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The Popular Diet That's Dangerous for People With Diabetes

a crossed knife and fork on empty plate symbolizing fasting
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By    |   Tuesday, 09 October 2018 11:41 AM

The popular diet that’s sweeping the nation may help some folks suffering from type 2 diabetes to lose weight and eliminate their need for medication. But experts warn that intermittent fasting, or IF, can actually be dangerous for those suffering from the disease.

There are many ways to introduce IF to your diet. You can skip meals, eating only during certain time periods, or restrict calories on certain days and eat normally the rest of the week.

Several small studies, including one published in April 2017 in the World Journal of Diabetes, suggests that short-term, daily IF may improve fasting glucose levels, weight and the post meal blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

While experts say that IF does often lead to weight loss because of the restriction of calories and can thus improve insulin sensitivity, others warn that IF carries certain risks when you have diabetes and need to keep blood sugar stable throughout the day.

For example, skipping whole meals can actually result in poorer blood glucose control, not to mention issues like fatigue, low energy during workouts, and medication imbalances. It may also lead to worse diet choices, says Despina Hyde Gandhi R.D., a dietician at NYU Langone’s Weight Management Program and president of the Greater New York Dietetic Association. People who restrict calories may be more inclined to reach for carb-heavy fare which has a negative impact on their waistline and their blood sugar

“Then their blood sugar is going to go very high and going to be very erratic throughout the day,” Gandhi says. And another problem with fasting is that it may be hard to sustain in the long run.

Dr. Daniel Lorber, a top endocrinologist from New York, affiliated with New York-Presbyterian Queens Hospital, sums it up this way for Newsmax:

“Intermittent fasting and other forms of very low calorie or very low carbohydrate diets will help blood sugar levels in people with diabetes by making your insulin—from your pancreas or from an injection—work better. But, it does not come without risks that depend on which medication you take for diabetes. If you are taking diabetes pills called sulfonylureas or glinides, the pancreas continues to secret insulin even if the sugar is abnormally low. If you take injected insulin, fasting may lead to hypoglycemia. A new class of diabetes medications, the SGLT-2 inhibitors may lead to diabetic ketoacidosis with fasting even in people with type 2 diabetes. This is a potentially life-threating complication.

“The bottom line is to talk with your doctor before making any dramatic changes in your diet.”

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The popular diet that’s sweeping the nation may help some folks suffering from type 2 diabetes to lose weight and eliminate their need for medication. But experts warn that intermittent fasting, or IF, can actually be dangerous for those suffering from the disease.
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2018-41-09
Tuesday, 09 October 2018 11:41 AM
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