jts

competing theories to explain fasting symptoms

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Here is a brief part of a long lecture about fasting by Alan Goldhamer. This brief part is about symptoms that some people experience during a fast. Alan Goldhamer runs a place called TrueNorth where people can fast safely, perhaps unlike some other places you heard of. The last I heard was 15,000 fasts with no fatalities. Probably a lot more than that now.

It is important to note that fasting symptoms vary HUGELY from person to person, as you learn from Loren Lockman videos. Symptoms can range from very severe, perhaps even life threatening in rare cases, to no symptoms and even increase of energy to anything in between. Also, as Alan says in the video, symptoms can change as the fast progresses and if you fast long enough they probably will go away.

Alan Goldhamer's theory to explain these symptoms is obvious in the video so I won't repeat what he says. I assume that most people on OL disagree with his theory. The challenge if you choose to accept it is to offer an alternative theory to explain these symptoms. As you know, a good theory at least in physics explains all the facts and makes predictions.

Your theory, which is an alternative to his theory, to qualify as a good theory must explain all the symptoms that he talks about in the brief video parts. It must also explain why different people experience different symptoms and different severity of symptoms and why some people experience no symptoms and why symptoms usually go away after a few weeks of fasting. And your theory must explain why there is sometimes a dramatic improvement in health after a fast of a few weeks.

Predictions about fasting might be problematic because you have lots of variables and you can't put them in a mathematical equation like in physics. Variables include whether you are comfortably warm, how much you sleep and rest, amount of physical activity, state of mind and emotions, how much water you drink, what kind of water you drink, how you drink water (you are supposed to sip it), your eating habits prior to the fast, any drug habits, genetics, age, nutritional reserves, body fat, any health problems, previous fasts, and probably a lot more. Good luck with putting all that in a mathematical equation.

But if you can come up with a prediction that supports your theory and falsifies Alan Goldhamer's theory, go for it.

The standard theory that almost everyone believes is fasting is starving and these symptoms are symptoms of starving. If that is true, then why do the symptoms usually go away in about 6 weeks of 'starving'?

 

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13 hours ago, jts said:

Here is a brief part of a long lecture about fasting by Alan Goldhamer. This brief part is about symptoms that some people experience during a fast. Alan Goldhamer runs a place called TrueNorth where people can fast safely, perhaps unlike some other places you heard of. The last I heard was 15,000 fasts with no fatalities. Probably a lot more than that now.

It is important to note that fasting symptoms vary HUGELY from person to person, as you learn from Loren Lockman videos. Symptoms can range from very severe, perhaps even life threatening in rare cases, to no symptoms and even increase of energy to anything in between. Also, as Alan says in the video, symptoms can change as the fast progresses and if you fast long enough they probably will go away.

Alan Goldhamer's theory to explain these symptoms is obvious in the video so I won't repeat what he says. I assume that most people on OL disagree with his theory. The challenge if you choose to accept it is to offer an alternative theory to explain these symptoms. As you know, a good theory at least in physics explains all the facts and makes predictions.

Your theory, which is an alternative to his theory, to qualify as a good theory must explain all the symptoms that he talks about in the brief video parts. It must also explain why different people experience different symptoms and different severity of symptoms and why some people experience no symptoms and why symptoms usually go away after a few weeks of fasting. And your theory must explain why there is sometimes a dramatic improvement in health after a fast of a few weeks.

Predictions about fasting might be problematic because you have lots of variables and you can't put them in a mathematical equation like in physics. Variables include whether you are comfortably warm, how much you sleep and rest, amount of physical activity, state of mind and emotions, how much water you drink, what kind of water you drink, how you drink water (you are supposed to sip it), your eating habits prior to the fast, any drug habits, genetics, age, nutritional reserves, body fat, any health problems, previous fasts, and probably a lot more. Good luck with putting all that in a mathematical equation.

