Welcome to The Fast Diet › The official Fast forums › Body › Medical conditions and fasting › Breast cancer, 5:2, lowering inflammation markers, stop drug?
This topic contains 13 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Lilimar 1 year, 8 months ago.
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16 Aug 18
I understand no one can say ‘yes’ or ‘no’, however I would like feedback on my logic 🤔.
I am taking arimadex, as a precaution, to keep the cancer cells at bay. With the 5:2 diet reducing inflammation, & all the other benefits, and as cancer is an auto-immune, inflammatory disease. I was considering stopping the drug.
I am cancer free, the drug is a precaution only, however I t reduces bone density, amongst other side effects.
I have reduced weight, started gym, cardio & yoga, stopped drinking alcohol and eating healthy. I still have work to do on my spiritual side & stress lowering.
I am not scientific/medical trained, I tend to believe whatever I read 😉. So, to stop anymore reduction in bone density, to gamble that the cancer cells are all gone; to keep on the diet , following it properly.
No doctor, rightly so, would encourage me to stop the drug, however any of you scientific people out there, what are your thoughts? I have continued taking the drug as a precaution, however would like to stop (still have 3 out of 5 years to keep taking it).
Shoot me down in flames if totally illogical 👍.
17 Aug 18
The error in your logic is the assumption that following 5:2 carries ‘anti-inflammatory’ and ‘all other benefits’.
There is no clinical data showing 5:2 is anything more than a safe and effective weight loss diet. What goes along with that are health benefits derived from weight loss like lower blood pressure and better cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
The answer to your question is you should follow your doctor’s advice, and you can’t rely on 5:2 to provide any support in your efforts to prevent the return of the disease. If you have concerns about side effects of the drug(s) you are taking, you should have a discussion with your doctor(s) and, if unhappy or unclear about what they are telling you, you should get a second opinion.
But please don’t expect 5:2 to provide any ‘medicinal’ or ‘preventive’ benefits. I’m afraid, in my opinion, that people read too much into the potential health benefits of the 5:2 diet. Virtually none of the ‘other health benefits’, other than those that derive from weight loss, are proven, and certainly cancer prevention cannot be claimed – in the U.S. such a claim would be illegal.
@dijac – The degree that 5:2 will impact the body depends on many factors. While I can’t be sure about reducing inflammation there are actually many studies that show that even shorter fasts have profound impacts on our health. However I think it really boils down to if you are actually fasting or not.
Many people consume 500+ calories worth of food on a fast day. That is probably what simcoeluv refers too. That isn’t true fasting and well it can help with weight reduction and other things it shuts off many of the benefits that fasting kicks in. That is the problem with 5:2, to some it means two 36 hour periods of fasting a week and to others it is more of just a controlled eating pattern.
It takes about 20 to 24 hours of not eating anything for the liver to be depleted of glycogen. After that the body will start producing glucose from amino acids and ramp up the rate that fat is being broken down. At some point the there is enough fat being broken down that much of the body will use ketones for fuel and glucose levels can even drop below normal levels, but that typically takes days. Many other effects ramp up. Here is an article that walks through the stages of fasting:
https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Guide-Fasting-Intermittent-Alternate-Day-ebook/dp/B01MF8SC2X/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1534465274&sr=8-3&keywords=complete+guide+to+fasting is a good general book on fasting as it touches on many of the aspects of fasting and the balance between shorter and longer fasting.
Brad Pilon’s “Eat Stop Eat” dives deeply into many of the studies done on fasting. He leans much more to short-term fasts, partly because his focus is exercise and health. You probably have to get the book through his web site https://bradpilon.com/
With cancer there are simple theories that would lead one to think that even a ketogenic diet would work. However the body is extremely complex so many of the simple ideas haven’t played. There is some studies to support that a bit longer fasts coupled with traditional medicine are more effect. Dr. Longo’s Longevity Diet touch on some of that. https://www.amazon.com/Longevity-Diet-Discover-Activation-Regeneration-ebook/dp/B073YMYX7H/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1534466817&sr=1-1&keywords=the+longevity+diet+by+valter+longo
There is also more research going on all the time but most of it is focused at one aspect or another. Inflammation itself is a very broad and general response by the body. It is unlikely that fasting by itself is enough to fully address reducing inflammation. Some other things to consider:
* Avoiding added sugar/processed foods. This may have more impact than fasting
* Exercise – lean to short and intense forms
You should probably work with a doctor. I started doing that over ten years ago, I was pre-diabetic, had high blood pressure and unhealthy blood lipids. I refused medication but through diet and training I’ve completely turned my health around. I started with a low salt diet but had very limited benefit. I lost some weight through the typical calorie restrictive diets and exercise but reached a point where I wasn’t losing weight and was actually gaining fat! Then I did the unthinkable and cut sugar out of my diet. The result was I didn’t feel hungry and started losing fat. I did add back in whole fruit because I do better with that regardless of the fruit sugar. I also started fasting because it is kind of easy when one isn’t so hungry. Over a year I settled on the 5:2 pattern because I was able to exercise enough to build lean body mass. I’ve been fasting for over two years now.
