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Thread: I'm thinking of a water-and-medication-only fast. How long would this be safe for?

  1. #1

    Default I'm thinking of a water-and-medication-only fast. How long would this be safe for?

    Hello:

    I thinking of going on a water-and-medication-only fast.

    My doctor has prescribed medications for me -- some medications during morning and the others at night before bed. I would continue to take these medications as directed by my doc. I would take each set of meds with a cup of water.

    My doc has prescribed 3 medications for me to take in the morning -- Lexapro 20 mg, Diovan [non-diuretic] 80 mg, and Inderal LA [long-acting Propranolol] 80 mg. I take these 3 pills every morning with a large-enough cup of water. For night, he prescribed me two additional meds -- Abilify 5 mg and Gabapentin [Neurotin] 300 mg. Likewise, I take these 2 pills with a sufficient amount of water every night. If I would to go through with this fast, I would continue to take the above medications in the aforementioned manner. I would not eat any food or even drink juices for that matter.

    If I were to develop a headache during the fast, I would take the recommended dose of Advil liqui-gels with a sufficient amount of water. If I were to develop diarrhea, I would take the recommended dose of Imodium to treat the loose stools.

    So, as you can see, in this routine, all I would eat would be any necessary medications and all would drink is the water necessary to wash down the pills of those meds. Approximately, how long would I be able to survive on this type of fast? Also, what symptoms would I experience a week into the fast? What about in the month? 2 months? Will I ever get below 100 lbs at any point in this fast?

    I'm 220 lbs, 29 years old, 5'7", and male.

    The reason I think of this fast is for several reasons:

    1. I want to lose as much weight as possible without any effort on my part.
    2. I want my nails and hair to fall off and permanently stop re-growing [starvation signals hair and nails to stop growing]

    I hate shaving because it makes a mess. I can't stand the sensation of disconnected hairs. On the other hand, I don't like the sensation of male-specific facial hairs [they feel like copper wires], so I HAVE to shave to get rid of them. Catch-22 situation.

    I hate needing to get a haircut because it results in a mess of disconnected hairs that produce a nasty itching/tickling sensation. They also make a mess of the car I drive to/from the salon shop -- due to this I have to ask my brother if I can use his car, which is an inconvenience to him. On the flip side, I don't want my hair to grow out because I have these involuntary hand movements that cause me to play with my hair to the point where my hands and head hurt. In addition, my scalp is VERY caustic and causes the skin on my hands to burn if the scales on my scalp enter my eyes, it hurts like HELL. So I need to keep my hair at a #2 length or shorter. Much like the above issue, this is a lose-lose situation.

    In addition, I hate having to cut/file my nails. It's an exhausting task that as comfortable as dealing with unwanted hair. Filing is even more cumbersome than cutting. I also hate for my nails to grow unusually long as they pose an nuisance. Much like my hair issue, my nail issue is a no-win situation.

    I want to be thin because it will cause others to show me sympathy instead of scorn. Obesity has very negative social stereotypes. Obese patients are often viewed as smelly, lazy, unmotivated free-loaders who live solely by the support of others. However, patients of protein-calorie malnutrition are seen as helpless, vulnerable, and pitiful.

    No one cares to help fat people. On the other hand, humanity heavily commiserates with thin people.

    There are also health reasons why I want to lose so much weight. Obesity carries a high risk of stroke and I would hate to end up paralyzed, blind, or otherwise severely handicapped.


    Thank You,

    Green Xenon

  2. #2
    Administrator/SYSOP Mike Weins's Avatar
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    The only person that can answer your questions is your doctor. We don't know your medical history or medical health. None of our members are allowed to give such advice as it is considered "practicing medicine" and violates the terms of service (T.O.S.).
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  3. #3
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    ((((((Green Xenon))))))

    If you fast, you will put yourself at risk of malnutrition and starvation. Lack of nutrition, vitamins, minerals, and calories will make you ill, possibly fatally ill, and it will not result in proper weight loss. Look at the bellies of starving African children. They are bloated. Their limbs are skeletal, but their bellies are bloated.

