Diabetes and Surgery: Can I Drink ClearFast PreOp if I’m Diabetic or Should I Fast?

If you’re one of the over 30 million people in the U.S. who is diabetic, you might be wondering about diabetes and surgery—and whether or not ClearFast Preop is right for you—as you prepare for your procedure. After all, pre-op fasting—coupled with the massive amount of stress that’s often brought on by surgery—can make controlling your blood sugar all the more difficult. So how, exactly, do you safely prepare your body for surgery as a diabetic so you can enter into and wake up from anesthesia in the strongest state possible? Today, we’re talking all you need to know about the role a proper presurgery drink can play in enhancing a diabetic’s surgery experience. Read on for some seriously empowering information!

Should diabetics fast before surgery?

Recent clinical studies and findings from numerous medical professionals show that fasting before surgery actually adds stress and can decrease the safety of patients preparing for surgery. This is particularly true as it relates to diabetes and surgery—as diabetic patients are often the most adversely affected by prolonged fasting (more on this later!). 

Why is fasting before surgery risky for diabetics?

A prolonged fast sends your body into a catabolic state—which ultimately means your body uses up its limited hepatic glycogen stores when it needs energy before surgery and then moves on to breaking down healthy fat and muscle tissue as an alternative energy source. This isn’t ideal for the everyday patient, let alone for a patient who is managing diabetes. For the diabetic, this translates into serious complications like perioperative hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia and/or ketoacidosis.

Are there other risks I should be aware of when it comes to diabetes and surgery?

In addition to hyperglycemia and/or ketoacidosis, things like post-op nausea and vomiting (something nearly one in three patients experience when waking up from surgery), increased stress (something we all experience before and after surgery), and a decrease in activity level after surgery can make managing your blood sugar all the more difficult as a diabetic. Minimizing your risk of these complications, then, is key when we’re talking about diabetes and surgery. One proven way you can do so is by talking to your doctor about implementing a liquid fast with ClearFast Preop in place of the traditional “from midnight” fast. 

Why should I consider drinking ClearFast Preop in place of fasting?

Any diabetic knows that prolonged fasting is one of the quickest ways to throw your blood sugar completely out of whack (add stress hormones and pre-surgery anxiety on top of that and you’ve got a recipe for disaster when it comes to diabetes and surgery). According to an array of medical studies, pre-op carb-loading for diabetics is actually one of the safest, most effective ways to manage blood sugar levels before, during, and after surgery. Here’s how it works:

  1. It protects your critical glycogen stores: By providing your body the complex carbs it needs for energy, drinking ClearFast before surgery helps to ensure your body isn’t using up all of those important glycogen stores. This ultimately helps you proactively manage your blood-sugar levels, rather than being at the mercy of a from-midnight fast (and the negative side effects such a fast can have on your health as a diabetic).
  2. It takes into account a diabetic’s ongoing nutritional requirements: Let’s face it—fasting for hours upon hours isn’t exactly a practical option for diabetics, who have constant and critical nutritional requirements. By working ClearFast into your surgery prep routine and closely monitoring your blood sugar levels as part of the prep process, you’re working with—rather than completely ignoring—your body’s critical nutritional requirements. 
  3. It reduces your chance of preop complications:  Fasting before surgery for diabetics can mean a dangerous drop in blood-sugar levels, which ultimately leads to complications like hypoglycemia and even ketoacidosis. Preparing your body for surgery with ClearFast helps to reduce the risk of your body using up all of those important glycogen stores and ultimately ending up in one of these two risk-prone states. 
  4. It reduces your chance of post-op complications: Numerous studies have found that pre-op carb-loading with a complex-carb-rich, clear preop drink like ClearFast can reduce your risk of post-op insulin resistance and post-op infections—as well as reduce the occurrence of post-op vomiting (all of which make managing your blood-sugar difficult, posing particular danger for those with diabetes). These same studies have found the fasting-from-midnight instruction to be antiquated and even unsafe, especially in regards to the development of post-op insulin resistance. In fact, according to a lecture published in PubMed, “The increased uptake of glucose in non-insulin-sensitive cells is involved in the development of several of the most common postoperative complications, including infections and cardiovascular problems. Many of the perioperative treatments in use are outdated, and modern care involves a multimodal approach with several treatments, such as preoperative carbohydrate treatment instead of overnight fasting.” Just like this finding states, when we’re able to avoid or reduce the risk of these complications through preop carb treatment, we end up with a much easier and shorter recovery period—which ultimately means getting to go home (and getting back to your life!) much quicker.

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Overall, when it comes to diabetes and surgery, we recommend talking to your doctor about replacing the from-midnight fast with ClearFast Preop liquid fast instead. With her approval, you can order ClearFast Preop here—or reach out to the ClearFast team at support@drinkcf.com if you have any questions at all!