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Many different articles and posts have been written about diets and fasting. But the goal of most methods - losing weight, and not for health, but for attractiveness. Speaking of medical fasting, which is a therapeutic technique, we pursue another goal - the restoration of the body's natural defenses to combat the disease. Attractiveness here is no longer in the foreground, because a healthy person always looks more attractive than a patient, i.e. The second follows from the first.
A diet for losing weight is free to choose for oneself, because even a medical certificate is not required in order to decide whether we need it and how to achieve our goal. And fasting-diet therapy (RTD), like any medical procedure, implies control by a specialist. In addition, for various diseases, doctors recommend different schemes of therapeutic fasting, based on the location, nature and cause of the disease, the patient’s condition, his age and physiological characteristics, and the capabilities of the body.
It must be said that there is no consensus about the expediency and safety of prescribing therapeutic fasting for various specific diseases. After all, this system belongs to the category of alternative medicine and is considered by doctors only in the context of medical treatment and only in the area in which the doctor works.
Thus, in gastroenterology, which treats the organs of the gastrointestinal tract, medical fasting has already gained strong positions. The conviction of doctors about the benefits of not eating pancreatitis is considered particularly persistent. And at the same time, the controversy surrounding this method regarding gastric ulcer does not stop.
Recently, cardiologists and phlebologists are increasingly turning to medical fasting due to the insufficient effect of drug therapy in the case of cardiovascular diseases.
Many doctors no longer deny the benefit of fasting for colds, bronchial asthma, prostate adenoma and prostatitis, allergic skin diseases, and obesity.
Recently, the technique of RTD is used by some doctors even in connection with diseases of the organs of hearing and vision (for example, in the treatment of inflammatory diseases of the ear and eyes, for some visual impairments, glaucoma). There are positive results in the treatment of famine diseases of the musculoskeletal system (osteomyelitis, osteoporosis, myopathy, hernia, mobility disorders of joints, etc.).
Some doctors practice therapeutic starvation in the treatment of diseases of the urinary system: pyelonephritis, cystitis, urinary retention in the body, urinary incontinence, etc. However, in this case, special attention should be paid to how much the renal function is impaired, the load on which increases during fasting.
Especially popular methods of RTD with the problem of excess weight. So the doctor may prescribe medical fasting for weight loss if overweight causes excessive stress on the heart, kidneys, legs or other organs. As a result, the patient may experience various diseases or problems with their treatment. In this case, the methods and duration of the course of treatment may be different depending on how much weight you need to lose and what are associated diseases.
Despite the fact that therapeutic fasting is one of the oldest therapeutic methods, its incorrect application can lead to serious consequences, including the death of the patient (there is such statistics). Followers of the RTD method, arguing that the refusal of food is a natural way to recovery in many diseases, sometimes forget to mention that the method has contraindications, besides, it is possible to starve sick people at home for no more than 3 days.
These are important points that can prevent a tragedy, but they are often not taken into account by patients who are desperate to find help among traditional medicine techniques or simply do not want to refer to them. The result is a variety of complications with which the patients go to the doctor. The skeptical attitude of doctors towards therapeutic starvation is reinforced by the facts of its ineffectiveness and even harm to health. It is clear that in such conditions the technique cannot be widely spread until the consciousness of people changes.
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What diseases are treatable by hunger?
To begin with, consider what diseases a doctor can support the idea of therapeutic fasting and what are its optimal periods. At the same time, the word “can” comes to the fore, because not all doctors are positive about such “violence” over the body.
Medical fasting for obesity can be carried out as an independent treatment or be part of a complex of therapeutic procedures. Depending on the degree of obesity and parallel procedures of RTD, it takes about 2-4 weeks. Moreover, its results are visible even when other methods of dealing with obesity are powerless.
If the diagnosis of obesity is still in question, i.e. Excess weight has not yet become critical, good results for the correction of the figure are given by medical fasting for 14 days, which helps to lose extra pounds and restore normal metabolism, cleansing the body of all that hindered it.
