In August 2017, I started Intermittent Fasting. Again, I did my research before applying this protocol. We all know how to fast. We do it every night as we sleep and extended fasting is a well established practice in many cultures. This is not a radical practice for humans. Unfortunately, this particular intervention caused the most concern for my medical team.
There is no cure or therapy for someone with my condition. There is however, a Consensus Document for Mitochondrial Medicine. It’s the best clinical practice guidelines for physicians treating a patient with mitochondrial disease. It recommends patients should eat at regular intervals. With some exceptions for keto patients, fasting is not generally recommended.
Kinds of fasting
I began by changing the timing of my eating. I started with a 16:8 protocol, eating all my daily calories within an eight hour window. Then, I began to close the eating window. After two years, I now eat all my daily calories at one midday meal. I don’t snack and will only drink water or green tea outside that window. I have also done several extended fasts of up to 72 hours. My body functions quite well in a fasted state and I only exercise while fasted.
Good things happen when you don’t eat
I want my body to have regular time in autophagy. Since I have a large number of defective mitochondria, maybe IF could improve my mitochondrial function? Combining intermittent fasting and a ketogenic diet can speed up the time it takes for autophagy to occur. There are many mental health benefits reported from people who follow a fasting program. Lots of people fast on a regular basis. If I feel unwell, I will eat so what could really go wrong? It might be possible to improve the quality control of my mitochondria at minimal risk to me. I wanted to try.