1

votes

Fasting and Gut Flora

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 31, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Hi,

I am currently water fasting (28 days-ish) for bloating and other issues. Does anyone know what happens to gut flora in this time, in particular pathogenic flora?

I have read some account of bloating to be completely gone whilst fasting only to come straight back when eating is resumed (I hope this isn't me!). To me this sounds like the work of bad gut flora not being destroyed during the fast yet I have also read that the small intestines gets sterilized in long fasts(???).

Does anyone have any info or experience in this matter, did a water fast cure you of sibo or other GI dissorders?

Thanks for any input, Sean.

C657d176db6f11f98aeb2a89071e3281

(842)

on January 02, 2013
at 09:52 PM

"The PhMiracle" by Dr Robert O. Young has great supplementation and a juice detox. Available on Amazon or www.phmiracleliving.com He believes in being a vegetarian with 80% of the diet. I believe his supplementation and juicing and shakes are worth knowing about and can be added to paleo. His juice detoxes and shakes and soups are basically all veggie and can be eaten and drank with a carnivore lifestyle. Also, he has a product called phoursalts that would add magnesium, bicarbonate, calcium and Potassium to your clean water. I also use his phurify and chlorophyll in water.

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on January 02, 2013
at 08:58 PM

Dr. Joel Fuhrman is one who recommends the limit of about a quart/liter. This is mostly not to flush out too many electrolytes. Here is a somewhat helpful (though old) free online book by Dr. Herbert Shelton that has some good information: http://www.soilandhealth.org/02/0201hyglibcat/020127shelton.III/020127.toc.htm. I haven't read the whole thing, just chapters that were applicable to me.

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on January 02, 2013
at 08:53 PM

So good on the resting thing! I have no idea how people can long term fast and work, it's crazy. Even working from home is tough, which is how I did it. So you did a total dry fast for 7 whole days, no water? I didn't even know that was possible. What were those 7 days like? I had a few dry days here and there when I couldn't take more than a sip of water, and those were super rough, and I always felt worse afterwards, but came out of it. I would keep the water in, and try to increase it. I know some people who drink 3 liters a day, but I have seen some say not to drink more than 1.

0104d134c517031678cb90bb2919b5d3

(117)

on January 02, 2013
at 11:34 AM

ahh, okay thanks.

0104d134c517031678cb90bb2919b5d3

(117)

on January 02, 2013
at 11:33 AM

I know that, it's just that I saw very little benefit in this time so I decided to try something else.

0104d134c517031678cb90bb2919b5d3

(117)

on January 02, 2013
at 11:32 AM

Also I was dry fasting for the first 7 days then drank 250mls of water yesterday and felt sickly and heaviness in my stomach and experienced bloating. Do you know what that is about?

0104d134c517031678cb90bb2919b5d3

(117)

on January 02, 2013
at 11:31 AM

Those or some amazing results Jackie, impressive! I have just finished my Christmas temp position so for the foreseeable future I can rest!

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on January 02, 2013
at 02:18 AM

Oh I forgot to respond to the time and sleep thing - fasting is so trippy, time really slows down! It is wild, so much time to think and take a break from things. Also, I just make myself lie in bed, listen to music, as long as I am resting, even if I can't sleep, and eventually I just get the sleep I need. Do you have these 28 days off or do you have to work?

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on January 02, 2013
at 01:36 AM

it might...its hard to know what bacteria was causing you trouble. if you go back on a SAD/western diet then for sure it'll come back. if you have a problem with starches/fructose, or grains then even good sources may cause certain problematic bacteria to return to colonize your gut. gotta experiment. for me I'm mongolian and I just simply don't handle high fibers and starches all too well. so "pathogenic bacteria" for me is probably normal bacteria for others but i can't eat starch. i eat a carnivorous diet with an occassional tuber/fruit and i feel best.

B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on January 02, 2013
at 01:09 AM

GAPS can take longer than that, 2 years, not 2 months.

