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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 12/26/2008 2:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Anyone have any experience with fasting with regards to improving their UC? The idea is, to the best of my understanding, that not eating gives the large intestine a chance to rest, and that the stress on the body caused by going so long without food promotes an altered immune system response that might lead to the healing of inflammation. Then again, that all might just be a bunch of, well, something we already deal with too much already.

I am considering not eating for a consecutive 36-hour block of time every 2 weeks or so...

Post Edited (wantstogetbetter) : 12/26/2008 12:07:32 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 12/26/2008 3:25 PM (GMT -6)   

I tried fasting several times and up to 9 days at a time.  It never put me in remission but at least it gave me a break from using the toilet.  I am not sure if 36 hours would be enough time to fast since it can take up to 72 hours to empty your colon, that is unless you are suffering from diarrhea.  You have nothing to lose by fasting and can supplement with Ensure or Boost to get calories.


dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30976
   Posted 12/26/2008 3:39 PM (GMT -6)   
It's not something that is suggested for UC as would be for CD. It's true, what we eat is digested and comes out. The more we eat, the more is digested, the more comes out. 
The fasting will only give us a break, not necessarily our colons....for inflammation takes time to heal on its own, medications are supposed to help the, I'll ask now...what meds are you on?

Diarrhea is much easier going through an inflamed rectum compared to formed or semi formed stool. So, ultimately, you can change your eating habits to change the stool somewhat. Or, on the same note, change your eating to slow down your transit time, but it could be a bit more painful going through an inflamed rectum.

I'm flaring as of a few days ago....suspected a bit before hand but was so busy I guess that kept it a bit at bay. My bms have been absolutely horrific...multiple with urgency and butt wretching writhing pain. Squealing helps as well as!

I've eaten regularly, but coffee consumption has been lowered as to not trigger a bm just to give ME a break. My rectum is obviously inflamed and it will respond to the coffee if there's anything "in the vicinity" to be downloaded and evacuated.

I use Bentylol (dicyclomine) an antispasmodic plus Gravol (antinausea) to help with the discomfort...both help immensely between bms.

I started the rectal meds nightly as of Tuesday....and I'm greatly improved as of this morning. Only once in the bathroom.

Might I add that I've eaten ice cream, cookies, popcorn, two watered down soft drinks, mince tarts, and whatever else I can't remember. I did, however, neglect to use the Metamucil...I find softer/looser bms more easy to have.

I'll also throw in that bowel rest will only confuse your colon and become lazier...using an antispasmodic will help level the spasming and adding a fibre supplement will help even out the peristalsis....that's what you need for the colon to keep exercised.

I've noticed that retaining looser stool is more difficult with an inflamed rectum...doing kegel exercises is something I'm hoping will help retention until I can get to a bathroom.

I'm also 20 years older since, that's quite a few flares under my belt. I have humbly recognised the possibility of not holding in bms, and accidents aren't someting I've experienced a hoping that I can help that somewhat.

Well, probably too much information....but the bottom line is that you can adjust your diet somewhat to change the formation of the stool and the peristalsis to aid in your comfort while your meds kick in.

My doctor definitely doesn't support the not eating/bowel rest for UC. We have to eat to keep up our weight and strength.

If you want to eat lightly for a day or so, but it won't heal the inflammation any will eating not make the inflammation any worse.

I have to add that anal discomfort/inflammation can get worse from multiple bms and wiping..etc....but that's not related to the UC. CD, of course, is different.


*Heather* Status..Asacol 6 (3 twice daily); enemas every 5th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~Probiotics....(Natural Factors Protec, Primadophilus Reuteri Pearls, Natural Factors Ultimate)....1 each  @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed
~Ranitidine (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5975
   Posted 12/26/2008 3:57 PM (GMT -6)   
     My GI doctor doesn't recommend fasting either, but when flaring it seems like whatever I put in my mouth comes out the other end with gusto.  You can try following a low residue diet and see how that works for you.
62 yr old granny. South Jersey
Diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis in 1998 in hospital
Hospitalized (2nd time) in May 2008
Update 11/03/08...finally in remission!!  Hope I don't jinx myself.  Off the prednisone since 11/01/ see if I can stay off for longer than two weeks.  Other meds: 6MP (75 mgm), colazal (6 per day), Benicar and Toprol (high blood pressure meds), Probiotic (2 per day), fish oil capsule and multi-vitamin and calcium with vitamin D.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 510
   Posted 12/26/2008 5:29 PM (GMT -6)   
My doc claims that fasting in this case is just a form of anorexia. Either way its not eating through fear. Ours is just fear of the porcelain god. Theirs is fear of weight gain. But I must admit I find I am ALOT more conscious of how much I eat. Had a great two days over the holidays and over ate. Payin for it today. SO today I only have have a handfull of carrots, 4 hand fulls of sunflower seeds, my daily can of (yuck) spinach and water. Might have some left over mashed taters later am not sure.
diagnosed in aug 2008
30 mg predisone, 9 balsalazide, rowesa enema, 2 gemfibrozil, 1 norvasc, 1 metoprotol, 1 allopurinol, 2 probiotic, 2 aloe vera
gluten intolerance... attempting to live no/low gluten
update: down to 25 mg pred a day as of 12/25/08

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 12/26/2008 9:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I find if I fast or even eat very little in an attempt to give my colon a rest, that I get extremely tired. I'm anemic and not eating just keeps me exhausted...keep that in mind.

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