But if you can come up with a prediction that supports your theory and falsifies Alan Goldhamer's theory, go for it.

The standard theory that almost everyone believes is fasting is starving and these symptoms are symptoms of starving. If that is true, then why do the symptoms usually go away in about 6 weeks of 'starving'?

 

Most people I have talked to  say they get hungry when they fast.

 

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5 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:

Most people I have talked to  say they get hungry when they fast.

I don't know what your point is or if you have a point.

I'm guessing that those people you talked to are Jews who do their religious fast of one day per year. Is that correct?

If you want to do a more thorough investigation, you could ask them 2 more questions.

1.  What happens when they fast a week or a month?

2.  What is their description of hunger?

----

I don't know what this has to do with my challenge, what is a good alternative to Alan Goldhamer's theory (which is roughly the same as the theory held by all fast supervisors that I know of)?

 

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On 10/25/2017 at 3:56 PM, jts said:

Alan Goldhamer's theory to explain these symptoms is obvious in the video so I won't repeat what he says.

 

Goldhamer publications ...

 

Edited by william.scherk
Changed Goldhamer video subtitles doc from text to HTML. Note "Symptoms" marked out

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That stuff about lowering blood pressure by fasting is old and boring and not to the point . The challenge is to come up with an alternative theory to explain the symptoms described in the video part at the top of this thread.

I expect most people to see fasting as starving and therefore to see those symptoms as symptoms of starving. Then the question would be why the symptoms go away upon continued 'starving'. Theories are tested by predictions, true? The theory that those symptoms are symptoms of starving would seem to predict that the symptoms will continue as long as the 'starving' is continued. That does not happen, so it seems to be a false prediction that falsifies the theory that the symptoms are symptoms of starving.

I expected someone to say the symptoms prove that fasting is bad for health. Perhaps everyone knows what the answer to that would be. By the same logic, quitting smoking is bad for health, you get symptoms of nicotine deficiency. But everyone knows if you get past the symptoms of nicotine deficiency (etc) then after that is better health. The symptoms of fasting are the same deal according to people who believe in fasting.

The kind of symptoms and severity of symptoms you experience during a fast tend to be related to your eating habits and your drug habits and generally your health habits prior to the fast. Alan Goldhamer stated in a video that fasting is just as much diagnostic as it is therapeutic. An experienced fasting doctor probably has some major clues from your fasting symptoms to what is wrong with your health. A person in good health has no symptoms during a fast, no weakness, nothing.

We must be cautious about symptoms of fasting. Not all are detox or healing. Some might be real problems. For example I know of a case where a guy went into tremors or something showing mineral deficiency on the 10th day. Dr. Moser immediately took him off the fast and built him up on the greenest veggies from the garden. The greener the veggy the richer it is in minerals. The fasting supervisor has a responsibility to watch for problems of this kind and I assume this is part of why people have the fast supervised instead of doing it at home.

 

 

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4 hours ago, jts said:

I don't know what your point is or if you have a point.

I'm guessing that those people you talked to are Jews who do their religious fast of one day per year. Is that correct?

If you want to do a more thorough investigation, you could ask them 2 more questions.

1.  What happens when they fast a week or a month?

2.  What is their description of hunger?

----

I don't know what this has to do with my challenge, what is a good alternative to Alan Goldhamer's theory (which is roughly the same as the theory held by all fast supervisors that I know of)?

 

Most people I know say that being hungry is wanting to have something to eat.

 

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4 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:

Most people I know say that being hungry is wanting to have something to eat.

 

Some people want to eat and they are not what Shelton or Goldhamer or Lockman would call hungry. Describe the experience of wanting something to eat?

But I don't want to get sidetracked by the subject of hunger. The challenge is to come up with an alternative theory to explain the symptoms of fasting.

 

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Just to point out that the question about hunger is not silly, here are parts from from "The Science and Fine Art of Fasting". And then after that maybe we can get back on the main topic of this thread.

