Fasting For Autoimmune Diseases

“Fasting for Autoimmune Diseases” The strongest evidence of the benefits
of fasting surrounds the treatment of an autoimmune joint disease
known as rheumatoid arthritis, as I detailed in my last video. There was a German study suggesting
benefits for osteoarthritis as well, with reported improvements
in pain and joint function, but we’d really need randomized
controlled trials to know for sure. The researchers despair that
they only had 30 patients, but that’s 30 times more than
many reports on fasting in the medical literature, which
may detail only single cases. For example, a woman with
a rare autoimmune disease known as mixed
connective-tissue disease, which can cause all sorts of painful
and distressing symptoms, treated with steroids in an attempt
to suppress her immune system. But 21 days later, off her medications,
her symptoms improved with fasting, and more importantly,
seemed to stay away. So, does fasting work for
mixed connective-tissue disease? Well, all we can say is, hey,
at least it worked at least once. A similar success story was reported
with fibromyalgia: a woman with pain throughout her body, couldn’t
sustain activity, on lots of drugs, but ended up symptom
free 24 days later, and remained that way
at least a month later. But when a modified fasting regimen
was tried on dozens of individuals, the benefits seen at two weeks
largely disappeared by week 12. What about lupus? A 45-year-old woman remaining in pain
despite her immunosuppressive drugs, but pain free by day four of fasting,
and remained symptom free for a year, before wiping them
out again with a second fast. Now, note this wasn’t just fasting, but fasting followed by a plant-based
diet in an attempt to solidify the gains. And a strictly plant-based diet—
zero animal protein—alone has been shown to control
symptoms in at least some cases. The same with sacroiliitis, a common
manifestation of ankylosing spondylitis, an autoimmune arthritis that
primarily affects the spine, causing back pain that
can last for years. They tried all sorts of conventional
therapies and drugs, but the pain still didn’t go away.
So, they tried recommending the complete avoidance
of animal foods and saw distinct persistent improvement
within days—until he ate meat again. But back on plant-based nutrition, he was off most of his drugs, almost
completely free of symptoms. So at least in this case, inflammatory
pain refractory to other treatment was abolished by eating healthier.
So, hey, at least it’s worth a try. Autoimmune glomerulonephritis,
where your body attacks your own kidneys, is a
common manifestation of lupus. In a case series of 29 patients
who were fasted for 60 hours and then just put on fruits and
vegetables until they got better, described such remarkable recoveries
that fasting, in their opinion, should be an essential
part of treatment. What about multiple sclerosis,
an autoimmune nerve disease? Sufferers were randomized
to a fasting mimicking diet, meaning a modified fast that started
out with an 800-calorie-a-day diet of fruit, rice, or potatoes, and
then they spent a week sipping a few hundred calories of
flaxseed oil and vegetable broth before transitioning to a
plant-based Mediterranean diet. And over the next three months, experienced a significant improvement
in overall quality of life. They also tried a ketogenic diet,
but that failed to offer clinically or statistically significant
overall benefit. And finally, chronic urticaria,
hives, where you get a rash of itchy weals and welts,
started to improve on day three of the fast and
completely disappeared by day 11. This is consistent with studies out of
Germany and Japan that evidently showed around a 75% effectiveness for
such patients with what looks like some sort of tea with sugar diet. It’s certainly worth giving
fasting therapy a try, but of course fasting should only be
done under trained medical supervision. Otherwise you’d never know if you have
some hidden underlying kidney issue that could land you in a coma
and then in the morgue. You have to have your kidney function
and electrolytes monitored to make sure your body
is up for the challenge. Despite the potential benefits, water-only fasting is not a cure or
treatment in the traditional sense. It’s simply intended to promote the
body’s self-healing mechanisms, since, by definition,
fasting is unsustainable. In order to maintain the results
obtained by water-only fasting, it is necessary to adhere to a health-
promoting lifestyle that includes a healthy diet of minimally processed
plant foods, sleep, and exercise.
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