Three patients reverse their type 2 diabetes by fasting for 24 hours three times weekly
All of the volunteers were able to ditch their insulin for good – and it took one patient just five days to stop taking the hormone.
Doctors at Scarborough Hospital, Ontario, dished out the radical diet plan to the three patients, aged between 40 and 67.
They were all taking insulin and various other drugs to control their condition. And they also all had high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Two of the men fasted every other day for a full 24 hours. The third fasted on three days a week. They claimed the strict eating regimen was relatively easy to stick to.
On fast days, the men were allowed to have water and very low calorie drinks, such as tea, coffee or broth.
They only ate a very low-calorie meal in the evening, according to a report of the type 2 diabetes reversal published in BMJ Case Reports.
Before starting their fasting regimens, the men attended a six-hour nutritional training programme. This included information on how to manage type 2 diabetes through diet and how the condition develops.
Ten months after starting the eating plan, their blood sugar levels, weight and waist measurements were recorded.
All three of the men stopped injecting themselves with insulin within a month of starting fasting.
As well as insulin, two of the men stopped taking all their other diabetic drugs. The third discontinued three out of the four medications he was on.
And all three of the men lost between 10 and 18 percent of their body weight by the end of the study period.
Their blood sugar levels also decreased, which may help to prevent diabetes complications, according to the researchers.
Complications can include blindness, kidney damage and even limb amputations.
“The use of a therapeutic fasting regimen for treatment of [type 2 diabetes] is virtually unheard of,” the scientists wrote.
“This present case series showed that 24-hour fasting regimens can significantly reverse or eliminate the need for diabetic medication.”
The researchers stress, however, the study only included three men and it is therefore inconclusive whether all-day fasting treats the majority of type 2 diabetics.
Type 2 diabetes occur when a person does not produce enough insulin or doesn’t respond to the hormone that is made. It is associated with obesity.
Although lifestyle changes are key to managing the disease, they cannot always control a patient’s blood sugar levels, according to the scientists.
Bariatric surgery, although effective, also comes with risks, they add. These can include excessive bleeding, infection and even death.
This comes after research released earlier this month suggested type 2 diabetes signs can appear more than 20 years before a patient is diagnosed.
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