hi - i'm on day 13 of what can only be a 14 day fast, due to commitments. up until now, my eyes have been really clear and white and shiny - but yesterday they became really red and sore (especially the left one) and today they are really really bad.
has anyone else experienced this symptom while fasting? or any suggestions about what i can do about it when i break my fast? i look like i've been dabbling with psychotropic drugs!
Maybe it is some kind of fast crisis .Dr.Schelton says it is not gut to break the fast during the crisis . My opinion , do not break the fast until the eyes did not clear.
" CRISES DURING THE FAST
Crises developing during the fast are not different from those developing at other times and are not to be cared for any differently. They are all orthopathic in character and, although often disagreeable, should be welcomed.
The increase in symptoms previously noted should be considered as critical action. Fever, dizziness, headache, vomiting, nausea, backache, skin eruptions of various kinds, but particularly urticaria (nettle rash), jaundice, diarrhea, etc., may develop.
Many of the symptoms experienced by the faster are due to nervous re-adjustment. Take the case of a woman patient who "suffered" from sensory paralysis in an area of skin about the size of the hand at the base of the spine, and who, after a few days of fasting, experienced severe pain in this part for about two hours, this followed immediately by restoration of normal sensibility in the part--the pain in this case was patently a part of the process of nervous readjustment.
The headache that follows the giving up of coffee and the headache that often follows immediately upon the cessation of eating are both processes of nervous readjustment. Depression and irritability that sometimes accompany the early part of the fast are processes of readjustment similar to the irritability and depression that follow the discontinuance of tobacco.
Since they are always followed by improved health, it seems certain that these symptoms are necessary parts of an essentially beneficial process that the fast has enabled the body to institute and consummate.
Not all fasting cases develop any appreciable crises and in the great majority of cases where these do develop, they are mild and of short duration and result in improvement in the patient's condition. For the guidance of the reader I will describe some of the more severe crises and crises that are of relatively rare development.
Doubtless imperceptible crises occur in every fast in chronic "disease." Crises that make themselves felt by marked outward symptoms do not always occur. Whether evident or not, these crises always lead to better and ever better health.
Most of the symptoms here considered are of no special significance. Others are of such rare development that the person contemplating a fast need not expect them to develop. In no case do all of these symptoms develop. Indeed, many fasters go through a long fast without the development of any symptoms at all. The purpose of discussing these developments is not to lead the reader to believe that they indicate that fasting is dangerous, for they do not, but to acquaint him with possibilities (they are hardly probabilities in most cases) and to tell him how to deal with such crises if they do develop. They are not serious and they do not develop in more than a small percentage of cases. They need not be feared.
The varied symptoms that are seen in fasting do not represent any "turn for the worse," in the patient. On the contrary, they are symptomatic of certain internal vital or functional and organic changes, which are always for the better. Unfortunately, most people, including most doctors of all schools, are still laboring under the old delusion that symptoms are, or represent destructive processes, hence there is no understanding of the actual beneficial character of these crises.
Spitting: What may be denominated a "spitting crisis" develops in a few cases. An almost incessant stream, of mucus is poured into the mouth and throat necessitating constant spitting. Often this lasts for several days and it may be so persistent during this time as to prevent sleep. It is so obviously an eliminating process that we need not dwell on this part of the phenomenon. Like most crises it is uncomfortable and annoying while it lasts, and, like all crises, it is succeeded by marked improvement in the general condition.
Although there are occasional cases in which the saliva flows as freely during the fast as when eating, it is the rule that it is greatly reduced in amount and the other secretions of the mouth are so reduced that there is dryness of the mouth, lips and throat. In occasional cases the secretion in the mouth, chiefly mucous, may be so unpleasant as to induce vomiting. This unpleasant taste will gradually lessen and will disappear altogether before the fast is to be broken. For immediate relief, the tongue may be thoroughly scrubbed with a brush and the mouth cleansed with water.
Nervous Crises: One case in my practice presented a nervous crisis which I believe to be unique. Fasting literature does not contain a description of another such case. Slight pain and severe burning would begin at the base of the skull and travel down the spine, the part above ceasing to suffer as the pain passed below it. When the pain and burning reached the base of the spine, it "jumped" to the knees, the back side of these, and from here it would "jump" to the base of the skull. This would last an hour or more, and then there would be a period of intermission during which the patient would secure rest and sleep before it would set in again. The patient was very weak during the three or four days the crisis persisted. As soon as it was over she was as strong as ever.