 The "feeling of emptiness," and the gnawing that he describes, are not accompaniments of hunger. Neither is the "dull pressing sensation" which he has left as the "central fact" of hunger, any part of the physiological demand for food, which we call hunger. These are both morbid sensations.  

 It will be well, before going deeper into our study of hunger, to view briefly what the physiologists have to say about the sensation of hunger and its cause. I quote: "it is well known that during hunger certain general subjective symptoms are likely to be experienced, such as a feeling of weakness and a sense of emptiness, with a tendency to headache and sometimes even nausea in persons who are prone to headache as a result of toxemic conditions. Headache is likely to be more pronounced or perhaps only present in the morning before there is any food in the stomach." He speaks of "hunger pangs" and of their "greatest intensity."--Macleod's Physiology in Modern Medicine.  

 In this same standard text, the author discusses what he calls "hunger during starvation," by which he means hunger during a period of four days of abstinence from food undergone by Carlson and Luckhardt, "who voluntarily subjected themselves to complete starvation, except for the taking of water, for four days." He says "during enforced starvation for long periods of time, it is known that healthy individuals at first experience intense sensations of hunger and appetite, which last, however, only for a few days, then become less pronounced and finally almost disappear."  

Of Carlson's and Luckhardt's four days of self-imposed "starvation" he says "sensations of hunger were present more or less throughout the period * * * on the last day of starvation a burning sensation referred to the epigastrium was added to that of hunger."  

Carlson and Luckhardt found that their sensations of hunger and appetite both became perceptibly diminished on the last day of "starvation" (their fourth day without food) the diminution being most marked in the sensation of appetite. They found that instead of an eagerness for food developing, there developed on the last day a distinct repugnance, or indifference to food. They also describe a distinct depression and a feeling of weakness which accompanied appetite during the later part of their "starvation" period.  

 Carlson and Luckhardt found that after partaking of food, after their prolonged period of four days of "starvation" their "hunger" and appetite" sensations rapidly disappeared. Also, practically all of their mental depression and a great part of their weakness disappeared. Complete recovery of strength did not occur until the second or third day after resumption of eating. From that time on, both men felt unusually well; indeed, they state that their sense of well-being and clearness of mind and their sense of good health and vigor were as greatly improved as they would have been by a month's vacation in the mountains.  

Carlson and Luckhardt point out that since others who have "starved" for longer periods of time (than four days) unanimously attest the fact that, after the first few days, the sensations of hunger become less pronounced and finally almost disappear, they must have experienced the most distressing period during their four days of "starvation." Although the hunger sensation was strong enough to cause some discomfort, it could by no means be called marked pain or suffering, and was at no time of sufficient intensity to interfere seriously with work. Mere starvation cannot therefore be designated as acute suffering.  

 Howell's Textbook of Physiology tells us that the sensations of hunger and thirst are of such a vague character that it is difficult to analyze them by methods of introspection. He adds that the sensation that we commonly designate as appetite or hunger "is referred or projected more or less definitely to the region of the stomach." "When the sensation is not satisfied by the ingestion of food, it increases in intensity and the individual experiences the pangs of hunger." He also refers to "hunger pain." The sensation of hunger is described as "more or less disagreeable."  

Best and Taylor point out (Physiological Basis of Medical Practice, page 495), that in an investigation of hunger and hunger contractions in a human fasting subject, extending over a period of five days, the hunger contractions showed no diminutions. In fact they actually increased in amplitude, yet the "hunger pangs" and the general sensation of "hunger" lessened after the third day.  

 Whatever may be the true relationship of these gastric contractions to the sense of hunger, the physiologists from Cannon to Carlson, have blundered in that they have accepted certain pathological symptoms as the sense of hunger. The primary error in all of their reasoning is that of accepting morbid sensations as that of hunger. No genuinely healthy subjects have been used as subjects of experiment.  