C657d176db6f11f98aeb2a89071e3281

(842)

on January 01, 2013
at 09:15 PM

fasting is only supposed to be done so that you do not expend more than what your body has in excess. Organs of the body may be injured if you go too far. That's why, if doinng a 30 day water fast, being under supervision of someone who deals with fasts is the best. See here: http://naturalhygienesociety.org/articles/fasting1.html

Fab409ac4a30957e3ed508514f7bff02

(295)

on January 01, 2013
at 04:42 PM

How about adding some antibiotics? heh. Maybe it's not bacterial but fungi/viral. I would have probably done broth + sups + IF + weights for a couple of weeks before attempting a water fast. Your lean body mass is going to be shot unless you're seriously overweight.

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on January 01, 2013
at 04:25 PM

Lots of other health issues I had before were gone; I had previously had lupus and sjogren's antibodies, and they were gone, I also lost a lot of unhealthy weight, which definitely changed so much for me, I felt lighter, cleaner, breathed easier, my hiatal hernia went away, so did my gastritis and mild gastroparesis and constipation.

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on January 01, 2013
at 04:24 PM

I actually think fasting did help a lot of my issues, even though I know a lot of people are resistant to the idea. No bloating came back because breaking it for me was a very long process, especially when I had my stomach problem. I was on light juices, with water days sprinkled in, for about 2 months, it was crazy, then I slowly began to up my liquid calories, and they were mostly carb, though some protein, and it was a really slow process, a few more months on liquids, and then started back on foods, broths and rice (so not GAPS) and then I was fine, better than ever.

0104d134c517031678cb90bb2919b5d3

(117)

on January 01, 2013
at 11:53 AM

Cool, did the fasting fix your issues? Did you experience a return of them (bloating?) after fasting? I plan on breaking it gaps intro style so yeah bone broth. I find I'm hardly sleeping, so that's kind of annoying for me, time passes real slow...

0104d134c517031678cb90bb2919b5d3

(117)

on January 01, 2013
at 11:44 AM

Okay, will the pathogenic bacteria have entirely died out in this time and thus not return upon refeed.

0104d134c517031678cb90bb2919b5d3

(117)

on January 01, 2013
at 11:43 AM

Duno what you mean by burn the brain...

0104d134c517031678cb90bb2919b5d3

(117)

on January 01, 2013
at 11:42 AM

I continued the GAPS protocol for 2 months with little benefit. With the fast hopefully because your digestive system is hardly being used the body can use its full resources to healing/detox.

0104d134c517031678cb90bb2919b5d3

(117)

on January 01, 2013
at 11:33 AM

Tried both of those before with little succes paleo12.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on January 01, 2013
at 06:21 AM

And this was reason to go on a 28 day no broth fast? Was there not intemediary option - say a broth fast of longer than 2 days?

77188106a9c27a22ad47d0ef7318de7a

(922)

on January 01, 2013
at 02:25 AM

Take some probiotics and IF for 28 days if anything.

77188106a9c27a22ad47d0ef7318de7a

(922)

on January 01, 2013
at 02:24 AM

Um, I would never go more than 10 days without food. And I've only gone 25 hours max.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on December 31, 2012
at 06:55 PM

I've fasted for that long. It's not ridiculous. I don't think enough science has been done in this area for anyone to be able to answer your question. The number of papers that have studied the effect of fasting on gut flora is small, and they were mostly done on non-human animals, including animals that hibernate, which obviously have different adaptations to fasting than we do. Many of these studies showed that relative numbers of bacterial species change as the result of a fast, but that doesn't mean that any species is killed off or that it doesn't bounce back.

0104d134c517031678cb90bb2919b5d3

(117)

on December 31, 2012
at 05:37 PM

I have done a 2 day bone broth fast (Gaps style) before with minimal results (ie still decent amount of bloating and constipation)

0104d134c517031678cb90bb2919b5d3

(117)

on December 31, 2012
at 04:29 PM

Would love to but have no money, am currently saving up.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on December 31, 2012
at 02:03 PM

Dang brah, 28 day water fast, that's ridiculous.

