Hypertension? No Problem, Try Water Fasting : Exclusive Renegade Health Interview with Dr. Alan Goldhamer

Friday Oct 3 | BY |
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hot spring ausangate
Blood boiling? We have some answers…

Last week, I had a chance to have a chat with — who I feel — is one of the most knowledgeable health practitioners around.

I don’t throw around comments like that.

Whenever anyone asks me where they should look if they’re looking to fast or cleanse, I point them to his facility.

My colleague is Dr. Alan Goldhamer and in this interview we’re going to be talking about fasting — in particular water only fasting. You’ve probably seen him around the blog before.

We’ll cover the healing crisis, detox symptoms, safety, and why they use the kind of water they do.

It’s a great interview and this is only Part 1.

Here’s where you can listen to it now (my commentary follows)…

Listen to Part 1 here:

alan goldhamer

Click the play button to start the call:


Here are my thoughts…

1. What I like about True North…

I’ve visited True North at least 5 times to date — one for a 5 day water fast, the others to meet with Dr. Goldhamer or tour the facility.

What I like most about the place is the very evident attention to detail.

Dr. Goldhamer understands how to run a professional fasting facility.

This isn’t an unsupervised fasting retreat in Costa Rica where you go and hand your life into the hands of capable — or non-capable — pseudo-doctors.

This is a real medical facility with real medical check-ins. If you want to feel comfortable and watched over while you’re fasting (I do) then this is the place to go.

2. Results.

What Dr. Goldhamer is also very quick to point out is that people come to True North, not because it’s a nice place to fast, but that when you fast you get results and he has proof.

In a study done by the clinic, 174 people were treated for hypertension with water only fasting. With follow up, many of them continued to have lowered blood pressure and overall better health — even if they “reasonably” stuck to the diet.

It’s likely that you could get these results fasting at another clinic, but doesn’t it make sense to go somewhere that is well trusted and has a proven track record?

I think so.

(BTW: I make no money talking about True North like this.)

3. Safety in the details.

Another thing that makes me think highly of Dr. Goldhamer and True North is their very specific intake and attention to medical testing for all potential and new patients.

To determine what type of fasting (or none at all) is good for you, you will go through an intake and if you get accepted, they will make sure you do some baseline medical testing.

This allows them and you to know if something is working or if something is not.

It’s in your best interest and theirs. You’re safe and they can monitor your progress to make sure you don’t encounter anything out of the ordinary.

4. Weening off medication during fasting needs to be done carefully.

If you are on medication and you start to fast, you have to be careful about weening off medication.

This is one of the reasons why anyone who is on medication and wants to do a water fast must do so under supervision.

I know there are some rebels out there, but do it right the first time and the results will be the best.

5. A healing crisis and a problem may look the same.

Another reason why I think a supervised fast is best is because — as Alan says — a healing crisis and a problem may look the same to an outsider.

How do you know if you’re going through a healing crisis or starting to encounter a real problem on day 5 of your water fast?

If you’re inexperienced (or even if you are), you may not know at all.

The biggest mistake I’ve heard coming from other places is that most fasting retreat supervisors call everything a healing crisis.

If it’s a healing crisis, then they’re right.

If it’s a problem, then they could be very, very wrong.

6. “The danger of being a vegan is that some of them get headaches because their halo is so tight.”

Still laughing about this quote.

7. Not everyone needs or is a candidate for water only fasting.

A statement like this is the sign of a trustworthy health expert. Any person who is selling specific groups or individuals OUT of what they do for a living is someone I want to align myself with.

Not everything is for everyone, and someone who can recognize this gains my trust much quicker than someone who can’t.

8. Use distilled water when fasting because…

Dr. Alan Goldhamer uses distilled water for all water only fasting clients.


Because it’s the most natural water — free from any impurities.

Some people are concerned that distilled water can do all sorts of funky things in the body, this is untrue.

If you eat a healthy diet and drink distilled water — fasting or not — you will get plenty on minerals and they will not be “stripped” from your body because the distilled water “attracts them out of your system.”

Dr. Goldhamer points out that there is no true science that support the mineral stripping theory about distilled water.

I’ve found the same thing. The water filtration industry does a lot of in-fighting when they market which causes a good deal of confusion.

A few days of distilled water — if you’re very militant about not drinking it — will not cause a problem.

Your question of the day: Where is your favorite place to fast? (If you haven’t fasted yet, where do you want to go?)

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Joseph says:

    Hmmm… a couple thoughts/questions:

    I’ve been doing ‘Intermittent Fasting’ as a long-term lifestyle & longevity technique for several months now. I wonder if it offers similar benefits?? Any thoughts on that?

    Also, do you really *have* to use distilled water? If you have a good local springwater with low TDS (total dissolved solids) that should be similar, right?


