Know what to expect when juice fasting, to avoid unwanted surprises.
Whether you are on a short juice fast or on an extended juice fast, you may experience any of these symptoms:
- Hunger pangs: Hunger pangs are worst-felt during the first three days of a fast. An water enema can help to quickly reduce hunger pangs and get you into a fasting state, as it ends the digestion in the colon. Once you get through the first three days, you will be surprised that the hunger pangs just disappear and you can continue with a prolonged fast rather easily.
- Weakness: Your stamina takes a dip when you are fasting. The lack of energy also means that your body is not burning fuel to keep your body warm. During this time, it is normal to feel cold most of the time. Keep warm by wearing some warm under-garments. Sleepiness is also commonplace, so take your time to sleep in and rest.
- Bad breath and body odor: Bad breath is normal during fasting and body odor may also increase. But if the odor gets excessive, add alfalfa juice to your juice fast recipes. A white-coated tongue at the beginning of a fast contributes to bad breath, but is evidence of your body eliminating toxins from the body.
- Giddiness or nausea: You may experience some light-headedness or nausea in some cases because of the hunger pangs. During this period, a lie-in might help if you feel faint. Taking about 3000mg to 5000mg vitamin C will help detoxify some of the toxins for relief (don’t worry, you won’t get overdose on vitamin C). You can also drink a glass of carrot and capsicum juice with a little ginger, that will work wonders.
- Bloating: Fresh juices have a way of cleaning out the small intestines, reaching into every fold and “air pockets” and releasing old fecal matters. At the same time, turning inside out, the habitats of the bad bacteria/parasites. There’s a lot of activities going on with the microorganisms inside that’s releasing gas during this time of cleansing, which is why you may feel bloated. This bloatedness will subside over time, but drink LOTS of water with lemon juice in it, to help relieve the bloating.
- Bowel movement: Diarrhea is common during juice fasting as fruit juices have natural laxative effect. Elimination of mucus or dark stools is normal as these are elimination of toxins. Some people take enemas in the morning to help them ease the bowel. A properly administered colon hydrotherapy will also do much good when juice fasting for a prolonged period.
- Dark stool: There may be elimination of dark stool when you juice fast. Dark stool is really just “old fecal matter” that has been in your gastrointestinal tracts for a long time but had no way of being eliminated. When being purged, it is usually accompanied by a foul odor. Fresh juices has the ability to give your intestines and colon a good “scrub” and “loosening” the old hardened fecal matter to be expelled. So count it all good when you eliminate dark stools after drinking juices. As long as this happens temporarily when you start juicing and there is no blood in the stools, you’re good. Dark stools with blood are an entirely different situation which would require immediate medical attention.
- Aches and pains: Elimination of toxins can cause tightness in some parts of the body resulting in aches and pains. During a long fast, some people are temporarily freed from arthritis and other constant pains that they normally experience. Headaches or stomachaches may be withdrawal symptoms from salt, sugar or caffeine.
After about seven to ten days of fasting, many of these symptoms may subside altogether. However, continuing aches and pains in certain parts of your body may mean continuous elimination of fatty tissue is still going on. This is not harmful, but rejoice that your physical body is working well. But, if you experience severe pain or swelling, you should stop fasting. Then, at whichever point of your fast, take precaution to break your fast slowly.
Follow your instinct and listen to your body. Should you feel severe discomfort and feel that your body cannot take it, break your fast gently and safely. Act responsibly regarding your health when juice fasting.
The above are only some symptoms of a “healing crisis”. They’re inevitable and should be welcomed during a fast, as evidence that your body is doing a deep-cleansing work.
Read more about why you’re experiencing healing reactions, what to do about them and how to recognize them when they happen.