A report published in the British Medical Journal suggests that intermittent fasting may help to reverse type 2 diabetes, allowing some people to discontinue their use of insulin. The use of intermittent fasting has been investigated for a variety of health benefits and this report provides impetus to further study it for help with diabetes.
In this observational study, three men between 40 and 67 years old were placed on different intermittent fasting regimens. At the time of beginning their treatment they were taking oral medications to control diabetes as well as having to inject insulin on a daily basis. In addition to type 2 diabetes, they all had high blood pressure and high cholesterol and were taking medications for those problems as well. This study involved only three people, and so clearly this needs to be further studied to draw broad conclusions about diabetes treatment of the general population.
Of the three individuals, Two of them fasted on alternate days for 24 hours, while the third fasted for three days per week. On the days designated as “fasting” days they were allowed tea, coffee, water or broth, and they ate one very low calorie meal in the evening. They continued this for 10 months after which time they had blood tests for fasting blood glucose, and HbA1C which reflects an average glucose reading 24/7. Their weight, and waist circumference were re-measured. They all reported that they were able to stick to their dietary schedule without too much difficulty.
All three men lost weight (by 10-18%) and reduced their blood glucose readings.
All three were able to stop injecting themselves with insulin within a month of starting their fasting schedule.
Two of the men were able to stop taking all their other diabetic drugs, while the third discontinued three out of the four drugs he was taking.
Dietary control has always been a mainstay for treating diabetes. This particular method seems like a very promising alternative to simply being on a health diabetic diet day by day.