Monday, February 27, 2012

Fasting with Diabetes?

I recently received an email from a reader (all the way from Austria!!)  who was wondering if I had any experience to share about fasting or VLCD and diabetes.  I don’t have any experience or advice to give her, but I’m hoping some of you will!

If you have any feedback you’d be willing to share, please leave a comment here.  Or, if you prefer, you can email me privately and I will pass the information along.  Thanks!!


  1. When I do basal testing, I try to do it for 24 hours and water is the only thing that I consume. I would say just make sure you test frequently. If your basals are set correctly, then fasting shouldn’t be a problem. Of course, we all know that if the weather changes, then all bets are off.

    If you are fasting because of surgery and end up going low, you still need to eat something to bring your BS up unless you are at the hospital and they can do that via IV. Just make sure you tell them that you had to eat. When I have talked to people online that were worried about fasting and surgery, I always tell them to do a dry run prior to the surgery so they can get a feel for what their BS will do without eating. Of course, stress changes that playing field also.

    I have also done VLCD because of gastroparesis and having periods that I could not eat solid food. Again, you want to test frequently, especially in the beginning until you get things adjusted. That is something that should be done with a doctor/dietician to make sure you are getting quality nutrients.

    If you have never done basal testing before or it has been awhile since you have done it, you might find that your basals are set too high and you end up going low.

  2. I fast every Sunday, and on those days I test a LOT. Like, 15-20 times, compared to my usual 8-12. If I do go low, I will correct, but sparingly (1 glucose tab at a time). I do however eat normally during the week, since fasting than one day a week possibly is not quite healthy. Intermittent fasting also helps my BG control for the next 5-6 days. My numbers aren't necessarily different, but they respond better to any corrections. Sundays are also a chance to review my basals, but since I'm quite small, I don't tend to use a lot of insulin (14u a day maximum, including highs and giant meals), any reviews are made on occasion, not as a norm.
    Good luck!

  3. Mousie; I don't know what church you belong to, but mine (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) fasts the first Sunday of each month. When I was first diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, I inquired of my Bishop what should I do, seeing as how I was now to eat 6 times a day (smaller meals). He told me that in cases like mine, the Church understands medical needs, and grants absolution from fasting on Fast and Testimony Meeting days. While I have fasted a couple of times since then, for a special Fast, it wasn't bad, and when I have to have a special blood draw, that requires a 12-hour fast, I can handle it. (But right after that, I reward myself with a quick trip to Burger King for one or two of their great Croissan-wiches, with sausage! Chaplain ET.


Thanks for your comment!