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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Your Comments
Thank you! May the Lord Bless you always! He will honor your faithfulness to Him.
Thank you so much for this infomation. 2 years ago i went on a fast but i gave up on day 3 due to aches and pains as i didnt know that my body was expelling toxins. After researching i came across your article and it has been so helpful
I'm on day 4 of a 7 day only water fast and I can confirm that I have had all of these symptoms. I've been getting weary and the urge to quit but my spirit won't let me. I'm more than halfway done now so I'll go ahead and keep up my faith and carry on. I can't wait to feel the results after this fast. Thanks very much for this article filled with advice and info on what is happening with our bodies as we go through the fast. It has helped me to read this and I can pass along this to someone else.
I'm on day 4 of my urine and destilled water fast. It's being so tough that I had most if not all of the symptoms that you described so far. I'm still dealing with some of them although my neck, shoulder and headaches got better after the 3rd day. I also knew that urine therapy is one of the most challenging and healing fasts you can put yourself through, but after learning the benefits of it I had to have a go. My body is also creating chemical smells out of this world and just make me wonder all the crap it's embedded in my body. Better out than in :) thx for your article and to help me keep focus. 26 days to go... All the best to everyone that goes through a fasting experience. Keep strong. The best is yet to come :) love x health x peace
B. Crux
Very informative. During my very FIRST fast I didn't take in enough fluids. I drank water (2 stay alive obviously) and maybe a small bowl of broth once or twice a day. I didn't notice the dizziness because I felt too weak to get up off of my chair. I was in excruciating pain for 7 days. However, on the 8th day? SOMETHING (Idk what!) just "Clicked" inside my body and ALL the hunger pangs, confusion and fogged thinking went away! I felt "high"! The BEST high EVER. I even gained back my energy. Still, I fatigued after a couple weeks Sooo this definitely ISN'T something for long term. My advice? PLENTY of water, juices, broth (organic/natural), little to no physical activities, REST, Meditation and deep breathing. (Chewing gum also helps but not too much. It creates air in the stomach and can case bloating, hiccups and gastrointestinal pains) best of luck!!
Very informative . Love the fasting days (after the third day)
Pizza guy
Just had a major purge on day 11 of water only fast; article was encouraging to remind myself I'm on the right track.
informative fairly informed already, nice to read something positive.
Thank you for your great article. you hit the nail on the head!
Good Job!
Informative. I am on day 5 of my juice fast and I feel worse than I did on day 2 and 3 with muscle/hip pain, digestive system is doing acobatic sounds/movements. I seriously hope no one else can here my mid section having it's own symphony, along with more bowel movements and runny stools. Based on everything I read, these are all good signs.
Sherry Farrell
I am on my 11th day of water fasting, and the nausea has set in... This website has given me comfort and inspiration to NOT give up. I am on the home stretch. Thank you!
well said. although for lets say telepathic reasons, often my hunger pangs just increase to the extreme, with elaborate food fantasies revealing food ideas i might have never thought of and crave greatly of course. best advise is to take a nice walk per day and try gentle Yoga or Chi Kung to ease the aches and pains and create bodily pleasure feelings that get better and better (shoulders and hamstrings, esp.) remember that Yogis were once all celibate ascetics and studied these things extremely well.
I had fasted before and never got back pains until now, probably because of the time that passed. Your information is very helpful and gave me a sense of ease! I never, ever get cold sore on my lips yet when I fast I get 1 or 2, this time I have 1. I've felt a little nausea, not much. I've been doing the enema which has helped so much as well as exceraise everyday. I love how amazing you feel with the results you reap like clearer skin, no belly, loss of extra fat, cleared eyes, cleaner system, clarity. very much looking forward to the back aches going away! Good article :-)
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