An intermittent fasting journey to reverse type 2 diabetesDecember 19th, 2023
The eating plan called intermittent fasting has recently been described as a journey to reverse type 2 diabetes. Intermittent fasting is not a new regime. It is a well-known and effective way to lose weight. It involves eating cycles, and the success of intermittent fasting is all about when you eat, not solely about what you eat.
What the experts have revealed about intermittent fasting and type 2 diabetes
In a recent study published by the JAMA Network, an international general medical journal, researchers revealed new findings about intermittent fasting (IF) and type 2 diabetes (T2D).
In the study, 75 people with T2D and obesity with an average age of 55 were divided into groups.
Group 1 did an IF eating plan in the timing cycle of 12-8 pm and group 2 used a calorie counting approach to weight loss.
After six months, it showed that group 1 lost the most weight and participants found it easy because they didn’t have to count calories.
Groups 1 and 2 had similar long-term blood sugar or haemoglobin A1C levels. Neither group 1 nor 2 showed adverse effects from taking part in the experiment.
Find out more here.
Another study published in Medical News Today revealed that in 2022, researchers in China evaluated the effects of a three-month IF eating plan treatment for T2D.
For the study, 72 people were split into two groups of 36. Group 1 followed the IF plan, and group 2 followed a calorie restriction diet.
18 people out of the 36 in group 1 who were following the IF plan no longer needed diabetes medication by the end of the experiment.
Find out more here.
The incredible value of IF
IF improves how the pancreas produces insulin and how well cells in the body respond to insulin. It balances metabolic reactions, increasing ketone production and helping the body break down fat for energy. This is why it is an effective way to lose weight and an ideal regime for people who have T2D.
It’s age-defying! IF helps reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress is a precursor to disease. IF plays a role in ketone release, regulating proteins and molecules that contribute to ageing. IF is an excellent anti-ageing strategy.
It improves cognitive function. It can act as a protective shield against the development of the neurological disorder Alzheimer’s disease.
It helps you get a better night’s sleep. Due to the beneficial effects mentioned above and the fact that IF helps to regulate blood pressure, it is proven to promote quality sleep.
Incorporating IF into your lifestyle
The IF plan involves eating in cycles – the success of intermittent fasting is all about when you eat. There are multiple options for IF eating plans.
If you are diabetic it is advisable to discuss diet changes with your GP first. What you eat and when you eat does affect physical and mental health. The eating cycle timing can need adjusting depending on your age, other medication and current health condition.
What schedule would suit you and your lifestyle for an IF eating plan? Find out more here.
Once you have established the most appropriate eating cycle for you, you can then start planning your IF strategy.
- You need to make sure an IF eating regime will work for you safely and effectively – do your research
- Your eating cycle may affect your performance at work. For example, if you are a nurse or fireman on shift patterns it’s essential to have the energy you need to do the job properly, so cycle timings might need adjusting throughout a working week
- Your nutritional requirements need to be met, so planning your meals and snacks for an 8-hour window, if that is the option you have chosen, is very important
Remember, IF is a science to be understood before you start to change your eating habits. It will be a journey, not a race.
When embarking on an IF journey, other variables have to be taken into consideration, for example, current health conditions, and any medications that are being taken. An IF eating plan can reduce the need for diabetic medication or get rid of the need altogether!
What is type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a common disease. It is generally known as a lifelong condition that can affect everyday life. The disease is often associated with weight gain, obesity, inactivity, excessive peeing, itching, blurred or loss of vision and delayed healing. T2D occurs when the level of sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream is too high and linked to problems with a hormone called insulin. Insulin is produced by the pancreas. Diagnosis of T2D is by blood and urine tests. Eye screening can also reveal a risk of or confirmation of a type of diabetes. Eye specialists look for diabetic retinopathy. Treatments can include medication such as Metformin, helping to keep blood sugar levels healthy. Alternatively, there are injections such as Exenatide or Liraglutide. Self-monitoring with the use of an insulin pen and regular checkups can help to control the disease.
If T2D isn’t managed successfully, it can lead to tissue damage or tissue death which can potentially result in gangrene that can spread to the bone. In some instances, limb amputation can be the only option. T2D can be responsible for kidney failure and vision loss.
There are over 415 million people in the world living with diabetes. Not just T2D, the disease can also be categorised by Type 1, gestational or neonatal diabetes.
Recent news headlines have reconfirmed how valuable an IF eating plan is for people with T2D.
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