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Is this supposed to happen?!

Hi raw friends,

I'm not typically a moaner and I'm really pleased to have found the raw lifestyle and want to stick with it 100%, But I am having some terrible problems and I was wondering if this is classed as normal, or if any of you have experienced any of these whilst going through detox (this is my 17th day being round about 95% raw).

I'm suffering with:

TERRIBLE skin which is itchy and dry with bleeding spots. Not just on my face either. All over! I have spots on my bum!

SEVERE bleeding gums with bad breathe. Last night my mouth was throbbing in pain!

COURSE dry hair which is itching me like crazy!

PAINFUL constipation (not going for 4 days in a row)which was relieved yesterday by a natural laxative but this is not something I want to continue with obviously. Someone recommended oxy powder for constipation so I may try that. Anyone else tried it? To be honest, before going raw I went to the toilet at least twice a day.

SORE bloodshot eyes which are really dry and are not watering often at all!

SHORT sharp temper which is driving my family nuts!

Now, I'm not expecting miracles with raw, neither am I doing this to lose weight (although that is always a bonus!) but I honestly wasn't expecting to feel this bad and it is worrying me.

The annoying thing is, I'm enjoying eating naturally and considering I was a junk food queen who ate meat, I am not having cravings for sweet food and find the whole process very easy to adapt to.

I've looked on here for answers but it doesn't seem many people are experiencing these symptoms and so I wanted to bring it to light and hopefully get some advice!

Here is a sample of my daily menu if this helps: (This is pretty much the same every day).

Breakfast: Banana, blueberry and strawberry smoothie

Snack: Grapes or plum

Lunch: Salad with kos or romaine lettuce, spring onions(green onions), tomatoes, cucumber, sweetcorn, red onion, red pepper, celery, garlic and topped with sauce of pureed sun dried tomatoes, tomato, olive oil and garlic

Snack: carrots or celery with organic (cooked) hummus - this is the only thing I eat cooked, hence why I said I'm 95%.

Dinner: Same salad as lunch

Snack - a few strawberries, sometimes small handful of organic walnuts.

Now to me, this seems pretty good and I'm not eating any of the typical transitioning foods but my body is reacting terribly. The constipation worries me most as the toxins are not being removed efficiently.

I know it's only day 17, so maybe you feel I should have patience..?

Thank you kindly!

Carly x


  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    Yes, everything you mentioned is detox.

    You have two choices really...to really go for it and get through the detox as quickly as possible. To do this go 100% and do things like body brushing, yoga, excercise, massage and increasing GREENS to help eliminate toxins.

    Body brushing, yoga and massage will really help your symptoms. Toxins are stored in body tissues and they are eliminated thought your lymphatic system which relies on body movement for it's flow, not your heartbeat.

    Anything you can do to increase your lymph flow will help speed this process up.

    Or, If it is too much for you then you can always reduce your percentage of raw, and rethink your approach. Perhaps increasing your intake of raw more slowly. This will make the detox longer, slower and less intense.

    You're on Day 17, and it is pretty normal for this to happen. Usually the worst is over after 1 month.

    Looking at what you eat I would recommend much, much more greens. They are crucial for detox and feeling good on raw. Have green smoothies, green salads, cucumber and celery juice, really get greens in however and as much as you can. It will help you out enourmously.

    Keep going, you're doing great, think how amazing you are going to feel at the other end. Seriously the first 2-3 months is the hardest, it is much, much easer from then.

  • That's a good diet plan and Zoe's pretty much covered some sound advice about detox. It's really important to drink lots of water too and maybe try green juices too if it's not cold where you are. You could try adding some gourmet food as your diet is quite pure and cleansing. Best Wishes.

    Itchy skin is often a sign of acidity which comes into the blood when detoxing. Keep the diet more alkalising with plenty of green veggies and alkaline fruits/veg.


