Common Physical Reactions To Fasting

By: Ron Lagerquist

"Most of these reactions are not symptoms of fasting but years of neglect, facing years of unhealthy eating manifested by pounds of unnecessary fat and toxins." 

Common Physical Reactions To FastingIt may be a garage piled to the ceiling with generations of junk, or a tub laminated with months of baths, a neglected letter to a friend, long overdue apology, or one day out of the blue, a call to fast. The longer left, the harder to face. But in the end, cleanup time will come calling. 

Fasting is like cleaning out a filthy garage, twenty, thirty, maybe fifty years of harmful food latent in every cell. Sometimes things must get worse before they get better. This has never been truer than with fasting. Fasting stirs up toxins on a cellular and spiritual level, resulting in days of discomfort. They surface in the forms of bad breath, cankers, nausea, feelings of sadness, remorse, even depression. All this can convince the faint of heart, fasting is bad.

Facing my box full of paper stung because it was a reminder of negligence. A fast can feel the same way, facing years of foolish eating manifested by pounds of unnecessary fat and toxins. Easier not to deal with it, right? Pack it away in the back of the mind. But when reality spills all over your life in the form of illness, then face it you must.

What you are about to read are common physical reactions to fasting. These reactions are not symptoms of fasting but years of neglect. I have often tried to imagine what the fasting experience was like during Jesus’ day. Their Lifestyle was severe, eating a simple diet consisting of organic whole foods; their air and water was absent from the soup of pollutants we are forced to assimilate daily. Fasting was a part of their faith; they often went short periods of time without food. If Peter or John read the list below, I think they would be surprised. We have talked about the law of sowing and reaping. The intensity of the following physical reactions will be a tangible measurement of your level of toxicity. Sometimes we must reap a bad harvest to make room for good seed, a body cleaned to receive a new diet.


Most are surprised by the disappearance of hunger once the border is crossed into fasting’s land of silence. After a day or two, hunger’s voice will be rare indeed. Craving can continue on for some days longer, and then at last there will be stillness, leaving the deep groans of the soul. Once the body quiets, the richer connection with our spiritual hunger can be felt. There is nothing like it! Wonderful freedom comes when flesh is forced into silence, sharpening perception of the greatest sound of all; God’s still small voice. 

The odd time hunger can flare up, more often in a juice fast than water. This could be due to excessive pulp in the juice, reawakening digestion. If hunger persists, try straining your juice or adding some prune juice to clean out the digestive tract.


Water fasting will result in weakness and lack of energy. There can even be dips in stamina during a juice fast if you have a high metabolism. Weakness is a vital part of fasting’s slowing down process. Embrace this wonderful quieting state; your expectations should be adjusted when planning a fast. Give yourself lots of down time; enjoy the holiday away from the hustle and bustle.


Back pain can increase due to toxins in the lower intestine. Blood vessels that draw nutrients from the colon are very close to the nerves of the spine. Back pain will often decrease after elimination of the toxins. Back exercises can also relieve some pain. A cold pack also will help. Using the enema kit will be the best remedy. 

Bad Breath

  Waste passes through the lungs, which are an eliminative organ. Brushing the tongue with a toothbrush using dental floss and rinsing with mouthwash will reduce bad breath.


Toxic build-up in the mouth and the absence of the washing-action of chewing food can allow an increase of bacteria between the teeth. The tongue becomes coated with waste. To stop cankers, gargle with sea salt mixed with water several times daily. Dabbing the sore with tea tree oil or vitamin E quickens the healing process. 

Cold Virus

Mucoid is the perfect food for viruses. Toxins weaken the immune system. When large quantities of toxins and mucus are in the blood due to a fast, they can cause susceptibility to colds. To fight a cold, continue fasting to eliminate mucus. Increase intake of citrus juices.


