We asked Alan Goldhamer, D.C., for some answers to the following fasting questions. If you are going to undertake a fast, do it properly — always under the supervision of a physician trained in the use of fasting. | National Health Association

We asked Alan Goldhamer, D.C., for some answers to the following fasting questions. If you are going to undertake a fast, do it properly — always under the supervision of a physician trained in the use of fasting.

1. What can I expect while fasting? 
Fasting can be an intense and life-changing experience.  It is analogous to rebooting a hard drive on a computer.  Many problems can be cleared up just by giving the system a fresh start. Many people feel various symptoms associated with the detoxification processes associated with fasting and these can include headache and joint and muscle ache (especially low back ache), weakness, nausea and occasionally vomiting, skin rashes and assorted discharges, etc.  Fortunately, these unpleasant symptoms are more than offset by the many positive results that occur as a result of fasting — including weight loss, normalization of blood pressure, blood sugar, lipids, and other metabolic factors, the resolution of inflammation, benign growths, and most importantly neuroadaptation that allows one to overcome their addictions to drugs, salt, sugar, fat, and processed foods.  Fasting can make good foods taste good again.

2. How do I know if I need to fast?
When people need a fresh start, a real rest or have health problems that are not resolving despite their best efforts to eat and live well, a period of medically supervised fasting may be a consideration.

3. What is the difference between water and juice fasting?
Fasting is water-only.  Juice fasting is eating a restricted diet. The profound biological adaptations associated with water-only fasting do not occur with the same intensity as with modified feeding programs like drinking only juices.

4. How do I get ready for a fast?
For most patients, eating a diet of only fruits and vegetables for several days prior to fasting is the best preparation.

5. Will I feel hungry during the fast?
Most patients do not complain about hunger after the first few days.

6. Will I lose a lot of weight?
Average weight loss is one pound per day.

7. Will fasting help me get over addictions such as sugar, caffeine and tobacco?
Fasting is the most powerful tool available to assist in overcoming the physical component of addictions.

8. How long will I have to fast?
We can give you an estimate based on completion of your admission forms located on our website at www.healthpromoting.com and review of your medical history and available laboratory test results. Optimum fasting duration varies from a few days to several weeks and is specific for each individual.

9. Can fasting help me conquer allergies and asthma?
Fasting, diet and lifestyle modification can be effective tools in managing allergies and asthma.

10. What other conditions respond to fasting?

  Conditions that are caused or made worse by dietary excess often respond dramatically to fasting.  Cardiovascular disease including high blood pressure, type II diabetes, obesity, autoimmune disease including arthritis (OA, RA, PA) Lupus (SLE) hashimotos thyroiditis, asthma, psoriasis, excema, colitis and IBS are the most common conditions we work with.