What is diabetes?
In short, diabetes is a chronic disease in which a person has high levels of blood sugar and is unable to regulate insulin and glucose levels without external help. The treatment varies by type, but is usually a form of injectable insulin or oral medications to regulate hormone and sugar levels as well as control the reabsorption of sugar in the body.
There are three common types of diabetes:
The body has an insulin deficiency due to lack of insulin production in the pancreas. There is usually a genetic risk factor, but people are often healthy, maintain a good diet, and exercise regularly. Although it can appear at any point, usually the onset is already in childhood, which is why it is often also referred to as juvenile diabetes or child-onset diabetes. Type 1 diabetics will usually use injectable insulin or an insulin pump to help stabilise hormone and sugar levels.
Insulin resistance is the defining factor here, where the body no longer produces sufficient insulin and it no longer responds to the hormone as it should. Although there may be genetic factors involved, this type of diabetes usually occurs in people with unhealthy lifestyles: lack of exercise, poor nutrition, and obesity. Contrary to type 1 diabetes, this form usually presents itself in adults. Doctors will recommend a combination of diet, exercise, and some form of medication to treat the disease. Some people have been able to reverse their condition through rigorous lifestyle changes, even allowing them to dispense of medication altogether.
The last common type is gestational diabetes. This occurs in women who have no previous diabetic conditions but develop diabetes during pregnancy. This usually resolves itself once the baby is born.
The best fasting with diabetes offers
The benefits of fasting for diabetics
For diabetics, the refeeding stage of the fasting programme will be key in adjusting to your new lifestyle. It is important that you follow medical advice on what to eat and how much to eat in the days to come, as you do not want to put additional strains on your body or throw off your electrolyte balance.
When breaking the fast, you will have a chance to readjust your diet, which will be particularly important for type 2 diabetics. You will have detoxed your body from harmful foods, and now you can start lifestyle changes by sticking to fresh ingredients and leaving out processed sugars, sweeteners, alcohol, and caffeine. Optimally, your blood glucose and insulin levels will be stable after your treatment and it is now up to you to maintain these levels through good nutrition and regular exercise.
The diabetic diet
Doctors and experts will recommend that diabetics eat plenty of veggies, fruits, legumes, whole grains and lean meats and low-fat dairy products. Any foods that are high in processed sugars, artificial sweeteners, high in fat (particularly saturated and trans-fats), cholesterol, and sodium should be avoided. If you stick to a whole food diet and steer clear of all processed food, you will already be a good step further.
Fasts suitable for diabetics
Although there are many different types of fasts and diets available these days, not all are suitable or applicable in all situations. Of the many varieties, the Buchinger method and intermittent fasting are the most common and most recommended by experts.
Precautions when fasting as a diabetic
It is vital to regularly check your blood sugar levels while fasting. As you are drastically changing your eating habits and your body is trying to adjust to this, you may feel unwell. It is important that you let your doctor or medical team know of any abrupt changes to your wellbeing or sugar levels, so that they can help you adjust your fast accordingly.
It is also important that you incorporate transition days prior to fasting. This means slowly eliminating processed sugars, caffeine, alcohol and heavy foods from your regular diet, as well as slowly lowering the amount of calories you consume. Try transitioning to food that is easy to digest, like fruit, vegetables, soups, and whole grains.
Lastly, you should follow the refeeding schedule that your doctor recommends, as this will assure that you break your fast without shocking your system. Incorrect refeeding can lead to electrolyte imbalances, for example, which could leave you feeling ill. Here too, if you feel unwell or see abrupt changes to any blood sugar levels, let your physician know immediately.
Therapeutic fasting holiday for diabetics
Doctors agree that when undergoing a fast, it is best to try to relax as much as possible, making a fasting holiday a great option! Not only will you be surrounded by professionals who are well-trained in fasting and everything that goes with it, but you will be on holiday in some of the most serene locations.
The programmes also include activities, all tailored to people who are fasting, lectures, and you will not find somebody digging into chocolate cake at the table next to you while you are trying to enjoy a veggie broth. These programmes are designed with your health and success in mind! Give yourself a well-deserved break while also doing something great for your health: what more could you ask of a holiday?
Discover our most popular hotels for fasting for diabetics
Check out our wide range of great fasting and diet programmes, including meals, consultations with experts, treatments and more! If you’re unsure which programme is best for you, don’t hesitate to contact our fasting experts. They would be happy to recommend a specific hotel or clinic.