 Let us try to arrive at an understanding of hunger by seeing what it is not. Headache is not hunger. Pain in the abdomen is not hunger. Gnawing in the stomach is not hunger. Lassitude is not hunger. Drowsiness is not hunger. Weakness is not hunger. Faintness is not hunger. A "dull pressing sensation" is not hunger. Restlessness is not hunger. In thirty years of conducting fasts, during which time I have conducted thousands of fasts that have extended over periods that have ranged from twenty days to sixty-eight days, I have yet to see a single individual in whom pain, headache, drowsiness, a "feeling of emptiness," etc., accompanied the development of genuine hunger. These observations should be worth something. They are certainly more dependable than those that are made on individuals abstaining from food for three to five days.  

 Neither the all-gone, faint feeling, nor the sensation of gnawing in the stomach, nor a feeling of emptiness, nor of weakness, nor a headache, nor any other morbid symptom is hunger. These are morbid sensations representing gastric irritation, a neurosis, gastric ulcer, indigestion, gastric catarrh, reaction from withdrawal of stimulation, etc., rather than hunger. That faint sinking feeling at the pit of the stomach, with a morbid "craving" for something to eat, is due to catarrhal inflammation of the lining membrane of the stomach. Such symptoms of gnawing and faintness and all-goneness are seen in their height in cases of acute gastritis as well as in gastric ulcer. Indeed, a bowel movement may induce them in cases of colitis. There is no end to these morbid sensations that are mistaken for hunger, although the surest and speediest means of getting rid of them is to fast.  

How often do we see patients who are always eating and who complain that they are "always hungry." They eat several times a day and three or more times at night, but they never seem to get enough to eat. Of course, these people are never hungry; they are food drunkards who employ food as palliation. Eating temporarily "relieves" their gastric and nervous distress. They are merely extreme cases of what physiologists mistake for hunger.  
 

---------

Think of thirst. Is it pain? Is it a headache? Is it irritability? Is it faintness? Is it drowsiness? Is it any of the sensations described by Prof. Cannon as belonging to hunger? It is none of these things. Thirst is felt in the mouth and throat and there is a distinct and conscious desire for water. One does not mistake headache for thirst. The sensation of thirst is too well-known.  

 Genuine hunger, too, is felt in the mouth and throat. In real hunger there is a distinct and conscious desire for food. The condition is one of comfort, not of discomfort and suffering. There is a "watering" of the mouth (flow of saliva) and often a distinct desire for a particular food. Hunger is a localized sensation and is not in the stomach. The healthy person is not conscious of any sensations in or about the stomach when hungry.  

As everyone who has had an extensive experience with fasting knows, true hunger is felt in the mouth and throat and is related to the senses of taste and smell. It is indicated by a watering of the mouth for plain food--even for a crust of dry bread. As almost everybody knows from personal experience the gnawing sensation or other sensation that is commonly thought of as hunger usually comes on at meal time, or when the stomach is empty, and subsides after an hour or two, if no food is taken. As we see in thousands of cases of fasting, these morbid sensations subside and completely cease after two or three days of fasting, not to recur after the fast is broken.  

 For over a hundred years Shew, Graham, Trall, Page, Dewey, Oswald, Haskell, Macfadden, Carrington, Eales, Tilden, Weger, Claunch, Shelton and hundreds of others, who have had extensive experience with fasting, have been calling attention to the fact that hunger is a mouth and throat sensation rather than a stomach sensation, but the professional physiologists have persisted in ignoring their work and their testimony and have accepted popular superstitions about the sensation of hunger and have "confirmed" these by limited experiments on sick men and women. Cannon, Pavlov, Carlson, etc., have all based their conclusions on inadequate data and on experiments that are too short to be conclusive.  

