2. Some Unpleasant Symptoms And Their Causes
Suppose you have made the decision to change your diet and improve your health. You understand how the body heals itself and you are more aware of its needs. Yet, you may not have complete faith in your body.
A splitting headache, chills, nausea, a dripping nose, increased body odor, reappearance of old aches and pains, rashes, boils, drastic weight loss—all the symptoms that can shake the faith of the most sincere health seeker.
Without proper understanding or support, you could panic at these symptoms and believe your new diet or way of life is the cause of them. You might revert to your old unhealthy practices because you became afraid.
Thousands of people have experienced the same sort of problems as they improved their health. Books about fasting and dietary changes should be read so that you may feel reassured. Case histories, such as the one below, may help you understand these changes.
2.1 A Case History
Larry was a college junior and had become a vegetarian after graduating from high school. He had tried to improve his diet, but college life put him under stress and so he started drinking coffee in the evening to stay awake and study. After staying up late, he felt tense so he started smoking marijuana for relaxation and to get to sleep.
He also had little time to prepare lunch, so he got in the habit of eating a quart of fruit flavored yogurt for lunch every day.
When the summer came, Larry decided to kick his coffee and marijuana habits. The hot weather was also making him feel uncomfortable eating dairy products, so he gave up his daily yogurt. He had been suffering from sore throats and nasal congestion, and he changed over to a diet of raw fruits and vegetables to allow his body to cleanse itself.
The first day of his new diet Larry felt pretty good. He had distilled water for breakfast instead of the usual two cups of coffee and ate fresh fruits for lunch. He had a salad for supper and went to bed early to get plenty of rest. The next morning he woke up feeling miserable. He had a sharp headache that raced up his neck behind his ears. He could hardly breathe. His sinuses were clogged shut. He felt worse than he had in weeks.
The headache stayed all day and into the next day. Now he noticed he had developed a hacking cough that convulsed him. He started spitting up hardened balls of mucus from this lungs.
The third day his nose was continually draining. As fast as he could blow it, his nose would clog back up. All the time, his headache had never left him, even when he tried to sleep.
By the fourth day, the headache had subsided a little.
His cough had worsened, however, and now pieces of hardened gray material were being expelled from his lungs.
"I can't stand it!" he thought, "Why am I feeling so miserable as soon as I gave up my bad habits?"
Why indeed? First, Larry's headache is a symptom of caffeine withdrawal. Coffee, tea, cola drinks, and other caffeine-containing substances are addictive poisons. When a person drops his caffeine habit, changes occur in the vascular and nervous systems. These changes occur as the body tries to renormalize itself and eliminate the poisons. Headaches often accompany caffeine withdrawal, and some people who give up their coffee habit may experience edginess and irritability for a few days.
Larry's clogged nose and sinuses were related to the consumption of dairy products. Mucus buildup occurs when milk is consumed. After such foods are eliminated, sinus drainage may occur for two weeks or more. The elimination of old mucus is a healthy sign for such deposits may become the breeding places for many diseases.
The coughing and spitting of hardened phlegm resulted from the cleansing of the lungs of the tar deposits which had been caused by smoking. Smokers lungs are often crusted black with tar and chemical deposits. When smoking is stopped, the lungs try to cleanse themselves and the old deposits are expelled by coughing. This is why a cough should never be suppressed. Coughing is one method that the body has of expelling toxic wastes from the system.
After about two weeks, Larry started to feel better than ever. He had plenty of energy without his coffee. His nose, throat, and lungs felt so much cleaner that he had no desire to smoke or eat dairy products. He had suffered for awhile, but now he was reaping the rewards of improved health.
2.2 Some of the Toxins in Your Body
Everybody is a walking time bomb. Each person carries within him the seeds for disease and illness. These seeds are the environmental and dietary toxins that may be stored within the body and which may spring full force into a debilitating disease.
What are some of these toxins, and where do they come from? How can we get rid of them? What symptoms can we expect when they start to leave the body?
2.3 Drug Toxins
Surprisingly enough, one of the largest sources of body toxins is the drugs people take to fight disease (or so they think). Medicinal drugs are very strong—they have to be to overcome the body's natural defense system.
When such drugs are taken, they must either be eliminated from the body or stored within it for later elimination.
As a person's health improves and all such medicines and drugs are discontinued, the old toxins may enter the bloodstream for elimination. The circulation of these old drug toxins in the system may produce bewildering symptoms that could alarm the health seeker.
For example, an elderly man had been taking a form of digitalis (a heart stimulant) for several years. He discontinued the drug as he improved his health through exercise.
After a few days off the drug, he experienced erratic heart beats, a racing pulse and chest pains. He was frightened and wondered if he should take his old drug again.
He was reassured that these symptoms were due to his body trying to renormalize itself and eliminate the old toxins from the heart drug. Sure enough, after a few days his heartbeat became steady and regular as the drug toxins were finally eliminated.
Every drug used, whether legal or illegal, leaves its mark upon the body. As the body regains health, the drug deposits are put into circulation for elimination. Since a combination of past drug deposits may enter the Bloodstream at once disconcerting symptoms may arise. Drug detoxification can be a lengthy process, but it will be aided by fasting and a diet high in fresh fruits.
Be forewarned: Old drugs that were taken even many years ago may reappear in the bloodstream as they leave fatty tissues and the organs. Drug toxin elimination may express itself in a series of rashes as they leave the body through the skin.
2.4 Caffeine and Nicotine
Heavy smokers or coffee drinkers may experience similar symptoms when they withdraw from their drug. Nervous irritability and emotional outbreaks are common symptoms of these drug addicts when they are detoxifying.
Nicotine and caffeine damage the nervous system and upset the vascular system, so symptoms such as headaches, edginess, and extreme lassitude may be expected. Such symptoms from these drugs usually lessen after three to ten days.
2.5 Salt and Other Condiments
Once salt use is stopped and the health improves, old salt deposits in the body exit through the skin and kidneys. Sometimes the elimination is so intense that a person may have a continual salty taste in the mouth for days. The skin may become crusted with salt or it may smell of the particular condiment that is being eliminated (such as onions, peppers, or vinegar).
In Mexico, corpses have been found in the desert that were untouched by buzzards and hyenas. The reason? The people had eaten such large quantities of hot peppers all their lives that their skins were actually too spicy for the scavengers to eat. Condiments can never be used by the body, and so they must either be stored or eliminated when the health is improved.
Salt elimination may also cause a temporary rise in blood pressure. People who go on salt-free diets may actually experience a slight increase in their blood pressure as the heavy elimination of salt begins. Later the blood pressure renormalizes itself and eventually becomes below the norm on a salt-free diet.
2.6 White Sugar Withdrawal
Eliminating sugar from the diet may make a person feel slightly nervous and hyperactive until the energy levels adjust to a sugar-free diet.
Mood changes, however, are usually more noticeable than any physical symptoms when sugar is eliminated. Reformed sugar addicts may feel periods of unaccountable depression as their blood sugar level tries to right itself. Getting off the sugar roller coaster, with its rapid rises and falls in blood sugar levels, is easier when a diet high in raw foods is followed. Such a diet renormalizes blood sugar levels and promotes tranquility of emotions.
2.7 Heavy Metal Elimination
Almost every person is poisoned by deposits of heavy metals in the body. Lead, aluminum, copper and arsenic collect in organs throughout the body. Because of their heavy weight, they are difficult to eliminate, and may cause discomfort as they leave the body.
Lead enters the body through auto exhaust, paints and canned foods. Aluminum may come from preparing or storing food in aluminum containers. Arsenic is present on sprayed foods, and so on.
Since these metals are heavy, they, tend to remain in the body until a cleansing diet or fast is followed. As these metals come out, headaches and a general achiness all through the body may occur. The gums may hurt and the kidneys may throb as these metals leave the organs and bones.
Occasionally, you can actually taste the metal that is being eliminated. Lead, especially often leaves a metallic taste on the tongue when it is leaving the body.
Heavy-metal poisoning can make you feel uncomfortable all over, and it is very common due to all the environmental toxins. As you eliminate these metals, bear the uncomfortable body aches and realize that they are leaving your body forever.
2.8 Meat-Eating and the Acid Body Condition
Meat-eating creates an acid condition in the body. When meat is eliminated, the body tries to reestablish its naturally-healthy, alkaline condition. As the acid condition of the body changes to one of alkalinity, symptoms may arise that may confuse the new vegetarian.
