and Happy New Year!
I truly wish you all success and peace in 2020.
I owe a gigantic apology for being MIA for so long. I have been insanely busy starting and restarting my "re-entry" back into life after 16+ years of misdiagnoses and 5 years of treatment (mostly successful). I've been so anxious to share an update with you all. I'll make it short and sweet--feel free to ask for specifics--I may not check back to the site immediately but I will check back:
After treating to a 70% recovery level (I now know it wasn't really an 90% recovery like I previously thought) I spent the past year or two gearing up to be well enough to work again only to slide backwards and/or relapse... rinse and repeat. Multiple times I tried again and failed. Although at the time I just thought it was "normal" or normal for me. Well, it wasn't and isn't normal. I wasn't as recovered as I kept telling myself.
Finally, after what I did this summer I am now as close to 100% as I've been in 20+ yrs. I sincerely don't remember the last time I felt this well. That's partly because I've felt so bad for so long. I know most of you get that.
What I did this summer was controversial, not recommended for everyone, but about
as simple and cheap as life gets for someone who is chronically ill. After studying the topic for a year and 4 months of "training" I very slowly and carefully started a 5-day water-only fast. I was able to continue fasting beyond that initial 5 day target and completed a 35-day water-only fast.
The learning and prep were straight forward although I couldn't find an MD to work with me. I couldn't find support from ANYONE. So I ventured alone, which was scary and I do not recommended anyone do this alone--even a short fast. There are great resources out there. But the results are astounding and I'm surprised every day.
I have tested this recovery in many ways over the past 5 months (conducted 3 yard sales, packed up by myself and moved, have driven across country about
6,000 miles, 4 stressful interviews, helped someone with a whole-house bed-bug crisis requiring deep cleaning on an hourly basis for nearly 2 months, death in the family, holidays, holidays with family, holidays with sick family, drove down the terrifying I-95 corridor from NYC to Richmond the Saturday between Christmas and New Years, in bumper-to-bumper 15mph traffic at night in torrential rain, which took EIGHT HOURS, etc. You name it--I've been tested over the past 5 months and mentally prepared for a crash.
But time and time again, and after a good night's sleep (which I'm now also able to do), and a full return to my dietary protocol, I still feel great. I've been off all meds and nearly all supplements for a year now. Most if not all my 30+ symptoms that I assumed I would live with forever are gone. And the GI attacks, which were my most severe and life-impacting issue that lingered after the Lyme + Co treatment, are completely gone.
I am so eternally grateful for whatever instinct inside me continued to spur my quest for recovery--after the Lyme treatment and relapses and nay-sayers and even more judgement and doubters than I had experienced with the Lyme.
Intermittent fasting, short-term and long-term fasting protocols are being studied and revamped from the scary studies from the 70s (which I now think were intentionally designed to fail). Civilizations have been fasting for health benefits since the beginning of humankind. The 2015 Nobel Price for Science was awarded to a Japanese biologist who studied a process called AUTOPHAGY, or "self-eating".
In a nutshell, this process shifts into high-gear around day 4 of water-only fasting and your body knows how to go to work cleaning house of dead and dying cells and tissues, consuming it as an efficiency (and life-saving) mechanism. On day 5 your body knows to start producing more human growth hormone, which generates cell and tissue growth. If the fast-feast cycle of our hunter-gatherer ancestors weren't so successful we probably wouldn't be here.
ETA this paragraph: another amazing benefit, which I was desperate for, was the body's ability to focus on repair and regenerate without also having to stop and digest food. More than 50% of our body's energy is spent digesting food. This is one reason why the "grazing" diets that were suggested to me always made me feel worse. Repairing GI damage was ground zero for allowing my own immune system to manage some of my infections better and more efficiently, for allowing my body to receive and absorb nutrients more effectively, and to "go to work" on the rest of my body. Aside from the benefits of lowered insulin levels, the rest and repair process is the primary reason for intermittent fasting overnight--and why "break" "fast" is breakfast. Earlier generations always fasted 12+ hours overnight. "Snacks" are a modern invention.
When the body has completed this detoxing process, it usually sends signals to you that it's ready to receive food again and then you start--very slowly over the course of a few days--drinking and then eating food again. I was not receiving signals--I was just a gigantic body-wide yeast machine. I kept waiting for the signals and had an upcoming interview so I finally decided I needed appx 10 days for recovery so I stopped at 35.
There are practitioners helping patients with chronic conditions with a serious success rate using fasting protocols. You might have heard of Dr Fung--a Canadian nephrologist who reports that his geriatric and chronic illness patient base has a 95%+ recovery rate (with the exception of late-stage kidney failure) using fasting protocols. It's astounding to hear him describe how quickly he gets these 70-80-90 year olds OFF meds.
The protocol is a little different depending on how overweight/underweight you might be but studies have shown that for a typical middle-aged man of 155 lbs (rather light for an American man of modern age), he has enough reserves in his body to sustain a 40-day fast. The longest fasting record was a 400 lb man who fasted for 385 days on water-only, under the supervision of an MD who gave him potassium support during the final month, I think.
When the body is not being fed food, which nearly all is converted to sugar for the body's fuel source, the body knows to target fat for consumption. It's why our bodies naturally store fat. Our fat contains significant nutrition and this process (ketosis) is what the training or prep period accomplishes, which can make a fast much much easier on the body and mind. In fact, the Silicon Valley uber competitive 20-somethings are experimenting with fasting to achieve a higher level of brain function. The brain benefits of fat-burning isn't new--kids with former severe seizure disorders have been successfully placed on high-fat protocols for decades.
There is more necessary detail to share to help describe what MY unique experience was with the fasting and of course I hope it inspires others who feel it might be worth exploring.
I hope you are all faring well during the crazy holidays, surrounded by those you love and taking good care of yourselves.
Best wishes to you all -
Post Edited (Pirouette) : 1/2/2020 12:09:17 PM (GMT-7)