Is It Time for a Detox? 7 Signs to Look For

A good detox can help give your body a fresh start this January. Here are a few signs that it could be time for a detox…

The holidays can be stressful – not just mentally, but for our bodies as well. Stress, lack of sleep, and over-indulging in food and drink can overload our immune systems, leaving us feeling run down and unable to fight off infections as easily as usual. With New Year’s Resolutions looming large in many of our minds, it’s a great time to make a plan to eat healthier this year. Starting off with a detox may be helpful for ridding your body of excess toxins and breaking bad or addictive food habits to make eating healthy easier for the rest of the year.

Below are 7 signs that it may be time for a detox, according to functional medicine doctor, William Cole:

1. You crave sugar often.

Insatiable cravings are a huge sign that something is off. A diet filled with processed foods can put your blood sugar and leptin hormones on a roller-coaster ride leaving you begging for more junk. Doing a detox and focusing on whole, clean food sources will get those hormones back on track by providing your body with the nutrients that are currently lacking.

2. You have digestive distress.

This is one of the most obvious signs that you need a complete diet overhaul, and a detox can do just that. Constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and gas are not only uncomfortable; they’re the last things that should be happening if everything is functioning the way it should be. Hit the reset button with a detox and give your gut a break!

3. “Seasonal” allergies are a regular occurrence.

If you have a weak gut microbiome, you’ll also have a weak immune system. And since your sinuses are just an extension of your digestive system, it makes sense that gut health and chronic allergies would go hand in hand.

4. You eat healthy but don’t feel healthy.

Maintaining a clean diet doesn’t mean you never need to detox; even the healthiest foods can aggravate and flare a person up. Eliminating certain foods for a period of time can give your gut and the rest of your body a break. Detoxing can also fuel your body with powerful superfoods that can help eliminate harmful toxins that build up over time and contribute to health problems.

5. You feel foggy.

If you lack the ability to focus or struggle to remember various details on a regular basis, you’re dealing with brain fog. When your body can’t eliminate toxins fast enough, they build up in your body and increase inflammation. Too much inflammation damages your protective blood-brain barrier and leads to “leaky brain syndrome.” A detox can start to flush out toxins to relieve the inflammatory oxidative stress in the hypothalamus of the brain so you can finally start thinking more clearly.

6. You are struggling with your weight.

I always tell my patients, “We need to get healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy.” Your microbiome is a vast collection of all different strains of bacteria, and without the proper balance of good bacteria, bad bacteria starts to take over, and this leads to big problems like inflammation and a slowed metabolism. Take a time-out and start healing your gut.

7. You get cold sores.

Painful cold sores are something that 90 percent of us have had to deal with at least once in our lives, and about 40 percent of people have recurring flare-ups. This is due to the herpes simplex virus HSV-1—not to be confused with the HSV-2 strain that is most associated with the STD genital herpes! Most of the time the virus is dormant in your body, just waiting for an opportunity to strike. When your immune system is weak due to factors like toxins and inflammation, the virus is more likely to activate. So, if you are consistently battling these pesky sores, it’s time to boost up your immune system with a detox.

Find more signs that it’s time for a detox at



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