Intermittent Fasting for Diabetes: The Good, The Bad, The Unknown

Diabetes is one of the most dangerous and commonly found diseases in the world. Millions of people around the world have diabetes. Due to an autoimmune condition, a human body stops the production of insulin, which leads to a high blood sugar level. When the blood sugar level of a person increases, many health problems start to occur, and this condition of a human body is called diabetes. A diabetic person may feel skin infection, eye problems, excessive hunger, and fatigue, and slow healing of wounds. The complications of diabetes can be very serious. Diabetes can also lead to some death threatening diseases like heart disease, nerve damage, and kidney failure. According to a report from the World Health Organization (WHO), about 1.6 million people around the world lose their lives to diabetes every year.

Types of Diabetes

There are mainly two types of diabetes.

  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Type 2 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition of a human body. In this type of diabetes, the immune system of the human body destroys the beta cells of the pancreas. The beta cells in the pancreas are responsible for producing insulin in the human body. In the absence of insulin, the blood sugar level increases and results in some serious complications. Sadly, no prevention methods available for type 1 diabetes. The damage is permanent. The symptoms of type 1 diabetes mostly start in childhood or adulthood. Out of all the diabetes patients around the world, only 5 to10 percent of people have type 1 diabetes. The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is not yet identified by medical science.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most found diabetes in the world. In type 2 diabetes, the body does not properly use the insulin. In this condition, the pancreas produces more and more insulin, and at some point, it reaches the level where it cannot keep up the insulin demand. As the production of insulin decreases, the blood sugar level starts to get high. In medical terms, this condition is called insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes is found in 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes patients. Medical science is still trying to find the exact cause of type 2 diabetes. However, obesity, lack of physical activities, and genetics can be the main cause of type 2 diabetes.

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Treatment – The unknown

In type 1 diabetes, the immune system damages beta cells of the pancreas due to which the production of insulin stops. A human body needs insulin to live. To fulfill the demand for insulin, the doctor injects the insulin with a syringe in the body. One has to monitor his blood sugar levels every day. Some devices can monitor the blood sugar level in the human body. Whenever needed, you have to inject the exact amount of insulin in your body. There is no permanent cure for this disease. One has to keep doing this process throughout his life.

On the other hand, type 2 diabetes can be treated with diet and various medications. There are many medications available that can be used to treat type 2 diabetes. You can also control your blood sugar levels with the help of diet and exercise. Intermittent fasting is also an option. In the last few years, intermittent fasting has proven to be very effective while treating diabetes in some cases.

Intermittent Fasting (IF)

Intermittent fasting is a method that helps to lose weight and improve the overall health of a body. Currently, it is very popular in the world and widely used to lose weight and for other health benefits. Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern. There are many different patterns of intermittent fasting. A person can follow any of the patterns according to his target. The intermittent fasting does not tell us what to eat but rather when to eat. There are several different methods of intermittent fasting, but the most popular is the 16/8 method and 5:2 diet plan method. In some cases, intermittent fasting has proven to be very effective while treating type 2 diabetes.

Intermittent Fasting For Treating Diabetes – The Good

A recent study shows that some patients with type 2 diabetes have fully recovered with the help of intermittent fasting. It is said that it can reverse type 2 diabetes. In a study, it came out that intermittent fasting can cure type 2 diabetes of a person of any age group. In a small study by Dr. Jason Fung, three men with type 2 diabetes tried intermittent fasting for ten months. Two of them were asked to fast for 24 hours every other day, and the third one was asked to fast for three days every week. After ten months of this intermittent fasting treatment, all of them were fully recovered from type 2 diabetes by following the program regime Diabetes Freedom.  This study proves that type 2 diabetes can be cured by changes in dieting and eating patterns.

The 5:2 diet plans have proven to be the most effective intermittent fasting pattern while treating diabetes. The 5:2 dieting plan is very simple. In a week, for five days, you take 2500 calories each day, and for two days you take 600 calories. There is one thing to keep in mind that the two fasting days should not be consecutive.

Benefits of 5:2 Intermittent Fasting

There are some clinically proven benefits of intermittent fasting. The study has shown that intermittent fasting can decrease the risks of some life-threatening diseases like Alzheimer’s, nerve damage, and cancer. Besides, many other benefits include intermittent fasting that improves our day-to-day lifestyle such as;

  • Weight Loss
  • Blood Pressure Control
  • Cholesterol Control
  • Reduction of Insulin Resistance

Is the intermittent fasting safe for a diabetic person? – The Bad

Intermittent fasting can be very beneficial for a diabetic person if followed after consulting with an expert or a doctor. One with diabetes should not follow any diet or eating cycle plan without consulting the doctor. It cannot be said that intermittent fasting is safe for a diabetic person because long term medical studies are yet to be performed. It is only proven in some clinical studies and not yet scientifically proven. Experts suggest that following an intermittent fasting method on your own can risk your life, especially if you have type 1 diabetes. While intermittent fasting brings positive and impactful benefits for a person with type 2 diabetes, at the same time, it can be very dangerous for a person with type 1 diabetes.

The Conclusion

Diabetes is a very dangerous disease found in all age groups. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 422 million people have diabetes all over the world. Over the past few decades, the number of diabetes patients is significantly increasing. Medical science is trying day and night to find a cure for this deadly disease. Talking about intermittent fasting, it can only be said that this method of treating diabetic patients is quite new. There is nothing solid that can be said until it proves scientifically. A person with diabetes can follow an intermittent fasting plan if suggested by the doctor. But following it without consulting the doctor or an expert can be very dangerous and even life-threatening sometimes.

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