Fasting to heal and cleanse the body has been practiced for centuries. One of the most common forms of fasting for weight loss and for the healing of certain chronic conditions is water fasting. Those who choose to partake in water fasting will consume only water for a certain amount of days. The typical time period for water fasting is one-two days, but some people do it for too long and suffer many health consequences. Water fasting does have some health benefits if it is done correctly, but like most crash diet methods, the dangers of water fasting greatly outweigh the potential benefits.
What are the Potential Weight Loss Benefits of Water Fasting?
Water fasting is meant to be used as a jump start to a weight loss program and not a weight loss program by itself. Those who are planning on going on a diet can use water fasting for a day or two to jump start their diet. The potential benefits of water fasting before a diet are colon cleansing, a decrease in cravings for certain foods such as processed foods and the potential to shed a bit of water weight. Water fasting has to be done right and for only a day or two to be effective as a jump start for weight loss.
What are the Other Potential Benefits of Water Fasting?
Water fasting may help people achieve clearer skin, enhance their mood and assist in the repair and healing of damaged tissues in the body. Those who wish to use water fasting for these reasons must only do it for a day or two or they are putting themselves at risk for many health dangers.
Can Water Fasting Help Alleviate the Symptoms of Chronic Health Conditions?
Many experts agree that water fasting may be beneficial in alleviating the symptoms of certain chronic health conditions. Those who wish to try water fasting for their chronic health condition must always consult a physician first so that they can monitor them throughout the water fasting period. Some chronic health conditions that may benefit from water fasting are obesity, allergies, certain mental illnesses, anxiety, hypoglycemia, arthritis, high cholesterol, asthma, heart disease, depression, headaches, certain digestive disorders and diabetes.
What are the Potential Dangers of Water Fasting?
Many healthcare providers in the Western world consider water fasting a form of starvation and do not see it as a form of body cleansing and detoxification. It is stated that water fasting puts millions of people in the hospital each year and some of these people do not survive. Some of the potential health dangers of water fasting include issues with blood sugar levels in the body, vitamin deficiencies and the breakdown of muscle. Those who are experiencing any of the health dangers associated with water fasting need to seek medical attention as soon as possible to avoid irreversible damage and possibly death.
Who Should Not Participate in Water Fasting?
Some people should not participate in water fasting no matter what because it could cause some serious health consequences. Anyone with a serious health condition such as kidney problems, type one diabetes and any other major health problem should never participate in water fasting. Women who are pregnant or nursing and anyone under the age of 18 should not participate in water fasting. Those with a toxic level of DDT contamination should not participate in water fasting.
Is There a Safe Way To Participate in Water Fasting?
If water fasting is done right and closely monitored by a physician it can be generally safe. As with all types of fasting there is risk involved, but those who follow their doctors orders should be relatively safe when water fasting. Anyone participating in water fasting should get plenty of rest and avoid any strenuous exercise. Most people can do a bit of light stretching or walking, but should ask their doctor beforehand.
Water fasting has helped many people struggling with obesity and other chronic illnesses, but it should not be attempted before consulting a physician. Those who do not follow their doctors orders can put themselves at risk for many health dangers and even death. Anything that can be helped by water fasting can most likely be helped by a less extreme medical treatment, but if you feel it may benefit you make sure to discuss it with your doctor so that you can do it safely.