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Fasting For Diabetics

How Intermittent Fasting Can Help Reverse Diabetes

How Intermittent Fasting Can Help Reverse Diabetes

The “Fast Cure” for Diabetes Though we may not like to admit it, type 2 diabetes is a disease chiefly brought on by our lifestyle choices.[1] Yes, genetics come into play too, but when it comes to type 2 diabetes, you are not a slave to your gene pool. You have the power to even alter your genes.[2] According to the American Diabetes Association, type 2 diabetes is increasing worldwide at an alarming rate due to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.[3] So, let’s say that you (or someone you know) became overweight, were less and less active, and finally one day at a routine doctor visit, your doctor announced that you have type 2 diabetes and put you on medication to lower your blood sugar. Perhaps you’ve been taking diabetes meds for years now and the idea of reversing your diabetes seems far-fetched, even fanciful. Maybe your doctor doesn’t believe that type 2 diabetes is reversible. That has been the traditional medical thought greatly influenced by the pharmaceutical companies who want to push their expensive drugs. But a new day has dawned and many doctors are seeing their patients reverse their type 2 diabetes. One effective way people reverse their type 2 diabetes is by intermittent fasting. Dr. Jason Fung, MD, writes, “While many consider type 2 diabetes (T2D) irreversible, fasting has been long known to cure diabetes.”[4] Wow, “cure” is a strong word coupled with diabetes and spoken by a medical doctor! Harvard University is home to the famous Joslin Center for Diabetes. The center is named after Dr. Elliot Joslin, one of the greatest specialists in diabetes of all time. In 1916, Dr. Joslin wrote an article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal about fasting for the treatment of diabetes. Based on his experience, he was convinced that all i Continue reading >>

Ramadan And Diabetes

Ramadan And Diabetes

Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan is an important spiritual practice. When you have diabetes, you may be wondering how fasting will affect your diabetes. There is a lot of misinformation about diabetes and Ramadan. This handout is written to answer some of the most common questions. Does everyone have to fast? No. This is based on the Holy Quran as well as the teachings of Islamic religious scholars over centuries. The Quran states that there are groups of people who do not have to fast, especially if it puts their health at risk. This includes children, pregnant or breastfeeding women, the elderly and anyone who might make themselves ill by fasting. This also includes people with poorly controlled diabetes, people with type 1 diabetes who take insulin or type 2 on a mixed insulin regimen or those who often have very high or very low blood glucose levels. I know many people with diabetes who fast and don’t have a problem. Is it okay for me? It is true, many people with diabetes can fast safely, but each person is different. Part of the decision you will make with your doctor has to do with the kind of diabetes medicine you take. It is important to schedule an appointment 2-3 months before Ramadan to discuss how fasting might affect your diabetes. Your doctor or healthcare provider may suggest a change in your medication plan. What risks should I be aware of? These are the key risks: • Low blood glucose (or hypoglycemia) – The risk of blood glucose levels going too low is highest in people taking insulin or certain diabetes pills. Limit physical activity during fasting hours and be more active after sunset. Talk with your healthcare provider to find out if your medicine puts you at risk for low blood glucose and discuss how to prevent it. • High blood gluc Continue reading >>

