Intermittent Fasting for Diabetes | Fasting Helps Your Diabetes

It can be safe for diabetics, but it comes with certain risks.  So what do you need to know about Intermittent Fasting for Diabetes? According to health experts, any kind of fasting can be accompanied by risks. If you’re trying any form of fasting you must be careful because of its ability to destabilize your blood sugar levels.

What Does Intermittent Fasting do for you as a Diabetic?

Time for Eating
Time for Eating

Intermittent fasting is something that you should know everything about before trying. It’s important to learn the different methods of intermittent fasting and the most important thing is to always check with your physician first. I would never do anything when it comes to my health without first consulting with my physician.

Nobody wants diabetes and most of us might be willing to try almost anything to reverse it. Intermittent fasting has its positives and its negatives. Diabetes only has its negatives so giving this is a shot may be a better choice for you. It’s all about what you know before “diving in.”

There are different plans to try and it would be wise to choose the one that you feel is best suited for you. This just isn’t an eeny, meeny, miny, moe thing. I always say that knowledge is power and that definitely applies here. One of the risks involved here is hypoglycemia.

Low blood sugar is nothing to play around with! It’s even more dangerous than high blood sugar. When studies were performed with fasting, the results were that approximately 10% of the patients had experienced hypoglycemia.

Caution with Intermittent Fasting and Diabetes

Intermittent fasting may be a better choice for non-diabetics. It’s not to say that it wouldn’t work for you if you have diabetes, but if you choose it, you must consider two extremely important things. First that your doctor approves and second which plan you choose. You should only be eating healthy foods and as much as you need to stay healthy and maintain your blood glucose levels.

I cannot stress enough how vital it is to start any intermittent fasting plan with professional supervision and something that makes sense. You must control your blood sugars and check them at home frequently! Your medications should be looked at and if the doctor feels that they must be adjusted then he or she will do so.

Cutting Calories
Cutting Calories

If you are one who is taking insulin, it is vital to monitor your blood sugar and what you’re eating. You can become a greater risk of low blood sugar and confusion, seizures, dizziness, or even possibly death!

You can live longer and a healthier life as long as you control your diabetes. That’s the key. You can increase your lifespan by decreasing your intake of calories. Drop your caloric intake by as much as 25% and you can live longer.

Intermittent Fasting and Metabolic Benefits

Being and staying healthy is the best way to live a happier and longer life. You can exercise all you want, but you won’t find any magic foods or potions that will help you live longer. The only way is to decrease the amount you eat, restricting your calories, and then you can enjoy a longer life. After many years of extensive research, intermittent fasting and the restriction of calories have proven results with:

  • Reduced inflammation
  • Increase of insulin sensitivity
  • Decrease in triglycerides
  • Improved HDL levels
  • Decreased LDL levels
  • Decreased cancer risk
  • Improved fat loss and fat burning
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Increase in body composition

In conjunction with glucose metabolism, intermittent fasting is a perfect match as a natural insulin sensitizer. Hypoglycemia is really not the result of not enough food, but it is a result of excess insulin. So the end result is that fasting is very practical, whether you are a type 2 diabetic or a type 1 diabetic and you’re taking insulin.

Insulin should be taken depending on what you eat. If your blood glucose level is too low, it’s telling you that your insulin level is too high. It’s not the result of too little food but it is the insulin that is the culprit. Intermittent fasting is something that can work for you as long as your doctor guides you.

So all of your body’s tissues do not have any choice but to burn the stored fuel they have for needed energy when you are limiting your body of all fat, carbohydrates, and protein. As you fast for a longer time period, your accumulated fat deposits will now turn to fuel that your cells need to function. The end result here is that your excess fat decreases over time. As this occurs, these cells are much more responsive to insulin because the liquid droplets in your liver and muscle cells get smaller and this makes insulin even stronger.

It’s very important to keep your blood vessels free from cholesterol that can clog them up. All of your body’s tissues are important and so is the flexibility and elasticity of your blood vessels. Insulin and glucose normally circulate in your bloodstream and when it’s easy for them to flow through these walls, the less chance you will have of high blood glucose levels.

