Why Intermittent Fasting is important for Autoimmune Diseases
My best friend is a Type 1 Diabetic. She has had diabetes for almost 30 years. Some people freak out when I tell them she Intermittent Fast! They say, “You can’t do that because you have Type 1 Diabetes.”
I beg to differ. She is on an insulin pump. This allows her to have the freedom to cut back her insulin needs (basal rates) when she Intermittent fast. Her fasting window is a 16:8 fasting method. This means the fast goes on for 16 hours, so skipping breakfast and only eat during the 8-hour eating window. She is a warrior that knows how to use intermittent fasting to heal her body and promote healthy living with autoimmune diseases.
Why Intermittent Fast?
Fasting helps decrease inflammation in the body. Autoimmune issues such as Diabetes and Crohn’s are inflammatory diseases. Intermittent fasting helps to decrease inflammation.
There are many health benefits of intermittent fasting. For my friend, having autoimmune issues, her body struggles with digesting food.
Many times, when she eats, her tummy begins to hurt. Certain foods create more bloating, upset tummy, and diarrhea!
Fasting helps create a smooth straight line with blood sugars. Since she follows a low carb high-fat diet, she is not hungry during the fast. Many times, she will fast until her blood sugar drops.
For her, basal testing is crucial before starting a fast to make sure insulin rates will be steady throughout the fasting window. This prevents high blood sugars and major drops in blood sugar during a fast. Fasting also helps keep gut biomes healthy. The break for your body during a fast allows for other processes to begin healing. This is great for her and her Crohn’s.
How to Fast?
If you are starting with fasting, begin your fast after dinner. Try eating your last meal by 6 pm so you can fast for 16 hours overnight, while my body is resting. When you get up, do not eat anything.
Hydration is key during a fast! It is safe to have water, herbal teas, or black coffee during a fast. Stay away from caffeine or any creamers in your coffee, these will kick you out of a fast.
For my friend, If her blood sugars drop, she stops the fast. Diabetes trumps fasting in this case. To prevent the blood sugar drop, make sure you have a meal full of protein, healthy fats, and veggies for dinner. One of her favorite meals before a fast would be grass-fed ribeye, Brussel sprouts with avocado oil and bacon!
What happens during a fast?
During a fast, your body is healing and repairing the damage. Your human growth hormones spike and help in weight loss and muscle gain. Insulin sensitivity increases causing you to use more fat stored. You will notice your blood sugars are very stable. For my friend, If she drops, she cuts back her basal for next time!
What do you do after a fast?
Break your fast when you get hungry. On a 16:8 window with eating dinner at 6 pm, this is usually around 11 am or noon. Bone broth is one item that helps hydrate you and helps you break your fast. Bone broth is full of nutrients to help repair the body and replenish electrolytes. Other foods that are nutritionally dense to break a fast are soups, hearty salad with salmon, or mixed veggies drizzled with grass-fed butter.
Benefits of Fasting
The great thing about fasting is it can be integrated into your daily routine with little modifications to your overall lifestyle. Fasting can be short, periodic times throughout the day where you give your body time to heal. With trial and error, you can find which times of the day work best for your body. Above all, listen to your body. Fasting is great for overall anti-aging, longevity, and vitality.
When you can “biohack” your health with fasting, you’ll start to see many health benefits. The top 8 benefits of fasting are:
- Reduce Insulin Resistance, Promote Stable Blood Sugar Control
- Lower Inflammation & Promote Overall Wellness
- Improve Blood Pressure & Heart Health
- Boost Brain Function
- Boost Metabolism and Maintain A Healthy Weight
- Increase Growth Hormone Secretion
- Slow Down Aging & Boost Longevity & Vitality
- Aid in Cancer Prevention
Fasting and Overall Wellness
Fasting helps heal your body from the inside out. You will start to have more energy, improved mood, increased concentration! Small changes will make big results in your overall wellness. Try fasting today!
Don’t forget when fasting, our bodies need electrolytes! Electrolytes are electrically-charged elements that function to stimulate the body’s muscles and nerves. Electrolytes include sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphate; they control the level of fluids in the body, affecting cellular function, blood volume level, and blood pressure.
It is important to balance electrolyte levels in the body to ensure that the body can function optimally.
An electrolyte imbalance can result in dehydration and symptoms such as fatigue, vomiting, sweating, nausea, diarrhea, muscle cramps, lack of coordination, lack of focus, dizziness, increased body temperature, and kidney issues. Enjoying drinks that balance your electrolytes is crucial to overall wellness.
If you are new to fasting or keto here is Your Guide to Keto-Friendly Drinks, this article was originally published on HVMN: Health Via Modern Nutrition. These drinks will keep your electrolytes in check. Some of the featured drinks on this list are tea, sparkling water, and coffee.
When it comes to your health and overall wellness, think about how intermittent fasting can help you and your friends that may be dealing with autoimmune diseases. When you couple a nutrient-dense diet and a healthy lifestyle, incorporating intermittent fasting will help give your body a jolt, helping fight disease. Healing the body from the inside out will help lower inflammation, fight disease, and make you feel better overall. Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up each morning feeling 10 years younger? This is possible with intermittent fasting. This is why intermittent fasting is important for autoimmune diseases, to live a long, healthy life.