Fasting without medical supervision, is it safe?

Fasting with medical supervision is rare and hard to find. Fasting knowledge and fasting experience is rare in the medical profession. In general, fasting is ignored by the medical profession as a method of healing. Even juice fasting with 2000 calories a day is considered dangerous. What doctor will you find that has any information on fasting? Most doctors will admit to about 6 hours of nutritional training and zero on fasting. The concept of detoxification will be foreign to most doctors and your request for fasting supervision may gain you a referral to a psychiatrist.

Why is fasting with medical supervision rare?
Modern medicine has a fix it when it breaks approach to healing. Preventative medicine and natural healing are consider almost voodoo. They could monitor enzyme liver levels to see if your liver is breaking down and yes that could happen after 30 days on water if your liver is weak but if you are tacking a juice fast for a few days with 20 lb of excess fat, worrying about your body falling apart because you missed a few meals is fear.

The concept of medical supervision is watching for something to break down when fasting has endless testimonies of healing, events well beyond the ability of modern medicine.

If you are worried… stop fasting. Fasting is like a diving board. You can talk yourself out of a great experience. If you are healthy, you can fast safely without medical supervision. Juice fasting is very safe not dangerous and heals the body of so many diseases. For certain advance chronic disease conditions, it is best to start slowly with lots of juice and even a salad or some banana for the first few days to reduce the rate of detoxification. With juice fasting you can control the rate of detoxification but not so with water fasting. With juice fasting your immune system has endless nutritional support. With water the body runs on what you have stored from you pre-fast diet. If this was nutritionally weak, your body will suffer during the fast as it will be under strain without nutrition. This is why many water fasters can have problems during a fast. A 40 day water fast from a junk food diet will damage the human body.

Long water fasts over 18 days should have a liver function test to be safe. But I do not recommend long water fasts as they can damage the body. Alternating days of juice and water fasting will give the liver the nutrients is needs to remove the endless toxins present in our cells deposited by ruthless manufacturing and profiteering.

If you are worried about fasting then do a short juice fast of 3 to five days, break the fast correctly then do a week of fasting. Next fast try 3 days juice 3 water and 3 juice. There is no hurry. You can take your time. When I see posts of people doing a 40 day water fast as a first fast, I am sad as they are fasting for a Band Aid to life’s problems and will not have the resolve to see it though. And if they do make the 40 days, instead of healing, there would be damage.

By Tom Coghill of
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16 Responses to Fasting without medical supervision, is it safe?

  1. marian says:

    when i fast i tend to feel my body very cold is that normal and
    what can i do since i enjoy fasting to healthier.

  2. Tom Coghill says:
    Tom Coghill

    Feeling cold or chilly during a fast is normal for most people. The body reduces metabolism and the body feels colder.I wear more clothing and sleep with extra blankets.

  3. beaches says:

    It always makes me smile to see people worried about asking a doctor about juicing or fasting. I once asked a doctor why my kids were sick. Is it anything to do with what we’re eating? He laughed and said no. I still went to the library and pursued it and found books by the Diamonds and started our journey. My kids were totally healed and healthy and are to this day. And even though they don’t eat good all the time they do know how to heal themselves. There are some doctors out there who do believe in juice but they don’t advertise. I ended up getting my own info from a chiropractor and books and did it myself. I do agree though if you have lots wrong with you be sure to consult anyone else doing fasting or doctors who believe in juice fasting…only because the healing process can get a little scary with all the cleansing symptoms. I put a comment about our experience on the page with how much weight loss on a juice fast. we’ve cured hypoglycemia, high blood pressure, back aches and anything else that was troubling us. Plus we’ve saved thousands in insurance costs. When my kids were growing up we only had the disaster coverage because we never went to the doctor. Never needed too. hmmmmmm maybe that’s why the juicing thing isn’t popular???

  4. Emily says:

    Hey! 🙂
    I used to water fast regularly for about 3-5 days at a time, but over the past two years, I have been eating horribly and gained 15 really squishy pounds.
    Anyway, I attempted a water fast this week, and made it to day 2, but I ended up completely blacking out at work. I decided it was best to end the fast…
    Should I have gotten more rest during my fast? I work as a customer service representative, so I am on my feet 8 hours a day. The only exercise I did during those two days was a 30 minute session of pilates on day 1.
    Thank you.

