Chemotherapy Side Effects: Why It’s Critical to Detox After Chemo - RiseEarth

Chemotherapy Side Effects: Why It’s Critical to Detox After Chemo

by Dr. David Jockers DC, MS, CSCS; The Truth About Cancer

Perhaps you’ve been told that chemotherapy was successful in treating your cancer and that you are now released to live your life. But what happens when the chemotherapy side effects remain with you? Chemo drugs are highly toxic, even at normal therapeutic doses. Brain fog, muscle weakness, neuropathy, loss of energy, malabsorption of nutrients, mood swings, and lack of appetite are only a few common chemotherapy side effects which remain for years or even a lifetime following chemotherapy.

The chemical soup in these cancer drug treatments often causes greater physical, psychological, and emotional struggles than the original tumor itself. Detoxifying the body from the toxic accumulation of chemicals it has been burdened with during chemo is essential to recovery.

Cancer Chemotherapy: Treating Disease with Chemicals

Understanding what chemotherapy does to the body will help you understand why detox is critical. Chemotherapy prevents all cells, malignant and normal, from further proliferating. This means that the healthy cells in the body are destroyed, leading to adverse chemotherapy side effects such as loss of hair, nausea, reduced immunity, male and female sterility, and mouth sores.

More serious and life threatening effects may include renal and liver failure, heart disease, and blood clots. According to the American Cancer Society, it is a combination of these damaging consequences to the body which often leads to the occurrence of a secondary cancer.

Whatever the dose of chemotherapy drugs may be, any dose is too high. Chemo drugs create a broad array of health problems. Unfortunately, the modern treatment for each symptom is another dose of drugs − each with more side effects to be treated. Take a look at a few drugs, their side effects, and the treatments prescribed:

Nitrogen Mustard: The injection site is most susceptible to pain and areas of blood clotting due to this metal-binding chemo compound.

Cis-platinum: Known to cause nausea and vomiting starting two hours following treatment. Cis platinum also hinders urination, compromising the removal of toxins. This drug leads to renal (kidney) toxicity.

Doxorubicin: This chemo agent leads to heart damage including cardiomyopathy (diseased heart) and is a primary trigger for hair loss.

Methotrexate: Known to cause serious, life-threatening side effects such as damage to the lungs, liver, and kidneys. Methotrexate can lower blood cell counts, decreasing the ability to fight infections and interferes with normal blood clotting.

Acyclovir: Prescribed to treat herpes, which is common in patients receiving cytotoxic therapies for cancer. This drug can trigger nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and decreased urination, which may interfere with the effective removal of toxins. In rare cases acyclovir can cause life-threatening damage to the kidneys, resulting in renal failure.

Vincristine: Common effects are bone marrow suppression, gastrointestinal disorder, and neurotoxicity and can lead to renal failure. Infections which typically arise from loss of white blood cells are treated with antibiotics.

Bleomycin: Significantly associated with toxic accumulation in the lungs. Pulmonary toxicity can be life-threatening and progress to lung fibrosis, making it difficult for the lungs to work properly.

Phenothiazines: Relieves symptoms of nausea and vomiting, but causes drowsiness, restlessness, and involuntary movement. These symptoms are then treated with drugs like Benadryl and Cogentin, an anti-tremor medication used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

Metoclopramide: Blocks the centers of the brain known as the medulla oblongata to treat nausea. This drug is given to help relieve GI contracts and improve blockage of chemicals from intestines. This drug can cause irreversible movement disorders.

Corticosteroids: Synthetic steroids which causes an imbalance in hormones and leads to drowsiness. Generally taken before the start of chemotherapy.

Nabilone: Prescribed for GI complications. Leads to disorientation, low blood pressure, and drowsiness. These symptoms are treated with repetitive rounds of multiple drugs causing mood swings, muscle weakness, easy bruising, and much more.

Reduce Chemotherapy Side Effects with Detox Strategies

Becoming aware of the harm chemotherapy does to your body should lead you to rush to detoxify these pollutants immediately. Alternative medicine and healing strategies can improve the quality of your life and lower the chances that you will be diagnosed with a secondary cancer.

Using the following therapeutic strategies will aid in removing all chemo drugs in your body, improve your lymphatic system, improve your digestion, and restore your body’s ability to regulate hormones.


Juicing is the first thing a patient should do when they receive a cancer diagnosis. It allows for maximum absorption of a vast amount of nutrients. Following chemotherapy, juicing is an excellent way to supply nutrients to the body for absorption and to begin the healing process. The benefits of juicing range from alkalizing the body to cleansing the colon. Depending on your symptoms, sipping on different anti-inflammatory and chemoprotective tonics throughout the day can treat digestive dysfunction and ease an upset stomach.

Combine the following foods to make nutrient-dense juices:

Upset Stomach Relief
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Cranberry
  • Lemon
  • Pepper
Kidney Cleanse
  • Cranberries, fresh and organic
  • Whole Lemons, organic
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Water, preferably distilled
  • Hydrate with Water
Try drinking alkalizing lemon water upon waking up and throughout the day. Lemon water stimulates the body to secrete toxins, hydrates cells, and boosts lymphatic circulation. Avoid bottled and unfiltered water sources. Consuming pure and distilled water with zero added contaminants is critical in the recovery from chemo.

Practice Stress Reduction Techniques

Researchers suggest that relaxation techniques including deep breathing, meditation, and positive imagery may benefit patients. Relieving anxiety increases the body’s natural ability to defend against real threats such as malignant cells and tissue as well as infection.

Soaking in epsom salt baths is an excellent way to pull toxins out through the skin. It also helps the body absorb oxygenating nutrients such as magnesium and sulfates into the muscles and nerves for improved circulation.

Supplementation with Nutritional Powders

Nutritional powders should be supplemented into every person’s diet to combat cancer and disease, but should be a priority for recovering chemotherapy patients. Nutritional powders help to balance hormones, regulate metabolism, repair damage to the blood, and rejuvenate the body. Consider powders high in minerals and vitamins such as calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K.

Look for a powder sourced from raw, organic ingredients. Nutrients with cell rebuilding properties to include into your diet are:
  • Spirulina
  • Chlorella
  • Astragalus
  • Wheat Grass
  • Purple Dulse Seaweed
  • Beet Root
  • Spinach Leaf
  • Alfalfa
Make Lifestyle Changes After Cancer Treatment

Lifestyle changes following chemotherapy are critical to improve quality of life and reduce the risk of another cancer diagnosis.

As an individual begins to flush toxins from the body, the digestive tract may begin to function again. Consuming whole foods rich in organic, fresh leafy greens and organic produce is an excellent way to supplement a continued juicing detox plan. All foods should be free of GMOs, artificial coloring or preservatives, and trans-fats. They should be stored in glass containers. Eating out should be avoided.

Implementing anti-cancer lifestyle changes will limit the accumulation of contaminants in the body and will increase the effectiveness of detoxification.

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