According to clinical experiences and various laboratory tests fasting can be characterized into three basic stages:
Food Excitation – 1st stage:
Food excitation stage lasts for 2-3 days. This stage is characterized by typical symptoms like weakness, headaches, hunger cravings and breach of sleep. Patients often have acute reactions in the presence of food or while discussing about food. Sometimes aggravated peristaltic movement of intestine, sucking pain in the stomach, pain in the epigastria region or a feeling of discomfort is also observed. Rapid weight loss is observed in the first stage of fasting. During this period distraction from food thoughts, walking in fresh air and psychoprofilactic work by the doctor play an important role. It is advantageous for fasting patients to be in one ward together.
Ketoacidose Increasing – 2nd stage:
Ketoacidose increasing stage begins from 2-3 day of fasting and lasts for 7-9 days of fasting. In this stage the feeling of hunger deadens, tongue is covered with grayish-white patch, mouth is filled with acetone scent and metallic aftertaste appears in the mouth. Sometimes drowsiness and weakness during day time, vomiting sensation, rare sickness and breach of night sleep are observed. Patients are recommended to reduce their physical actions and spend large amounts of time in fresh air.
Daily 0.3-0.7 kg of weight loss is noticed. It is caused due to active breaking of fats. Blood pressure drops and a moderate bradicardia i.e. 48-60 beats/minute is observed. Patients should avoid quick and sharp movements while getting up from bed. It is not advisable to continue fasting if blood pressure is lower than 80/60 consistently. The amount of ketone bodies increases in the urine and reaches its maximum within 7-9 days. This period corresponds to ketoacidotic crisis and after this phase the patientâ€™s condition improves significantly.
Compensated Ketoacidose – 3rd stage:
This stage starts from 7-9th day of fasting and lasts till the end of the fasting period i.e. 14-21 days. The organ system of the patients gets totally adapted to the full fasting conditions. The disease symptoms gradually but significantly decrease or disappear. The blood level of cholesterol, potassium, glucose, urea and bilirubin are normalized. There is a gradual decrease in daily weight loss i.e. 0.2-0.5 kg/day in the second phase of the fasting period. Gradual cleaning of the patch from the tongue, changing of dry mouth to moist and disappearance of the unpleasant mouth odor are some of the naturopathic symptoms of right medical fasting.
Clinical criteria of completion of the medical fasting period are as follows:
- Appearance of dreams on food subjects and the feeling of hunger.
- Complete cleaning of the patch from the tongue.
- Improvement in the clinical symptoms of the diseases.
See Also: Medical Fasting