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6 Answers

2
363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on January 01, 2013
at 07:46 AM

I have done extensively long water fasts before, some intentional, one was from a stomach issue that actually prevented me from eating (part of it was a fear element) but I think the important thing is to start slowing when you do reintroduce foods.

How do you plan on breaking? I always want to break with broth, but it is never satisfying and seems to just keep the same feeling going. I prefer to break with diluted juices, sometimes with powdered gelatin mixed in.

I have heard some people say that SIBO can be caused by fasting by having the bacteria from your large intestines creep up to your small intestines seeking nutrition, but this has never been a problem for me.

Some things that helped me out was adding a pinch of salt to some of my water, adding in a magnesium powder on occasion, but this was when I had the stomach issue induced fast, and I was afraid about going so long without any consumption of anything.

Oh and sleep a lot! This made everything easier, like 10-12 hours a day. Good luck, I hope you achieve what you're looking for.

0104d134c517031678cb90bb2919b5d3

(117)

on January 01, 2013
at 11:53 AM

Cool, did the fasting fix your issues? Did you experience a return of them (bloating?) after fasting? I plan on breaking it gaps intro style so yeah bone broth. I find I'm hardly sleeping, so that's kind of annoying for me, time passes real slow...

0104d134c517031678cb90bb2919b5d3

(117)

on January 02, 2013
at 11:32 AM

Also I was dry fasting for the first 7 days then drank 250mls of water yesterday and felt sickly and heaviness in my stomach and experienced bloating. Do you know what that is about?

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on January 02, 2013
at 08:53 PM

So good on the resting thing! I have no idea how people can long term fast and work, it's crazy. Even working from home is tough, which is how I did it. So you did a total dry fast for 7 whole days, no water? I didn't even know that was possible. What were those 7 days like? I had a few dry days here and there when I couldn't take more than a sip of water, and those were super rough, and I always felt worse afterwards, but came out of it. I would keep the water in, and try to increase it. I know some people who drink 3 liters a day, but I have seen some say not to drink more than 1.

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on January 02, 2013
at 02:18 AM

Oh I forgot to respond to the time and sleep thing - fasting is so trippy, time really slows down! It is wild, so much time to think and take a break from things. Also, I just make myself lie in bed, listen to music, as long as I am resting, even if I can't sleep, and eventually I just get the sleep I need. Do you have these 28 days off or do you have to work?

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on January 02, 2013
at 08:58 PM

Dr. Joel Fuhrman is one who recommends the limit of about a quart/liter. This is mostly not to flush out too many electrolytes. Here is a somewhat helpful (though old) free online book by Dr. Herbert Shelton that has some good information: http://www.soilandhealth.org/02/0201hyglibcat/020127shelton.III/020127.toc.htm. I haven't read the whole thing, just chapters that were applicable to me.

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on January 01, 2013
at 04:24 PM

I actually think fasting did help a lot of my issues, even though I know a lot of people are resistant to the idea. No bloating came back because breaking it for me was a very long process, especially when I had my stomach problem. I was on light juices, with water days sprinkled in, for about 2 months, it was crazy, then I slowly began to up my liquid calories, and they were mostly carb, though some protein, and it was a really slow process, a few more months on liquids, and then started back on foods, broths and rice (so not GAPS) and then I was fine, better than ever.

0104d134c517031678cb90bb2919b5d3

(117)

on January 02, 2013
at 11:31 AM

Those or some amazing results Jackie, impressive! I have just finished my Christmas temp position so for the foreseeable future I can rest!

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on January 01, 2013
at 04:25 PM

Lots of other health issues I had before were gone; I had previously had lupus and sjogren's antibodies, and they were gone, I also lost a lot of unhealthy weight, which definitely changed so much for me, I felt lighter, cleaner, breathed easier, my hiatal hernia went away, so did my gastritis and mild gastroparesis and constipation.

1
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on January 07, 2013
at 04:24 PM

I was fasting... and it really screwed me up big time. It brought on tons of GI issues and I have developed SIBO as a result. Not sure what to tell you. Can you just be on a low-carb diet instead?

