How Can Intermittent Fasting Help My Health
Ive already said that intermittent fasting can help lower risk of many chronic conditions AND help control weight now Ill illustrate how.
Heart disease is the worlds leading cause of death, according to information from the World Health Organization. Some of the top risk factors for developing heart disease are high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol and high triglyceride concentrations.
There is some research that has shown that intermittent fasting can lower all of these things, though the studies have been small, and further research is needed. Still, even the possibility that IF can help lower risk of heart disease is encouraging, since heart problems claim so many lives.
Diabetes has been steadily increasing in the US for decades. Intermittent fasting has a positive impact on some risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes, specifically by lowering insulin levels and reducing insulin resistance.
One randomized, controlled study of more than 100 obese or overweight women found that intermittent fasting for six months reduced insulin levels by 29% and insulin resistance by 19%. Other research has shown that intermittent fasting lowered insulin levels 20-31% and blood sugar levels by 3-6% in individuals with pre-diabetes in just 8-12 weeks.
Womens Health: Precautions For Intermittent Fasting
When it comes to fasting and your health, moderation is essential. Start slow and build up to a 24-hour fast if thats your goal. Begin a moderate exercise protocol and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts as you become more fit. That way, you minimize your risk for amenorrhea, and your periods will stay regular.
Get the most benefits from IF and avoid potential challenges with these tips:
- Eat enough during your eating window: Intermittent fasting isnt about cutting calories or going hungry, so make sure you eat plenty of highly nutritious, healthy food. You may find yourself gradually eating less, and thats OK.
- Eat wisely: Fuel yourself with big nutrient-dense meals and avoid overly sugary or salty food. Healthy food will make fasting easier to stick with and itll improve your overall health.
- Begin with a 12-hour fast. Let your body and mind get used to intermittent fasting before you try an extended fast. Eat a late breakfast or an early dinner and do most of your fasting while you sleep.
- Fast gradually: When youre ready for a longer fast, choose two or three days per week for your extended fasts, and take a day or two in between to recuperate.
- Begin with moderate workouts: Save your intense workouts for non-fasting days until youve adjusted to fasting.
- Take a break when youre menstruating.
Please consult your doctor if you:
Males: Effects Of Intermittent Fasting On Reproductive Hormone Concentrations
Testosterone is the major androgenic steroid hormone in adult males and is responsible for maintaining sperm production, libido, and sexual efficacy . Another key role of testosterone is to stimulate muscle protein synthesis, thereby increasing muscle mass.
The effects of fasting on testosterone levels have been examined in four clinical trials to date . All studies employed 8 h TRE as the fasting intervention, and most combined TRE with resistance training . Each trial was conducted in physically active, lean, young men. The findings revealed that TRE alone and combined with resistance training consistently reduced total testosterone levels and free testosterone after 4 to 44 weeks of intervention. The reductions in testosterone did not appear to be related to the duration of intervention, as shorter trials produced similar changes in testosterone as longer trials . Mild weight loss was noted in each trial , and the degree of weight loss did not seem to be related to the magnitude of the testosterone reduction. Body composition changes were also evaluated. In each trial, fat-free mass remained unchanged, while fat mass was reduced . Interestingly, the decreases in the anabolic hormone, testosterone, did not lead to any deleterious body composition changes or compromises in muscular strength.
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/5here Are Some Reasons
Intermittent fasting is currently the rage in the world of health and fitness. The eating habit which alternates between fasting and eating period has numerous proven health benefits. From weight loss to improving the symptoms of chronic disease, this lifestyle habit has gained tremendous popularity in a short time. But this does not imply that it is suitable for all. Intermittent fasting may help men overcome fitness and weight loss-related hurdles, however, this might not be the same for women. We will give you some valid reasons why women must reconsider following this diet trend.
Fasting And Leptin & Ghrelin
Improving hunger balance, intermittent fasting also helps to overcome leptin resistance. Leptin, also known as the starvation hormone, is produced in fat cells and tells your brain if you have eaten enough and your calorie intake is sufficient.
In the case of leptin resistance, the brain stops recognising these signals and doesnt think that youve consumed enough food, interrupting this scenario as starvation. As a result, the brain turns on your hunger signals and you need more food than necessary to feel full.
Your brain is essentially starving but your body is getting fatter. Body fat is the main regular of leptin production and levels will fluctuate depending on your weight. Generally speaking, when you gain more body fat, your levels of leptin will increase.
Ghrelin, the hunger hormone, increases your desire to eat. These two hormones work in balance and changes in leptin can also be helpful in regulating ghrelin levels.
Intermittent fasting methods have been associated with a decrease in insulin levels improved leptin sensitivity and controlling ghrelin levels. When these are in balance your ability to eat when youre actually hungry and stop when youre full is better controlled. Long-term, this can help to overcome weight-loss resistance.
