A new study at the Medical University of Graz and elsewhere was conducted to see if a type of diet called intermittent fasting (IF) could help people with insulin-treated type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body has trouble regulating blood sugar levels, and insulin is a medication used to help control blood sugar.
The study involved 46 people with type 2 diabetes who were randomly assigned to either an IF group or a control group. The IF group was asked to fast for three nonconsecutive days each week.
During the fasting days, they were not allowed to eat any food but to drink water or other non-caloric beverages.
The control group did not fast but received counseling on healthy eating and exercise habits.
All participants in the study received dietary counseling and continuous glucose monitoring to help them manage their blood sugar levels.
At the end of the study, the researchers looked at two main outcomes: changes in HbA1c levels (a measure of blood sugar control) and a composite endpoint of weight reduction, insulin dose reduction, and HbA1c reduction.
The researchers found that the IF group had a significant reduction in their HbA1c levels compared to the control group.
This means that intermittent fasting (IF) helped to improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.
The intermittent fasting (IF) group also had a greater reduction in their total daily insulin dose and body weight and were more likely to achieve the composite endpoint.
Importantly, the researchers noted that no severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) occurred during the study, indicating that intermittent fasting (IF) was safe and feasible for people with insulin-treated type 2 diabetes.
In conclusion, this study suggests that intermittent fasting (IF) could be a safe and effective dietary option for people with insulin-treated type 2 diabetes.
It may help improve blood sugar control, reduce the need for insulin, and lead to weight loss.
However, it’s essential to talk to a healthcare professional before starting any new diet or eating approach, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking any medications.
How to control blood sugar in diabetes
Managing blood sugar levels is important for people with diabetes, as high blood sugar can cause damage to various organs in the body over time. Here are some ways to help control blood sugar levels:
Follow a healthy eating plan: Eating a well-balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help to regulate blood sugar levels. Avoid foods that are high in sugar, saturated and trans fats, and sodium.
Stay active: Exercise can help to improve insulin sensitivity, allowing the body to use insulin more effectively to regulate blood sugar levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
Take medication as prescribed: If you have been prescribed medication to help manage your blood sugar levels, it is important to take it as directed by your healthcare provider.
Monitor blood sugar levels regularly: Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels can help you understand how your body responds to different foods, medications, and activities, and can help you make adjustments as needed.
Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can make it harder for the body to use insulin effectively. Losing weight through a healthy diet and exercise can help improve blood sugar control.
Manage stress: Stress can cause blood sugar levels to rise, so finding ways to manage stress, such as relaxation techniques or exercise, can be helpful.
It’s important to work closely with a healthcare professional to develop a personalized plan for managing blood sugar levels, as the approach can vary depending on the type of diabetes and individual needs.
The research was published in Diabetes Care and was conducted by Anna Obermayer et al.
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