Diabetes Update 13 - Fasting
In my last update I reported that I was no longer taking medications to lower my blood glucose level. Since then I have successfully continued to maintain my blood glucose level with just diet and fasting. I am carefully monitoring my blood glucose level, and so far I am averaging around 6.0 mmol/L. It is interesting that without the medications, my blood glucose level is more stable, in that it does not move up and down as wildly as it did when I was taking medications. The moving average line is almost straight.
Based on my recent blood glucose readings and my current average, and my previous score, I can predict my A1C to be about 6.0% next month. This will no doubt be sufficient to impress my doctor.
If you are into math, to convert from average blood glucose in mmol/L to A1C%, I use the formula
a1c = (18 * average + 46.7 ) / 28.7
Then I multiply by a fudge factor f, based on my previous A1C and the expected A1C, which is about 1.14. With a 90 day average blood glucose of 5.8 it comes to an A1C of about 6.0%. For a reference for the formula, see here and here.
Because I am no longer on diabetes medications, I have a green light to begin fasting. In his book, The Diabetes Code, Dr Fung says that a low carb diet may not be enough, and he recommends a schedule of fasting combined with a low-carbohydrate diet.
If you are on diabetes medications and you fast, there is a risk of Hypoglycemia (very low blood glucose level). What happens is the fasting plus the diabetes medications combined make your blood glucose level so low as to become dangerous.
Since I am not taking diabetes medications I am good to go. Also, I am carefully monitoring my blood glucose level, which will alert me to any low blood glucose level issues. My wife and I opted for intermittent fasting, for 21 hours, 3-5 times a week. We eat a dinner, and then not eat until dinner time the next day. After about a week of experimentation, we have refined it some. Our eating window is from 5pm-8pm, and then no food after 8pm. If you eat later, it can spike you in the morning, depending upon what you eat. When we do eat, we are on a low-carb/keto diet, which for us includes meat/fish, cheese and salad. A keto diet is excellent to prepare your body for burning fat for fuel during the fasting.
The 5pm-8pm neatly corresponds with returning from work, via cycling. A large part of the fasting is while we are sleeping.
An excellent resource on fasting is the book The Complete Guide to Fasting, by Jimmy Moore (Author), Dr. Jason Fung (Author).
In the future we may build up the courage to try a longer fast.
Since we started fasting, I have made some progress with weight loss. I am no longer stalled, and I am moving in the right direction again. My target of 208 lbs is now only 10 lbs away. I expect to achieve my goal somewhere in September, when my BMI will be under 30 and I will no longer be obese. I credit fasting for moving my weight in the right direction again.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This is based on my own experience. Your mileage may vary. Check with your doctor before doing anything drastic based on what I wrote above.