  • Thanks Zoe and Anabrese! Aww I feel so much better now. I keep telling myself it is detox but my husband and son were really worried. As was I to be honest as I've always had clear skin and now I'm covered in acne! They think I look like death! LOL. My son said this can't be good for you mum, you look like a monster!

    I'm still puzzled as to the bleeding gums though. I smoked before raw and never once got bleeding gums and now they are pouring!

    So I guess everyone gets detox in varying ways. I just happen to have a LOT of toxins to get rid of which I think I'll do a little slower now.

    I'm going to the gym Monday and will do it 3 times a week as well as yoga at home. I'm also going to include an extra 2 green smoothies into my diet and maybe have some raw chocolate and desserts too.

    I'm so happy I found this form, it has literally changed my life!


  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    re-bleeding gums, you know your mouth changes so, so much when you go raw. There are some stats about how many new taste buds are activated when you go raw, I can't remember the facts but it is quit a lot. After I had been 100% for a few months and I cheated with cooked food, I got blisters all in my mouth! And also at different point in my own detox I got this weird burning whenever I ate or dank anything, which was always my prompt to fast for a while till it went away. I know my mouth has changed completely. It doesn't surprise me that your gums are bleeding. See how it goes and if it doesn't clear up go and see a dental hygenist, just in case it is something else and not detox, but I think it probably is.

  • 1sweetpea1sweetpea Raw Newbie

    It took me nearly a month before I had any symptoms beyond constipation here and there and a runny nose. I had one week where every afternoon around 5 pm a sinus or migraine-like headache would come on. Serious dosing with ibuprofen would have it abated by the next morning, but the next night it would be back. This went on for a week, then stopped. I figured I'd gotten off easy, but 3 weeks ago, my lips became covered in tiny bumps and were painfully sore. All around my mouth became bumpy and itchy. The bumps and itch spread to what can only be described as where a man would have beard growth, so all over my jaw up to my sideburns, plus on my neck behind my ears. This has been going for 3 full weeks. Nothing bleeds and the bumps can't really be detected unless you come within an inch of my face, but the itch is insane! My lips constantly feel windburned. About 5 or 6 days ago, the rash erupted on my left forearm. Why only one arm? I don't know. I can't use any of my moisturizer creams. They all make the itch and burn worse and if they come in contact with the perimeter of my lips, my lips become swollen.

    It's really freaky. It's like I'm having an allergic reaction ... but to everything! I don't really suffer from allergies, so it's even more odd. At first, I thought it was a reaction to a cosmetic, but that's not it. My lips are swelling right now whenever they come in contact with any of those fruits which have a latex-like resin, such as bananas, mangoes and papayas. Normally, I'm only mildy sensitive to this. Now, it's quite extreme. I'm really hoping that this is temporary. Today, I'm finally not feeling very itchy, but the affected skin has become dry and almost crusty-looking. I can't use my moisturizers, though, for fear of another imflammation. In desperation, I used coconut oil for hand lotion, then rubbed any residue on my face. Hopefully it won't cause a pimple breakout.

    I'm convinced now that this is detox, possibly with a mild case of Candida being resurrected from years past. I'm using GSE to combat that and waiting out the rash. I went for shiatsu this morning, and was told that my most inflamed organs were the large intestine and the liver, which totally makes sense, if in fact, I'm in serious detox. Usually she mentions my spleen or kidneys or heart constrictor, but today those were fine.

    I've heard that gum problems are often an indicator of deeper issues inside the body. If you're detoxing, especially from cigarettes, your gums could react strongly.Take good care of your gums. It'll help you, healthwise. Floss daily or use a waterpik. If you aren't a thorough brusher, get an electric toothbrush, which will stimulate your gums and make them stronger. Take it from someone who now has a mouth full of very expensive crowns. Look after your teeth and gums. Down the road, you'll be glad you did. I must add that I've noticed the breath issue a bit too. I rarely have bad breath, but I'm finding that I wake up in the morning with a bad taste in my mouth, no matter what I ate the day before or how well I've brushed my teeth.

