... Fasting ... and the human prostate

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Greetings, my brothers in agony!  I've been reluctant to post the following, but I've decided to take a leap.  I want to talk about Herbert Shelton.  For the those of you who may not be in the know, Shelton believed in living how we were MEANT to live.  He had his critics.  In 1927, he was arrested, jailed, and fined three times for practicing medicine without a license. These arrests continued periodically through the next three decades while he continued to lecture and campaign for his ideas.  His main idea?  Fasting.  Now before you scoff, consider this - his main acolyte was Joel Fuhrman, M.D;  one of the most authoritative lecturers on nutrition today.  The eye opening fact about Shelton is how he helped tens of thousands of patients, over the course of his lifetime.  

 

So, let's get to the bullet points.  What does fasting have to do with prostate issues?  Here's a quote from the man himself:  "A recent case cared for here at the Health School was forced to void urine every fifteen minutes during the night and very frequently during the day. The man underwent a lengthy fast which brought immediate and progressive subsidence of symptoms, until finally he was able to go for fifteen hours without voiding urine." 

 

I recently had hip surgery.  I do have BPH, and my greatest fear was post-op urinary retention. (POUR).  Just didn't want to be cathed.  Fasted four days before the procedure, and four days after.  Water only.  Symptoms abated - TOTALLY.  Shelton advises certain changes to the lifestyle that contributes to prostate issues.  

I ignored them.  Prostate issues returned. 

So what's the takeaway?  I can't speak, nor should I speak, on anyone else's behalf.  That said,  and speaking anecdotally, Shelton's advice has been a lifesaver for me.  I'll go back to fasting periodically, and I'll try to clean up my own little dietary little faux pas, to say nothing of my own little behavioral faux pas, if you know what I mean. One caveat:  Don't dive headlong into such an endeavor without studying it first - especially if you take medications.  The promise, and I've read it quite a few times from respectable sources - listing them might get me the boot - is that if done long enough, and under professional supervision, fasting makes the patient less dependent on meds.  I can't stress this enough - educate yourself first - at least run it by your healthcare professional.  Truth be told, you'll find more chiropractors who support this lifestyle change, than you will MDs.

 

If you're interested, educate yourself first.  If I were you, I'd be skeptical. I was.  Your healthcare provider may discourage you, though I know of a few who actually support this lifestyle.  Take my opinion for what it's worth, and if you want to read further, just copy and paste the following into your search engine, quotes and all, and take the first hit:  "Shelton" "fasting" "prostate"  Finally, this is not some injudicious, kooky fad. Orthodox Jews have been practicing it since the days of Canaan. Hope this helps, guys.   -  Alan

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  • Posted

    The theory that bacteria hide in the prostatic grandular ducts and form protective biofilms around themselves so that antibiotics can not destroy them is probably true. In my case I feel constant discomfort in the prostate like it is inflammed and it might be true that as you age for unknown reasons the prostate grows. But it could also be your body is making all types of chemicals to try to get at the bacteria hiding in the prostate and that is what is causing the inflammation. It might be true in some cases though not in all. I think fasting probably works because it slows down the machinery in your body and everything works slower. Your chemical factory, all facets of it slows down and so your prostate probably swells less. I mean I tried to eliminate certain foods from my diet and add other herbs, and spices , and classes of vegetables to my diet that I thought would help that infllammed prostate that is blocking my bladder and causing urinary retention. One urologist wants to microwave my prostate and the other wants to core it out with a laser, so far I have not let them. The valve theory where your valves are not working and the concentration of your testosterone is 1000 fold what it should be is now accepted by many. The theory that our testosterone is being converted to estrogen by our bodies is another theory which alot of people accept. I mean most men over 60 start getting a huge abdominal gut and it can not all be explained by overeating and slower metabolism. Something is happening. It is difficult to stop. Even if you exercise, you weight lift , you swim, you run, most men develop a huge gut. But in any case maybe fasting has merit, not knowing how it works does not take away the fact that it works. So one more thing to try. I will try it.
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    • Posted

      Your points are spot on, mark23925.  I think the brightest minds among us - urologists - and IRs - are somewhat flummoxed as to what happens in the prostate.  As you've already point out, there are many theories.  If you ARE going to try fasting, start slowly.  See what it's like to give up eating in its entirety for 18 hours.  If you're ok with it, try for 24 hours.  In the interim, you may want to learn all you can about it.  Best.

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  • Posted

    Alan, thanks very much for posting this. I've just read an article on Herbert Shelton and am intrigued. Can you share with us the diet regomen that you follow? And how has it relieved your BPH symptoms?