Intermittent Fasting: Not So Fast

Intermittent Fasting: Not So Fast

I’m sure that at least a few of you have heard or read about the latest trend in weight loss called “intermittent fasting.” The very word “fasting” is probably less than appealing, as it pretty much means you don’t eat or drink anything (except perhaps water) for a specified amount of time. Starvation is not exactly recommended among health professionals. But intermittent fasting is different. Is it something you should try? What is intermittent fasting, anyway? Intermittent fasting has been the talk of the town, so to speak, thanks to two recent books to hit the market: The Fast Diet by Dr. Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer, and The Overnight Diet by Caroline Apovian, MD. Intermittent fasting essentially means that you skip a meal or severely restrict calories on certain days of the week with the intention of losing weight, controlling blood glucose, and/or decreasing heart disease risk. But on the other days of the week, you can pretty much eat what you want (within reason, of course). For many people, this concept sounds appealing. Limiting calories for a couple days a week doesn’t sound that bad if you can eat what you want the rest of the time. The Fast Diet, also called the The 5:2 Diet has you eat between 500 and 600 calories (women get 500 calories, men get 600 calories) for two days out of the week, spread over two meals of about 250 to 300 calories. These fast days should not be right in a row, and your food choices ideally should be more plant-based and emphasize protein. The premise is that after several hours of fasting, the body burns up its carbohydrate stores and shifts to burning fat for fuel. Many claim that intermittent fasting also helps to blunt appetite. The Overnight Diet emphasizes getting enough sleep; a lack of sleep can disrupt met Continue reading >>

Intermittent Fasting Could Help Tackle Diabetes – Here’s The Science

Intermittent Fasting Could Help Tackle Diabetes – Here’s The Science

Intermittent fasting is currently all the rage. But don’t be fooled: it’s much more than just the latest fad. Recent studies of this kind of fasting – with restricted eating part of the time, but not all of the time – have produced a number of successes, but the latest involving diabetes might be the most impressive yet. The idea of intermittent fasting arose after scientists were wowed by the effects of constant calorie restriction. A number of studies in many different animals have shown that restricted eating throughout adulthood leads to dramatic improvements in lifespan and general health. The reasons for these improvements aren’t yet clear. Part of it seems to be that going without food gives cells in the body a much needed break to perform maintenance and repair. But the lack of food also forces cells to resort to alternative sources of energy. Some of these, such as ketones – molecules created in the liver from recycled fat – appear to be beneficial. ‘Fasting’ without fasting The problem is that constant calorie restriction isn’t practical: it’s easy for scientists to impose upon lab animals, but hard for humans to impose upon themselves in the real world. Fortunately, we’ve learned that constant calorie restriction isn’t really necessary. Intermittent fasting seems to have many of the same benefits. There are two main types of intermittent fasting. One type, known as “time restricted feeding”, requires eating only during a few hours of the day – say between 10am and 6pm. This approach gives the body a long break from food each night, and also reinforces beneficial circadian rhythms. The other type of intermittent fasting – made popular by the 5:2 diet – is known as “periodic fasting”. This approach involves alternating be Continue reading >>

Safe Fasting With Diabetes

Safe Fasting With Diabetes

Whether you are honoring an ancient religious practice or heading to the lab for a fasting blood test, care is needed when missing meals with diabetes. Fasting can throw off the delicate balance of food, water, and blood glucose levels in potentially harmful ways. Fasting with diabetes poses significant risks, says Kathaleen Briggs Early, PhD, RD, CDE, of the Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences. Most of the research on fasting and diabetes surrounds Ramadan, the annual Islamic observance that requires fasting from sunrise to sundown for 29 or 30 days. A commentary published in 2010 in Diabetes Care developed in collaboration with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) focused on fasting during Ramadan, though many of the issues it raises are relevant to other types of fasting as well. It says that “most often, the medical recommendation will be not to undertake fasting” if you have diabetes. The paper acknowledges that fasting for spiritual reasons is a personal decision, but one that should include the guidance of a health care provider. A study found that 43 percent of people with type 1 diabetes and 79 percent of people with type 2 diabetes from 13 Islamic countries fast during Ramadan. With that reality, fasting safely becomes a priority for people with diabetes and their care providers. “Anybody with diabetes needs to first talk to their doctor about going on a fast,” says Early, and some experts recommend a pre-fasting medical assessment to help ensure safety. If you are considering fasting, talk to your health care provider about a plan that takes medication, nutrition, and hydration into account. Regularly monitoring blood glucose during fasting is key to avoiding health emergencies. Not eating when taking insulin or certain other diabetes Continue reading >>

