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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. Critterina

    Critterina Senior Member

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    @bertiedog , Pam,

    No I haven't tried LDN, Never heard of it before you. But it's important to know what is WRONG with the HPA axis, or at least in what direction it's wrong, before treating...as I found out when I tried phosphatidylserine. I was barely limping along on almost no cortisol, and when I took that, it lowered it even more (which I didn't think was possible, but it was way worse!). Of course later, it got so that it was that bad without taking anything. Most of my pituitary is good. I make TSH and it goes down when I take thyroid (and my temp goes up into the 97s). My morning cortisol is at the low end of the normal range. It just seems to drop any other time of day, far enough to give me symptoms. Of course, a little prednisone fixed not only those, but some lifelong issues like by blood sugar dropping precipitously every so often.

    Are you sure your sweating was T3? For me, that's often low blood sugar. (Wish to God that it were hot flashes - that adrenal function would be welcome!)
  2. Tired of being sick

    Tired of being sick Senior Member

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    New Study: Fasting Renews Immune System


    This explains why my meds seem to work all over again after 48 hours of quitting meds and food cold turkey,roughing it out in bed for 24 to 72 hours...

    My mind&body has always done this subconsciously and now I know why!
  3. Critterina

    Critterina Senior Member

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    This post reminded me that my pulmonologist recommended a 3-day water fast to resolve the immuno/allergy symptoms (respiratory) that he later diagnosed as histamine intolerance.

    Since then, my adrenals wimped out enough that I'm on low dose prednisone. It has stabilized my blood sugar enough that I thought I'd try a day. My blood sugar has plummeted occasionally throughout my life, with readings as low as 39, 46, and many in the 50s and 60s. Physical activity prevents this from happening, but when I'm sedentary, there is this knee in the curve. But all this stopped with prednisone (5 +1 mg); it's remarkable.

    Saturday night I wasn't too hungry, plenty lazy, so I had a bowl of cereal for dinner. Sunday I was reading this article, and I'd only had a cup of coffee with a little half-and-half. I decided to try, not the 3-day, but just until it got uncomfortable. I went to church (sedentary) and at noon my blood sugar tested 92! I felt fine. I lasted until 4 pm, at which time I got the hiccups, headache, and found myself opening the refrigerator every time I came into the kitchen. I took that as a signal. I made it less than 24 hours, but more than 20; for me this was success.

    Thanks everyone for this post. I may be able to work up to 2-3 days. If so, I'll let you know how it goes with the histamine intolerance.
  4. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    Fasting is a very individual issue and choice, I think, but my own opinion (fwiw) is that it's probably not always the best idea, primarily because of how hard it is on the liver. Without a steady influx of protein, the liver actually slows down detoxification, which is a main reason that people usually feel awful while fasting (headaches, body aches, weakness and fatigue, etc.). Those effects ironically are often attributed TO detox, when in reality the exact opposite is most likely happening: you're getting more toxic!

    I think fasting is especially problematic when chronically ill with something like ME, when our bodies are probably metabolically stressed almost by definition. I could fast no problem before I got ME, for example, but since then I get extremely weak and fatigued if I go even one day without eating. The last time I tried it I did a juice fast, and by day three I was almost totally wiped. Eating some food again began restoring my energy back toward normal even within the hour, leading me to conclude that in some people with (or some forms of?) ME/CFS, the steady energy input from regular meals is (pun intended) vitally important -- whether because of adrenal and blood glucose issues, liver glycogen conversion issues, the X factor of ME issues, etc. (or all of the above).

    While the idea of kickstarting and rejuvenating the immune system is very appealing, I notice that one doc in that article was at least semi-skeptical. I also have to wonder if the immune system wouldn't in most cases "rejuvenate" itself (clear out the old cells, etc.) more or less on its own, just as a normal course of metabolic functioning. That would seem preferable, for me at least, than putting the body through the incredible stress of fasting, which is basically the equivalent of putting yourself in "red alert" survival-mode. It just seems like the detriments outweigh the potential benefits; although having said all that, I would just reiterate what I said above about it being ultimately an individual choice and decision.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
    rosie26, Bob and Critterina like this.
  5. Critterina

    Critterina Senior Member

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    @jeffrez ,

    I like your response because it just highlights how different we are! Of course, I don't have ME/CFS, but before I got sick, I could no more fast than swim the Pacific ocean. Even an Atkins-style diet had me shaking, sweating, crying, and ready to do anything to feel better, and that was in the 1970s. Within 5 minutes of having carbohydrates, life was again bearable.

    Adrenal and blood glucose are related, you know: The liver needs glucocorticoids (hydrocortisol naturally, but prednisone seems to work as a substitute) in order to perform gluconeogenesis. I suspect that there is some other mechanism for gluconeogenesis from muscle glycogen when muscles are active. At least it seems that way to me. So no glucocorticoids and no exercises means no new sugar in the blood.
    Bob and jeffrez like this.
  6. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    Absolutely, Critterina, you are exactly right about the adrenal/cortisol and liver glucose function relationship. I often wonder, in fact, if fasting itself might contribute to the development of ME/CFS in some susceptible people, just because of the amount of stress it puts on the body and particularly the adrenals (to pump out the cortisol in the effort to convert more glycogen).

    I know the onset of ME for me, for example, was directly related to improper corticosteroid tapering (a doc basically just took me off cold turkey, causing a hypoglycemic crash from which I never really recovered), and probably also related to a lot of heavy training, bike riding, etc. I was doing at the time on a vegetarian diet (which is also generally a bad idea, imho). I believed all the "food combining" material about matching foods to maximize protein, etc. but I think now that even if those ideas are true, vegetarianism still provides inadequate protein and cholesterol for many (most?) people (the adrenals love and need cholesterol, as you probably already know). Iow, from that perspective, vegetarianism is itself a kind of "lite" fasting -- and usually long-term. Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.

    It would be interesting to know how many people with ME/CFS tried fasting before they got sick, especially if this immune "renewing" function is in fact correct. Because aside from the metabolic effects of fasting, who knows what the consequences of these supposed immune effects actually might be in some people re: virus reactivation, as someone mentioned; from possibly causing inflammatory/redox imbalances, etc.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
    Alea Ishikawa and Critterina like this.

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