|Search treatments and conditions|
The human body is designed with the capacity to fast. Although fasting is safe as well as effective, it is advisable to be under medical supervision when on any extended fast.
Fasting is very different than malnutrition. A poor quality diet consumed for a month results in a lowered state of health. Fasting, on the other hand, gives the body the opportunity to cleanse and heal itself. When free from the responsibilities of digestion, the capacity for self-restoration is enhanced.
Diseases responding to fasting
Conditions such as headaches, hypoglycemia, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, acne and eczema, infections, tinnitus, vertigo, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, cervical dysplasia, chronic neck and back pain, polymyalgia rheumatica, and many others are helped by fasting.
Physicians who have used this approach have recorded improvement or recovery from conditions of every description that patients had been needlessly suffering with for years. Besides the diseases already mentioned, one should assume that in the vast majority of chronic medical conditions this approach may give the disease sufferer the best chance to achieve a complete recovery and avoid a lifetime of suffering or medical treatments.
Sometimes when people try to make major dietary changes without the benefit of fasting they become frustrated. Beneficial changes that can take months or years with careful eating happen quickly if a fast is utilized. Once a person begins to realize the health potential and can see the results, he or she is more likely to become committed to a lifetime of healthful living.
The withdrawal symptoms of addiction to such drugs as alcohol, cocaine, nicotine and caffeine are resolved quickly while fasting. Most people are amazed at how easy it is to quit smoking while fasting. Those who have fasted begin to respect their body in a new way that enables them to take better care of themselves in the future.
Conditions for which fasting is not recommended include extreme weakness or debilitation, severe anemia, nutritional deficiencies, porphyria, evidence of weakened kidney or liver function, and pregnancy. Malnourished patients with cancer or AIDS should not fast. Medications should be tapered and discontinued prior to fasting whenever possible.
A very useful book is Fasting and Eating for Health, A Medical Doctor's Program For Conquering Disease. by Joel Fuhrman, MD. 1995. Excerpts from selected chapters can be viewed from one of his web pages.
My very favorite site for insights and motivation for fasting is FreedonYou - for all you are meant to be. There is lots there, as they freely share about this powerful experience. Please consider buying any of their books also, in preparation for the fast that is right for you.
Another source of information on the value of intermittent fasting is well worth checking out. It promotes the idea that there are many benefits gained from fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week. Here is the link.
To prepare the body for a longer fast, it is good to take a few days to a week eliminate certain foods from the diet. Gradually eliminate caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, sugar, red meats and animal foods, milk and dairy products, eggs, and on the last day, nutritional supplements. Many benefit by consuming only fruits and vegetables for 3 to 4 days before they begin the fast. This will begin the detoxification process slowly, so that the actual fasting may be less intense. Colon cleansing by enema or colonic should be done a few times during the first week to ensure the bowel is empty.
Recovery comes in stages.
It is important to keep dentures in the mouth, biting on them to keep the gums in condition or there may be such shrinkage that by the end of the fast the plates no longer fit. Be consistant about drinking at least 1 cup of water for every 20 pounds of weight.
Breaking the fast should be done gradually. The longer the fast, the greater amount of time should be taken to reintroduce solid foods. There are different protocols for reintroducing foods, but basically start by eating fruit or raw or cooked low-starch vegetables, such as greens or broth. This can be followed with salads and soups, then grains such as rice or millet and then nuts, seeds and legumes. Your normal diet (or a new improved version) can be taken within 2 days after ending a shorter fast or 4-7 days after a longer one.
As you continue to add foods, pay close attention to how your body responds to them. People have discovered foods they are allergic or sensitive to. If a particular food upsets you, try it again in a week or so. If it is still upsetting, perhaps you should eliminate it from your diet for an extended time.
"Man lives on one quarter of what he eats. On the other three quarters lives his doctor." Inscription on Egyptian pyramid, 3800 BC.
If you would like to go on an extended fast but can not find anyone locally to supervise it for you, there is a service that might be just right for you. Fasting Center International comes highly recommended and allows you to fast at home - yet receive the assistance you need for a successful and safe fast. Dennis Paulson, founder and director of FCI, will oversee your fast for a very reasonable fee. Please have a look at his website.
|May do some good|
|Likely to help|
|May have adverse consequences|
|Reasonably likely to cause problems|
Acne: A chronic skin disorder due to inflammation of hair follicles and sebaceous glands (secretion glands in the skin).
Acute: An illness or symptom of sudden onset, which generally has a short duration.
AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. An immune system deficiency disorder that suddenly alters the body's ability to defend itself. The AIDS virus invades the T4 helper/inducer lymphocytes and multiplies, causing a breakdown in the body's immune system, eventually leading to overwhelming infection and/or cancer, with ultimate death.