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Natural Medicine Overland Park Ks
Intermittent fasting has been used as a weight loss tool for years. Recently, it has become popular again amongst the health and fitness world as numerous individuals have shared their success stories. Intermittent fasting takes a different approach to the typical diet. Rather than emphasizing which foods a person should eat, the diet focuses on when a person should eat. In general, intermittent fasting is an umbrella term for an eating pattern, which alternates cycles of fasting and eating. While there are research studies showing the promising effects of intermittent fasting, intermittent fasting is not for everyone. Research studies have shown that intermittent fasting may not be as beneficial for some women as it is for men.
How does intermittent fasting affect women differently?
These side effects are serious and should be considered before starting an intermittent fasting diet. Hormones play a vital role in everyones body. A hormonal imbalance, even a minor one can have a cascade of negative short term, and long term effects on your health.
Should women try intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting may have not be as beneficial for women as it is for men. Women who are interested in trying intermittent fasting should consider a modified approach, in order to reduce any adverse effects. Fasting for shorter periods, or fasting for fewer days may help negate any severe side effects.
Intermittent Fasting For Women: Is It Safe
There are a few areas to consider when it comes to intermittent fasting for women. We spoke to a medical expert about how to approach it safely
Fasting can affect womens bodies and hormones differently throughout the month, making intermittent fasting for women a slightly trickier area to navigate than it is for men.
Womens bodies run on a monthly pattern with a uterine and ovulatory cycle running in tandem, causing hormonal fluctuations within the body. While women may benefit from intermittent fasting, they are advised to take a more relaxed approach to the way they fast, due to the impact these hormones have on appetite and energy requirements.
To work out exactly how women can navigate intermittent fasting safely, Live Science spoke to Dr Nirusa Kumaran, Medical Director & Founder of Elemental Health Clinic . Our guide to the best protein powder for women may also come in handy to make sure you’re maximising your nutrition during eating windows.
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Effects Of Intermittent Fasting On The Circulating Levels And Circadian Rhythms Of Hormones
1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
2Genomic Medicine Institute, Medical Research Center, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
3Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
4Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Diabetes Center, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
5Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology , Daegu, Korea
6Brown Institute of Molecular Medicine and Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, McGovern Medical School of UTHealth, and MD Anderson Cancer Center & UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Houston, TX, USA
7Department of Biomedical Sciences, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
How Intermittent Fasting Can Affect Your Hormones
To understand why some experts are concerned about the safety of intermittent fasting for women, it’s helpful to have a little background on your hormones and how intermittent fasting can affect them.
Women produce large amounts of a compound called kisspeptin, which is a protein that’s highly involved in reproductionand extremely sensitive to stressors, like fasting.
When kisspeptin is released, it activates a hormone called gonadotropin-releasing hormone, or GnRH. GnRH then stimulates the release of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone from an area of the brain called the pituitary gland.
In women, LH triggers the ovaries to produce and release estradiol, a form of estrogen, and progesterone, two of the most critical hormones in reproduction.
LH also signals your ovaries to release an egg during the ovulation period of your cycle. FSH stimulates the growth of follicles in the ovaries and also plays a role in estrogen production.
Some studies show that fasting decreases the production of kisspeptin, which, in turn, disrupts the production and release of estrogen and progesterone.
In theory, this means that some women could experience hormonal disruptions that result in things like mood swings and missed or irregular periods. And in extreme cases, it could lead to fertility struggles.
Many experts caution that fasting may cause hormonal disruptions in women, but more research is needed to fully understand how fasting may affect hormones in humans.
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Intermittent Fasting And Reproductive Hormones In Women
Women are more sensitive to calorie restriction and restrictive, low-calorie diets than men. Calorie restriction affects the hypothalamus and the gonadotropin-releasing hormones . GnRH is in charge of releasing two important reproductive hormones, the luteinizing hormone and the follicle-stimulating hormone . Disrupting these hormones can lead to a variety of hormonal issues, including irregular periods, amenorrhea, infertility, reduction in ovary size, and decreased bone density.
Intermittent Fasting Hormones And You
As a female, youve evolved in a way that your reproductive system is intricately entwined with all aspects of your health. If youre like most women, youre extremely sensitive to hormonal fluctuations, and small changes in your lifestyle or environment can have an enormous effect on your reproductive hormones. Long-term fasting can have a powerful effect on all your hormones and an imbalance in one may lead to an imbalance in others.
For you, intermittent fasting can create issues that your male counterparts wont experience, like an estrogen imbalance.
Estrogen is one of your primary female hormones, and its intimately connected to reproduction and your physical characteristics.
