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medication detox

bittbitt Raw Newbie

i curious if anyone has detoxed off medication after being on a raw diet for awhile. i tried going cold turkey on one of my meds and had some bad withdrawl symptoms. i am bad on it until i have a better plan. i take herbs and supplements too so I am willing to substitute. the main meds I want to be off first are my anti-inflammatories like aleve. then i want to get off my pill tht makes my sleep deeper. then i want to get off my one for nerve pain. not all at once of course but i just want to know what steps to take or who to consult. my naturopath tells me what to take but not what to get off and she has no idea what these drugs even do. oh and in the past i have taken chinese herbs and homeopathy for my nerve pain but it wasn’t strong enough.


  • If they cause strong withdrawal reactions, you need to quit them slowly. Lower the dosage and frequency gradually over many weeks, even months. Give your body time to adjust =)

  • Now, I can only tell you what I myself would do and probably most people including your doctor/naturopath will completely disagree with me!

    What I would want to know is exactly what my body felt like on raw food with NO medication at all, not even herbal supplements (which, despite being “natural”, are still drug substances and as such, best avoided if at all possible). Like you say, if you have no idea what the drugs are even doing then you don’t know how much they are helping you at all. Especially if you are on lots of different things, since nobody ever does any research into the synergistic effects of many different drugs taken simultaneously.

    Myself, as long as it wasn’t actually life-threatening for me not to take these things, would take at least 2 weeks off work, stay at home in bed, and just stop taking everything all at once – get it over with. Ideally I’d take longer than two weeks, but it’s not terribly realistic! After the withdrawal is over, I’d be starting to see how my body REALLY feels underneath all that stuff. Then I’d be getting an idea of the areas my body still needed some help, or whether it could actually get by free from relying on anything other than good nutrition.

    Obviously I don’t know what health problems you have or what meds you currently take, but since you sound like you are aiming to be free of them I personally wouldn’t see the point of dragging out the withdrawal process.

  • Hi Bitt, if you have been on the meds for a while, your body will need time to adjust, like saturina and ex-pat katie have said. You should definitely go slowly, and speak with your physician about it, he can even prescribe the meds in lower doses as you go. If he’s not receptive, find one who is. some of the medications can not only cause physical withdrawal but emotional as well, which can be just as bad. Pain medications, depending on if it’s opiod or not, are physically painful but some like meds like benzo’s can cause seizures if you quit them too quickly. Find a medical physician who works with alternative pain management.

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    yes, i do need to find a physican who is better at balancing this stuff. luckily, the herbs I am taking are for a finite time frame. they are for my re-activated mono.

    the one i have the most problem with is amitriptaline for my nerve pain. when i didn’t take it for 2 days I had severe headache and my back pain came back. Not to mention restless sleep and vivid dreams. So then I took it again and the side effects came back which is dry mouth. It is so dry that water does not quench my thirst. if I talk for a long time my throat is raw and I can’t talk. This afternoon I ate a lot of watermelon and it helped. perhaps I am not absorbing water as well as I do through fruits/veggies.

    I plan to detox this summer. i have only 2 more weeks of school so I can wait. I don’t want to have headaches and be grumpy these next few weeks.

  • Bitt~When your school is finished for the season, I hope you can wean yourself off the amyltriptaline as it is a mood elevator and I believe you can achive the same or better results with green smoothies and eating RAW… Dry mouth is just one of the mild side effects of that medication… I am NO doctor but know there is a better way and you deserve the best… If you wean off slowly, you will not have withdrawal… Good Luck :}

  • Hi Bitt- I recently started seeing a chirpractor. I didn’t realize what it really does for your body. There are many chiproactors out there but they’re not all the same. I used to go to a different one a while back but I didn’t feel great like I do now. After only 4 adjustments within a couple weeks I feel tons better! I only mention this to you because you have nerve pain. The whole perpose of chiropractic adjustments is to put your spine back where it belongs and the nerves coming from your central nervous system won’t have any interference. It’s definitely something to look into. Beats taking meds! The dr I have is so dedicated and has such a passion that I don’t want to ever have to go to anyone else. He’s awesome. One way to find out if they’re a good dr when calling is to ask a couple of questions. First, do they take x rays and second, do they do pediatric chiropractic. If they answer no to any of those questions. Then move on. It can be expensive but once you learn why it’s so important then money is the least of your worries.