During fasting the body conserves energy. The heart pumps slower and blood pressure lowers. Standing or moving quickly from a resting position will cause the blood to flow to the legs, causing blackouts and dizziness. To stop blackouts get down on one knee or sit. Lowering your center of gravity will instantly stop a blackout. Blackouts are more frequent during water fasting.


Fruit juices have a laxative effect which is more pronounced after water fasting. The enema kit or using phylum husk during diarrhea helps regulate diarrhea. 


Toxins can cause muscle tightness in the neck and shoulders. This can result in tension headaches. Massaging the neck and shoulders will help relieve the tension. The herb Fever Few, which is available in health food stores, is well worth trying. 

Muscle Tightness


The muscles may become tight and sore due to toxin irritation. The legs can be affected, as toxins accumulate in the large muscles. A self-massage, hot baths, stretching and exercising will help to release the toxins. 


When waste is released too quickly by the lymph glands some of the toxic overload is taken by the liver and secreted with bile into the stomach. This causes nausea. Drinking water or carrot juice will dilute the bile and toxin mixture, helping to flush it from the system.


The elimination of toxins can irritate damaged nerves. Light exercise will relieve tension. Use quarter slices of avocado to slow the fast.

Skin Disturbances 

People with problem-free skin may have a few days of pimples or boils. A pallid complexion is also a sign of waste in the blood. When cleansed of mucus and toxins the skin will be healthy, soft and unblemished.


Sleepiness is normal during water or restricted juice fasting. Very few people receive enough rest, so enjoy the extra sleep; it may be as healing and rejuvenating as the fast itself. 

Related Article: The Detoxification Process

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Great info
Benita Hoving
Have done Daniel fasts. One fast I had painful large red pimple like bumps pop up for 2 to 3 hours and then disappear. They felt like bee stings. I also had alot of itching, as soon as fast stopped these went away. I must have been detoxing hard core
I am on day 7 of 14 and this was really helpful.
Thanks, I'm only 2 days into this 21 day Daniel fast but I started detoxing a few days ago and got past the headache but my low back and legs are screaming, and I want to sleep a lot. Thanks again,
Stella Thorn
On day 4 of a 40 day juice fast for spiritual growth and awareness. I found this article by searching nausea, but chuckled when I read bad breath as I have noticed this about myself as of late and wondered why it had been so dreadful. I'm hoping no one at work has been too terribly offended by my death breath, and will be stopping by the gas station for some gum today. As others have mentioned, this article has given me the little push I needed to go on today, so thank you for the information. To Dr Dru I would just have to point out something you said in your own words, "science is now coming out with..." and he goes on to admit that science is just now catching up with something scripture gifted us with thousands of years ago. Science is a beautiful study, unraveling the mysteries of His creation as the light grows brighter. I would encourage Dr. Dru to continue to study the beautiful complex things of God, but that he consider His presence in all these things. The Lord has gifted you with a beautiful brilliant mind for good reason, and that sir, would be a terrible thing to waste. Thank you for your article and God bless.k
Megan K.
I'm currently fasting and experiencing pretty much all of the symptoms. Thanks!!
I am on day 4 of a 21 day water only fast - I really feel a lack of energy, pain in my back and shoulders and 'tingling' in my legs. I am usually very active, but struggle with the energy levels. thanks
I've been fasting for years, read many books and websites, this is the most thorough list of side effects I've ever seen./ Thanks
Thank you had no idea why I was experiencing the back pain. Almost feels like a flu. Very helpful
I've experienced vomiting of toxic gastric juices, too! I felt this was also a form of spiritual deliverance for me.
Ella Sanvictores
Thank you. T his gives one a good idea of what they will face on a fast and how to manage it.
Thank you, this is very helpful.
This is very insightful for people who dwell in the world. From a spiritual point this is probably very off actually. But this knowledge is on point, and super correct. With Yahweh all things are possible.
Thankyou so much as I am suffering for backpain since morning and I couldn't understand why.
Anil Kumar
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