Four-Day Fast

AloeSvea

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Hi y'all. I'm embarking on a four-day no-food fast, with black tea and coffee, herb teas and water, including sparkling water.

I thought I might share this, as I am - is suffering a good word? - very high fasting blood glucose (FBG) readings, so I know my poor old liver, and cells, my gut signaling, and possibly gut biome? are very diabetically out of whack. And of course, when I get high FBGs, my all-day and night blood glucose (BG) levels are too high for good health.

I thought it might be interesting for those contemplating wee periods of no-food fasting in their treatment of T2D to read my experience of a four-day fast?

This is in the context of a LCHF to Keto Way of Eating (WOE) I also regularly keep my eating and drinking calorific food and drink to sunrise to sunset five days a week. This is for weight maintenance with a hearty appetite. These methods of low-carbing and fueling my energy needs has been long term.

My goal is to see if I can make an adjustment to my metabolism and poor blood glucose regulation and insulin sensitivity. I don't know if four days is enough to make an impact. I am planning on following it up with a second four day fast some weeks later. After that I will go on some super-duper meds, at least for a time, if I can't get my BG down this way, followed up by a new post-disability exercise regime.

This is not for weight loss, as I have been normal weighted since low-carbing after diagnosis nearly 10 years ago. But I'm a fat storage around the middle first and foremost person, like many with tendancy to be insulin resistant, and I currently have some waist fat, definitely upper end of the normal scale. So I have fat to use for energy.

This is the day before. My planning involves careful contemplation of my commitments as I cannot do much from Day 2. Day 1 I can usually be pretty active. But not after.

Also, planning food purchases carefully and using the fresh food up before the fast to avoid wastage - was up to two weeks in advance. And, very importantly - inform the people I am living with. (My experience is I am like a sick person from Day 2, so three days where they should not expect - much of anything from me!)

Looking forward to no cooking and no lots of dishes for four days! (Apart from the tea and coffee pot, and cups! And all important water glassses.) Hope by Day 4 I will have FBG looking a little better. At least somewhat. Any improvement for any time would be appreciated!
 
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shelley262

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Thank you for sharing - it will be interesting to see how it impacts your blood glucose levels. Really hoping for you that it does give you a reset. I've never done a fast longer than 24 hours.
Hope your four day fast goes well and more importantly that it gives you the results you're working towards.
 

jpscloud

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I'm also very interested and glad you are sharing - I need to do some longer fasts too, but keep putting it off. Cheering you on from the sidelines!
 
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MrsA2

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very high fasting blood glucose (FBG) readings, so I know my poor old liver, and cells, my gut signaling, and possibly gut biome? are very diabetically out of whack. And of course, when I get high FBGs, my all-day and night blood glucose (BG) levels are too high for good health.
May I ask what levels are high for you?
 

ianf0ster

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My longest fast is around 3 hrs (done for surgical reasons - not Diabetes). However, I have heard that at around that time it starts to get easier.
Best of luck, Ian
 

AloeSvea

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May I ask what levels are high for you?

Pretty high! FBGs between 8 and 11. My last HBA1c was 61, a 13 point rise from the one before that. I would say my latest if I had one could even have been mid 60s, considering I have become partially disabled since the last HBA1c, and my aerobic exercise has decreased massively, and I am a hyper responder, one could say? to exercise.

I prefer to have my HBA1cs in the 40s (since diagnosis it has never gotten below 40), ie the intermediate hyperglycemic range. I have been able to lower it to that range from low 60s before.

I have had T2D for 10 plus years now, so my HBA1c has fluctuated with various metabolism life circumstances.
 
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AloeSvea

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My longest fast is around 3 hrs (done for surgical reasons - not Diabetes). However, I have heard that at around that time it starts to get easier.
Best of luck, Ian

Many thanks!

I have experimented a lot with fasting over the last diabetic decade, and for me - fasting is always about dealing with hunger. But yes, they are easier now in that I don't get anxious about hunger, or how I am with fasts of various lengths. My longest was 10-11 days.