Introduction To Intermittent Fasting

Introduction To Intermittent Fasting

Editor’s Note: Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, lives with type 1 diabetes and coaches his clients in a non-traditional nutritional approach to diabetes management. The views expressed in this article are his own. Intermittent fasting is term coined by the research world that refers to an extended duration of minimal calorie intake. Believe it or not, humans are evolutionarily adapted to performing intermittent fasts – our ancestors performed extended fasts whenever food was unavailable, and feasted only when they could procure enough food to eat. However, in our modern world of abundance, deliberately fasting for an extended period of time is anything but “normal.” Fasting goes against every morsel of modern life, and is in direct opposition to the abundance-based food culture that we have worked so hard to create. In our world of fast food, on-demand food delivery and 24-hour convenience stores, choosing not to eat food can seem strange indeed. I spent my entire graduate career investigating the effects of intermittent fasting in rodents, in order to understand why calorie restriction and intermittent fasting are the gold standards for improving insulin sensitivity. As a result of this active body of research, tens of thousands of people across the world engage in intermittent fasting on a weekly basis, as a means of improving their body composition, losing fat mass, shedding pounds or observing a religious holiday. The research world has taken a large interest in calorie restriction and intermittent fasting, for the explicit purpose of identifying cellular mechanisms that may retard the aging process and promote excellent metabolic health. And in the process of studying intermittent fasting, researchers have uncovered a laundry list of health benefits that confuse even Continue reading >>

Fasting Safely With Diabetes

Fasting Safely With Diabetes

Fasting can be a challenge for anyone, but it can be especially difficult for someone with diabetes. As any diabetic knows, successful blood sugar management relies on healthy meals eaten at regularly spaced intervals. So what happens when one or more meals need to be skipped for religious reasons or because of a medical or dental procedure? Each individual's situation is different, so consultation with your physician is crucial. That said, there are some general guidelines that can help when it comes to fasting with diabetes. Diabetes and Fasting: Does Type Matter? Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, fasting needs to be approached with care. "Fasting should be rare if you have diabetes because an individual with type 1 or type 2 on oral medication can experience hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)," says Amy Kranick, a certified diabetes educator with Diabetes Care Club in Nashville, Tenn. Risks from low blood sugar include seizure, coma, or even death if left untreated. On the other hand, depending on the individual, fasting without using insulin can result in high blood sugars or in diabetic ketoacidosis (a serious diabetes complication caused by blood build-up of acids called ketones). Dehydration is another fear if fluids are avoided during the fast. Diabetes and Fasting: Does the Reason Make a Difference? That being said, people with diabetes may want or need to fast for a variety of reasons, and the length of the fast can affect what actions you need to take. Here are some examples: Religious reasons. Some people with diabetes may want to fast for religious observances such as Yom Kippur or Ramadan. Given the risky nature of fasting with diabetes, this isn't necessarily a good idea. "Both [Judaism and Islam] have guidelines that exempt those people who will be Continue reading >>

A Fasting Diet Could Reverse Diabetes And Repair The Pancreas, Says New Research

A Fasting Diet Could Reverse Diabetes And Repair The Pancreas, Says New Research

Researchers have been able to reverse symptoms of diabetes and restore pancreas functions in mice by putting them on a version of the fasting-mimicking diet. The diet tricks the body into a fasting mode for a few days a month, even while carefully selected foods are still being eaten, and it could be enough to reboot the organ's key functions and restore insulin production, scientists say. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas cannot make insulin (type I) or is damaged by insulin resistance (type II), and the team from the University of Southern California says the diet reversed symptoms of both types of diabetes in mice. "By pushing the mice into an extreme state and then bringing them back... the cells in the pancreas are triggered to use some kind of developmental reprogramming," says the head of the research team, Valter Longo. In humans, the fasting-mimicking diet has been credited with helping people lose weight more effectively, and previous studies have also linked it to reducing risk factors for diseases like heart disease and cancer. The diet has also been credited with reducing the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, so it's earning quite a reputation amongst scientists. In each case starving the body seems to reset the production of healthy cells. In the latest study, mice were put into the artificial fasting mode for four days a week over a period of several months. Scientists found this was enough to regenerate beta cells in the pancreas, responsible for storing and releasing insulin. Damaged cells were replaced by working ones. The team also experimented on pancreatic cell cultures from human donors with type I diabetes. Here too, simulated fasting produced more insulin and more of the Ngn3 protein required for normal pancreatic function. In other words, the sign Continue reading >>

