Lupus Q&A: Intermittent Fasting and Hormones Effects on Flares

by | Jun 22, 2018 | Lupus Blog | 0 comments

Click on the video above to watch this week’s Q&A session. The questions and answers are below if you prefer to read 🙂

April Hatchett: Hello Dr. Connie, I have struggled with my weight since I was a teenager. I am now 40. I was always told that not eating for periods of time would put my body into starvation mode and anything I ate after that, my body would store for fear of being starved. How does intermittent fasting work? What keeps your body from thinking that it is being starved? I have medication that I take twice a day and I take it with breakfast and then with supper. Taking it with food is helpful or else it makes me sick to my stomach. I would like to try intermittent fasting, but I’m not sure how to make it work for me. Thank you in advance.

That used to be the case but now we are finding that giving our gut a 12-15 hour fast is completely safe, as it allows our gut to rest and heal. Digestion requires a lot of energy, and if we are digesting consistently all day every day, our gut is not able to rest, and therefore, heal.
Intermittent fasting is simple. For example, you would stop eating at 6 pm and then eat your breakfast at 8 am the next morning. This would be a 14 hour fasting period.
If you take meds, you can still take them with your meals. You are simply just shortening the eating period each day. For example, you only eat from 8 am- 5 pm or 9 am- 6 pm etc.

Sarah Cawthorne: Is there anything to help with hormones, as my symptoms always flare up intensely when it’s my time of the month. It’s like getting a double dose of the illness. I was wondering if something could be done to help ease the hormone changes that aggregate the lupus. No consultant has ever been able to even admit that hormones play a big part let alone anything to help. Unlike avoiding stress/sunlight etc., you can not escape the monthly cycle and if you have problems, like having a period every 2 wks, it makes lupus symptoms extreme.

Hormones do play a part with Lupus and is one of the reasons why most Lupus patients are women.
Stress hormones, which are produced by your adrenals, can affect your thyroid levels and then alter your sex hormones. In many cases, because we’re not sleeping and are in constant pain, we run the risk of having adrenal involvement, which can indirectly affect our sex hormones.
I know I’m being general but it largely depends on individual differences that involve so many other factors.
The progesterone and estrogen surge on days leading up to your cycle can be causing the “flare” like symptoms. First thing you can do is to check your hormone levels. Standard testing will not provide you with the detailed information necessary, however, you can do specialized testing through a Functional Medical Doctor who can run the hormone metabolites and/or saliva testing at different times during the day to check what your adrenals are doing as well as your sex hormones.
If any of you are interested, we do provide those testings and can help you to modulate your symptoms in a way that makes sense for you.
Please reach out at [email protected]
I’ll see you next week.

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