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    • Posted

      Seven years ago, I gave up all food for 15 consecutive days.  I felt miserable while I was doing it.  Once I began a gradual refeeding program back to solid food, I started experiencing one benefit after another.  At the time I was 58, and asymptomatic for BHP.  So, as for this chronic condition, it was nonexistent for me at the time.  First diagnosed with it at 59.  Thereafter, I was in constant agony until my urologist had me follow an Avodart regimen, which gave me considerable relief. Fast forward to June of 2015 - hip surgery.  Fasted for four days before the procedure, and four days after. Water only.  Like I've already mentioned, the BPH symptoms vanished.  At first, I thought it might be due to the anesthesia, or perhaps the antibiotics protocol given as standard operating procedure.  Thinking I had it licked, I went back to an indulgent lifestyle.  That said, It took two entire months for the BPH symptoms to return, and even then, the onset was gradual.  Effective fasting takes on a bit of a learning curve.  In other words, I probably made a lot of mistakes when I first started, nearly ten years ago.  For example, THE worst thing one can do, if considering fasting - say, for one day - is to gorge on the night preceding the fast.  Hormonally, grhrelin and leptin (the hunger and satiety hormones respectively) are thrown out of kilter.  So the operative words become "taper into a fast."  You wouldn't wake up tomorrow morning, and muse to yourself that you're going to run a marathon - that is - unless you've trained for it.  Relinquishing food for 18 yours probably isn't going to hurt you.  If it doesn't, try a 24 hour fast which is more difficult that it sounds. However, if any of my brothers-in-suffering have DM, they should monitor their insulin levels closely.  They should do the same if they're hypoglycemic.  After having educated yourself, and for the love of everything Holy under the sun, at least TELL your healthcare professional what you're doing.  He / she probably won't agree.  And I'm not disparging them whatsoever - to the contrary - for me they've been a Godsend.  As for their nutritional knowledge, it is - for all intents and purposes - practically nonexistent.  It probably sounds absolutely crazy, but for me, fasting is activating the physicain within. Finally, as a complete non sequitur, fasting kills hypertension like a silver bullet.  Hope this helps, don30615.

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    • Posted

      Alan, I occasionally fast 18 hours, eating an early dinner and then not eating again until noon the next day, and always feel better for it. I do it for general health. It never occurred to me that it might alleviate BPH symptoms. I haven't done it often enough to notice a difference. Ot perhaps there was a difference but I didn't connect it with the fast since BPH symptoms tend to come and go under normal circumstances. I'm now thinking I'll incorporate regular fasting into my diet--say, a 24 hour fast a couple of times a month, working up to once a week. You mentioned the benefits you received from the 15-day and 4-day fasts. I'm curious: Do you have a regular schedule of fasting that you follow? Thanks again for posting this.

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    • Posted

      don30615, Like you, I try to fast every day for 18 hours.  That is called "intermittent fasting" (IF), where all meals are confined to a six-hour window.  There are many excellent resources on this subject.  Two pioneers are Mark Mattson out of Johns Hopkins, and Valter Longo out of USC.  You mentioned that you "always feel better for it."  I get it, don30615. As for alleviating BPH symptoms, I can't guarantee complete remission.  I, myself, still have BPH.  That said, the symptoms are notably more severe, when I lead an indulgent lifestyle.  When I do get serious about fasting, BPH symptoms (nocturia, post-void dribbling, etc) show marked improvement.  It only makes sense.  I'm slightly overweight.  The word, "slightly" will lull me into complacency, if I'm not careful.  Being "slightly overweight" is maybe just enough to have the body invoke inflammatory cytokines from adipose tissue.  In other words, the fat around our middle is, for all intents and purposes, an organ that WE created.  Fat isn't simply a mass of inert white cells.  To the contrary, they are extremely metabolic, and not always in a good way, depending on the AMOUNT of fat we have.   If you can go 18 hours without food, you're well on your way to simply bumping it up to perhaps 24 hours.  I encourage you to try it, but do talk to you healthcare provider first.  I think if you can fast twice a month for 24 hours, you will be doing your body a world of good - provided that you don't overindulge in the intermittent periods.   As for a "regular schedule," it is my sincere intent to use a little more self discipline.  G** willing, I'll be able to fast for three thirty-six hour periods per month.  Best..

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  • Posted

    Hi Alan, Thanks for that info. Perhaps you know the answer to this question? 

    I have a foley cather in ,changed once a month. I am 87 years old. was told different answers by 2 urologists. I cannot take a urinalasys when i have the cather in as i always have in infection,and a urinalyasis would show an infection. Thats one opinion. The other Uro took a urinalyasis  and said i have an infection,put me on ciproflaxacin.  WHICH ONE WOULD YOU BELIEVE??

    THANKS,

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    • Posted

      Hello frank74205.  Unfortunately, I'm not qualified to answer that.  I have very little medical training.  That said, you did say that you "always have an infection."  I'm making an assumption you're on Medicare.  You had the savvy to get a second opinion.  By conjecture, I'm asking:  what can it hurt to get a third opinion?  Finally, I'm firmly convinced that fasting ramps up the immune system.  That is why it is gaining prevalence as part of an effective pre-chemotherapy regimen for cancer patients.  Don't get crazy, frank74205, and by that, I simply mean that if you're going to try your hand at fasting - presumably as a possible modality for infection control, DO keep taking whatever medications you've been prescribed, DO run the idea of fasting by your healthcare provider, and by all means - DO IT GRADUALLY, AND DON'T DO IT FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME.  See what one day feels like for you. Best of luck, my friend.

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  • Posted

    Hi Alan I realise this is an old post.

    Talking about fasting. I have just watched a video by a Dr Valter Largo. University of California. He studies ageing and fasting. He has discovered that fasting after a certain point shrinks the organs.Which when re feeding begins shed excess cells. Its worth a watch. Looks like the link won't work. So its called on You tube.

    Valter Longo Ph. D on fasting mimicking diet and Fasting for Longevity for Cancer and Multiple Sclerosis

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6PyyatqJSE&t=900s[/b]

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