Certainly if one is ever hungry, he is so at the conclusion of a long fast. Fasting experts insist that hunger is invariably manifested at the conclusion of a long fast, like thirst, in the mouth and throat. We employ this fact as a complete and satisfactory test of the sensations observed during a fast--it reveals whether it is true hunger or morbid sensations. Never under any circumstances following a fast, is hunger felt in the stomach. Always it is manifested in the mouth and throat and always there is an entire absence of distress or of morbid sensations associated with the stomach.  

As most men and women, including scientists, declare that hunger is always felt in the stomach, therefore, the "stomach hunger" must be normal, it has been argued that to take the view that normal hunger is manifested in the mouth and throat, we must be prepared to take the position that most men and women have never experienced normal hunger since infancy. This is precisely what we contend. Mr. Carrington says: "most persons have never experienced normal hunger in all their lives! Their appetite and taste are perverted by overfeeding in infancy, and have never had a chance to become normal during the whole course of their lives--owing to the overfeeding being continued ever since." Dewey pointed out that with many people the "evil work" of inducing disease began with the very first meal which was forced upon them by the mother or nurse before they were ready for it. As the forcing process was continued, he says "in due time trouble began," and, thereafter, every outcry of nature was interpreted as a signal of hunger." He says that the meals of the infant "all through the first year of life are regulated by the tunes of crying." Happily, the so-frequent feeding of infants is not as common today as when Dr. Dewey wrote these lines, but it is still all too true that gastric impairment and gastric distress are built in infancy by wrong feeding.  
 

Now can we get back to the original subject, the challenge?

 

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21 hours ago, jts said:

A person in good health has no symptoms during a fast, no weakness, nothing.

22 hours ago, william.scherk said:

Goldhamer publications ...

 

Adverse Events

Quote

There are many risks to water-only fasting and we want you to be aware of them prior to your decision to undertake a water-only fast. Because you will not be eating any food, you will most certainly experience weakness throughout the water fast, and lose weight. It can take some time after fasting to regain your strength. A very common occurrence is dizziness and fainting, especially on rising from a laying or seated position. Other common and unpleasant symptoms are heart arrhythmia, palpitations, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, skin rashes, sore throat, mucus discharge, low back pain, increased menstrual flow, irregular or anovulatory cycles, hair loss, gastric irritation, passing of kidney or gall stones and emotional disturbances. There is also the possibility of alterations to your body's basic mechanisms and electrolytes, which could cause heart problems, such as a heart attack, or vascular problems, such as a stroke.

 

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I repeat. A person in good health has no symptoms during a fast.

Most people don't qualify as being in good health by the high standard of most doctors who supervise fasts.

Loren Lockman says it doesn't make any difference to him whether he is fasting or eating.

There is huge variation from person to person in fasting symptoms, evidenced by Loren Lockman's video interviews with his fasting patients.

Altho I do not consider myself healthy, I do not experience any of the symptoms listed by Dr. Goldhamer with the possible exception of weakness if I don't sleep enough or if I'm cold. If I am comfortably warm and sleep lots, I notice no difference in strength between fasting and eating, and no symptoms at least for about 2 weeks. After 2 weeks I'm not sure. I am amused by those scary lists. I am amused by Dr. Goldhamer's statement that fasting must be supervised because it takes an experienced practitioner to tell whether a symptom is a real problem. No symptoms, no problem. I am amused by people who are strong and appear healthy but can't handle fasting, and as sickly and weakly as I am, I can.  I'm not sure how to take Dr. Goldhamer's statement that fasting is just as diagnostic as it is therapeutic. That could mean I'm healthier than I think I am (with spinal cord tumor in the neck still crippling me neck down) or it could mean fasting is not worth much for therapeutic value or it could mean I didn't fast long enough. I'll go for the last one.

chapter on gain and loss of strength while fasting

 

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A little more on the theme that a person in good health has no symptoms during a fast.

This is a 54 minute video interview of a guy on the 30th day of a fast. He did a 30 day fast every year for 37 years. He is even crazier than me. The longest I ever went was only 22 days and I did that only once. A guy who did that much fasting probably knows something about fasting. Maybe I can learn something about fasting from him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=te7K02IYY-A

He looks good for a guy on the 30th day of a fast. But judge for yourself.

