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New Study: Fasting Renews Immune System

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Jon_Tradicionali, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. Jon_Tradicionali

    Jon_Tradicionali Senior Member

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    Zogor-Ndreaj, Shkodër, Albania
    Lillybelle likes this.
  2. RYO

    RYO

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    But it seems there is a risk that comes with recycling of immune system. There are several CFS experts that subscribe to theory of viral reactivation. What if fasting increases the chance of viral reactivation?

    Personally, I worry that fasting will further stress my aching fatigued muscles and reduce my stamina.
    jeffrez and Valentijn like this.
  3. cigana

    cigana Senior Member

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    Regarding your first link it's interesting....I have lots of raised cytokines, which all normalise when I inject with nexavir. But my symptoms do not change - i.e. I do not feel any better! Sometimes that makes me wonder if cytokines are not the answer.
  4. Lillybelle

    Lillybelle

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    Tried it recently. First time in many years. Felt very headachy and deprived. However by Day 3 I had definately more mental energy. Also my sinus phlegm reduced considerably.
    I did better than I thought I would. Like others of you, scared that if I didnt eat I would fall down. However except for the headaches I was no worse physically than usual. And mentally I was more with it by Day 3.

    Spoke to my doctor about it and she seems to believe there are immune system benefits even if you do shorter term fasting like the 5/2 diet. So decidedto fast now at least once a week to see if there are any longer term benefits.

    Personally, I believe we evolved from humans who had periods of feast and famine and believe that evolution wise it would make sense for the immune system to activate during periods of famine to protect the body from infections due to being weakened from no or little food.
    rosie26 likes this.
  5. rosie26

    rosie26 Senior Member

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    I think resting the digestive system helps possibly, to calm down the immune system a bit - giving it a rest.

    Possibly fasting once a month for up to 3 days could be beneficial - it wouldn't surprise me. I don't think I could handle the rumbling stomach and hungry-ness. I need to eat as I am not a huge eater. I just eat until I am comfortable.
    Lillybelle likes this.
  6. bertiedog

    bertiedog Senior Member

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    Well of course we fast every night and I have a problem with this! Every morning when I wake around 6.45 am all I want to do is to eat something. Without eating I don't have ANY energy so after taking my adrenal meds and low dose betablocker I cannot wait to go into the kitchen to get something to eat and have a cup of tea which I take back to bed with me.

    This I guess is because I have adrenal insufficiency but I do take the first dose of steroid around 5 am so that has kicked in before I get up but it just doesn't feel like it. I need food! I don't eat much, just half a no sugar oatcake with some cashew and almond butter followed by a couple of brazil nuts plus the tea. Then if I rest for at least 30 minutes I have some energy to get up and get changed before having breakfast.

    I have a real problem with fasting blood tests because of this problem. If I don't eat I am so dizzy and will get a horrendous migraine so there is no question I cannot do fasting. I have been very surprised by how many here don't seem to have this problem knowing that very weak adrenal function seems to be part of ME/CFS.

    Pam
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  7. stevesayshi

    stevesayshi

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    If anything I am the opposite, sometimes I don't eat breakfast until 3 or 4 pm. I may still be in the early high cortisol stage though
    maryb likes this.
  8. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    @stevesayshi
    I'm not a morning eater either, mind you 6.45am is the middle of the night for me:)
    I get up between 8.30/10am and eat about 12noon, then only toast. I'm not driven to eat, its just that I know I should, but I eat more as the day goes on.
    Even before I was ill I used to have to push myself to eat breakfast before going to work, it felt like I was going against what my body wanted but I knew it made sense. How different we all are.
  9. Jon_Tradicionali

    Jon_Tradicionali Senior Member

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    Yes I agree, the first link is of a study carried out by Croatian researchers and is of importance.

    They observed cancer patients and CFS-like symptoms start almost immediately after being injected with certain pro-inflammatory cytokines. This shows the cytokines directly cause the symptoms. After 3 months of IV injections, further symptoms developed in patients.

    Guess what these further symptoms resembled.....

