YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
I AM a 59-year-old woman with atrial fibrillation and would benefit greatly from losing a few stone. I had some success with 5:2, but within a couple of weeks my condition was much worse. Should I persevere and put up with the symptoms?
I AM often asked by readers with long-term health conditions if the New 5:2 is right for them. To answer this medical question, I asked my wife Clare – You magazine’s GP columnist – to comment.
She said: ‘The New 5:2 is an excellent way to lose weight but it may not be suitable for those with atrial fibrillation, which causes an irregular heartbeat, putting you at risk of a stroke due to a blood clot.
‘Most patients with AF take warfarin tablets, which thin the blood. The problem with warfarin and the 5:2 or any intermittent fasting plan is that the sudden reduction in food on the fast days may affect the degree of blood-thinning.
‘On some days the blood may be too thick, risking a blood clot, or else too thin, risking a stroke. However, this is not such an issue for most other bloodthinning medication such as the newer anticoagulants, which do the same thing as warfarin but in a different way. This is just one of the reasons why those people with a significant medical condition should seek advice before embarking on such a diet.
‘Losing weight, if you need to, undoubtedly benefits heart health. Even if you can’t do the 5:2, your doctor may be able to advise on another healthy balanced diet that will help you slim.’