has anyone tried a long term fast?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 178
   Posted 5/19/2009 9:39 PM (GMT -6)   
i have been reading about the positive effects fasting can have on a variety of issues including ibd....i am really intrigued.  the prospect of fasting for 3 weeks or more is a little scary....but i don't like the idea of being on meds for the rest of my life either which cannot and do not cure this disease.  for centuries it has been believed that the body had the ability to heal itself, but you cannot feed sickness and disease.  i know doctors do not believe fasting benefits patients, but do pred and other drugs the liver has to deal with.  I can see no improvement from the time i have been started on meds for uc.  i actually had longer remission before beginning drugs.  Maybe all the poisons i have put in my mouth for 35 yrs has something to do with this awful disease, i don't know....I am contemplating this very seriously....i know many are sceptical, but Fasting for me would certainly not kill me at 200 pounds and 6 ft tall.  i read the story of jack goldstein, a dr. who overcame uc 40 years ago after being told to have his colon removed or he would die...it was certainly compelling....he fasted all food and drank only water for 40 days and overcame uc....something to think about.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 735
   Posted 5/19/2009 9:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow that would be something, If that was a true fire cure, it be about worth it.
I don't think I could do it, my weight is already on the low end. One thing about fasting is it would probably clean your body of any toxins and kill any bad yeast in it.

I can understand your feeling of desperation this disease can cause.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 178
   Posted 5/19/2009 9:58 PM (GMT -6)   
i am not in terrible shape at this time.  I have been in a flare for about 2 months, though i only go 3 or 4 times a day with some blood, but one day i may  be in too poor condition to even make it an option....the key is you want to totally free the body from using any energy at all digesting and to completely remove toxins from the body.  i don't know how long i would do water only, but i would eventually add juice and veg broth.  I read a news story about another woman who did the same thing and was cured.  Dr's are trained to give meds.  that is what they do....let's face it, they can't cure this stupid disease.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 178
   Posted 5/19/2009 10:15 PM (GMT -6)   
i think i am gonna do it....i have about 3 more weeks till i am phased off of pred and if i have no problems getting off of it, i will wait a week or so and i am gonna be a guinea pig and see what happens....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 5/19/2009 10:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I read an interesting article about it recently...and was tempted, too.

But not eating enough would make me bleed worse, so I'm not sure it would really work. You might get better, or way worse.
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering. Asacol maintenance for 20+ years; used prednisone & Rowasa for flares.  Probiotics (Ultimate Flora, 50 billion), salmon oil (omega-3) when I can remember. 
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Food sensitivity test showed wheat/gluten, other intolerances; eliminated wheat/gluten from my diet.
Bad flare in March, used prednisone. Humira denied, started Remicade 4/12 and doing great~ learning what normal is~ wow

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 5/19/2009 10:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I too thought about fasting with my last two flares, because it seemed that all food made the inflammation worse, that was until I tried turmeric. I was actually able to eat rice (cook 1 cup uncooked rice with a tablespoon of turmeric and a tablespoon of butter added to it) and mild curry chicken.

I think there are advantages and disadvantages to not eating. On the one hand, the colon may start to calm down if there is no food to attack. Plus, the body will have less energy to attack itself. On the other hand, the body needs energy to heal.

I don't know how anyone can fast for six weeks though. I remember once when I was 12, I was very depressed. I stopped eating for two weeks. I just laid in bed. I lost a lot of weight. It took me years to gain back the muscle and fat I had lost. I looked very bony. Six weeks is an awfully long time not to eat.
Joy - 47 yrs and counting
Colitis Dec 06 (also have IBS)
Currently in remission
Don't expect your doctor to cure your health problems. Your health is your responsibility.