I've been homecooking so much lately, and gotten heartily sick of doing dishes, this fast is actually quite a respite in that department. :D
 

AloeSvea

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Just a note About fasting safety - when I began fasting and low-cal regimes 10 ish years ago, I was closely monitored by medical professionals. Not necessary now I am an old hand.

Day 1, about 17 hours in.

My BG just started to go down a couple of hours ago, so that is good news. (It's all data on how my body is working, and not working, so whatever happens is received well.) BGs going down after 12 hours of fasting = thumbs up, and on schedule.

As expected I was able to be fairly active, albeit hobbling - walking with a cane, and had a good day on this the first day. Coffee and tea in the morning, lots and lots and lots of herb tea since.

Read a good paper below, with a couple of great graphics in it, for anyone who wants to read up on the effects of fasting on those with T2D,(and T1D )-

The Efficacy of Fasting in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Narrative Review (2023)
 

MissMuffett

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I’ll be following with great interest.
I fast for about 16 hrs (but I’m asleep for most of that time) from 7pm finishing about 12 noon. Have you every watched Dr Mindy Pelz on YouTube she’s a huge advocate of fasting strategies especially for women and has what she calls ‘reset groups’ on her Facebook page and explains different lengths of fasts depending on what you’re trying to achieve. She also explains what happens to your hormones and autophagy.
 

AloeSvea

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Thanks @MissMuffett. I'll check her youtubes out. I've been watching Eric Berg again, as I quite like his presentation/teaching style with a big whyteboard. And of course, Jason Fung, on youtube.

I really like the food consumption/fasting graphic in the journal article above, as it is particularly directed and informs about folks fasting with diabetes. Fasting with a deranged metabolic system being different and all.

I have been paying close attention to the timing and fasting stages they present. ie 18 hours, 36-48 hours, and post 48 hours. At Day 2 I'm currently in the second early fasting state, and will transition to the fasting state in about four or five hours. My experience in the past is I don't go into ketosis until Day 3 (Unlike in the graphic from the journal article).

Regarding autophagy, as far as I know, the jury is out and divided if you can go into autophagy whilst still having even a tiny bit plant product? ie water steeped coffee and tea and herbs. The autophagist propose water only I believe. And I am too much of a woose to give up my drugs for four days :D . Autophagy is of course a great thing, and probably worth it to do the water only thing. If I was going to kick those delightful coffee and tea habits I would definitely do it with a fasting regime. In for a penny in for a pound? But I'm not ready to give them up yet. I'll pour myself another coffee and do a bit of research online about whether autophagy can go ahead still imbibing a wee bit of plant product...
 

MissMuffett

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According to Mindy Pelz, autophagy kicks in after 16 - 17 hours so if that’s what one desires there’s no need to do any longer. It’s all very interestin.
You're doing really well with a 4 day fast, I’ve only managed 32 hours and that was over 2 years ago!
 

AloeSvea

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Thanks @MissMuffett ! Don't congratulate me yet till I wake up on Day 5 having stuck to it :D . But I'm mildly OCD, so unlikely not to go through with it. (Hey! It's mapped out already! Including the food I'll be breaking my fast on.)

I have given myself some wiggle room to end it on the evening of Day 4, ie breaking the fast with a dinner, rather than the next day with a breakfast. I always give myself some flexibility when I end it towards the end. However, I would like to push it till breaking it on the morning of Day 5 in order to have another piece of data on my FBGs.

If something urgent comes up in my life where I need to be able to think clearly, and move! I would need to break my fast. But fingers crossed.
 
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Outlier

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What you do with drinks is your decision, but personally I consider tea and coffee "herbal"!
 
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Lainie71

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The term "big boned" lol repeatedly told this growing up!
I find if I am stressed/anxious which is practically all of the time, my appetite will go. I have to force myself to eat. If I deliberately fast, I will get headaches feel sick, tremble and need the loo. Yet recently I have not been feeling hungry even after a big work out. Perhaps I have become slightly and I mean, only slightly fat adapted on certain days.
Very interested to see how your fasting experiment pans out.
 
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AloeSvea

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What you do with drinks is your decision, but personally I consider tea and coffee "herbal"!

