Biohacking: Risks

Is Fasting Dangerous?

Hey, we're not Doctors. We're just a regular family collecting information on the Internet.

Every risk I've seen attributed to fasting seems to be related to poor management: Dehydration, stress, poor sleep, depleted electrolytes, going right back to poor habits when the fast is over.

Of course, this doesn’t include some of the crazy things I’ve read out there that contradicts the actual science. "It will slow down your metabolism!", it doesn’t. "After 3 days, your body eats your organ linings!". Not even remotely true.

Seriously. If you are fat, your body is actually covered in food. Food you need to eat. The world record holder for a therapeutic fast was a fellow from Scotland who fasted for 382 days. He weighed in at 456 pounds, fasted to 180 pounds, and 5 years later weighed 196 pounds.

Recommended precautions for an extended fast

  • Monitor blood pressure, heart rate, glucose frequently
  • If you do not feel well at any point, you must stop fasting. You may feel hungry, but you should not feel sick.
  • Drink water frequently throughout the day when you fast. Seriously. This is the cardinal rule.
  • Daily Multivitamin
  • To avoid refeeding syndrome, do not extend the fasting period beyond 14 days.
  • When you break your fast, eat gentle things for a day to get the machinery going again, like eggs or guacamole
  • Undertake 7 day fasts no more than once a month
  • Undertake 14 day fasts no more than every 6 weeks
  • Megan Ramos (works with Dr Jason Fung) recommends a teaspoon of salt per day, as well as magnesium supplements. She just puts Himilayan salt rocks on her tongue throughout the day, letting it get absorbed into her bloodstream there, instead of her digestive tract.
  • If you have a medical condition, make sure you do this with medical supervision. Your Doctor may want blood tests throughout.

Stay Hydrated

"Every few blood tests, I've been told I had elevated BUN/Creatinine levels (which usually indicates dehydration or kidney stress)."

"So I just know that I've frequently been dehydrated, and this is a chronic recurring problem for me."

Ace, of the Ace of Spades blog, in Thanks for the Concern and Well-Wishes, and I'm Sorry I Got Defensive