How Fasting Reverses Type 2 Diabetes

How Fasting Reverses Type 2 Diabetes

While many consider type 2 diabetes (T2D) irreversible, fasting has been long known to cure diabetes. In our previous post, we considered bariatric surgery. While extreme, these surgeries have proven the point that the metabolic abnormalities that underlie T2D (hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance) can be fully reversible even after a few short weeks. Many early studies were done with the heavy-duty Roux-en-Y surgery, which is the heavyweight champions of surgeries. The best weight loss. The most complications. This is the surgery that has ‘Go Big or Go Home’ tattooed on its massive bicep. But even milder forms of bariatric surgery show the same reversibility of T2D. A gastric band is essentially a belt implanted around your stomach. The surgeon keeps tightening the belt so that you can’t eat. If you try to eat too much, you’ll puke it all back up. Lovely. It ain’t pretty, but it sure does work. Again, long term results are kind of iffy, but short term results are pretty good. The results of gastric banding versus medical treatment showed a significant and pretty damn good drop in their fasting blood sugars. In other words, their T2D was reversing in a b-i-g way. Those given medicines alone basically stayed the same. They were no better than before. Gastric banding a 500 pound patient will still reverse 20 years of diabesity within weeks. One of the main questions is why? There are many hypotheses, but essentially, it is the sudden severe restriction of all calories that causes this beneficial effect. This is the same thing as the time tested, ancient healing tradition of fasting. Fasting is the voluntary restriction of food for religious, health or other purposes (eg. hunger strikes). Is bariatrics simply a surgically enforced fast? The short answer is yes. I Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Weight Loss For Type 2

Diabetes And Weight Loss For Type 2

Obesity and diabetes are intimately linked. In particular, abdominal obesity can be a major culprit in the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Research shows that if you are overweight and have been diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2, losing weight will significantly lower your blood sugar levels and also improve your overall health. So, yes. Diabetes and weight loss makes immense sense. But, could there be a “right” and a “wrong” way to achieve your weight loss goals? Diabetes And Weight Loss Dilemma The most important thing to understand is this – any weight loss is good. According to Cathy Nonas, MS, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association and a professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, “No matter how heavy you are, you will significantly lower your blood sugar if you lose some weight.” The Finnish Prevention Study and a study by Diabetes Prevention Program (see References at the end of the article for details) both prove that lifestyle changes that instigate a weight reduction of 5% (or more) decrease the overall risk of diabetes by as much as 58% in high-risk patients. For those living with diabetes, studies have shown that a loss of 5–10% of body weight can improve fitness levels, reduce HbA1c levels, improve cardiovascular health, and decrease use of diabetes, hypertension, and lipid-lowering medications. That’s not all; diabetics who successfully lose weight also lower their risk of depression and sleep apnea. People diagnosed with diabetes get a bundle of advice when it comes to weight loss. From magazines to TV shows to friends and family and even health professionals, everyone will point you towards the latest break-through diet and exercise regime that will help you lose weight quickly and maybe ev Continue reading >>