    I've chosen to slow down my detox slightly, mostly because I'm having really wild food cravings that are derailing my attempts to lose a few pounds, and I need to get everything back under control. I've dropped back to about 60% raw or so. Basically, I'm eating raw all day, but cooking dinners for my BF and I. Had I been alone and not worrying about feeding a non raw partner, I'd probably have gone to 100% (from 80-85%)and tried to speed up the detox, but combining our needs and desires requires a bit of compromise. He's willing to eat vegan meals at home with me, as long as they're cooked (most of the time). He gets his meat and dairy fixes out in restaurants. I'm willing to eat cooked veggies and legumes and occasionally, grains, but no more than one meal per day.

  • ajchanterajchanter Raw Newbie

    Ah, sorry.. I posted a comment but it disappeared!!

    I would suggest a colonic!?

    You would be surprised (and shocked!) to know how much goo and old stuff is stuck up your colon!!!

    I went for one around 2 weeks ago and I was SHOCKED at how much ancient toxins and STUFF came out!!!!

    And I'm only 15!!! Bleg!!! & I've been raw for nearly a year... I can't imagine how much stuff could have accumulated over another year!!

    So yeah.. a colonic i think would defiantly help - for everything!

    It gets the toxins out faster.

  • Hi, sorry you are having such a rubbish time detoxing. I noticed recently I had ugly sores in my nose and I even rang up work in case it was MRSA and should I go to work (nursing)! Anyway, it was just a bit wierd because it blistered up and someone said it was actually cold sores. I've never had cold sores that I remember, but a bit later I had numb tingly feeling around my mouth. This is from being not even 50% raw but from having raw green kale smoothies every day. Bad breath, constipation yep, I had it. Also, giving up cigarettes can also bring on constipation, as will giving up coffee (tea can contribute to constipation) both of those get the gut moving. I use Vitamin C 1 gram and 200mg plus of magnesium in the evenings and then drink a pint of water first thing in the morning which helps hugely. Good luck with it though, you are doing brilliantly!

  • Raw Recruit,

    I wish I knew this information before now; however, I'm happy to share now that I am aware of it's amazing cleansing properties.

    I'd suggest that you look into coffee or (as disgusting as it sounds to some people) urine enemas. They both stimulate the immune system and open up the bile ducts allowing gallstones both from the gallbladder and liver to be released. I have been 100% raw for over a year now and started an enema cleansing program 5 days ago (every night for one week, every other night on week two, every three days on week there, twice on week four and only once on week five). My acne is nearly 100% gone now (for the record I'm 28) which I suffered with tremendously before and while on raw food. The other night I passed parasites (and I'm not joking about this). My energy levels are incredible and my appetite has decreased tremendously. Perhaps due to better absorption?

    Take what you will with this advice - the hardest part of doing an enema is simply mental. I was scared to death and worried but it truly is only in our head.

    I also agree with Zoe and others about the greens. While cleansing it's advised to juice your greens versus blending them in smoothies. It gives your digestive system even more of a break while maximizing your nutrient absorption. The juicer I highly recommend is the "Healthy Juicer." It's a hand crank one and extremely efficient and costs around $40-45. Best of luck to you and welcome to the world of raw and an exciting journey towards health. :)



  • Wow, I'm so happy to hear I'm not the only one.

    You hear all the beautiful stories of ugly duckling to swan transformations and all the clever marketing (I know myself being a marketer for over 8 years!) makes you think it's all simple and it's rare you hear about the real effects of detox.

    I know this doesn't go for everyone of course. My friend over in the States has been rare since she was 12 due to a rare illness she faced as a child and so had no choice. Her only detox symptoms were flu like for a week with a few bowel problems.

    My eyes are so red right now, it looks like I've been drinking alcohol 24/7 for the past 2 weeks! LOL.

    My Husband actually said I should try coffee. I don't know where he heard that, but now it has been mentioned on here too I'll give that a go. As well as the green smoothies.

