What is a juice cleanse?Barbara Neveu/Shutterstock
Pretty much exactly what it sounds like—you live on mostly juice for a certain period of time. Some people do a juice cleanse to drop weight, while others use it as to “detox their body,” with the belief that the approach can flush chemicals and noxious substances from the body. Every cleanse is different: Some people use a juicer to make their own drinks; others subscribe to a program that delivers the juices. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation about what a juice cleanse can do for your body—and not everyone realizes how dangerous they can be. Anthony Auriemma, MD, medical director of AMITA Health’s Alexian Brothers Weight Loss Solutions near Chicago, IL, explains to Reader’s Digest just what happens when you choose this extreme approach. (You’ve heard of juicing, but here’s what happens during a souping cleanse.)
Your blood sugar will fluctuateSyda Productions/Shutterstock
Fruit is a natural source of sugar, and too much sugar—even fructose—can be unhealthy. If all you’re doing is guzzling fruit and vegetable juices for days, your blood glucose levels will skyrocket. “One concerning aspect of a cleanse is the large amounts of sugar found in juices, which causes a rapid rise in blood sugar,” explains Dr. Auriemma. “This can cause a large release of insulin from the pancreas to counteract the blood sugar, which can be extremely dangerous for people with diabetes.” Even if you don’t have diabetes, the sugar rush can trigger dizziness, headaches, shaking, difficulty concentrating, and boost your hunger. Here are some other sneaky things that raise blood sugar.