Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

Dr. Egginton on Resetting Hormones with a Detox Diet

Jun 30, 2023 09:31AM ● By Wesley Dennis
Chemicals and other toxins we are exposed to in our environment, our beauty routines, medical treatments and even in the foods we eat are processed by the liver, which also recycles our  hormones—the body’s chemical messengers—that interact with one another as well as with our neurotransmitters and our digestive system. When symptoms of hormonal imbalances arise, like PMS and menopause difficulties, acne, bloating, irregular periods and low libido, it’s crucial to address their root cause. The interplay between mood, hormones and gut health is why a holistic approach can be helpful in identifying the cause of symptoms.

Dr. Abby Egginton, a licensed Naturopathic Doctor and owner of Balance Natural Medicine, in Arlington and Lexington, Massachusetts, helps patients with issues surrounding hormone regulation, microbiome health and overall body balance for optimal health.

Trained as both a naturopathic doctor and registered nurse, Egginton now specializes in women’s and LGBTQ health. She has recently introduced a 10-day detox diet program with a focus on hormone health.

Can you define “detoxification” and “cleanse”?

Detoxification is how our body metabolizes toxins in order to process and excrete them. A cleanse is a diet where you focus on eating more cleanly by avoiding processed foods and focusing on an organic, plant-based diet.

What does a detox diet consist of? 

In essence, it eliminates processed foods and focuses on organic whole foods that are easily digested. In my program, this is paired with a medical food protein powder that includes the proper amino acids and cofactors to support the liver’s three phases of detoxification. Attention is also brought to optimizing pathways of elimination: daily bowel movements, regular urination, sweating and some breathwork.

Are there benefits to completing a detox diet program?

Yes. Benefits might include improved digestion, increased energy, clearer skin and less joint pain. The primary benefit is that detoxification pathways operate more optimally which means that hormones will be recycled and drugs will be metabolized more effectively. It also means that toxins we are exposed to may be less likely to cause damage.

Who do you recommend should participate?

All hormones are processed by the liver and therefore all people can benefit from a detox. Generally, women or people who have (or have had) monthly periods, are more prone to hormonal imbalance since there is a more complex interplay of hormones going on.

This type of detox diet program is helpful to those with a hormonal imbalance because it can help the liver to recycle hormones more completely resulting in a decrease of hormone-related symptoms. Many xenobiotics (toxins we are exposed to) are estrogenic so a detox can help balance (and therefore reset) hormones by decreasing the exogenous hormones we are exposed to.

What can someone expect while their body is detoxifying?

There are many different approaches to detoxifying the body. My upcoming program is a gentle 10-day detox diet. During this 10-day program, a person may initially experience fatigue and headaches as their body adjusts to days without sugar or caffeine. After the initial few days most people report improved energy and mood, and clearer thinking.

Should someone only undertake this with the help of a professional?

Yes. Those with certain medical conditions or who are on certain medications shouldn’t do a detox, so it’s important to have a licensed independent provider ensure that a detoxification diet is safe and appropriate for you as an individual. Once cleared to participate, it’s also important to work with a medical professional in case there are any adverse reactions to this restricted diet. While rare, any change in diet can result in blood sugar or electrolyte changes with symptoms like headache, dizziness or fatigue. Always check in with an experienced provider to get help moving through a detox safely and to be sure that any symptoms are monitored.

What other lifestyle changes during a detox program do you recommend?

I recommend limiting exposure to toxins in cleaning and beauty products, staying well hydrated, participating in daily gentle exercise such as yoga or walking, and considering incorporating a mindfulness practice such as deep breathing or journaling. During my program, dietary recommendations are also discussed including eliminating processed foods, alcohol, added sugar and caffeine.

How does one prepare for this type of diet detox program?

Make sure that the timing of the program works with your schedule. If you have big events or celebrations during that time, it may not be a realistic time to participate. Because your energy will initially be lower and preparing meals will take some time, it’s helpful to complete a detox diet during a time when your work is not too demanding and you have some time each day for gentle exercise, food prep and detox-promoting activities including castor oil packs, dry skin brushing and journaling. Basically, if life is feeling hectic or stressful, it may not be the best time to do it. But the beauty of a 10-day detox is that it is manageable with real life. For those who rely on caffeine and sugar to get through their day, it can be helpful to begin cutting back on these things in preparation so that your body more easily adjusts to their removal during the detox.

Egginton’s 10-day hormone reset detox program will begin  on September 28 featuring six group Zoom meetings that include information, recipes, encouragement and time for Q&As. Practice locations: 49 Waltham St., Lexington, Mass.; 393 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, Mass. For more information, to make an appointment or register for the program, call 914-919-9300, email [email protected] or visit