  2. Bonnie says:

    I have water fasted and occasionally don’t seem to recover after eating.I never know when it’s going to happen but I’m left with a migraine.
    Is there a better fast to lose weight, detox, lower BP etc?

  3. Interesting article. I enjoy fasting from time to time, but I usually do a fresh juice AND water fast for 1 to 2 days to rejuvenate my body. I’ve done a 3 day water fast once, and it wasn’t that easy. Doing it for 5 days sounds like a challenge, but I’m sure its worth it. I probably wouldn’t do it unless I was in a professional place like that.

  4. I think another issue I’ve found with fasting is the fact when you live with other people, its hard to explain your reasons for doing a 5 day WATER fast especially when they don’t share the same views as you. I remember back in the day when I did a 3 day water fast, my mom was extremely concerned and thought I was becoming anorexic, though I tried to explain my reasons. I definitely think its a good idea for people to fast in a professional setting where people will not be questioning you, but are rather supporting and watching out for you.

  5. MICHAEL says:

    I have been to True North twice and I had two great experiences there……..

  6. joe says:

    why not use platinum water ionizer alkaliser to raze the ph of the body? there is only one disease= acidosis people who do not make mistake they dont make anything . joe

  7. Velda says:

    I would love to go to True North. I have done fasting for many years on and off. However, the last time I did a 5-day water-only fast, my blood pressure went through the roof. Also, some other things in my bloods tests showed up not so good. I’m not really sure why. So I would love to do the fasting through True North, or at least see if they thought I was a candidate for water fasting.

    I will still fast for 24 hours at a time or even 2 days (maybe 3 if I’m feeling good), but I’ve been concerned about doing another 5-day water fast. I did, however, love it when you did the 7-day raw food challenege. That was really great. I think fast, by in large, is good for most bodies Great information, Kevin. You are the best!!!!

  8. zyxomma says:

    True North sounds terrific. I love fasting in the woods, where nature surrounds me. I haven’t done it lately, so maybe I’m due.

  9. Bev says:

    Hi Kevin and EveryOne,

    It is true fasting lowers blood pressure. I recently did a three day fast, juice, smoothies and water, and my blood pressure is staying good even though I have been over the fast for a week or more now.

    Fasting is nature’s gift of healing!

    Peace, Love and Harmony,

  10. lyn says:

    Hi Kev
    You are currently offering probiotics & plant-based protein shakes which sound very good & which I am very interested in trying.
    However, I NEVER just buy something based on what is ‘said’ about it.
    I MUST read the label & know the EXACT INGREDIENTS & as much else about it & how it has been processed BEFORE I will buy it.
    Yet only a minimum of that info is provided at your ‘online store.’
    With your adamant attitude re: researching, monitoring, & doing all you can to make certain you are ingesting the BEST foods necessary for each person’s own optimal health needs, I would expect you to have that info readily available.
    Won’t you at least consider including copies of both the front & back labels of the products you sell?
    And actually, any & all info re: the growing, gathering, & other processing of a product showing how & why it is optimal for our health & our planet is not only important to us, the consumers, but may also result in even more credibility to you & the products you sell.
    Thank you for all you do offer & for ‘hearing’ my request.

  11. carvacrol says:

    I have always fasted at home, as that is where I feel most comfortable. But I would love to try fasting at True North. I think I may get better results if I was doing a supervised fast. Maybe next year.

  12. Gini says:

    I agree with Lyn about the lack of ingredients listings in your store. I went to your store to order the Warrior Blend but like Lyn I will not buy something unless I can read the full ingredients. I also look for statements like organic, raw, and non-GMO. While I trust you on those things I still need to see the ingredients and need to know exactly what products are made or derived from.

  13. Cindy says:

    I have fasted on my own. Some 3 day, 7 day and several time I have done the 10 day cleanse. But the last time I tried that on the 6th day my kidneys hurt really bad. Having had Chemically Induced Renal Failure in 2005 anytime my kidneys hurt like that I freak out. I stopped the cleanse and haven’t done it again, being afraid to try it. It would be nice to go somewhere where you are being monitored. I know a man, 85 years old who has done a water fast for the month of January for the last 25 years. He thinks it saved his life the first time and continues to do them yearly. Very active healthy man.

  14. allison Dunnigan says:

    I used to do water fasting with the legendary Dr. Gian Curcio who was one of the early pioneers of Natural Hygiene in this country along with Dr Herbert Shelton. On my very first 14 day water fast I was able to dissolve a fibroid tumor the size of a large grapefruit. I will never forget the look on the medical doctor’s face when I returned for a second visit. He was ready for surgery and nearly fell off his chair when he saw the tumor was gone. It was one of the great moments of my life. I honor Dr. Curcio and many of these early pioneers who paved the way for water fasting and clean healthy natural eating.