A sour, disagreeable odor may emit from the body as the acids leave or are neutralized. Hair may fall out and the breath may turn foul. Urine may be very dark and a sharp, bitter taste may be in the mouth.
Weakness of the arms and legs may occur. Many people contuse this weakness for protein deficiency. Instead, the weakness has resulted from a consumption of too much acid-forming protein in the past. The body's energies are directed toward neutralizing these old toxins and so you may feel weak for a temporary period. Once the toxins are taken care of and an alkaline condition is reestablished, then strength returns to the limbs.
The discomfort of an over-acid body caused by meat-eating can be quickly overcome by a high-alkaline diet, such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
2.9 Specific Symptoms
Most people who change their diet and improve their health may experience one or more of the symptoms described below. Depending upon your past health, these symptoms may be mild or intense, short-term or long-term, temporary or recurrent.
As you improve your health, however, and stay on an optimum diet, all symptoms will gradually disappear.
Under no circumstances should these symptoms be halted by drugs.
Relief from some of these symptoms may come through fasting and rest primarily.
Moderate exercise is also beneficial, if your strength allows. Sleep and freedom from stress is vital.
Sunshine and fresh air will also aid in detoxification.
A headache is the body's chief warning signal of body toxicity. The toxic load in the body has increased so fast that poisons are circulating in the bloodstream and cause irritation to the brain and nerves.
Aspirin should never be taken for a headache. For some relief, lay down and rest with a cool, damp cloth across the eyes and forehead. Fasting may also help. Have someone massage the neck and temple. Avoid all stress at this time.
2.11 Upset Stomach and Diarrhea
When food is not being digested properly or is passing right through your body, then it is time to stop all food intake. This is your body's way of telling you it doesn't require any nourishment at this time, but instead is busy cleaning.
Careful food combinations and avoiding heavy foods are advised.
Diarrhea should not be halted by medicines. Rest and abstinence from food are your best resorts.
A new diet may occasion temporary constipation. Brisk walking of at least one mile a day will help end this problem.
Eating foods naturally high in water and fiber will eventually remedy this condition. If little food is eaten, drink distilled water whenever thirsty.
On a diet of fruits and vegetables, constipation disappears, never to return.
2.13 Weight Loss
Weight loss is entirely normal when the diet is improved. Some individuals become alarmed when their weight falls rapidly. In most cases, this is not a cause for alarm.
From five to fifteen pounds of water weight alone may be lost when salt is completely eliminated from the diet. In some individuals, five to twenty pounds of old fecal matter may be eliminated from the colon. All of this is useless weight, and you should say, "Good riddance!"
The body will also try to eliminate all diseased tissue in an effort to rebuild a healthy body. It will try to strip itself down to the bare foundations and then begin to add on only healthy tissue.
Weight loss may occur for six months to a year. Exercises for muscle growth, such as weight lifting and swimming, will help rebuild the body with lean, muscular tissue. Be sure that your diet includes sufficient amounts of sweet fruits that are high in calories to balance out the low-calorie salads.
Usually, you can expect to weigh about twenty pounds less after you renormalize your body from the typical high-meat and fat diet of most Americans.
2.14 In General
Almost all the symptoms experienced during a dietary change are due to the body's efforts to detoxify itself as rapidly as possible!
You can help in this process by fasting and getting plenty of rest. Be sure you get all the sleep you want and try to avoid stressful situations. During detoxification, you need as much peace and privacy as possible.
Never halt any symptom with medication. It will only reappear later in greater intensity.
Above all else, cultivate a positive attitude about what you are doing. Do not feel like you are punishing yourself or that you are making any great sacrifices. You are recovering your health, and that is the greatest reward that can be expected.
Realize that your sincere efforts will give you health beyond your expectations. Do not dwell upon your temporary discomforts. Instead, indulge in positive activity, such as exercise, gardening or helping others.
All symptoms will pass in time. The pain today will be a memory tomorrow. The discomforts you endure now mean an absence of suffering, later. You are healing yourself with your courage and wisdom. You have much to be thankful for.
Home > Lesson 21 - Symptoms During Dietary Transition
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