5 years on – sudden strange and disappointing results :(

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5 years on – sudden strange and disappointing results :(

This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Tobias Karlsson 6 years, 1 month ago.

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  • Hi everyone,

    I have been doing intermittent fasting for 5.5 years now – 1 year of 5:2 and then four years of 6:1. I have really enjoyed the benefits of low IGF1, low cholesterol and clarity of mind, not to mention the weight maintenance that come with it. So I have no plan to step off the train.

    However, this time I was baffled to get my results back and I am a bit at loss… I mentioned it during a different thread and perhaps someone has some experience as to what may have happened (provided of course, I have not, unknowingly to myself substantially changed anything dramatically in my diet).

    I had my bloods taken after my regular, once-per-week 36h regime which consists of 24h strict fasting (no calories), then a light meal of perhaps 700-800kcal followed by another 12h fasting (from Sunday evening until Tuesday morning). I have now tried – I have never done that before – doing tough exercising right at the end of the 36h cycle. Then I had the blood test taken.

    My total cholesterol came in at 5.8 and LDL at almost 3.7, both of which are 10% above the recommended highest level. Glucose was just great at 3.7. However, my IGF1 was a staggering (still within range) 173. I have normally come in between 110-130 for the past five years where the normal range is 103-220 from what I see.

    So I thought, wow… this is surprising and saddening. Cholesterol I could understand in that you may speculate that fat is released into your bloodstream during times of fasting. But IGF1…? I find this really, really odd. I did have much more meat than I usually have during the preceding week but I struggle to believe that it would have this impact. At the same time, I live very much the same way as previously; I have not gained any weight since last time I had the same values checked a year ago when all was normal.

    The regime has until now been nothing but a success for me, so I find it strange that it suddenly produced these results – but it is also true to say that I have never done exercising at the end of a fasting cycle like this before and may well have been quite dehydrated. In any case, I will probably retake the blood test after a NON-fasting day, with NO exercise and see what it brings. If anyone has any similar experience, I would gladly listen.

    I will of course continue doing it, considering all the benefits although I need to figure out what happened here. There are so many advantages and I enjoy doing it so much.

    Good luck everyone with your fasting!


    Responding to my own post :)) – it really does appear according to some articles I found that it is completely normal for both IGF1 and cholesterol to soar during exercise. I really need to take those tests again under different circumstances, but still really keen to hear about what others may have experienced! Thanks!

    Hi Tobias, I’m really interested in hearing about the results of your blood work when you get it done again.
    Without any scientific expertise to support me, it would seem likely that the tough exercise had an impact, as you’ve found as well. And your increased intake of meat is most likely also the culprit. Maybe try and lower that as well? I’m sure you’ll see even greater results. 🙂

    Hello AbFab5,

    yes, I have an “excuse” to ask my doctor to send me for a blood test anyway as I had an inflammation lately (totally unrelated to anything with diet from what I know!) so I need to check that the immune system indicators have gone down. So I will check cholesterol and that stuff too. I guess the challenge is that you cannot really draw any conclusions based on your own results solely but I kind of like the “self-experimenting” piece, as long as it happens within healthy limits. The change I have made is that I am stricter with my 36h regimen; I also do 16:8 twice per week when I do not exercise; and on my exercise days I do the training before breakfast and then have ample amounts of food. That is the “self-experimenting” part. During the weekends I really do not want to think about fasting but spend quality time with the kids around the breakfast table. I think the challenge I face 5.5 years on is to balance the calorie intake – I am a little bit concerned about getting enough calories so that my metabolism does not slow down. I burn off like 2000 calories a week by just exercising. I keep my weight, so probably it is OK but I am sometimes surprised by weighing a bit more than I thought I would; other times it is the other way around. But I feel great on this regimen! I have a blood test yearly and have never had any alarming deficiencies, like magnesium or so. So I think it is safe over time as well.

    Hi there,

    just to round this off… I had another blood test a couple of weeks ago, this time on a regular day, with a regular non-fasting day in between. That morning there was no exercise and I was properly hydrated. My values were back to the excellent range again! Of course you cannot draw conclusions from one occasion, but it does seem that tough exercise can have that impact on your IGF and that fasting can release substantial amounts of fat which has a major impact during a blood test. Now my total cholesterol was back at 4.8, triglicerides actually just below the bottom of the normal range and LDL within range with HDL right in the middle of the range. So very pleasing and I am safe in the “knowledge” that this 6:1 regime really works 🙂

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