So I currently eat for nutrition, often practice time restrict eating, water fast twice a week and exercise leaning towards HIIT. That has worked wonders for me. My blood lipids are vegan like except I have higher HDL levels, normal to low blood pressure and my blood glucose stays normal. I’ve also had a couple tendon injuries heal which wasn’t expected.
I personally believe the repeated 36 hour fasts had greatly reduced much of the inflammation I had. They have certainly allow me to improve my diet and the food we eat is also medication.
There actually appear to be quite a few studies and more coming out.
Seems like there are dozens of studies that go beyond just losing weight. That is one of the reasons I like Brad Pilon’s books as he tries to group a lot of studies into groups. For example in his “Eat Stop Eat” book there are sections on the following:
The Health Benefits of Fasting 79
Decreased Insulin Levels & Increased Insulin Sensitivity 83
Decreased Blood Glucose Levels 88
Increased Lipolysis and Fat Burning 88
Increased Glucagon Levels 92
Increased Epinephrine and Norepinephrine levels 93
Increased Growth Hormone Levels 93
Increased Weight Loss and Increased Fat Loss 101
Decreased Chronic Inflammation 103
Increased Cellular Cleaning 107
Health Benefits – The Conclusion 111
Studies he references on inflammation and fasting below. Keep in mind he actually focuses on 24 hour fasts. A bit shorter than the typical 5:2 water fasting. There are more than 200 studies referenced in his book that mostly deal with shorter fasts and background research. Anyway he strongly believes there are radical health benefits to even just fasting 24 hours twice a week that go beyond a 10% to 20% lose in calories.
165 Chung HY, Kim HJ, Kim JW, Yu BP. The inflammation hypothesis of aging: molecular modulation by calorie restriction. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2001; 928:327-35.
166 Senn JJ, Klover PJ, Nowak IA, and Moony RA. IL-6 Induces Cellular Insulin Resistance in Hepatocytes. Diabetes. 2002; 51(12):3391-9.
167 Bharat B. Aggarwal, R.V. Vijayalekshmi, and Bokyung Sung. Targeting Inflammatory Pathways for Prevention and Therapy of Cancer: Short-Term Friend, Long-Term Foe. Clinical Cancer Research 2009; 15(2): 425-430.
168 Kershaw EE, Flier JS. Adipose tissue as an endocrine organ. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2004; 89:2548–2556.
169 Loffreda S, Yang SQ, Lin HZ, Karp CL, Brengman ML, Wang DJ, Klein AS, Bulkley GB, Bao C, Noble PW, Lane MD, Diehl AM. Leptin regulates proinflammatory immune responses. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal. 1998 Jan;12(1):57-65.
170 Esposito K, Nappo F, Marfella R, Giugliano G, Giugliano F, Ciotola M, Quagliaro L, Ceriello A, Giugliano D. Inflammatory cytokine concentrations are acutely increased by hyperglycemia in humans: role of oxidative stress. Circulation. 2002 Oct 15;106(16):2067-72.
171 Dixit VD. Adipose-immune interactions during obesity and caloric restriction: reciprocal mechanisms regulating immunity and health span. Journal of Leukocyte Biology. 2008: 84:882-892.
172 Morgan TE, Wong AM, and Finch CE. Anti-inflammatory mechanisms of dietary restriction in slowing aging processes. Interdisciplinary Topics in Gerontology. 2007; 35:83-97.