Catarrh: A cold may sometimes develop near the beginning of the fast. Soreness in the throat may also occur, though rarely. The elimination of mucus is almost always increased in the early part of the fast in chronic "disease."
Skin Crises: Skin eruptions may cover the whole body. (I have had but one such case in my own practice), or they may be only local. The eruption usually itches. One case in my practice was that of a woman who developed a solid mass of urticarial eruptions on both forearms, from hand to elbow. One arm itched intensely, the other itched not at all. Such eruptions may last but a few hours but usually they persist for from three to four days. They are processes of elimination.
Headache: Severe headache and backache are usually accompanied with considerable prostration. Sometimes the patient and family become frightened. The pains are severe but there is no danger. No attempt should be made to break the fast during this stage. The headache and backache may last for from one to three or four days. They represent nervous readjustment and are met with largely in nervous patients. Headaches are usually due to the withdrawal of tobacco, tea, coffee, drugs and stimulating foods. Headache commonly develops from the first to the third day. By no means all patients present this symptom.
Aching Limbs: Besides pains in the back, usually in the lower spine, there frequently develop in the early days of the fast, pains in the hips, pains at the base of the skull and aching in the limbs, particularly in the joints. These pains and aches are often very annoying, but seldom last more than one or two days. They develop chiefly at night and cease during the day.
Nausea: This seems to be an expression of a sudden decrease of the normal tension of the stomach. It may be induced by a foul odor, a bad taste, a disgusting sight, or an emotional shock. Severe pain, illness, fatigue, rapid descent in an elevator, etc., may produce nausea by lowering the tension of the stomach. These things bring about a loss of tension through a complicated "reflex" mechanism.
Continual emotional disturbances, such as prolonged worries, anguish, grief and repeated shocks, may result in a persistent loss of tone in the stomach and produce the "all gone" sensation or vague nausea often complained of.
In many cases there is no doubt that the sudden withdrawing of all food, as in fasting, results in a temporary lowering of tone or tension in the stomach and this produces nausea. On the other hand, tall, thin, undernourished people are likely to suffer with a chronic lack of tension in the stomach and this becomes more noticeable when they fast. The presence of bile in the stomach also causes nausea. Its presence is very likely to lead to vomiting.
Vomiting: I had one case to vomit almost continuously for six days and nights, although such vomiting usually lasts not more than a day or two. Much mucus and bile are thrown out. It is a cleaning-out process. The aforementioned case developed persistent hiccoughs when the six days of vomiting ceased, and this persisted for seven days before it ceased. The cessation of these two crises was the end of her suffering which had persisted for seven years. Another case, an old lady, vomited four days and nights, but made an excellent recovery. I do not regard vomiting as a danger signal, but as a cleansing process.
Mr. B, who underwent a 31 days fast in my institution in 1932-33, began vomiting on the 23rd day of his fast and vomited day and night for 7 days, or through the 29th day of fasting. Large quantities of mucus and bile were brought up. He was very weak while vomiting, but became strong again as soon as the vomiting ceased. This, however, is the usual experience.
Efforts to break a fast while the patient is vomiting are futile, even harmful. "Only God could break a fast," wrote Dr. Dewey, in a personal letter to Hereward Carrington, dated March 26, 1903, "where there is a sick stomach and there is no time to let nature perform the task. Taking food in such a stomach would be death-dealing. There is nothing to do but make the body and mind as comfortable as possible, and Nature will cure, if the seal of death is not set."
Speaking of the occurrence of vomiting during a fast, Mr. Macfadden says: "It is certainly inadvisable to break a fast at such a time. If food be administered at such a time, it most certainly will be ejected, and it may aggravate the vomiting all the more." Dr. Dewey records a case in which vomiting began after fasting fifty days. Food was tried, but promptly ejected. There was nothing to do but wait, with the result that one day after the last vomiting spell, there was a natural call for food--and this on the sixtieth day of the fast.
Much mucus is often (usually) expelled in the vomiting process. I have seen no pus so ejected but Carrington tells of such. I have seen vomiting last for as long as two weeks after forty or more days of fasting and, while it leaves the patient very weak, there has in no case been any danger of death.
Sometimes vomiting, headache and eruption will all come together. With a little experience in handling cases, one can judge fairly accurately in advance who is and who is not going to develop a severe crisis. Long standing cases of digestive troubles, particularly those accompanied with nervous disorders, are most prone to develop these.
