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Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

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B74
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Hi Hip5rogmom

 

I realise you posted a couple of weeks ago so have probably found your own answers to your questions. I just wanted to say that I have also completed 4 x AC (all fasted) and have had 3 out of 12 weekly treatments of Paclitaxel. I’ve never had a problem taking steroids on an empty stomach. I did ask the pharmacist why they needed to be taken with food and he said “because some people get reflux” - but fortunately I didn’t.

Now that I’m doing weekly chemo I’m not fasting as long - only 24 h beforehand and around 12 afterwards. I worry it might not be having any effect - but can’t face doing a 72+ hour fast every week!

Good luck & I’d love to hear what you decided & how you’re going.

Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

I have finished with phase one which was four treatments that I just finished nearly two weeks ago was a combo of Adriamycin and cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) fluorouracil (5-FU) I took four steroids and four zofan for nausea right before chemo treatment. I took all four treatments fasting, even fasting while taking the steroids. Fasting while maintaining a good diet I believe has helped minimize the symptoms of the chemo and visually it has been working. I will start phase two of weekly tratments for 12 weeks of paclitaxel (Taxol) On Wednesday. I have to take 5 steroids 12 hours before then another 5 steroids 6 hours before for my first treatment. That's 10 steroids I need to take while fasting, not sure if I should do this. Kinda debating, has anyone else fasted taking this many steroids? Or maybe I should just eat something small just when I take the steroids? Anybody have any thoughts or suggestions on this??

Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Good morning hip5rogmom

 

I’m glad to hear your treatments are going well. I’m in agreement re no carbs, and I feel our diets are important. 

 

Thank you and good luck to you too for tomorrow xx 

Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Hi, I have a diet of mostly veggies fruts and hormone free grain and veggie fed chicken and fish. I believe a diet with no carbs and no sugar is a must and helps with SE of chemo. I fasted my first treatment around 16 or so hours before and then only 5 hours after and I felt great, the first night I had a SE from the steroid they gave me in my IV the next day I didn't take my steroid prescription cause I didn't feel sick at all, I took them later when I realized the steroid was for more then just feeling nauseous.

 

Anyway over all I only had one bad day and it was over a week after my first treatment and if I had to put blame on anything it was the pizza I had for dinner the night before. I haven't ate any carbs since and good riddance. I believe a strick diet is also key with treatment.

 

I have my next treatment tomorrow, going to fast again and see how everything works out. I like the idea of drinking coconut water, very smart. I however will just be keeping orange juice with me and some peanut just in case I feel weak during the treatment. 

 

Good luck to everyone and your battle with cancer. My heart goes out to those who are having a bad time with chemo treatments and I hope somehow what I did that helped me helps you also. 

Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Good morning Laura, 

 

I didn’t fast for the 72 hours, but I completed the intermitted fasting. I drank at least 5 litres of water and 1 litre of coconut water. I ate fruit during my session and put travel sickness bands on as soon as I left the hospital. 

 

I hope this is helpful xx 

Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Hi, I have found out today I’m having AC and start on Monday - I’m having it every 2 weeks. I want to fast 48 prior to my first one and 24 hours after as I’ve read lots but I’m looking for a buddy who is on AC too and looking to do fasting or has done it? I’m a bit concerned about the anti sickness tablets and steroids on an empty tummy x

Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Hi B74, 

 

How are you? 

 

I will be having the same as you (AC), did you have a side effects? And how was your second cycle? X 

 

Many Thanks x 

Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

well fasting not going so well but not so bad either lol .  Had an apple yesterday and some eggs in the evening.   Today just had an apple.  Apart from that just black coffee and water.  Im starving tho.  Got chemo tomorrow.  

Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Ok thanks.  Yes will try to continue fasting after.  Probably will just want to sleep anyhow 

B74
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Good luck gocat. The fasting isn’t easy, but hopefully it will help reduce your SEs or at least bounce back quicker.
I think it’s important not to eat for a little while after as well - to avoid more strain on your liver - I tried for 24 hours after but only made it to 22.
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Hi. Had my first chemo 27th December and suffered very severe nausea for the following 7 days.  

It is now 48 hours till my next chemo.  Have had a decent breakfast and plan to fast to see if I get fewer side effects for my next chemo.  

