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Digestive Issues When Breaking a Fast?

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 07/23/2021

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Find out how to prevent digestive issues when breaking a fast. 


0:00 Digestive issues when you break a fast

0:38 What to do after a prolonged fast 

2:27 What to avoid after a long fast

  2:37 What is refeeding syndrome?

4:10 Share your success story! 

Let’s talk about why you might experience digestive problems when you break a long fast and how to help prevent these digestive problems.  

Digestive issues you could experience after breaking a prolonged fast:

• Diarrhea 

• Loose stool 

• Gas

• Abdominal pain 

• Bloating 

• Nausea 

This could happen because, basically, your digestive system has gone to sleep, and it hasn’t woken up yet. You don’t want to eat a large meal after a long fast because you will overload your system. You need to start small.

 If you’ve done a fast for 48-72+ hours, the best thing to do would be to start with some cooked vegetables and broth. Then you would want to wait for two hours and then consume 3 oz. of protein that’s easy to digest, like fish, chicken, or an egg. You could also do a small amount of avocado. 

After a long fast, you may also want to take certain things, such as:

• Apple cider vinegar (ACV) or betaine hydrochloride 

• Bile salts

• Enzymes 

• Probiotics 

Foods to avoid after a long fast:

• Nuts and nut butters

• Red meat 

• Raw cruciferous vegetables 

• Dairy products 

There is also a condition called refeeding syndrome, which is very rare. This could occur if you were deficient in certain electrolytes, then you did 1-2 weeks of fasting, and then you ate a refined carbohydrate or high sugar food. 

This will spike insulin, which can cause electrolyte deficiencies in your blood. This can lead to feeling weak and confused and can even create a big strain on your heart about 3 hours later. You can avoid this problem by not having a high-carb meal and by taking certain electrolytes and nutrients during your fast. 


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