Fasting to reset immune system?

Posted , 9 users are following.

Hello and thank you all for all this wealth of information shared here! I have all the classic symptoms of ReA and I have been in and out of the doctors and specialist offices  for which I’m not able to get much resolution or a definite diagnosis.  Symptoms have been on and off for over six months, however this month has been the absolute worst as the constant neck pain along with the random rotation of joint pains in my fingers, toes, knees, elbows, prostate, blader, chest, abdomen... which comes and goes with a vengeance.  Obviously as most of you all, I have tested negative for any bactaerias or infections. 

Currently I am on Cipro again and Hydrocodone for the pain. I was also taking Meloxicam for the inflammation however that amplified all the different pains. I was reading about a study that University of Southern California done where they found fasting for 3 -4 days resets the immune system. I was curious if anyone here has tried this or not as this seems it would help many of us here if fasting will actually reset our immune systems and make it stop attacking our bodies.  Thanks ~ JC 

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Just an interest Clouseau.

    I have heard that stopping all medications although very painful can help to reset the body and any pain you may suffer however personally I have never tried it and now feel  I would never try.

    Years ago I was put on a Pain Clinic Roster and they helped me to  control my medications and minimise how much I was stuffing down my throat. I now move my pain medication dose up or down and that helps me keep the dose leane 

    I suffer PsA and that like Rhumi effects my immune system, this allows the body to attack itself and causes more pain.

    Have they had you on DMARD and Biologics to control your immune system, I am unable to take them because of a reduction and slow down of my medication they cause me serious side effects.

    I understand you live in California, we are in the UK. The summer heat helps me. The winter cold and dampness make me also suffer,

    I have been on Cox 2 Medications for over twenty years also Tramadol and Amytryptalene for nerve damage etc.

    Now I am near on sixty eight and I have been trying to reduce medications, my GP needs me to continue on my pain medications and I try and vary the dose as best I can. Joint Pains, Small Joint Arthritis is as same above . My bladder etc because of age is affected and I take various medications for that. As we get older the scripts get longer and I suppose drug problems can become more problematic


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    • Posted

      Thank you for the reply and comments about the medications. In my own research of ReA  the trend that I am seeing  with the medications for most seems to have a prolonging effect or draw out this disease for mostly those whom are able and do eventually fully recover. 

      My faith and trust in the US medical system is null in my own dealings with this disease.  

      It seems from reading here that determining a diagnosis and treatment is slightly a bit better understood in other countries.  

      I am not a firm beliver in throwing pills and provisioning long term treatment drugs at every ailment. I’ve also been taking  Moringa to add iodine to my diet and help with many other things including the ReA inflammation.  While I have the soreness and extreme pain with my ReA,  I don’t have or can see any physical swelling anywhere and I am also not disabled other than being slower in all my actions with minor exhaustion. 

      I am going to move forwards with water fasting first for 3 days and see if this worsens or breaks the pattern.  I believe if the immune system can be flushed and then reset to once  again only recognize and kill unhealthy cells, this is worthy of a trying.  

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  • Posted

    I think there is some truth to that fasting can help, based on my experience. While I didn't fast, diet played a huge role in my recovering from reactive arthritis.

    Over a year ago, I was diagnosed with reactive arthritis or HLA-B27 associated inflammatory arthritis. I didn't have any bacterial infection or at least didn't discover any. I recovered fully from changing my lifestyle and diet. The symptoms you are describing is exactly what I had- I had extreme pain in my joints which started in my right knee and toe joints that would rotate around then eventually started going up to my back (spine) and even my fingers. I couldn't walk for several months and it felt like it was never going to get better.

    The doctor asked if I wanted to take strong drugs that suppress your immune system and urged me to take heavy doses of ibuprofen to manage the pain but I didn't listen to any of it. Instead I did some more research and found useful info from a book called Conquering Arthritis (by Barbara Allan). I took a food sensitivity blood test as mentioned in the book and eventually cut out these things from my diet: gluten, sugar, dairy, alcohol, caffeine and basically anything processed. I was left with eating very basic whole foods everyday for at least a good 6 months, but even doing it for a day or two immediately made me feel better. I followed a strict diet until I recovered completely... It left me pain free and feeling and looking good (from losing weight).

    Now I've reintroduced these foods back to my diet slowly and in moderation and I'm happy to report that I am not getting any inflammation. My life is back to normal and I really think that diet helps cleanse your digestive tract which then will help reset your immune system.

    I recommend you stop taking prescribed medicine that will only mask your symptoms. You have to get to the source of the problem which starts from your guts. I'm confident that it will help you recover as it did for me. I hope sharing this will help you and anyone on this forum!

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  • Posted

    It certainly won't hurt you to try fasting (fasting can have positive health effects even though improvement of your arthritis is highly unlikely), but everyone suffering from a condition like arthritis in my opionion also have a certain responsibility to think rationally when it comes to their own treatment. This goes for any patient, no matter what they suffer from.

    Artrhitis was described and tried treated hundres of years before BC. Researchers have tested hundreds of different possible cures over the years. Science works in a way that guarantees that ineffective methods of understanding and treatment is thrown overboard, and exploring a possible cure continues until there is scientific evidence that certain ways of treatment is clearly shown to work for many or most of the patients.

    Over the years arthritis have been treated with everything from bananas to alcohol. Thousands of studies though, have over time shown that the most effective way of treating arthritis is by supressing your immunesystem with NSAIDs, steroids, DMARDs or biologics.

