first few days is only bone broths and soups. We had detox symptoms again, similar to our juicing detox!

  10. MIKE says:

    So relieved to read this. I completely changed my nutrition about 22 days ago – quit smoking, doing the green juice every morning, and not putting one bit of toxic food into my body. Not doing a fast or cleanse, but eating only THE BEST foods.

    I am experiencing a ton of body aches and pain. Mostly back and chest. My eyes always feel itchy. My energy has not increased. My face is very swollen. My skin looks worse than it ever has. Lots of blackheads and blotchy tone. Sneezing a lot, and having a really hard time sleeping.

    Do you think these are symptoms of my body detoxing? I’m worried, because most people claim they feel “amazing” after just a week or two of juicing. I’m on day 22 and feel worse than when I started. I’m praying that this is a normal response to the drastic change.

    Let me know what you think!

    • Good on you for quitting smoking, green juicing and looking after yourself! Very inspiring! I am not a doctor or anything, but it definitely wouldn’t surprise me if these are detox symptoms…unless you have an allergy? Sometimes when you cut out certain foods, your body can show pretty hefty signs of an underlying allergy that has never reared up before – you body is just more “intune” now. Do you think that could be possible? I would also try epsom salt baths. The salts are high in magnesium and our bodies absorb magnesium best through the skin. Always helps me with a detox. You can try and have one a day if your detoxing is full on. Let me know how you go! Sounds like with the elimination of smoking and toxic foods, your body is very busy getting itself balanced. Well done!

  11. Thank you, thank you for this article! I had the great idea of detoxing for 3 days last week and I have been feeling like death on a cracker!! I just had chemotherapy a month and a half ago and I guess I just put my body through hell trying to get rid of the toxins. I was starting to get really concerned about he way I am feeling but after reading your article it makes me feel better it is just a side effect to the detox. THANKS!!! Maybe I just didi it too soon after chemo.

    • Detoxing is the worst…and I can’t imagine doing it on top of chemo! Hope you went okay. I found a REAL big help with detox symptoms is an epsom salts bath. I just put 1 cup of epsom salts into my bath and soak. Epsom salts are high in magnesium and your body absorbs magnesium the best through the skin. If I am feel crook, I have a bath with the salts and I feel SO much better!x

  12. Lyn says:

    Hi there. I have been making juice the past two days to prepare for a fast but I have been hesitant because of the side effects. I use public transportation and have long days away from home. I am very busy and worry when I start suddenly I will have the poopsies and not be anywhere near a bathroom. It seems counter productive to take say pepto bismol for the tummy if youre flushing everything out. Did you take anything to combat the symptoms or did you just white knuckle it?

    • Ah yes, that can be a little scary:) Both Kirk and I didn’t have any loo problems as we mixed the juicing up with smoothies too. I wouldn’t try to take anything, as you say, but just see how you go. Maybe try and begin at a time when you may be home for a couple of days – like a weekend? Hope it goes well!

  13. jp says:

    I’m in the second day too and experiencing major aches in shoulders, hips, hands, thighs, ugh everywhere. I’m wondering if I juiced something bad. Rhubarb?

    • Shanti says:

      Hi There,

      Rhubarb is not a good idea…read about rhubarb on Wikipedia…high in oxalic acid…

  14. Coralie Catto says:

    I have really noticed an increase in body odour, quite embarassing really, and also fatigue, stomach discomfort sore throat with mucus at the back of the throat. Quite horrible! I have done about 2 weeks now of green juicing and smoothies, but not fasting, just cutting out sugar and eating much healthier foods generally. Does this sound normal, or am I ill!

  15. Coralie Catto says:

    Also, I forgot to say that I am really constipated, seems odd!?

  16. sharon says:

    On day 13 of no sugar, caffeine, alcohol, animal products or gluten and still feel very sluggish with aches and big headaches every day. Should I be concerned or do you think this is my body still trying to work things out? Since so many have great energy and good feelings sooner, makes me nervous.

  17. B. Hunt says:

    I am so glad to have come across this site !!!! My Dr. informed me 3 weeks ago that I was on my last journey in life and it could only change if I finally quit a 40+ years of heavy smoking. Yep, I have COPD and blood work shows only 40% of oxygen in veins and 67% carbon dioxide. I had given up after 25 yrs. of dibiletating chronic pain. Then a good friend suggested juicing and I must say I felt a change right away, so I then quit smoking relizing I may have a chance. That was 3 weeks ago and boy do I have pain like I have never had and didn’t think possible. Thank you for sharing because now I know I can carry on. I am not on a full detox except 3 mean greens a day and very little dairy, meat, poultry and fish. I also do fruit drinks (juicing) and some supplements. Well, still taking diabetic meds so better hp to it. Good health to all and thanks for the uplift that I am not dying but regrouping.

