- High blood sugar is the symptom of the problem. The real problem is insulin resistance caused by too much insulin.
- The solution is to treat the insulin resistance.
- How? Through intermittent fasting, where you don’t eat for extended periods of time
- Why? To lower insulin level and thus decrease insulin resistance
- What is cure? To have no need for medications and to have blood sugars at normal levels.
My own thoughts: First, I must make an admission, I do intermittent fasting myself, where I don’t eat for 16 hours and then have an 8 hour eating window. It’s not a miracle procedure, I still need to eat healthy foods and to watch my calorie intake. I am losing weight, but I don’t really see the transcendental health effects that other people claim.
This video caught my attention because Type 2 diabetes is such a huge problem that is very difficult to control. If there is an effective treatment in our armory, then we should pursue it.
I have mixed feelings about this. Jason Fung is a good speaker and his case studies are quite dramatic. I do agree that Type 2 diabetes is very much a diet problem and that improving your diet helps a lot. This is not controversial, since the very first piece of advice when you’re diagnosed is to lower your carbs and calories and to exercise more. Medications are also part of treatment.
Jason Fung does take an anti-medication view. I’m trained as a pharmacist, so I’m more sanguine to medications. Of course I don’t want people to stay on medications forever, but I don’t want them to get rid of it willy-nilly. Dose titrations exist for a reason. I’m not accusing him of telling people to just drop their medications, but I fear people might hear his message and take extreme measures without medical oversight.
I’m surprised Dr. Fung takes such a dim view of insulin. Insulin is not evil. It’s a necessary component of the body that helps your body process food. Type 2 diabetics may have problems with it, but Type 1 diabetics definitely need it. It’s also not the thing causing the damage to all your organs in diabetes. The high blood sugar is causing it and insulin lowers the blood sugar to safer levels.
So what to make of all this? Is intermittent fasting useful? Yes, I use it myself! Will it cure Type 2 diabetes? Dr. Fung’s case studies are compelling, but we will need randomized controlled studies to be much more confident. Personally, I am leaning on the yes side. Diet changes are a powerful thing. Am I protesting too much over his anti-medication stance? Maybe. Drugs are not absolutely safe and we should be aware of their risks. However, that doesn’t mean we should throw them out as options.