As vomiting is merely part of the elimination that fasting encourages, most often due to overactivity of the liver with regurgitation of bile into the stomach, it needs only to be let alone. It may develop early or late in the fast, but it constitutes no danger, so far as my own experience and observations go. Carrington says that such vomiting spells occurring at the end of a prolonged fast have been known to terminate fatally. I have seen no such fatalities and naturally wonder if death in such cases may not have resulted from the heroic treatment designed to stop the vomiting.
Cramps: These may occur in the bowels of both sexes, or in the womb of females. In the bowels they may be due to gas, to bowel action, or to "psychic" interference with sympathetic control of peristalsis. Uterine cramps are rare, occurring chiefly in those patients who bleed from the uterus. More rarely the cramps result from efforts to disgorge the womb of an accumulation of mucus.
Gas: Many patients have considerable intestinal gas while fasting. Those who suffer with digestive troubles, visceroptosis, colitis, enteritis, etc., and "nervous" patients are most likely to be troubled with gas. In not a few cases there is sufficient gas to cause distress, even sleeplessness. Most of these cases experience difficulty in expelling the gas.
In most cases, distress is probably not due to the presence of a large amount of gas, for this is seldom present in large amounts. It seems rather to be due to increased internal tension. A constant internal tension or pressure is maintained in the digestive tube. This is regulated by the sympathetic nervous system. Increased tension is felt, reflexly, as pain or discomfort in the muscles of the abdomen.
"Nervousness," shock, strong emotions, etc., may cause increased tension in the tube and the faster will experience some kind of discomfort. Subconscious fears also may cause the so-called gas pains. Those who have long suffered with digestive derangements are especially prone to changes in the internal tension of the tube.
Functional irregularities in the stomach and intestine may cause pain because of increased peristaltic contractions that often exist in these. Marked visceroptosis, with sharp angulations, may increase the internal tension and cause discomfort or pain.
Increased peristaltic activity of the stomach walls, due to "nervousness," may also result in discomfort that is mistaken for "gas pains." Increased tension may occur in any section of the tube and thus pain or discomfort may be either general over the abdomen or may be more or less localized.
Fasters who so suffer generally complain that the "gas" makes them nervous and keeps them awake at night. It seems that the opposite of this is the truth--the nervousness causes the increased tension and resulting discomfort. Where these patients are able to completely relax, their "gas pains" cease. Although I no longer employ any of these: suggestion, abdominal massage, hot water applications to the abdomen, a drink of warm water and other measures, will usually relieve this distress, at least temporarily without actually lessening the amount of gas.
Gas rumblings in the intestine mean unstable nerve control of this organ. Cathartic drugs will almost always produce these rumblings. This is due to excitement produced by the irritating drugs.
The gurgling and rumbling often heard in the abdomen is due to the movement of gas from one section of the intestine to another. It may often be due to emotional interference with the normal sympathetic control of the gut. A nervous patient may exhibit such rumbling on the slightest provocation. Enemas, due to the excitement they occasion, often produce these symptoms.
Diarrhea: This is a rare development, although it is more common in fasting than some advocates of fasting know about. This is due to the fact that their use of the enema hides the actual development. It comes, when it does, only as a house-cleaning process, and only because there is an imperative need for it.
Dizziness: This is a very frequent symptom and manifests chiefly in the early part of the fast, or when one arises suddenly. It lasts but a few seconds and may be prevented by rising slowly. It is a common development during the fast and arises out of the sudden withdrawal of blood from the brain. If the faster will "take it easy," he will rarely experience any dizziness.
Fainting: This may occur in the early days of a fast. It should occasion no alarm or apprehension, and the patient should be cared for merely by stretching him, or her out and loosening all tight clothing and admitting plenty of fresh air to the patient.
Although relatively few fasters faint, many of them do at some time or other during a fast. Often this may occur on the first or second day and not again thereafter. Carrington mentions a case in which "a practical suspension of all consciousness resulted from the ingestion of the first meal, after the breaking of the fast, and lasted some hours." He emphasizes the fact that such occurrences are merely rare curiosities rather than "pathological phenomena likely to occur." He says that "it is doubtful if precisely the same effects will ever again be observed in fasting patients--being due, in every case, to a peculiar combination of causes, all but impossible to duplicate again."
