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Having a healthy and balanced diet is key for everyone – but it’s even more important if you suffer with diabetes.
Diabetics have to look closely at the carbohydrate counts in their diets when planning their meals – but one study has found the best pattern for type 2 diabetics.
With type 1 diabetes, a person’s pancreas produces no insulin.
In type 2, cells in the body become resistant to insulin, so a greater amount is needed to keep blood glucose levels within a normal range.
It’s important that if you’re diabetic you always consult your GP if you’re going to change your diet or lifestyle.
Experts have now found intermittent fasting could help control. and even eradicate type 2 diabetes.
This type of eating has soared in popularity because it is considered less difficult than constantly watching what you eat.
Rather, it just requires motivation to avoid food for a period of time, for example between 6pm and noon the next day.
Intermittent fasting is also touted as improving health, such as blood pressure and cholesterol.
It’s because of the so-called ease of the diet that experts say intermittent fasting could work for people with type 2 diabetes.
Writing in Clinical Diabetes and Endocrinology the authors analyzed databases for articles, clinical trials and case series related to type 2 diabetes and intermittent fasting.
They found that this diet could improve key features of type 2 diabetes which people usually struggle with.
The experts said that intermittent fasting could help type 2 diabetics reduce their body weight and lower their levels of leptin.
Studies have found that a diet low in carbohydrates and fats may reduce the speed at which leptin is released.
People who struggle with type 2 diabetes usually have raised leptin levels, which in turn could mean they become resistant to it.
The signs of diabetes you should never ignore
To get diagnosed you need to see your GP – but first you need to spot the key symptoms of the illness, so it’s important to know what to look out for.
Dr. Mohan Sekeram, who is GP in Merton, London, explained that diabetes is a condition where you may have too much sugar inside your body.
Posting to TikTok, he revealed some of the key signs and said you should always contact your doctor if you have any concerns.
He said: “You may find that you’re passing a lot more urine than normal. This is because your body is trying to get rid of as much sugar as possible.”
As a result you may find yourself more thirsty and drink a lot more fluids.”
Dr. Sekeram added that you might find that you also experience blurred vision and that cuts and bruises might take a lot longer to heal.
“You may also experience some tingling in your hands and feet”, he added.
Along with these symptoms he listed the other key signs as:
- Extreme hunger
- Unexplained weight loss
“If you notice any of these symptoms, for yourself or for a loved one, then please do contact a health care professional to get further advice.”
It’s very important for diabetes to be diagnosed as early as possible because it will progressively get worse if left untreated”, he added.
They usually also have high levels of adiponectin, which usually counters diabetes and inflammation.
The experts said: “Some studies found that patients were able to reverse their need for insulin therapy during therapeutic intermittent fasting protocols with supervision by their physician.”
They cited one case study in which three people with diabetes were followed for several months after starting intermittent fasting.
Their version of intermittent fasting involved three 24 hour fasts per week.
The participants were found to have reduced levels of glucose in the blood and all three lost weight and were able to stop using insulin within one month of starting the diet.
The three participants said they found the diet easy to tolerate and none of them chose to stop the diet.
The NHS says there is ‘nothing you cannot eat’ if you have type two diabetes, but advises that you will have to limit certain foods.
Official guidance states that you should consume a wide range of foods including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta.
It does however state that you should keep sugar, fat and salt to a minimum.
The NHS says that you should eat three meals a day and that you should not skip meals.
Intermittent fasting can restrict the period of time you have to eat, by doing this overnight, while you’re already asleep, you’re less likely to skip meals.
The NHS states: “If you need to change your diet, it might be easier to make small changes every week.”
Experts have previously revealed the foods you should avoid in order to stop your blood sugar spiking.
Diabetics are urged to monitor their sugar levels and if you’re diabetic it’s likely you will have been given a device so you can do this at home.
You will be told what your average blood sugar level is and this is referred to as your HbA1c level.
While they differ for everyone, the NHS says that if you monitor your levels at home then a normal target is 4 to 7mmol/l before eating and under 8.5 to 9mmol/l 2 hours after a meal.
If it’s tested every few months then a normal HbA1c target is below 48mmol/mol (or 6.5% on the older measurement scale).
This story originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced here with permission.