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Negative Fasting Reactions

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. I do not recommend chewing gum for a fast as it stimulates digestion, but if you have a meeting with a big client, it may be wise to chew a breath freshener. Health food stores have natural breath fresheners.

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. For a few seconds, the brain may not get enough oxygen, causing blackouts and dizziness. To stop a blackout, get down on one knee or sit. Lowering your center of gravity will instantly stop a blackout. Blackouts are more frequent during water fasting. On longer water fasts, breathing quickly for a few seconds before standing will stop all blackouts.


During a fast, unhealthy bacteria increase between the teeth, and the tongue becomes coated with waste that can cause cankers. To stop cankers, gargle with sea salt mixed with water several times daily. The most effective remedy is to dab salt on the canker but the pain will be very intense. Dabbing the sore with tea tree oil or vitamin E quickens the healing process. During fasting, the cankers can be large and very painful.


Almost everyone becomes sensitive to the cold during a fast. You will need to dress warmer and take extra clothing if you go out. A hot water bottle brings great comfort.


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, the body can become susceptible to colds. To fight a cold, continue fasting to eliminate the mucus. Reduce the liquid intake and drink lemon juice. When your body is clean from mucus, you will never catch a cold again.


Fruit juices have a laxative effect, which is more pronounced after water fasting. Using the enema can stop it. Using psyllium husk during diarrhea will help regulate the system. If there is rectal burning use Vaseline.

Fasting – Hair Loss

I wrote a post on hair loss and fasting. Hair Loss Fasting


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. It is acceptable to take Tylenol to get through the early stages of fasting where headaches can be very painful.

Muscle Tightness

The muscles may become tight and sore due to toxin irritation. The legs can be the worst affected, as toxins accumulate in the legs. 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. A hot bath or walking will relieve tension.

Skin Problems

The skin may become oily as rancid oils are purged from the body. People with problem-free skin may have a few days of pimples or even a boil. 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.


Tiredness is normal during water or restricted juice fasting. If the tiredness is too much, increase the quantity of sweet juices like melon and carrot juice.

By Tom Coghill of
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18 Responses to Negative Fasting Reactions

  1. blurverve says:

    Hi Tom,

    I’m on my 11th day of a 14th day water fast which I plan to follow up with a 7 day juice fast. I problem I have is my stomach has been very uneasy for the past week or so. I didn’t receive my enema till the 8th day of the fast (took forever in the mail) and did manage to throw up while doing the enema for the first time but would like to get rid of the rest of the uneasiness in my stomach. My breath is still bad but was told it’s not as bad as before and my urine started to get dark only few days ago and it looks like it’s getting just a little lighter now. Also, I’m starting to get my voice back so it seems I’m getting slightly better, except for my stomach problem. Do you have a recommendation on what I can do to improve the situation? If you have any other advice, I would love to hear it.

    • Tom Coghill says:
      Tom Coghill

      Hi Burverve,
      Vomiting after using the enema is an indicator of toxin build up in the colon and the water flushed it into the blood. Small amounts of juice like 1/2 liter a day will reduce the detox to a more comfortable level.

  2. blurverve says:

    Thanks for the info Tom,

    My colon still doesn’t feel good after I do an enema so you convince me to switch over to a juice fast. Since I want to get rid of the toxins as quick as possible, do you recommend doing an enema on a daily basis?

  3. carlee12489 says:

    hi tom,
    i started a fast and stopped after 5 days due to chest pains and elevated heart rate was this normal? i am 170 lbs and a little over weight. i wasnt over doing anything. should i just try again in a couple weeks. i was trying for a 30 day water fast and the chest pain scared me out of it. please help!

    • Tom Coghill says:
      Tom Coghill

      Chest pains are rare on juice fasting.
      Chest pains are common on water fasting due to the heart running on low glucose levels and being irritated by toxins.
      In a health individual without a heart condition, during water fasting the chest pains usually comes and goes but can become very painful.
      All of this is completely avoidable by preparing for a water fast.
      Why not start with a 5 day juice fasting. At day 15 do 2 days of juices to build your reserves. If you are going for a 30 water fast of a toxic diet you are heading for problems.
      A small amount of wisdom goes a long way when it comes to fasting.

  4. tobydawn says:

    I came across this site because I too am having chest pains. I am on day 43 of a 68 day juice fast. Things have been going great for me but the last 3 days, I have been having a dull ache on the left side of my chest. I have had a full work up last year and appear to be in good health, other than being overweight. I am 5’2 and currently weigh 180. When I started this fast, I weighed 220.

    Can you give me some insite?

  5. Tom Coghill says:
    Tom Coghill

    Hi Tobydawn,
    If it is a dull constant ache across the top of the chest, it could be deep cleansing of toxins that are in the lung tissue. That would be my only guess. If you have smoked or lived in pollution then your body immune systems may be penetrating the lung tissue to get at the toxins. I get lung pain when I fast as I live and travel in asia where I am often exposed to heavy pollution. The pain will peak more when I do water fasting.

  6. Tom Coghill says:
    Tom Coghill

    You could buy chelation supplements and take charcoal to assist detoxification.

    Note from tom to the site: I am working on Papua New Guinea treating chronic disease with juicing and herbs. It is hot dangerous and the internet is the worst on earth so please excuse the lack of support over the last month.

