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TOPIC: Can IF weaken the immune system?

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July 7, 2013 9:15 AM
Hi everyone

I'm new here :)

I tried IF twice in the last year and had awesome results both times. However, even though I was losing a decent amount of weight, I had to drop it after a few weeks.
The problem was that each time around the third or fourth week, I somehow came down with something. The first time it was a severe cold. and then during the second time I had a viral infection... Everything was going great but I had to stop fasting when I got sick...

I'm not sure what to do. Is IF not for me?
What I don't get is that I felt pretty great when I was fasting regularly(I did 16/8 and worked out in the morning or afternoon). I didn't experience fatigue and had lots of energy. I loved not having to eat or worry about breakfast and I didn't feel like I was starving all day long.

I did some research online and it seems like there are some people saying that IF could cause your immune system. but maybe it doesn't happen to everyone...I'm not totally sure...
Has anyone else ever experienced this before?

I want to start again this week but I'm a bit worried and would love to get some advice :)
Edited by jamie5kit On July 7, 2013 9:15 AM
July 7, 2013 11:57 AM
I'm not sure how IF would cause your immune system to weaken. Have you considered taking a vitamin C supplement? I would try IF one more time with a vitamin C supplement and see what happens. If you get sick again, perhaps it's not for you, but I don't see how delaying your eating would cause your immune system to weaken.
July 7, 2013 6:32 PM
Intermittent fasting reduces free radical damage, regulates inflammatory conditions in the body and starves off cancer cell formation. This is a direct quote from an interesting article I found on the subject :

There seems to be evidence of some real benefit for the immune system so in light of support for the opposite I would imagine it probably doesn't negatively impact the immune system.
July 7, 2013 7:37 PM
I don't get adverse effects from IF. I take a multi-vitamin, fish oil, and extra vitamin C daily even prior to IF.
July 7, 2013 9:02 PM
As long as you have a varied diet that is sufficient for all your micronutrient needs, I wouldn't think there would be any difference to a regular feeding pattern.
July 7, 2013 9:53 PM
You might just be in the opposite situation. Often when our bodies have colds and viral infections it is a sign that our immune system is actually getting STRONGER not weaker. You need to worry when you never have a cold or the flu, it often means your immune system is fighting something else MUCH more serious. Many people fighting cancer and other terminal illness wonder as to why they do not have colds or other viral issues then once they do it becomes a life threatening issue because their body is consumed with fighting the cancer and often the following chemo. Having one or two colds or other viral issues a year is pretty normal and not always a bad situation for us, our bodies get stronger when fighting these things.

I got a pretty series bladder infection a few weeks ago (haven't had one in probably over 10 yrs), but I do not think it was due to IF but over training and low levels of a few vitamins. I took a forced weak off training, had a week vaction and "refed" and bought Green Vibrance to add to my after workout protein so I know I am supplementing properly.

Could either over training or lack of proper nutrition be the culprit?

Be sure you are resting every few days, be sure you are eating all your calories and all your macro's and getting enough vitamins and minerals in your diet. If you don't eat enough fruit and veggies then supplement. Drink lots of water and give your body plenty of time to adjust to IF. It need adaptation time.
Edited by SarahSmilesCA On July 7, 2013 9:56 PM
July 8, 2013 4:15 AM

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