The Culprit Behind Detox Fatigue

What is “detox fatigue?” How does it affect your ability to cleanse? Our friends at The Chalkboard Mag have some insight…

This post is part of an ongoing collaboration with The Chalkboard Mag. Images by FP Blog Intern, Emily.

Don’t let this one simple nutrition faux pas derail your detox efforts in the New Year. Here’s how to keep the dreaded “detox fatigue” at bay…

On a juice cleanse or other detox? We salute you! It takes a lot of self-love and self-discipline to go on a cleanse and it’s benefits can’t be denied. Integrative health & food therapy specialist Christine Dionese is revealing a key factor in the dreaded “detox fatigue” phenomenon. Follow along with her in-depth notes on pre-biotics and probiotics and how taking care of your digestive balance before a detox is crucial to getting all you can out of a cleanse! 

Is your gut microflora sabotaging your detox?

If you’ve started the year with detox plans in mind, you are no doubt ready to release, let go and attract the new. In your effort to invite the new, adding probiotics could not only help you reach your weight management and optimized metabolic goals, but also help diminish fatigue, improve GI issues and even regulate mood and stress.


The number of microbiota (tiny, micro-sized bacteria living in the gastrointestinal tract referred to as probiotics) in your body is larger in number than the bacterial cells of the entire body. These tiny bacteria are responsible for immune system development on all levels, our ability to absorb bioavailable nutrients from foods and nutraceuticals and defend against potential external pathogens like acute infection. Because they do this, they help keep our detox plans intact. Perhaps one of their most fascinating functions is the beneficial role they play in weight management and metabolism.

What you need to know pre-cleanse + understanding “leaky gut”

Without an ideal balance of these little guys, barrier dysfunction can occur resulting in intestinal permeability – you may have heard this referred to as leaky gut. If gut integrity is compromised prior to beginning a detox, (that is, intestinal permeability already exists) it’s not uncommon for metabolic waste and proteins that would otherwise be eliminated through the lower digestive system to escape into the bloodstream.

While a slight amount of fatigue throughout a detox program may occur as your gut microbiology realigns, a severe “crash” or “sudden” development of multi-systemic health concerns such as soreness, moodiness, depression and GI distress can occur when gut microbiology hasn’t been accounted for before beginning any program. When faced with these health concerns, it may cause you to pull the plug on your detox! Adding prebiotics and probiotics before beginning a cleanse is always ideal.


Detoxifying is about attracting total health . Your goal may be improved skin, weight management or less bloating but, by focusing your efforts on whole body wellness, you’ll get the most effective results possible on all these points.

If you have already begun a detox or cleanse, not to worry! You can add a probiotic into your routine as you go…

Food Sources of Prebiotics + Probiotics


Prebiotics are indigestible food ingredients that feed probiotics and are classified as soluble fiber.

Prebiotics Food Sources include:
– raw jerusalem artichoke (sunchoke)
– raw garlic
– raw dandelion greens
– cooked onions
– raw asparagus (suggest fermenting)

While you’ll absorb more prebiotics by consuming these foods raw, a light steam will only compromise pre-biotic contents marginally.

Prebiotics are available in supplement form as well, but consult your integrative health specialist to determine which will best suit your needs. Supplemental dosages: according to a study by the Journal of Nutrients, 135 g per day may be ideal. Always choose a non-GMO source.


Probiotics are alive and they’re hungry! They “eat” prebiotics.


Probiotics work together to:
 – improve insulin resistance and metabolism
– regulate mood and neurological function
– create a robust immunological response
– enhance overall GI wellness
– influence cardiovascular health

Probiotic food sources include:
– sauerkraut
– pickles
– dark chocolate


Looking for a brand to supplement with? I like Klaire Labs – they’re non-GMO and backed by science.

Supplemental dosages: Microbiological scientists and clinical practitioners like myself agree that a minimum of 10 billion viable cells per day should be achieved for optimal results. Dosage and strain will of course vary depending on your personal health concerns – again, your integrative health specialist can guide you. For the most personalized results I prefer to perform GI testing.

This post comes from The Chalkboard Mag. Check out their website and Instagram!

Check out another post on the BLDG 25 Blog from the Chalkboard Mag!


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