21 day water fast to heal Crohn’s disease and bulimia

(Monica Dritschel) #1

Hi! I’m new to the forum :slight_smile: I’ve been desperately looking for a supportive network like this to help me complete a fast. I have had Crohn’s disease for 10 years now and developed bulimia which is really aggravating the crohns sumptoms. I’m terrified of having another flare up as I seem to have a lot of stomach pain due to the food I eat when I binge. It’s a really viscous scary cycle. I completed a 14 day fast 6 months ago which really aliviated the crohns, I almost felt as though I was cured. The bulimia is definitely aggravating things but I’m praying that completing a 21 day water fast with support and properly referring will really help me reset the habit. I will keep you updated with my progress each day, if anyone wants to join me they are more than welcome and have my full support too:)

(Naomi Brewster) #2

Good luck. Looking forward to hearing how you’re going. BTW I used fasting to stop smoking which was surprisingly effective so I hope you have a similar ‘re-set’ in regards to the bulimia symptoms - the main thing is that you are working on the psychological triggers for bulimia as well during this period - the main aim is to heal the body (Chrones is a terrible affliction) and re-establish a positive relationship with food. You can do it. Keep in touch.

(Monica Dritschel) #3

Thankyou for your support! :slight_smile: yeah i completely agree, i think there is a lot of emotions that i deal with through my bulimic behaviour but hopefully having space away from food will allow me to reflect on that in a more rational state of mind. thank you for letting me know about the smoking too, that gives me so much hope! My first official day will be the 27th of November. I can tell my body is desperate to heal because when i have done 36 hour fasts the detox reactions i have experienced have been intense nausea, even on the first day. I have eaten one large meal today to help transition into the fast tomorrow. Im a little worried as im working tomorrow and its a reasonably active job but hopefully i won’t be too low in energy on the first day and on tuesday i have a day off! Im hoping work won’t be a problem if i sleep and rest as much as possible during the fast. Ive been feeling quite low today, its easy to convince yourself that this isn’t possible but i know i need to and can do it! Anything is possible with the right intention setting and support!

(Naomi Brewster) #4

Just make sure to drink enough water - nausia according to some websites that I’ve seen can be an indicator of dehydration. If the nausia is too much - sometimes the detox can feel pretty strong - I found in the first few days a cup of hot water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar helped.

(Monica Dritschel) #5

Thankyou! I’ll definitely give that a go if I experience that detox reaction again tomorrow. I’m really hoping that my body will be abide to heal itself, bulimia is really damaging and Ive been experiencing a lot of sharp stomach pain, I’m hoping it’s not a tear and that it has the ability to heal. Fasting has done miracles for me before though so i feel pretty positive!

(Monica Dritschel) #6

1 minutes away from completing my first 24 hours of the fast…so far so good. My stomach is feeling a lot better although i am still having some pain under my rib on the left side. My energy was a little low after work but on the whole i wasn’t struggling with exhaustion, that may change as the days go on but hopefully ill be able to cope by having more rest. A few relatively strong cravings throughout the day, especially in the evening but managed to overcome them! Physically no change as yet to my weight, although I am only going to weigh myself weekly as losing weight is not the intention of my fast. Today seemed to zoom by so i haven’t had time to write about the emotional things i have been feeling withdrawing from food but hopefully will have time to do that tomorrow! going to head to bed! looking forward to a good long sleep:)

(Doug) #7

Good job, Monica. I hear you on the emotional stuff - there can be an ocean of reasons to eat - boredom, habit, comfort, etc.

The more times I fast, the easier it gets.

(Naomi Brewster) #8

sleep is your friend - sometimes the best way to cope with the cravings/emotional distress is to go to sleep.

I’m going to have a blood test in a couple of days and then I will join you on the fast (Thursday) so interested in hearing how you’re going.

(Monica Dritschel) #9

Close to finishing a second day of fasting. Today hasn’t been as hard as I expected although there were lots of swings between highs and lows. For me the best thing to do to get through the ,downs is light walking or movement, or even some dancing in the bedroom…:slight_smile: I’ve been having lemon juice and stevia, to work my way through the cravings, which I have found to be enormously satisfying. Coffee also has worked wonders for cravings and energy. So, so far so good again today. I guess it’s just a matter of filling in your time with things other than food, started jotting down thoughts to due with my previous eating patterns and emotions. Writing things down really does provide so much clarity into your situation and behaviour. Im hoping to stay strong as I know the rest of the week will be a challenge with having to be at work until Saturday. I’m going to stay strong though, it will be worth it! :slight_smile:

(Naomi Brewster) #10

How you going - third day how. I did my blood test and will start fasting now. Won’t be a long one unless my body feels different after a couple of days but wanted to support you.

