Water fasting (Type-1 Diabetic) 1-day water fast
written by Nina Shantel, RealDietHelp.com, published December 7, 2021
Water fasting has many benefits, such as lowering blood sugars, cholesterol and blood pressure. Extended water fasting has been shown to shrink tumors and reverse autoimmune diseases.
Why water fasting works
By not eating, your body is not expending energy digesting, processing food or getting rid of byproducts from the food you eat, so it has extra time to heal and repair our cells, tissues and our gut.
I contacted True North Health, known for water fasting, in Northern California to see if I would be eligible for an extended water fast. I paid $200 for a 30-minute consultation with one of the doctors at True North and was told that because I am underweight and a Type-1 diabetic that can no longer inject insulin due to its rare side effects, I would only be able to do a 3-day water fast, max. I was told that people lose 2 pounds a day on a water fast.
Short term water fasts are not as beneficial as longer water fasts, but there are some benefits, which vary based on the person and the length of the fast. As a Type-1 diabetic (subtype 1.5), I wanted to see if a short water fast, with the goal of fasting for 36 hours, could help lower my blood sugars by improving my beta cell function.
Water fasting is different than fasting. A true fast is where nothing is consumed, not even water, which isn’t smart or safe, since dehydration can lead to headaches, dizziness, and strokes. If you don’t drink enough water, your blood becomes thicker and won’t flow through your blood vessels and arteries as well, which is why strokes are more common with dehydration.
I’ll be drinking lots of filtered water, but I won’t be consuming any food, vitamins, coffee, or tea. I will also not be administering any insulin. The days one water fasts should be a day of rest to assist in this process, so I won’t be watching the news, working, exercising, or be on any social media platforms during this time to avoid any additional stress. Stress hinders healing, so water fasting days should be calming and uneventful.
I started my fast after dinner. When I woke up the next morning, my blood sugar was 138, which is good for a diabetic not on insulin, but still too high. A healthy blood sugar, two to three hours after meals, should be no higher than 99 (optimal is 85 per Dr. Cousins’ book, “There is A Cure for Diabetes”).
I didn’t follow all the fasting rules, such as no exercise, because it was a beautiful morning, so my husband and I went for a walk. Keeping up with my husband’s pace is always a bit of a challenge since he’s quite a bit taller than I am, and he walks very fast. Today’s walk was extra difficult without any food as fuel.
A few hours after the walk, I tested my blood sugar around the time I would normally eat lunch, and my blood sugar was stable at 138. I was disappointed that my blood sugar didn’t go down after the long walk.
During the water fast, I was surprised I wasn’t “starving.” I was hungry though. It was odd not eating. I spent the day reading, listening to music and I re-watched the movie “The Game Changers.”
“The Game Changers” is the movie that propelled my husband and I to become 100% vegan. If you haven’t seen this movie, it’s an absolute must, it is very entertaining and interesting. The movie explains that gladiators, who were strong, muscular men, ate mostly plants based on bone analysis. Muscles grow with carbohydrate intake, not protein. Animal protein causes inflammation and reduces blood flow, which is why many current athletes have switched to a vegan diet and have found they heal faster and have a competitive edge because they have more energy and increased strength. Weightlifters who ate a vegan diet got bigger and stronger. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted that all that meat put him at risk for a heart attack and now eats mostly plants. Animal flesh increases estrogen and cortisol, which causes weight gain and reduces muscle and testosterone.
Eating a low-fat vegan diet also improves blood sugar control, which is one reason why I’m able to control my blood sugars with diet and exercise. The other reason I’m able to control my blood sugars without insulin is that I have some working beta cells. (Watch video at the end of this post to see what I eat and what foods I avoid, including which plant foods I don’t eat).
Even Type-1 diabetics should want to reduce the amount of insulin they inject because all medications have side effects. Insulin is a powerful drug that can cause severe hypoglycemia, where the blood sugar is so low a person can fall, go into a coma, and die. What most people, and most endocrinologists don’t know is, all insulins available in the United States and Canada, contain a preservative called phenols, which cause cellular damage. Podiatrists use phenols to kill nerves.
During the fast I became lightheaded and had trouble concentrating, which makes sense because our brains prefer to use glucose for fuel, and I wasn’t eating my traditional fare of fruit, vegetables and beans. What I found fascinating is that after 24 hours of water fasting, my energy came back, and I felt rejuvenated.
At the time I would normally eat dinner, I tested my blood sugars again and was happy to see it dropped to 92. I went to bed around 8:00pm and woke up around 9:00pm feeling hot and dizzy. These side effects reminded me of how I felt when I had low blood sugar from taking too much insulin. I tested my blood sugar and saw it was 69, which is too low. Based on the day’s projections, my blood sugar may continue to drop. I had to stop my water fast early, after 27 hours, because my blood sugars dropped dangerously low, to 69.
To prevent my blood sugars from dropping further, the solution was to eat. I figured that a piece of fruit would be a good option, but I really wanted the homemade vegetable soup in the refrigerator. I heated up the soup on the stove and enjoyed a large bowl of it, which was delightful. Shortly after consuming the soup, my stomach started hurting. I figured the stomach pain was because my stomach shrank. I ended up with diarrhea.
After a fast, the proper reintroduction to food is a freshly made juice, but because I ate at night and my husband was asleep and I needed to eat right away, I make the mistake of eating a hearty soup instead of a light, fiber-free juice.
I lost 3 pounds from the water fast and later re-gained 1.5 pounds.
I drank 32 ounces of filtered water during my 27-hour water fast.
Before water fasting, I had no detectable ketones, during the fast, there was minimal ketones present in my urine. What that means, is that my body was starting to burn fat as fuel.
Water fasting lowered my blood sugars, but only because I wasn’t eating any food. After I stopped the water fast and resumed eating, my blood sugars were much higher and harder to control. It took about a week to stabilize my blood sugars to what they were prior to water fasting.
Water fasting resulted is weight loss, which was not my objective, and did not help lower my blood sugars. The doctors I spoke to were skeptical that a water fast would help regenerate my beta cells or make my beta cells function more effectively, but I wanted to try it to see for myself.
Any water fast over 16 hours should be done under a doctor’s supervision who has extensive knowledge and experience with water fasting. Based on my own experience, water fasting is not safe for a Type-1 diabetic, but I was told that extended water fasting has reversed Type-1 diabetes for some people if they continue eating a whole-food, mostly raw, vegan diet.
If you have any questions regarding water fasting that I did not answer in this post or in the video below, write to me in the comments.
If you want to learn more about me, what I eat, how to transition to a whole-food, low-fat, vegan diet to improve blood sugar control and overall health, and to get my recipes, order The High-Five Diet from my website http://www.thehighfivediet.com