Fasting Cures Type 2 Diabetes – T2d 4

Fasting Cures Type 2 Diabetes – T2d 4

While many consider Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) irreversible, fasting has also been long known to cure diabetes. In our previous post, we considered bariatric surgery. While extreme, these surgeries have proven the point that the metabolic abnormalities that underlie T2D (hyper insulinemia, insulin resistance) can often be fully reversed after a short (weeks) period of intensive treatment with bariatrics. Many early studies were done with the heavy-duty Roux-en-Y surgery, which is the heavyweight champions of surgeries. The best weight loss. The most complications. This is the surgery that has ‘Go Big or Go Home’ tattooed on its massive bicep. But even milder forms of bariatric surgery show the same reversibility of T2D. A gastric band is essentially a belt implanted around your stomach. They keep tightening the belt so that you can’t eat. If you try to eat too much, you’ll puke it all back up. Loverly. It ain’t pretty, but it sure do work. Again, long term results are kind of iffy, but short term results are pretty good. You can see the results of gastric banding versus medical treatment from the graph above. Patients randomized to the gastric band showed a significant and pretty damn good drop in their fasting blood sugars. In other words, T2D was reversing in a b-i-g way. Those given medicines alone didn’t do very well at all. Basically they stayed the same. They were no better than before. So, yes, even gastric banding these 500 pound patients with 20 years of diabesity can reverse within weeks even before the weight comes off. One of the main questions is why? There are many hypotheses – which we will consider in a later post, but it is the sudden severe restriction of all calories that causes this beneficial effect. This is the same thing as the time teste Continue reading >>

5:2 Fasting Diet

5:2 Fasting Diet

Tweet The 5:2 intermittent fasting (IF) diet, more commonly referred to simply as the 5:2 diet, has become one of the more popular diet plan in recent years. Studies have shown that the diet helps with weight loss and may also reduce insulin resistance, both of which are of particular interest for many people with type 2 diabetes or borderline diabetes. One reason for the popularity of the diet is that it allows a certain amount of flexibility, in comparison to low calorie diets, on most days of the week. Theory behind the diet The idea of the diet is that short periods of fasting prompt the body to repair damage but not enter a starvation mode of conserving energy. Whilst the theory has yet to be conclusively proved, clinical studies have shown promising results for the diet, however it has only been examined over relatively short time spans, of less than a year. How the 5:2 diet works The 5:2 intermittent fasting diet is based on a simple idea. 5 days a week you stick to meeting the daily calorie intake advised for people of a healthy weight, that being: 2,500 kcal per day for men 2,000 kcal per day for women For the other 2 days each week, the diet stipulates that you have only around 25% of the values above, which is equal to: 600 kcal on these days for men 500 kcal on these days for women The fasting days can be taken at any time during the week as long as you do not take 2 fasting days consecutively. Benefits of the 5:2 diet Clinical studies have shown that the benefits of intermittent fasting are largely similar to those of a calorie restricted diets. The most commonly reported benefits among people from following the 5:2 diet: Research has shown that periods of fasting can help to improve life expectancy and decrease risks of diseases including nerve disorders, Continue reading >>

Fasting Diet 'regenerates Diabetic Pancreas'

Fasting Diet 'regenerates Diabetic Pancreas'

Fasting diet 'regenerates diabetic pancreas' By James Gallagher Health and science reporter, BBC News website These are external links and will open in a new window The pancreas can be triggered to regenerate itself through a type of fasting diet, say US researchers. Restoring the function of the organ - which helps control blood sugar levels - reversed symptoms of diabetes in animal experiments. The study, published in the journal Cell , says the diet reboots the body. Experts said the findings were "potentially very exciting" as they could become a new treatment for the disease. People are advised not to try this without medical advice. In the experiments, mice were put on a modified form of the "fasting-mimicking diet". It is like the human form of the diet when people spend five days on a low-calorie, low-protein, low-carbohydrate but high unsaturated-fat diet. It resembles a vegan diet with nuts and soups, but with around 800 to 1,100 calories a day. Then they have 25 days eating what they want - so overall it mimics periods of feast and famine. Previous research has suggested it can slow the pace of ageing. But animal experiments showed the diet regenerated a special type of cell in the pancreas called a beta cell. These are the cells that detect sugar in the blood and release the hormone insulin if it gets too high. Dr Valter Longo, from the University of Southern California, said: "Our conclusion is that by pushing the mice into an extreme state and then bringing them back - by starving them and then feeding them again - the cells in the pancreas are triggered to use some kind of developmental reprogramming that rebuilds the part of the organ that's no longer functioning." There were benefits in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in the mouse experiments. Type 1 i Continue reading >>