  18. Odette winter says:

    Hey Katrina I would like to thank you for your article on detoxing my liver was starting to fail so I started detoxing myself after getting no answers from the doctor but other things started to happen which scared me then i found your article and it explained everything I needed to know this is my 5 day and I’m feeling the best I have in years despite what the doctors say I should be feeling so thankyou

  19. Becky McMillian says:

    This has been such a huge help. I’m on day 9 of juice fasting. I’ve experienced the headaches and now experiencing tight muscles and lower back aches. I’ve also noticed all the mucus in my body has pretty much gone away. Day 7 & 8 I also felt lower abdomen cramping, then soon after I pooped. Like everyone else has said, Everyone hears the positive side more than they do the negative. Thank you for sharing!

  20. Lisa says:

    Started a fruit/veggie/juice re-boot 5 days ago and feel great. No hunger, more energy. Only negative is that I am urinating every half hour or so. Is this normal?

    • Sonja says:

      Well I am urinating ALL the time now it is annoying but I read it was the toxic waist coming out of your body, aren’t you happy it is not vomiting or …. LOL !!

  21. […] sure to check out this amazing post by Farmer K on The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly symptoms that come along with a successful body cleaning detox, […]

  22. Theresa Parson says:

    Very inspiring; very encouraging! I, too, have been experiencing severe low back pain over the past couple of days. I’m on day 6. I had a feeling it was connected to juicing. Thanks for sharing so I didn’t feel like I was going crazy! :-) Cheers to good health!

  23. Lucy Coffin says:

    Thank you! This is really interesting and both inspiring and reassuring. I am just doing a liver detox, and thought after 10 days I was feeling pretty good so I decided to stick with the healthy easting but stop taking the herbal detox mixture. Turns out I now feel really really brain foggy and soooo tired. Maybe I will get back on them for a bit! Really appreciate you sharing your experience. x

  24. I was starting to wonder if my all juice diet “7lb in seven days” was harming my health, I was expecting headaches and foggiest, but not terrible pains in my legs, back, shoulders and lower back (kidney area) , I searched the web and found this site which helped me understand what is happening. I wake each morning to chronic leg & back pain. My body must be in serious healing mode…I thank you for your information and will continue to day 5. One last thing, my teeth and gums are terrible, is this normal? X

  25. tracy says:

    Thank you so much for this info I am on day 4 and day 3 the aches especially in the back of my thighs, lower back ache are so painful I was so worried but your ifo was so reassuring that this is normal. Did you have any tricks for the pain as I am trying hard not to succumb to paracetamol when on a detox

  26. Erin says:

    Thank you Katrina for such an inspiring blog post!! A few of my girlfriends and I have been wanting to do a juice/smoothie fast for a long time. We keep talking about it (and I keep researching it) and have never found the right lot of ‘true’ information to get us into kick start mode. I think you have done it for me:) I am about to forward on the link to your blog, because I feel my girlie’s should read this before we start. The info that you have given us here is exactly what I was after…real life, tell it like it is stuff. I can’t wait to reap the benefits of something I have known will do me the world of good, for a very long time. Bless x

  27. thank god i found this sight, I thought maybe this detoxing is not for every one, I do have past injuries in my lower back, been juicing for three weeks now, last week the headache falling asleep suddendly, it did not feel normal, this week my lower back has been in alot of pain, I am now understand what is going on, please keep informing us, i was ready to give up. i want to keep juicing, for my health, i want to be around for a long time for my grandkids… thank you, please reply…rosemary morales…08/18/2013

  28. Bethany says:

    Thanks for posting your detailed symptoms. I am on day 2 and WOW am I achey! I didn’t read to anticipate this symptom anywhere so I’m glad I stumbled across yours. I was beginning to think I was doing something wrong.

  29. Liz says:

    Im currently doing a 14 day programme and im on day 4, my back legs and hips are hurting its hard to get comfortable, my headache has gone now and I just think I have to continue because if I can feel this bad because of all the toxic crap coming out of my body I certainly don’t want to keep putting it back in, it makes me more determined although I currently feel YUK! At least I know Im not the only one

  30. Thank you for this post! We are currently on a juice fast to detox and are experiencing extreme low back, hip, and leg pain. I’ve done the Daniel’s Fast several times and have experienced the same pains but never to this extent! I felt like there was something that I wasn’t doing right! It is a great relief that it means I’m actually doing right! We are committed to getting our bodies straightened out and will be using the pHMiracle diet after we complete our juice detox.

  31. […] Another article that served as an interesting read comes from Farmer K’s Kitchen, where she does an excellent job of providing detailed descriptions of the exact pains her and her husband felt during their detox, […]

  32. Christine says:

    I have been detoxing and have found Molybdenum to be extremely helpful in alleviating die-off symptoms. I have the liquid and place a dropperful under my tongue twice daily and feel relief almost immediately. It’s worth looking up; it is useful with many types of cleanses.

  33. Randy says:

    days? Detox takes months even years, it’s on going but worth it! I created a website also explaining how detox works, it’s called

  34. Sheila says:

    Greetings fellow juicers.Well I’m at day 6 of my juice fast I also have lower backache and my calves are stiff and so sore.But other than having to pee every 20 minutes I feel great. I’m hoping to keep it up till I’m fully detoxed..Thank you to everyone for sharing their experiences it keeps me going!!!!!

  35. […] is well documented, and there’s a great article over at Farmer K’s Kitchen on detox symptoms, especially muscle pain, with a lot of anecdotal evidence in the comments sections too. I’m […]

  36. Pauly says:

    Ok so I probably have over done it! I decided to detox! Side note: Been on the Budwig FO/CC for about one year on a maintenance dose. FOCC cleared up my chronic eczema in FOUR short days!! Back to the detox, the last four weeks…Coffee enemas daily, infared sauna 3x weekly, Essiac tea (worked up to 5oz twice daily) water & lemon juice and eating vegan only. My body has the following symptoms:
    Body aches, joint pain, fatigue, sinus congestion, post nasal drip, headaches, backache (kidneys?)also feels like pressure in my back behind my rib cage, frequent urination, irratibilty, almost feels like flu symptoms. Im miserable!! Two nights ago I was awaken suddenly with severe liver/gallbladder pain. It felt like I passed a gallstone, intermittent pain lasted about 10 minutes, felt like crap the next day. No liver symptoms since the episode. I don’t know what dying feels like, but that’s what my hypochondriac mind tells me!! One more thing, I didn’t consume enough water, I think I got dehydrated? Can someone please shed some light to these multiple symptoms? 48 yo never detox’d before…

  37. Matt says:

    Thank you! I have the back pain now and am on day 4 of my juice fast – I was starting to get worried but you’ve put my kind at ease. Just hope it passes soon :S thanks again x

  38. Joanna Heatwole says:

    Thank you for your post! At least now I know I’m not dying even though I feel like I am!! I’m on day 5 with juice twice a day and a salad for dinner. I have never felt so horrible with headaches, major leg pain, brain fog (which I totally expected), it’s like having the flu but not. I’m determined to keep this up, pain and all. I just hope it ends soon. 😄

  39. […] experiencing is well documented; there’s a great article over at Farmer K’s Kitchen on detox symptoms, especially muscle pain, with tight hamstrings and lower back pain getting plenty of anecdotal […]

  40. Gina says:

    I found this while searching on “Why am I experiencing pain during a detox”. This isn’t the first time it’s happened. I do take Epsom salts bath almost daily and that helps, however the last couple of nights I have had so much lower back and leg pain I had to take an allieve. I really didn’t want to. Is there anything else to do, or should I just bear it.

  41. This is a great blog! Thank you. I am on day 7 of a 30 day raw trial and have been vegan for a while now. Was searching for a reason for my muscle aches and there you were ! so thank you x

  42. Sonja says:

    Hello There,

    This is my first ever juice fast ! And I feel great but the pains are starting to come around. My Sciatica is back ;0( and the pain and cramps on my legs are unreal !!! But I am going to do this I need to clear my body NOW !! I was giving 1 month to get rid of my blood pressure, and the stress that I have been thru lately is not helping any I need to do this for ME !! Going for the 14 day juice fast now wish me luck.


  43. julie crimmins says:

    Hi…im on day three of a detox, thought I would look up on internet to why I have got really achy legs and backache…you have answered my questions.
    Pleased im doing it right and it feels good to know my body is healing itself. I wont quit now..thanks. x

  44. I am the author of I get soreness right around each hip and buttocks muscle and lower back from time to time. I have been juicing daily for 9 months now and I had a large green juice yesterday with many herbs. Next day sore hips and lower back. Is this deep detoxing?? Why only in this area???Thank you so much!!

  45. ge.Tt says:

    Can I simply say what a relief to find somebody who
    really knows what they’re talking about on thee internet.
    You actually understand how too bring a proble to
    light and make it important. More people must read this and ubderstand this side of your story.

    I was surprisd tuat you are not more popular since you
    most certainly have the gift.

  46. Denise says:

    I’m on day 5 of my own version of detox – no coffee, no alcohol, no sugar, no wheat. I can’t believe how bad I feel – headache and such bad lower back pain – I wake up at 4am and can’t sleep with the pain. Thanks for all the letters – very comforting when you have no idea what’s happening to your body. x

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