What is diabetes?

Definitions of diabetes:

Petit Larousse (2005): “Carbohydrate metabolism disorders due to insufficient action of pancreatic insulin which is characterized by hyperglycemia and often by the presence of sugar in the urine. Diabetes mellitus can be linked to an autoimmune disorder, obesity, genetic propensity and can develop in childhood. “

Amelie.fr (1): “Diabetes is a chronic disease characterized by excess sugar in the blood also known as hyperglycemia. There are 2 main types of diabetes due to different dysfunctions: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. It is chronic hyperglycemia that defines diabetes. “

Two very different diabetes

These definitions are true and do define diabetes. However, beyond appearances, it is necessary to specify the differences between the 2 types named above. One is linked to insufficient insulin production (type 1), the other, also called “fatty” diabetes, is linked to an overproduction of insulin (type 2).

Hyperglycemia clearly defines diabetes in these 2 definitions, but these are diseases with diametrically opposed mechanisms that also require opposite types of treatments. The problem is that these definitions are universal and that the doctor who treats diabetes – continues to treat hyperglycemia as if it were 2 cases of the same disease. This is vital for the type 1 diabetic and illusory for the type 2 diabetic, who today accounts for 90% of diabetes cases.

The consequences: the incredible increase in the number of chronically ill patients that are treated but never cured. The diabetes pandemic, like obesity, that is worsening, and which has been ongoing for decades. It is the first non-infectious disease in history that is capable of combining with and worsening all other chronic diseases (2).

Diabetes type 1 or type 2 …

Totally different causes and strategies

For type 1 diabetes, you need to give insulin. For type 2 diabetics, it is necessary to prevent its excessive production!

Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune disease that destroys the islets of Langherans, where insulin is produced in the pancreas. The treatment is daily injections of Insulin, which in this case is appropriate.

Type 2 diabetes is defined by the inability of Insulin to get excess sugar from the bloodstream into our cells despite a constant increase in its production. The cause of this diabetes is diet. Its treatment should be diet and should consist of reducing the quantity and frequency of sugar ingestion. The end goal is to significantly decrease insulin spikes.

Fasting does this very well!

Why do we always treat the symptoms but not the cause?

Here we will mainly talk about the management of type 2 diabetes.

Studies on the value of fasting as a treatment for diabetes are limited, and health advice comes mainly from the experiences of weight loss gurus and animal studies. Diabetes is therefore fatally regarded as an almost irreversible disease maintained by the doctors themselves, who have come to terms with a new “disease of civilizations” or “chronic” or even “non-transmissible”.

Diabetes may not be a transmissible disease, but the rising tide of obesity, especially in children (3% of obese children in 1965, 18% in 2018) is causing a pandemic drama that continues to worsen, both at the level of a civilization and at the individual level. The growing number of obese people reflects the increasing prevalence of diabetes; it is estimated that more than 400 million adults worldwide have it, 90% of whom have type 2 diabetes.

It is therefore an urgent therapeutic goal. Medical guidelines on how to manage diabetes remain unabashed and sadly obsessed with treating hyperglycemia.

For decades, the symptom has been treated but not the cause. And it does not work, today, diabetes remains a chronic, incurable disease….

What does bariatric surgery tell us?

In France, we are the champions of bariatric surgery (more than 70,000 operations per year). The principle is simple. We try, by surgical means (by bypassing, amputating part or parts of the intestine), to significantly reduce the amount of food intake. It is not fasting, but for a few months after the operation, the principle of the surgery coincides with that of fasting.

A study carried out in 2012 demonstrated an improvement, or even a disappearance of diabetes in operated patients, regardless of the mode of bariatric surgery, while the “control” patients medically treated continued to worsen in the first 12 months after the operation (3). This study confirms that medical treatment does not work and has shown that significantly reducing food intake can cure type 2 diabetes.

Due to this beneficial action, bariatric surgery has been renamed “metabolic surgery”. The authors of this study published the results of the 5-year follow-up and reached the same conclusions (4). The elimination of obesity thus made it possible to cure a disease deemed incurable.

This makes it worth thinking about alternatives to metabolic surgery …

Diabetes and fasting, incompetence or ignorance?

Fasting is a voluntary act of avoiding all food.

Water fasting allows the ingestion of water or unsweetened and non-energy drinks (water, herbal teas, tea, coffee without sugar, without milk, without honey and without sweeteners) but prohibits any solid foods.

Fasting is a natural endeavour described and talked about for many years by physiologists (5-6), which we practice regularly (without our knowledge)-unconsciously (every night, when we skip a meal …) without the risk of dying. Our bodies have numerous capabilities to spare our building blocks (especially protein) and can provide the necessary and sufficient energy from our reserves, for several days and based on our needs. During fasting, energy is supplied from glucose (made by gluconeogenesis) but mainly from ketone bodies produced by the breakdown of fatty acids from adipose tissues in the liver. As long as these 2 production sources are possible, the faster’s organism is preserved.

