I am finishing up a stomach bug here, I hope!
Anyway, Robin asked about cleanses.
The only one I've done was a yeast cleanse.
Let me explain from the beginning.
We all have bacteria and yeast that grow in our gut. I call it my "garden". The proper name is intestinal flora. There should be more of the good bacteria than there is of the bad stuff. The good flora strengthens your immunity, insures good bowel health, provides proper absorption of nutrients and who knows what else.
In this age though, we do a lot that kills off the good flora. Because they are bacteria they can be called biotics. So, when you take antibiotics, you kill off all biotics; the ones that are making you sick, as well as the ones that are your friends. The drug doesn't know the difference. But the yeast is not killed by antibiotics. It is usually kept in check by the good flora, but now that it is all gone, the yeast thrives. It takes over the gut.
Sugar, food aditives and other things also destroy these bacteria.
I grew up on antibiotics. I took them several times a year, I'm sure. Every year. Until I was 24. So, how much good stuff did I have left, I wonder?
I developed IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome. I also had many symptoms of yeast overgrowth. Overwhelming fatigue for one. IBS, for another.
So, when I started trying to become healthy in alternative ways, I started doing a yeast cleanse. I found the rules online and took some products from my health food store. I think this really helped make headway in the situation. Then when I started seeing the nutritionist, she gave me clearer direction and also some better supplements. Her diet was actually less restrictive than the one I had been trying to follow.
The diet generally prohibits any kind of sugar including fruit and simple carbs. In prohibits anything containing yeast, alcohol, and mushrooms. She told me just to stay away from sugars including fruits.
Anyway, I think it really helped, although lately I've been thinking that maybe I need to do it again.
I can't remember the cost, although the money I saved by not eating all that junk probably paid for the cleanse.
I think I did a liver cleanse through my nutritionist, too, but I don't remember much about that. It was just some supplements.
I have heard from various sources that the Metagenics cleanse is excellent. My nutritionist had this as well, but I didn't do it. I know people who have and had great results. I don't know the cost, though.
Back to the yeast thing. One easy thing you can do to help get your "garden" in balance is to take probiotics. They are the good bacteria that you need. They come in pill, or liquid form. You can get a few in yogurt, but not enough to make a difference. Acidophilus is one that you've probably heard of, but there are hundreds of different good bacteria and yeast that we need. So I switch from brand to brand every time to get enough variety.