Therapeutic starvation in diabetes is used only in the case of uncomplicated insulin-independent type 2 diabetes, the main problem of which is considered overweight, which is exactly the risk factor for glucose metabolism disorders.
It is logical that insulin produced by the pancreas and necessary for the metabolism of glucose and its proper assimilation by the tissues, is produced after eating food. In the absence of food intake, the pancreas is able to rest, and in the metabolism beneficial changes occur, which helps to normalize weight and blood sugar levels.
In the case of diabetes, after appropriate preparation, a short fasting course is prescribed (usually 3-5 days). Surprisingly, even a short-term refusal of food while maintaining the drinking regime gives a noticeable decrease in the level of glucose in the blood without the use of glucose-lowering drugs. With a positive trend, the doctor may prescribe courses of medium or long (over 3 weeks) duration.
Medical fasting for diseases of the pancreas is based on the same principles. This usually involves inflammatory pathologies and organ dysfunction (the latter is the basis for the development of type 1 diabetes). A diseased organ involved in the digestive process through the production of insulin and pancreatic juice that breaks down fats (lipase enzyme), proteins (trypsin enzyme) and complex carbohydrates (amylase enzyme) is unable to fully carry out the task entrusted to it. This, of course, affects the processing and assimilation of food in the intestines.
We already know about the ability of our bodies to heal themselves. Inflammation of the pancreas is mostly non-infectious, so simply rest is enough to restore its tissues when the production of digestive enzymes stops, which means that they do not irritate the internal walls of the organ. In this case, it is necessary to unload the gland as much as possible, which is possible with an absolute, i.e. Dry fasting.
In 1-3 days the pancreatic tissues return to normal, and it can work normally, which is not at all a reason to load it strongly again. But a longer fasting can be harmful, since, greatly “relaxed”, the body may not want to further strain, and later may lose the ability to produce digestive enzymes.
Medical fasting for gastritis , many have doubts about its safety and relevance. Nevertheless, the practice confirms that short-term fasting for 1-2 days gives better results than split meals and light food. Both starvation schemes are used (both wet and dry starvation), but the second gives more interesting results, allowing the body to fully relax while significantly reducing the secretion of gastric juice, known for its acidic environment and high aggressiveness against the mucous membrane.
RDT allows you to calm the acute symptoms of gastritis, after which you can fix the therapeutic effect with medication. But in chronic gastritis during periods of remission, medical fasting is inferior in its effectiveness to fractional feeding, and in some cases, on the contrary, can provoke an exacerbation.
Medical fasting with reflux esophagitis, as one of the diseases of the digestive system, also aims to reduce the irritant effect of gastric juice on the walls of the digestive tract. But in this case we are talking about the esophagus, the mucous membrane of which is inflamed as a result of throwing gastric contents, richly flavored with digestive juice, into its lumen.
In practice, fasting in this disease is used only in severe cases, when there is a strong inflammation of the tissues of the esophagus, in which eating food becomes a problem. After all, pieces of food, as well as changes in its temperature or acidity, can negatively affect the state of the organ, injuring it in addition to the gastric juice. When fasting eliminates the irritating effect of both factors: food, and gastric juice, the production of which is minimized.
Like gastritis, esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus) is treated by practicing a short course of fasting (1-2 days), after which they switch to liquid light food. But you need to understand that fasting is not a complete treatment of reflux disease, because it can not eliminate its cause, which often lies in the weakness of the ligaments of the esophageal opening of the diaphragm, resulting in the stomach may take the wrong position, or esophageal sphincter. Fasting in this case can be considered as symptomatic therapy.
Therapeutic starvation in hemorrhoids, which is another disease of the digestive system with localization in the lumen of the large intestine, is not officially recognized by traditional medicine. Moreover, many doctors believe that it can provoke an exacerbation of the disease, because starvation and immediately before it require careful stimulated cleaning of the intestine, which can cause injury to hemorrhoids and bleeding.
