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Can fasting cause diarrhea?
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Can fasting cause diarrhea?

I know its not healthy...I didn't eat anything for three days, just water and 7-up. I have just been so stressed and upset that I couldn't eat. But I already lost 14 pounds from a very tiny frame in a short amount of time. Today I was so sick from not eating... too weak to get out of bed and my heart pounding and racing. So my mom gave me a Boost drink. Which helped me feel a little better but after about three bites of banana bread I got intense stomach cramps and diarrhea. Is this from the fasting?
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Avatar_f_tn
Probably so.  You have to remember that with you only drinking, you may become dehydrated, which is very serious.  You need things to replenish your electrolytes, like orange juice, and gatorade (cut with water to insure better absorption).  Being weak, heart pounding and racing are symptoms of dehydration. Food wise after 3 days it's better to start off with easily digestable foods. You also need to adress your stress.
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370181_tn?1408130715
It wasn't clear to me if you lost the 14 pounds BEFORE your fast or if it was the RESULT of the fast. Either way, 14 pounds is a lot to lose in a short period of time. Fasting, even a controlled fast, can be hard on the body and must be undertaken with caution and is not recommended when we are physically and emotionally unprepared. A controlled fast should not leave you feeling sick, too weak to get out of bed or with your heart pounding. That this was obviously NOT a controlled fast I believe should be brought to the attention of your doctor.
A three day fast is usually "broken" with de-caf teas, broth and clear juices. While Boost is a very excellent source of nutrients, minerals and protien, and we use it a lot at the hospital as an adjunct WITH meals or as a meal "replacement" for patients who have difficulty keeping solids down. While your mother's intentions were the very best, I think it was too heavy and rich for you to handle, as was the banana bread. I think either of these could have caused the cramping and diarrhea, but together it was almost a given.
I again urge you to see your doctor for a check up and definitely some bloodwork. This would be a good time to talk with him/her about your emotional state.
I wish you a quick return to health.
Peace
Greenlydia    
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your comments - I lost the 14 pounds before the fast...I have had a menstrual period and cramping that has not gone away for 2 months now and when I went in last week to see what was going on, they weighed me. My female dr.s oppinion was that my weight loss contributed to the menstrual troubles and that was all due to the massive stress I've had put on my shoulders - a stalker, restraining order, moving, and breaking up with the boyfriend that was helping me through it all. I think the move and the breakup really just finally hit me this weekend and I lost it. Definitely an uplanned fast - I was literally too upset to eat. If I could go back I would definitely do things different as I am sure I am under 100 pounds now. I can't change the past though, I can only work on now. So I am going to try some toast and some easy foods to get myself back out of bed and into some sort of normal life. I have lost a lot of confidence in my doctor - he has always been great to me but he seems to be too busy these days to really pay much attention to what's going on. He has prescribes some pretty heavy meds that I don't think are necessarily the best thing for me and hasn't tracked the progress at all.

I just want to feel better, this is so frustrating. Thank you all for your help.
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Avatar_m_tn
Watch that Gator Aid and orange juice, too much sugar and acidity after a fast.  Seven Up isn't the best thing to take during a fast, either -- too high in sugar or artificial sugar and phosphorous, which leaches magnesium and calcium out of your system.  Three things could account for the diarrhea:  This lack of magnesium and calcium, your anxiety, or a release of built-up toxins, which is the reason people fast.  But if you fast, first do one day, then work up to whatever you want.  Three days without food isn't very long, but next time try water, not Seven Up.  If there is a next time.  Also get your thyroid checked; missed periods and anxiety can be a symptom of thyroid problems.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Sugar content is why you must delete gatorade with 50% water, it replenishes electrolytes lost thru fasting and diarrhea which water can't do.  Orange juice is even better for replenishing electrolytes. Drink your water also.
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370181_tn?1408130715
I agree 100% with Paxiled regarding the Gator Aid and 7-Up. There is water which can be purchased in health food stores, and probably in most grocery stores now, that has been enhanced with electrolytes and is sugar free. Orange juice IS a good source of electrolytes, but as Paxiled stated, it is far too acidic, during or immediately following a fast.
We never give orange juice, or ANY acidic juice, or surgary drinks to anyone in the hospital who is not eating. One would assume this is based on sound medical reasoning.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have had 5 family members who have had their colons removed, and were prone to dehydration easily. What I've posted was out of the mouths of 7 different GI specialists.  My son who does not have a colon endures, marathons, ultrathons, and weeks in the mountains hiking.  Gatorade is what allows him to be able to stay hydrated.  He uses the powdered mix while hiking.  One should never become dehydrated in the hospital with the IV fluids, and if they show up in the ER dehydrated, they are rehydrated with IV's.  I can't speak about "fasting" only how my son has managed to keep himself hydrated, and what to drink when is knows he is becoming dehydrated.  This has worked very well for him for 27 years, so it's obviously valid.
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370181_tn?1408130715
Gatorade IS an excellent means of hydration, which is no doubt why you see it at all the football games, and it would also be highly beneficial for such events as marathons, ultrathons and hiking. Additionally, for someone with a medical conditon where dehydration is a major concern, Gatorade and orange juice would be excellent choices.
Often people DO arrive in the ER dehydrated and they are immediately put on IV fluids. It's just not Gatorade.  
When speaking about "fasting," whether it's a planned fast or not, staying hydrated is also very important, but the most beneficial liquid is pure water. After a fast, one needs to very slowly reintroduce solid foods and more complex liquids. Sugar falls pretty far down the list of items to resume consuming.
Greenlydia  
  
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree.  I think there were two issues being addressed here. I can only speak about dehydration, as I have no experience  with fasting.  Our family has to be able to rehydrate quickly at home, although my son will hit the ER at least once a year to rehydrate intravenously when hit with a stomach bug.  I am aware that with people receiving IV hydration,  it is not with Gatorade.  I did mention to the person that after going 2 weeks with nothing to eat that she she start out with easily digestible foods.  That's the extent of my knowledge with fasting, I was more concerned about dehydration knowing how serious it can become.
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218870_tn?1240259255
many things happen to your body as a result of fasting.  several years ago I went on a huge diet.  fasting here and there, not eating much fat at all.  One night I ate tons of fat while camping with friends and got the worst stomach ache I ever had.  Every time I ate any fat at all I would get the pain.  I thought I was dieing.  Finally I went to the hospital and found out that I had ruined my gall bladder from the dieting.  On the days that I didnt eat fat, my gall bladder stored all of the bile and after several days of it, the bile got thick and grainy.  when it would come out it would hurt.  I ended up having surgery.  Not at all saying that is the cause of your diarreah (diarrhea) because that is not a symptom at all, but just mentioning that many things happen to ALL of your organs when you dont eat, so yes cramps and other stomach problems are a normal part of life when you dont eat.
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