  • Hi Bitt-

    I was on adderall for years before going raw. I only took it when I “needed” it (not daily like the doctor would inform), but being a student and a full time architect, these needs arose almost daily. In a few months time, I weaned myself down to only 2-3 mg per day on average from about 10 mg per day (some people take 30-60 per day or more, but above 40 is rare). Then in the month or so before going raw, when I was eating whole foods, I weaned myself down to none at all. I just ate energizing fruit when I needed a boost.

    Since going all raw, I haven’t used it at all. I guess what I want to stress is, set goals for amounts to take it less and less and then you will mean off. I didn’t go off adderall cold turkey – I couldn’t – my productivity would have gone down the toilet. I just read about the bad effects of it and realized that by taking it I was going to cheat myself in the long run. Knowledge forced me to bring down my dosage. Try coming down in increments. Going cold turkey and then slipping back and forth into drug use will take the same amount of time as taking your time and doing it incrementally – but the slower way will be a lot less stressful.

  • bitt – First of all, I disagree about herbs being avoided because they are drugs. They are plants, like the foods we eat are plants and affect our bodies in different ways. One of the things raw foodies seem to quote a lot is Hippocrates’s advice to let food be our medicine and medicine be our food. I think of herbs as food, just more concentrated when we take them in pill form than if we got them fresh, and of course some things can be “eaten” in larger amounts than others. :)

    Ginger is a great anti-inflammatory food/herb/supplement.

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    thanks for all your support an honesty. each medication i have chosen to take over the years has been a very difficult decision and i have always tried to do an herbal method first. most of my medications i have to take because of life-threatening or job-threatening reasons. basically, i couldn’t work/hold down a job without them. i have been lucky to find a pain patch that relieves my very severe pain without taking a systemic pill. luckily with raw diet i am down to only 1 aleve per day from 4 per day.

    my naturopath agrees that slow is the way to go. this winter i was in very severe pain and unfortunately that lead to add 2 medications. i am off one of them (which was not addictive), but the one that messes with my sleep rhythms is the one i am still on. it is making me have very frightening nightmares at times along with constipation and dry mouth. i see my rheumotologist on Thursday and i hope she can help me detox off of it. since i am so much better in terms of energy i hope she agrees with me.

    the other last medication i am on is for nerve pain but also for depression, which has been very severe for me in the past. i have been hospitalized twice and near-hospitalization a year ago. my mood tends to vary with a season so i have to be cautious about cutting back on it and then having the dark season creep back up on me. for the past 11 years i have only been able to be off of meds for 3 of those years. so i am very cautious about removing this med (as are those close to me).

    thanks for letting me vent about this. it has been very hard to put these chemicals into my body but because i care enough about those around me and selfishly want to be out of pain i put myself into this short-term fix. i am finally bold enough to be looking at the long-term solutions which include diet.

    and ducky85-yes i have seen a chiropractor, unfortunately it made me worse. although i believe in it for others and use it also for my neck, it just doesn’t seem to help my back. i am so glad it helps you.

  • bitt, i have to jump in to this convo because i know exactly what you’re going through. when i started transitioning to raw i was on celexa, trazadone, clonazepam and about 4-6 extra strength advil a day and was smoking marijuana to make myself comfortable enough to sit and watch tv. i have fibromyalgia, i’m not sure what you are struggling with, but i was going through a terrible flare up that pushed me to try first veganism, and then raw.

    i, like you, have gone off the easiest medications first….i take on average 5-7 advil a week now, and no longer take the trazadone or clonazepam (unless i really need it). the celexa is much more like the amitriptyline, which i was offered but refused due to a bad reaction in the past. i am starting to very very slowly reduce the celexa, as SSRI’s can be extremely uncomfortable to detox from and you should be quite aware of this. i tried the “two weeks at home” method to come off of paxil and thought i would go crazy.

    be careful, take it very slow, and don’t beat yourself up for still being on the medications. your body needs to heal itself and that takes time, especially for those of us who already have weak immune systems (does that recurring mono ever go away?).

    also, be very careful of eating typical SAD foods…you will find that the more raw you eat, the more pain you will have from eating something you would eat easily before. i’m ok with a light cooked vegan meal a few times a week but i had a bagel on saturday and the gluten had me on the couch immobile for a day and a half and still hobbling around today. that never would have happened before!

    best of luck! sorry for babbling on forever!

