If fasting is overused it may go beyond being a thorough cleanse or detoxification and result in protein and nutritional deficiencies, reduced immunity, a loss of energy and even the development of disease.
There are conditions and situations in which fasting is not recommended.
A general rule of thumb is that it is not suited if you are growing, or in a phase where growth or healing is necessary (pre & post surgery), pregnant or lactating, if you are underweight, undernourished or suffer from nutritional deficiencies, or if you are completely debilitated and/or have a weak heart.
Contraindications of fasting:
|Underweight and/or malnourished; i.e. eating disorders.||Pre and post surgery|
|Those who are still growing.||Nutritional deficiencies|
|Young women whose menstrual cycles have not settled yet.||Low blood pressure|
|Pregnancy and lactation||Weak heart|
|Cardiac arrythmias||Mental illnesses – in some cases|
|Cold weather – extended fasts are not recommended in winter||Fatigue – in some cases. Especially when they are very debilitated. They will need to be built up somewhat before fasting can be considered|
Fasting is also not recommended over the winter months (especially in colder climates) as the body will go into storage mode as it becomes cold.
The duration of the fast should be monitored and determined by an experienced health care practitioner as extended a fast for too long can be counterproductive.