173 Fontana L. Neuroendocrine factors in the regulations of inflammation: Excessive adiposity and caloir restriction. Experimental Gerontology. 2009; 44:41-45.
174 Prestes J, Shiguemoto G, Botero JP, Frollini A, Dias R, Leite R, et al. Effects of resistance training on resistin, leptin, cytokines, and muscle force in elderly post-menopausal women. Journal of Sports Science. 2009 27(14):1607-1615.
175 Bruun JM, Helge JW, Richelsen B, Stallknecht B. Diet and exercise reduce low-grade inflammation and macrophage infiltration in adipose tissue but not in skeletal muscle in severely obese subjects. American Journal of Physiology Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2006 May;290(5):E961-7.
176 Schapp LA, Plijm SMF, Deeg DJh and Visser M. Inflammatory markers and loss of muscle mass (Sarcopenia) and strength. 2006. American Journal of Medicine; 199: U82-U90.
Note: I mostly do 36 hour water fasts but I don’t practice calorie restriction. I tend to compensate by eating more healthy highly nutritious foods. Weight loss is no longer a primary goal as I’m often below my goal weight these days. I interested in fasting for health.
In general I feel the longer one fasts the better, up to a point. I find there is a strong curve of diminishing returns which for me I’m hitting by the second day of fasting. There are somethings that probably take longer to trigger but there is also more risks as one fasts longer. So there are tradeoffs and it really depends on what you want care about as to what makes sense. Everyone is on different points.
For example a lot of people put a lot of weight into fasting up to a week to force a reboot of the immune system. In the process much a of person’s immune system is temporary destroyed and then rebuilt during refeeding. That is potentially very healthy but also has risks. For example my daughter had a MRSA staff infection when she was an infant which hit the hospital she was born in. This was a bacteria that is normally easily defeated by healthy immune system. Two other babies with the same infection actually died and she was very close to death herself. As it was it took months of care to overcome and years for me to pay off all the parts of the care that were covered by insurance. So I have a strong respect for the risks of going too far. I have fasted 7 days before and realize the odds of something really bad happen in such a short time period are low. It is just that fasting for less than two days has almost no risk as compared to fasting for a week and I’m reaping much of the benefits I’m after. It is just a tradeoff and everyone needs to choose what is right for themselves. Some people fast for weeks without issues.
simcoeluv I was providing information on research being done rather than just throwing out insults like you tend to do. I’m not encouraging anyone to stop any treatment and I do encourage people to work with doctors. However your statement that “There is no clinical data showing 5:2 is anything more than a safe and effective weight loss diet.” is misleading at best. I posted ample sources as to many benefits that can come from fasting. You offer nothing to back up your views.
One shouldn’t fast when on medication without working with a doctor but there is ample evidence that fasting itself is an extremely powerful treatment that has many impacts beyond just losing weight. In fact many people fast for reasons for other reasons, myself included.
< A statement I should have posted before. >
@dijac, I personally don’t think it is a good idea to discontinue medication unless you have medical opinions that it is no longer necessary. However I do believe that fasting can improve the effectiveness of the drugs.
Again, dykask is not informed. Fasting while taking other drugs can be fatal. It depends on the drugs, and dykask has no idea which ones or why.
Go with your doctor’s recommendations. If you have doubts, get a second opinion.
But please, please don’t base any decision on information you get on this website or others.
I wish you the best of luck!
simcoeluv I never said @dijac shouldn’t talk to a doctor. I also stated there are risks with fasting and the risks grow the longer you fast. You are the one claiming there isn’t anything to 5:2 other that weight loss. That is a very dangerous statement to make. My posts provided the information that shows there is a lot more to 5:2 than than just weight loss. That is the point, fasting is very powerful and clearly a person on medication should seek out medical advice before fasting.
I will start by saying I have not looked at any of the citations you have posted.
Are you really saying that by following 5:2 (whatever that means) Di’s cancer will not reoccur? Are you really saying that given all of the ‘research’ you have referred to that Di should seriously consider dropping her physician prescribed medications and depend on following a 5:2 pattern of eating to prevent the recurrence of her cancer?
In my opinion, if that is what you are saying, you should be banned from this site!
@simcoeluv you should be banned for trolling people! You are just making up nonsense and claiming I said it. You seem to have a problem with anyone that doesn’t agree with you.
