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Is Fasting Safe? — an article on the Smart Living Network
February 17, 2009 at 10:51 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Is Fasting Safe?

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Fasting is practiced by many people around the world for both religious and health reasons. Many who fast for religious reasons do it because it symbolizes self-control. This self-control can then manifest itself into other aspects of their life. Others choose to fast for one to two days because drinking only water allows for the toxins to be flushed out of the body. Fasting has been done for thousands of years for its spiritual and body cleansing properties. It is said to be safe for the body for the reason that it does flush out the impurities within us and with all of the chemicals in the foods we eat and the air we breathe, it is a quick method in flushing out the tissues within the body.

There are certain groups of people who may not be able to fast. Women who are pregnant or nursing, those who are diabetic, the elderly, and those with illnesses may be negatively impacted. Women who are pregnant or nursing should especially stay away from any kind of fasting. It can be dangerous since babies need adequate nutrition every day. It is also possible that the toxins that are being flushed from the body can hurt the baby.

For diabetics, a juice fast may be an option. Through sipping on fresh fruit or vegetable juices during the fast, a healthy blood sugar level can still be maintained. The key is to monitor the blood sugar level and to adjust diabetes medications if such adjustments are necessary during a juice fast.

Cancer patients, on the other hand, have compromised immune systems, so a juice fast may also be an option. Either way, a doctor should be consulted prior to a fast to make sure there are no adverse effects. Doctors are very knowledgeable in working with patients who fast.

As far as children go, they are growing and need adequate nutrition, so fasting should not be an option for them. If fasting is for religious reasons, chances are they may not understand the reason for it. A child also wouldn't understand the detoxifying effects of fasting, so waiting until they are teenagers and understand the benefits is best, although a juice fast is still recommended. Not until a teenager is at the end of their teen years should they fast on water alone.

Make sure if you decide to fast that you don't do it beyond one or two days. Body weight plays a factor in fasting because a thin person does not have the body fat to go beyond a couple of days. Once all of the fat is used up (creating glucose to fuel cells), the body will do the dangerous task of burning protein. Someone with more weight on them may be able to fast a little longer without risking protein burn, but it is good to consult with a doctor first.

There's also the fact that an overly toxic body can cause the liver to shut down due to all of the toxins. Both are good reasons to not fast for more than a couple of days, so to maintain a safe fast you must follow the rules and not go beyond a couple of days. If you do, check with your doctor because there are tests available that can let you and your doctor know when to end the fast. Otherwise, it is relatively safe for a healthy person.

Source:

http://www.riversidehealth.com/articles/fasting.htm

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