Thursday, August 1, 2013

~15 Months Since My Last Fast - Broken Bones

I've been reluctant to write this entry for a while, but I have to remain true to the goal of this blog: To be honest regarding the good and bad about fasting.

Again, I am grateful that Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead brought juice fasting into mainstream culture and it's now an acceptable thing to do.  Fasters are no longer criticized and scrutinized for fasting.  In fact, some of my closest friends are starting to juice; after all, fasting has some incredible health benefits.

However, my issue with the movie is that it doesn't show the down-side of fasting, including the flu-like symptoms, the purges, the aches and pains, the hair loss.

And now I am reluctantly reporting another possible side effect: Broken bones.  *Sigh*

I grew up a tom-boy and could play sports with the roughest guys in the neighborhood, and I never - not once - had a broken bone.  Then while walking my dog last September, my foot slipped off of the side of the pavement (~2-3" drop), I put all of my weight onto that leg, and POP!  My tendon didn't separate from the bone, but the piece of bone attached to the tendon broke away from the rest of the bone.  Seriously?  It shouldn't have happened. 

(Also, I gained 25lbs in 6 weeks due to the non-activity that came with not being mobile while wearing the cast.  GAH!)

Then in March, I participated in one of those muddy obstacle races.  I made it through the whole thing (skipped a couple obstacles), and at the very end, I jumped off of one bale of hay straight down and ended up with a hairline fractured down my tibia.  Basically, instead of bending my knees and absorbing the shock, my knees were locked, and all of my weight came down onto that bone. Again, this should have never happened.

(Luckily I didn't gain any weight this time, because I learned how to adjust my intake to compensate for the lack of mobility.)

Next Steps:

Understand that I am assuming that fasting caused calcium depletion in my bones, simply because my bones have always been stellar and strong. The first injury I chalked up to being a freak accident.  But two broken bones in 6 months after a life-time of strong bones???  There's something more than just freak accidents.  

The next time I go in for my physical, I will talk to my doctor about possible calcium depletion as a result of several long-term fasts, and I will report the results to you.  Until then, I am still lifting weights to help build my bones back up as well as eating spinach, kale, yogurt, and taking multi-vitamins.

Again, I didn't want to post this, because I want to be able to say that fasting is the end-all and be-all.  Now I am not 100% certain, and it's only fair that I am honest with you.  Believe me when I say that I don't regret my first fast whatsoever; it broke addictions and taught me that I am a strong person and  can accomplish anything.  However, I probably should not have done the other 40-day fasts, at least without being under a doctor's supervision.  Fasting is a great resource when used appropriately - just like the right medication.

Fast wisely, my friends.  And be good to yourselves and stay safe.


  1. Hi, just revisited your blog and found this interesting. I posted as "50 year old male" in the blog about hair loss.

    Its been a year and here's an update. On the bright side, my hair did regrow to what it was before.

    I've done no more juicing. I basically just ate whatever I wanted. Not initially but once I had the bad effects from muscle loss and hair loss I kinda stopped caring about what I ate.

    I've probably gained 50 lbs of fat back. I think I was 180 or 190 when I started the fast, got to 148 or 145 on the juice fast (60 days).

    Relating to this blog, I haven't "broken" any bones although I may have stress fractures in my right foot. I used to be able to walk miles and miles and maybe my foot would ache a day or so but after the fast, my right foot got to ache so bad I had to buy some special insoles and then new shoes to try and relieve the pain. To be fair, it could've been my original shoes were worn out and that caused the damaged.

    I noticed right after the fast feeling very "achy" when I would sleep on the ground which was my custom. A couple blankets was what I used to use as padding but after the fast, my muscles and bones ached.

    Some said it might have been sciatica. Anyway, I bought a slim air camping pad and that helped alot.

    I'm pretty angry about the FS&D film. I view it as an infomercial now and a very dangerous one.

    I started and stopped lifting weights 'cause I wanted to dedicate the right nutrition to it and had some personal and medical issues to deal with (unrelated to the fast). I still have my gym membership and am planning on starting with very low weights as I find a different way to lose the weight I regained.

    My fast was over a year ago and it really hurt me physically. I was already a "skinny fat" guy and couldn't afford to lose the muscle I lost. I lost it mostly in my glutes and I can feel the bones when I sit down.

    Once I start working out again, I think I'll have to keep at it for the rest of my life to try to get muscle mass to stay.

    The one thing I did was take calcium pills during the fast so maybe I didn't deplete my bones but I can't say for sure.

    I did find a couple pretty good books on these topics and will find the titles and post for you.

    Thanks for keeping the blog going.

    1. I REALLY appreciate your update. The more I talk to people who have done the long fasts, the more I realize just how dangerous they can be. The wife of my husband's friend had done one and was told she could not pick up her two-year-old for nearly 9 months, for the fact that her bones were so brittle and the doctors were afraid something would just *snap* mine did.

      On a positive note, it's been almost two years since beginning my last fast, and I've lifted weights for more than a year now with bone density as my main goal. I recently had a slip and fall that was identical to the one that broke my ankle, and nothing happened! So focusing on the nutrition and weights is really paying off. In addition, I am slowly starting to lose the weight that I gained while being stuck on a sofa/bed for 6 weeks per broken leg.

      If you agree, I would like to post your comment (above) as a stand-alone post in this blog. I admit I wasn't fully aware of the risks, and people need to know the negatives that are not addressed in FS&ND.

      Thank you!