Ha! Yes. I consider tea and coffee liquid drugs, albeit plant matter :D . I drink those in the morning.

I'm a tea and coffee addict, and not planning to kick that habit, so is part of a non-eating regime. I was trained in coffee drinking by Swedes, so I'm a serious imbiber. (I forgot to put in on my first post weirdly, so will add it now.) And I drink extra strong earl grey.

In the afternoons and evenings I switch to herb teas. Various kinds of rooibos, licorice, any divine Pukka tea I have in the pantry. I haven't had sparkling water this time, just water. But careful to keep up water based drinks and water, as is a VERY important part of non-food fasting.
 
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AloeSvea

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According to Mindy Pelz, autophagy kicks in after 16 - 17 hours so if that’s what one desires there’s no need to do any longer. It’s all very interestin.
You're doing really well with a 4 day fast, I’ve only managed 32 hours and that was over 2 years ago!

I read up on autophagy, and checked out Dr Mindy Pelz.

Dr Pelz doesn't do it for me for some reason . But I see her very fine attributes. She does great lists! And certainly a good reference for those considering fasting and intermittent fasting.

Re authophagy. Yeah, it is as I thought - most info online says basically no nutrition at all, even the 1-2 kcals per tea or coffee drink (for me it would add up to 10 to 12 cals a day then?) is too much for the process to kick in. I read one bit of info that said iit still works if drinking under 20 kcals - so who knows? I don't count on autophagy when I fast as I haven't done a no-cals at all ie water only fast for many years.

If I do an extended fast in cold seasons I drink homemade bone broth, and have cream in my coffee. But I intentionally didn't do that this time as I'm considering going dairy free for a bit, and I definitely wanted to shut down the dishes train in the shared house I am in. (I had a sneaky suspicion I was ending up doing more than my own, and I was right. Nothing like a no-food fast for observing how a kitchen functions from the sidelines!)
 

AloeSvea

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So, Woke up on Day 3.(Actually woke up three times during the night care of my housemates, not my fasting!), but daydreaming about breakfast, and had to remind myself - no food! Then reminded myself I could have a cup of decaf, a pot of earl grey, followed by a pot of coffee to get me through the morning. Felt a lot better!

I have a good sense of smell usually, particularly sensitive, folks close to me have mentioned over the years, so when my Indian housemate made himself a curry for breakfast I went into the kitchen and praised his cooking abilities, his cuisine, and the food in the pan, which I was closely perusing. Poor man, he was a bit taken aback. (Fasting definitely heightens my already keen sense of smell.) (Very pleasing to smell his food, though, for sure!)

So here I am now in the true-blue part of no-food fasting - post 48 hours. If my blood glucose system wasn't so derranged I would be in ketosis by now (past fast experiments with keto pee strips and keto meters). But my BG is still too high by my own reckoning, for anything so healthy, alas. My FBG dropped from 10 to 8, but still means glucose still too high for insulin to drop. Even in ketosis by the third day I have brain fog (some folks have a good mental clarity response to extended fasting, I never have), and no different today.

Waist and belly measurement dropped a centimetre or two but no big deal. (This measurement fluctuates a lot in my life, and I am capable of seeing marked drops due to various metabolic influences. This is not one of them.) (Last year it was a job where I worked like a dog for long hours, and lifted heavy weight frequently - obviously very good for my waist size and musculature. Did nothing for my blood glucose though, in fact my BG health declined along with my waist size. So, cortisol too high? Re the dog's life thing, I put it down to.)

Yesterday Day 2 I was able to take a wee hobble (I'm partially disabled now) up halfway an old volcano, which is new. Might reflect my still too high blood glucose. Which even went up slightly after the walk, which is not typical for me when being fueled by food. It was very good for my mood, as there are great views from old paa sights/hills/volcanoes. It was good to get out of the house, as I'm too weak to work on my computer, so getting bored. Went to bed very early, which is typical by this stage of a fast. Went to sleep very early. at end of Day 2 yesterday (6ish?).
 

AloeSvea

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Thought I would actually post the diabetics-on-fasts chart I am referring to, along with ref and wee blurb. Pictures are always great?!
Fasting stages graphic.png