Fix your vagus nerve to heal chronic illness and improve glucose metabolism with dry fasting

Fix your vagus nerve to heal chronic illness and improve glucose metabolism with dry fasting


Table of contents

The vagus nerve is so important to glucose metabolism. I talk about this a lot. You can suppress a lot of symptoms and feel so much better by going on a low-carb diet, but this is simply masking the problem in the short term. True health is obtained when you are able to eat carbs again. This improved carbohydrate sensitivity goes hand in hand with vagus nerve health. To really thrive and become superhuman we have to fix the vagus nerve. The study we’re going to look at is called Impact of blood glucose control on sympathetic and vagus nerve function status in patients with Type 2 diabetes. 

“Present results indicate that sympathetic and vagal functional status are impaired independent of HbA1c level, while poor glycemic control is related to more significant neurocardiac dysfunction in DM patients.” Impact of blood glucose control on sympathetic and vagus nerve functional status in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus - PMC 

This incredible study found an interesting pattern that is important to understanding how important the parasympathetic nervous system is to insulin resistance.

They had 3 groups of diabetic patients.

  • 100 patients who had diabetes but controlled their glucose intake very well (kept it low),
  • 100 patients who had diabetes and did not control their glucose intake very well (up and down),
  • and 100 patients without diabetes as a control group.

All subjects underwent blood biochemistry tests, treadmill exercise testing, and 24-hour Holter monitoring. HRR and HRV parameters were significantly lower in groups A and B than in group C. Very low frequency (VLF) values were significantly lower in group B than in group A. 

All of this makes perfect sense.

No diabetes gives the best results for HRR and HRV.

Then diabetes but good glycemic control gives better results than no control of glycemic control.

Are we looking for optimal health? Well, then we’ve got to eliminate diabetes. How do we know we’ve achieved it? When we can eat carbs and feel perfectly healthy with good glucose clearance levels. But if we can't get there, managing blood glucose levels is critical, while still getting enough carbs to stop the body from constantly needing to create it through cortisol-gluconeogenesis pathways.

Low-carb diets are notoriously known to lower HRV. Even if your HbA1C levels are in the normal range. So why isn't your HRV increasing? Know what increases it? Removal of chronic cortisol. The easiest way to achieve this is by eating carbohydrates to stop constant gluconeogenesis from protein and fat. But be aware that jumping straight from low-carb into high-carb has its own set of risks and should be done very gradually (use a CGM if you can). An art form in itself. Dry fasting helps speed these transitions drastically, and it's why the scorch protocol uses dry fasting in between periods of dietary ketosis and high-carb regeneration.

“studies have shown that vagal activity, as indexed by heart-rate variability (HRV), is inversely related to diabetes and that low HRV is a predictor of T2DM.” The Vagal Nerve, Inflammation, and Diabetes—A Holy Triangle - PMC 

Why does this matter? Higher HRV predicts how well your body can handle stress. Dry Fasting spikes your HRV levels drastically. Not eating before bed helps a lot, not drinking alcohol, lowering your stress, etc. But the quickest, most powerful HRV spike comes from dry fasting and you get instant results. Don’t believe me? Try it next time you fast. Monitor your nighttime HRV levels with a fitness tracker wearable.

This indicates that it plays a big role in stimulating the vagus nerve and promoting its healing. Now, it’s not the end-all-be-all of vagus nerve healing. It sparks the fire, but you need to nurture and improve upon it by mastering the refeeding period.

With fasting, we attempt to fix our issues through a few mechanisms. Lowering sugar levels, giving the cells and pancreas a break, recycling cellular components that are faulty, stimulating stem cell regeneration, improving HRV while stimulating the vagus nerve.

Stress-induced hyperglycemia - PubMed
Stress hyperglycemia is common and likely to be associated with at least some of the same complications as hyperglycemia in true diabetes mellitus, such as poor wound healing and a higher infection rate. The predominant cause is the intense counterregulatory hormone and cytokine responses of critica …

Controlling glucose through diets like keto and carnivore is why so many people feel better on them than on their previous diet. If you have insulin-resistance-type of downstream damage, of course fixing it through glucose management is a critical first step. But what happens after? If you keep at a zero-carb diet, you cause chronic stress, but also insulin SUPPRESSION. If you don’t use it, you lose it! My own experiments and observations track perfectly well with this. They’re based on tracking my HRV and correlate fiercely with COVID-induced diabetes. Do all illnesses correlate to insulin resistance? We know that catching a cold or illness almost always increases blood sugar levels, so an prolonged, extreme sickness can very easily push you into diabetic levels of insulin resistance.

JCI - Role of counterregulatory hormones in the catabolic response to stress.
  • Fat adaptation forces insulin resistance
  • If you quit a fast, which is varying levels of fat adaptation, you need to keep insulin resistance in mind. This is why it's crucial to refeed slowly and not spike blood sugar like crazy. Think grazing vs big meals at first.
  • It’s why I talk about Berberine and Ivermectin, Psilocybin, and timed breathwork and exercise.

How does fasting help with diabetes?

  • Diabetes is inherently connected to nervous system dysregulation
  • Stimulating vagus nerve shows better glucose uptake by cells
  • Ergo, vagus nerve dysfunction is linked to diabetes – is our diabetes epidemic because of a perfect storm of stress and diet?
  • Fasting is a powerful reset to the vagus nerve and central nervous system. It lights the flame, but you must nurture it
  • Inflammation and diabetes is an important link. Harness the power of fasting to lower inflammation, and build on that process upon the exit. Remove seed oils. Stop snacking between meals. Strategically lower inflammation especially during feeding windows and sleep.
  • Free fatty acids inhibit glucose uptake, which forces insulin to be created to deal with rising glucose levels and starts a vicious cycle. Why low-carb diets make sense, but don’t fix root issues, only downstream issues. But when lost and confused, starting low-carb is your fastest medicine.

Yannick Wolfe

15 Years of Fasting Experience, Ex-ME/CFS, Ex-Long covid. Tech Consultant, Molecular biologist, Father, Researcher, Experimenter.

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