    • Tom Coghill says:
      Tom Coghill

      Hi Emily,
      Your body is now toxic and not used to fasting. So the reaction is expected. To stop a black out lower your body, or get down on one knee. The worst of fasting is water fasting under stress during the first three days. Better to juice fast then drop the juices to water or take some juice for energy during work.

  5. shottajovan says:

    Hi Tom Coghill,

    First I want to say many thanks for the website. This gem has given me confidence, having read all the testimonials, helpful articles and posts.

    I am on day six of a water fast, drinking only distilled water. About two months ago, I spiralled downwards into a dark pit full of depression and anxiety. Most of this was owing to the job I had at the time, working for a chiropractor whom I consider, now, looking back, to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He put me through hard times with his anger issues–yelling at me over nonsense–but I will not blame him. I, for one, had let my self go.

    I have been a vegan for a year now, abstaining from all animal products. While working at the chiropractor, there had been a rising craze over the raw-food diet by a few of his healthier patients, so I tried to go raw. It was good at first. Then, I bought a book titled “Nature’s First Law”. I read it in awe. There was a lot I didn’t know about. But there was one thing that affected me negatively. Every chapter ended with the sentence: ‘all cooked food is poison’. I understood this. But then, I could no longer stomach working for the chiropractor; raw organic foods became hardly affordable. It was a matter of bad timing.

    Owing to this, I went through bouts of anxiety where I wouldn’t want to eat, because of the fear of poisoning my body; and then I would break, and eat a whole lot, until my stomach felt swollen, and even then, sometimes, I’d eat more. It was mostly stress. I was 125 pounds and still eating relatively healthy. This was the thought that led to an ego trip. I sensed no harm in my eating habits, thinking about the quality of what I was eating, disregarding completely the quantity.

    When the healthy food became hardly affordable, I started to slip into less healthier foods: at one sitting, two to three bowls of rolled oats with soy milk and lots of sugar, and around four slices of whole wheat bread with honey peanut butter. I would get really full, feel bad about overeating, not eat for hours, tell myself I was not sick, then break, and eat again. Most of the time, I’d eat the same thing again; the oats and milk and peanut butter and bread. My throat and esophagus began to suffer. My chest became very tight, and I lost the sensation of hunger, as if my stomach was paralyzed. Foolishly I though it was because of what I was eating. I tried to shove all kinds of remedies down my throat: apple cider vinegar, slippery elm, ginger, honey. But it seemed to get worse. I became more depressed and further and further forgot myself. I started to lose my faith in Jah. I began to eat dairy as if in rebellion. Then I became addicted to sugar, eating cakes and cookies and candy in secret, to protect this ego of who I thought I was.

    Then it began to really hurt. I had abdominal pains and my chest hurt really bad and my throat was virtually clogged. My regular bowel movements had dissappeared and my stomach would feel full for days, but I would still eat.

    I made the decision to do the lemonade cleanse. It was easy to do and I was still getting the sugar. But on day six I broke it, anxious about my stomach. I thought I had been tensing it and it was due to gas from not eating. So i ate. I broke the fast with a huge bean and cheese and potato burrito from my new job, a taco restaurant, and ended up having to take my self to the ER, due to incredible discomfort and fear. They ran some tests, said that I was relatively healthy and that they saw no blockages or anything to worry about, only lots of stool- “Eat more fiber”. I stared wide-eyed at the impersonal doctor who said this to me. Wasn’t I eating about six bowls of oatmeal a day?

    I slipped back into the same oatmeal and peanut butter binge and ate a lot of holidy cake for four more days. During the lemonade diet, I had meditated a lot. Thank Goodness for this. I was able to detect my negative thought patterns, was able to remember a time when none of this was happening. But I couldn’t afford a doctor. I don’t have medical insurance. So now I am on the water fast, encouraged by Dr. Bernarr who spoke to me twice on the phone.