    However, this has not deterred me in my quest for going purely raw.

    I am going to try a couple of cleanses (probably not the master cleanse as I think I'd be sick on all that maple syrup!)and just keep tweaking until I find what works best for me personally.

    I believe exercise will improve things too as I used to be a big gym fan even before going raw and this helped massively.

    Thank you for all your kind words of support!


  • 1sweetpea1sweetpea Raw Newbie

    Yikes! Sounds awful, but I've read it can be really effective. It will certainly help clean out the large intestine. It'll do nothing for the small intestine, though, so you'll have to up the water intake and keep on powering back all the wonderful raw, high fibre foods that will help sweep out the toxins.

    I had a colonic irrigation once when I was really backed up. It was unpleasant, but really helped with a weak spot in my large intestine that was causing the blockage. I'm very scared of the home enema concept, but I'm curious as to whether it will be helpful with the detox. I'm prone to bouts of constipation. It doesn't take much. A few bananas and a day of not enough water and I can be blocked for 2-3 days.

    Raw recruit, if your eyes are really dry, maybe you need to seriously up your water intake. It'll help with the constipation and removal of toxic debris as well. When my eyes feel dry, it's a sure sign that I either had too much sodium the day before or not enough water ... or both!

  • As all other have mentioned you are detoxing, I am not sure about the bleeding gums but I suspect that it is all related. Once going raw before actually getting better there is this phase of pain and suffering that most of us go through. Keep up with your diet and you will be rewarded. good luck! PS I suggest enemas to ease the elimination, this would also help with detoxing. To speed up detox you can add hot/cold water steam saunas.

  • Revitaphi is suppose to help with alkalinity. See below:


    Keep in mind that if you are not comfortable with your symptoms, you can/should have them checked out (ie a dentist re: your gums)

  • schmoopeeschmoopee Raw Newbie

    Great advice Zoe!

    I would also add 2 things...

    1) Romaine's is not very nutrient dense for a salad base. I would recommend massaged kale and/or spinach--try to get the most out of every meal.

    2) I have problems with low energy and low mood, what helps me the most is I add maca and cacao (fyi: has caffine) to my morning smoothie. Gives me great energy and has been a real mood elevator for me.

    good luck!

  • yep i would agree 1sweetpea, too much sodium or insufficient water is really not helpful with constipation but if drinking lots of water, dont drink pints at a time, it flushes out nutrients too much. some mad cow here in uk took her nutritional therapists advice too literally and drank way too much water at once and ended up on intensive care wit brain damage, needless to say, nutritional therapy is in the doghouse now and all the orthodox med people are crowing with delight....:(

    oh and water will def help with dry eyes. we need more water if we detox. (but not as much as woman above for obvious reasons lol)

  • KrystaleKrystale Raw Newbie

    Detox is valid, especially if raw is making you loose weight (aspertame for one is stored in fat), but do be sure to consider if you're eating something you didn't before that you may be allergic to. Also, if you have excezema eating raw is great for you but PREPARING it can be terrible for you. Tomatoes, once digested aren't acidic to your system, but slicing them puts their acid on your hands and then when you touch your skin you spread acidity around. Fill a spray bottle with water and add a few tablespoons of baking soda and shake till disolved. When you cut raw foods or eat raw finger foods mist your hands with that before you rinse them and before you touch your skin anywhere (always rinse it off or you have the reverse problem). It helped me A LOT. Once I started doing this I was able to put tomatoes and fruit back in my diet.

    Also, someone said "like I'm allergic to everything" and it's true. You're immune system comes from what you eat. This whole world is full of poisons like what's in our food. So when the inside is cleaner the outside becomes more sensitive.

    I don't support enemas or colonics. My doctors told me in the hospital that not only does it flush stuff out but it also pushes stuff back up. I have a friend who started colonics for "health" and "flushing" and now can't pass anything without one because he's ruined his system. There's absolutly nothing natural about it. Even if you tried to go natural with it and sit on a geyser or spring it wouldn't go right. The reverse, the salted water that digests as a solid, seems much more sensible, although I still only do it when medically required.

