The Quick and Easy Guide to Improving Your Health on the Body Ecology Program Part VI: Why You Might Feel Bad (At First) When You Start to Eat Healthy

Congratulations, you’ve given up processed foods, added fermented foods and drinks and started your healthy Body Ecology program.

So why don’t you feel 100% great?

You’re not alone. Many people experience mild to severe discomfort when they begin to make healthier lifestyle choices.

What’s important is that you learn to recognize these symptoms as evidence that your body has essentially begun to “clean house”.

You’re following the Body Ecology Diet, and eating healthier than ever, but you feel awful? Don’t worry! This is a good sign that your body is flushing out toxins and getting well. Find out here why you need to hang in there, and what you can do to relieve your symptoms.

Cleansing is a natural force that drives the impurities from your body created by a poor diet, the environment, and your emotional life. Cleansing is essential to your well-being, vitality and longevity.

There is even a name for the uncomfortable “illness” symptoms that show up during cleansing: the Herxheimer reaction! The Herxheimer Reaction – Feeling Worse Before Feeling Better

The phenomenon, also called a healing crisis or die off, was first described over a hundred years ago by Adolf Jarisch, and a few years later by Karl Herxheimer.

They were two doctors treating syphilitic lesions on the skin of their patients, and they noticed that in response to treatment, many patients’ illness symptoms intensified before improving.

In fact, they found that those patients whose uncomfortable reactions to treatment were the strongest, healed the fastest, and best.

Today, it is well recognized in medical circles that the release of toxins from dying pathogens in the body causes illness symptoms that are in fact a sign of effective treatment.2

Any time you make a radical change to your lifestyle and eating habits, or when you withdraw from addictions, your body needs to cleanse out toxins, or “detox”.

Body Ecology Detoxifies Your Body

Pathogenic yeast and bacteria normally present in on our inner and outer body surfaces love high-sugar, acid-forming, low mineral foods – it’s what helps them thrive!

So when you eat processed foods, take antibiotics, or change your blood chemistry with birth control pills or other drugs, you create a perfect environment for fungus/yeast and other pathogenic organisms to take control, and burrow even deeper into your body’s cells, tissues or muscles.

The Body Ecology Diet works because it starves the unfriendly yeast and pathogenic bacteria in your system, and populates your gut with friendly microflora (beneficial bacteria and yeast) instead.

Unable to survive, the pathogenic organisms begin to die, which creates the need for your body to get rid of them.

As dead yeast and bacteria begin to exit through normal channels in your body, they sometimes release toxins faster than your body is able to handle.

This die-off can create symptoms such as:

  • Acne
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Skin rashes and itchy skin
  • Muscle and joint aches and pains
  • Vaginal discharge and itching
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Swollen glands
  • Nausea
  • Constipation, bloating, or diarrhea
  • Low grade fever
  • Depression

The greater the die-off of pathogens, the more uncomfortable you may be, and the more symptoms you might have.

Stay the Course!

It’s extremely important to remain strictly on the Body Ecology program during this time of detoxificaiton, and to give yourself the maximum opportunity to heal. Don’t get discouraged when you find yourself as sick, if not sicker than before. In fact, you might even notice that you feel better in some ways, even while experiencing die-off.

The good news is, when the healing period ends, you will definitely feel stronger and better than ever!

Give your body time. It could take as little as a few days, or as long as a few months depending on the level of toxicity in your body.

In the meantime, here are some things that you can do to help your progress through die-off:

Assist your body as it cleanses with professional colonics and home enemas Be sure to read: Powerful Tips to Improve Your Digestive System’s Health: From a Conversation with Nancy Spahr, CBE and Colon Therapist

Often, when your body starts to cleanse, your bowels stop moving and just at the time you need them to eliminate efficiently, they don’t. For the short term…while you are cleansing…gentle colon cleansing herbs can help encourage your colon to release again. However, you never want to become dependent on laxatives.

  • Don’t overeat. In fact, eat less but drink more fluids. Over eating diverts energy away for digestion.
  • Eat all alkaline meals, especially during the first three days on the diet.
  • Eat warming foods like miso soup.
  • Drink plenty of water and warm, healing teas
  • Get plenty of rest and be kind to yourself. Allow your body’s natural healing to take time.
  • Avoid stress.
  • Find someone to talk to and be sure to stick to this important advice to stick to your goals.

It’s important for you to know that fermented foods and drinks can cause some uncomfortable digestive symptoms before your body is used to them.

While cultured vegetables and probiotic liquids are excellent for your healing process, you may need to start with smaller quantities at first. For more information on this, read: Is It Possible to Get Too Much Fermented Food in Your Diet?

If your symptoms are so severe that you’ve tried every recommendation and still cannot function, you might need to consider backing off and taking a slower, step-by-step approach to healing.

Try These Natural Symptom Relievers to Help You Hang in There!

  • Part of your healthy cleansing process is healthy elimination. If you are constipated, colon cleansing can help, and another very important tool is Body Ecology’s LivAmend. We created LivAmend to stimulate your liver and gall bladder to release more bile and therefore release more toxins. This aids in cleansing and elimination.

    Experiencing die-off? To support healthy gall bladder and liver functioning and to promote healthy elimination, try LivAmend today.

  • Another great option is digestive enzymes. Assist Digestive Enzymes and Assist Dairy and Protein Digestive Enzymes are the best digestive enzymes for helping your break down and assimilate your foods, so that you can avoid symptoms like fatigue after eating, gas and bloating.

No Pain, No Gain?

At Body Ecology, we honor the wisdom of Mother Nature.

And just like Mother Nature always strives for homeostasis, or balance, our bodies follow suit. When we honor these natural forces, whether sunny or stormy, we can learn to be in harmony with life.

It’s no different with healing.

The next time you experience a cleanse, welcome it as part of your body’s natural healing process. Trust that as you stay the course, you’ll experience the rewards of great health!


  1. The Herxheimer Reaction – Feeling Worse Before Feeling Betterhttp://www.silver-colloids.com/Pubs/herxheimer.html
  2. Observations of Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction in Sarcoidosis Patients http://www.joimr.org/phorum/read.php?f=2&i=51&t=51?
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