Cleanses are nothing new, but one woman’s recent attempt at one is reminding people that cleanses aren’t actually healthy and can have serious consequences. On December 3, YouTuber Chubbyemu shared a video recounting the story of a woman who went brain dead after attempting a cleanse that required her to drink a liter of soy sauce in less than two hours, Health reported.
According to Chubbyemu’s video, the patient thought the soy sauce cleanse could help release toxins from her body. Instead, it put her into cardiac arrest and eventually caused irreparable nerve damage.
The woman developed central pontine myelinolysis, or severe nerve damage, from consuming too much sodium
The woman’s nerve damage is called central pontine myelinolysis, a neurological disorder that occurs when the body’s sodium levels rise quickly, pull water from the brain cells, and cause nerve damage, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Symptoms of central pontine myelinolysis include lessened awareness and difficulty speaking and swallowing, much like the subject of Chubbyemu’s video experienced. According to the NIH, the condition can become so severe that all of a person’s muscles could become paralyzed and the person might end up in a coma or even die. While some people recover from the condition after a few weeks to a month’s recovery, some people will be permanently paralyzed from the condition, the NIH noted on its website.
Currently, the woman is unable to talk, swallow, move, or speak.
The majority of trendy cleanses aren’t safe and, ultimately, unnecessary
Like the aforementioned woman’s experience, most cleanses actually do more harm than good and aren’t sustainable for the long term, Frances Largeman Roth, a nutrition expert and author of Eating in Color, told INSIDER.
“If something sounds too good to be true or a little nutty, like telling you to eat one thing only, then it probably is too good to be true,” she said.
These fad diets typically don’t give participants the amount of calories or nutrients they need for daily functioning and also offer zero teachable moments about what healthy eating really is, Largeman Roth explained. This is especially dangerous for people on certain medications and anyone with diabetes should be especially wary of cleanses. As Largeman Roth explained, these people need specific caloric intakes and nutrients and restrictive cleanses may deplete them of the substances their bodies need to remain healthy.
Ultimately, fad cleanses and diets are completely unnecessary, as the body has its own natural detoxification system, INSIDER previously reported. “The kidneys and liver do a great job of removing toxins,” Largeman Roth further explained.
If you want to move the body’s natural detox process along, however, you can drink lots of water and up your fiber intake. Largeman Roth recommends 10 glasses of water and between 25 and 30 grams of fiber daily to keep things regular and assist the body with releasing toxins naturally.
To get lots of fiber, stick to the basics, like fruits and vegetables.
“You can roast them or put them on a salad, anything to just get more whole foods that are actually good for you” Largeman Roth said.
Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.