Because fasting can raise the risk of low blood sugar in those with Type 2 diabetes, it’s generally recommended that those with the health condition consult a GP before attempting any type of fasting regimen.
For those with Type 2 diabetes it’s important to evaluate the appropriateness of performing consecutive fasting days as it may further increase the possibility of low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia). Any decision about modifying medications during fasting days should also be made with a GP or specialist.
Interestingly, a recent study from New Zealand offers some encouraging results for those with Type 2 diabetes looking to adopt a fasting regimen for the purposes of losing weight. The study found fasting two consecutive days was associated with a lower-than-expected risk of hypoglycaemia in participants with Type 2 diabetes.
The study aimed to test whether a two-day fast during the week (five days with food and two days fasted) in individuals with Type 2 diabetes would increase the risk of hypoglycaemia more than non-consecutive days of fasting. During this study, participants remained under the close supervision of a doctor and their medication was adjusted accordingly.
Consistent with other research on intermittent fasting, the study found a clinically significant reduction in weight, fasting glucose and haemoglobin A1c, which is a longer-term marker of blood glucose levels.
In this study, researchers found that the risk of having a hypoglycaemic event was not different between consecutive and non-consecutive fasting days. Importantly, there were no episodes of severe hypoglycaemia and most participants did not experience hypoglycaemia. These observations suggest that the risk of hypoglycaemia appears to be more dependent on individual characteristics rather than the pattern of fasting.
The study recruited obese adults with Type 2 diabetes who were taking medication for diabetes and randomised them into either consecutive or non-consecutive days of fasting on two days per week for 12 weeks. The participants were free to choose which day of the week to fast; this could vary from week to week to allow flexibility and improve adherence.
Interestingly, the study reported a small but statistically significant improvement in self-reported quality‐of‐life rating between baseline and week 12.
While special care is required by both the patient and the doctor in implementing intermittent fasting, the same is true for any weight loss approach. Low-calorie diets have long been advocated for those with Type 2 diabetes under the supervision of their doctor.
These results suggest that intermittent fasting is an effective alternative to the traditional approach of a continuous low-calorie diet for weight loss. Diabetes is a complex group of conditions with a variety of different causes—it’s not just one disease. Because diabetes is specific to each individual, treatment can vary from patient to patient. If you’re interested in finding out if Isagenix can work for you, it’s important to discuss your options with your doctor.
Corley BT, Carroll RW, Hall RM et al. Intermittent fasting in Type 2 diabetes mellitus and the risk of hypoglycaemia: a randomised controlled trial. Diabet Med. 2018 May;35(5):588-594.