    Myalgia, fatigue and concentration difficulties were the main symptoms these patients complained of.

    Even more interesting, once cytokine IV was halted, symptoms started disappearing....
  10. redaxe

    redaxe

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    Yes I saw this article too (was going to flag it here but was beaten!)

    Yeah I tried fasting for just under 72 hours.

    I must say that anyone with CFS should consider giving it a try. Yes I felt a bit yucky and weak on some periods but I generally noticed that on the 3rd day I felt quite a bit better (I did have above-average energy - though not to bodybuild or anything!!! I also found it quite a bit easier to read and concentrate on things. Now I see why religions place so much value on fasting - there are some unique benefits of it.
    Unfortunately the benefits quickly disappeared when I broke the fast and started eating. About half an hour later my brain fog returned much heavier than before. I guess that confirms for me I have food allergies and I didn't realise just how much brain fog I live with until I am clean of it (I am waiting on test results for food allergies in the meantime).

    I think anyway if your level of activity is low your appetite is likely to be low so there is certainly no harm in fasting. In fact if you are energy deprived is may be better to fast intermittently as it does give a stressed digestive system some time off and don't forget it takes a lot of energy to shop, prepare, cook, clean, eat and digest food. Fasting will put you in an energy deficit but it's not harmful in the short term.
    The only thing I got quite severe leg and foot cramps on the second day. So I increased my salt intake and took some magnesium citrate which seemed to alleviate it. So if you do fast make sure you replace your minerals particularly potassium & magnesium... vitamins don't matter in the short term.
    I say this especially if you have the "drink and pee like a fish" syndrome that often comes with CFS. If you pee a lot make sure you replace your salt levels!
  11. Jon_Tradicionali

    Jon_Tradicionali Senior Member

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  12. Critterina

    Critterina Senior Member

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    Pam,

    Before I started prednisone (low dose), I had similar issues. Cortisol is needed for gluconeogenesis in the liver, and without cortisol, we get hypoglycemic. For me, prednisone is a good substitute for not having cortisol. I additionally, during the worst of it, had insomia from about midnight until 5 or 6 am, with pain around both my kidneys and then hypoglycemia several times during the day. I don't always experience low blood sugar as hunger, though. It can be a full-stop mentally.

    I am wondering if your adrenal meds are not long-enough acting to get you through the overnight fast. Do you also take an afternoon/early evening dose? Are you maybe using hydrocortisone, which doesn't last as long?

    I am just so much better with 5 mg prednisone in the morning and 1 mg in the early evening, that I want the same for you. It has decreased my hypoglycemia so much that I actually got to the third page of this thread on fasting, wondering if I could do it now that I'm on prednisone.

    Critterina
    Wayne likes this.
  13. Critterina

    Critterina Senior Member

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    Darn, I was hoping I could go on a 3-day licorice fast!! :rofl:

    Reading the abstract (I don't have access to the article) I didn't see anything about fasting or about humans (unless you still credit Helen Lapp as being alive through her cell line). Can you give further insight or a couple of quotations?
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  14. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    I fast at times (well stop eatting if depressed or whatever) for over 3 days (water only). The first couple of days can be difficult eg lethargic but by the 3rd or 4th day of the fast, I always feel better then I usually do eg clearer head etc. If I fast thou for 10 days, I can start getting insomina from the fast (that's the first negative symptom I get from fasting and sometimes it may not even appear till just after the first two weeks of fasting). Anyway, I can feel better then usual for up to a 14 day fast (it doesnt decrease my energy levels either during that time).

    I have syndrome X so maybe my body is different then most which makes fasting a lot easier for me????

    Thanks, this article may of explained why I do so well with fasting (I always had assumed it may of been cause I wasnt having foods which may be giving me issues)
    Wayne likes this.
  15. bertiedog

    bertiedog Senior Member

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    Yes, I was on Prednisolone, 5mg in the morning and 1 mg later in the afternoon but recently this has all changed due to Low Dose Naltrexone and my need for both thyroid and adrenal meds have drastically dropped.