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    lalala thank you that means a lot. i was mis-diagnosed with fibromyalgia before the mono was diagnosed. i think many of my symptoms were similar. i read a whole book on fibromyalgia and related to a lot of it.

    i haven’t been eating any typical SAD foods. I can’t eat gluten…no way! I become violently ill. don’t worry i am doing ok on the diet. mostly i am craving fruit lately.

    thanks again.

  • MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie

    BIT - I do not know why you are taking anti-inflamatories but I understand what it is like to take those everyday. I took them for almost 12 years and the first 8 years I also had steroids injected into my spine every 3 months to help with inflammation. It is always better to be off medication, if you can, but when you are in pain due to inflammation it can be hard to give them up.

    I have rheumatory arthritis and ongoing problems with a serious back injury. My RA always expresses itself in my wrist and ankles. I have trouble just turning doorknobs sometimes. I recently discovered I ahve another illness that inflammation plays a significant role in.

    I started eating 30%+ raw in November 2007. Now I think I eat 90 – 905% raw. I stopped taking daily anti-inflammatories in early January. I had some relief after a brief Master Cleanse. I thought it would help me since I read numerous articles on cleansing and fasting to get rid of toxins and damaged tissues. It is suppose to be very helpful for people with arthritis. Since then, I estimate I have taken anti-inflammatories no more than 10 days although there were a few days I may have felt better if I took them but decided I wasn’t going to take them unless I had to. Everyday I think I feel better and I suspect it is because I am eating more raw, cleansing myself of previous medication via another Master Cleanse, and taking fewer drugs. Given all that, I could wake up tomorrow and be unable to get out of the bed due to my back condition and, if so, I will take anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers, and pain medication until I get back on track. The good thing, I need less of these drugs each time and fewer of them over the course of weeks and that can only be a good thing.

    If you taking neurotin, I understand from some people I know that their symptoms were very harsh when they didn’t take the medication. Of course, that doesn’t mean you would have that same experience. Also, you are eating raw so you would have something they did not – you are taking steps to actually improve your health rather than control the symptoms of ill health.

    Weaning yourselves off some drugs can have health complications and serious psychological effects. If you are wanting to get off your meds, the best thing I think you can do is come home, get on the internet, and do as much research as you can to learn about the drugs you are taking, how they effect your body, and try to find others who purblish their experiences to see what methods might work. That is how I ended up on a raw food forum.

  • Cayenne is also very anti-inflammatory.

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    thank you so much meditating. i met with my rhemotologist today and she was all for getting off the amitriptalyine. i told her all about the nightmares (twice I have woken up screaming), dry throat (she said she could tell it was dry from the way I talked) and constipation. so i am going to wean off by using 1/2 tab for a week then see how i am then potentially none at all. she said to ride out the heachaches by resting. so i have to plan some days at home where i can completely chill out. i do want to do a juice fast sometime soon. i am not sure if it would help me or not. usually juice makes me feel great though. any ideas about that?

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    i am off the amitriptaline (sp?) but having trouble getting to sleep and stay asleep. i am on an herbal remedy from my naturopath.

    my doctor for my other medication is own of town and left me high and dry with no meds or refills. so i may just have to cold turkey it on that one. ex-pat, rereading your post i totally know what you mean. i know what my body was like without meds years ago but not on a raw diet. but having been in extreme pain and in life-threatening suicidal place i just want to be cautious. i have been doing so well no need to go all the way back to zero because i rushed. i actually have found that pacing myself is the best for me. with going raw, i paced myself. with doing more and more exercise, i paced myself. so i think i have to take my time. i have a long break this summer and the sun is probably the best medicine i need.

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