As there is no intake of sugar, the production of insulin by the pancreas is greatly reduced or even stopped. During a water fast, as mentioned above, gluconeogenesis helps keep blood sugar constant, and quickly normalizes at levels below 1g / l (around 24 hours in most cases).

Water fasting cures type 2 diabetes in about 24 hours!

Bariatric surgery does the same thing over several weeks with some risk (-)(1% mortality, 20% immediate postoperative complications and 40% failure). Surgery, metabolic as it is, is not fasting because the patient continues to eat.

These few lines underline the astonishing nature of a dramatic situation on a global scale. The world is dazed by the gravity of the pandemic situation of obesity and diabetes but remains blinded by questionable theories which are the source of monstrous costs, treatment failures, reduced life expectancy and unbearable individual suffering.

What doctor can still continue his activities in such a disrespectful context? Because we know or we don’t know! If we know, we cannot continue to prescribe unnecessarily. If we don’t know, we are incompetent and dangerous to our patients!

Fasting in all its forms cures most type 2 diabetes. Water fasting has been practiced throughout human history and long before. It is only dangerous because of the iatrogenic effect of certain drugs so it is important to know, adapt or discontinue. In recent years, various forms of fasting, so-called “intermittent fasting” have been described, and they lead to the same success with diabetes. Intermittent fasting consists of eliminating 1 meal per day instead of the 3 classic meals (in fact the French eat 4.7 meals per day daily) or not to eat for 1 or 2 days a week.

Numerous studies confirm the beneficial effects of these types of fasts on the cure of diabetes (7-8).

It is essential to promote the benefits of fasting on diabetes but also on maintainable healthy weight reduction, on the improvement of mood and quality of life, on blood pressure which it decreases and so many other health benefits (9).

The aim of the “Fasting & Health” retreats is to provide diabetics with the means to heal and improve the quality of their lives thanks to the constant presence of a doctor and his team, and through simple explanations and education given through healthy, fun and enjoyable activities.

Fasting allows lasting behaviour changes in a caring, safe and relaxed environment. By offering water fasting stays followed or not by intermittent fasting stays, the medical team within Fasting & Health, offers an unprecedented therapeutic method in France, with healing being the essential objective.

Doctor Philippe Guerin

Doctor Philippe Guérin supervises fasting retreats in France, in our Fasting & Health institute in compliance with current health regulations (PCR test requested).

  • a comprehensive medicalized and personalized approach.
  • sustainable weight loss
  • a stress free groundwork preparation in order to implement long-term habit-based dietary behaviour changes.

Resources

1. https://www.ameli.fr/assure/sante/themes/diabete-comprendre/definition

2. The Factory of Obesity: Investigating a Global Scourge. Yves Leers. Ed. Buchet.Chastel

3. Bariatric surgery versus intensive medical therapy in obese patients with diabetes. Schauer PR, Kashyap SR, Wolski K, Brethauer SA, Kirwan JP, Pothier CE, Thomas S, Abood B, Nissen SE, Bhatt DL. N Engl J Med. 2012 Apr 26; 366 (17): 1567-76.

4. Bariatric Surgery versus Intensive Medical Therapy for Diabetes – 5-Year Outcomes. Schauer PR, Bhatt DL, Kirwan JP, Wolski K, Aminian A, Brethauer SA, Navaneethan SD, Singh RP, Pothier CE, Nissen SE, Kashyap SR. N Engl J Med. 2017 Feb 16; 376 (7): 641-651.

5. Journey into biochemistry. Bernadette and Philippe Hecketsweiler. Ed Elsevier. 3rd edition (2004)

6. Impact of prolonged fasting on insulin secretion, insulin action, and hepatic versus whole body insulin secretion disposition indices in healthy young males. Jørgensen SW, Hjort L, Gillberg L, Justesen L, Madsbad S, Brøns C, Vaag AA.Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Feb 1; 320 (2): E281-E290.

7. Impact of intermittent fasting on health and disease processes. Mark P. Mattson, Valter D. Longo, and Michelle Harvie Aging Res Rev. 2017 Oct; 39: 46–58.

8. Intermittent fasting: is there a role in the treatment of diabetes? A review of the literature and guide for primary care physicians. Michael Albosta, Jesse Bakke Clin Diabetes Endocrinol. 2021 Feb 3; 7 (1): 3. 9. Safety, health improvement and well-being during a 4 to 21-day fasting period in an observational study including 1422 subjects. Françoise Wilhelmi de Toledo, Franziska Grundler, Audrey Bergouignan, Stefan Drinda, Andreas Michalsen. PLoS One. 2019; 14 (1): e0209353