Are you experiencing raw vegan detox symptoms? It is always important to first make sure the symptoms are not caused by any dietary deficiencies by inputting your new daily menu into an online food tracker and making sure you are hitting all of your nutrient-intake goals. If you are getting all of the nutrients you need and still experiencing negative symptoms, then the cause may be dairy withdrawal. Learn why eliminating dairy from your diet can cause you to feel tired, lethargic, or even experience body aches, and how to help manage the symptoms until they pass.
Why Quitting Dairy Can Cause Flu-like Symptoms
Even if you ate just a little bit of dairy before you began a vegan or raw vegan diet, realize that just a small amount of cheese, milk, or ice cream had a huge effect on your brain. Dairy contains a substance called casein, which is a type of dairy protein. This protein can actually have psychoactive effects, because it is metabolized partially into casomorphins, which cross the blood-brain barrier.
What do these substances do to your brain? They bind to opiate receptors, similar to how heroin and narcotic pain pills do. However, they are not nearly as strong as these strong opiate medications, but they do affect your brain enough that when you stop drinking and eating dairy, you can experience opiate withdrawal-like symptoms.
The good news is that your brain is not “hooked” on dairy for life, no matter how much you used to eat or drink. Just how drug withdrawal symptoms are at their worst when someone first stops using them and gradually diminish over time, your dairy withdrawal symptoms will, too! If you suspect your symptoms are due to dairy withdrawal, the that also means you can take steps to manage them until they are gone for good.
How to Ease Raw Detox Symptoms Caused by Dairy Withdrawal
Since you now know that milk acts like an opiate in brain and body, you can ease your raw detox symptoms due to dairy withdrawal by encouraging your body to create its own natural endorphins.
You can increase natural endorphin levels in your brain and body by:
- Working out. Exercising often, daily if you can, is the single most effective way to raise endorphin levels to conquer raw detox symptoms caused by milk withdrawal.
- Eat chocolate. Chocolate also triggers a natural endorphin release, and you can even enjoy chocolate raw by eating raw cacao power or raw cacao nibs.
- Get some sunshine. The sun is so healthy for you and sun exposure triggers an array of natural feel-good brain chemicals, including endorphins. (read more about the benefits of getting sun exposure here and here).
- Get enough sleep. Detoxing from dairy can be rough, so get enough sleep and rest. Your body repairs itself when you sleep, and sleeping for 8-9 hours every night during raw diet detox can help your body adjust to your new diet and lifestyle faster.
If you are eating a very low-fat diet, then be sure to rule out dietary fat deficiencies as the cause of your raw diet detox symptoms, as well. Those symptoms will only worsen, unlike dairy withdrawal which will get better over time.