The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting on Patients with Diabetes Mellitus


Diabetes mellitus is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States, comprising about 10% of the population. With intermittent fasting gaining popularity in the media as a method to lose weight and control chronic illness, patients with diabetes would likely turn to any of the fasting methods in order to better manage their disease. However, there is a paucity of information to support whether intermittent fasting is an effective method to control diabetes, in conjunction with lifestyle modifications and anti-diabetic pharmacotherapy. This review sought to identify clinically relevant human studies that provide evidence that intermittent fasting is beneficial for those who suffer from type 1 or type 2 diabetes. A systematic review of the published literature was performed using PRISMA protocol in order to identify clinical trials that evaluated the effects of fasting in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, specifically focusing on body weight (kg), hemoglobin A1C (%), and blood plasma glucose levels (mmol/L). Four randomized controlled trials and one case report of fasting in adults on anti-diabetic therapy with diabetes were identified. Improvements in weight, A1C, and/or fasting plasma glucose were identified in all of the studies. Patients may approach their health care providers with the desire to utilize fasting as an alternative to effectively manage their diabetes. Providers can use the studies included in this review as well as others that are available as a guide in order to make proper recommendations and monitor their patients safely. However, more studies should be performed in order to make accurate claims regarding the long-term effects of intermittent fasting among patients with diabetes

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This paper was published in Dominican Scholar.

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