(Monica Dritschel) #11

Hey! its going not too badly today, the hunger was very difficult this evening but only hit me at like 8;30 onwards, I’m at my families house and it seems as if they’ve made all the best food this evening which is hard to ignore but i KNOW it does and will get easier very soon. So glad you’ll be joining me too! Ill pass over any tips i have that help you get through the initial days :wink: In the morning i felt really really good, a little tired and removed but very positive and no pain in my ribs at all today :slight_smile: My skin seems a little clearer and my energy was surprisingly high at work today, hopefully that won’t dip as time goes on. Day 3 is definitely a big challenge. Riding out the cravings during these initial days is always the part that requires the most mental strength. I guess it it is a case of continuing to write down why you are doing this and remembering the benefits that will come of it. i have a challenging week ahead, its not easy working in a grocery store while doing this, but I am 100 percent going to keep going with this :slight_smile: So looking forward to my bed :slight_smile:

(Monica Dritschel) #12

Hey how is it going for you today? I struggled a lot today and feel really down about it but there was so much stuff happening that I felt so bad about and I just felt like I needed to eat to feel better. Im going to get back in track and extend the fast until the 18th instead of the 17th. It was good though having a day where things went badly as I am thinking clearer now and it made me see definitely wHY I was eating, for emotional reasons on emotionally soothing foods. This makes it seem all the more necessary to continue with the fast and look past and also into this blip. Emotions are a difficult thing to handle and clearly this is what I am trying to do with food. Hopefully tomorrow won’t be too hard to get back on track, just worried about the carbs I ate tonight. I guess it will just be quite a push but I’m in the right mindset for it not to be impossible.

(Naomi Brewster) #13

yes, every opportunity to learn and develop strategies for coping. Sorry you had a hard time and glad it has given you some insight.

I fasted yesterday quite easily (I’m in Melbourne Australia and we’ve been having a heat wave) but last night just about the time I was getting ready for bed I was ravenous. I started keto for health reasons about 8 months ago and part of the learning process for me to was to get back in touch with my body and emotions. Yes, I did eat out of habit or to stuff down feelings and I have largely managed to overcome this or at least recognise it when the urge is on. However the hunger I felt last night was different - the if I don’t eat right now I’m going to expire - I had a spoonful of pure cream, and then a piece of cheese but the feeling didn’t go away so I ended up having a full meal! I had breakfast this morning as well feeling similarly. It’s quite odd - my period is still a week away so it can’t be that. Ate to satisfaction this morning and will plan to not have dinner and see how I go from there.

Good luck for tomorrow. Perhaps have some keto friendly things on hand for when you have to ‘break out’ rather than carbs - but it is hard when you’re staying at other people’s houses.

(Monica Dritschel) #14

Thanks for sharing this with me! Ever since i stopped fasting on wednesday, I’ve had 3 days of bingeing which hasnt been easy. It seems that as well as an emotional response it is also a habitual one. iTs also been stressful because I’m having to move home tomorrow, my flat is quite expensive and I’m trying to save money to travel and do some woofing in march…possibly in australia! Yeah I’ve felt like that when I’ve fasted before, its really helpful knowing the difference. I feel a if sometimes my body really wants to fast as i don’t feel hungry all day while other times i feel sick with hunger when i don’t eat until the evening. I really hope i can get back on track tomorrow. This forum really really helps. Maybe the thing to do would to be to aim for small goals instead of one big one. Im going to go 10 days of fasting then see how i feel starting tomorrow. i just feel a bit down because i was doing so well and just entering into ketosis until thursday, part of me wants to give up, or feels as if i should, i think thats why I’ve had 3 bad days with food. My boyfriend was saying i should try an antidepressant, as well as fasting if that helps me, to see if that will allow me to get to a different place with anxiety and coping via food. Time to get started again, i know i can do this, even if its just 10 days for now. :slight_smile:

(Naomi Brewster) #15

It sounds like your boyfriend is supportive - I’m glad you have someone in your life to lean on when you need it. It also sounds like you might need some professional support - is the fasting triggering old patterns? A councilor who can assist you to work through some emotional things and support your journey back to a positive relationship with food might be very helpful. I don’t pretend to know anything about this but am sending you a big hug and hope that you get some clarity and healing around this issue. Fasting is an amazing therapeutic rest for your body but the most important time of a fast is when you break the fast - fasting tears down old structures whilst it is during the re-feeding that the ‘rebuild’ happens. Big hugs Monica and best of luck. Let me know how you’re going.

