A 40 year old woman has been admitted in an Israeli hospital for days due to severe malnourishment. The reason behind this is a month long juice cleanse that was reportedly suggested to her by an alternative therapist.
While the diet seems to have achieved its goal of weight loss, she is now at her worst possible state. Doctors at the Sheba Medical Centre where the now 90-pound-woman is currently admitted have reported that her diet could be the cause of potentially irreversible brain damage. She now suffers a complication from the diet due to the salt content in her body.
It is speculated that the woman might be a victim of what is called Hyponatremia – a not so well known danger in the Juice-cleanse world.
The deadly condition is known to occur when sodium levels drop. Since the woman consumed only orange juice and water for a whole month, and orange juice isn’t rich in sodium, her body underwent a massive fluid imbalance which was not healthy in the least.
Without enough salt, water invades cells in the body, and the cells swell. Symptoms of hyponatremia include:
- decreased energy levels
If severe cases of hyponatremia are left untreated, cell swelling in the brain can lead to seizures, comas, brain damage, or even death. In rare cases, hyponatremia can also occur after drinking excessive amounts of water, say if someone is attempting to rehydrate after a marathon or a bout of stomach flu.
But, this doesn’t mean that hyponatremia is going to strike after just a few low-salt meals. The duration it takes to set in, however, depends on how low a person’s sodium levels are to begin with.
Juice cleanses might be convenient, but, when it comes to losing weight in a safe way, the combination of a reasonable diet and enough exercise is still the winner.