Fasting With Medical Conditions Should Be Done With Caution!
I have designed programs and studies in the population health space and have taken thousands of people through various applications of fasting and lifestyle modification programs. I have also worked with coaches and doctors to teach and implement these programs in their practices and have taught the concepts at medical, chiropractic, and nutrition seminars, as well as to hundreds of individuals in a personal one-on-one setting.
I have spent years investing a great deal of money, and massive amounts of time to learn, research, and attend medical metabolic seminars and conferences while consulting with the biggest names with the most experienced in the medical fasting world to make sure that I am doing this responsibly.
I have learned that we need take special care or keep a closer eye on people when they fast if any of the following medical conditions are present:
- Thyroid problems
- Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis issues
- Sympathetic dominance as defined by parasympathetic insufficiency
- Hormone issues (Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, Cortisol)
- Insulin Resistance
- Very sedentary lifestyles
- History of confirmed medical hypoglycemia or reactive hypoglycemia
- Autoimmune issues
- Chronic Fatigue
- Diagnosed depression or depressive disorders
- History of eating disorders
- And more
Then there’s working with pregnant women and lactating mothers, or those on fertility protocols and medications.
- Exercising while on a prolonged fast is also something to navigate.
- Fasting during menopause or peri-menopause or after a hysterectomy.
- Fasting effect on PMS or menstrual cycle considerations or when on birth control.
A potentially bigger risk is from the medications used to treat all of these conditions:
- Insulin or blood sugar medications and knowing the difference
- Hormone replacement
- Corticosteroids like prednisone
- Blood thinners
- Blood pressure medications
- Cholesterol meds
- Anti Anxiety medications
- Depression or SSRI medications
- Opioid and non-opioid mediations
- Thyroid and adrenal medications
- Sleep medications
- And more
There are however VERY FEW of these conditions or any combination thereof that turns out to be a deal-breaker. Yes, they all have nuances one needs to be aware of, but these can easily be managed.
I also coach people on how they can explain to their medical doctors and prescribers what they will be doing and where they may need medical support. People can get better very quickly and the risk of becoming over-medicated from the “usual” medication and dose is real.
Remember that for the most part, these precautions apply to fasts that last 24 hours and longer or when multiple 24-hour fasts are used in a short duration or in rotation. Meal timing, spacing, Pseudo Fasting, Fasting Mimicking Diets, Nutritional Ketosis diets, and eating windows like in “Intermittent Fasting” rarely present any big issues. It is however always better to work with someone who has experience.
I simply ask that you respect the massive healing power that is released in your body when you fast.
As always, I am glad to help where I can and when it is appropriate, and if anyone wants more info on my work and programs, please let me know in the comments or send me a direct message.
We can do better!