In case of a disease with insufficiently studied pathogenesis, which is hemorrhoids, it is difficult to predict the result of untested treatment methods. So the doctors' concerns are quite reasonable. Nevertheless, short-term medical fasting can be prescribed in connection with the operation to remove hemorrhoids. The absence of solid particles in the feces and some delay in the discharge of fecal masses, observed in the first days of fasting, make it possible to quickly tighten the wounds at the site of the removed vascular nodules.
Some people successfully practice therapeutic fasting for allergies. Well, with food allergies everything is clear: there are no allergens, no allergies, besides, fasting helps cleanse the body of toxins, allergens and other harmful substances. But, it would seem, what kind of relationship food can have for seasonal allergies or allergies to environmental substances?
However, course fasting of varying lengths helps in this case as well. At first, in case of RTD, there is some depression of the activity of the immune system (and it is in allergic people that it is unjustifiably active due to increased sensitivity to certain allergens), as a result of which the acute symptoms of allergy quickly disappear. Further purification of the body leads to the elimination of allergens from it, and cleaning the intestines helps to normalize the immune system and reduce its sensitivity to non-hazardous substances.
It must be said that the subsequent restorative nutrition not only fixes the result, but also teaches the body to work correctly. But some diseases arise because of the malfunctioning of the organs. So, autoimmune diseases are caused by inadequate work of the immune system. It is not surprising that medical fasting in autoimmune diseases is supported by many traditional medicine doctors, because, as in the case of allergy, there is an excessive activity of the immune system, which does not improve, but on the contrary worsens the patient's well-being.
In simple words, fasting helps to restart the immune system and correct the disturbed pattern of its functioning, which is beyond the power of classic drugs. After all, if we manage to fight with allergies (purely symptomatic therapy), then with many autoimmune pathologies and immunopathological diseases (Bazedov disease, lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune eczema, psoriasis, etc.) even alleviate the symptoms You can not always achieve.
Think of such an unusual disease as psoriasis. The disease has been known to humanity for more than one millennium, but there are still no effective ways to stop the disease forever. Some methods of treatment can only cause long-term remission, when the patient's skin is not covered by ugly flaky plaques protruding above the surface of the body.
With the classical approach to treating the disease, patients regularly take courses of drug treatment and hydrotherapy. Medical treatment is a systematic intervention in the work of the organism from the outside throughout the patient's life. This financial costs, and depression, if there is no result (and this often happens), and the constant alarm that such an invasion of the immune system can harm.
It is not surprising that if a person does not find effective classical methods of treating a disease, he turns to an unconventional one, especially since a lot has already been said about the benefits of a temporary refusal of food. Medical fasting with psoriasis, if approached correctly, helps to achieve stable remission, skin peeling and replacement of old diseased cells with young and healthy ones.
True, not all doctors support the treatment of psoriasis with hunger, although the diet for this disease is positive. One of the reasons for negativity is the fact that the malfunction of the immune system in so many patients indicates the presence of other comorbidities. But we know that therapeutic fasting is not useful for all diseases.
Those who support the idea of UDT, with psoriasis, recommend using different schemes of fasting depending on how long the patient has developed symptoms of the disease and how badly the skin is affected. These moments they associate with more or less slagging of the body. It is clear that in the first case a longer course of purification will be needed (about 20-30 days). However, you should always start with courses of average duration (5-9 days), especially those who have been given fast or contraindicated prolonged fasting. It is recommended to alternate between dry and wet starvation: first, a 5-7-day course of dry starvation, and after a couple of weeks you can sit as much on the water.
Medical fasting, however, as well as other methods, is not a panacea for psoriasis, eczema and many other diseases, so even with a positive effect will need a course treatment of hunger. Many patients were able to achieve a reduction in the manifestations of the disease and persistent remission, conducting fasting courses 1-2 times a year.
Rheumatoid arthritis is another fairly common disease of the autoimmune nature, which alternative medicine specialists and some doctors tend to treat with starvation. The disease is characterized by inflammation of the joints, triggered by its own immune system, which for various reasons begins to perceive its cells as foreign.
