Weight Loss Puts Diabetes in Remission in Less Than One Year

By Dr. Henry Sobo

Just published research from Britain shows that for people with Diabetes Type 2, weight loss can put the disease into remission when the weight loss is maintained.

After 1 year, one half of the study participants reverted to a non-diabetic state without using any diabetes drug treatment. Professor Michael Lean from the University of Glasgow says, “Our findings suggest that even if you have had type 2 diabetes for 6 years, putting the disease into remission is feasible. In contrast to other approaches, we focus on the need for long-term maintenance of weight loss through diet and exercise.” Co-author of the study  Professor Roy Taylor of Newcastle University comments on how medical practitioners do not give dietary treatment the emphasis it deserves. “Rather than addressing the root cause, management guidelines for type 2 diabetes focus on reducing blood sugar levels through drug treatments. Diet and lifestyle are touched upon, but diabetes remission by cutting calories is rarely discussed.”

The study is called the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT), and has just been published in the British Medical Journal Lancet. The study subjects were  298 adults aged 20-65 years who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. A weight loss of  30 lbs or more was shown to be sufficient to achieve a  remission of diabetes in the majority of cases. Remission was defined as achieving Hgb A1C reading of level of less than 6.5% at 12 months,off all medications.

The study also revealed that 2 more health benefits shown by their data was an improvement in average triglyceride levels , and that almost half the participants with high blood pressure were able to discontinue antihypertensive drugs with no rise in blood pressure. And finally, by recording quality of life measurements, a substantially improved quality of life was reported at 12 months.

Professor E.M. Uusitupa who authored a commentary to the published study concludes that the efidence provided from this and other studies indicates that  “… weight loss should be the primary goal in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.”

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