So water it is for the next 48 hours Smiley Surprised  

Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Hi @B74,

Just like Blueash said, fasting won't stop every side effect, but i must say its helped me so far. I was so scared of having chemo and although i'm not over the moon about having it now, but i feel more prepared both mentally and physically, and able to deal with the little side effects that i experience. One thing i do after chemo is rest, for the first couple of days i don't go anywhere, i drink about 4-5 litres of water a day and eat small portions pf food. I think this has helped me a lot. By day 3-4 i'm usually feeling pretty good.
This forum has really helped me, so I thank everyone for their comments and for sharing their experiences.
I'm sure once your body gets used to the fasting, you'll see an improvement on how fast you bounce back 🤞🏾
Community Champion

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

When they say the side effects are easier and less they don't mean none existent! My blood counts still went low and I felt rough and tired BUT I was never sick, I did not have diarrhoea for days on end and I did not get mouth sores, thrush, peeling skin or anything else unpleasant.

 

Like you I seemed to bounce back a lot quicker than other people and it was the contrast between the mice that did it for me. Have you seen that video with the mice? If not I will link to it but it is on here somewhere.

B74
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Well a quick update - AC#1 hit me like a freight train in the evening (around 3-4 hours after the infusion) - nausea, dizziness, headaches and exhaustion. I was a bit taken by surprise as I'd had some idea the SEs usually hit after a couple of days (maybe I got mixed up with other drugs). I was miserable and also disappointed the fasting hadn't been a 'magic bullet' after all - I'd been secretly hoping not to experience anything much!

 

Day 2 was much of the same: nausea, sleeping a lot, and basically feeling like everything had been stripped out of me and I was just an empty shell incapable of doing anything except stare blankly at the ceiling (or sleep). But day 3, I woke feeling much more human and thought maybe I'd turned a corner, went for a 25 min walk and could eat normally (later went downhill and got very tired again).

 

Today I feel ALMOST back to normal, with just slight nausea (but have not taken any meds), a few taste alterations (water isn't any good, can't stand the thought of coffee or anything sweet etc) and tiredness which is probably more to do with a very disrupted night thanks partly to my daughter deciding to rearrange her room at midnight. It's now about 72 hours since the infusion and I feel mostly back to normal.

 

So overall... I wasn't sure in the beginning that I'd fast again, but now that I'm feeling better, I'm thinking - if the SEs from AC normally last a week, I will gladly water fast for those 48 hours beforehand if it means limiting the worst effects to a couple of days (while hopefully also causing more damage to the cancer cells). The ~22 hours fasting post-chemo were easy, I couldn't have eaten if you paid me.

Community Champion

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

OK - well good luck with it and just in case you don't know, it is far more important to fast before the chemo than after. So if you are struggling concentrate on the before

 

That switch over that you mention is your body going from energy in your gut to stored energy (your fat stores). You have to deplete your gut and the glycogen in your liver before that happens. If you fast for 36 hours or more regularly that switch becomes so automatic that you don't notice and it is why people say "eating makes you hungry".

 

There are lots of health benefits to water only fasting so please try to stick with it.

 

B74
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Ok I've now had my first dose of AC which went ok (not as bad as I'd feared). I've now been fasting for 56 hours with another 22 to go! I found it got VERY difficult from around the 36 hour mark (I was very lightheaded and weak), but just before 48 hours something switched, and I went back to feeling normal! It was a huge relief as I was thinking I wasn't going to be able to do it again next time. Now I just need to wait & see what the side effects are. 

B74
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Wow Melba72, even semi-fasting on Christmas Day shows a lot of grit! I'm really glad to hear you're feeling good.

 

I'm only 10 hours into a planned 77 hour fast (a bit over 48 hours before my first chemo on Fri, then 24 hours from the expected finish time). I have no trouble physically (don't even really feel hungry) but psychologically it's torture! I just WANT to eat because I REALLY like food! The same thing happened when I did a couple of 48 hour practice fasts. I always find myself back on Google, searching for scientific articles and anecdotal reports to reinforce why I'm doing it (but I think I've already read them all Smiley Frustrated).

 

Anyway this thread has been very helpful and it's really nice to know that others (even if only a few) are also doing it. 

Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Hi All,

Just an update on my fasting for 27th Dec cycle. So I semi fasted on Christmas day, was the hardest thing ever🤦🏾‍♀️. The only meal i had that day was my Christmas dinner and one mince pie, but i enjoyed it. I fasted completely on Boxing day and had my 3rd round of EC on 27th, which went well. Had slight nausea by the evening, but it seem to settle and I woke up the next day actually feeling pretty good.
@JacqB how was yours?

I hope you all had a good Christmas and look forward to a bright positive New Year🤞🏾❤
Community Champion

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Well I had Herceptin every 3 weeks for 18 rounds and that gives you aches and pains so I took 2 claritin hay fever tablets every day. This is why:

http://myangrycancer.blogspot.com/2013/02/claritin-is-worth-its-weight-in-gold.html

 

I also had a massive amount of water retention which lasted for ages but my doctor said it would take about a year after my last one to shed that and he was right.

 

Now I feel and look fine. Once the Herceptin was over the aches and pains stopped after a month and the water retention stayed but gradually it all went in the end.

B74
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Thank you Blueash. I did read some of your earlier posts (I think from a couple of years ago!) where you talked about fasting & how you felt it had helped limit your side effects compared to others who didn't fast. I'm interested to know how you're going this far out from the end of treatment. I know a lot of people complain of ongoing issues (pain, tiredness etc) long after chemo has finished and am wondering if you have any of that? 

 

I also strictly limit sugar & flour & fast around 16 hours most days, but I haven't been able to go keto, I'm mostly vegetarian and love my veggies & legumes so would really need a LOT of good evidence to make me give all that up!!!!

Community Champion

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Hello, I fasted during chemo and still fast regularly now to keep my blood chemistry in check. I tend to have One meal a Day and put in a 3 day fast every now and again.

 

If I ever have more serious issues with disease I would seriously consider a keto diet but for the moment I limit flour/sugar but I do eat some carbs and fast for 22 hours or more every day.

 

It is only a habit that most of us graze all day and the advice to eat 6 small meals a day to keep your metabolism up is outdated. At the end of the day it is your body so the decision must be yours but enough of us have done it to prove that it does make your chemo journey easier to cope with. Read/watch all you can on the topic. I took all my steroids on an empty stomach and had no issues.

 

 

B74
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

To clarify (my brain isn’t working very well!!) - JacB I know you’re doing this - I just wanted to post something so I could ‘chat’ to you & anyone else out there who is fasting
Highlighted
B74
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

I know this thread was started a couple of years ago but has been added to more recently so I am hoping to find someone else who is either currently fasting or intending to fast through chemotherapy. I have my appointment with the medical oncologist next Tue so don't yet know what regime they have planned for me (nor the start date) but have been told I need 6 months of chemo. A colleague with very similar BC characteristics had 3 months of 3-weekly AC then 3 months of weekly Taxol so I'm thinking I might be in for something similar. I've done daily intermittent fasting (on & off) most of this year and have also done a 48 hour water-only fast so I do know what is involved. I intend to tell the oncologist & am afraid he'll be against it but am committed to trying anyway. 

Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

That’s so true Sally, I have no way of knowing how I would have felt if I hadn’t fasted. I’ve been persuaded by the doctors I’ve seen on various sites who are adamant that it helps protect the healthy rapidly growing cells and leaves cancer cells vulnerable.
Jacq x
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Can I just interject here and say that it's not a done deal that it helps. I didn't fast (far from it) and also had no side effects at all from the chemo. I also had fortnightly EC.
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

I'll have a look at sites recommended. Big concern would be treatment being delayed due to bloods not being at high enough level. Glad it works well for you.
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

@sunbeam it definitely is a minefield and not something to try lightly. I have no way of testing the impact on wbc or liver metabolism so I can only go by how I have felt compared to the side effects others have reported. Whilst I didn’t have any mouth, nail or skin problems and very little nausea, I did have very low neuts and Low wbc but these both rose to normal in a few days. The most interesting videos I watched were on dietdoctor.com. You can get a free trial membership and watch them if interested. I also read a lot about Valtor Llongo and messaged his team directly. They wished me well but did say that fasting during chemo can be dangerous and should be managed by a doctor. As my doctor knows nothing about it and told me not to, I went against medical advice by fasting.
I’m day two now and feel fine and eating low carb. Check out the diet doctor website, it’s very ethical and full of great info.
Jacq x
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

