Doctors Say that Detoxes & Cleanses Are a Dangerous Way to Start the New Year

When Jan. 1 rolls around, you can bet that thousands of people will be starting on a quest to lose weight or eat a healthier diet—and that many of them won't go about it the right way. Doctors are warning patients to be careful with extreme diets, detoxes and cleanses, because they can end up doing more harm than good.

BBC News reports that one woman last year was hospitalized after drinking almost nothing except water, tea and other herbal supplements. She ended up having a seizure and collapsing.

According to a report in the British Medical Journal, detoxing and high intakes of water are seen as ways of "purifying and cleansing" the body of any types of diseases and waste products.  However, after studying the case of the previously mentioned woman, they advise to other medical professionals that: “Patients should be advised of the potential detriment done to their health of undertaking a New Year ‘detox’ especially if it involves consuming excessive amounts of fluid or alternative remedies.”

Most important of all: You don't need any kind of special cleanse to get rid of the bad stuff in your body! One of the authors of the report, Dr. Oliver Toovey, told CBS News, “The liver plays an important role in breaking down toxins in the body and getting rid of them. There is no way to artificially enhance this, nor should anyone need to.”

“The best policy is to rely on your body’s own senses,” he said. So drink plenty of water, but there's no need to overdo it if you're not thirsty. Eat when you're hungry, too! Forget the cleanses and make it your New Year's Resolution to be good to yourself and your body.