    Now I am on 2.5mg Prednisolone and 4 mg h/c in divided doses and 6.2 T3 plus 25 mcg thyroxine (previously 2 grains and the 25 mcg T4). Its a minor miracle cos been on these meds for 12 years.

    I still need a small snack when I first get up but quite often it is around 7.30 am. I still have a tendency to migraine headaches first thing and find that after the 2.5 mg Pred which I take around 5.30 before going back to sleep I do better with 2 mg h/c on getting up. Today this lasted me until 4 pm which is a massive improvement.

    I am also taking herbs for Lyme disease and think these might also have contributed to the improvement because this did happen to me way back in 2004 when I was taking Samento.

    Pam
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  16. Critterina

    Critterina Senior Member

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    Have you been checking your blood sugar when you wake up in the morning, or when you get headaches? If you'd rather reply in a PM, that's fine.
  17. Graeme

    Graeme almost there...

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    I used to do very well from fasting a few years back. Now it does nothing for me.

    I'd start my water fasts with a Hulda Clark liver flush (which, itself, requires fasting). This would calm my glutamate excitotoxicity symptoms, clear my head, stop fasciculations dead, and completely eliminate my electrical hypersensitivity. The flush would washout my symptoms much faster than fasting alone. However fasting on its own would bring about the same state within two to three days. In either case I'd be able to sustain these benefits until I next ate, at which point everything would return within five minutes of swallowing food, regardless of what I ate.

    Since the liver flush accelerated the washout, I'm guessing toxins play a part in these symptoms in my case. Seeing as that eating started the whole thing up again, I'd further guess these toxins are LPS from the gut, making it through and starting an immune reaction whenever I eat.

    I'm not sure why things have changed. Perhaps my system doesn't calm inflammation the same way, as I'm now in a weaker state.
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  18. bertiedog

    bertiedog Senior Member

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    Yes and my blood sugar is quite good first thing in the morning between 4.5 -4.7 but I have always thought my brain doesn't really like it that low!

    Things are changing so much for me now because of the Low Dose Naltrexone that I am still adjusting the steroid down to what looks like tiny amounts and this of course affects my blood sugars. During the day they had been too high but now on less steroid they are right down but my heads are no worse thankfully.

    It would seem that the LDN has modified my immune system which has calmed everything down and the HPA axis is now working more normally. Amazing to me after 12 years of being on a replacement dose of steroid and thyroid meds.

    I think tomorrow I will only take 0.25 mcg thyroxine and that's it for thyroid and still don't know what I need for the adrenals. So far its just 1 mg Pred and 2.5 hydrocortisone. Usually it would have been 4.5 mg Pred by this time of day. I am still in a bit of shock that this has happened and I am trying to understand exactly how the LDN affects the endocrine system but it definitely does!

    Pam
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  19. Critterina

    Critterina Senior Member

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    @bertiedog , Pam,

    Wow. I'm so happy for you. I have hypothyroid - one doc said Hashimoto's but I didn't have the antibodies, so I suspect he was just assuming (not sure he saw those results). But that sounds like it's going great for you! I have no idea why my adrenal aren't working...that wasn't listed as something the LDN helps but I've had autoimmunity (probably SLE) in the past.
  20. bertiedog

    bertiedog Senior Member

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    @Critterina Cannot remember if you said you had tried LDN? I have read the explanation now of how the LDN works and it definitely works on the HPA axis. Here is what I read from The Promise of Low Dose Naltrexone by Elaine Moore -

    "Neuroimmune Influences

    The immune system is constantly interacting with the neuro-endocrine system - These bi-directional interactions influence antibody and cytokine responses, cytolytic activity, lymphocyte proliferation, tissue localisation of lymphocytes, hypothalamic-pituitary hormone secretion, and neural signal transmission. Best illustrated in the body's response to stress."

    I have decided that tomorrow I am not taking any thyroid meds cos my body is telling me at the moment it doesn't want any (had had some sweating episodes today) and didn't feel right after the T3 this morning.

    Hope this helps.

    Pam

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