    I did nothing to ease into this fast. In fact, I remember my last meal to be a large whole wheat pancake with maple syrup and two slices of bread with peanut butter. I saw it as a farewell. So far, it being day six, I feel as if my stomach has normalized somehow. I am no longer craving, and can almost tell the difference between a hunger and a crave. I have had weird dreams at night about meat being served, but it doesn’t make me go hungry or craving. I am so weak, all I can do really is sit back and observe my own actions and thoughts. I have reconnected with my spirituality, learning how to empty my cup, and that is good.

    Now, I am down to about 114 pounds and still very weak. My concern and the reason why I wrote this post is about my chest pressure. It sits right in the center and barely hurts, but is highly uncormfortable and causes me to become short of breath, drawing for air, and my heart beats rapidly some of the times. Other times it feels like my esophagus is draining liquid, each loud pang of my heart is like a hammer chiseling away at some thick lining inside. Is this all normal? I have read that the symptoms sometimes go away and then return, go away and then return. But this chest tightness has been present throughout the six days.

    One other thing. I have to work three day next week. I have confidence I can do this while still water fasting. But my shortness of breath and lack of energy at random times leaves me doubtful. My options are limited to drinking the lemon juice with maple syrup or eating something like a banana, either one before work. What would you recommend?

    I know this will all go away, but I have no supervision and I do get scared at times. Sorry for the long post, but, to me, every detail holds the significance of truth. Please help me through this.

    • Tom Coghill says:
      Tom Coghill

      Hi shottajovan
      The colon is a tube. Nothing in nothing out. Lack of bowel movements is normal.
      You lack of discipline and behavior patterns suggest you have guilt and low self esteem.
      My other site can give you incite. You can get a used juicer in thrift shops very cheap.
      Banana, mango, and papaya are good to slow a detox and slowing. Chest pains …. I always recommend slowing the detox. If it take 10 days to get to water fasting, great. No hurry.

  6. shottajovan says:

    Also, real quickly, I have had no bowel movements since the start of the water fast? Will I be okay, not taking the laxatives, enemas or colonics, as Dr. Bernarr warned against. He’s a cool guy, very informative, but rigid in how he speaks : D

  7. keith101 says:

    Hi Shottajovan
    I would really love to read about Dr Bernarr’s warnings against colonics, enemas?
    Yeah he sounds really rigid: indeed.
    Has he studied juice?…or water fasting?… What is his experiance on fasting?
    How old are you. What is your waight, have you had any history of heart conditions in youe family?

    Your fiber intake is way to high for a start, this will cause you to bind up inside, causing abdominal pains in the intestines.
    Enemas, cilonics, flush out the colone.

    Do the salt water flush to clean the colone and the intestines, there is always waste that sits in the intestines for a long time; even on a long water fast. this slow down the detox process.

    I start my 40 day water fast tomorrow the 28th, for 40 days.
    My first day will consist of the salt water flush.
    I am in the processe in setting up my cam to post on youtube, i will let you know when i make my first post there.
    Best wishes Keith.
    Any questions just ask, but let me know what i have asked you first.

    • shottajovan says:

      That’s what really gets to me keith. I have no history of any heart attack in my family. We eat a pretty healthy Jamaican diet as far as I can say about that: boiled starches like green banana, potatoes, yams, brown rice and peas, the rest of my family eats meat– I don’t– but sparingly. I eat alot more greens than they do. Before this all started, my diet consisted of a lot of tropical fruits callaloo(globally known as amaranth), spinach mostly, lettuce, cumumbers and the other common salad ingredients. Three moderately portioned meals a day; sometimes two, when the oatmeal felt subsistent.

      Unfortunately I broke the fast last night. I needed to go to work and had no energy. But I want to go again. I was not hungry. As Coghill has observed about me, I might have an affect of the mind. I will read the article. But I would really like to know the condition that I have. My stomach feels fine now, mostly. But my chest still feels pressured in the center. I think that part of the healing crisis had begun for me, and it was too much. Alot of the negative feelings of guilt and self esteem are true, and they kept coming up during the pain, making it very unbearable to even lie down, much less meditate, seeing as how I already live in a stressful environment. The chest pain is really what gets to me. Because I think my choice of foods is still somewhat healthy and every time I feel the pain I either eat more or nothing at all and my mind spirals into a conundrum, something so obvious but I can’t get out.

