In recent years, many studies have been published on the benefits of intermittent fasting, which is described as a process in which periods of eating alternate with other periods of fasting.
Based on proven clinical research, it has been shown that intermittent fasting can be beneficial for health and longevity, as long as proven protocols are followed and under medical supervision.
It is used as part of the treatment of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and also in some types of cancer.
As well as to lose weight, lower blood pressure, glycemic control (blood glucose levels in the blood), among others.
However, a lot of invalid information about how to fast is spread that can even put health at risk.
What could be the health implications of following an intermittent fasting regimen?
Intermittent fasting is not recommended for all people as it has certain side effects, including:
-Hunger for fasting
By reducing your caloric intake or spending long periods on an empty stomach, you can become hungry. Especially the first days after starting an intermittent fasting regimen.
-Headache and dizziness from fasting
Headache is most common during the first few days of intermittent fasting. They usually occur in people who usually suffer from headaches and are generally mild or moderate in intensity.
People who have low blood glucose levels or stop caffeine suddenly are more likely to suffer from them.
– Digestive problems that can occur when fasting.
Some symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and bloating may occur during intermittent fasting.
Reduced food intake coupled with intermittent fasting can affect digestion causing constipation and other side effects. In addition, the changes in eating habits associated with intermittent fasting programs can cause bloating and diarrhea.
The dehydration that often occurs during intermittent fasting can make constipation worse. That is why it is extremely important to stay hydrated and eat high fiber foods on Intermittent Fasting Programs.
-Irritability and mood swings from fasting.
Irritability, anxiety, low concentration, and a bad mood may occur when intermittent fasting is practiced. When blood glucose levels are low (hypoglycemia) they can cause you to feel irritable. Which is doable when calorie restriction or periods of fasting.
-Fatigue and feeling of low energy in fasting.
Some studies have shown that people who follow intermittent fasting may experience fatigue and low energy levels, until the body adjusts.
Low blood glucose levels related to intermittent fasting can cause irritation and weakness. In addition, sleep disorders may occur in some people, causing greater fatigue during the day.
-Bad breath due to fasting.
Bad breath is an unpleasant side effect that can occur in some people during intermittent fasting. It is caused by a lack of saliva flow and an increase in ketones or ketones in the breath.
Fasting makes the body use fat as an energy source and not carbohydrates as it normally is with a balanced diet.
Ketone bodies are a by-product of fat metabolism, so it increases in the blood and is responsible for bad breath during fasting.
Hence, dehydration occurs because it is necessary to dispose of these ketones in the urine. Dehydration is a symptom associated with intermittent fasting that can cause dry mouth and bad breath.
– Possible sleep disorders due to fasting.
Some sleep disorders such as insomnia or having difficulty staying asleep, which are side effects of intermittent fasting, as presented in some studies, tend to occur in some cases. However, other people do not present them.
-Dehydration from fasting.
During the initial phase of fasting, the body discharges a large amount of water and electrolytes through the urine. So it is necessary to stay hydrated and replace fluids and electrolytes that are lost through urine to prevent dehydration.
If you present during the fasting phase, highly concentrated urine indicates possible dehydration and it is necessary to hydrate properly.
-Malnutrition due to prolonged fasting.
If you do not follow intermittent fasting properly or if it is carried out for a long period of time, you could be prone to malnutrition. The same can occur if very limited calorie restriction diets are carried out for a long time and without medical supervision.
-Possible nutrient deficiencies from fasting
By not having enough food, you could be missing a nutrient in your diet and not meet the requirements and over time cause a deficiency and have a greater risk of getting sick. For example, the recommendations for some vitamins or iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium etc. may not be covered.
If you follow an intermittent fasting program that is under medical supervision
That is why it is extremely important to only undergo intermittent fasting on prescription and following proven protocols.
This ensures that nutrient and energy requirements are met in intermittent fasting programs. And the side effects of fasting are controlled, especially if they are carried out for long periods and avoid health complications and malnutrition.
Hence the importance of having a balanced diet and a well-planned diet to meet nutrient and energy requirements.
Seek your doctor or healthcare provider for a prior assessment of your health and nutritional status before undergoing an intermittent fasting regimen. And that she is subjected to an intermittent fasting program with a proven protocol and an appropriate diet in terms of calories and nutrients.
Remember that if you experience side effects from intermittent fasting, you may be straining your body.
Although for some people intermittent fasting could be beneficial for their health by promoting improvements in their cardiovascular health, losing weight, controlling blood glucose, among others, for others intermittent fasting could be a health risk.
These side effects include hunger, nausea, irritability, fatigue, headache, dizziness, and fainting. Do not continue and better consult your doctor.
Source: US National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health (PMC), National Center for Biotechnology Information (NIH).