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Therapeutic fasting with health benefits but also risks
Fasting can have numerous positive effects on health, but the physical stress limits should not be exceeded. For example, some basic rules for therapeutic fasting must be observed urgently.
Lent is firmly anchored in the different religions, and for purely health reasons, many people occasionally break their eating habits and take a fasting cure. The 40-day Lent of Christians begins on Ash Wednesday. A good reason for many to rethink their personal diet and give their body a break. However, during therapeutic fasting, some basic rules must be observed so that fasting can develop its health-promoting effects.
Fasting as a waiver of solid food and luxury foods While the traditional fasting times of the different faiths have tended to become less important in Germany in recent years, so-called therapeutic fasting is enjoying increasing popularity. The fasting people hope for a positive effect on health and an increase in general well-being. Fasting is said to have, among other things, intestinal cleansing, detoxifying and detoxifying effects. A fasting cure generally provides for a time-limited waiver of solid food and luxury foods when only mineral water, tea, juices and vegetable broth are consumed, explained the medically tested fasting director of the German Fasting Academy in Darmstadt, Christa Kling, to the news agency "dpa". This form of fasting is intended "among other things for therapeutic fasting according to Otto Buchinger". "The doctor developed it a good 80 years ago and was thus one of the great pioneers of fasting in Germany," explained Christa Kling. The expert described the fasting model of whey cure according to Dr. Anemueller and the Markert diet, in which vegetable soup is combined with an added protein.
Supporting measures for fasting In addition to foregoing solid foods, the foreground for fasting is also the avoidance of all luxury foods such as alcohol, coffee or cigarettes. The descendant of Otto Buchinger, Dr. Andreas Buchinger, member of the Medical Association for Fasting and Nutrition and chief physician of the (private) clinic Dr. Otto Buchinger in Bad Pyrmont explained that "this gives the body a kind of time-out". The body can regenerate and get rid of its contaminated sites. In order to promote the positive health effects of fasting and the detoxifying effect, a number of supporting measures are used, such as oiling to stimulate excretion via the skin or liver wrap.
Bowel irrigation as part of therapeutic fasting The expert at the German Fasting Academy in Darmstadt, Christa Kling, explains that colon cleansing is "most important" in the support measures. According to Kling, Glauber's salts should be used as a laxative at the start of fasting, and intestinal irrigation should then be carried out at least every two days. "This way, harmful deposits are released," emphasized the fasting director. As the news agency "dpa" reports, however, the professional association of German internists recently warned against a colon cleanse for "detoxification" based on a current study from the USA. So neither the effect nor the tolerance of the available colon cleansing systems for wellness use is scientifically proven. There is a risk that, if used incorrectly, such colonic irrigation leads to considerable undesirable side effects, with diarrhea, nausea and vomiting being among the more harmless, threatening impairments.
Therapeutic fasting with numerous health benefits The health benefits put forward by proponents of therapeutic fasting are so far-reaching that the occasional waiver of food and beverages is becoming increasingly popular. Fasting is said to strengthen the immune system, activate self-healing powers and even help prevent chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. The expert at the German Fasting Academy added that fasting in general can also help you lose weight. Because during Lent, the fasting people lose around half a kilogram a day (one of the reasons why Lent must always be limited in time) and the fasting cure is often the initial spark for more, explained Christa Kling. However, according to Silke Restemeyer of the German Nutrition Society (DGE) in Bonn, the prerequisite for this is "that I do not immediately fall back into old habits afterwards." Because "if you want to lose weight permanently, you have to change your diet in the long term and lose a lot Exercise program not around, ”emphasized the DGE expert to the“ dpa ”. Restemeyer added that a therapeutic fasting cure only makes sense if the fasters also learn something about health-conscious eating and lifestyle.
Intensive fasting also harbors risks. The nutritional expert strongly advises against fasting anyway. Because "if you only drink water for days, there is a considerable loss of body protein - the level of uric acid in the blood rises," explained Restemeyer. This could be particularly critical for people with an elevated purine level due to the risk of an acute gout attack. There are also other undesirable side effects such as irregular heartbeat (e.g. stumbling or racing heart) due to the lack of energy or kidney colic due to the massive loss of electrolytes. According to the nutritionist, the fasting period should not be longer than five days, even in the best of health. Professional beginners, in particular, are urgently recommended for fasting beginners. In the case of ailing health or even chronic illnesses, according to Silke Restemeyer, it is best to avoid fasting entirely.
Fasting is also suitable for curing diseases. Follow Andreas Buchinger only to a limited extent. "The fact is that therapeutic fasting can alleviate or even cure a whole range of diseases and ailments," emphasized the doctor. For example, therapeutic fasting has a long-lasting effect on lowering blood pressure and can reduce insulin resistance, i.e. it can help to alleviate diabetes. However, fasting is only recommended to the chronically ill under medical supervision, since the risk of complications is significantly higher for them. Depending on the disease, special measures such as the administration of vitamins and minerals may also be necessary during fasting. According to Buchinger, a thorough physical examination should therefore be carried out before the start of the fasting cure and regular health checks are advisable in the course of the fasting to ensure the well-being of the fasting. From a medical point of view, it is particularly important for those who are fasting to ensure that they take in sufficient fluids during Lent. In addition, they should always keep an eye on their own physical well-being and, if in doubt, interrupt the fasting cure. (fp)
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