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everywhere you look on the internet you’re gonna have someone telling you that fasting is terrible for women they’re gonna tell you that your thyroid is going to be destroyed they’re gonna tell you that your hormones are gonna be completely out of whack and that you’re never going to recover well it’s not quite the truth in this video I want to give you the A to Z breakdown of what happens to the female body during a fast during intermittent fasting in particular how often should a woman fast what can they expect what’s happening with their hormones and what’s happening with their reproductive system so in this video I’m going to take you through a twosie what goes on starting with the starvation in the hunger hormones leading in to your reproductive hormones then leading into your thyroid so let’s dive right in and men this videos for you too because it’s going to help describe exactly what’s going on in your body as well okay here’s the thing when it comes down to starvation hormones we’re talking about leptin ghrelin insulin things like that that we have to be paying attention to and it comes down to hunger and satiation women are much more sensitive to them it’s nothing bad nothing wrong with them it’s simply a protective mechanism it’s not the fact that the thyroid shutting down is the fact that the female body is recognizing that there’s no food coming in so they don’t want to be producing eggs they don’t want to be ovulating it’s natural why would a female body want to produce eggs to stimulate potential reproduction if they’re not eating if they’re starving so that’s where this whole thing starts okay it all has to do with leptin ghrelin and insulin but it goes much more than that so we’re gonna talk about what’s happening with the brain and with the gonads now so let’s talk about GnRH GnRH is a particular thing that is secreted by the hypothalamus in both males and females and it has to do with what’s called the hypothalamic pituitary gonadal axis I know lots of guys that are proud of the HP ta thinkin that it only has to do with testosterone and their male bodies on them that’s not the case the HPA axis that entire process is men and women and here’s how it works your brain has an area called the hypothalamus this hypothalamus ends up secreting something known as GnRH this GnRH tells the pituitary gland to produce luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone what these hormones end up doing is triggering the production of sperm and testosterone in men and producing ovulation and triggering progesterone and estrogen in women they both do the same thing just with a different end result we still have the same catalyst the same hormones now what ends up happening is how women go through this process compared to men so now that we know GnRH and we understand the HP ta has to do with men and women we can talk about the precursor to the gnrh which is where the problem really starts and that’s something known as kiss peptide okay so where the problem occurs with kiss pepsin is just with people not knowing what’s really going on most of the beef in the fasting community and most of the beef with women fasting in general all has to do with kiss pepsin you see the thing is women produce more kiss pepped in’ okay men and women both produce it but this kiss peptide is a precursor to GnRH and when we have a precursor to GnRH that’s going to directly affect how we produce testosterone and how we produce estrogen well the thing is is kiss pepsin is very sensitive to the hunger hormones so the leptin and the Grayland the insulin now remember how I said that women are much more sensitive to the hunger hormones than men well there we have our answer because kiss pepsin works directly with the hunger hormones when women respond more dramatically to those hunger hormones they have a greater reduction in kiss pepsin which means that they have less gnrh being produced which means that they have less ovulation they have less progesterone and sometimes even a skewed amount of estrogen where it goes so high that it shuts off the response from the brain in the first place so it’s truly an issue with kiss pectin more so than the thyroid or anything else and to make some sense of this I’m going to reference a study that’s pretty darn alarming that really makes it very very clear in a study that was published in the journal the public library of science researchers took a look at two different groups of rats they took ten males and ten females now one group of rats they had eat whenever they wanted to another group of rats they had to eat every second day so essentially they were fasting now full disclaimer a full day of fasting for a rat is closer to like a week of fasting for an adult so this study is really looking at a longer term fast but it’s still a very relevant study at the end of 12 weeks they look at the results of both groups what they found was that the female rats did end up losing 19 percent of their body weight but they also ended up shrinking their ovaries size dramatically as well so yeah they lost some weight but they also inhibited their ability to have kids so that’s one part of the problem but they also found was that kiss pectin levels diminish quite dramatically now here’s the funny thing because pectin levels diminished in both men and women but the difference was that since women had more kis pepti to begin with it was a more dramatic change when they did lose it now that wasn’t all that happened remember how I talked before about luteinizing hormone how important it was well they found that female rats is luteinizing hormone levels absolutely plummeted like went down close to zero and their estrogen levels went through the roof see their estrogen levels went through the roof because there was no more communication with the brain in the gonads so the estrogen levels just went out of control and had nothing to modulate and control it thereby shutting off the signal even more now what they also found was that the female rats had six times less leptin than the men now leptin is a hunger hormone well it’s actually a satiation hormone but what it basically means is that women were affected by the starvation significantly more than men their bodies overreacted it produced less leptin and thereby caused the hunger signals to go through the roof which diminish the kiss pepsin which therefore made it so that they were producing less luteinizing hormone and shutting down some of their hormones okay now let’s talk about the thyroid because this is the big one yeah I’ve even been guilty of this myself I’ve talked about how fasting can slow down the thyroid well I want