what kind of help would you like? let me know! WeeSpeck,
I am so glad to hear that your husband is off meds and doing so well! I am relieved that you find this journal helpful - that was my whole intention when I started it; I was looking for another person with psoriatic arthritis who had used dietary changes; could not find one anywhere.
I am short on time once more, but I will begin here and it may take a few posts to explain/report all that I have been doing in the last few months.On June 22nd I wrote:
It has been a really long time since I posted in my journal. In that lapsed-journalling time I tried a short water fast for a few days just to see if fasting really is anti-inflammatory. It is. I am not recommending it to anyone, and I won't be doing it again - just too unpleasant and not entirely safe to risk it, unless it is under strict supervision.
I have a new perspective on water fasting now, and I want to more fully explain what I did/went through last Spring/early Summer to explain it.
My motivation for fasting on water only came from encountering many different sources citing that it was beneficial for autoimmune conditions. Doug Lisle and Dr Alan Goldhamer at True North talk about autoimmune conditions on their website, Dr Fuhrman clearly is a fan of the process and there were some studies done in Europe in the 80s that showed a beneficial effect. (I will post the sources later, no time right now
It seemed fairly easy, free (I like free stuff
) and relatively harmless, especially if only for a few days. So I got out as many books as I could find about fasting from the library, one of which was Dr Fuhrman's Fasting and Eating for Health, and read them to prepare.
Now when I say I read
them, what I really mean is I skimmed
them looking for anything about autoimmune conditions and then basically only really read those parts.
This was a mistake, because I misunderstood many things about the fasting process as a result.
So armed with this limited knowledge, I blithely jumped right in. I had been McDougalling for a good six months, and figured I did not need to do the veggie juicing/raw veggie intake that almost all sources recommended be in the diet for 6-12 weeks before a water fast.
Most sources also recommended using a warm water enema during the fast, which I thought was gross, so I did not get one to have in the house. I also did not buy distilled water, which is another frequent recommendation, because we have a water filter.
I did take notes to chart my progress in a journal, which I am referring to now.
The first day I basically only consumed a vegetable broth, and that day was fine for awhile- I had a ton of energy, and the inflammation I felt at the time went down noticeable at about hour 20 of no solid food.
At about hour 21 I got a headache, which steadily increased until I had a terrible, horrible, full-blown migraine, and this kept me up all night. I was nauseous, dizzy weak and my head was pounding after I woke up from a two-to-three hour sleep.
These symptoms were said to be "detox" in one of the books I had read (detox was not something I believed in at the time) but the books said enemas helped with this sort of thing, so I staggered around the corner to a CVS and got one. I don't like enemas, but I will say this - it worked; within minutes after the enema, my headache and nausea subsided to a manageable level.
At this point I noticed that, apart from feeling like I was sick with a flu, I felt fine; joints were perfection. I was sad because it seemed so hopeless - feel perfect in the joints but not any other way, or feel healthy enough but not in the joints. The pity pants came on and stayed on for the rest of the fast (
I continued on only water for two more days, fantasizing about food non-stop, depressed, moody, feeling very weak, dizzy and with heart palpitations (I was a fool, to be sure) and broke the fast with raw, organic fresh carrot juice (we already owned a juicer for about 10 years,) which tasted metallic and made my mouth and throat burn.
Within minutes of drinking the juice I had a return of inflammation throughout my body. (This is part of why I think carrots are "bad" for me, an opinion I may revise soon.)
Although this experience was verrry
unpleasant, it made starting on the elimination diet a breeze - it really does reset your taste buds, as Dr Doug Lisle says in the Pleasure Trap. I felt very good for two and a half months afterwards, although not perfect. It did help make a huge leap in my healing.
I also lost 11 pounds during that short time, which I never gained back although everyone I knew said I would.
After that first fast, my opinion was that water fasting was not for me - stronger, hardier souls than I could withstand the physical unpleasantness, the enemas (ew
) and the miserable cravings that bombarded my mind non-stop. Plus, I could not do ANYTHING
at all except lie down for the duration of the fasting period. Not a feasible future option, was my opinion, but at least I had given it a shot.
During my flare in September, however, I was in desperate pain and remembered the anti-inflammatory properties of that first fast, so I fasted on water again, this time for two days - with the same experience: headaches, nausea, cravings, heart palpitations, dizziness, fatigue and inflammation relief, which unfortunately returned after I ate some cooked zucchini, a food I had tested on the elimination diet and that did not cause me problems.
my flare in September (more on why I now think that happened and what I did afterward in future posts
) I learned a great deal more about water fasting and - very important - preparing correctly for water fasting. I then fasted again on water for the same amount of time, about a month ago. And I had a totally different, positive experience.
I had no headaches, nausea or dizziness. I did not crave food AT ALL
. I felt just wonderful, and the water tasted delicious - like tropical nectar. I was tired-ish, but not too much (I actually had to restrain my self from doing too much, lest I exhaust myself and get in the way of the fast "working") and my inflammation went down and STAYED DOWN
after the fast, to this date.After this experience, I now think water fasting has a positive role to play in healing from autoimmune conditions, BUT ONLY WHEN DONE CORRECTLY AND PREPARED FOR APPROPRIATELY
. Sorry for the allcaps - I am not yelling, I just do not want to be responsible for anyone doing this recklessly, as I did the first time. I was lucky that I was basically OK after that, and I don't want anyone else to make that mistake if I can help them not to.
Whew, this was a long post! I have much more to say and explain, such as what I did differently, and how I prepared for this last fast, but that will have to wait for another day.
Cheers to all!