Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Medical Is fasting good for one? i forget to eat some days and it seem to have

  1. Sep 19, 2010 #1

    wolram

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Is fasting good for one? i forget to eat some days and it seem to have a good effect on me,
    (i feel better), may be people could go with out food for a few days and feel better for it.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 20, 2010 #2
    Re: Fasting

    I believe that i saw once on a television program that a certain sect of mormons had a dramaticly reduced incidence of Diabetes and it was theorized that it was because the fasted every friday. The assumed method of action was that the one day break allowed them to recover their sensitivity to insulin that had been battered all week by the modern american diet. So it might have one good quality.
     
  4. Sep 20, 2010 #3
    Re: Fasting

    I realize that this doesn't answer your question, but what caused you to forget to eat? I'd also like to know what you mean by "feel better". That may help with the answer to your specific situation, because fasting in general is not a cut-and-dried issue. Would that be acceptable?
     
  5. Sep 20, 2010 #4

    wolram

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Fasting

    When i say better i mean more lively, more clear headed. I often forget or can not be bothered to eat, I'm not sure if it is because i suffer from depression or not.
     
  6. Sep 20, 2010 #5
    Re: Fasting

    Hmmm, that's interesting, I was going to guess that you might have had some GI issues, and when you fasted you alleviated that... clearly I was wrong. I wonder, when you eat, do you normally eat 3 meals a day, or do you have a big single meal, or something else? For the depression, that can certainly contribute to the issue, but you could also just be busy and distracted, I can't know.
     
  7. Sep 21, 2010 #6

    wolram

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Fasting

    Normally i just eat when i am hungry, as i have so little to do in the day i only have light meals, mainly salads as i have to watch my weight.
     
  8. Sep 21, 2010 #7
    Re: Fasting

    Hmm... I admit I don't know what to make of this. I need to do some research if you don't mind, and check in with an endocrinologist who's a pal of mine; I'll respond ASAP.
     
  9. Sep 21, 2010 #8

    bobze

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Fasting

    When you say you "feel better" Wolram, how do you mean? Do you have muscle stiffness when you aren't "feeling good"?
     
  10. Sep 21, 2010 #9

    wolram

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Fasting

    I do get muscle stiffness, but it is more the mental stiffness that is lifted, it is over 2 yrs now that i started medications for depression, these meds seem to keep my mood low, it was accidental that i found out fasting seems to lift my mood.
    By the way, thanks for your answers.
     
  11. Sep 21, 2010 #10
    Re: Fasting

    Hiya'll:
    I read a book that promoted fasting for health reasons. Yes giving your system a "day off" gives one a respite from continually creating digestive juices, processing, & all else. The author also points out the practicality of it. We, like all mammals, need to eat. Nutrition is a key life force that needs to be maintained. We all can & usually do, eat more than necessary. This the body stores as fat. When one fasts, the body turns to it's stores & effectively uses the body's incredibility, to focus it's energy on other, more important tasks. If you're a lone animal, depending on hunting, or gathering your own food, an injury may hinder your food access. By not using one's energy for food processing, the body will spend all it's energy on the healing process!
    As for "feeling great", this is a known religious practice which allows one to be truly quiet, and bring the body to rest. Gluttony, the opposite of fasting, is a cardinal sin. Not so long ago, & in less developed societies, eating 3 times a day, was not such an easy process. refrigerators & fast foods have made gluttony an societal norm. Once this was only for the prosperous who could afford a continuous food supple, ie: FatCats.
    So, despite the AMA's anti fasting propaganda, I personally, found fasting a regularly religious practice, that has brought me into more an overall balance in my life.
    Groove On
    Ken Elkind
     
  12. Sep 21, 2010 #11

    bobze

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Fasting

    I am not really sure Wolram, diet and mood are complicated and we really don't understand it all yet. There's lots of anecdotal evidence that fasting helps depressed people, but this is counter to what we know of dopamine and serotonin levels and how their production effects mood (in fact, most depressed people crave certain foods which are rich in tryptophan the precursor for serotonin). However, the last decade or so has taught us that pharmocological treatments for depression can work even when they don't involve serotonin levels.

