Fasting For Long Covid

My Experience Fasting for Long Covid

After 7 doctors and 18 months of fighting Long Covid with little success I decided to try extended fasting, which has been shown to help people with immune system issues. I did a medical supervised 18 day water-only fast and 3 months after the fast my Long Covid symptoms are dramatically improved. I wanted to share the details of my success in hopes that other people suffering from Long Covid can possibly benefit from my experience.

Before fasting I had full-blown Long Covid. My Long Covid symptoms included heart issues (blood clots, palpitations, tacardia), a developing autoimmune issue, “brain fog” (cognition impairment, visual cortex issues, memory problems), mood isssues (deep depression, anger), GI issues, fatigue, and ringing in the ears, to name a few. These are all common with Long Covid people plus many others.

Medical Fasting isn’t an instant cure and it isn’t appropriate for everyone, but I believe there is tremendous potential for it to resolve Long Covid symptoms that are unresponsive to other treatments and is a good option to investigate. Some people with physical symptoms like smell issues have those resolved during the fast, but if you are like me, much of the healing happens after the fast has “reset” your immune system dysfunction so that your body can begin to heal itself.

I researched fasting for healing and found three fasting clinics that were reporting success with treating Long Covid. Buchinger Wilhelmi, in Germany; True North, in the US; and, which is a telehealth fasting clinic. I also looked at Victor Longo’s Fast Mimicking Diet, which is designed for people to be able to fast at home on their own but I didn’t find anyone who was using it for Long Covid. Each fasting approach has their own protocol with varying amounts of nourishment, water intake and colonic treatments. And each fasting clinic was fasting for a different duration. Buchinger typically did a 2 week fast, recommended a 21-28 day fast, and True North was using a 40 day fast.

I read a study on medically supervised water fasting that found it is safe with mild to moderate side effects and I decided to do a true “water fast”, as it seemed to have the best potential to heal my Long Covid. Since I have been doing intermittent fasting plus multiple 36 - 48 hour fasts, I decided to use the TeleHealth approach vs going to a fasting clinic. I chose Tallis Barker at because he has a successful water fasting program that has had a 90% success rate with Long Covid patients.

Before doing the fast I did a phone consult with the water fasting coach to better understand his program and then talked with my functional doctor. We decided to do a 14 day water fast that was monitored by my fasting coach as well as a blood test to check my electrolytes after a week of fasting. The first week of a fast is considered the “detox phase” and after that your body moves into a healing phase with additional cycles of detoxification. About 10 days into the fast it was going well and I decided to extend the duration to 18 days to increase the healing potential.

I was able to rest during the fast with a reduced set of responsibilities. I took short walks multiple times a day and did dry brushing to stimulate lymphatic circulation and often took a hot bath once or twice a day. I monitored my blood pressure and heart rate each morning and halfway through the fast had my electrolytes checked by the local doctor’s office. During the fast I took no supplements and drank only water (no coffee or tea). I averaged drinking 1.5 – 2 quarts of water each day. My fasting coach advised me to be careful to not drink too much water as it would strip excess electrolytes, and to limit how often I drank water to avoid stirring up stomach acid to avoid acid reflux, which happened one day when I drank too much water.

During the first week of my fast I had some insomnia and fatigue with some significant back and leg pain and an occasional headache. The back and leg pain were from a buildup of lymphatic fluid from my body detoxing. I got a lymphatic massage and that issue went away. After that I had lots of fatigue with some amount of dizziness upon standing and a few headaches, but no other pain. I experienced frequent sleep disruption—often waking in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep. My fasting coach said this is common and he encouraged me to get up and then return to bed when I got tired and nap during the day. Interestingly these mid-night wake events were some of the times I felt the best and had the very least amount of brain fog. Hunger was not an issue for me, I think because I had done a number of 36-48 hour fasts already. I am a regular coffee drinker so I tapered off coffee the week before the fast so I wouldn’t have any withdrawal symptoms during the fast.

