This Article is From Feb 09, 2023

Weight Loss: Intermittent Fasting Is Not For Everyone; Expert Explains Why

Weight loss: Dr Vishakha shares a post on Instagram stating why she wouldn't suggest intermittent fasting to some people with different health conditions.

Weight Loss: Intermittent Fasting Is Not For Everyone; Expert Explains Why

Intermittent fasting involves switching between fasting and eating on a daily basis

Obesity or excessive weight gain may result in different chronic health issues. Therefore, it's very important to eat healthy, exercise and maintain a healthy body weight. To achieve this target, many people opt for various diet patterns. One such eating pattern is intermittent fasting. It involves switching between fasting for some decided hours and eating on a regular basis. While this works for many people, it is not meant for everyone who wishes to lose weight. You should never go for intermittent fasting without seeking the advice of a health professional. Nutritionist Dr Vishakha shares how this form of fasting can go horribly wrong for some people. The clip is from an interview where someone asks her, "One of my friends developed Hashimoto's after she started doing intermittent fasting at least for two years. So, can you explain how things can go horribly wrong for someone who is doing it without guidance?"

Dr Vishakha explains that as a health expert, she doesn't suggest intermittent fasting to anyone directly. "So, the first thing we do is take the patient's history. If someone's telling me that they have a history of low blood sugar levels or I am looking at the patient's blood work and I see that the blood sugars are already low, I do not recommend intermittent fasting," she says.

Intermittent fasting may cause a drop in blood sugar levels and patients (with issues related to low blood sugar levels) get dizzy. When that happens, the adrenal glands secret more cortisol (stress hormone). This, in turn, causes a disruption of thyroid functioning and can actually trigger this autoimmune condition called Hashimoto's. So, it's a downregulated effect and it's a cascade effect. 

In the caption of her post, she states, "Intermittent fasting (IF) has proven to improve health and even balance hormones - when done correctly. Let's understand this though. No two people are metabolically the same. You have different genes, different microbiomes, and different metabolic parameters. So, before you jump onto the bandwagon of fasting because you have heard how fast it will make you drop weight, do yourself a favour and speak to your health care provider first."

According to the health expert, if someone has hormonal issues like diabetes, hypothyroidism (man or woman) or is perimenopausal or has PCOS, they need to first figure out how to do intermittent fasting.

In general, a low blood sugar level is a good thing. But if you have hypoglycemia or you are someone who gets a big drop (of blood sugar levels) post workout or after long hours of not eating, do not do intermittent fasting without guidance.

As per Dr Vishakha, if you have hypothyroidism, for instance, you should not do a "low cal" plan, which easily happens on Intermittent Fasting. This can actually increase your cortisol levels, cause inflammation and disrupt your thyroid metabolism.

People who have the above-mentioned health conditions can go for intermittent fasting but only under medical guidance else you can actually trigger autoimmune conditions- and give IF a bad name, she adds. 

If, at all, you are thinking of opting for intermittent fasting, do go and speak to your doctor first.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.