Pain in back hips and butt at day 4 of extendedfast

(Cheryl Meadows) #101

So I got to test out my theory: I fasted for 5 days and my blood sugar was at 50 when I got out of bed. Sure enough I got that awful, excruciating pain, except this time it was also in my arms and upper back. I thought I was gonna die, it was really, really bad. So, I raised my blood sugar back up with some juice but the pain remained. With no lessening of the pain, I took a potassium and calcium pill, and also drank a green smoothie, and out of desperation took two motrin. Finally the pain left and I don’t know what actually helped.
I read Hypoglycemia affects potassium levels. So my next theory to test is, before going to bed each night when doing a fast, is to take a potassium and calcium pill. But for sure the LOW blood sugar is the catalyst.
Stretching did not help at all.

(Michelle) #102

Hi there, I was so thankful to find this site and this forum since I am experiencing horrible buttocks pain that shoots down my thighs. It sounds like what everyone else here is experiencing although I don’t have any lower back pain. I have fasted for many years every few months for up to three or four days and this time I try to seven day water fast. Everything was going very well up until the end of day 4 when I started experiencing the pain. It was so horrible by DAY6 that I couldn’t stand it anymore. I wasn’t getting good sleep because it hurt the most when I laid down as others are saying. It’s definitely not a caffeine thing because I don’t drink coffee or anything caffeinated. And I am not lean, I am about 40 pounds overweight so this definitely doesn’t just effect lean people as someone suggested. I got so close To reaching my seven day goal that I’m really disappointed about this unexpected setback.
Has anyone found out anything useful? I’ve been following the advice in Dr. Jason Fung’s book, the complete guide to fasting and although I’m not finished reading it yet I can’t find anything about this problem which really surprises me. The pain is constant…although it has gone from a nine down to seven since I stopped the fast two days ago (although I am still in ketosis).

(Michelle) #103

I watched this video and tried these exercises while lying in bed. I was in so much pain that I was about to get up and pace but I watched the video, did the exercises felt better (but far from pain-free) and was able to fall asleep. Other stretches hadn’t helped. I thought it was interesting because I was becoming fully convinced that the problem was in the bone… because it was so deep (the theory that white blood cells are being dumped and produced in the marrow etc.). Anyway, thank you for your help. I appreciated getting to sleep! : )


Hello everyone,

Just completed a 5 day fast (first one). I experienced exactly as discussed in this thread.

The fix for me was an coffee enema. Severe aches and pains on day 4, lower back, hips, legs. Pushed through but even after I broke my fast I still had pain 2 days after. I decided to do an enema. Immediately after first evacuation I felt completely fine. And for rest of day and sleeping that night was finally normal.

Hope this helps.

(Jenn) #105

I’m on day 2 of a 3 day water fast and I have extreme pain in my glute. Like someone is stabbing me. I put about 1/2 teaspoon of celtic sea salt in water, stirred until is was completely dissolved. The pain is completely gone and it’s been about 10 minutes since I drank it. The celtic sea salt I used is the one in the blue bag.


I am on day 15 of a 30 day water fast. I have always had lower back and hip pain for many years now due to muscle imbalance and a compressed disc in my lower back. So when the pain increased I didn’t connect it with the fast. It has gotten so excruciating at times that I broke down and had a piece of cheese or a couple of spoonfuls of plain yogurt just so I could take some Advil for the pain. I have read through this thread and the suggestions of possible causes don’t apply. I drink black tea to get caffeine so haven’t had any caffeine withdrawals, take bone broth with Himalayan salt for electrolytes every few days, take magnesium and occasionally add potassium to my tea. But I do have a theory that I think might be plausible. I was reading up on growth hormone during fasting. Most here say their pain starts at day 4ish. Growth hormone peaks at day 5 and helps maintain lean muscle mass. It also gets excreted at night which would explain the difficulty sleeping so many complain about as well. And studies have also shown an increase in lean muscle mass and decrease in fat stores on prolonged fasts. So it appears in addition to preserving lean muscle mass it may also somehow contribute to building of lean muscle mass? Anyways just a theory. Mine started around day 5 and igot excruciating. I went to chiro and massage, foam rolled, used my massage chair etc and while these things helped the results were short lived before the pain returned. I even did acupuncture and cupping. Now at day 15 I am finally getting some pain relief… It’s still there but bearable now. I wonder if things in my low back are also being healed which is a breakdown and rebuild process. So anyways just thought I’d share my experience and my thoughts on what this could be. Best wishes everyone!

