Digestive pain plagued me and the toilet became my new best friend. Sharp pain filled my belly until I could only pray that going to the bathroom would make it subside. I called in sick to work one morning. I was in the bathroom in more pain than ever when my vision started to blur, my hearing became fuzzy and my face was cold. As I sat there, the upper half of my body started to sway and my vision went from blurred to black. I woke up when my head hit the bathtub.
Let me back up a couple weeks.
April 13, 2015 : “Today I ate completely raw til 4. I was eating literally all day, just grazing rather than sitting down to have a ‘meal’. I ate over 1,800 calories in fruit: bananas, grapes, dates, mango and my smoothie. I felt bloated most of the day and now I have a bit of a headache.”
That’s a journal entry from one of the early days of my transition to veganism. Before I started, I was mentally prepared to endure the effects of detox from eating a Standard American Diet and had an idea of what to expect.
Detox during my transition from the SAD diet to veganism began with bloating, a small headache and some acne. Nothing debilitating. I told myself, “Stay consistent and push through because the health and clarity on the other side would all be worth it.” I held tight to that throughout the entire month of my detox.
Two weeks into my detox and I was waking up after hitting my head on the tub. Headaches and bloating were the least of my problems.
There’s no doubt that passing out from the pain of detox scared me. More importantly, though, it motivated me even more to get these nasty toxins out of my body for good. After the month of detox that my body endured, I felt energized, happy and on my way to health.
Ridding your body of animal-product toxins is serious business and should not be taken lightly. Your body begins to cleanse your cells, forcing your digestive system and other major organs to flush the toxins out of your body. Symptoms can range from bloating and headaches to acne and digestive pain to fatigue and depression and they can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months.
Bloating and stomach pain, and digestive issues as a whole, plague the body as toxins are disturbed from their resting place and carried out of the body. Animal products have zero fiber while plant-based foods are packed with fiber, and this sudden influx can kick-start your digestive system to work at a level it’s never known before. This causes bloating, loose stool, stomach pain and frequent trips to the bathroom.
As all these toxins are racing through your body trying to find a way out, your face may be their exit route causing breakouts. As there become fewer animal-product toxins in your body, your skin will clear up.
Not only are you making a physical change to become vegan, you’re also affecting your emotions. Don’t discount that this is a radical change and your body may react emotionally. Feeling discouraged, fatigued or sad is not uncommon.
Your journey will likely be very different from mine as you endure your own combination of symptoms.
Are you going through a detox? Share your highs and lows in the comments.