    I've heard swimming in the sea or sea salt baths can help speed detox. Also, make sure you're eating fats. Avocados, raw olive oil and flax are great and help both with skin and constipation.

    Good luck. I hope you feel better.

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    what you just said about excema reminded me of something that happened when I was transitioning. I'd be 100% for a few weeks and then eat something cooked, and then after I had eaten the cooked food I had to run somewhere, and the sweat was so prickly and itchy because it was acidic against my alkaline skin. It really proved the point about cooked food being acid forming to me.

  • Hello!

    I just wanted to emphasize what Anabrese said:


    I am new to raw, but have been doing detox for a long time in different forms. If you don't drink water, the toxins can't flush very easily, if they can't easily flush out with water in your system, they come out different ways (skin, etc.) Try close to a gallon a day. If you aren't anywhere near that, kick it up a notch!

    Good luck!

  • Yes the water is definitely an issue. I have been naive in thinking that because I have a lot of water in my food already that I don't need to drink as much. Lesson learned!

    I'm actually really shocked at just how poisonous my body actually is. The way my eyes look are so scary and this is all because of the toxins that have built up in me for most of my life. It makes going raw even more of a crucial journey to clearing myself out. It's amazing that years of cooked food and smoking have damaged me to such a degree.

    Talking of body damage, I also had some bad news this morning. My dad (who is still young at 53) has been diagnosed with skin cancer. He has already suffered with bowel cancer and got through that and he is also having terrible trouble with arthritis in his knee. I am very sad and want him to start indulging in raw foods to see if it helps at all but he just laughs when I mention it. I really don't believe I'll be able to convince him otherwise and this is deeply upsetting.

    On a lighter note, my 2 dogs Roonie and Rosie have been eating raw vegan with me, as a test and they are really shining yay! :)

  • 1sweetpea1sweetpea Raw Newbie

    From what I've learned from pet owners on this site and subsequent readings, dogs and cats need a meat-based diet and preferably a raw one. They can eat some raw vegan treats, but the bulk of their diets should be made up of fresh, raw, preferably organic meat and bones. Check with RawKidChef and Annabelle77 about this. They have a running conversation in the "Other" thread called "Question for RawKidChef".

  • Ah ok, I'll check that out. Only been doing theirs for 3 days. Thought it was fine due to them being carnivores like us.


  • superfood2superfood2 Raw Newbie

    I was going to say as well that I think your diet could be better. Include dark greens, such as kale, spinach, collards, chard; include sprouts every day; include a Brazil nut or some source of selenium; change up the walnut snacks with almonds, pumpkin seeds, and also use hempseeds and flaxseeds or their oils for your dressings. Take a sublingual B12 and make sure you get iodine from seaweed or just get seaweed blend flakes if you want a mellow flavor but still with the nutritional benefits.

    And dogs can be vegan, as well as cats, though it's risky for cats who are UT-sensitive. I know plenty of happy, healthy cooked & raw vegan dogs, so don't let people's hysteria fool you. Dogs are omnivores, same as humans, and can and do thrive on a plant-based diet.

    Good luck!

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    i've met a very very healthy 10 year old raw vegan doggie. I never thought it was possible, I even thought it was cruel, seeing this dog completely changed my attitude. Although I don't believe it is possible for cats to be vegan though. My cat is a confirmed raw carnivoire!

  • Superfood I am laughing. Can't believe I said carnivores!

    Thanks for the advice. I have ordered everything you mentioned! (There is an online organic farm near me which deliver free). I'll look into B12 also.

    My dogs seem very happy too Zoe so I'll keep going with it.