Instead of doing a transcript or a summary I will note a few things.

150 days before starvation begins?!  That is news to me. How did he come up with this number?

Prepare for the fast by a blended salad at least 3 days prior to the fast.  Maybe that is why at TrueNorth they have a 5 day pre-fast diet.

Water should be distilled or better.  Here he disagrees with Loren Lockman and agrees with Goldhamer and Shelton about the kind of water. Lockman says with distilled water you lose electrolytes. Distilled water leaches minerals. But, Bob says, that is good, not bad. You want to get rid of inorganic minerals. 

Do not drink more water than thirst demands.  Here he is in complete agreement with Shelton. I'm not sure about Goldhamer and Lockman. Goldhamer requires his fasting patients to drink at least a quart per day, no upper limit. Lockman, according to reports, pushes his fasting patients to drink more than they want to drink. But water beyond what thirst demands does no good and is a burden to the body because the body must get rid of it.

The detox stage of the fast has 2 sub-stages, intercellular detox and intracellular detox.  I heard this for the first time in the 1980s from Dr. Alec Burton but I have not been able to track down more information or confirmation until this interview. The 2nd stage detox begins day 10-12 according to Bob, day 15 according to Dr. Burton.

The detox stage (including both sub-stages) precedes and makes possible the dramatic healing stage. This was mentioned by Dr. Moser. It is the 2nd stage detox that is specially powerful.

But I don't understand why the body insists on sticking to a schedule. Why must 2nd stage detox begin on day 10-12 on every fast?  Lockman explained this but I didn't understand his explanation.

This is 60 seconds about 2nd stage detox.

 

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On 26/10/2017 at 6:40 AM, BaalChatzaf said:

Most people I have talked to  say they get hungry when they fast.

Anyone who knows anything about fasting knows that during a fast, hunger (or what is called hunger) goes away.

 

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To elaborate a bit on hunger and maybe to get back on topic.

The  challenge at the top of this thread was to explain the symptoms described in the  1 minute video excerpt by a theory other than the theory in the video. I'm still waiting for someone to meet that challenge.

Bob Kolker added hunger as a symptom of fasting. But hunger is not one of the symptoms listed by Alan Goldhamer in the video and therefore is not part of the challenge.

And hunger is not even a symptom of fasting unless you are talking intermittent or the 1 day per year religious fast. There is a transition time from eating mode to fasting mode. During this transition time, you might experience hunger. When the body is sufficiently into fat burning mode, hunger is absent. Loren Lockman says it takes an average of 2.5 to 3.5 days. In my case years ago, hunger (using that word loosely) was always gone the morning of the 4th day and stayed gone. Predictable. Then suddenly the morning of the 2nd day, always. The 1st day, hunger might happen at the end of the day, brief and mild. The morning of day 2 there is absolutely no hunger. I do not regard hunger as a problem. There may be problems associated with fasting, maybe the need for heat, maybe weakness, but hunger is not one of them.

The traditional theory to explain most of the common symptoms of fasting is detox. I say 'most' because in some rare cases you might develop a problem with electrolytes or whatever real problem. And some symptoms might indicate healing. Obviously most people are opposed to fasting and are opposed to the detox theory. But so far nobody came up with an alternative to the detox theory that explains why the symptoms go away in a few weeks. If they are symptoms of starvation, would symptoms of starvation go away when the starvation is continued for a few weeks?

Theories are tested by predictions. The detox theory predicts that when the detox is completed, the symptoms of detox go away. They do go away. It also predicts that people who have already done the detox (perhaps by previous fasts and/or clean living) will experience mild or no detox symptoms during a fast. That happens. The starvation theory predicts that as the starvation is continued the symptoms will continue. They don't.

 

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