Does intermittent fasting have side effects and risks?

by - April 06, 2019

With the dazzling Benefits of intermittent fasting, one would be in error to think it is totally risk and side effects free.

Intermittent fasting is a very good health and fitness plan, but like every good thing, it can be abused.

Trendy as it has become with its supreme weight loss benefit, prevention of type 2 diabetes, elongating life span in obese people and the rest of the others, it is just in place that you weigh the risk and side effects with the benefits before embarking upon it.

You should also know Which fasting plan best works for you and When you ought to stop fasting

What are the risk that comes with intermittent fasting?

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Several research has been made, and several interviews with health personnel has been conducted.

Result shows that most of the test for the effect of intermittent fasting are carried out on animals.
Howard Steiger, a professor of psychiatry at McGill University whose research focuses on eating disorders said in an interview that there hasn't been a long term test on humans that shows that intermittent fasting will have good outcomes.

In another interview with Sai Das, an associate professor at Tufts University's Friedman school of Nutrition Science and policy, she said that there is no evidence showing that intermittent fasting is harmful either. However, she also added that as supposed, it can't be safe for everyone.
She advices that everyone should talk to their doctors. This is most applicable particularly if you're above 65 or you have an existing medical condition. People in this category have higher risk of developing health problems or complications than others.

Other people that must see their doctors or totally abstain from the fast are people on medications and people whose jobs require a lot of energy .

Major risks that accompanies intermittent fasting are:

1. Hunger pangs

As you go about your daily routine you are bound to feel hunger pangs because you're burning energy and not replacing it with food. Even if you are not engaged in any activity during fasts, hunger is inevitable.

2. ‎Dehydration

You tend to become dehydrated, especially if you're not taking fluids at regular intervals. Most fasting allows for consumption of non calorie fluids during the fasting period.
The fact that you're not eating may make you forget to drink too. Make conscious effort to drink at least water at regular intervals.

3. ‎Binge eating

Binge eating is an eating disorder where a person eats unusually large amounts of food in a short period. People who engage in long fasting tend to fall victim of this disorder.

4. Tiredness

Naturally, our energy reduces when we burn calories and if we are not doing anything to replace it reduces our level of productivity.
It's advisable to not engage in strenuous activities during fasts and to not fast when you are going to engage in strenuous activities.

5. ‎Irritation

Take it or leave it, the state of your appetite has a lot to do with your mood.
Tampering with your appetite would also mean tampering with your mood.
A hungry person is more likely to go into mood swings than a person who had a very nice and filling meal.  ‎

Other side effects includes

1. Reduction in blood sugar level
2. ‎Reduction in fertility
3. ‎Dizziness, brain fog and insomnia
4. ‎Disruption of hormones.
5. ‎Anxiety, etc.

All in all, there are benefits that cannot be ignored. Advice therefore is, talk to your physician before embarking on any fast

Are you on any plan already? Have you noticed any side effects?
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