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Fasting with Medical Conditions

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fasting and CFS
22 Apr 2013, 19:49
Hi, another newbie here with a few questions.
I have done 4 fasts so far, and the positive side effect of appetite
resetting really does happen,its amazing I don't crave food all day now and
really savour it when I do eat! As I have a physically demanding job I only
have the energy to fast on my days off, so at the moment only doing one
fast day a week and eating sensibly rest of the week, hoping to go up to 2
when work eases off!
Will I still get the benefits from only one fast a week, obviously weight
loss will be slower. Id like to lose one and a half stones.
Is it normal to feel very tired the day after fasting, will this improve?
Does anyone else breakout in spots a few days later?
Is it normal to get tender lymph nodes(armpit/breast area) after?
Does anyone have experiance with fasting and having mild/moderate Chronic
Fatigue Syndrome? (pretty much recovered now) but concerned as feeling more
tired again since starting diet.
I guess the body has to adapt to a new way of eating and I know mine is
particularly sensitive to change because of the Cfs,but any info out there
is gratefuly recieved.
Many thanks and good luck to all fellow fasters!
love and light!
Re: fasting and CFS
23 Apr 2013, 17:59
Hi crackers and welcome to the forum, sorry you have had to wait a while for a reply! Great to hear that you are getting on well with the fasting so far.

Yes you can benefit from 6:1 fasting but as you realise the weight loss will be slower, it all comes down to how many calories you are taking in over the whole week versus how many you are burning. So if you are eating enough to maintain your weight on the 6 days you are likely to lose say 1/2 lb / week instead of 1 lb / week.

Different people react to the fast days in different ways, I haven't had the problem of being tired the day after or the spots or tender lymph nodes, nor heard of the latter two here. Did you discuss with your GP/doctor?

Maybe someone here will have some other good relevant suggestions (shouts down the corridor...)

Sorry, quite a few are over at the canteen at the moment, but they'll be back... :wink:
Re: fasting and CFS
23 Apr 2013, 18:40
Ha ha, yes, back from the canteen where I had a yummy salmon steak served with a Thai style vegetable stir fry...only problem was, all the staff had gone awol so I had to cook it myself! ;-)

Crackers, I have heard of spots being a side-effect in the early days, not exactly sure what causes it but it may have something to do with oestrogen release from fat stores (a form of oestrogen is stored in the adipose tissue and may be released when fat is burned for fuel). The feeling tired the day after has also been reported as a feature of the first couple of fasts but seems to resolve (as do the spots). The tender lymph nodes may be unrelated or what is known as 'low carb flu'. There is a thread somewhere discussing this, but what is important is that like the other side-effects it should resolve once you have a few fasts behind you. If the tender lymph nodes continue though, you should indeed visit your doctor.

If 6:1 does not result in weight loss you can always add a half fast on another day (i.e., a low calorie day but not as low as the official fast day...maybe 800 or 1000 cal) and of course, you can progress to 2 fasts a week once the side-effects have resolved and you start feeling perky!
Re: fasting and CFS
23 Apr 2013, 18:41
My advice would be to give it another couple of weeks. Providing the side effects are not unbearable/ dangerous feeling. You know your own body, but if in doubt ask the GP. I had various side effects at first (see blog post if you want the details) but nothing major. They all faded away after about a month. I notice now my skin is much clearer - I didn't count it as a side effect of 5:2 in the early days as I always had bad skin, but it has definitely improved (I'm about 3 months in now). So stick at it and I suppose keep an eye on what you eat on non fast days. I guess if you have any intolerances fasting might exacerbate them with the whole 'detoxifying' business.
Re: fasting and CFS
23 Apr 2013, 19:03
Hi there, I have CFS/ME, I have posted about it in other threads, but not sure where, you can try searching if you want to see them. I would say mine is severe though, but (I am on my third fast) the weight loss is definitely working for me so far. I tend to feel pretty yuck in the evenings on fast days, and yes a bit tired on the day after, but it's hard to distinguish from my usual symptoms. I am just doing what everyone advises and persisting for a few weeks in the hope that the side effects will go away. You're welcome to PM me if you want to/have any questions. I know there are a few other people on here with similar illnesses who are doing this WOE, and the side effects have worn off for them. But you might have to be gentle on yourself and ease into it a bit, to allow your body time to adjust. Good luck :clover:
Re: fasting and CFS
25 Apr 2013, 07:15
Thankyou all for the replies, its good to hear that hopefully the side effects will wear off over time! Im just wondering if I can cope in the meantime, have had to take time off work today as feeling so tired, so want to lose weight but not sure if this method is going to work with the Cfs...hmmm. Should I fast today I wonder if feeling so tired, though all im doing is resting at home! Feeling a bit disillusioned with it, had such high hopes...
Re: fasting and CFS
26 Apr 2013, 14:10
Hi crackers

If you are keen to continue with fasting but the side-effects are a problem, why not try easing yourself in gradually? Just try increasing the times between meals and reducing calories gradually until you eventually reach the 500 cal goal. Of course, it will delay the start of weight loss but it should help reduce the side-effects your body adapt by taking it slower.

I think it will work if you can stick it out. You should get weight loss and possibly improvements in CFS.
Re: fasting and CFS
26 Apr 2013, 21:27
I have mild to moderate CFS & I am tired on fast days but in a weird way feel good too, I only work 3 mornings & fast on 2 of those days so probably have it easier than you. I'd say give it a bit longer & see how you feel. Good luck & keep in touch. Xx
Re: fasting and CFS
27 Apr 2013, 08:50
Thankyou for the support everyone, Im going to keep trying but gently does it !! I think I went in too quickly reducing the calories and still working hard, when will I learn! :) xx
Re: fasting and CFS
27 Apr 2013, 11:18
Hi Crackers,
I have CFS/ME moderately and Fibromyalgia.I did my 13th fast last Thursday.I've lost approx 6 1/2 lb which I am really chuffed with.The main reason I am doing the 5:2 diet though, is to try and kit start my body's healing to try and improve my conditions.
I found the first couple of weeks really hard, but after about 4 fasts it started to get easier. I find now, that on the days when I am fasting I actually feel less tired, and have less brain fog, which is wonderful. I've been doing 2 meals on fast days:100 - 200kcal soup at lunch time, then a 300 - 400 kcal meal at dinner (totalling 500kcal for the day). I find it better to try and make sure I am having a good balance of carbohydrate from vegetables or salad ( not potatoes) and protein and fat.( My favourite is a can of mackerel with loads of salad to make up to about 320kcal). On my last fast day I actually managed to go until about 4pm without feeling very hungry, which is a big deal for me.Before starting the diet I was convinced that I had blood sugar issues, as I would shake, have severe brain fog and get moody whenever I got the slightest bit hungry. Now I can go hours and hours and just feel hunger when I need food without the other issues. This is marvellous for me. As you know, the fatigue ( and pain) , is enough to deal with without hunger issues too.I would give it at least 4 - 6 weeks if I were you.
Re the lymph issue, I have the same thing from time to time which I just accept as part of my condition.I assume it is just my immune system being cranky.But if it is a new thing for you I would keep an eye on it. It may be something to do with detoxifying? You could try some epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) baths to help the process.I use them to help with my aches and pains.
All the best. :) :clover:
Re: fasting and CFS
27 Apr 2013, 11:20
Sorry just re read your post and realized you know about appetite benefits.Didn't need to reply about that ! :oops:
Re: fasting and CFS
28 Apr 2013, 17:33
Thanks Crispaddict, (love the name by the way!) all encouragement is gratefuly receicved. Yeah I feel sometimes that I have blood sugar issues so will look forward to that improving, Everyone says how side effects should get easier over time so i will persevere!
Re: fasting and CFS
11 Jun 2013, 15:50
So I did persevere for a while but have had to stop the fasting due to a bad relapse in my CFS with serious energy crashes. So I would just like to say that if you suffer from CfS be very cautious with this system. Im not saying it will necessarily affect everyone with CFS badly but with me it seemed I just didn't hsve the energy reserves to cope with it, leading to a relapse.
Re: fasting and CFS
11 Jun 2013, 16:05
So sorry that you've had a relapse, it's a horrible condition to have to live with. I hope you feel better soon.
I'm finding 5:2 isn't making any difference to my CFS/ME and because I work part time I'm able to rest in the afternoon.
CFS is a horrible illness. Sending you a hug. Xx
Re: fasting and CFS
15 Jun 2013, 16:29
Thankyou Pumpkin, its so frustrating not being able to diet, everytime I try I just get so tired....anyway glad to hear you are getting on well with it and hugs too you!
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