In rheumatoid arthritis good results are given by short (3-5 day) courses of therapeutic dry fasting. This period is sufficient for a large number of hormones to be released into the blood due to the reorganization of nutrition, among which are corticosteroids produced by the adrenal cortex. That is, the body itself is able to provide a strong anti-inflammatory effect, similar to what is observed when steroids are administered from the outside. The inflammation quickly subsides, and after it the pain also disappears.
During fasting, the restructuring of the immune system and its strengthening occur as a result of which the likelihood of repeated inflammation is markedly reduced.
Applicable fasting and asthma, which in most cases has an allergic or autoimmune nature. In connection with this, chronic inflammatory processes occur in the body, and when they are localized in the bronchi, asthma attacks occur. The developed methods of treatment of bronchial asthma of various origins usually help only to remove the attacks characteristic for the disease, but cannot cure the disease. And yet, not all doctors are positive about the idea of treating asthma with hunger, although more and more doctors are inclined to believe that such an alternative method of treating asthma has the right to exist.
Exposure to allergens, stressful situations, hypothermia, infections, and some other factors provoke sudden edema and bronchial obstruction — a condition that is life-threatening to patients. Medical fasting helps to stop inflammation by the forces of the body, strengthen the immune system and coordinate its work, optimize the work of the respiratory system.
It should be understood that if the pathological program is laid at the genetic level, then even starvation cannot be completely remedied. But in many diseases of autoimmune genesis, the genetic (hereditary) factor plays a leading role. Therefore, to rely on a full cure in one course of therapeutic fasting is not necessary. This is usually a course of treatment, which will help prevent repeated attacks of suffocation. In this case, the duration of the course of treatment usually depends on the severity of the pathology.
Treatment of inflammatory diseases, the system of UDT involves using dry fasting. The release of corticosteroids in the blood can be expected with wet fasting, but inflammation, which means swelling of the tissues (accumulation of fluid in them), will come down faster if it is not fed with moisture. When inflammation of the infectious nature (bacterial or viral) infection without water dies 2 times faster, which facilitates the work of the immune system.
It is on this basis that therapeutic fasting for influenza is built as an alternative to drug therapy. Probably, not all doctors will agree that with a disease that weakens the body, it is possible to refuse food that gives it energy. It is hard to disagree with this argument, because both illness and starvation are stressful for the body. But if you start fasting at the first signs of the disease, a crisis, and with it, and recovery occurs much earlier. Already after 3-4 days a person feels quite healthy and active. A later appeal to fasting is also possible, but the healing process is definitely delayed.
Probably, many noticed that during the acute period of the disease, the appetite noticeably decreases. This is due to the fact that the body moves to an economical mode, without wasting the forces necessary to fight the disease, to process food, which also requires energy. So maybe you should listen to your body?
A 1-3-day absolute refusal to eat in the first days of the illness is unlikely to harm, but significantly speed up recovery. However, at high temperatures, the rejection of water is fraught with an increase in blood clotting, so it is better to give preference to wet starvation, although its duration will be longer - 5-7 days, but you will not have to poison the body with drug chemistry.
Medical fasting for varicose veins requires some caution. The disease itself is not an absolute contraindication to starvation, besides, the risk factor for the development and complications of varicose veins is overweight, which can be dealt with just by refusing to eat. But on the other hand, it is impossible to cure the disease only by starvation. This method is effective in the early stages of the disease, as it is able to slow down the progression of varicose veins and facilitate its treatment by other methods (this is a complex treatment).
It may seem incomprehensible benefit of medical fasting for fractures, because the rejection of food is unlikely to help the bones quickly and properly grow together. On the contrary, the lack of calcium in the body, as a necessary component of bone tissue, can be alarming. However, some practitioners claim that the healing process for surgical injuries is faster, and the likelihood of complications is markedly reduced.
It is very important to start treatment as early as possible, without delaying it for an hour. At the same time, it is impossible to refuse medication and other methods of treatment, but the number and dosage of drugs should be minimal, and prescription is vital. In case of acute injuries (and even an acute myocardial infarction or a fresh stroke can be considered as such), timely access to fasting can limit it to 5-7 days. And even with purulent pathologies, a positive result can be achieved by avoiding the amputation of a damaged organ, although in this case a strictly individual approach is needed in determining the duration and type of fasting.
The treatment of malignant diseases of the body with the help of medical fasting doctor are negative or with a large share of skepticism. A different attitude to the use of RTD for benign tumors. So, medical fasting today is quite successfully used in the treatment of sarcoidosis of the lungs (formation of benign granulomas in the organ) and in prostate adenoma (benign prostate tumor).
In the second case, with the help of dry starvation, the tumor growth can be slowed down (in some cases, the tumor disappeared altogether in the initial stages of the disease) by reducing the synthesis of dihydrosterone (formed from testosterone with the assistance of the 5 alpha reductase enzyme) and arresting the inflammatory process.
Moreover, the fasting process has an amazing effect on the sexual and reproductive spheres: sexual attraction increases, orgasm increases, and seminal fluid composition improves. This is noted by both men and women who have undergone hunger treatment for gynecological disorders. Such practice in gynecology is still rare, but the available results support the use of the technique: rapid relief of inflammatory and neoplastic processes, resorption of cystic formations, orgasm in women who have not experienced it before, normalization of the menstrual cycle and reduction of pain in dysmenorrhea, delay in menopause and reducing its unpleasant manifestations.
We have already mentioned that therapeutic fasting contributes to the restructuring of the work of various systems of the body, including the cardiovascular system, eliminating pathological stereotypes and improving the self-regulating function, i.e. Establishing a correspondence between the superficial function of the heart and peripheral vascular resistance. The goal of fasting is to reduce weight, which leads to a reduction in cardiac output of blood and stress on the heart muscle, normalization of vascular tone and a decrease in peripheral resistance. All this contributes to the normalization of blood pressure, and this is due to the popularity of therapeutic fasting in hypertension.
Discharge-diet therapy is also indicated for other diseases of the cardiovascular system: the IRR in hypertensive or mixed type, ischemic heart disease, vascular atherosclerosis, angina of exertion. With hypertension and the IRR good results are 1-3 days dry fasting. At the same time, even without medication, the pressure decreases to normal within 5-7 days. Prophylactic 2-3-week fasting courses with increased pressure should be held 1-2 times a year, and with increased body weight, it is recommended to have 1-1.5-day hunger strikes once a week.
With angina, the approach is somewhat different. In this case, 1.5-2 week courses of wet starvation are more expedient, which are combined with the intake of nitropreparations, but at the same time the dosages of drugs are minimized. If the patient's condition worsens and does not improve even with an increase in the dosage of nitrates within 1-2 days of fasting, gradually return to the usual diet. Repeated fasting courses with positive dynamics should be conducted no more than 1 time per year and not during periods of exacerbation.
But in violation of the rhythm of the heart and its conduction (arrhythmias and heart block), and in particular with tachycardia, medical fasting is not prescribed, as well as in severe myocardial infarction. True, today doctors are no longer categorically so treat the treatment of fasting arrhythmias. The ban refers rather to its severe forms.
Doctors have a positive experience of using therapeutic fasting for nervous disorders : neurosis, neuritis, neuralgia, headaches and migraines, the effects of head injuries, flaccid schizophrenia, neurasthenia, etc. The type and treatment of hunger here is due to the diagnosis and its severity. At the same time, fasting should be carried out during a period of relative lull in the symptoms, and during exacerbation of neuropsychiatric pathologies, it is not recommended, since it is associated with stress for the body, as a result of which the symptoms can only intensify.
We have listed diseases in which the possibility of using therapeutic fasting as an independent treatment or as part of an integrated approach to therapy can be considered by doctors of traditional medicine. But I must say that often people do not expect such an appointment from doctors and apply the technique to the treatment of other diseases not included in the list of indications. Not all people listen to the opinion of doctors on this score.