Why the ketogenic diet could help you control type 2 diabetes?
The ketogenic diet limits the number of carbohydrates and the number of sugars in your diet, and increases the intake of fats, this theoretically should reduce blood glucose. And this changes the way your body stores and uses energy, improving the symptoms of diabetes.
In the ketogenic diet, your body uses fat as an energy source instead of using glucose. Why does this happen? By consuming fewer carbohydrates you have less glucose in the blood and having no blood glucose your body uses fat as energy.
That’s the theory but what does scientific research state?
What does science say about diabetes and the ketogenic diet?
There are few studies that analyze the relationship that the ketogenic diet has with the condition of diabetes, and they are not conclusive, but so far they are quite promising.
In a meta-analysis of 1376 patients, it was found that the ketogenic diet helps lower blood glucose and reduces the need for insulin.
A study conducted in 2008 for twenty-four weeks studied the effects of a low-carbohydrate diet in patients with type 2 diabetes and compared the results with a sample of patients who had had a diet low in sugars.
Surprisingly, patients on the ketogenic diet had better results in terms of blood glucose control and medication reduction than patients who stopped consuming sugar.
In 2013, a case report showed again that people who followed a ketogenic diet showed good results in terms of weight loss and symptoms.
Recently, in 2017, a study showed that the ketogenic diet is more effective than a regular low-fat diet in cases of patients with diabetes.
However there are risks to a ketogenic diet if you suffer from type 2 diabetes, if you want to do it you should talk to your endocrinologist.
Can you do the ketogenic diet if you take metformin?
If you do the ketogenic diet if you take metformin. There is no risk of lowering sugar.
Can you do the ketogenic diet if you take hypoglycemic drugs such as glibenclamide or insulin?
You can not do the ketogenic diet if you take:
- Sulfonylureas: like glibenclamide, glimepiride, etc.
This is because these drugs are designed to increase insulin in your body, which lowers your blood sugar.
If you make a ketogenic diet taking any of these medicines you increase the risk of falling into hypoglycemia, and this puts your life at risk, so it is very important that you consult with your doctor before starting a ketogenic diet so that you take your precautions to not fall into hypoglycemia.
Glucose testing helps you detect and prevent damage from possible hypoglycemia. It is advisable to check your glucose more often than normal if you do the ketogenic diet and take any of these medications.
What possible complications and dangers does a ketogenic diet have if you have diabetes?
Diabetic ketoacidosis is often confused, a very serious complication of diabetes that affects some diabetic patients poorly controlled, with the state of ketosis, which is a natural consequence of the ketogenic diet.
The ketosis is the state in which the body is using ingested or fat reserves for energy. This process releases ketones in the blood.
Ketoacidosis, on the other hand, is a very dangerous complication of diabetes that appears when insulin levels are so low that sugars cannot be metabolized to feed the cells, and blood sugar rises to very high levels and therefore the body begins to consume fats.
Ketoacidosis is a more common complication in patients with type 1 diabetes, but the disease may increase the risk of ketoacidosis also in patients with type 2 diabetes.
The American Diabetes Society recommends checking your urine ketones if you have more than 250 mg/dl of blood glucose.
The symptoms you should look for if you think you have diabetic ketoacidosis are:
- High blood sugar
- Increased urination
- Sweet breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Dry mouth
If a similar picture of symptoms appears, it should be considered a medical emergency and the person should immediately go to a medical center.
Controls of the ketogenic diet in diabetic patients
The ketogenic diet implies a considerable metabolic change, same that a healthy person must be able to cross without great complications, but in the case of a diabetic patient strict controls are needed.
Many physicians choose to perform this metabolic transition with the inpatient, so they can closely monitor the levels of sugars and ketones in the blood, see how the body reacts and respond to any medical emergency that may arise.
If the patient responds appropriately, once he is discharged, he will need to maintain constant monitoring to avoid the risk of entering the state of ketoacidosis.