About a week or two into implementing my detox and supplements plan, I was feeling amazing. Then I hit week three and I began to feel worse than before I started. I don’t know what happened. Perhaps I was getting too many methylated vitamins (I’ll talk about this in my next post). Or maybe all the junk was starting to stir in my body and cause symptoms. I started searching online for what I may be experiencing and found that I was not alone. The simple fact is that you might feel worse before you feel better.
When you start to detoxify, unfortunately, you’re going to feel like utter crap at some point. If you don’t, there’s a good chance you aren’t as polluted as you first imagined. These side effects can hit you right away, or they can take a couple of weeks as they did for me. My symptoms included headaches, brain fog, fatigue, extra mucous (I was blowing my nose constantly) and general grouchiness. I kept going. Another week later and I was feeling pretty good again. Granted, I’m still not at 100 per cent, but I feel like I’m getting there.
The title of this post came from one of my Pilates instructors. We often stumble or lose our balance in class and that has to happen to find the correct position. I compare that to getting your body right when you’re incorporating healthy changes. You may have several steps back before you move forward. You (or your doctor) may make mistakes in treating you. Hopefully that doesn’t happen and you are always careful about it, implementing supplement and dietary changes slowly and doing a lot of research before you attempt to treat yourself. That last statement is really important.
I’m learning very quickly that genetics is complicated. This blog is called MTHFR Living because that’s the mutation I’m aware of in my own life and I’ve chosen it as a focus because I know that it contributes to hypothyroidism, which has been a really significant health issue for me. It is also the “gateway” mutation/SNP – one of the most well known and the one that often introduces people to a study of their genes and epigenetics. Clean living is great for everyone and that’s my focus here on this website. But for many people there is a lot more going on in their bodies than just MTHFR. Jump on any of the genetics Facebook groups dealing with MTHFR and get ready to expand your vocabulary on Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs). The methylation cycle, for example, has significant SNPs besides just MTHFR. So depending on the composition of your particular DNA, you might need a completely different protocol than I do and than others with MTHFR do. Furthermore, your problematic SNPs could be activated by some kind of immune issues – viruses, bacteria, heavy metals, stress, etc. So there are a lot of things going on and I’m certainly not qualified to instruct you in the treatment of any of those.
If you can find a qualified professional to help you, by all means do so. It’s difficult for many people, however, because the medical specialists who are versed in these issues are few and far between. So many of us are investigating on our own, sharing information with others and getting through in this way. For countless numbers of us, it takes an unexplained illness or an inciting incident to even discover that something like MTHFR exists. I certainly didn’t investigate this stuff until I began trying to get pregnant. Suddenly I am plunged into a world where I am learning something new every day and where one health issue pokes into the next. So in this way, many of us did have to “lose it” to “find it.”
This post is meant to bring some words of encouragement. You will get better. You may stumble along the way. You will make discoveries that change you. You may get down about these from time to time but remember the silver lining: knowledge is power and just being aware of the health and environmental issues you face is a major step in the right direction. You will probably feel worse before you get better. You may feel like quitting when the side effects kick in but (assuming they are just detox symptoms and not those of overmethylation) you shouldn’t. You will conquer this.
When you are feeling unwell during detoxification, be sure to take it easy. Rest as much as you can and drink plenty of water. Remember to breathe. Incorporate dry brushing into your daily routine. And most importantly, be patient with yourself. Something I had to deal with was “forgiving myself” for not being on top of my health and for contributing to my own toxicity. Mental negativity is extremely detrimental to your health outcomes so let go of all that regret and blame that you might be feeling about your genetic mutations. Your journey begins now and everything else leading up to this time must be accepted and viewed neutrally. It will absolutely get easier and you should be proud of yourself for looking after your body and your life.
How did you lose it to find it?
Thank you for this article! I was feeling great the first few weeks of detox and now experiencing all of the symptoms listed above. I was getting discouraged. Good to know this is just part of the process.
Thank you for this post! I’m so glad you mentioned the forgiveness part! I’m feeling guilt and pondering the ‘oh my, I’m so much worse than I thought’ because of the detox and how crummy I feel today. This is something that I can’t really connect with others around me. So I thank you for your kind words of encouragement! It totally demands patience and perseverance along this road of health and well being.