Fasting is powerful, often much more powerful than medical treatments, but it isn’t anything magical. Medicine has its place and anyone wanting to go off medication should work with their doctors. Because even shorter fasting can have profound impacts on the body there is always risks on interactions with medication.
Roughly ten years ago I was faced with the need to start medication for multiple problems. Instead I worked with my doctor to make lifestyle changes to avoid medication. Eventually I ended up where I am but still successfully avoiding medications. The time may come that I can no longer do that, but I’ve pushed it years down the road.
For the record the only strong claims I’ve heard about fasting helping with cancer treatment are from Dr. Longo. However other researching are clearly looking at the possibilities. That is an area there are isn’t that much research yet. That doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of other studied effects from fasting.
Thanks @dykask and @simcoeluv for taking the time to reply.
I will look at the links and research more.
Fasting & healthy living are positives in supporting the body & immune system, so continuing with the fasting can only be beneficial. The more I can make my body a healthy vessel the less conducive it will be for DisEase.
We are all walking our own journeys; learning from one another.
Take it easy all; peace & love 🙏❤️
3 Sep 18
My reaction is a little late, but I only logged-in today. First of all I’m really sorry that you had breast cancer, a disease that will have probably marked your life. It’s not a easy thing happening in a human life.
Having had a breast tumor myself, I know about the devestated news and the fear of it coming back. I’m not a doctor or a scientist, but I really would like you to know a bit of my story, it might help you in your decision.
Although I’ve always had a healty weight and lifestyle, I’ve embraced healthy living even more when I found out I had cancer: organic diet, sugar reduction, sports, regular massages, kundalini yoga, body stress release, expensive food supplements (algues, reishi, chaga), etc. After the succesfull treatments I was taking Tamoxifen, a hormonal therapy a prevention. After 2,5 years I thought (naive me!) that I could stop with this medication as living as healthy as I did should prevent me from falling ill again. I did not talk about it with my doctor in the clinic (who was absent due to illness herself). However, my periods came back after half a year, and little by little I felt getting more tired. 16 Months after stopping, a CT scan showed metastasis in my lungs, in my lymphnodes and in my chestbone. That’s now 2 years ago and things got much worse.
If there is one advise I can give your: Do take your medication! The side effects might not be great, but it’s so much better hearing that the cancer is back, that it cannot be cured and that you have an average of 5 years of life left. So, good luck dear Di, you’re on the right track with your life style, but do take your meds as well. Wishing all the best of luck and a long, healthy life!
11 Jan 19
As a newbie to the site and having had a recent diagnosis and a lumpectomy, does anyone have an opinion on fasting whilst undergoing Radiotherapy treatment? I read with interest, the mention of Dr Norma Quinn’s experimentation with fasting and chemotherapy in the 5-2 book.
Obviously I don’t want to put my body under any more stress than it has been through but it would be useful if any fellow cancer patients have any thoughts.
5 Mar 19
I put myself on 16;4 on September 14th 2017 and after losing 11 kilos I noticed in December that I had one breast bigger than the other, booked a mammogram and result positive for BC. The nightmare began, 4 months of chemo, mastectomy and radiotherapy. Throughout the whole treatment regime I stuck to my diet. I needed to take control over SOMETHING in my life as I rather felt like a Doctor’s guinea pig at times. I lost all my hair and NO WAY was I going to be bald AND FAT!!! I was 83 kilos in the September and set myself a goal of 60 for the summer and got down to 58!!! Yayyyy!
Have been a bit less careful during the winter, and so am now as of today back on track, am 62 kilos, not much over my target of 58. I promised myself to never go over 60 kilos, so I need to sort that out! I went from a size 16 and BMI of 29.5 to size 8 and BMI of 20.4.
It can be done, I told my doctors what I was doing and none of them had a problem with it.
I am now on Femara, which I hate, but it’s an oestrogen blocker and if it helps stop the cancer coming back then I force myself to take it. Although I have to admit I often miss a day, the side effects are a pain.
Am starting this evening to go back to swimming 2-3 times a week.
I am so GLAD that I kept at it as I feel the whole thing would have been a lot harder to deal with had I remained large.
As long as you eat sensibly Motown, then follow your instincts and go for it.
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