I'm starting chemo on 28th. I've read various pieces of research for and against fasting. Did you find that your white cells, platelets etc were slower to rise having fasted? Also did bloods show any effect from liver drug metabolism as vitamin stores may be a lot lower? I know ketotic cells pathways to utilise nutrients can affect cell renewal so get why it could help chemo potentially work. There's yet another research but results not available yet. It's a minefield!
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

@melba72
Glad to hear your side effects were minimal. I really believe the fasting helped. I’m on the same schedule as you so will have my chemo on the 27 having not fasted. It will be interesting to hear how much difference it makes plus it’s also dose number four so that may have an impact too
Jacq x
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Hi All 👋🏽
Just to give an update on my first EC chemo treatment while fasting. I fasted in total for about 57 hours before chemo and 24 hours after. Had a few small snacks in between like steamed veg, but mainly teas and water. After chemo i had nothing but water for 24 hours and broke my fast with a bowl of porridge. Apart from feeling a bit tired and having dry mouth for a day or so, i've had no other effects. Now i'm not sure if it's because this was my first session and my body was just strong or was able to cope with it, but i don't think i'm prepared to do another chemo treatment without fasting. So my next treatment is on 4th Dec and I plan on fasting again.

I also have a treatment booked for 27th Dec, but i will fast at least for 24 hours before chemo just because i'm sure it will help. Thanks for all the useful tips and advice, it has really helped me.
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

@mainowl 👋
Sorry to hear you have to have chemo.
I do believe that fasting helped to minimise my own side effects from Docetaxel, however I did still suffer from bowel problems, tiredness and neutropenia. I was not sick nor did I have any mouth or skin problems.
Fasting does not suit everyone and I have been told it can be dangerous. I made my decision to fast during chemo by using “Dr Google” and reading everything I could find on the subject. There are also Some interesting clips on YouTube.
I’ve just started a course of 4 x FEC and I will be only eating vegetable soup and drinking black coffee, tea and water. Total calories daily about 400. I can do this as I am quite overweight and my body gets into ketosis quickly so I basically feed myself from my body fat.
Please please think carefully about fasting and take medical advise but, be prepared that most medics are not supportive of fasting during chemo and know little or nothing about it.
Wishing you all the best.
Jacq x
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Hi after some wise hints and tips. 6 weeks ago I had my tumour removed Dic, lymph nodes in left arm and today found I am Her2 Positive. Plan is 6 chemo sessions Fec-T, herceptain and hormone blockers at the same time. Not having my chemo information session until Tuesday and then booked in Thursday. Any wisdom gratefulky received. mx
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Thanks Sally 😊
I do intend to enjoy Christmas but will definitely fast for the firsts two rounds of chemo. I really don’t mind fasting as I’m used to it and don’t find it difficult. It will also help to shift weight I’ve put on over the last three months.
Jacq x
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Jacb,

Don't do it to yourself. Not at Christmas. I ate anything and everything with no I'll effects
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Resuming chemo now Thursday after a fifteen week break and beginning a new fast today. I feel that it really helped last time so I’m happy to not eat for three days. I do have a treatment booked for 27 Dec which would mean fasting on Christmas Day. Not sure about that!
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Fasting realy helpt al lot! Compared with the first 2 rounds when my wife didn't fasten! A very very big difference. We could still walk 10 km a day! She felt ok. She used to eat 48 hours before the chemo until 48 hours after the chemo only some fruit and/or vegatabels. And drunk tea or water. She did that until the 9 cycle. So the everyday walk and the fasting helped a lot. After chirurgy she was NED. People in the hospital where amazed of her fitness during treatment!

Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Hi All,

I came across this thread whilst google searching for information about fasting and have found it very interesting. I was diagnosed with HER2+ on 11th Oct and have my first of 4 EC chemo treatments on this coming Tuesday. I've been so scared about how to manage the side effects, so I've decided to try fasting to see if it help.