      Before the fast I was 123 pounds. I am now 111. And I still feel chest pain. It makes my neck and jaw feel really tight, messing up my swallowing. I have never had a problem eating and I must be humble about this. I’m not too good for anything by default. Anything can happen to anyone, anywhere, especially when you lose track and pay attention.
      I plan to fast again, when there is more sun and I can go to the beach and lie down. I really liked how the weakness made it hard for me to expend precious mental energy on negative thoughts of criticism and deceit. At this point, it is just a matter of getting more research. Once again I thank you for this website. Dr Bernarr’s is Apparently he’s this hygenist, raw-foodist, healing guru. But his ways are hard for the common man to follow, unless that common man is in super pain. I am no where near that. I just don’t want to. Who would you know?

      Best of Wishes Keith and Tom.
      Please help me to shed some light– please. I have to prepare for the next fast… the long one.

      PS. I became 24 a week ago.

  8. keith101 says:

    Hi Shottajvan
    Please let me study into this. I have taken a note of your diet, what you have told me. Give me a day or so to get back to you.
    Has the tightness on your chest only started since you started fasting?
    How mutch stress are you under and why?
    Have you been really hurt by someone you really loved?
    Is there anything else i should know?
    But first things first; Drink spring or mineral water, not distilled. Cut down on the starchy foods.
    Let me get back to you.
    Blessings Keith.

  9. shottajovan says:

    Thank you.

    To answer your questions:

    The chest tightness started before I began any fasting, around the time I realized that I had been tensing my stomach and had lost the sensation of definite hunger. I do think it has something to do with stress or anxiety. For one, my stomach is feeling a lot better, bowel movements normal now, but every time I go to prepare a meal or sometimes when I even think about food, my chest begans to feel pressured, my heart beat rises and my thoughts are frantic.

    I have been hurt. I have lost a lot of good relationships with various people this year. Currently I am coping with this, but it doesnt really get on my mind. Mostly I have been thinking about my illness and eating and it drives me nuts. I need to calm down.

    Anything else you should now: When I wake up in the morning my heart beats quickly, then gradually subsides. It used to be difficult to swallow food but now that’s a lot easier. It just feels like my esaphogus is clogged. There is tingling in my jaw and bottom teeth. Also I have been noticing this weird stiffness in the middle of my face. What gets me, is none of this hurts like crazy. I don’t taste It’s just highly uncomfortable, and I guess I am nervous as to what this is. Still, I am hopeful.

    Thanks for taking the time. I really appreciate the good being done here.


  10. keith101 says:

    Hi Shottajovan
    Something for you to consider, let me know what you think?

    Difficulty when swallowing is the sensation that food is stuck in the throat or upper chest. This may be felt high in the neck or lower down, behind the breastbone (sternum).

    Swallowing is a complex act that involves the mouth, throat area, and esophagus (the tube that moves food to the stomach). Many nerves and muscles control how these body parts work. Part of the act of swallowing is under voluntary control, which means you are aware of controlling the action. However, much of swallowing is involuntary.

    Problems at any point — from chewing food and moving it into the back of the mouth to moving the food into the stomach — can result in difficulty swallowing.

    Chest pain, the feeling of food stuck in the throat, or heaviness or pressure in the neck or upper chest are frequently the result of swallowing difficulties.
    One more thing? have you been tested for allorgies?
    Have you consulted a Doctor abour your problems?
    Blessings Keith.

  11. shottajovan says:

    It went to the doctor and he said that I was fine, that it might be something that’s passing through and that I must be seen by a neurologist. It might ahve something to do with my nerves. I do feel anxious everytime it comes to eating. I think that I need to eat more food, because for the past few weeks I have been denying by hunger and have not been eating enough calories. Currently I feel pressure in my chest and and face and my neck is stiff. The abdomen pain is gone. The pressure onsets when I think about food. Right now I am worried about my feet which have become swollen. Yikes. I have never been through anything like this.

    • Tom Coghill says:
      Tom Coghill

      Hi Shottajovan,
      Please send me a pic so I can put up a page for you so we can keep all the info in one spot.
      Water fasting from a bad diet can be harmful to the body. Do you have a juicer? That is your best choice.
      You need to build your nutritional reserves and rebuild your self-image.
      What is your weight height and age?