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Signs to Stop Water Fasting That You Must Know
Intermittent Fasting

Signs to Stop Water Fasting That You Must Know

Written by Thalia Oosthuizen | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 August 10
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4 min

Safety comes first so you have to know when fasting can become dangerous for your health. What are the symptoms that indicate that you have to stop fasting?

signs to stop water fasting

Water fasting is a type of intermittent fasting where you drink water only for a certain amount of time. No tea, no black coffee, no low-calorie snacks in between. Usually, water fasting lasts from 24 hours to multiple days, with the safe maximum being 72 hours.

But how do you know if you should stop water fasting? Our physicians go over the indicators that you should break your fast early, eat one meal, and maybe consult a doctor.

Signs to Stop Water Fasting Immediately

#1 Dizziness or blood pressure issues

#2 Loss of consciousness

#3 Nausea and vomiting

#4 Diarrhea

#5 Chest pain or stomach pain

5 Signs to Stop Water Fasting You Should Be Aware Of

How do you know when it’s time to quit and feed yourself a light meal to break your fast? Here are some signs to watch out for. Depending on the severity, you may also want to immediately see a doctor.

#1 Dizziness or blood pressure issues

Dizziness is probably going to be the first sign that something is off with either your blood pressure or your blood sugar. 

While drinking water only, if you ever start to get dizzy, it’s time to take a break and contact a healthcare provider.

#2 Loss of consciousness

If you start to feel weak and lose consciousness, this is a big red flag and a sign that your body is telling you to stop fasting. 

Loss of consciousness can be from blood pressure changes or a sudden drop in your sugar levels.

#3 Nausea and vomiting

Some people can feel nauseous if they’re hungry, but if it’s paired with vomiting, you’re going to want to cut the fast and start eating solid food again.

You may even want to call up your doctor and make sure that it’s safe to go back to your normal diet.

#4 Diarrhea

Diarrhea can be both unpleasant to deal with and incredibly dangerous. 

When you have loose stool, you’re losing a lot of water, and it can dehydrate you before you know it. It’s also a sign that something is seriously wrong, and you need to quit fasting.

#5 Chest pain or stomach pain

Chest pain is never a good sign, and neither is a pain in your stomach. If you’re only a few hours into something intense like 72-hour water fast and you start to experience stomach pain, you need immediate medical supervision.

How to Fast Safely to Lose Weight?

In order to fast safely, it’s important to know what you’re getting into. For periods of prolonged fasting, such as a water fast, you don’t want to go in without having previous experience with fasting.

While a fast can be good for weight loss, fat loss, and other health benefits, you don’t want to push your body into something it’s not ready for. Before a fast, make sure you’ve already spoken with your doctor about your plans to fast.

In the week leading up to the water fast, make sure your food intake is largely a ketogenic diet with vegetables, whole foods, and healthy fats. This will give your body time to get used to going into ketosis with increased ghrelin levels so that your water fasting goes much more smoothly.

Even though you’re preparing for a water fast, many people underestimate just how much water they need to be drinking throughout the day. Make sure to drink lots of water and keep your electrolytes up in order to both get the most out of your fast and to stay safe.

Thankfully, there is an app that allows you to connect with professionals and other people who are in the intermittent fasting lifestyle. 

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DoFasting is a great fasting app that can help you arrange your own personalized fasting schedule, as well as give you tips on how to fast safely.

Can Intermittent Fasting Make You Sick?

Fasting has the potential to make you feel unwell. There is a possibility of headaches or constipation when fasting for longer periods.

Depending on the length of time of the fast, how well your body is adjusting to a fast, and things like low blood pressure or high blood pressure, blood sugar, or even the health of your digestive system may leave you feeling sick during your fasting period.

A prolonged period of fasting will also inevitably make you feel hungry. Some people feel nauseous when they get too hungry, which can be a potential side effect as well. 

You may also get bad breath when your body starts burning fat, which can make you nauseous too.

Who Should Not Fast at All?

When you’re looking to lose weight, something like water fasting can seem so tempting. After all, one of the largest fasting benefits is weight loss. But despite your body weight, there are people who shouldn’t be fasting at all.

Pregnant women should refrain from fasting. After all, growing a human being takes a lot of work! Losing weight while pregnant should be the least of your concerns. The same goes for new mothers and breastfeeding women.

People with eating disorders should also avoid fasting. Fasting can cause all kinds of issues when dealing with an eating disorder. You’re more likely to cause more health problems than receive any benefits out of the fast.

People under the age of eighteen or people with higher caloric needs should also avoid fasting. There are also some medical conditions that can be worsened when fasting is involved, such as insulin resistance and heart conditions. If you’re not sure, always check with your doctor.

A Word From MD

Fasting contains a world of health benefits and scientific evidence to back them up: from reducing the risk of heart disease to helping the body stimulate autophagy.

For people who are looking to burn body fat, lose more weight, or even just jumpstart a healthier diet, fasting has always been an excellent go-to.

But fasting isn’t without its risks! When your body starts to feel horrible while on a fast, this is your body’s way of telling you that it needs more calories to keep going. If you feel you need to break your fast, it’s important to do so safely.

Something light like a vegetable soup can ease you out of your fast without putting too much strain on your body. Make sure to talk with someone who is an expert in clinical nutrition before attempting to fast again.

Conclusion

Not everyone has the same experience with water fasting. 

Some people can do three days with only water without any issue whatsoever. But for others, getting to the third day is nearly impossible, and they need to do a few days of fast tests first.

What are the signs to stop water fasting?

Even if you stay hydrated, you might still be experiencing worrying risks to your health. Remember, it’s okay to eat food when you start to feel dizzy, nauseous or feel stomach pain.

Written by
Thalia has always wanted to be a writer, starting her first local newspaper at the age of 11. She also has enjoyed a passion for health and fitness since a young age, playing many sports through her schooling career, and still enjoys biking, running, and swimming today. She studied English Language at University for 3 years, developing a passion for spelling, grammar, and research. She now has over 10 years of experience writing, proofreading, and editing, and has paired this with her love for health and fitness by writing health content.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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