As soon as the intake of habitual foods stops, changes in all body systems begin to occur. Some patients report symptoms even within a few hours of not-eating a regular food. Coffee drinkers, for example are usually on an obligatory ingestion cycle and may get early withdrawal headaches and cravings within hours of missing regular coffee doses. Withdrawal symptoms tend to build in the first day, reaching their peak by day 2 or 3, although in some people the onset of the main withdrawal symptoms is delayed several days.
An optimistic prediction is that even people who have been chronically ill will experience a dramatic remission of symptoms within the first 10 days on phase 1. However, the first 10 to 20 days of clearing can be a bumpy ride. Patients routinely describe acute, distressing withdrawal symptoms. Clearing on Alpha ENF is the most abrupt but definitive method of clearing.
The most common withdrawal symptoms are:
generalized aching and back pain
Any pre-existing symptom may increase or recur during withdrawal. Increased pain levels are very distressing. Muscle and joint pains tend to flare along with headache. Abdominal pains may increase or recur for several days, sometimes of a crampy nature, associated with nausea but seldom vomiting. A remarkable withdrawal pain occurs in the low back and often radiates into the buttocks and back of the legs. This back pain may have an aching-burning quality and can be severe enough to keep you in bed for 2-3 days.
Other common symptoms include nose congestion, sore throat, drowsiness, fatigue, irritability, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aching, cramps, and insomnia. Some patients become very emotional, either feeling depressed, tearful and withdrawn, or rage with unexpected passion. Food cravings may be intense and difficult to resist. The symptoms of food withdrawal resemble the withdrawal from narcotic drugs or alcohol.
After the initial disturbances settle, long-standing symptoms should subside and hopefully disappear. A state of relative well-being is eventually established. The initial withdrawal disturbances may subside after several days and then recur a few days later. We call this the "bouncing ball path". Sometimes symptoms flare and subside several times over the first 20 days, but, like bouncing balls, the intensity and duration of the flaring symptoms gets less with each bounce.