by Harry Hong, AP

In the past decades, our environment has become increasingly contaminated with toxic substances such as food additives, pesticides, medications, industrial chemicals and heavy metals. Our body is exposed to heavy loads of toxins and required to metabolize and eliminate them. In addition, our fast-paced lifestyle has stressed the body’s normal functions and pushed it beyond its natural capabilities of detoxification. Last but not least, excess sugar and overuse of antibiotics in humans and animals have caused yeast overgrowth in our digestive tract. This yeast is called Candida albicans and produces a secondary toxin called mycotoxin which is responsible for many inflammatory diseases.


Eating organic food and drinking purified water are no longer sufficient to help the body detoxify. We are being inadvertently exposed to toxins from inside and outside of our body, everywhere, throughout the day and night. Accumulation of the toxins can seriously weaken our immune system and trigger inflammatory response that causes non-specific symptoms. Low level toxicity can be very difficult to detect. Conventional medical testing often does not have an explanation. Some of the most apparent symptoms of toxicity include:

Fatigue, Headaches, Rashes, Joint aches, Ringing in the ear, Sinus congestion, Swollen glands, Hair loss, Hormonal imbalances, Difficulty concentrating, Mental fog, Depression, Anxiety, Dizziness, Restlessness, Irritability

Many healthcare practitioners have become aware of the damages that toxins, especially Candida albicans, can cause to the human body and use various methods to treat it. Natural detoxification herbs and foods are commonly available to assist in the detox and cleanse process. These natural supplements include dandelion, milk thistle, turmeric, garlic, green tea, cilantro, alfalfa, black walnut, wormwood, aloe vera, acai, etc. However, not everybody responds well to detoxification therapies, especially to intestinal cleansing. When the Candida cells are killed, mycotoxin is emitted and added to the body’s already toxic overload. This sudden increase shocks our detox organs. Thus, many people experience an increase of the symptoms, a condition called detox response. The detox response symptoms include the ones listed above as well as: Body aches, increased need for sleep, anger, hypoglycemia, insomnia, extreme weakness, frequent urination, soft stool, etc.

Many people eventually give up the detox program due to severe detox response. However, detox response can be successfully avoided if we understand the causes and the root issues for toxin accumulation in the first place. The human body is a powerful self-detoxification machine. The majority of detoxification and elimination is carried out by four systems: digestive and urinary systems—the main detox pathways; respiratory system and skin—the minor pathways. If these systems are not working well, especially if the liver function is compromised, the toxins will accumulate and cause problems.

The main reason for detox response is the malfunction and overload of the detox organs and systems, like the liver and kidneys. Digestive issues such as constipation or diarrhea, food allergy and sensitivities, often cause the blockage of toxin elimination and the recycling of the toxins through “leaky gut”, an increased permeability of intestinal lining due to the damage by pathogenic microbial and the body’s inability to heal itself. Kidney stress by dehydration or chronic urinary tract infection with Candida infection also blocks toxin elimination through the urinary system. Liver malfunction due to drinking alcohol, insufficient sleep, emotional stress and taking drugs or medications is also common cause for detox response. Without opening up the detox pathways, a sudden increase of antioxidants in diet or taking detox and cleansing supplements may result in “yeast dying off”, which releases toxins in digestive tract, leading to a “ping-pong” effect—toxins bouncing back and forth inside the body. High toxicity throughout the body leads to high inflammation and results in severe detox response. 

People with highly sensitive body easily develop detox response. A highly sensitive nervous system often causes chaotic communications on the cellular level, which results in hyperactive immune response, depleted cellular energy and blockage of detox function. Thus, a preparation stage before detoxification therapies is absolutely necessary to prevent detox response during detoxification programs and treatments.

First step of this preparation stage is to get the digestive function corrected. Preparing digestive function is the most important step towards a complete detoxification. Although this step doesn’t cleanse Candida, pathogenic bacteria or parasites, we improve digestive function by substituting unhealthy foods with healthy ones to lighten the workload of our digestive system. Commonly recognized unhealthy foods, such as refined sugar, dairy and wheat products, should be eliminated as much as possible, while fiber, complex carbohydrates and protein should be added. Identifying and eliminating allergic food are important, while food desensitization and a rotation diet also help to avoid immune response to everyday food and to re-achieve digestive function.

Adequate sleep is another vital factor in a detoxification program. A healthy adult needs eight hours of quality sleep to allow the body to detox and recharge energy. Sleep deficit is one of the main causes for modern people to accumulate toxins in the body. A busy working schedule makes the body produce more toxins while lack of sleep causes less detox. In the meantime, adding more time for relaxation and exercise during the day also helps the detox process.

Drinking lots of water during the detox program is also important. Dehydration stresses the kidneys. Many toxic products, such as heavy metals, mycotoxin and endotoxin rely on the kidney pathway to be eliminated. Meanwhile, liver is the organ that always needs to be supported during detox therapies. Avoiding alcohol and unnecessary medications helps to reduce liver’s toxin burden. Consulting with a healthcare professional specializing in detoxification to support liver, kidney and intestines with natural remedies can be the key to successfully prevent detox response during detoxification program.

Dr. Harry Hong is a licensed acupuncturist specializing in holistic healing for the highly sensitive person. He teaches highly sensitives to listen to their body and take charge of their own health. With his systematic IBMT protocol that includes Chinese medicine, modern homeopathy, energetic testing and allergy desensitization, Dr. Hong helps highly sensitive people gain back their immune strength and get their life back. He has offices in both South Florida and Chicago. Visit or email [email protected] See ad page 41