EKG of Heart
EKG of Heart

Because deposits form in your blood vessels over time, they can become oxidized and these deposits harden and can form blood clots which can increase the risk of heart attack by hardening the walls of the vessels and increasing your blood pressure as well.

So what research has revealed is that intermittent fasting and calorie restriction together are tremendously beneficial in the reduction of high blood pressure, improved HDL levels, reducing the consequences from the aging of your vessels and a much improved circulation of insulin and glucose through the walls of your blood vessels.

Check out the Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting here

Different Methods of Intermittent Fasting

12/12 Plan

Let’s start with the starter’s or beginner’s type. This is probably what most folks are doing right now without even thinking about it. You eat for 12 hours and fast for 12 hours. (Makes sense, right?) If you get up in the morning at 8 and stop eating at 8 at night then you’ve got a lot of experience with this plan!

16/8 Plan

With this particular method, you’re fasting for an entire 16 hours each day and have a time period of just 8 hours of eating. With only 8 hours of eating, you’re most likely having two or maybe three meals. There are many on this plan that don’t have breakfast but still do not eat too late in the evening.

20/4 Plan

This is in the serious zone now. It’s a whole 20 hours of not eating and you only have 4 hours to eat. You will have one meal, possibly two and that’s extremely difficult. (At least for me it is)

5:2 Plan

This type goes from day to day. You are doing alternate day fasting. For 5 days you can eat whatever you desire and the other 2 days you are restricted to 500 calories each day. Whoa!

Eat-stop-eat plan

This one is NOT one for me I admit. Similar to the above plan, but it’s your choice to fast for 24 hours for one or two days a week. OMG!

6 Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

The Human Brain
The Human Brain

1) Your Brain

There have been studies done with animals that suggest that fasting can be responsible for increasing the production of a neurotrophic brain factor which aids in brain degeneration and dysfunction.

Additional studies showed that fasting was valuable in helping to prevent short term and special memory loss which can decrease functional impairment and decrease brain damage.

2) Eating Less Food

It’s totally understandable that most folks would be happy with just eating less and losing weight and who could blame them? It’s a good enough reason. The reason for intermittent fasting is to lose weight and as you’ll be restricting your time period for eating you should be successful.

3) Improve Digestion

You can improve the production ghrelin which is your hunger hormone. This is the hormone that has an important role in your stomach health and digestion. It will help your body in getting ready to absorb important nutrients by helping to stimulate the movements of the gastric acids that it secretes into your gastric system. This is a possibility as to why fasting can help with symptoms such as diarrhea, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and abdominal pain.

4) Infections

Intermittent fasting can help to improve the production of an antibody called immunoglobulin A that is beneficial in the immune system and also the production of a type of white blood cell called neutrophils. This benefits your body in warding off infection by the Salmonella bacteria.

5) Improvement of the Symptoms of Autoimmune Diseases

You can regenerate your immune cells and lower your autoimmune response by intermittent fasting. This type of fasting can possibly reverse symptoms of lupus and vasculitis.

6) Enhances Motivation and Mood

There are certain times when you may be feeling down a bit and this method of fasting can help to improve your sleep, increase your motivation, and put you in a better mood too. Not having as many calories and fasting has been shown to improve the mood in men that are aging and lower depression too.

Intermittent Fasting Concerns

Solid Proof

Some of the facts and research do appear to be promising but as most studies are done, they are performed on animals first and there might not be sufficient evidence yet as to solid proof yet that intermittent fasting is the way to go.


It’s a given that proper nutrition and diet are essential for fertility. Tests were performed with rats that possibly indicated that fasting could interfere with fertility.

Disordered Eating

The negative thing about fasting is that you can get into the mindset when you are eating to go crazy and go unlimited for a short time and that negates all that you are setting out to do.

May Affect your Fitness Workouts

It’s vital to a good workout that you get the most out of it but you must have enough energy and fuel and it could be dangerous without enough calories for your muscle growth. Which fasting plan you choose is extremely important.

Going the Distance

While intermittent fasting may work for you on a short term basis, it may not be feasible for a long term run. The 12/12 works for most of us. It’s wise when choosing one of the others though.