    • Ron says:

      Hi Tom, I hope all is well in New Guinea? I was kind of shocked that you left Sagada (Paradise) and headed to
      work on a new project. Is this your new home? I was looking at some pictures and history there…I dunno if
      it would be my choice for a vacation! LOL…but that’s me. Maybe the written data is lacking…or the benefits
      are good there!

      I’m trying to hold the fort down for you here, but I’m also a bit busy…. begrudgenly working 7 days a week putting
      my tribe through college. Also, I’m not as popular as you around here! LOL…you have a better bed-side-manner.

      Anyway, it’s always good to see you here! You have a great spritual and reasurring presence. I’ll
      keep you, your family, and your intentions in my prayers. God Bless you and your work, Ron

  7. Tom Coghill says:
    Tom Coghill

    Hi Ron,
    For me also not paradise by a long short. Tough environment due to slow expensive Internet, heat, and high cost of living and danger. I am working with congressman Jamie Maxtone Graham how is very well respected and opens all the big doors quickly. But my heart longs for the Philippines and the life a had there. But I did pray and so for me this is it so as of now now sure how this will play out. Lots of opportunity but can I handle the place to get the results? Thanks for helping. I plan to get back to supporting the members this week. I just came back from 2 days in the woods fasting and praying for some insite.

  8. Sangeetha says:

    Hi Tom,
    I am on day 4 of 30 day juice fasting. I was OK on first and second days but on third day, i felt very weak, dizzy and nauseous. I have bad breath from day one. No head aches or body pains or any detox Symptoms. Today on day 4, i felt very weak and i had to drink about 500ml of mango juice slowly till afternoon to bounce back to normal. I am not really understanding whats going on with my body. Am i in detox mode already? Coz i used to have bad breath before fasting too :(

  9. Ron says:

    Hi Sangeetha, Tom is on a mission in New Guinea, inoculating malaria and TB victims. He checks in from time to time when he is near civilization. I will try to help you.

    You are experiencing the detoxification symptoms. You should start to feel better in the next 3 to 4 days. Some people have the effects for most of their fast. It depends on how toxic your body is. Please read more on this site. It addresses your question, and has several technics for coping with the process. Happy Fasting! Ron

  10. kiwiolive says:

    Hi I am on day 9 of a 30 day juice fast. I have lost just 3 pounds, last night my heart was racing and I could not sleep and I am still breaking out. I have been drinking mostly citris with a large glass of veggies or strawberries daily and I have done I think 4 water enemas. I am 43 years old, I did juice fast for 1 day and 2 days prior to beggining this fast to get ready.From everything I have read this is suppose to be a time to feel great why am I lagging behind in detox?

  11. annmarie says:

    Hi! I’ve experienced a lasting problem since completing my fast.. my digestive system has been thrown off ever since my 14 day fast last summer (August 2011), which began as a water/tea fast but towards the end just water. I was 19, wasn’t overweight at the time, just looking to improve my health and vitality. I researched the fast extensively before conducting it with my mom and sister, so felt really good about it the whole time, and felt like I broke it very correctly and all that, but ever since my stomach hasn’t been the same. I eat a very healthy and light, mostly raw diet, yet no matter what I eat (or drink–even just water!) my stomach bloats, hard and painful, and this is something I’ve never experienced before as I’ve always had a narrow waist. I thought it would clear up after a while, and I even fell back on many short fasts of juice or water and nothing helped. Also, I feel like my appetite is never satiated.. I could eat all day if my stomach would cooperate.. yet I feel so ‘full’ even after just one bite, like I just way overate! The bloating lasts all day, every day, though it’s worse right after I eat, and even if I go a day or two on water I’m still somewhat bloated. My weight is stable, though, even though I don’t eat hardly anything (my stomach feels so much better when it’s empty), and overall I think I’m pretty healthy, if it weren’t for this stubborn issue that I just don’t understand, even after hours of research. My only guess is somehow my nutrients were way depleted and has resulted either in slow digestion or something like ascites (accumulated fluid in the abdominal cavity sometimes due to protein malnutrition).. but I hate to think I have either of those as aside from this, I do feel pretty healthy and have a hard time believing the water fast would have had such a negative long-lasting effect on me.

    Have you ever experienced this before in your patients and do you have any idea what happened to me, or how I can heal whatever is causing this? I’m tired of battling it and would like to just be healthy, be able to eat normal and have my stomach back. Any help is much appreciated!!

    Thanks so much for all you do on this site! :)


    • Tom Coghill says:
      Tom Coghill

      Hi Anne,
      The first suggestion is to take a probiotic supplement. Fasting can kill of intestinal bacteria and harmful bacteria can take over therefor I recommend replacing it after a fast.
      You may have a yeast infection.

      • annmarie says:

        Thanks for your thoughts.. but again, we eat a very healthy, whole-foods style diet.. about as good as you can eat in America, I think, as we have our own animals and gardens, and I eat a lot of probiotics every day such as kefir or cultured milk and sourdough bread, and sometimes lacto-fermented veggies and stuff, but nothing helps. This has me really baffled.. I was always healthy before. And this is just me, too.. my mom and sister came off the fast fine and quickly went back to normal.

        The bloating and indigestion (I burp up everything I eat or drink for hours, even water, which I didn’t know was possible) is really my only symptom (aside from always have a low temp, usually around 96), but it’s definitely not normal and has me very uncomfortable every day. Do you think a juice fast would heal this or make it worse? It doesn’t help not knowing what the root of the problem is.. I don’t want to screw myself up even more. I’m wondering too about trying a kefir cleanse.

        Thanks again!