Tips for Fasting Diabetics
Entering the month of Ramadan or known as the Holy Month of fasting, Muslims across the world are required to fast. However, not everyone can go through long periods of fasting, especially those with certain illnesses such as diabetes.
Diabetes and Fasting
Other than religious reasons, fasting is also commonly adopted for those who seek to lose weight. While doing intermittent fasting, our body is deprived of insulin.
During the first eight to nine hours after the last meal, our body uses the stored source of glucose as fuel. After ‘using up’ all the stored glucose for fuel, our body turns to body fat as the next source of energy. The continuous burn of fat eventually leads to weight loss.
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While it all sounds excellent, fasting comes at a price for those who are dependant on insulin medication such as type-1 diabetes. Skipping insulin could lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) that happens when the body runs out of insulin.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that people with diabetes should not skip any meals. Intermittent fasting is proven to tackle type-2 diabetes. Unlike type-1 diabetes that runs in the gene, type-2 diabetes is mostly caused by an unhealthy lifestyle and obesity.
Fasting reacts differently to type-1 diabetes and type-2 diabetes. People with type-1 diabetes are recommended to consult their doctors first before fasting.
How Fasting Can Reverse Type-2 Diabetes
It is still unknown whether all types of fasting can help cure type-2 diabetes. That said, intermittent fasting or periodic fasting is a known method to reverse type-2 diabetes.
During the short period of fasting, the pancreas in our body cleans and recycles its cells, leading it to start producing insulin again. Insulin takes glucose from our blood; however diabetic patients have an excessive level of glucose stuck in the blood due to lack of insulin produced by the pancreas.
Additionally, to pancreas regeneration, here are how intermittent fasting can reverse type-2 diabetes:
- Decreases blood sugar level due to the body burning up glucose during the fasting
- Increases insulin receptivity to move glucose from the blood.
Healthy Tips of Fasting for Diabetics
Plan for your fasting carefully so you don’t risk lowering your blood sugar level too much which could affect your life. Here are a few ways for safe-fasting with diabetes:
- Frequently check your blood sugar level. People with type-2 diabetes should have a blood sugar range under 5 mmol/L after a meal
- Consider high-fibre and complex-carbohydrate to maintain blood sugar level better
- Drink plenty of water.
- Know when to break the fast. When your blood sugar range is below 7.0 mg/dl, this might indicate Hypoglycemia (low blood glucose, a common condition in diabetes).
- Always consult to your health practitioner before fasting and taking glucose test is an excellent way to plan for dietary changes.
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