This section of the book is from the "How and When to Be Your Own Doctor" book, by Dr. Isabelle A. Moser with Steve Solomon, published in 1997.
The chronically ill person has a long-term degenerative condition that is not immediately life threatening. This condition usually causes more-or-less continuous symptoms that are painful, perhaps unsightly, and ultimately will be disabling or eventually capable of causing death. To qualify as "chronic" the symptoms must have been present a minimum of six months, with no relief in sight. People with these conditions have usually sought medical assistance, frequently have had surgery, and have taken and probably are taking numerous prescription drugs.
Some examples of chronic conditions are: arthritis, rheumatism, diabetes, early onset of cancer and aids, asthma, colitis, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, some mental disorders, arterial deposit diseases, most of the itises (inflammations).
Before fasting, the chronically ill often do have time to prepare the way with limited dietary reform, and frequently begin to feel relief quite quickly. Before actually fasting they should limit their diet to raw foods and eliminate all toxic foods like alcohol, coffee, tea, salt, sugar and recreational drugs for two months if they have been following a typical American diet.
If the chronically ill had been following a vegetarian diet, perhaps a diet including with eggs and dairy, if they had been using no addicting substances, then one month on raw foods is sufficient preparation for fasting. If the person had water or juice fasted for at least a week or two within the last two years, and followed a healthy diet since that time, one or two weeks on raw foods should be a sufficient runway.
During preparation for a fast, I never recommend that a chronically ill person quit taking prescription medicines because doing so can seriously disrupt their homeostasis. However, if their symptoms lessen or vanish during the pre-fasting clean up, the person might try tapering off medications.
The length and type of fast chosen to resolve a chronic illness depends largely on available time, finances, availability of support people, work responsibilities, and mental toughness. If you are one of those fortunate people 'rich' enough to give their health first priority, long water fasting is ideal. If on the other hand you can't afford to stop working, have no one to take care of you and assist with some household chores, and/or you are not mentally tough enough to deal with self-denial, compromise is necessary.
Ideally the chronically ill person would fast for an extended period under supervision until their symptoms were gone or greatly improved, with a fall-back plan to repeat the whole process again in three to six months if necessary. If you are not able to do that, the next best program is to fast for a short period, like one or two weeks, with a plan to repeat the process as often as possible until you are healed.
I have had clients with potentially life-threatening conditions such as obesity with incipient heart failure, or who came to me with cancer, that were unable to stop work for financial reasons, or who could not afford a residential fasting program, or who felt confident in their own ability to deal with detoxification in their own home. These people have fasted successfully at home, coming to see me once a week. Almost inevitably, successful at-home fasters had already done a lot of research on self healing, believed in it, and had the personal discipline to carry it out properly, including breaking the fast properly without overeating.
Fruits should be watery and lower in sugar. Some examples of poor fruit choices would be pineapple, ripe mango, bananas, dates, raisins, figs. Fruits should not be combined with vegetables.
Vegetables should not be starchy, packed-full of energy. Poor vegetable choices would be potato, parsnip, turnip, corn, sweet potato, yam, beet, winter squash. Sprouts and baby greens are vegetables and may be included in salads.
Juices should not be extremely sweet. Apple, orange, beet and carrot juice should be diluted with 50% water. Fruit juices should not be mixed with vegetable juices or with vegetables at the same meal.
Salads should include no fruit. Salad dressings should be lemon or lime juice, very small quantities of olive oil, and herbs. No salt, soy sauce nor black pepper. Cayenne can be okay for some.
I have also helped chronically ill people that were not mentally prepared to water fast, but were able to face the long-term self-control and deprivation of a raw food cleansing diet that included careful food combining. These people also regained their health, but it took them a year at minimum, and once well they had to remain on a diet tailor-made to their digestive capacity for the rest of their life, usually along with food supplements.
Jim was such a case. He was 55 years old, very obese, had dangerously high blood pressure poorly controlled with medication, and was going into congestive heart failure. He was on digitalis and several other heart medications plus diuretics, but in no way was his condition under control. He had severe edema in the feet and legs with pitting, and fluid retention in the abdominal region caused a huge paunch that was solid to the touch not soft and squishy like fatty tissue.
Jim had dreamed of having his own homestead with an Organic garden, now he had these things but was too sick to enjoy them or work in his garden without severe heart pain and shortness of breath. Jim had retired early in order to enjoy many years without the stresses of work, and he was alarmed to realize that he was unlikely to survive a year.
The day Jim came to see me the first time I would have classified his condition as critically ill because his life was in immediate danger; but he responded so quickly to his detox program that he was very soon out of danger and would be more accurately described as a chronically ill person. Jim was not prepared to water fast. He was attached to having his food and he was aware that at his extreme weight he was going to have stay on a dietary program for a long, long time. He also wanted to choose a gradient that he could manage by himself at home with little assistance from his wife. He had been on a typical American diet with meat, coffee, etc., so that in spite of his dangerous condition it did not seem wise to me to add the heavy eliminatory burden of a water fast to a body that was already overwhelmed with fluids and waste products.
Jim immediately went on a raw food cleansing diet, with no concentrated foods like nuts, seeds, or avocados, and with one day each week fasting on vegetable juice and broth. He did enemas daily even though it wasn't his favorite thing. In one month he had lost 30 pounds, his eyes had started to sparkle, and his complexion was rosy. The swelling had disappeared from his feet and legs, and he had to buy new pants.
Starting the second month he gradually withdrew from prescription medications. From the beginning I had put Jim on a program of nutritional supplements including protomorphogens (see chapter on vitamins and food supplements) to help the body repair it's heart and the kidneys. In only four months he had returned his body to glowing health, and looked great for his age, though he was still overweight. At the end of one year he had returned to a normal weight for his height, and only cheated on the diet a couple of times when attending a social event, and then it was only a baked potato with no dressing.
He was probably going to have many qualitative years working his garden and living out his dreams. The local intensive care ward lost a lot of money when they failed to get Jim.