A WOMAN has been hospitalised after a strict juice diet apparently left her with brain damage.
The unidentified dieter had been juicing for three weeks after visiting an “alternative therapist” in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Getty – Contributor A woman has been hospitalised after being on a three week juice diet
She was only allowed to consume fruit juice and water, which medics claim caused a salt imbalance.
She’s been under observation for a few days but doctors fear that the damage may be permanent.
Ha Hadashot 12 reports that her weight plummeted to less than 6st 3lbs (40kg).
In Israel, you don’t have to have any qualifications to call yourself a therapist and give out health advice.
Water intoxication to blame
The woman is thought to be suffering water intoxication, or hyponatraemia.
That’s where a person has low levels of sodium in the blood.
Sodium, or salt, is vital for the body, because it is responsible for regulating the fluid levels inside and outside cells in the body.
When salt levels drop too low, fluid moves into our cells and that causes them to swell.
When that happens in the brain, it can cause potentially life-threatening damage.
Excess fluid accumulation in the brain is called cerebral oedema, which can affect the brain stem and cause central nervous system dysfunction.
In severe cases, water intoxication can cause seizures, brain damage, coma and even death.
Normally it occurs in people during sporting events like marathons or people who have suffered from stomach upsets and who try to rehydrate with water rather than electrolytes.
But it has been known to result from this kind of extreme “detox” diet too – albeit in very rare cases.
Detox fasts are ‘unnecessary’
Leading Harley Street Nutritionist and author Rhiannon Lambert has told The Sun: “Any suggestion that the human body can be detoxed with a juice cleanse is incorrect.
“We are naturally designed to remove toxins using our liver and kidneys – a juice cleanse won’t perform such a detox.”
While there’s no evidence that detoxing necessarily does much good to you, there’s no evidence to suggest it’s that bad either.
In fact, for some people, it probably does work as a healthy eating kick-starter.
But if you have a history of disordered eating, then denying yourself any solid food is going to be an incredibly bad idea.
Nutritionist Sarah Flower told The Sun that she’s not a fan of fruit juices as they’re “pure fructose”.
“We all want a magic bullet to lose weight very quickly.
“We get fat after years of eating the wrong type of foods and all hope to shed this within days or weeks, which in reality is just not feasible.
“I prefer my clients to adopt a long-term diet change rather than these quick fixes which bear little or no relation to health. ”
While any drastic diets aren’t healthy, Sarah points out that we don’t know the ins and outs of this particular case.
“We don’t know if there were additional supplements taken to help balance nutrition and especially electrolytes – it is assuming they weren’t added.”
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That’s not to say that fasts can’t play a role in weight loss.
Sarah says that while she advocates real food in her clinic, she promotes intermittent fasting for some of her clients.
“But this is normally 16-hour fasts which are normally done from the evening meal until mid-to-late morning, not three weeks!”
Getty – Contributor There’s no need for “detox” diets because your body naturally detoxes on its own
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