  • superfood2superfood2 Raw Newbie

    I think your upbeat attitude is 75% of the struggle. Keep going with what you feel comfortable with. :)

  • Would you consider going to a doctor to get checked out? I've read about the dry skin thing, and also about bleeding gums. I went raw only 2 weeks ago (I was 85% vegan). I experienced mild headaches and slightly aching teeth for 2 days, at which point I got alarmed and drastically increased my intake of greens and raw fats (.5 avocados a day, 1/4 nuts per day, and 2 green smoothies, mostly kale and spinach with a banana and and orange and .5 cup blueberries) plus other meals. Anyway, either the greens and the more balanced diet helped, or my symptoms were just mild. But having read the symptoms I was ready to seek medical advice if the severity had increased. I'm also going to get my blood drawn next month to make sure that my levels are doing well. And I admit that to be on the safe side I did purchase a spirulina/soy (vegan) supplement to top off my nutritional intake and ensure 100% of what I had a tough time keeping up with. I also created an excel spreadsheet which tracks the nutritional info of all of my food (I use calorieking.com or nutritiondata.com to look up nutritional values) so that I can guarantee that I'm getting adequate nutrition. I keep sodium low (no salt) and use a 10/10/80 (fat/protein/carbs) formula. Happy to e-mail the excel spreadsheet if anyone wants it. All of this has ensured a relatively smooth transition and for the most part I've felt pretty great. Hope this helps.

  • hi raw recruit, so sorry about ur dad, how is he doing? its a pity u are having bad time detoxing because if you were doing well on raw, he cd see the difference it makes to go raw. tough time for you, will be thinking of you kid. it is still worth telling him about going raw then it might encourage him to start incorporating it into his diet. more vitamin C, zinc and selenium should give his immune system a fighting chance. let us know how you get on

  • 1sweetpea1sweetpea Raw Newbie

    I just want to check in, Rawrecruit. After 3.5 weeks, my itchies finally subsided. I was left with dry skin on my face and the bumps are still on my forearm, even though the itch is gone. I've been using a bath brush in the shower every day to exfoliate and my face is starting to look good. I'm a bit phobic of all commercial moisturizers right now, because they really inflamed the area during the crisis. I'm using coconut oil now. I moisturize my hands with it then massage the residue into my face. So far, it hasn't caused any acne or cases of greasies. My skin is pretty dry right now, so I guess it's drinking in the coconut oil. I may stick with it. Why go back to chemicals that I can't pronounce?

    My initial fears that I may have some food sensitivities have been allayed somewhat. Now that the itchiness and bumps are gone, I've tried eating apples and bananas and ripe pineapple and am not experiencing any burning lips or hives (only one hive really -- it's very strange that only one cheek gets a red splotch). I'm a bit apprehensive about trying mangoes again, since I experienced tingling lips and tongue long before ever going raw.

    I hope your systems have sorted themselves out, at least for now. If you read this, will you check in as well, please? I'd love to hear how your detox has progressed.

  • Hey 1Sweetpea,

    That is great with your progress. I'm so pleased for you!!

    Well, this is my progress....

    I have cheated a little. In having some red wine and small amount of organic dark chocolate... BUT.....

    I have been mono eating fruit all day - every day and put in loads of greens. (salad and green smoothie a day and using coconut oil over my body and my skin...It is glowing now!!! yay!

    I had one night - think it was Thursday, where my whole body oozed of kelp! (Yes seriously!) and my hubby was very worried lol.

    But all in all, my gums have stopped bleeding, my skin is clearer and I've lost 4lbs!!!

    I'm really pleased and it gives me the incentive to carry on without fear.

    I'm still getting headaches and feeling a bit dizzy but I know this is detox so it's cool!

    Lets keep up to date 1Sweetpea :)


  • zinfandelzinfandel Raw Newbie

    So I've been raw 6 months and have had really bad constipation since I first went vegan about a year ago. Maybe it is detox. I am going to start juicing, and I have already tried colonics, but it's really bad! Does anybody have any experience with this? Is it detoxing?

    More and more of my time is spent suffering... :(

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