Do 'cleanse' diets actually work?
Cleanse diets have been touted by their proponents as a great way to lose weight and remove toxins and excess waste from the colon. The diets typically involve drinking herbal teas or restricting one’s diet to a cocktail of lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. Cleanses have gained much popularity, with celebrities such as Beyonce Knowles and Gwyneth Paltrow giving their stamps of approval.
But do they really work, and are they good for you?
Most gastroenterologists say that cleanse diets are not only unnecessary because the body takes care of the digestive tract all on its own, but also that cleanse diets can actually be harmful.
Some methods of colon cleansing can increase risk of dehydration and can cause a spike in electrolytes that can be dangerous to those with kidney disease or heart disease, he continues.
In addition, cleanse diets may promote weight loss, but as they lack nutritional value and leave dieters with the inclination to binge afterward, they aren’t a safe or long-term weight loss method.
Contact your physician if you have concerns about your digestive system or weight loss, or if you’re experiencing the following symptoms, according to St. Vincent Health’s Gastroenterology in Indianapolis:
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Nausea or vomiting on a continuous basis
- Persistent intestinal gas
- Heartburn (reflux) on a daily basis that is not relieved with over-the-counter antacids
Instead of a cleanse diet, your physician can provide you with a safe alternative method to remedy your health concerns. Avoid common misconceptions about digestive health with this 5 Myths About Your Digestive System infographic, including cleanse diets, shriking stomaches and how coffee actually makes constipation worse, not better.