Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Intermittent Fasting,Inflammation and Injury

Having decided enough was enough and that it was time to ease back on my physical activities to facilitate the healing of my wonky shoulder I have opted to use the downtime to zoom in on my fasting regimen.

I generally practice intermittent fasting five days a week using flexible eat windows. Some days may see longer or shorter fasts based upon how hungry I am, sporting activities and food availability. Since I am planning on keeping my physical activities to a bare minimum the next couple weeks I decided to really focus upon my fasting to avoid eating excess(crappy) calories so prevelant during the holiday season.

On Monday I began increasing the duration of my daily fasting to twenty two hours using a two hour eat window in the evenings. As of this writing (Wednesday) my shoulder has improved greatly with a reduction in pain and an increase in mobility. Was it a result of limiting usage of my shoulder or did fasting contribute to a rather quick improvement? I do remember reading how intermittent fasting does help reduce inflammation so it got me thinking.Pain, lack of mobility and tissue inflammation tend to come hand in hand.  Here are the highlights of my reading.......

Fasting and Inflammation

"the levels of inflammation markers and factors, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and homocysteine, go down, and remain low for several weeks after IF is interrupted....."   

"In short it means that the Ramadan intermittent fast brought about a significant decrease in inflammation......"
                                                               Dr. Eades

It seems conclusive that fasting does have a beneficial effect upon cardiovascular inflammation but what about that found in the body general?

Intermittent Fasting and Joint/Muscle Inflammation

Fasting and the improvements in inflammation markers in arthritis sufferers.....

"The theory behind successful fasting, in the treatment of arthritis and joint disease, lies in the notion that the body will naturally rid itself of toxins within the first three days of fast. This means, the toxins that general build in the joints and synovial fluid may be excreted when fasting occurs...."   


What about sport related joint and muscle pain?

"The purpose of including a full day fast is to help your body to recover from the week’s mini-injuries and joint pain. "

How about a personal experience?

"My working assumption now is that intermittent fasting, which is what gave me the initial pain relief, was at least partly responsible for my continued improvement while on ZC."

Food Choices and Inflamation

There does seem to be a correclation between fasting, inflammation and overall wellbeing. It is important to note that foods are inflammatory to a degree so better choices in diet help keep the body happy and healthy. It does not make any sense to practice fasting if your diet is chock full of crappy foods; sugars, refined carbohydrates, industrial oils, fast and junk foods. Any benefits gained by fasting will be negated by the inflammatory properties of a bad diet regardless of how often you eat.

Maybe that is why I have experienced a sudden improvement this week. I have benefitted from extending my fasting period but also made better food choices during my eat windows. What may have been a planned decision to avoid any weight gain (due to a lack of activity but the same amount of caloric intake) may well have facilitated a faster recovery from a nagging shoulder injury?


Anonymous said...

Thanks george, well compiled

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this.