A 47-year-old UK woman almost died after trying a deadly detox trend.
In January of this year, a woman almost died after attempting a deadly detox trend. After doctors admitted her to intensive care, they discovered she had developed hyponatremia.
Hyponatremia occurs when an individual’s sodium levels drop too low in their blood. Usually, this occurs when someone has overdosed on fluids. However, this woman had not had excess fluids.
She disclosed that she had been undertaking a detox after the excesses of the festive period. The diet trend she chose had recommended a liquid detox concoction that included valerian root.
Doctors were then able to make a comparison to a similar case that had occurred in the US. There, a 48-year-old man had been trying to curb excess anxiety using valerian root. He too needed hospitalization after developing hyponatremia.
In both cases, the patients recovered after receiving sodium infusions.
However, if these people had not received medical attention, they could have died. Severe hyponatremia causes a person to become confused and delirious. Untreated, it leads to seizures, and in worse cases, death.
Alternative Remedies Unregulated and Deadly
It is a myth that all alternative remedies are harmless in comparison to pharmaceuticals. Generally, none are clinically trialed. Even if individual elements have been, many haven’t. Also, some combinations can be dangerous, and only safe when taken individually.
Valerian root is a very popular remedy recommended for insomnia, depression, and anxiety. But when taken recklessly, it leads to deadly hyponatremia.
Not only are many remedies potentially deadly, some are just outright scams and completely ineffective. You can rest assured, that every detox claim made by manufacturers is also, an outright scam.
Voice of Young Science contacted the manufacturers for 15 supposed “detox” products in 2009. They found that none of the manufacturers could explain how their product actually performed a “detox”.
Not only that, none could explain what toxins the products supposedly detoxed! They threw about a lot of scientific terms which they didn’t understand properly. Also, they showed no understanding of how the human body works, and many gave very dangerous advice!
The detox myth
Medical science has known for a very long time that the body does not need to use an external source to detox. The rare occasion where detoxing is necessary is for drug addiction. But a heroin addict, for example, would need to detox under strict medical care in order to do it safely.
For the rest of us, there is absolutely no benefit to following any so-called detox diet trend. Edzard Ernst of Exeter University is an emeritus professor. He specializes in understanding complementary medicine. Professor Ernst confirmed the dangers of detox diets from a scientific perspective.
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