Type 2 diabetes: Intermittent fasting can help reverse the condition

Type 2 diabetes: Intermittent fasting can help reverse the condition

A person drinking a glass of water.Share on Pinterest
New research suggests that intermittent fasting can help reverse type 2 diabetes, even for people who have lived with it for several years. Supersize/Getty Images
  • A new preliminary One study indicated that type 2 diabetes might not necessarily be a lifelong chronic condition if intermittent fasting is implemented.
  • Experts are cautiously optimistic that intermittent fasting could be viable for patients with type 2 diabetes.
  • Still, experts say the small sample size used for the research urges caution.
  • It is essential to discuss possible ways to treat and manage type 2 diabetes with your provider before making any decisions.

Intermittent fasting can put patients into remission for type 2 diabetes, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

“Type 2 diabetes is not necessarily a lifelong, lifelong disease,” Dongbo Liu, PhD, of Hunan Agricultural University in Changsha, China, said in a press release. “Our research shows that intermittent fasting, Chinese Medical Nutrition Therapy (CMNT), can lead to diabetes remission in people with type 2 diabetes.”

Intermittent fasting has become a popular weight loss strategy in recent years. It involves eating during specific times and fasting for a certain number of hours each day.

Danine Fruge, MD, ABFP, medical director of the Pritikin Longevity Center, agrees with Liu that the results are promising.

“The results are important to raise awareness and inspire people,” she says.

Still, experts share that it’s crucial to interpret research with a critical eye and discuss findings with a vendor who can do the same.

“Reading peer-reviewed articles helps prevent misresearch by validating authors and process,” Emily Campbell, RDN, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator at Kidney Nutrition. “However, this does not guarantee that the results will be of clinical importance for everyone’s health. Therefore, it’s important to speak with your doctor, even if you’re reading peer-reviewed research, to make sure the results relate to your condition before making any changes for your safety.

Type 2 diabetes affects more than 33 million people in the United States, according to CDC data. It occurs when the body develops resistance to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that allows glucose to enter cells and be used for energy. It usually occurs later in life, around or after age 45, but increasingly children and adolescents develop it.

The CDC says other risk factors include:

  • to be overweight
  • previously had gestational diabetes, which occurs in pregnant women who have never had diabetes before
  • being physically active less than three days a week
  • having a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes
  • are Black, Hispanic or Latinx, Native or Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander or Asian American

Management typically includes checking blood sugar, developing a diet, physical activity and reducing stress, according to the CDC.

It is important to note that type 2 diabetes differs from type 1 diabetes.

Dr. Barbara Keber, FAAFP, vice president of family medicine at Northwell Health in New York, points out that type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune reaction. It usually – but not always – occurs in early childhood and adolescence and occurs when the body produces very little insulin or none at all.

The study was conducted by a team of researchers in China over a period of three months. There were 36 participants, all with type 2 diabetes, who engaged in intermittent fasting. Some were taking agents to lower their blood sugar and insulin.

What might intermittent fasting look like? It varies.

Keber says a sample plan might include:

  • alternate fasting days with caloric intake below 500 for women and 600 for men
  • five days of regular eating habits with two days per week of fasting as described above
  • time-limited eating, such as only eating between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

“The idea is to induce what is called ketosis during periods of fasting, which causes the body to use its own breakdown of fat to support regular functions…and therefore causes the loss of weight.”

Previous research, such as a 2020 review of 41 articles, indicates that intermittent fasting is a way to lose weight and reduce obesity.

In the new study, the data indicated that almost 90% of participants reduced their use of medications to control their diabetes, including those taking blood sugar lowering medications and insulin.

More than half (55%) of these participants went into diabetes remission and stopped taking their medications. They maintained remission for at least a year.

Almost two-thirds of the participants who went into remission had had diabetes for more than six years. Therefore, the researchers believe this study goes against the idea that people can only achieve remission if they have had the disease for a shorter period of less than six years.

In their opinion, the study indicates that intermittent fasting can help patients lose weight and, therefore, enter diabetes remission.

Fruge says the emerging research is interesting, but it doesn’t guarantee that an individual patient will achieve diabetes remission if they try intermittent fasting.

“The study can’t tell us how every patient will respond to intermittent calorie restriction, which is precisely why it’s important to discuss studies with your personal physician,” Fruge says.

Additionally, Campbell says intermittent fasting carries risks for patients with type 2 diabetes, such as:

  • hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, especially if you are taking diabetes medications
  • malnutrition if you are not getting adequate nutrition during your meal period
  • physiological changes such as dizziness, lack of energy, irritability

And she raises questions about whether intermittent fasting is a long-term solution. Keber also wonders how long remission will last for most patients.

“The study only looked at individuals one year after their dietary changes and doesn’t tell us about long-term benefits or harms,” ​​Keber says, adding that the sample size of 36 people is also small. .

Finally, Keber points out that the research only covers type 2 diabetes and not type 1 diabetes.

Despite the constructive criticism, Campbell says it’s worth discussing it with your supplier – and stresses that it’s important to do so before you try it yourself.

“Intermittent fasting may be a viable option for weight loss and blood sugar control for people with type 2 diabetes,” says Campbell. “However, it’s important to speak with your doctor before you start, as medication changes may need to be made, and your diet should continue to be adequate to meet your nutrient needs, even during your meal period.”

#Type #diabetes #Intermittent #fasting #reverse #condition

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *