The Science of Fasting ....for CFS ?

Lemnia

Member
I've just watched this fascinating documentary 'The Science of Fasting' https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B075824XCB?ie=UTF8&pf_rd_i=home&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=3360327622&pf_rd_r=RE5R2R0AF0F8QP4N1HV9&pf_rd_s=center-40&pf_rd_t=12401.
I then started to think, if this extreme form of fasting worked for so many other chronic illnesses, then why not CFS/ME?
I googled and came up with different articles, but while reading through them I started to note a distinct pattern similarity in how many first came down with CFS/ME. It would appear so many were struck down with this illness in the throes of exercising fanatically (myself included). Why is it that so many of us were (or thought we were) in our peak physical shape, excersising rigorously and religiously when suddenly blighted by CFS/ME ?? Have any studies been done on this? Has anyone else noted that it's rare that the overweight couch potatoes (no insults intended here) out there don't seem to get CFS ?
Anyhow, having put myself though just about every treatment and protocol and diet out there over the past 6 years of being ill, I'm now tempted to check myself into one of these German fasting clinics !
 

Hope

Active Member
Try short fasts first before doing longer ones. From reading patients experiences over the years, we don’t usually do well with fasting. You might want to proceed cautiously.
 

Not dead yet!

Well-Known Member
Fasting does help me for a short time. In fact, if I know I'm going to have to do something and I cannot get sick and miss it, I fast for at least two days before.

I think the reason fasting works is the same as the reason keto works. Both put you into ketosis which is a protective state for your nerves. I don't know if that movie says that or not, I haven't seen it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention though. I'll check it out.

Our usual attitudes toward fasting have been blown away recently by a few things.. one of them, an MD that uses it successfully, and the other, the online patient experiences of religious 40 day fasts. This is perhaps the most famous of those:
(aaroncohen on youtube, 3x40 days back to back fasting). It's easy to dismiss her as a nut. But if you search around, that's actually her husband's youtube account, her husband suffers from Crohn's disease and was at one point addicted to painkillers. He also has fascinating advice for people trying to quit painkillers. It definitely brings you into the realm of "are these people nuts? or crazy like a fox?"

I like what she says about the "congested heart" issue she had at one point. I've seen that happen with long fasts and it can definitely be a cause of death. She is, however, fully healthy when she started out so she recovers. This issue with long fasts might be the reason we don't do well with them. Short ones can still help. Overall I think the reason we have a hard time fasting is due to the lack of proper adrenal function. Hardly any doctor bothers to check your adrenal function until you're ready to be classified as Addison's disease, which I think is way too late.

The MD I mentioned is in NJ and is a practitioner of a modern form of Natural Hygeine. This is his research on his website: https://www.drfuhrman.com/learn/who-is-dr-fuhrman/published-works and his book on fasting: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/859877.Fasting_and_Eating_for_Health Although he believes in fasting, and he does explain ketosis a little bit, his philosophy is the opposite of ketogenic. It's ok to use your own fat to be keto while fasting, but it's not ok to eat fat as your fuel.

I also tried the diet he recommends and it was unbelievably painful for me. Within a month I was in crippling pain. It's easy to claim it was "toxicity" and I have no way to prove or disprove that it was. However, I think it was a body that is already run down and lacking fat based nutrients (including vitamin K which is from plants, but requires fat to be absorbed).

I should mention that he is not recommending a vegan diet. He merely believes in eating only lean meats and preferably only fish. Pescatarian would be a better description. To make a long story short, Dr. Fuhrman says it's safe for relatively healthy people to fast for up to 3 months, and that people have fasted safely for 5 months, and he echoes the concern about the heart becoming congested.

I should also mention that the phrases "evidence based medicine" and "science based medicine" are often used like a club to push certain agendas, specifically the "new vegan" movement which accepts the cholesterol-heart connection and often ignores the triglycerides and heart disease connection. Be careful out there, some phrases may sound great, but are really just levers to sway popular thinking.
 
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Not dead yet!

Well-Known Member
Heh I just noticed Dr. Fuhrman is considered a quack in some websites. I've had a lot of experience with vegans and Natural Hygeine believers, and I can tell you that he believes and lives what he teaches. You just have to look at his face. He has lost all the normal fat in it and has up/down lines on each side of his mouth (not dimples). You can always tell a very low fat diet eater from that. So he's not trying to scam anyone with something he doesn't believe himself.

However those lines aren't only from eating VLF. If you want to see a thin keto eater, look for pictures of Maria Emmerich who also lives what she sells, only it's ketogenic. She has the lines too. It's living in a "fasting state" that does it, not VLF dieting alone. From her writings I can guess that she does intermittent fasting as a normal thing in her life and not just temporarily.

I guess I wanted to point out that fasting can be done in a couple different ways. If you're in Canada, this may be a good option https://idmprogram.com/ If I were closer to it, I might consider it myself. Interestingly, he also has a movie out about it: http://fastingmovie.com/about
 
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TJ_in_UT

Well-Known Member
I googled and came up with different articles, but while reading through them I started to note a distinct pattern similarity in how many first came down with CFS/ME. It would appear so many were struck down with this illness in the throes of exercising fanatically (myself included). Why is it that so many of us were (or thought we were) in our peak physical shape, exercising rigorously and religiously when suddenly blighted by CFS/ME?? Have any studies been done on this?
I was never a high-energy person, but oddly enough, I had been doing a lot of vigorous weight training and running just before my first crash. My crash makes really good sense to me, now that I understand stress and recovery better. I can't point to any studies, but I've learned enough here and there to explain it.