(57 yo female started keto Jul '19) #107

I think this is a very interesting contribution to our quest to find an explanation. It has been a while ago I studied growth hormone, so I do not remember exactly: isn’t there also a relation/connection between growth hormone and the bones?


Yes. The article I read says “This HGH likely helps in the maintenance of lean mass – both muscle and bone.” And a scientific journal states " IGF-1 and HGH have both been shown to stimulate the growth and repair of adult articular cartilage. One reason for this cartilage growth can be that some cartilage cells have HGH receptors." Human growth hormone levels are significantly raised during fasting so it makes sense to me that the pain we experience could be the effects of it working in our bodies during prolonged fasts.


I have done a couple of 54 hour fasts with no problem, so I decided to try a long water-only fast. Today is day 11 and the pain started on the evening of day 9, and I feel like I’m dying. It always starts when I lay down, but once it starts nothing makes it stop.
I had some keto-friendly soup last night that’s mostly bone broth, just so I could take some Tylenol. That and a heating pad dulled the pain so that I was no longer writhing and crying, but not enough to let me sleep.
For those theorizing this only happens to slimmer people-wrong. I’m at least 60 lbs overweight

(Ab) #110

What helped for me was sleeping on the floor for one night and my backpain was gone for the day , maybe you can try that.

(Rob) #111

Hi Everyone,

I think I may have figured out to get rid of the pain during the fast and it would be great for anyone else to confirm it as well. (Solution right at the end of this answer if you want to skip the background).

Not sure if anyone is still reading this, but this thread has been going on for a while. Anyway, here is my experience.

On day 3 of my water fast, I started having pain in my left butt cheek.

At 2am (day4) at night woke up, because of pain in both butt cheeks, but also some less severe pain on the back of my upper body, took some vitamin d3, k2 and magnesium to see if this remedies it, did not seem to work, but pain got better at around 7am, still there during the rest of the day (I was mostly sitting or doing short walks).

On day 5 during the day time, the pain was still there, but not unbearable. I considered it as part of the elimination process. At around 7pm, I took a hot bath to ease the pain before going to bed. It worked while I was in the bath and for a little while after I came out, but as soon as I was lying down in bed, the pain would come back intensely in my butt cheeks within a minute or two.

One thing I noticed was that the pain lessened when not lying down. Sitting or standing made it better. About a minute after lying down, the pain got to an 8/10 level.

The pain was so strong that I was considering breaking the fast and moving to a half fast. I ate a medium sized apple which seemed to have done the trick. I could sleep from 8pm and was woken up by the intense pain again around 12.30am. This time, I tried to take some sugar free electrolyte powder with water - no effect. I ate another apple to repeat the previous effect, but it didn’t work. Pain was so intense, that I couldn’t bear it and resorted to taking one pain killer tablet (Paracetamol BC 500mg). The pain eased after about 10 minutes and I could sleep until 8am in the morning. (I know, not ideal to take drugs, especially during a fast)

On Day 6 in the morning, I woke up with some pain left, but bearable. I also felt the need to have a bowl movement - my previous last bowl movement was on day 2. When I did on day 6, a lot came out. First big pieces, then smaller ones, but definitely more than 2 apples worth.

Since the beginning of the fast, I have also been feeling nausea most of the time which is not something I had previously. Then I remembered from reading a book on fasting that it is wise to prepare for a fast by eating very clean beforehand for a week or so, but at least on the last day.

Well, since I was planning on changing my lifestyle after the fast and switching to a wholefoods plant based diet low in fat, no oils, no salt, I thought I would treat myself to my favourites before in order to say “goodbye” to those things. So I had a pizza, my favourite (dairy based) ice cream and two cigarettes on the last day (not a smoker usually). The bowl movement on day 2 wasn’t very big. I felt that more could have come out and during the following days, I was also farting which indicates there was still stuff in my bowls…

I think that the ice cream was sitting in my bowls the whole time, the two apples made my body digest an extra “meal” and pushed the rest out the following day. For me that is an explanation why I was feeling nausea and it seems to be correlated to the pain in the butt cheeks, because after the bowl movement the nausea and the pain were gone.

