The benefits of intermittent fasting are quite impressive for people with diabetes.
Intermittent fasting should be considered as a treatment option for both type 1 and type 2 diabetics, but not everyone is a great candidate for this treatment. Before making a decision about doing intermittent fasting, you must consult with your doctor.
Diabetes and intermittent fasting, do they work together well?
Should diabetics do intermittent fasting or not?
The first thing which we need to understand, that there are different types of diabetes and the second, that there are different types of fasting. You may wonder if type 2 diabetics can do 16/8 intermittent fasting, for example.
Diabetes is a disease where the body is unable to produce or respond to insulin, which leads to increased blood sugar levels (glucose). Excess glucose can be excreted in the urine, cause kidney failure, nerve damage, heart problems, skin infections and other complications (1, 2). It’s a serious condition and can be deadly if it isn't managed well.
The best option would be to not have this disease at all and intermittent fasting can help with it.
Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are characterised by high blood sugar. The difference between them is that type 2 is developed through life, and leads to insensitivity to excessive insulin. Type 1 is typically an autoimmune condition that happens suddenly, where the pancreas is not able to produce insulin on its own (3).
In other words, type 2 diabetes is a disease caused by excessive insulin resulting in insulin resistance. In type 1, it is a lack of this hormone and people with this type of diabetes need to inject insulin. Usually, type 1 diabetics are sensitive to insulin, but if they eat a lot of carbohydrates and sugar and increase the dose of injection, they can develop insulin resistance over time (4).
More and more people are looking for ways to cure diabetes naturally. One of the most popular methods of treatment for this condition is intermittent fasting, which has been shown to have positive effects.
Intermittent fasting is a type of eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and not eating. This improves insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance; helps with weight loss and other metabolic processes in people with diabetes (5).
Type 2 diabetes and intermittent fasting cannot be seen as two opposing things. Both of them can exist together and lead to successful results. Nowadays science says that intermittent fasting can be a cure for type 2 diabetes. There are a few groups of diabetics in this type and depending on the group, you need to pick the right approach to intermittent fasting:
Intermittent fasting is a powerful method to bring insulin down and increase insulin sensitivity. You need to practise different fasting protocols and see which one works for you.
These people are also good candidates, but in such a case, you need to consult your doctor to adjust the medication, because without doing it, your blood sugar can drop down too quickly. It will be a good idea to monitor your glucose levels yourself closely to prevent hypoglycemia (low glucose levels).
This group can still do intermittent fasting, but it should be done under medical supervision. Here your doctor may advise you to stop taking short-term insulin and adjust long-term insulin while fasting because without consuming any food you can get overmedicated which will lead you to hypoglycemia (6).
For type 1 diabetics, intermittent fasting is a potentially beneficial practice. Here we split type 1 diabetics into two groups:
The main issue with diabetes is blood sugar and insulin. In both cases, type 1 and type, you need to bring glucose down with the least amount of insulin, that’s where intermittent fasting shows great results by improving insulin sensitivity and achieving other health benefits (9).
Both types of diabetics will benefit from a proper diet, read the article “What is the daily Diet Plan for Type 2 Diabetes ?” .
There are some points to consider when you begin intermittent fasting, finding a plan that is suitable for you will facilitate the practice.
Intermittent fasting works without counting calories. But combining intermittent fasting with a healthy diet helps to maximize the benefits.