Finger crossed🤞🏾.. i'll update you when i'm done
Mel
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

As part of my regime I took a multi vit/ mineral drink for pregnancy as best value, garlic capsules for infection (always take anyway) but for my fluids would drink Marmite and Oxo cubes in hot water to boost immunity. Inever had probs with WCC it was always RBC.
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Hi. Does anyone have experience of fasting with a low white blood cell count?
I’ve fasted through 3 of my 4 Dicetaxel and the first of 4EC. I started fasting because the first chemo caused gastric side effects and I ended up in hospital with neutropenic sepsis. No nausea or side effects with fasting (although I am now getting some latent effects such as numbness in fingers and feet and bone ache).
My next EC is on Monday, but yesterday’s blood test showed my white blood count was quite low (0.9). So I am wondering whether fasting would further lower my white count. I don’t want Monday’s blood test to stop me from having my next chemo! My understanding of fasting is that it lowers the white count and then the white count bounces back up as soon as you start to eat again as the body creates new, healthy white blood cells. I really want to fast to avoid nausea. I am thinking about taking vitamin tablets during the fast as a precaution. Dilemma!
Community Champion

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

For a weekly treatment you can't fast for 4 whole days so I would fast for 48 hours before and then a few hours after. It is the hours before that are protective of your good cells especially those lining your gut.

Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Hi everyone. This is my first post. I'm so delighted I came across this thread. Fasting has given me a sense of control over this whole chemo thing! I'm treating it as though it's just another medicine I have to take to get through it!

I was wondering if anyone has tips on how best to fast for weekly taxol? Or if it's even necessary. I believe it's easier on the body than AC. I fasted this week for my first AC chemo and so far, three days in, I'm doing well. No nausea!

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Niamh
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

I just started today.  Had my last meal for the next 48 hours or so this am.  Have done a few previous fastings to get ready for this longer fasting.  Have gotten up to 18 hours without any problems and felt as if I could easily go longer. 

Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

All Bran and dried apricot's worked wonder's. Good luck xx

Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Good morning

So far I feel like a fraud I’ve taken my sickness meds and steroids but have felt fine apart from being a bit tired. Quick question I feel a little bit constipated even though I’m drinking loads and diet is ok any tips? Thank you.
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Hi
I found a good book on Amazon “Fight Cancer with a Ketogenic Diet” by Ellen Davis. It’s a very interesting read on this topic.
Jacq x
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Hi Caroline
I took my steroids on an empty stomach with plenty of water. I didn’t take any anti sickness meds apart from the one given just before the start of my infusion at the hospital.
Jacq x
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Hi guys I had my first round of chemo yesterday. I’ve fasted since Sunday evening having a tin of veg soup on Monday and a banana last night! Couldn’t quite do just liquid. I will continue till this evening. I’ve just seen my anti sickness and steroids say to take with a meal. What has everyone else done about this? Many thanks.
Community Champion

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Ali you really have to check out this man:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEE-oU8_NSU&t=351s

 

In a nutshell fasting and low carbs diets starve cancer cells.

 

In practice this is a 3 day water only fast about once a month and then One Meal a Day or an eating window of 4 hours meaning that you do not eat for 20 hours a day. When you do eat you have minimal carbs, I cannot do keto which means high fats so I just keep my carbs to less than 80 to 100 every day when I am eating.

Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

Hi all
A brief update: I did theee rounds of docetaxel, pertuzumab, cyclophosphamide and herceptin in a fasted state consuming only water and black coffee for 72 hours. Side effects were minimal and very manageable. I got a bit cocky and did my fourth round eating soup and adding cream to my coffee. It was horrible. I felt sick and ill and the aches made me feel like an old woman. I have no idea if this was due to the cumulative effects of the chemo or due to my adding food. Probably a combination of both. I just know that for my next chemo (four FEC) I will definitely fast again.
All the best to my fellow fasters
Jacq x
Member

Re: Anyone else fasting while on chemo?

That’s brilliant Ali!
I also have/had lobular cancer and was told due to it not responding well to chemo that I had to have mastectomy first (which I did), but now suffering 6 rounds of chemo for the ‘clear up’ process!!!
I do wonder what would have happened if I did the chemo first ..... esp with fasting!
Def think fasting helps- have had 3 rounds of FEC in a fasted state and managed very well and then had 1 round of T in a non fasted state and suffered horrendously !!!
Anyway I hope you carry on smashing it (have you done much nutritional research???),
Hugs,
Em