An estrogen imbalance can cause:
- Impaired blood glucose control
Extreme or uncontrolled intermittent fasting can affect your cortisol levels, and lead to anxiety, insomnia, and sugar cravings hello, weight gain! And it can affect your thyroid, growth hormone levels, and gonadotropin-releasing hormone . When imbalances creep into this cocktail of hormones, you can suffer from depression, anxiety, weight gain, thinning hair, dry skin, and irregular or absent menstrual periods.
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Fasting And Estrogen Dominance
Women are more sensitive to intermittent fasting than men because they have more kisspeptin, which is associated with reproductive functions and creates a greater sensitivity to fasting. Women who suffer from estrogen imbalance may notice the following symptoms:
- Reduced hair and skin health
The hormones regulating reproductive functions are extremely sensitive to hunger hormones. An experiment done on female rats found that it took only 15 days of eating every second day to disrupt their reproductive hormones. The experiment went on for 2 weeks, which is the equivalent of 10 years for humans.
It is possible that fasting could have a similar effect on women. A females hormones and her metabolism are very closely intertwined.
Hormones Work As A Team
Addressing one hormone often means looking at all hormones on the team. This is important for balancing hormones. When adrenals are not working properly, its not just an adrenal problem, but we must look at the other organs as well, especially the liver and cells. It helps if you understand the hormonal hierarchy. Oxytocin is at the top of the domino effect of hormones, therefore boosting oxytocin will have a positive effect on the hormones below like cortisol, insulin and sex hormones, progesterone, testosterone and estrogen.
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Youre Eating Clean But Your Tummys Still Expanding
More often than not, belly fat can be traced to your diet. But if your tummys popping despite a steady diet and lifestyle, your weight gain could be hormonal.
Hormone levels can change for a variety of reasons outside your control, including:
- some cancer treatments
- underlying medical probs
Belly weight gain could just mean that your estrogen or testosterone levels are fluctuating because youre getting older. But if you havent changed your lifestyle and you arent approaching middle age, chat with your doctor about checking for underlying health conditions.
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Intermittent Fasting And Hormones
Research demonstrates that intermittent fasting is effective at reducing body weight, decreasing fasting glucose, decreasing fasting insulin, reducing insulin resistance, decreasing levels of leptin, and increasing metabolism.4 Some studies found that patients were able to reverse their Type 2 diabetes and need for insulin therapy with intermittent fasting.4Intermittent fasting can promote weight loss by decreasing the number of calories you eat, but also by impacting your metabolic rate. If you have sugars circulating in your blood, and you don’t break them down for energy, the extra sugar gets stored in fat cells. When you fast, your insulin levels decrease, allowing fat cells to release the sugar theyve been storing and you use it as energy. This is how intermittent fasting works with your hormones to promote fat burning.
Using HRT and intermittent fasting together can decrease cravings, and promote fat burning and weight loss. No calorie counting or food tracking is involved with IF and HRT, and there are no restrictions on what foods you can or cannot eat.
Womens Wellness: Should Women Do Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to lose weight and improve overall womens wellness. Its no wonder: fasting really works well and produces amazing results for a lot of people. The benefits go beyond weight loss, too: fasting can lower inflammation, slow down aging, and give you a stronger brain.
The other nice thing about intermittent fasting is that its wonderfully simple: in a nutshell, you just without food for 12-18 hours a day, and then eat all your meals in the remaining hours.
The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
The benefits of intermittent fasting stem not just from eating less but also from metabolic adaptations that occur when you go longer without eating.
The primary adaptation that happens during fasting is known as autophagy. Autophagy is your body’s self-cleaning mechanism that switches on when nutrients are unavailable. Damaged or old cells are cleaned out to make room for healthier cells, protecting cellular and metabolic health.
Autophagy is one benefit of intermittent fasting, but there are also many more interesting research findings, including:
- Weight loss. Many studies point to the benefits of intermittent fasting for weight loss. Not only do you limit late-night mindless eating, but some research suggests that those following intermittent fasting patterns lose as much weight as people cutting calories without the feelings of deprivation.
- Increased fat burning. If you drop carbohydrate intake, your body turns to alternatives for fuel. After burning through your limited stored carbs, fat can be used instead. Some research has found that fasting increases fat burning by turning on the metabolic switch to use fat as fuel.
- Longevity. Since autophagy may support cellular health by cleaning up old damaged cells, it can reduce oxidative damage and support healthy aging.
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Metabolic Testing Options For Fasting Patients
If you and your patient decide that intermittent fasting could complement their current treatment plan, and provide health benefits, consider the following testing to monitor metabolic progress and the effects of intermittent fasting.
At Access Medical Labs, we offer results within 24 hours, so you can quickly get a baseline on file, review the data and give your patient the green light to get started with intermittent fasting. Then, set up regular check-ins and follow-up testing to chart hormonal imbalances and fluctuations.
Learn more about our precision testing solutions for physicians here.