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Water fasting - Can I take my meds?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by stolpioni, Jul 19, 2017.

  1. stolpioni

    stolpioni

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    Forgive me if this is in the wrong area of the forum. I intend to try a water fast for 10-30 days and see if it can help with the CFS. Was wondering if I can still take my meds and some other things during this time:

    - Himalayan salt (I intend to drink distilled water instead of right out of the tap, and I usually put 1-2 tbps of himalayan salt in the water bucket)
    - Topical Lugol's Iodine + DMSO (I use this on an injury I am hoping to heal with the water fast)
    - Activated Charcoal (to help clear toxins)
    - Demopressin (this is a medication I am prescribed because of bad kidney function/for mold issues)
    - Pentoxifylline (another medication I am taking/also for mold issues)

    Can I take all of the above safely without ruining my fast?
     
  2. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    I would be more worried that the water fasting is harmful.
     
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  3. JES

    JES Senior Member

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    10-30 days sounds way too long if you haven't had experiences doing it before, it's especially risky at the moment when you break the fast and start eating again.

    I'm interested in fasting as there are certain recent studies indicating that it can "reset" your immune system in a way (link), however, 72 hours is apparently enough to trigger this effect. I had a go at fasting a couple of years ago. The first 24 hours were easy, after that I started getting palpitations, and by the 40th hour I felt so weak I could hardly work or do anything meaningful.

    Regarding the meds, I would assume the absorption might get slightly higher if they are taken on a totally empty stomach like when fasting, but I can't really give a specific answer to this.
     
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  4. stolpioni

    stolpioni

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    Yes, I had similar symptoms when I tried it the last time around. I think I did 96 hours. I could've gone on longer but I had business to conduct and couldn't walk without getting dizzy.

    But yeah, I do have some experience at least. I now have a cottege rented for a month so thought it'd be a good place to try a longer fast. Obviously I will break the fast if I feel like I need to.

    I have a schedule for breaking the fast. First couple of days would all be fluid and later I would add simple things like fruits, oatmeal etc.
     
  5. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Don't know about the others, but a pharmacist should be able to answer this. Like others, I'd be concerned trying that long a water fast--particularly having ME/CFS. We already have screwed up metabolites--I'd think this could be dangerous. I find that I am not able to fast at all without heart symptoms (perhaps due to electrolyte imbalances from not eating).
     
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  6. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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    @stolpioni I would suggest that you do not fast this long on water alone.

    1) in the book by mark donohoe https://static1.squarespace.com/sta...de025/1410769410474/Killing Us Softly 1.3.pdf that @btdt recently brought to everyone's attention Mark mentions that one factor found common in all of the ME/CFS and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities patients he was treating in a hospital ward was that they got liver damage when fasting if they did not have have additional amino acids.

    2) Jason Fung https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/ who recommends fasting for type two diabetics and has a lot of experience with 30 day fasts only does these long fasts with patients under medical supervision and they are not strict water fasts, but contain supplements and, if I remember correctly, broth.

    3) I understand from podcasts I have listened to that ketosis massively increases peoples needs for salt and magnesium. I cannot remember which D'Agostino podcast it was but this would be a good place to look for good information for normal people in ketosis https://ketonutrition.org/resources.

    I would also take whichever form of carnitine works best for you to aid fat metabolism as this would seem likely to help.

    4) I think it is important to remember that people with ME/CFS are not well people. research done on normal people may not translate to pwme/cfs. Mark Donohoe's experience is the only one I am aware of with lots of people with ME/CFS and that was only 3-4 days.

    5) you might want to ask what effect you are seeking.

    I have done a lot of intermittent fasting, and a handful of slightly longer 40 odd hour fasts I think the longest was something like 46hrs. Judged from say a religious observance point of view these longer fasts would not have been considered true fasts as I still took all my supplements.


    But my doctor and I misinterpreted my 2hr glucose tolerance/insulin test and thought I was prediabetic. Turns out my unusual for normal people pattern was just the normal ME/CFS pattern (strong insulin response but flat glucose response - which should be seen as obviously not insulin resistant but I excuse myself on the grounds of brainfog and desperation).


    Anyway as my aim at the time was to deal with insulin resistance so I made sure that I took no significant carbohydrates and proteins when fasting, but did not worry about the trivial amounts contained in the .5 tsp of turmeric I took each morning and afternoon for example.
     
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  7. lansbergen

    lansbergen Senior Member

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    So would I.
     