I am on day 7 of my fast right now and so far, the pain and the nausea are still gone.

For those of you who had the same problem, can you remember whether you had similar circumstances?

For those of you who are experiencing this right now, could you try eating an apple or two in the evening in order to trigger another bowl movement in the morning?

Would love to hear from anyone to confirm the above.

Thanks for reading.


(Robin) #112

first, welcome.
But, I don’t understand exactly the circumstances or details.
What was your diet before the extended fast and how long did you eat that way?
What was your reason for fasting so long?
Why are you going plant based, low fat after the fast?

(Nfm) #113

Another newbie here, I joined to add that I too have been suffering with awful lower back hip glute and quad pain that started on day 4. I’m a nurse and only just managed ro finish my shift then fortunately went into 3 days off. The pain spasms in my lower back were on a par with labour (I’ve two children, trust me on this). Like others, when mobile is manageable but getting from sitting to standing, or just sitting, literally takes my breath away.

I’m coming to the end of day 13 today and the has reduced to restless legs and painful hips during the night, hip and power back aches if I’m sat for too long but I know it will be worse again in the morning. Nothing seems to help but im determined to persevere. It’s just so odd, I’m still managing to stay active it’s laying down that is the problem!

Anyway I’ve no science to bring to the discussion just the experience of another person with severe butt ache that started on day 4 🫢

(Robin) #114

Hi, welcome!
I have nothing to offer but make sure you drink enough water, get enough salt and I would add magnesium if you don’t already.
I get all sorts of muscle cramps and pain if I forget those.

I do it all together before bed… large glass of water, salted, and with magnesium citrate.

(Ulia) #115

Hi, everyone, it is not my first fast and I always had that pain but that time it is harder on me. I am on day 5. I heard dr.Berg reccomended taking some baking soda to rrduce acidity. I will try it today.

(KM) #116

I had this happen during one of my extended fasts, it was awful. Please let us know if that helps!

(Kinnessa ) #117

Hi there! I’ve experienced similar discomfort during fasting. Dr. Berg’s suggestion of using baking soda to reduce acidity sounds interesting. But I just decided for myself to use meds form it which I buy at Canadian Pharmacy. I hope it helps you feel better on your fasting journey. Keep us updated on your progress


Hi there I’ve suffered lower back pain periodically for 4 years. The source is my R hip but it presents in my back as well.

It has never been induced by fasting though. I’m normally a lot more relaxed - yoga poses are significantly more easy to achieve when fasted. A friend agreed with this. Perhaps your body is relaxing and changing your posture significantly enough to cause the pain. I understand this may be different between men and women.

I think it’d be good to consider your working and relaxing conditions. I now use a stand up desk so I can stand up in the office. I have a great chair that allows my feet to easily touch the floor (not suspended). Not crossing my legs or feet when sitting anywhere helps.

The biggest fix is fixing any stressors by resolving them or making a considered decision to negotiate or ignore them (not avoid). Identify, Challenge, Change to achieve Realistic Expectations. This normally relaxes me alot.

Next big fixes are relaxing and achieving complete occupation of mind and body in something physical (eg. climbing or tennis, not swimming or yoga were you can still ruminate). Ideally get that sense of achievement as well.

Also don’t cross legs (allow the hips to relax) when sitting. Try yoga (consistently not reactively) or Pilates to achieve muscular balance.

If EF is causing significant changes in your posture like this I’d genuinely avoid it at all costs as LB/hip pain can seriously lower the quality of life !!!

Hope this helps. Best of luck.


Hi Ulia if you regularly get the pain I’d consider a gentle shoulder yoga routine. This could slowly adjust any tension without impacting your hip and lower back. The David Procyshyn routines at doyogawithme on YT are good for me.

Best of luck.

(Ulia) #120

So, I had that pain on 4.5.6 days, it got better on 7th but I was already finishing my fast. Massage really helped me. I asked my hubby to massage my hips and butt😊 also, I was constipated for couple of days after fast, may be next time I will use enema during fast. I got milk of magnesium and it did it job. Now I am new person, about 14 lb lighter😉 I will repeat next spring.

BUT the only question is bumps on the back. I feel like I read someone mention it. Like a rash. Just got it today on 4 afterfast day. I am doing keto so may be it is sort of keto rash…