I planned to do a 5-day fast this week but chickened out at the last minute. Tuesday was my first radiation treatment and I was a bit too freaked out to try fasting. So I opted for some frozen custard instead.
Peanut Butter Brownie & Chocolate, to be specific.
A glorious LARGE one, to be even more specific.
Yes, I needed comfort food (told you I freaked out). No shame in that.
Thankfully, the freak out was for naught. The painless treatment lasted a total of 5 minutes. As for side effects, the only thing I experienced was some major fatigue. I did some serious napping for two days. Of course, I’m assuming it was the radiation. It could have been a carb coma from the big ass frozen custard. This morning, I went in for my 2nd treatment. It went smoothly again. So I’ve decided to go ahead with my fast with a slight caveat. Starting tomorrow, I’m doing a 3 day fast with the option to extend it to 5 days. I’m giving myself an out just in case more side-effects pop up.
My goal is to get my glucose and insulin levels down, as those are the 2 things cancer cells aggressively seek out (clearly, the frozen custard wasn’t the best choice). Cancer feeds off of glucose for energy. And insulin helps it grow.
Studies indicate that intermittent fasting may help the body recover from treatment.
Since humans are designed to go long periods without food (weeks, in fact), healthy cells increase their resistance to physical stress during lean times. Cancer cells, on the other hand, are constantly turned on looking for glucose and insulin.
With fasting, cancer cells start to starve while healthy cells increase their resistance to stress. This opens the door for treatments like radiation and chemo to zero in on the cancerous cells and potentially minimize the impact on healthy cells.
Of course, fasting isn’t always an option for cancer patients, especially those that have lost a lot of weight. However, there is growing evidence that the ketogenic diet can help with starving cancer and reducing the side effects of treatments.
There’s also a theory that the ketones our bodies produce while in ketosis can help shrink cancer cells. Check out an interview with researcher Angela Poff, who has spent years studying the ketogenic diet and its potential role in fighting cancer.
A lot more clinical trials are needed when it comes to using fasting and the ketogenic diet as part of a cancer treatment strategy. The good news is that is finally happening. I certainly understand the focus on looking at cancer from a genetic perspective, but nutrition can’t be ignored. It’s estimated that 25% of all new cancers are weight related.
Given the amount of sugar and highly refined carbs American’s consume, I think that stat is lowballing it.
For me, while I do believe in using both fasting and ketogenic diet to heal my metabolic system, I’m not willing to bet the farm just yet that they alone can cure cancer. But the research is promising.
DISCLAIMER: The above, like the rest of the content on this blog, is provided for your information only and is not medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based on the contents of this blog. As always, you should consult with your physician.