Prayer And Fasting With Diabetes — Informed Clients Of Faith Can Avoid Serious Health Risks

Prayer And Fasting With Diabetes — Informed Clients Of Faith Can Avoid Serious Health Risks

Today’s Dietitian Vol. 14 No. 7 P. 14 Many religious faiths recommend setting aside time for prayer and fasting—a sacred time to commune with God while abstaining from all food, drink, or both. Fasting can last for one day, seven days, one month, or longer. People of the Jewish faith fast for 25 hours from sundown to sundown during Yom Kippur. Muslims fast during the daylight hours for the entire month of Ramadan. And many Christians fast and pray for 40 days during the Lenten season or sporadically throughout the year when there’s a need to reinforce spiritual discipline, receive direction from God for their lives, or experience divine intervention during tough times. While fasting is a commendable spiritual practice, it’s one that could come with major health risks for people who have diabetes. Fasting During Ramadan Of all the spiritual fasts, Ramadan represents a particular challenge for people with diabetes and their healthcare providers. During the month of Ramadan, which begins at a different time each year according to the Islamic calendar, Muslims abstain from all food and drink, the use of oral medications, and smoking from just before dawn until sunset.1 In contrast, the 40-day fast during the Lenten season for Christians is less restrictive. Christians with or without diabetes may give up eating certain foods or meals throughout the season but not all food entirely, and they continue to take their medications, so they’re much less likely to develop health problems. For a Muslim with diabetes, going without food and drink for several hours per day and for days at a time often leads to serious complications. For this reason, healthcare providers have discouraged people with diabetes from fasting during Ramadan.1 According to the Islamic faith, Muslim Continue reading >>

The Diabetics Guide To Intermittent Fasting

The Diabetics Guide To Intermittent Fasting

Is IF safe for people with diabetes? Will IF get results for people with diabetes? IF is becoming very popular. There are a wide range of different fasting methods, some of the most popular include: Eat Stop Eat 5:2 Diet (participants limit their calorie intake on two days per week) 16:8 diet 18:6 diet Generally speaking, IF works well for people who are looking to lose body fat, fast-paced individuals who struggle to get the time to eat multiple meals per day and people with diabetes wanting to improve their HBA1C In respect to diabetes management, The typical Intermittent 18 hour fast followed by a 6 hour eating window can help improve HBA1C levels. If you stop eating at 6:00 pm your quick acting insulin is pretty much out of your system by 10:00pm (bedtime). Provided your blood glucose is within target range and your background insulin is dosed correctly, your next 18 hours (until 12:00pm the next day) will sit well inside range. Solid diabetes control means a good HBA1C and less likelihood of complications. Other intermittent fasting methods like the 16 hour (fast)/8 hour (eat) window also work well. If you have a bit of dawn phenomenon you may need a unit or two of quick acting insulin to prevent high blood glucose. How much insulin you need to take is largely based on your calorie needs for your specific goal, stress, level of activity and some trial and error. In respect to fat loss, The latest consensus statement from the ISSN on body comp and diets (which we have reviewed extensively inside the Training Lab) concludes IF has no significant benefits on body composition over other methods that drive a daily calorie deficit. The basic concept of Intermittent fasting is grounded on the limited feeding window of 6 to 8 hours. This narrow eating window makes it harde Continue reading >>

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