The use of a therapeutic fasting regimen for treatment of type 2 diabetes is virtually unheard of, however, a new case report indicates that intermittent fasting may eliminate the need for medication and help reverse type 2 diabetes.
The case studies involved three patients with insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes referred to the Intensive Dietary Management clinic in Toronto, Canada.
After several months of intermittent fasting, on alternate days or three times per week, all three were able to discontinue insulin while improving their glycemic control.
Over the course of the study, the participants, all male, also lost body weight and had reduced waist circumferences.
These three cases, according to researchers, show that therapeutic fasting may reduce insulin requirements in patients with type 2 diabetes.
And, given the rising cost of insulin, patients may potentially save significant money. Further, the reduced need for syringes and blood glucose monitoring may reduce patient discomfort.
Although lifestyle modifications are universally acknowledged to be the first-line treatment of type 2 diabetes, adequate glycaemic control is difficult to achieve in the majority of obese patients.
Having said that, weight loss surgery is an effective treatment option for obese patients with type 2 diabetes, however, it is invasive, costly, and risky — nor have long-term effects been determined of surgical intervention.