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  8. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    I would recommend against doing water fasting, especially with ME/CFS. The loss of electrolytes is extremely dangerous for us.
     
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  9. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    Fasting also relies on alternative metabolic pathways being in good working order, namely the ability to burn stored fat effectively enough to meet calorie needs. It probably doesn't work very well for us.

    And the body has an ongoing need for many micronutrients - minerals, vitamins, etc. It's senseless to deliberately induce a bunch of deficiencies with a long-term fast.

    PS - it's just a "fast", not a "water fast". Fasting has never involved avoiding water for more than a fraction of a day, except in people with a death wish.
     
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  10. pamojja

    pamojja Senior Member

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    Have 2 experiences with fasting. Once with good health short after age 20 for 21 days, which went without any difficulty. After 3 days the hunger left. Though didn't do any labs at that time.

    Then when i got sick after age 40 for 7 days. Which caused me to become clearly prediabetic (assume my body got really good in gluconeogensis during that week) and severely Magnesium deficient, which almost 9 years later I haven't overcome. Only recently I read here at PR about refeeding-syndrome and could connect the dots.

    Sorry for not being able to add anything to your medication question. Personally wouldn't risk..
     
  11. stolpioni

    stolpioni

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    How do you know fasting caused the magnesium deficiency? Did you test your magnesium just before and after the fast?

    Yes, with water fast I meant drinking water only. Some people drink juices etc.

    But you get electrolytes from himalayan salt?
     
  12. svetoslav80

    svetoslav80 svetoslav80 at gmail.com

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    Have you made water fasting before, for shorter periods? Are you aware of the dangers? The first time I made water fasting , I think it was just for a day or two, I experienced awful hunger, couldn't control myself and I ate a lot instead of gradually feeding myself. And I had a really awful stomach ache. Now imagine if you water fast for 10 days and do the same mistake, you may die from that, literally. Water fasting is not for everyone. I've heard of fatalities on the 11th day. So whether you take Himalayan salt or not is your smallest problem. And btw Himalayan salt is a scam. The ordinary salt is much richer in minerals than it, AFAIK.
     
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  13. pamojja

    pamojja Senior Member

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    After that fast I got regular very painful muscle-cramps, which got eased only after titrating up to massive amounts of daily magnesium. Only after I started to test, which confirmed the severe deficiency.

    Personally think have been sub-clinically Mg deficient already before the fast. Which only came worse and apparent after.
     
  14. svetoslav80

    svetoslav80 svetoslav80 at gmail.com

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    Actually there are people who claim to have done dry fasting for a few days. There are a few videos in youtube. Besides, just "fasting" may mean that you still take *some* limited amount of food, I think? So water fasting is a correct term https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_fasting
     
  15. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    No. You get sodium. But what about potassium, calcium, magnesium? You also need glucose for the absorption of electrolytes.
     
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  16. JES

    JES Senior Member

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    Dry fasting doesn't seem very sane to me. It seems a person starts to die after three days with no water, so I imagine two days could already do massive damage. But yeah, there is a difference between water fasting, and say, juice fasting.
     
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  17. skipskip30

    skipskip30 Senior Member

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    My advice is don't do it, especially not for 30 days. Unless you are under constant medical supervision that is incredibly dangerous to fast for so long.

    If you must try it then talk to a pharmacist about the drugs, don't trust people on the internet about something so important! You don't know if anyone is even remotely qualified to answer, whatever they say.
     
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  18. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    A few years ago, patient activist Robert Miller did a hunger strike. - water fast is pretty much like a hunger strike, plus or minus water. He was being followed by a doctor and had blood work performed regularily to endsure his safety. It turned out his kidneys started to shut down after a week. Depriving yourself of energy and electrolyte and assuming that your body will have the reserves necessary and the ability to access these reserves is plain and simply foolish.

    No health care professional in their right mind would recommend such fasting. Published books are not acceptable scientific and peer-reviewed references.
     
  19. svetoslav80

    svetoslav80 svetoslav80 at gmail.com

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    Not true, here's one study published on NIH website saying patients normalized their high blood pressure after 13.6 (average) days of water fasting
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12470446
     
  20. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

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    The other side.
    They'd normalise their blood pressure a lot faster using a "dry" fast tho - within a week they'd have perfectly normal blood pressure, for a corpse.

    More seriously, I'd suggest that going straight into a 30 day fast is probably not a good idea, no matter how much salty water, industrial solvent and charcoal you consume. Have you considered a pilot of 7 days and see how your body responds to that?
     

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