Medical disclaimer
The information that I provide on my website is purely based on my own personal experience and subsequent research into the diabetes disease. It is not intended to take the place of medical advice,diagnosis and treatment. Care and investigation should always be sought from an appropriate health care provider. I am happy to discuss my own symptoms, diagnosis and history of my diabetes disease but want to stress that I am not medically trained in any way. All opinions on my website are my own. I have created this site as a way to share information and experiences.

And Finally

Intermittent Fasting for Diabetes can work for some people, but maybe not for others. Please use caution when making a decision about trying it. You always want to keep your diabetes under control and maintain your blood sugar numbers.



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Rob Sciubba

Rob Sciubba - Founder of

Rob is an blogger who has type 2 diabetes and wants to spread the word treating diabetes. For the past 3 years he has provided valuable information about diabetes and lowering blood sugars and continues to offer additional ways to treat diabetes.

If you’re serious about treating your diabetes and lowering your blood sugars the natural ways, then you will learn from his website.

8 thoughts on “Intermittent Fasting for Diabetes | Fasting Helps Your Diabetes”

  1. Thanks for this article.
    I have several close friends who have been diagnosed with diabetes.
    I’ve noticed that since they’ve been on medication, they have lost a lot of weight.

    Can they still do this intermittent fast or will that cause them to lose even more weight?

    I know this is geared towards a healthier lifestyle and they may want to give this a go but their main concern will be about losing even more weight.


    • Hey Jacqueline 🙂

      There are many ways to tackle diabetes and lowering blood sugar.

      Medications can do a lot of things to you especially if you’re on diabetic medication.

      Losing weight is great for diabetes and your glucose levels. 

      If they are losing weight currently and want to try intermittent fasting, this could cause a problem.

      When on medication for diabetes, anything should be discussed with the physician first!

      Thank you for your comments!


  2. Thanks for posting about intermittent fasting.
    It is something I have done occasionally and have found I feel healthier, slimmer and have more energy afterwards.
    One thing I do encounter is migraine headaches every time I start a fast.
    Do you recommend anything to counteract this?
    Is it common or a normal side effect?
    Many thanks in advance.

    • Hey Tracy,

      I think that intermittent fasting can be beneficial for folks but not for everyone. You have to be careful with which plan you choose. Most everyday people are on the 12/12 plan. That’s normal but the others can be restricting.

      This is why everything should be discussed with your physician first. I can’t recommend anything to counteract a migraine headache if it’s from fasting. You may want to choose another fasting plan if that’s the case.

      I would say a headache is probably a common side effect although it depends on each individual as well.

      Thank you for your input!


  3. Thanks for the article on diabetes and fasting. While I don’t have diabetes, my blood sugar has been slowly rising over the years, so I found your tips extremely helpful. I am currently trying to lose weight so I have cut out sugar and carbs as well as trying to eat only 2 meals per day. One of my big issues is becoming hungry! My wife can attest that I am no fun to be around if I’m hungry. Any tips for that aspect of fasting?

    • Hi David,

      It’s good that you don’t have diabetes but it’s a wise choice to keep an eye on your blood sugar levels. Certain intermittent fasting methods work for some and not others.

      Intermittent fasting with the 12/12 method may be the best choice for most people. But whatever method you follow, you can always experience the hunger pains.

      Might I suggest you try this for losing weight and controlling your appetite? Click here

      Good luck and thanks for your comments!

  4. I do intermittent fasting but have never talked to my husband about it because he is diabetic. I read this with great interest to see whether it would be safe for him or not. I would go with the cautious side and tell him not to try it if he were to consider it. There are just so many risks with diabetics!

    That said, intermittent fasting isn’t nearly as difficult as it sounds when reading about it on paper. 12:12 is really just how most people eat, there is no real fasting except overnight. 16:8 is where most beginners start, and I do 20:4 or OMAD (one meal a day).

    Great info!

    • Hey Theresa! Let’s face it. We all basically do intermittent fasting on one scale or another. Most of us follow the 12:12 method. But with diabetes you have to be careful. I would have your husband talk to his doctor first and see if trying another intermittent plan night work for him.

      At least it may be worth a try. I give you credit because the 20:4 method is the toughest one to follow. Good luck and than you for commenting!



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