Lexapro (for stress), Probiotics and Vitamins (a whole bunch of them)
Avoid HFCS, foods high in fructose, artificial sweeteners
When flaring: eat anti-inflammatory foods, avoid pro-inflammatory foods
Previous treatments: Fecal transplantation (worked), Prednisone (stopped working), Colazal (stopped working), Asacol (stopped working)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 178
   Posted 5/19/2009 10:55 PM (GMT -6)   
but the key is that the body does not have to use any energy at all to digest foods.  we have tons of stored energy in our body....i know i do for sure...lol.  apparently it takes a lot of energy to digest.  I have been reading lots of stories on the subject.  Why do we only believe what our docs tell us.  They only know what they have been taught, and most have been taught that it is useless.  But they will give us meds that can cause all kinds of problems.  I am not anti doctor, just know that they are human and only know what they have learned.  There is a lot of info out there on fasting.  When i begin, i will give a daily blog on here so others can see what happens.  I know my next step in 6 mp and i don't want to take any drug that alters my body if i don't have to.  I think it is worth a shot. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 2103
   Posted 5/19/2009 10:56 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't think I could do it that long. I had a bowel rest in Dec 2005 and was given intravenous TPN and didn't eat for six days. It sucked.
20 year old college student diagnosed in March 2005
Remission since January/April 2006->THREE YEARS!!!!!
Trying Colazal 3 750mg x2 (NOT for a flare, just some linger symptoms?)
25mg Elavil
75mg Effexor XR for GAD
"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude."
Maya Angelou

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 178
   Posted 5/19/2009 11:08 PM (GMT -6)   
yeah, i don't know how long i can go, but if i had to suffer without food for a period, but could find relief from uc, it would be worth it.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 5/20/2009 8:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Medical fasting for UC is practiced in Scandinavia as a first line treatment for severe UC. I'm not sure of its success rate. I was given a 9 day fast while in the hosptial for a severe flare. It reduced the symptoms of my flare but did not put me in remission.

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

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 224
   Posted 5/20/2009 9:57 AM (GMT -6)   
I've heard of people on a raw milk fast, but not just water. Personally, I would be leery of not having some nutritional input for a prolonged period of time. I think the argument for something like raw milk (or other food replacement) is that it gives your bowels a rest while still providing nutrition (thus accelerating healing).

But whatever works for you is the best choice.
Diagnosed with UC in 1990.

Current Meds: Sulfasalizine (2 g), Rowasa (now and then), Folic Acid (1 mg)

Supplements: fish oil, flax oil, glucosamine, CoQ10, fiber, probiotics.

Other: Raw Milk for breakfast

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 192
   Posted 5/20/2009 11:21 AM (GMT -6)   
I think you will need to rest as much as possible while fasting. The body heals the most during sleep and rest (eyes closed, laying down).  Please post your progress, I'd love to read it. I've tried, I went on a four day green juice fast and never felt better, my colon healed quite a bit too. If I had more weight on me I would have went longer.  The problem for me came after the fast, introducing food didn't go so well.

puffed rice
Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 5/20/2009 11:59 AM (GMT -6)   
I tried a long term fast about 3 years ago during a flare, thinking it would heal me quickly.  Instead I lost so much weight and got so weak that all I could do was lay in bed.  My flare got worse, my hair started falling out and I looked anorexic.  I didn't tell my family that I was on a strict fast because they would of thought I was nuts.  My husband finally had to bring me to the emergency one evening for severe dehydration and then he started making me eat food again.  It was so difficult because after fasting for so many weeks I started gagging when I finally tried to eat something.  It was weeks before I started to gain my strength back.
So make sure you know what your doing when you start your fast and drink enough electrolytes to prevent dehydration.
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis 1995
Salofalk Tablets , salofalk suppositories or cortifoam nightly
Bio-K Probiotic daily
metamucil nightly

Eva Lou
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 3442
   Posted 5/20/2009 12:12 PM (GMT -6)   
the thing about fasting is that you really can't do anything when you're undergoing a fast- so I don't know if you work, or have a family, or anything- but if you intend to not eat for 6 weeks, you basically have to say "Goodbye!" to all of that. No socializing, working, chores, etc. You'll get extremely light-headed & spacy after about 3 days. Sure, fasting will alleviate some symptoms, but it won't stop them. Like Peety said, you'll most likely pass blood & mucous regardless. Not to mention, the body just needs food. I've done fasts for a day or 2, that's it. And even then, it doesn't make much of a difference- once you start eating again, you'll start hitting the bathroom again. It's not going to cure you. Unfortunately, you can't stop eating indefinitely.
diagnosed with UC '02
Asacol- 8 tabs/day
Remicade-10mgs/kg- since 4/07
Imuran- 150mgs/day
various probiotics
Fiber supplement

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