Some people report healing of physical conditions during the fast, such as restoring the sense of smell. And it is common for people to have a “healing crisis” where Long Covid symptoms like heart palpitations come back. I did not have a healing crisis or any perceivable physical healing during the fast—all of my healing has happened after the fast. (Early in my Long Covid I did have heart palpitations and tachycardia, but over the last year those have gone away as I eliminated food and environmental triggers.) My acute covid phase had generally mild symptoms with GI pain and no respiratory issues. My fasting coach thought since GI symptoms were my most prevalent symptom during covid, that I might have had a GI healing crisis, but that a GI healing crisis does not have any outward symptoms because the GI is “shut down” during a fast. For me I had a difficult time getting my lower GI system moving again after the fast with some blockage on my first BM that took a full day to pass, which could have been the result of a GI healing crisis or possibly my body dumping a lot of toxins as I have since found that I have some mycotoxins in my system.

After 18 days of fasting I followed my fasting coach’s refeeding program for 10 days, which gradually increases the digestion-complexity and calories. The process of “refeeding” after the fast is extremely important and where people can have the most serious complications, so it is important to be working with a fasting professional. I checked my body composition before the fast and again a month after the fast completed. At the end of the 18 day fast I was down 25 pounds, but a month later my weight was down 10 pounds and the body composition showed that was all fat loss, no muscle.

I followed up my fast with acupuncture, which has been shown to help heal the blood brain barrier, which Covid has known to penetrate. I also continued the supplement “stack” my Functional Doctor recommended, did periodic 36hr fasts and was careful about what I ate and limited my alcohol consumption.

Before the fast I had an intense histamine intolerance and could not eat many foods without getting a rash or other histamine reaction. After the fast and subsequent refeeding, I was able to eat anything I wanted without a histamine reaction of any kind. This was my first indication that the fast had calmed down my immune system and mast cells.

It took about 6-8 weeks after the fast before I started noticing a significant improvement in my Long Covid brain fog and other symptoms, and at 10 - 12 weeks I felt like my symptoms were 75% improved. At 10 weeks I had my ANA autoimmune marker re-tested and that test came back NEGATIVE, which is further evidence that the fast was able to “reset” my immune system so it is not attacking my body anymore. (My ANA has tested positive three times in the year prior to the fast.)

Although fasting is not appropriate for everyone, I believe it shows great potential to reset/reboot the immune system and help the body heal from Long Covid. Before doing an extended fast, it helps to prepare the body and mind for fasting. Below are some suggestions on preparing to do an extended fast and some links to information about fasting related to Long Covid.

Prepare Your Body

  • Shift your diet to lower sugar/carbs so you don’t get insulin-driven hunger.
  • Adopt time windowed eating from noon to 7pm.
  • Do some shorter 24hr then 36hr then 48hr fasts to get your body used to not eating and to overcome the mental block.

Fasting Mistakes To Avoid

  • Don’t try to do a fast longer than 5 days without medical supervision.
  • Don’t make this your first fasting attempt.
  • Don’t drink excess water as it strips electrolytes and can cause acid reflux.
  • Don’t try and work full time during your fast.
  • Don’t overeat when breaking the fast, as it can cause severe problems.

Fasting Expectations:

  • Be prepared to be very fatigued.
  • Time goes by slowly.
  • Your sleep will be disrupted.
  • Your blood pressure will drop so be careful standing up.
  • The first week is a major “detox” and you may have a very sore back and legs from built up lymphatic fluid.
  • You may have “healing crises” and have symptoms from Covid or previous illnesses. It is important to be under medical supervision to understand the severity of these symptoms.

Here is a "Study of Adverse Events During Water Fasting " that gives some perspective on what kinds of side effects to expect doing a longer fast.


What a well written post as I’m sure this will help people! I don’t have Long Covid but I definitely have pretty severe histamine issues which I difficult.

Appreciate the time you took to write this. I do hope you continue to heal in your journey!! Fasting is such an amazing tool!


Wow! @TroyP very well done and informative. Thanks for the write-up, I’m sure it will help a lot of people. I have a lots of health issues myself so thank you. Wishing you all the best for the future. :pray:t4:

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Thanks. This is my first post on this forum.

Is this the appropriate category to post under?



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Yes @TroyP it is the appropriate category.
Welcome to our fasting society, feel free to attach any new info you come across. I suffer from M.E/CFS, fibromyalgia and other health issues so I might not get back to you straight away but I am glad you are part of our community. Have a blessed week :pray:t4: