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When you eat matters – new science in type 2 diabetes

Intermittent fasting and its effects

Type 2 diabetes is a huge health issue, affecting around 210,000 New Zealanders. Although it can’t be cured, most people with type 2 diabetes can manage the condition with lifestyle changes, medication, or both. And research in a new area – intermittent fasting – shows promise in helping type 2 diabetics manage their weight and reduce their reliance on insulin.

Diabetes management

Type 2 diabetes affects the production of insulin, a chemical that helps the body process sugars. Without insulin, blood sugar levels can rise and fall rapidly, which can lead to serious complications including kidney failure, eye disease, infections, and heart disease.

Managing type 2 diabetes is about keeping blood glucose at a safe level. Some people can do this by following a healthy diet and staying active, while others may need to take medication as well.

Intermittent fasting explained

Intermittent fasting refers to abstaining from food for set times. Common types include the 16:8 diet in which people eat during an 8-hour window each day, and the 5:2 method which involves fasting for two days each week. Other types involve fasting for 24 hours every second day, or for three days each week.

Fasting doesn’t mean that people can eat whatever they like the rest of the time – it’s still essential to eat a healthy diet on non-fasting days.

New possibilities in diabetes management

Several recent studies suggest that intermittent fasting may offer better results for diabetics than diet and exercise alone.

During one study, participants were asked to fast for either 24 hours every second day, or for three days a week. They all showed significant improvement in weight and blood glucose levels and were able to stop using insulin. However, because the study only involved three male patients, further research is needed to confirm these findings.

Another study seems to show a correlation between intermittent fasting and reduced fat cells in the pancreas. The research showed that mice fed every other day had far fewer fat deposits in the pancreas. Research shows that fat cells may impair the function of the pancreas and make the development of type 2 diabetes more likely. The researchers suggested that intermittent fasting could be a promising tool in the prevention of diabetes in the future.

Diabetes management made easier

Although research is in the early stages, it does suggest that intermittent fasting may be a valuable tool in the fight against diabetes. Of course, if you’re diabetic or at risk of developing the disease, it’s essential to talk to your doctor before making any major lifestyle changes. Managing diabetes isn’t something that can change on a whim – it’s a lifelong mission.

For most type 2 diabetics, lifestyle changes will only go so far – you will almost certainly find yourself needing to take medication to help manage the condition. If that’s the case, it’s vitally important to take them regularly. That’s where ZOOM Pharmacy comes in. They make ongoing management and regular medication simple, with repeats organised for you, and fast, discreet delivery to your door.

One customer explains: “This takes the headache out of repeat prescriptions, last-minute pharmacy visits that turn into taking way too much time and remembering which pharmacy you’ve used for what.”

Make coping with a lifelong condition easier

When you’re dealing with a lifelong condition and multiple medications, anything that makes it easier has to be worth a try. New methods like fasting are one thing – but if you’re on four or more medications, getting them conveniently sachet packed and delivered, all for free, could make a huge difference.

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