Ms. BB has a story to share about her diabetes. She is a type 2 diabetic and pretty well versed in her condition. She has lived with this condition for over a decade, has done thousands of fingersticks at home to follow her blood sugar over the years, and has read books as well as gone through diabetic counseling in hopes of better managing her disease. Through the years, she had pretty good control of her numbers, they weren’t ideal, but they were adequate, and most of the time she was in range of where she should be for a diabetic. Fast forward 10 years, Ms. BB is now in her late 60s, and the medications that once worked for her, are no longer working. For the past year she has been chasing her numbers, they are bouncing out of range, into the 160s (lower than 120 in diabetes type 2 for a morning fasting level is the goal) in the morning, despite continuing to take her medications regularly. It was time to start insulin her Endocrinologist recommended and Ms. BB was terrified. She had accepted diabetes as long as she could take medication orally for it, but the thought of starting insulin changed her perspective. This was the last thing she wanted to add to her already busy life. So she asked, “what else can I do?” The newest research in Circadian Biology demonstrated that getting the timing right of eating, can have a huge impact on a person’s blood sugar, it can even make the medication work better.
She began tracking her eating time, which is what Time Restricted Eating is all about. She tracked for a couple of weeks, and from that data, we learned that she ended her evening of eating at about 7:30pm, and once or twice a week she might have a bite to eat closer to 9pm. That was the target, and we honed in on the 2 nights a week she might have a small morsel of food. She decided to take TRE a step further and decided that 5:30pm was a good time to finish dinner and be done with eating completely.
Today, months after the Endocrinologist made the recommendation of insulin, Ms. BB is still free of insulin, continues on her medication with her numbers totally optimized, all because of one particular lifestyle changes, and that is Time Restricted Eating. For Ms. BB Time Restricted Eating, was and still is her insulin alternative.