My Standard Process Detox Debacle

I’m not going to finish the 3-part series I initially planned on the Standard Process 21-day detox. I had to stop the detox a few days early due to severe constipation. I am entirely convinced that the program’s high-fiber shakes caused a dramatic slowdown in my bowel movements from the very first day. (Yes, I drank enough water.) Despite the pelvic and abdominal pain I started having halfway through, I stubbornly insisted on following the program strictly until my husband forced me to stop the shakes in the third week. My conclusion from this unpleasant experience is that everyday detox using real food is superior to extreme and intense short bouts of detox.

I know, strange coming from someone who used to do juice cleanses religiously. Don’t get me wrong – a three-day juice cleanse is great for resetting and rebooting your body to get on the right track for eating organic and weight loss. But nothing compares to a permanent transformation of habits so that you are no longer perpetually dieting. Instead, you become a person who intuitively knows what to eat and how to eat.

The Wise Traditions Conference in early November 2014 was a welcome relief from the detox. At the conference, I celebrated a return to real food by feasting on sauerkraut, grassfed beef, bone broth, raw cheeses, and kombucha – and I felt great. I also learned that too much fiber is actually the cause of constipation and is very bad for the gut. Bulking up your stools only serves to stress and stretch out the colon and rectum in ways that set you up for chronic disease and possibly cancer.

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So, I’m sorry, Standard Process – your 21-day purification program may be good for beginners and those new to eating organic and real food, but in the final analysis it did not benefit me.


  1. Robin says:

    I was given several Standard Process products to take all at once, three times per day and experienced extreme constipation also. I stopped taking them after the third week as well. Standard Process may be a reputable company that puts out a great product, but they need to tell the consumer that constipation is one of the contraindications.

  2. Dr. John says:

    Hello Chanlee. I just happened upon this post and wanted to leave some feedback. I don’t work for Srandard Process but am a physician who works with their products in addition to many others. Among detox protocols, Standard Process only ever intends their 21-day purification to be done under the supervision of a licensed doctor. The reason for this is that there are no “cookie cutter” carbon copy people and therefore no cookie cutter detox program will serve everyone the same. The SP purification program makes allowances for digestive enzymes, probiotics and a number of other supplemental additions as deemed necessary by the doctor and the patient. They also have several versions with different fiber options to better suit the patient depending on their needs. I LOVE this about the program. It sounds like you were not given any specific direction this way and I’m sorry you experienced constipation as a result. This protocol certainly is not for everyone but with some specific oversight by a caring physician, it is one of the best and most versatile I’ve ever worked with.

  3. Jen says:

    My experience is the same as yours. I found your blog by trying to understand if the pain of constipation is “normal”, as it seems contradictory to what I am trying to do. Thanks for sharing your experience. I thought I was the only one who wasn’t feeling lean and energetic!

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