(Monica Dritschel) #16

Thankyou so much Naomi, really really appreciate the hug! :slight_smile: the fasting seems to be triggering old patterns, however i know that when i did an extended fast it really really helped thats why I’m determined to give this one more shot! Yeah I’ve tried seeing councillors in the past but feel as though i haven’t really gotten anywhere…i just feel like this behaviour is more of a habit, like smoking or drinking, that you find yourself stuck in. I think some part of you believes it helps you cope but the other part doesnt really understand why you can’t stop and it just seems like more of a compulsive habitual thing. Yeah Im really hoping it can give me a fresh start at life, I’ve heard of many people who have had bulimia which have been cured from fasting, really hoping i can heal the crohns symptoms too because I’m really feel like I’m heading for a disaster if i keep eating junk when i binge. Thank you so much again Naomi for your support.:slight_smile: will definitely give you an update tomorrow:)

(Monica Dritschel) #17

Today has been really up and down. I usually listen to hypnosis while fasting and this really helps me get started. I was just so hungry today, Im on my period so i think that could be why, so had some kept friendly cheese and olives to curb my appetite. I think I’m an all or nothing person though so even despite being determined to fast for the rest of the day i ended up having dinner and some carby sugary food…so not going to well. I guess the key things i need to remember is that hypnosis is essential in order to have a successful fasting day as well as trying to ride out the hunger for a hour then seeing how I’m feeling. ill try putting these aspects into place tomorrow and review things if again i struggle to fast, I’m sure there are other solutions if i can’t stick to this one. Im going to listen to the hypnosis recording tonight which should set me up for a good day tomorrow :slight_smile: I guess i need to remember that it sometimes takes a few attempts to get started and I’m learning every time i do break out of the fast.

(Monica Dritschel) #18

Hey! sorry for not posting for a few days! Things have been very turbulent here, i seem to in a routine of having a easy day of fasting but then unable to get through the cravings and hunger the following day. Im finding it really difficult to fast while working and with the stress of moving home I’ve really found myself unable to get out of this rut. I have a 2 week holiday in 10 days time so I’m going to try and get my head down and keep going. I know i still want to do an extended fast to stop emotionally being dependant on food. I just feltl so overwhelmed by everything yesterday that i decided i really should get away for a break to clear my mind and hopefully get through 4 days of fasting where i know things suddenly become much much easier and more routine, then continue while I’m on holiday. So heading on a trip to Glasgow tomorrow! Ive felt like I’ve needed a break like this for a long time…Planning on submerging myself in art and meditating and reflecting on things far away from the bubble of home and work.

(Naomi Brewster) #19

Hey Monica, that sounds like a plan. In the mean time perhaps keep a journal paying close attention to the emotional aspects - when you decided to eat how were you feeling? What did you decide to eat? How do you feel after eating? I know this strategy gets really old really quickly but perhaps being more conscious of what is going on with you in the moment (not just remember retrospectively) might help you. It might slow you down enough not to operate on past coping stratergies. Fasting isn’t the panacea for this though it may help - I’m just concerned that it isn’t addressing head on the underlying issues - perhaps during this time when you are eating give it a try and perhaps take the strategy into your fast - one thing fasting does do is bring up and clean up so many mental issues that we are not aware of when eating. So much of our inner world is sub-conscious and bringing it to light sometimes help identify where the issues lay - then of course you have to tackle those issues. I.e. perhaps conflict turns out to be a major driver of emotional eating - or feeling inferior etc. Then you need to do the work around where you have conflict or low self esteem in your life and address them - perhaps read a book, or seek guidance from a councilor or swap out the eating for another coping mechanism - go for a walk, call a friend, watch a YouTube vid etc. Best of luck. I know this stuff isn’t easy but it is worth being brave to make the progress you so obviously long for.

(Monica Dritschel) #20

It does really help writing things down. I feel so much clearer mentally when I’ve been doing that the last few days. So now officially on holiday for the next 17 days. I’ve been fasting for most of the day today so hoping to keep going now while I’m off work! So far so good, 20 hours in:)