Diabetes Update 17 - Extended Fasting
Another update on my quest to cure myself of diabetes.
I've recently been doing 3 day fasts. They seem to make more impact than 2 day fasts.
For a while I was doing one meal a day (OMAD). This was 20 hours fasting and about a 4 hour window of eating each day. I learned recently that it is not good to do this long term, as it is more like a caloric reduced diet and leads to a permanently slowed basal metabolic rate (BMR).
On my weight chart, I see a drop during the fasting, followed by a rebound when I resume eating. But I am a bit lower each time. I hope to ratchet my weight down using 2 and 3-day fasts once a week. I am also seeing my blood glucose level is staying nicely in the zone. I have a goal to score below 6% on my next A1C at the end of December, so this is going to help me achieve that.
Fasting Glucose Decline Rate
I did some analysis of how quickly my blood glucose level drops when fasting. What I did was measure my blood glucose level at several points in the day, while fasting, and work out the average slope of the decline as my blood glucose level goes down.
I got about 0.18 mmol/L drop in blood glucose level per hour. Click on the image to the right to zoom in and see. Bear in mind, my numbers are in mmol/L, so if you are in the USA multiply by 18 to get mg/dL. So my blood glucose drops about 3.24 mg/dL per hour.
Those of you who check your blood glucose level, do you get a similar rate?
Once you work out your average rate, you can calculate how long to get down to a decent glucose level. Here I look at time to get to 5.5 or 5.0 mmol/L. The math is (high value - 5.5) / 0.18
So if I woke up at 7.9 mmol/L, I can expect about 13 hours during which I not eat anything, to get my blood glucose level back to around 5.5 mmol/L. Since 13 hours is a long time, it serves as motivation not to spike my blood glucose level up that high. It is another reason to be aware of foods that can spike my blood glucose level.
I have found that stress can cause me to spike my blood glucose level. I understand that stress can trigger the release of the hormone cortisol, which triggers the release of glucose into the blood. When working on some important or challenging tasks, I have seen my my blood glucose level rise by at least 1.0 mmol/L. The good news is that it has also declined at a faster rate, following the event. I treat it as a blip, and not a trend.
With the change in the weather, my wife Pat and I are not getting out cycling as much as we like. I do about an hour on the elliptical trainer each day, and Pat and I are going swimming as well. When the weather improves in the spring, we will be out cycling again. A few years back, Pat slipped on ice while cycling and broke her shoulder, so ever since we avoid cycling on ice.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This is based on my own experience. Your mileage may vary. Check with your doctor before doing anything drastic based on what I wrote above.