    On another note, there are lots of disorders related to food intake that could account for "feeling better" when fasting. For example, Myophosphorylase deficiency is caused by lack of enough enzyme required for glycogen metabolism. In patients with this and similar disorders, they can't run glycolysis in the muscles to meet ATP demands. Which results in stiff, weak muscles and generally "feeling bad".

    Normally the body's first resource for muscle energy is phosphocreatine, which gets used up quickly in muscles and you switch over to anaerobic metabolism for ATP production. When you are deficient in those glycolytic enzymes the "reset" phase of muscle contraction is slow to come, which results in muscle fibers in "rigor states" (similar to the deceased). Which result in generally not feeling too well.

    Lots of these people with similar deficiencies learn to self medicate over their lives, by fasting throughout the day and eating one meal at night. Which creates fatty acids from metabolism which is the 3rd way ATP is produced for muscles and doesn't create the "bad feelings", aches and stiffness these people feel.


    If its something you're concerned about (fasting) you should definitely take the time to bring it up with your doctor the next time you're in. He spent all that money on medical school, mind-as-well put his/her education to use :)
     
  13. Sep 21, 2010 #12

    bobze

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Fasting


    You need to be careful with these "books" and online websites promoting fasting though. It (fasting) is claimed as a "cure-all", which it isn't. The bottom line is human physiology needs a constant source of calories and except in some rare cases (like I pointed out above), fasting probably isn't all that healthy for you (now if we were bears with lots of multilocular adipose you might have a point, but were not).

    Everyone is out to make a quick buck with easy "diets" and "cures" for problems, when probably the best advice would be to do the hard work; eat a healthy and varied diet, exercise and try and keep a positive outlook on life. Of course, that isn't always easy, that's why (as western society people) we're inclined to try stuff like "colon blow" or "atkin's diet", etc.
     
  14. Sep 21, 2010 #13
    Re: Fasting

    most humans I know eat way more than they should , so its no wonder they feel better after stop stuffing themselves :P
     
  15. Sep 21, 2010 #14
    Re: Fasting

    This is true, but it doesn't sound like an issue for Wolfram... I think bobze is getting closer to possible reasons for this reaction here.
     
  16. Sep 21, 2010 #15
    Re: Fasting

    Lots o' scientific minds have prob'ly spent years o' research on this. As stated above, many factors complicate the "health aspects" of fasting. All I know is, I feel good missing meals, & even better if I can sustain the fast for a 24 hour period. I otherwise eat a varied red meatless diet, filled with vitamins & minerals. All of which allows for periods of fasting. The "closer to the higher power" sense is a whole 'nother story!!!!!
     
  17. Sep 21, 2010 #16

    wolram

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Fasting

    I didn't think this subject was so complex, thanks for all the answers guys, i will bring it up next time i visit the doctors.
     
  18. Sep 23, 2010 #17
    Re: Fasting

    OK, talked to my endocrinologist pal... he doesn't know! This seems like far too personal a situation in every case to be easily quantified. One suggestion was that you consider a "cardiac patient" diet, which is mostly vegetables, nuts and lentils, and protein supplementation. I personally would consider the addition of oily fish as well, but this is all speculation and unfinished research that leads me to believe this. I think you should consider having your doctor refer you to a licensed nutritionist who can help you develop a diet and eating schedule that works for your weight, mood, and general temperament. If there's a way to get this good feeling without fasting, it's the general consensus of those I've talked to, my own view, and more that it would be preferable.
     
  19. Sep 23, 2010 #18

    bobze

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Fasting


    Second! :approve:
     
  20. Sep 23, 2010 #19

    wolram

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Fasting

    .Thank You for your time nismaratwork, it is much appreciated.
     
  21. Sep 23, 2010 #20
    Re: Fasting

    It's my pleasure, and thanks for putting this personal experience of yours up for public scrutiny. I hope that you'll let us know how this all turns out. Be well!
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Is fasting good for one? i forget to eat some days and it seem to have
  1. Some bugs safe to eat? (Replies: 38)

Loading...