People who are trying to lose weight will try almost anything if they think it will help them. One method that has been around for centuries, but now is becoming very popular, is intermittent fasting, the voluntary forgoing of food for a set amount of time each day in the hopes of losing excess weight. The question that comes to mind is, is it safe?
One of the effects on the body of intermittent fasting is believed to be an increase in the sensitivity to insulin. When this occurs, the body tends to have better control of glucose levels and will be less likely to build up fat. Prolonged intermittent fasting however can have detrimental side effects on the storage of glucose in the cells, releasing byproducts of this breakdown into the circulatory system at dangerous levels.
If a person decides to try intermittent fasting as a short term method of losing weight, another thing to be careful of is overeating at the end of each day’s fast. This can overload the body’s ability to digest this food properly and cause stomach pains. Short term intermittent fasting is generally safe for people who are in good health.
Most types of fasting is not recommended for the following people:
• Pregnant women
• People with diabetes
• Anyone who is underweight already
• Women who are breastfeeding
• Children under 18 years of age
• Anyone who is elderly shouldn’t fast
Some of the risks of going on a long term intermittent fasting diet are that since you are consuming less nutrients, the metabolism slows down. Once you start eating again, the body may actually gain more weight than you originally lost. The body requires vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in order to function properly. When these are absent from the diet, a person can experience headaches, fatigue, dehydration, and dizziness. It is also possible to see loss of muscle mass if a person fasts for too long a period of time. In severe cases it can be life threatening.
Whether you are considering intermittent fasting or any other form of weight loss program, always consult with a physician first to see if it is safe for you. To schedule an appointment with a physician at Jamaica Hospital please call 718-206-7001.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.