to back up and I want to make sure that I explained this in a way that makes a lot more sense when you are fasting during your actual fasting period your thyroid activity is lower but your thyroid activity is going to be lower in between meals too so when females fast yes there is a decline in t3 which is the active form of thyroid at that very point in time but there is no change in T 4 and T 4 is what’s actually going to produce thyroid in the future and there is no change in TSH which is your thigh stimulating hormone usually what you would see is an increase in thyroid stimulating hormone indicating that the body is struggling and triggering the release of TSH to try to encourage the thyroid to produce more even with longer stencils fasting there hasn’t been much evidence to show that TSH levels elevate or t4 levels get lower the only thing that is proven is that t3 levels do decrease during a fast which makes sense now one way that you can start paying attention to your thyroid and seeing if you’re having an effect in a negative way is if you start noticing that chronically you’re getting cold all the time chronically you’re feeling cold not just while you’re fasting you’re feeling cold all of the time especially if you’ve been fasting that’s gonna be a good indicator that your thyroid is slowing down but even still you want to get some blood work you want to see your TSH is that you want to see where your t4 levels are at at the end of all of this the issue is not the thyroid the issue is the leptin and the gralen response so what should women do well the trick is to not let your hormone signals from hunger end up getting out of control if you find yourself getting outrageously hungry you probably want to just break your fast and try again another day because the body is going to change its reaction times sometimes a day is going to be perfect for fasting some days it’s not and you have to do almost a variation of what’s called crescendo fasting your sendou fasting was created by dr. axe and quite frankly I don’t think there’s a whole lot to it I think it’s just kind of a marketing made-up word but basically what it is is fasting just a couple days per week which is what I generally recommend to begin with so women you don’t want to be fasting every single day you want to be fasting three maybe four times per week at the most and you want to be making sure that you’re monitoring your TSH levels and monitoring your t4 levels but at the end of all of it all that’s happening is you’re slowing down a process between the brain and the gonads that’s throwing your estrogen levels out of whack so if you find yourself and your hormones out of whack where you’re feeling Moody where you’re feeling all over the place and you’re feeling cold it’s time to take a little break from fasting and intermittently reinstate it whenever you feel ready too so as always keep it locked in here in my channel and I this clears up some of the confusion surrounding women and fasting and what’s truly happening in your body
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Intermittent Fasting: Why Women Should Fast Differently than Men – Thomas DeLauer
Everywhere you look on the internet, you’re going to have someone telling you that fasting is terrible for women. They’re going to tell you that your thyroid is going to be destroyed. They’re going to tell you that your hormones are going to be completely out of whack, and that you’re never going to recover.
Well, it’s not quite the truth. In this video, I want to give you the A to Z breakdown of what happens to the female body during a fast, during intermittent fasting in particular. How often should a women fast? What can they expect? What’s happening with their hormones and what’s happening with their reproductive system? In this video, I’m going to take you through A to Z what goes on, starting with the starvation and the hunger hormones, leading into your reproductive hormones, then leading into your thyroid. Let’s dive right in, and men, this video’s for you, too, because it’s going to help describe exactly what’s going on in your body, as well.
Okay, here’s the thing. When it comes down to starvation hormones … we’re talking leptin, ghrelin, insulin, things like that that we have to be paying attention to when it comes down to hunger and satiation … women are much more sensitive to them. It’s nothing bad, nothing wrong with them. It’s simply a protective mechanism. It’s not the fact that the thyroid’s shutting down. It’s the fact that the female body is recognizing that there’s no food coming in, so they don’t want to be producing eggs. They don’t want to be ovulating. It’s natural. Why would a female body want to produce eggs to stimulate potential reproduction if they’re not eating, if they’re starving?
That’s where this whole thing starts. It all has to do with leptin, ghrelin, and insulin. But it goes much more than that. We’re going to talk about what’s happening with the brain and with the gonads now.
Let’s talk about GNRH. GNRH is a particular thing that is secreted by the hypothalamus in both males and females, and it has to do with what’s called the hypothalamic-pituitary gonadal axis. I know lots of guys that are proud of the HPTA, thinking that it only has to do with testosterone and their male bodies. Oh, no. That’s not the case. The HPTA axis, that entire process, is men and women. And here’s how it works.
Your brain has an area called the hypothalamus. This hypothalamus ends up secreting something known as GNRH. This GNRH tells the pituitary gland to produce luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone. What these hormones end up doing is triggering the production of sperm and testosterone in men and producing ovulation and triggering progesterone and estrogen in women. They both do the same thing, just with a different end result. We still have the same catalyst, the same hormones.
Now what ends up happening is how women go through this process compared to men. Now that we know GNRH and we understand the HPTA has to do with men and women, we can talk about the precursor to the GNRH, which is where the problem really starts, and that’s something known as kisspeptin. Where the problem occurs with kisspeptin is just with people not knowing what’s really going on. Most of the beef in the fasting community and most of the beef with women fasting in general all has to do with kisspeptin.
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3) Intermittent Fasting Dietary Restriction Regimen Negatively Influences Reproduction in Young Rats: A Study of Hypothalamo-Hypophysial-Gonadal Axis. (2013, January 29). Retrieved from
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