    This is a list of what occurs as a result of malnutrition (or sub nutrition):

    Loss of fat (adipose tissue)
    Breathing difficulties, a higher risk of respiratory failure
    Depression
    Higher risk of complications after surgery
    Higher risk of hypothermia - abnormally low body temperature
    The total number of some types of white blood cells falls; consequently, the immune system is weakened, increasing the risk of infections.
    Higher susceptibility to feeling cold
    Longer healing times for wounds
    Longer recover times from infections
    Longer recovery from illnesses
    Lower sex drive
    Problems with fertility
    Reduced muscle mass
    Reduced tissue mass
    Tiredness, fatigue, or apathy
    Irritability

    In more severe cases:

    Skin may become thin, dry, inelastic, pale, and cold
    Eventually, as fat in the face is lost, the cheeks look hollow and the eyes sunken
    Hair becomes dry and sparse, falling out easily
    Sometimes, severe malnutrition may lead to unresponsiveness (stupor)
    If calorie deficiency continues for long enough, there may be heart, liver and respiratory failure
    Total starvation is said to be fatal within 8 to 12 weeks (no calorie consumption at all)

    Here is information about malnutrition and starvation:

    Malnutrition

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malnutrition

    Starvation

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starvation

    You are taking quite a few medications, and your body requires nutrition to absorb and process those medications properly. You will likely put yourself at risk for many problems, if you don't have food in your system when you take all of those drugs.

    Use our Drug Info link to look up all of your medications. Do any of them list weight gain as a side effect? If so, then starvation isn't going to cause weight loss. Or if it does, it will cause it in the wrong body parts.

    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginformation.html

    After awhile of not eating, your bowels will stop functioning, because they won't have any food to process into waste. Some medications are excreted through feces, and if you have nothing to form feces, you will retain those meds much longer than normal in your system.

    If your goal is to lose weight, the best way to do so is to eat the right foods, in the right combinations and portions. There are tons of sites on the internet, which provide guidance for sensible eating, which does result in weight loss. Google is your friend.

    Eat healthy food and take a walk around the block a couple of times a day. You'll lose weight and feel better.

    Under 100 pounds is your goal? That isn't enough weight for your height. You should weigh no less than 135, and depending on your bone structure and frame, you could weigh as much as 160.

    There is a middle ground between the extremes of obesity and starvation, between scorn and sympathy/pity. That middle ground is being a healthy weight and fit. It can be frustrating to wait to lose weight the proper way, but in the long run, it is far less dangerous than a fad diet or starvation.

    If you decide to fast, I strongly recommend that you speak to your doctor, before you start. Your doctor needs to know that you are fasting, in case you have any medical issues as a result of it.

    Because you will be weak and at risk of passing out, I also suggest strongly that you do not drive, if you choose to fast.

    I hope you choose a healthy diet. I feel that's your best course for all the reasons I've mentioned and all the ones I haven't.

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Earth Mother 2 Angels View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Look at the bellies of starving African children. They are bloated. Their limbs are skeletal, but their bellies are bloated.
    What causes the bloating? Is there a way to treat the bloating while fasting?

  5. #5
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    ((((((Green Xenon))))))

    I don't know. But I'm guessing starvation.

    I hope you read the rest of my post and the links I provided.

    I'm certainly not an expert on this subject. I just wanted to offer you food for thought.

    Once again, I encourage you to talk to your doctor about this, especially before you decide to fast.

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

  6. #6
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    GreenXenon, if you are serious, you may be on your way to having a serious eating disorder. You shouldn't be wanting to lose that much weight, and you shouldn't try to lose weight in the way you're asking about.

    You're playing a very dangerous game with your health if you fast for more than a day or two. Some people routinely do this as part of a religious belief or just because they want to lose weight in that way, but since you mention a number of medicines you're taking, I assume you have some health problems already, and it may not be safe for you to do this at all.

    Your doctor is the one to advise you on this. I hope you'll read Rose's post carefully.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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