Many exercise fanatics don't allow themselves enough time to adequately recover after working out, and they work out too hard. Intense exercise puts your ANS, endocrine system, and the actual tissues enduring the exertion into a state of high stress. Your body can only recover from so much, so fast. If you keep going back for more exercise stress before you've adequately recovered from the last round, you start to accumulate a "stress debt" of sorts. At some point, you will use up enough of your body's reserve strength that you'll crash, which is sort of a self-protection mechanism to force you to rest before you kill yourself!

Check out this article on "chronic cardio". Mark Sisson has a lot of interesting things to say about the proper approach to exercise.
https://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-evidence-continues-to-mount-against-chronic-cardio/

If you are able to do aerobic exercise at all, you might want to read about the Maffetone Method. It's a great way to pace yourself, and pacing is vital to ME/CFS sufferers who want any kind of consistency in their lives.
https://philmaffetone.com/180-formula/

A major problem in ME/CFS is that we have a low anaerobic threshold, and if we push ourselves hard enough to get into anaerobic respiration, we headed very quickly for a crash. This is because we (typically) have poorly functioning mitochondria that can't quickly or easily replace the ADP molecules that our cells burn up during anaerobic respiration. ADP is the cellular "energy carrier" molecule. The molecule is "recharged" into ATP in the mitochondria, then "discharged" into ADP in other parts of the cell. In CFS, we tend to be sluggish at recharging our ADP into ATP, but if we have to manufacture new ATP from scratch, that takes much longer. That's why we want to keep ourselves in aerobic respiration.

The next question you might ask is, of course, "If exercising too much caused my crash, why don't I make a full recovery after I've rested up?" I don't know the answer to that, but I have some ideas. First, staying in a state of high stress over a long period of time suppresses immune activity, which opens the door to some pathogen(s) or other to make itself at home in your body and really get entrenched, and such a chronic infection can cause chronic immune system activation, which puts in place a drain on your energy, a new stressor, that didn't exist before your crash; or the pathogen may have already been present, but your immune system is no longer containing it (e.g. shingles or candida overgrowth). Second, it's likely that prolonged stress fundamentally changes how your body responds to stress; in other words, you become traumatized.
 

GrammaLinda

Active Member
I've just watched this fascinating documentary 'The Science of Fasting' https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B075824XCB?ie=UTF8&pf_rd_i=home&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=3360327622&pf_rd_r=RE5R2R0AF0F8QP4N1HV9&pf_rd_s=center-40&pf_rd_t=12401.
I then started to think, if this extreme form of fasting worked for so many other chronic illnesses, then why not CFS/ME?
I googled and came up with different articles, but while reading through them I started to note a distinct pattern similarity in how many first came down with CFS/ME. It would appear so many were struck down with this illness in the throes of exercising fanatically (myself included). Why is it that so many of us were (or thought we were) in our peak physical shape, excersising rigorously and religiously when suddenly blighted by CFS/ME ?? Have any studies been done on this? Has anyone else noted that it's rare that the overweight couch potatoes (no insults intended here) out there don't seem to get CFS ?
Anyhow, having put myself though just about every treatment and protocol and diet out there over the past 6 years of being ill, I'm now tempted to check myself into one of these German fasting clinics !
I then started to think, if this extreme form of fasting worked for so many other chronic illnesses, then why not CFS/ME?
 

Lemnia

Member
Hi there. The answer is I don't know, but it may well work for some and I know I'd give it a try.
But...I am getting better. Not with this route of treatment, but with Dr.Pridgen's protocol (a mixture of 3 drugs) which I have now been on for just over 2 years. It took 7 months of up and down when I first started on this treatment before I started my slow upward climb back to normal life. I'd say I'm about 85% well now. I played tennis last week, twice ! No problem. For any of you out there that may doubt how ill I was, I can assure you, for six years I was incredibly ill, mostly bed or housebound, in terrible pain and in a hellish place. I went from being a very active and capable person to a bed ridden invalid who needed full time care. I tried everything out there. Including 8 weeks in a German clinic on 7 hours of IV antibiotics daily! Nothing I did helped me. Until I came across Dr. Pridgen.
So, to those out there who are where I was (if I'd had a gun back then I'd not be here to write this today, I was in a terrible place) Do Not Give UP !
 

amy4

New Member
Hello, I don't know about others but I was definitely the fittest I had ever been when I ended up with CFS. I had competed for the national rowing team the summer before and had continued to improve before having a virus that started it all. I have tried intermittent fasting (mainly just 16:8) on every other day, and found it fairly easy as I too don't feel hungry much. I haven't yet seen many benefits to come from it but I think different lengths of fasts can have different effects - although must be used carefully. From what i've researched if you're fasting longer than 16:8 you shouldn't be doing it every day, and it should be eased in if you haven't done it before. A very interesting topic though and will be interesting to see what you find :)
 

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