Anemia: A condition resulting from an unusually low number of red blood cells or too little hemoglobin in the red blood cells. The most common type is iron-deficiency anemia in which the red blood cells are reduced in size and number, and hemoglobin levels are low. Clinical symptoms include shortness of breath, lethargy and heart palpitations.
Autoimmune Disease: One of a large group of diseases in which the immune system turns against the body's own cells, tissues and organs, leading to chronic and often deadly conditions. Examples include multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, Bright's disease and diabetes.
Cancer: Refers to the various types of malignant neoplasms that contain cells growing out of control and invading adjacent tissues, which may metastasize to distant tissues.
Cardiovascular: Pertaining to the heart and blood vessels.
Cervical Dysplasia: Abnormal cells on the surface of the cervix, classified as either mild (70% of cases fall into this category; the cells regress on their own), moderate, or severe, or as class 1, 2 or 3. While dysplasia itself does not cause health problems, it is considered to be a precancerous condition. Left untreated, dysplasia sometimes progresses to an early form of cancer known as cervical carcinoma in situ, and eventually to invasive cervical cancer.
Chronic: Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.
Colon: The part of the large intestine that extends to the rectum. The colon takes the contents of the small intestine, moving them to the rectum by contracting.
Diabetes Mellitus: A disease with increased blood glucose levels due to lack or ineffectiveness of insulin. Diabetes is found in two forms; insulin-dependent diabetes (juvenile-onset) and non-insulin-dependent (adult-onset). Symptoms include increased thirst; increased urination; weight loss in spite of increased appetite; fatigue; nausea; vomiting; frequent infections including bladder, vaginal, and skin; blurred vision; impotence in men; bad breath; cessation of menses; diminished skin fullness. Other symptoms include bleeding gums; ear noise/buzzing; diarrhea; depression; confusion.
Eczema: Swelling of the outer skin of unknown cause. In the early stage it may be itchy, red, have small blisters, and be swollen, and weeping. Later it becomes crusted, scaly, and thickened.
Fibromyalgia: (FMS): Originally named fibrositis, it is a mysteriously debilitating syndrome that attacks women more often than men. It is not physically damaging to the body in any way, but is characterized by the constant presence of widespread pain that often moves about the body. Fibromyalgia can be so severe that it is often incapacitating.
Gastrointestinal: Pertaining to the stomach, small and large intestines, colon, rectum, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.
Glaucoma: A disease of the eye characterized by vision loss due to an increase in the pressure of fluid within the eye. This rise in pressure results from a build-up of aqueous fluid and leads to progressive damage to the optic nerve that transmits visual signals to the brain. Over time, glaucoma can lead to a gradual loss in peripheral vision. There are usually no signs that you're developing glaucoma until vision loss occurs.
Hypertension: High blood pressure. Hypertension increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure because it adds to the workload of the heart, causing it to enlarge and, over time, to weaken; in addition, it may damage the walls of the arteries.
Hypoglycemia: A condition characterized by an abnormally low blood glucose level. Severe hypoglycemia is rare and dangerous. It can be caused by medications such as insulin (diabetics are prone to hypoglycemia), severe physical exhaustion, and some illnesses.
Interferon: A protein formed by the cells of the immune system in the presence of a virus, etc. It prevents viral reproduction, and is capable of protecting noninfected cells from viral infection. Several kinds of interferon exist including alpha, beta, and gamma.
Metabolism: The chemical processes of living cells in which energy is produced in order to replace and repair tissues and maintain a healthy body. Responsible for the production of energy, biosynthesis of important substances, and degradation of various compounds.
Nervous System: A system in the body that is comprised of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, ganglia and parts of the receptor organs that receive and interpret stimuli and transmit impulses to effector organs.
Porphyria: Any of several usually hereditary abnormalities of porphyrin metabolism characterized by excretion of excess porphyrins in the urine. Porphyrias are relatively rare disorders and can be classified based on the principal site of expression of enzymatic defect in heme synthesis.
Tinnitus: A sensation of noise (ringing or roaring) that is caused by a bodily condition and can usually only be heard by the person affected.
Vertigo: The sensation of spinning or whirling; a state in which you or your surroundings seem to whirl dizzily.
White Blood Cell: (WBC): A blood cell that does not contain hemoglobin: a blood corpuscle responsible for maintaining the body's immune surveillance system against invasion by foreign substances such as viruses or bacteria. White cells become specifically programmed against foreign invaders and work to inactivate and rid the body of a foreign substance. Also known as a leukocyte.