International ME/CFS and FM Awareness Day Is On May 12, 2018
Thomas Hennessy, Jr., selected May 12th to be our international awareness day back in 1992. He knew that May 12th had also been the birthday of Florence Nightingale. She was the English army nurse who helped to found the Red Cross as well as the first school of nursing in the world.
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Science of fasting

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Jpac, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. Jpac

    Jpac

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    Has anyone seen this video on Amazon? I feel like I should give this a try...I’m just scared. However I’m also scared of a life of meds and disappointment. Has anyone tried a very extended water fast...
     
  2. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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    you have not linked to the video @Jpac

    I saw this series of videos about 2 years ago from Jason Fung who has a lot of videos and blog possts on intermittent and extended fasts.

    He fasts normal insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes patients under medical supervision for long periods say a month or so.

    It is interesting but these are not people with ME/CFS.

    I think that there is some relevance. In this presentation https://www.melbournebioanalytics.o...mecfs-by-neil-mcgregor-written-transcription/ Neil McGregor mentioned that there were similarities between the metabolome of pwme/cfs and those with insulin resistance.

    The metabolomic data seems to show that we do not do glycolysis, or do not do it well. This means the choices left to us are amino acids or lipids and ketone bodies. I can understand why we might do better with a realatively low carb diet and how intermittent fasting can perhaps help by lowering blood glucose, and insulin so that we can access our fat reserves.

    But we are very different to people with type 2 diabetes or metabolomic syndrome or indeed normal people of any description. People fasting want to increase AMPK activity, we don't the problem seems to be that we are locked into AMPK.

    Having said that I find that intermittent fasting works well for me. I mostly just eat 2 meals a day about 5 or 6 hrs apart.

    The longest fast I have tried was 40hrs but @ahmo has more experience and has done at least one 3 day fast to try to reset her immune system.
     
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  3. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    I saw it.... It's a great documentary.

    I would not start with an extended water fast myself, especially in a debilitated state.

    I think it's easier to get into ketosis first, so you know you are burning fat well for energy, and then start fasting. Many people start with a day, 3 days, 5 days and do this several times before embarking on longer fasts. I would not personally do a 30 day water fast without medical supervision.
     
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  4. Diwi9

    Diwi9 Senior Member

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    I will be doing the ProLon fast (hopefully starting tomorrow) under my specialist's supervision. We discussed water fasting and was advised against that specific form of fasting.
     
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  5. Runner5

    Runner5 Senior Member

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    I did fasting 2 days a week for about 3 months. This is what happened.

    First it radically improved my energy. Even just putting my first meal time at 1pm saw a dramatic improvement as my body tapped into my glycogen. It was pretty amazing.

    I gradually increased my fasting until I could go a full 36 hours at a time without a meal (I allowed myself some bone broth in the evening before bed so I could sleep.

    By this time the adrenaline cycle releasing energy had totally stopped. My body simply adapted to skipping meals and it knew full well that I would eat again in the morning. All extra energy went away.

    I was simply fatigued and sitting around hungry on fasting days after that.

    One thing you want to be on a fasting day: BUSY. Sitting around fatigued on a fasting day is no bueno.

    My weight would fluctuate and then go up. My body did the classic, "Yo-Yo" in yoyo dieting. I'm female and going through pre-menopause and have a high estrogen. Jason Fung has no earthly idea about women and estrogen because he works with older individuals and I've read both of his books and watched his videos, he simply doesn't cover it and doesn't know much about it. Currently, the official recommendation is if you are in childbearing age and female - don't fast over 12-16 hours. Estrogen will kick your butt.

    But what do I have to lose? I don't care what they recommended, I simply want to feel better. I was also intrigued - what would happen?

    So I started fasting at 162lbs. I ended my 3 months at 168 roughly. The belly fat in my middle went down initially and then built back fortress style as if to say, "Oh NO YOU DON'T!" Again, YoYo.

    Being a runner and having dieted for years now, years and years -- and always being really aware of my food intake, I didn't over-do my non-fast days. There were no Buger King Binges or craziness.

    I actually ended up eating less over all, but my body had adjusted to do more with less.

    Thus now I gain weight easier, my metabolism is uh' more finicky. This is not a good thing.

    Also when I would go into Ketosis due to a prolonged fasting period it really screwed up my immune system and my skin developed the classic Keto Rash, and would get sores that would not heal.

    At the end of the day, had it worked I would have stuck with it. It simply was doing nothing other than me sitting around hungry, so there was no reason to continue in particular since I was getting a sore on my hand that would not heal.

