I have a couple of questions about water fasting, autophagy and muscle wasting.
Preface: I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a hormonal imbalance which is common in women and leads to infertility. Basically, this means estrogen doesn't work properly, more testosterone is produced, insulin resistance occurs. Higher chance of diabetes, heart disease, usually more weight, etc. I am lucky though, have it fairly mild in terms of weight, but my period was very irregular and my husband and I had trouble getting pregnant.
Back in 2010, I was so desperate for help I cried to God in prayer to fix my ovulation. Almost instantly, inexplicably, I got an uncontrollable urge to do a 40 day fast. That threw me for a loop, never had I ever considered that, and I never understood why someone would want to do it even for a day. But, it was an urge that would not go away and it was extremely strong.
So over mid-late 2010, I did a 4 day, 5 day, 2 week and 3 week water only fasts. I guess it was practice since the urge never got any less. It was a pressing need almost, insistent but still gentle.
So I did those okay. I knew I had to rest and regroup for the 40 day. I started it in May 2011. I ate a couple of things here and there over the first 5 days until I fully settled in to just water. I was okay until about day 28, going about my business and to and from work with no issues, just a little weaker some days, boundless energy others.
Around day 28, then I started getting heart palpitations. My heart had the odd "twinge" which I found a little disconcerting. Bigger concern was by day 32, water was coming out almost as soon as I drank it, my urine was totally clear, no yellow. I thought my kidneys were not working properly. So it seemed almost like I was dehydrated by drinking too much water! I could only guess my electrolytes were drowning.
So I broke my fast day 33. I started drinking electrolytes, and started off with fruit juice. Omg, that first taste was Heaven!! A few days then water melon, and other fruits. Over the next couple weeks, veggies too. I added dairy and then lean meats about 4 weeks into refeeding. It took me about 3 months to get my appetite back, the first month I had to make myself eat.
The heart "twinges" stayed with me for some time after that. Firstly I was getting them several times a day, a minute or so each. It took about a year for me to only get them once in a couple of weeks. Now it is only extremely rare. I was panicked at first and went to the dr. After she chewed me out for being "anorexic", and told me "stop being stupid and just eat!" (I didn't tell her it was a spiritual thing), she sent me for an ekg which was fine. (I never have been anorexic, never had an issue eating, in this case all it was that I lost my appetite! Besides if I just ate like she said, I could have gotten refeeding syndrome, duh, I knew more than her since I did do my research ahead of time!!)
Anyways - this resulted in this spiritual gentle urge, finally went away. I had satisfied the Spirit and obeyed Him. In answer, I got my period within two days of ending the fast and I've ovulated ever since! God is amazing.
So in the end, I have a couple of questions:
1. Does drinking water only for fasting and no eletrolytes dehydrate you to the point you cannot absorb any more water? Why else would my kidneys have appeared to begin shutting down?
2. What could the heart twinges have been from? And why would I still get them? Albeit as I mentioned, VERY rare now.
3. I have been on a less strict Water Fast this past 3 weeks now, first I've done since 2011 (besides a couple of days here and there). This one I've had some fruit and veggies some days, some juice some days, some days just water. Ketosis usually strong, some lighter some other days I had a bit more fruit and veggies. By eating some days lightly and not others, and water only some days and not, am I harming myself? Does this make my body use more of my muscles?
4. I know glycogen is used for the first 24 hours normally, then protein, then ketosis kicks in. At what point if any does the protein wasting stage eat the heart muscle? Is it worse on the heart to eat some and then not and switch back and forth lightly during a fast, rather than strict water only from the beginning? Am I potentially damaging my heart at all doing this?
5. Have any of you had any heart issues or scares during a fast? This is possible its more in my head, since the ekg was fine, in 2011 it was Holy Spirit led, and I was given what I asked for immediately upon completion, and the urge went away finally once I almost reached the 40 day one, and not in the other 2 and 3 week fasts before it.