Fasting for Religious Purposes?

I am a 42 year old LADA diagnosed earlier this year, and I currently treat my condition with a single daily injection of Lantus (18 units), diet, and exercise. My 14 day average on my glucose meter is 109, and my last A1c was at 6.4 (4 mos ago - I get updated results when I visit my endo tomorrow).

Anyway, with that out of the way, I am on our church’s building expansion team, and we are facing some very important decisions on how and when to proceed with a major sanctuary expansion. Our team members were asked by our pastor to fast for three meals and pray for guidance on the topic during the next couple of weeks. I would like to take part in this team effort, but I don’t think it is a very good idea given my diabetes.

I plan on talking to my endocrinologist about the topic at tomorrow’s appointment, but I thought I would throw this out there for this group to see if any of you had experience with attempting to fast, and how you went about it. Left to my own intuition, I would either reduce of skip the Lantus injection the night before, but since I experience a pretty significant dawn phenomonon and high morning glucose level without the Lantus, I am a bit reluctant to do this.

Any insight or experience that could be shared would be appreciated

I fast for religious reasons on occasion as well. For my fast I do allow myself juice boxes, sugar water, and glucose tablets as those are all medication for me and not food. As a type 1 diabetic I would usually just not give myself my mealtime insulin. Since you do not take mealtime insulin I would first suggest consulting with your doctor and then perhaps a very slight reduction in the Lantus. Again, if your blood sugars slip towards low fasting rules do not forbid the use of medication to save yourself. Talk to your doctor about it and hopefully you’ll get some feedback from other type 2’s who do this as well! If your doctor recommends against it, I would talk to your pastor about fasting from something else for a day (TV, internet, music, etc.) or limit your diet to very simple foods which could also be considered a fast in our current culture.

I am also a LADA Diabetic, and I fast all the time. I always drink a protine rich shake instead of eating. Also I have used the Daniel fast instead of eating meat. Eating no rich meats, and sticking to grains and fruits, no caffine, or sugar. i make a vegetable soup and use tomato sauce, and garlic powder and various natural seasonings, no added salt. Hope this helps you! Jenn

When I fast, I check regularly and drink juice for lows.

Click here for a discussion on this topic and here.

Thanks all for the quick responses. Kristin, thanks for the links to previous discussion on the topic. I tried to do a search for previous conversations and had come up empty. This will give me some great “food” for thought!

Thanks for the suggestion on alternatives to fasting. One of my teammates who is aware of my D suggested the same thing.

Not to pick nits, but as a LADA I’m actually a type 1, but I have the great fortune to still be kicking out a fair amount of insulin on my own.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

You had me pretty excited up to the no caffeine part. Ouch. But that sounds a lot more workable than cold turkey.

Thanks for the response!

This has happened to me before too. Sometimes I find the searches not very efficient. I remembered these discussions :slight_smile:

I appologize, I missed the LADA designation in your original post and focused on the fact you were only taking Lantus as insulin and doing the rest with diet and exercise. Congratulations for managing like that and still producing your own insulin. Again, I am sorry and thank you for educating me.

Rebecca -

No apology necessary - I wasn’t offended, and I only pointed out the distinction because I thought it was relevant to my question. I feel like a diabetic with training wheels on since I still produce insulin and don’t yet have to deal with constant management required by type 1. I’m really not looking forward to the time when my beta cells call it quits entirely. I truly appreciate your thoughtfulness in taking the time to respond to my question in the first place.

By the way, the discussion links that Kristin included in her response were directly on topic if you are interested in the experiences of others with fasting.

Thanks again, and God Bless!


My view…my pastor’s view of fasting is to give up something meaningful to you! It need not be food related…the idea is to make a sacrifice.
With myself, giving up coffee for example, or tudiabetes chats for a week would be truly a meaningful gift of self, as the absence would be almost unbearable!!!

I think you are right on with that comment. My wife was reading the responses, and based on my reply to Jenn above, suggested that it sounds like coffee is the thing I should go without. For me, that would truly be a sacrifice, but it would be most unbearable for my co-workers.

Yes…that’s quite the little problem!!! I teach…and it might get ugly in the classrooom without my morning cuppa! ;(

The Bible says that when we fast, we should not “show” that we are fasting and complain about hunger. So if you decide to go without coffee, it means you will have to still be nice to your co-workers :wink:

I don’t really take in Caffeine at all because it effects my blood sugars a lot. I am a pump user, and congratulate you on the fact that you still produce insulin! My beta called it quits in 2006. Also I don’t think it would be necessary to go cold turkey on caffeine. Maybe just not taking in so much, so there will be no side effects. One thing that God spoke to me when I started fasting regularly is that there are many ways to fast. I know you said your team was asked to fast three meals, but will they consider you fasting in a alternate way because of your diabetes? I sometimes refrain from other things to fast…like giving up TV, or the computer. God want our first fruits, so sometimes I get up in the morning and give my time to God in prayer instead of watching the morning news. Or sometime I don’t get on the computer for a few days and devote that time to prayer. I just think fasting can come in many forms. I hope this helps you some! God Bless! Jenn

You’re right Kristin…making it even more of a gift of self!

Thanks for all of your input. I had my appointment yesterday with my endocrinologist and my A1c is down slightly to 6.3 and all other things are going well. Given the stability of my diabetes, and the relatively short period of fasting, he had no big concerns with me doing a fast. He suggested skipping the Lantus injection entirely the night before, which would also give us a chance to see what my fasting morning glucose levels are without the external insulin. He was also kind of curious to have me monitor frequently to see how my body reacts to the fast.

I guess I have no excuses now!

Thanks again.


Hey Dale…when is this fast planned for? Let me know how it goes! Make sure you keep some quick fix at the ready…just in case!
Take care…and be well, linda.

Hi Linda -

I gave it a go last Sunday, and here is how it went:

Saturday night, I had an early dinner around 6, then skipped my Lantus injection and tested at 122 at 10pm

On Sunday morning, I tested at 112 at 7:45 am. I was 85 at 10:40, 103 at 12:15, 80 at 2:30, 75 at 4:30, and 95 at 5:30. I took a long walk between 4:30 and 5:30 and did my prayer/seeking at that time. I was feeling pretty light headed and cranky at this point, and had to help coach 11/12 year old boys in a football game at 6:30, so I broke my fast with a green salad and some multi-grain chips and hummus. After the game around 8 pm I tested at 205. One hour later at 9 pm I was back to 146 and took my normal 18 units of Lantus. The next morning I was spot on target at 101 at 6:45 am.

This was the first time I have done anything like this since diagnosis, and it all seemed to go pretty well. My day was spent attending regular Sunday morning church service, a couple of hours working on a Bible study in early afternoon, a church small group bible study gathering at 3, and my time walking and conversing with God. I avoided any television. I did have some decaf hot tea after church and before my walk/prayer time. I do feel like the fasting helped me to focus, although I can say that I had any sort of big revelalation in answer to my questions, but also no clear feelings that we are on the wrong path.

In the end, it doesn’t seem that my particular flavor of diabetes presents any big obstacles to fasting, as long as I plan in advance.

Thanks for your interest and comments.


Interesting that your BG was as low as it was for the better part of the day…this, though you were cautious, was I feel due to spiritual guidance/divine intervention…the next fast may or may not follow suite…His omniscience being the balance in His word.
Blessings and wellness…linda.