    Hope this helps -- all the best.
     
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  6. Diwi9

    Diwi9 Senior Member

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    @Runner5 - Have you looked into ProLon...not that one has to buy their meal plan, but the concept is "fast-mimicking." I was surprised that the calorie load per day is between 1100-700 calories, so not a pure fast. I've been keto for a few months and it has really helped me. Our different experiences just go to show how much our metabolic needs differ individually and perhaps even more tricky with this disease.
     
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  7. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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    That is the thing isn't it. We are in such a lousy condition that we'll do anything so long as it works.
     
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  8. Runner5

    Runner5 Senior Member

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    @Diwi I haven't checked out ProLon, but it sounds like 5:2 (BBC Documentary on 5:2 is really good and is on YouTube) or alternate day fasting. Is ProLon that what you're doing?

    The interesting thing about fasting is I learned a lot about my appetite and hunger.

    It gave me a lot of information and it did lead to good changes dietarily.
     
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  9. Diwi9

    Diwi9 Senior Member

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    @Runner5 - Same here, I became interested after going keto and having positive effects (but keto flu is real). I was nervous about doing ProLon, but it's not total restriction. I'm having labs done pre- and post- to determine inflammatory markers. Certainly the program is not for everyone, but it may help some. It was developed by Dr. Longo and there is a lot on YouTube. For me, this is just another health experiment...something we are all familiar with.
     
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  10. ChrisD

    ChrisD Senior Member

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    I watched the film after your recommendation and found it fascinating. Since going Keto I have been able to incorporate some intermittent fasting that seems to help a little bit, and I am keen to try longer fasts for perhaps a day or two, as they once seemed impossible but now increasingly possible with more sustained energy. A friend who is healthy has been doing the carnivore diet with 3 day dry fasts and swears by it for boosting his health and energy, cognition etc. I would really like to try whatever can improve my health but clearly with ME there are parameters to what you can achieve, since hydration and energy intake is kind of vital.

    Anyway my plan from here on is to build up slowly from IF to full days water fasting, and then maybe try morning IF dry fasts and then day dry fasts, and then i will see from there how I feel and if it would be possible to go any longer. I find it impossible to sleep if I haven't eaten and am keen to keep a regimented pattern of good sleep which I am managing to achieve at the moment through other means.

    Also getting into Ketogenic and occasional carnivore days has brought up a lot of adrenal/cortisol spikes which are under control with tons of salts and electrolytes, I wonder what impact fasting would have and if I still need to use these?
     
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  11. percyval577

    percyval577 Knight

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    I eventually do fasting, mostly by accident because I havn´t anything more to eat and am to lazy to have a go for it. I do it for about a day. Its always nice, I feel free, sometimes I can think, but mostly then I lack energy to do it.

    I find it to be natural, and if some situation comes up I go for it with full intention, even if I still have something to eat. I never make a plan. I do so since ever.
    Sometimes I cannot sleep then (if possible enough), and this e.g. will finish the fastning.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
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  12. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

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    I don't think I'd repeat a 3-day fast these days. I did it twice, I think, and found it harder the 2nd time. (I think, not sure of details now). Later I got into 5-2 type fasting. but at some point it seemed too hard on my body. I'm pretty much on keto diet.

    Last year I put on an unwanted 5kg. It was a stressful year, and I read my symptoms to mean I needed more fat. But the fat ended up sticking. So now I've been doing a sort of fasting about 5 days a week, skipping my normal 100gm meat + cup of cooked root veggies in the evening. It's also summer, so eating a lot of watermelon. This eating pattern has not stressed my body, and I've managed to lose a bit of weight. whew!
     
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  13. Sushi

    Sushi Moderation Resource Albuquerque

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    I will have to do a 2 day clear liquid diet before a colonoscopy and wonder how it will be as I have not done well with any sort of fasting since I've had ME/CFS.
     
  14. Jpac

    Jpac

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    The sleeping part scared me as well. Was only an issue the first night. Next time I will have to consume some type of electrolyte drink.
     
  15. BadBadBear

    BadBadBear Senior Member

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    Sounds exactly like me. My metabolism adjusts really fast to lower calorie intake, and I don't lose weight cutting calories. To do that, your metabolism has to be capable of not completely tanking. :) And then re-feeding guarantees a weight gain, because it takes longer for metabolism to go back up (however much it will) than to go down.

    So frustrating!
     
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