  15. Scott says:

    Lyn (#6) and Gini (#8): you can go directly to Sunwarrior.com, click on Product Info tab, select Warrior Blend, and then click Ingredients and Supplement Information.

    My favorite place to fast is at home and to take long walks outdoors in nature.

  16. Mark says:

    Hello Kev,
    Thanks for posting this article. As a high blood pressure sufferer myself, I have to take three lots of meds every single day to control it, so when I read that fasting can have an influence on blood pressure levels it got my interest. I live in the UK so unfortunately the True North facility is beyond my reach, but from now on I’ll be on the lookout for a similar place here. If there isn’t one now, maybe someone will pick up on this and open one! For me, unsupervised fasting is a bit scary.
    Here’s hoping…
    In the meantime I’ll do some more research on the subject but can I encourage everyone to get their BP checked. Mine was a risky 170/117 and I didn’t know I had it.

  17. Laura says:

    I have fasted since 2000; it started as a one day/week water fast. Following Paul Bragg’s information, I also did four 7-10 days water fasts though the year, timed around the seasons changing. Over the years I realized it worked best for me to do fresh juice fasting; for the past five years or so I have juice fasted 2 days/week, usually on days when I am most busy, as the time just seems to fly by without my even noticing (much) that I am fasting. Sometimes I follow what the Nearings used to do, and fast all day until dinnertime.

    Fasting is an enormously useful tool in healing, and in becoming more spiritual, as people have known for thousands of years. But there is no one right way for everyone, nor is there only one way for everyone to fast; it can change through the years, or with various stresses in one’s life. Just become aware of how you feel when you try different ways of fasting, and start with a one day/week fast until you become used to what that feels like.

  18. JT says:

    Hey Kevin, isn’t purified water just as good as distilled water; 1. it is not municiple water. 2. it has had the contaminants removed. So my question is, if someone was doing a fast at home, could purified water give the same or better results? It may have some minerals, and in a water only fast, you wouldn’t be getting these minerals anywhere else. Just wondering.

  19. Kym says:

    Interesting. I also loved the halo comment and the one about “pleasure trap” chemicals.

    I find, having a fairly solid schedule, intermittent fasting works best for me. I do it here at home using different types of kampo and other teas.

  20. IH says:

    I have fasted at home doing the Master cleanse a couple of times and a couple of 1 day fasts. I would prefer to do a fast in a retreat centre. I would probably pick “Tree of Live” (Dr Gabriel Cousens) or the Hippocrates Health Institute simply because of their long time experience.

  21. sean says:

    As another hypertensive sufferer I’d be curious to give this as shot.
    Though living in Melbourne (Australia) won’t make it to true north.
    A bit scared to do it alone, at least not for more than a day or 2

  22. Tim says:

    I went to True North in May this year and did a 12 day water fast. It was a fantastic experience. The fast itself was great (I didn’t experience much discomfort at all, no healing crises). Dr. Goldhammer and the other doctors and staff were all great. The many lectures every week were incredibly interesting and informative. The other fasters were fascinating – I made a few good friends for life. And best of all, my BP went from 150/80 while on meds to 120/70 off meds. Since coming home, I have stuck to the diet almost perfectly (on rare social occasions I eat some food with more sodium in it than I should have) and my BP has continued to decrease so that now I am averaging 110/65 (no meds – at my latest physical, my doctor was astounded that I got off drugs using a natural process). This seems like nothing short of a miracle to me. Moreover, I can eat all I want of foods that I love and not gain weight. My BMI is 19 (24 before I water fasted) and I have only gained 4 pounds back since my lowest reading on the last day of my water fast. I can’t say enough good things about True North and Dr. Goldhammer and the other doctors.

  23. Cyndi says:

    I watered fasted for 7 days after lliving natural hygiene for several years. I did it at a retreat of Dr. Sheldon. IMy husband did ten days. I was 70 years old and I received a lot of benefits. I am now 86. I met Dr. Goldhamer at a NaTURal Hygiene Conference. Went to several of their conferences. I have done juice fasting.

  24. eric harnish says:

    Distilled water made my teeth soft and hurt. That was the only thing extra that I added to the Lorraine Day diet. That with the carrot juice and fruit with no green juice hurt my gums and teeth. My kidneys started shutting down from lack of minerals. I started adding more green juice instead and wheatgrass juice along with low fruit and in 4 days was a new man.

  25. elise says:

    Enjoyed the interview. Where is part II ? My dream is to go to True North Health Center. I have always wondered though, whey they charge the same for water fasting as they do for the cleansing diet. You get no food with water fasting so it seams you should pay less. Unless the water fasting includes all the medical supervision and the lab tests, not sure if it does.

  26. Dima says:

    IMHO You need at least 14 – 21 days fast to see any effect on Your migraine.
    5 days may help only for hypertension if you are oversalted.

  27. Jan says:

    Where can we listen to Part 2?

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