    There is absolutely no evidence from science supporting a theory where fasting would improve your condition.

    Look at it from another point of view: if a banana, sleeping more than normal or fasting would treat arthritis successfully - do you really think a state providing health services would choose to treat your condition with super expensive medications like biologics? Why would they not recommend fasting or the banana if they could save millons of dollars each years by doing so?

    Having ReA is horrible. But please don't add on to your misfortune by buying into all the mambo jambo coming from people who pray upon your suffering,  providing non-scientific treatments.

    I can promise you this - the treatmens they offer have been tried and tested, and they didn't work. Any doctor, any health department or any state would welcome a treatment of bananas or a fast if it would help us.


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    • Posted

      Peters01292 you seem to have a lot of faith in the pharmaceutical/western medicine systems that I think people who are using a diet approach maybe don't have as much. I think it's very clear that the medicines do work at least partially or entirely for many of us struggling with this disease. I totally see why you'd say that. But there are side effects to these medicines, for some people, very severe side effects, and many people find themselves bouncing from one medicine to another, then trying combinations of different ones. It can take years of trial and error to find the best medicines suited for your needs, and can get quite expensive. There are also some pretty serious health issues linked to taking medicines long term.

      There is not an "eat-a-banana, you're cured" formula, but I think I get what you're saying - if diets the answer, why would they go through so much effort to make these pills? Well, a lot of rich pharmaceutical owners profit off our taking these pills day after day, especially pain killers which can have you taking more and more. Saying to change your diet is not a popular idea yet in America, but in many other parts of the world it is more encouraged as a way of healing. And many, many people swear that they've taken a food sensitivity test, followed the diet, and seen amazing results. I can see why it's an appealing other option - no side effects now or long term, and is not much more expensive than your diet currently is. There are a lot of good documentaries on Netflix about the effects of inflammatory foods on people's immune system that have been studied with great proof. If you chose to watch them they could change your mind!

      As you could probably guess from my post, I do a little of both. I'm on the highest dose of sulfasalazine and follow the anti-inflammatory diet about 80-95%. I don't feel totally better so I'm considering sticking more to the diet rather than finding more meds but I really don't think one way is totally right and the others wrong. Just wanted to throw in my two cents! Thanks for reading my opinion!

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    • Posted

      I certainly don't put much trust in the big pharma... you need only to look at how they push blood pressure meds or antidepressants to understand they are in the money business and not the healing business. quick example: the pharmaceutical business pushed for diagnosing pre-high blood pressure as a condition requiring meds, and so, at least in the US, a highly benign condition is now treated with costly meds with a lot of side effects.

      i do however put a lot of faith in western medicine. not so much regarding the treatments, but because the scientific method behind it is solid. if a treatment is to be considered reliable, it MUST be backed by research. i could tell you water could treat arthritis, but you should not trust this to be true unless i could show you in a reliable way that it is true.

      side effects can be horrible, but their presence wont't indicate non-effective treatment whatsoever. if you have serious pain, no sane person would say morphine won't work because they have side-effects. i could wish there was a cure for serious pain that did not involve the nausea and dizziness experienced from morphine, but there just isn't. if you are looking for a cure for arthritis without side-effects you will probably end up disappointed. arthritis is caused by an attack from your immune system. meds that inhibit your immune system will cause a lot of side effects.

      however, you do have a good point in both questioning the western medicine and support fasting somewhat. western medicine isn't perfect and it's quite possible some unknown agent would work (though you'd probably have to look in other directions as most known remedies have already been tested). also, fasting could to some degree inhibit your immune system.. though the kind of fasting required would have to be quite extreme...

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    • Posted

      ps. doing a little of both could be smart. western medicine isn't perfect. in europe, they have been experimenting with workout for copd, a disease once considered to be untreatable by other things than meds...

      i wish you all the best, and thank you for a reminder on the fact that finding a cure most often comes from questioning...

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  • Posted

    Hi I have yet to see someone with the ReA diagnosis. I was diagnosed 3 years ago and have been on and tried so many different things I have not heard of the fasting but I am on a anti inflammatory diet it’s only been 2 weeks I am not sure if it is working but I have felt pretty good? 
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  • Posted

    I was diagnosed with chronic reactive arthritis after many tests . It is mild compared to the initial flare.

    Anyways last summer my family got a stomach bug. I lost my appetite because of stress and as you can imagine the grossness. I eventually caught it and did not eat much for about a week. We went on a 6 week vacation and during that time my appetite came back. During my vacation my grandmother died and I got stressed and lost appetite again. From June to late August I felt pretty good. some very minor ankle pain, back got better, less tired. I was very happy.

    In August life got normal again and my symptoms got much worse than before. I started sulfasalazine in September. My symptoms haven't improved, my MRI shows no change.

    Right before Christmas my son got Rotavirus. He was having diarrhea for 3 weeks and we had to cancel our trip to Abu Dhabi. Again I got stressed and lost my appetite. I started to feel normal again.

    I do notice improvement with fasting or extremely low calories. when I go back to normal diet I get worse again. Right now I am eating normal waiting to see if things get really bad again. If they do I will fast again. Another thing is the type of food I eat doesn't matter. I ate a gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, meat free, soy free, fried food

    free, and egg free diet with normal calorie intake and there was no improvement after a few weeks.

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  • Posted

    I did some extended water fasting, followed by AIP diet. It has really, really helped. I made a separate post about it.

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