When a fasting patient faints he should be cared for precisely as if he fainted while eating three square meals a day. All he needs is fresh air and time. He should not be set up, but should be left in a prone position. No stimulants or smelling salts need be given. Let him alone and he will soon open his eyes and look around, then get up and go about his business. Dashing cold water in his face is equally unnecessary. Rest, not shock, is the need of the person who has fainted.
Sore Throat: Although sore throat is most often seen following immediately upon breaking the fast, it occasionally develops during the fast. The soreness is never great, lasts but a day or two, at most, and need occasion no concern.
Palpitation: "Pain in the heart" and palpitation of this organ are due to gases in the digestive organs. These symptoms are of rare development and are not dangerous, although they are usually the source of much needless apprehension on the part of the patient. Palpitation may be the result of "nervousness," fear or exertion.
Pain felt in the heart is rarely actual pain in the heart. It is usually pain in the chest. It may be due to gas, it may be of "psychic" origin, it may be of toxic origin. Unless it is accompanied with other symptoms that indicate heart trouble, it should be ignored. It is not serious and soon passes.
Insomnia: This is most often due to a lack of need of sleep. Little sleep is required by the average fasting individual. In a few instances sleeplessness is due to nervous tension or to discomfort. Sleeplessness should cause no worry.
While few fasters sleep as much as when eating, all of them sleep much more than they realize. This is also true of all patients who suffer with insomnia. Ten hours of sleep seem like fifteen minutes because we are not conscious of the passage of time while we are unconscious; an hour of wakefulness seems like a whole night, because time drags so slowly when we are waiting to go to sleep.
Visual defects: While it is no uncommon thing to see great and lasting improvement in vision develop during a fast, particularly during a long fast, there are somewhat rare instances in which there develops temporary weakness of vision. Carrington mentions what he regards as a "curious development" which he says may never be seen again. A patient saw double for a time just prior to breaking the fast. Two visual images were perceived instead of one. I have seen one or two such developments myself at the end of a very long fast. What is seen more often, but still only rarely, is weakness of vision, so that the faster can see but little. He is forced to discontinue reading, or his vision may become weaker, even, then this would indicate. Much of this seems to be due to a temporary loss of coordination between the two eyes, as they do not focus upon the object viewed. That no real injury to the nerves or mechanism of vision occurs is shown by the fact that the weakness and defect soon disappear after the fast is broken and vision is soon better than it was before the fast. I had one case in which this development occurred, in a man who had worn heavy lenses for years prior to the fast. After the fast was broken he was able to discard his glasses and got along without them. Another case is that of a woman who wore glasses but who saw double (without her glasses) before the fast, and regained normal vision while fasting. She was able to discard her glasses on the sixteenth day of her fast and could see to read, sew, thread needles, etc., without her glasses. She did not return to the use of glasses until about seven years later."
It would be good if you could wait this crisis out lulu, but if you absolutely have to break the fast then just make sure you do it carefully with small portions of raw fruits. Give your body plenty of time to adjust back to digestion mode from ketosis and that will give your body the best chance to complete whatever detox or healing process that the fast has begun regarding your eyes. We all need to be careful at all times when breaking a medium to long term fast but this is even more important during a crisis when the body is already working it's hardest focussing on that one part of your body.
yeah, unfortunately i really do have to finish this fast tomorrow to give me time to refeed and balance out before commitments on the weekend. these are long-standing arrangements and i have a 2 hour drive each way so it will be pretty hectic... also, i haven't been to anything social in about 5 months because of my health so i think it is important to do it. i've been cleansing / detoxing / healing for 4 years now and i'm pretty much over it! i wouldn't mind some good ol' fashioned fun for a change!
i do, however, intend to juice fast for at least the next 7 days so hopefully the healing crisis will be resolved through juicing. my eyes are a little bit better today so here's hoping!
also, i am getting pretty concerned about the water fasting's impact on my body. i have seriously already lost HALF my hair (it could even be more) and you can actually see my scalp! *yelp!* i'm totally down with all the other symptoms, but this hair thing is freaking me out a bit. it is coming out by the handful and is all over my house. my mum came up to stay with me the other day and she was totally shocked at how thin my hair was (although she is very supportive of my fasting).
so thanks again for the advice - i'll update you with my progress
I've heard of people having hair loss during a fast and then it growing back even thicker and fuller after lulu, I hope this happens for you too. I'm sure you'll be fine changing over to a juice fast, just listen to your body though and if it wants solid food change to whole raw fruit before the week is up.
I hope things improve quickly and you enjoy your outing. :)