Get Healthwise with Danny: Fasting, Yay or Nay?

DannyKnowsGraphic2Danny Gonzalez, RN for St. Mary Medical Center and Health and Wellness Coordinator for the Portage Township YMCA is here to answer all of your health-related questions. It's hard to know where to start when taking steps to better your health these days. Asking the questions are easy, but find the answers...that's another story. Lucky for us, Danny makes it easy with his clear and concise (and humorous) answers to our tough health questions. Get ready to get some knowledge dropped on you!

This week's question: Is it okay to cleanse your body by fasting from time to time?

Danny G.: Just to be clear, by fasting we mean no food and no water. Research actually shows that fasting and crash diets may do more harm than good. Often this leads to temporarily getting better sleep, which causes the individual to feel better, but this is because the body is physically exhausted from not receiving enough nutrients. Once the fast ends, normal routines feel even worse leaving the individual in a worse state than before. If you want to give your body a period of rest and detox once in a while, it makes more sense to spend a day eating all raw fruits and vegetables or drinking freshly pressed juices.St-Mary-Logo

Before you begin a detox, or restricting certain foods, it is important to consult a medical professional. "Detoxification is the process of removing toxins from the body," says Nurse Practitioner Angie Tursman, WHCNP- BC, of St. Mary Medical Center's Valparaiso Health Center. "Toxins can build up in the body causing disruption of normal hormone pathways and healthy GI function. This can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and IBS symptoms just to name a few. The process of detoxification may be done through herbal supplements, nutritional changes, and vitamin supplements. Working with an integrative practitioner to help identify the underlying imbalances and treatment options is strongly encouraged. Dr. Karin Patterson and I use a multidisciplinary approach that could include nutrition counseling as well as acupuncture if needed."

 Do you have a question for Danny? Send your questions to with the subject title: Attention Danny G. You can also contact Danny at the Portage Township YMCA by calling 219-762-9622.

*Disclaimer: The information in this article is for informational purposes only and not intended as medical advice.