How Fasting Influences the Autonomic Nervous System

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

Fasting has a very interesting influence on the autonomic nervous system. Here’s what you need to know.


0:00 What is the autonomic nervous system?

0:50 Fasting and the autonomic nervous system

2:00 Symptoms of diabetic autonomic neuropathy

2:45 Natural remedies for diabetic autonomic neuropathy

Let’s talk about the influence of fasting on the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is part of the nervous system that works on automatic. It does many different things.

The three divisions of the autonomic nervous system:

1. Sympathetic (fight or flight)

2. Parasympathetic (rest and digest)

3. Enteric (part of the digestive system)

There are some interesting studies that show a significant improvement in the parasympathetic nervous system and significant suppression of the sympathetic nervous system with fasting.

In other words, it activates the parasympathetic nervous system (the ability to rest, digest, and recover) while also lowering the stress response.

There is a condition called diabetic autonomic neuropathy that occurs with diabetics. It’s well known that diabetes can cause peripheral neuropathy. But, diabetes can also destroy the nerves of the autonomic nervous system. This can greatly influence your heart, digestion, and other organs.

Diabetic autonomic neuropathy can potentially lead to health problems, such as:

• Increased pulse rate

• High blood pressure

• Erectile dysfunction

• Orthostatic hypotension

• Constipation

• Gastroparesis

• Hypoglycemia

• Thermoregulation problems

If you have any of the above symptoms, you may want to start fasting. Fasting may help improve your overall autonomic nervous system.

Natural remedies for diabetic autonomic neuropathy:

• Benfotiamine

• Alpha-lipoic acid


Intermittent Fasting Basics:



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