0
Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on January 01, 2013
at 05:16 AM

the gut flora comes back with fiber (vegetables, fruits, grains) consumption as well as starch and fructose. so if you resume a ketogenic low fiber diet then the gut flora will not return to what it was normally before

0104d134c517031678cb90bb2919b5d3

(117)

on January 01, 2013
at 11:44 AM

Okay, will the pathogenic bacteria have entirely died out in this time and thus not return upon refeed.

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on January 02, 2013
at 01:36 AM

it might...its hard to know what bacteria was causing you trouble. if you go back on a SAD/western diet then for sure it'll come back. if you have a problem with starches/fructose, or grains then even good sources may cause certain problematic bacteria to return to colonize your gut. gotta experiment. for me I'm mongolian and I just simply don't handle high fibers and starches all too well. so "pathogenic bacteria" for me is probably normal bacteria for others but i can't eat starch. i eat a carnivorous diet with an occassional tuber/fruit and i feel best.

0
C657d176db6f11f98aeb2a89071e3281

on January 01, 2013
at 03:48 AM

If you are fasting that long on only water, you need doctor supervision for supplements. Most people will green juice for 10 days with supplementation of vitamins, minerals, amino acids. 28 day water fast without a doctor's supervision can "burn" the brain. You need the proper amounts of salts, too.

0104d134c517031678cb90bb2919b5d3

(117)

on January 01, 2013
at 11:43 AM

Duno what you mean by burn the brain...

C657d176db6f11f98aeb2a89071e3281

(842)

on January 01, 2013
at 09:15 PM

fasting is only supposed to be done so that you do not expend more than what your body has in excess. Organs of the body may be injured if you go too far. That's why, if doinng a 30 day water fast, being under supervision of someone who deals with fasts is the best. See here: http://naturalhygienesociety.org/articles/fasting1.html

0104d134c517031678cb90bb2919b5d3

(117)

on January 02, 2013
at 11:34 AM

ahh, okay thanks.

C657d176db6f11f98aeb2a89071e3281

(842)

on January 02, 2013
at 09:52 PM

"The PhMiracle" by Dr Robert O. Young has great supplementation and a juice detox. Available on Amazon or www.phmiracleliving.com He believes in being a vegetarian with 80% of the diet. I believe his supplementation and juicing and shakes are worth knowing about and can be added to paleo. His juice detoxes and shakes and soups are basically all veggie and can be eaten and drank with a carnivore lifestyle. Also, he has a product called phoursalts that would add magnesium, bicarbonate, calcium and Potassium to your clean water. I also use his phurify and chlorophyll in water.

0
B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on December 31, 2012
at 05:08 PM

Better to do a broth fast. Broth contains electrolytes, especially if unrefined sea salt is added, and highly digestable protein in gelatin which stops muscle wasting when eating low-protein and heals the gut as enterocytes (the cells that do the absorbing) can feed off glycine (the primary amino acid in gelatin) directly.

0104d134c517031678cb90bb2919b5d3

(117)

on December 31, 2012
at 05:37 PM

I have done a 2 day bone broth fast (Gaps style) before with minimal results (ie still decent amount of bloating and constipation)

0104d134c517031678cb90bb2919b5d3

(117)

on January 01, 2013
at 11:42 AM

I continued the GAPS protocol for 2 months with little benefit. With the fast hopefully because your digestive system is hardly being used the body can use its full resources to healing/detox.

B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on January 02, 2013
at 01:09 AM

GAPS can take longer than that, 2 years, not 2 months.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on January 01, 2013
at 06:21 AM

And this was reason to go on a 28 day no broth fast? Was there not intemediary option - say a broth fast of longer than 2 days?

0104d134c517031678cb90bb2919b5d3

(117)

on January 02, 2013
at 11:33 AM

I know that, it's just that I saw very little benefit in this time so I decided to try something else.

0104d134c517031678cb90bb2919b5d3

(117)

on December 31, 2012
at 04:29 PM

Would love to but have no money, am currently saving up.

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