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Benefits & Side Effects

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Re Leg Cramps.
Many people suffer leg cramps (and other symptoms) when they eat or drink artificial sweeteners.
Brrrr! A new one for me. I have just done a two day fast, mainly because I had a heavy weekend and because I woke on the second morning and thought 'well why not, I'm feeling great, I'm not feeling hungry, so lets try a second one'.
Today (the breaking fast day) I am walking around, in August, with a dress, socks and a cardigan on. I am COLD! I haven't been cold for many, many years. In the winter I will throw on clothes before going outside, because it would seem weird to other people to see me walking about in just a t'shirt in 6 inches of snow. I have put washing on the line, barefoot and wearing just my dressing gown in the same cold conditions. I have always said that I am insulated like a whale with 6 inches of blubber, but now I'm not so sure that is the reason.

Being cold to me has always been a 'surface' thing. It has always been a skin level condition, but this cold was a bone deep feeling, all the way through me. Is that what a normal weight person feels when they say they are cold?
Hi Julieathome - I'm sure you have seen lots of people complaining of the cold as a negative side affect. I think there are 2 parts to it. First, eating, digesting, processing etc is all pretty hard work for the body and therefore generates a fair bit of heat in itself. During and after a fast, these processes are much reduced, so your body isn't generating the internal furnace that it usually does.
Second, yup, I have definitely noticed a difference as I have lost body fat. My nose runs in the cold much more readily and my hands and feet are noticebly colder in cold weather.
Insomnia... (it's 4.47 am here right now)
The main side effect I noticed in the beginning was getting more introvert, I had a hard time finding the will and energy to talk to people while fasting. I wasn't really grumpy, just wanted to be left alone.

This initial effect have completely dissappeared. I figure I have adapted fairly well to fat burning, reducing carbs on feast days, exercising more and eating zero calories on fast days might have helped I think.
On my third fast, have been a little cold but my main issue was stomach cramps at night, really tight enough to wake me up. Does anyone else get these? I've never had it before apart from when I was ill but I don't feel ill and it was only at night.
Not really except maybe a bit obsessive about reading everything i can find about 5:2 and neglecting other stuff in the meantime.and having an occasional strong urge on fast days to put my whole head in a big vat of mashed potatoes or cream x
@candacemarie -' I have that same side affect, I'm always reading about it. The negative side affect for me is that I need to bite my tongue so I don't preach the 5:2 to every person I talk to.
I also get a bit snappy, usually on my feast day though which is interesting because its not hunger induced.
I'm a news junkie so I definitely get that, CandiceMarie.

I experienced the 'feeling cold' side effect for the first time yesterday. I live on a subtropical island, where it does get cold-ish in winter, but I started 4:3 in late March. But yesterday, even though it's plenty warm still, and the ACs are set quite high (27-28C), I was shivering all day. I must remember to bring a cardie to work.
Yep, I get very cold even when it is reasonably mild outside, today for instance. And yes, AMcc35, I have also had the occasional stomach cramps during the night but wasn't sure what to attribute it to. Ah well, worth it in the long run.
Interesting reading this thread, I haven't had many side effects apart from a few headaches and being thirsty. However, over the past week I've been sleeping terribly, wired and anxious before I go to sleep, then constantly waking and having odd dreams, didn't even think about it being connected before!

I also seem to fill up really easily during the day on normal days. Often not eating until 2, but then getting over-whelming cravings for chocolate later on. Need to watch that as well!
Hi. Thought I'd jump in. I'm on the 15th week (done 31 fasts so far) and THOUGHT I was doing well, until yesterday's fast. I have been noticing my hands tingling during fasts (when I hit about 18 hours) and a surging feeling in my chest. Well, yesterday when I felt the surge, I checked my pulse, and it turns out that my pulse was extremely low (scarily low), and the surge was a palpitation. It scared me so much, I immediately broke my fast and then called my doctor. I am going to see him on Monday.

I did talk to the nurse and she suggested it could possibly be an electrolyte drop or low blood sugar. I did a quick Google search and I don't think that low blood sugar causes low heart rate--it says it causes a fast heart rate! I am also a bit skeptical about being deficient in any way, especially because I eat healthy foods almost all the time and I don't drown myself in water during fast days (and I'm certainly getting enough fluids--I'm not dehydrated at all!).

In any event, I got so scared I decided not to fast again until Monday, so that I can be fasting when I see the doctor. I am going to buy some electrolyte drink to have while fasting, however, and see if that helps.

Has this happened to anyone else? Any ideas?
I've done 11 weeks on 5:2. I've never had the hand tingling thing but I think that could be low salt. My heart rate has dropped to 40 something a few times (not noticed it for about a month but not checked either). I googled it and all I found is that athletes have a resting heart rate of 40 something. Now I'm no athlete but I took it that my body is working better. I would be interested in what your doctor says, if you don't mind sharing.
Dee :)
I will definitely share the results. My two biggest fears are that I am damaging my heart (but I think that's not really a thing to worry about) and that my doctor will tell me to stop fasting. Ugh.

I'll let everyone know ! Thanks.
I have a miso soup every fast day. I guess it's fairly normal to be getting less salt than usual if you are eating less. An electrolyte drink is a good idea. Especially if you can find one that isn't full of glucose/fructose!
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