Type 2 diabetes may be reversible suggests new research

07 December, 2017, 05:41 | Author: Sherman Richardson
  • HeraldScotland Professor Mike Lean

New research suggests type 2 diabetes can be reversed in less than a year with the help of a doctor and a weight loss plan.

A trial has shown that type 2 diabetes is reversible if weight is lost and kept off.

In the study, Dr. Roy Taylor, professor of medicine and metabolism at Newcastle University, and his colleagues randomly assigned almost 300 people to either a weight management program or their usual treatments, including diabetes medications. Roy Taylor, director of the Magnetic Resonance Centre at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom.

A clinical trial has shown a reversal of type 2 diabetes is possible by following an extremely low-calorie diet. Remission was defined as having blood glucose levels (HbA1c) of less than 6.5% per cent (48mmol/mol) at 12 months, with at least two months without any type 2 diabetes medications. "It's very important that anyone living with Type 2 diabetes considering losing weight in this way seeks support and advice from a healthcare professional". Michael Lean, chair of Human Nutrition at the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom, "putting the disease into remission is feasible".

"Our findings suggest that even if you have had type 2 diabetes for six years, putting the disease into remission is feasible", says Prof Michael Lean from the University of Glasgow who co-led the study. But excess fat in the pancreas and liver can start to shut down these insulin-producing cells, leading to spikes in blood sugar levels. The pancreas - an organ that produces insulin - tries to compensate by producing more insulin, but eventually it can not make enough, and blood sugar levels go up.

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The condition costs the NHS around £14 billion a year, and can lead to a number of serious complications such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease or stroke.

Of the of people worldwide who have diabetes, the vast majority have type 2, which results largely from carrying too much weight and not being physically active. He said: 'Many GPs will be able to think of personal examples where a patient with type 2 diabetes gets hold of their lifestyle by the scruff of the neck and manages to reverse their disease, so it is pleasing to see that this may be practical on a larger scale.

The trial, done at the Magnetic Resonance Center at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, looked at 306 participants recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the last six years. The trial was delivered through GP practices across Scotland and Tyneside to find out if the benefits of a structured weight management programme can be felt in a real-life primary care setting. The 149 participants in the weight programme would eat soups or health shakes to limit their calorie intake to 825-853 per day for three to five months. After that, they gradually introduced normal food over 2-8 weeks.

The program also offered ongoing support to maintain weight loss including CBT and strategies to increase physical activity.

The trial results, published in the Lancet and presented at the International Diabetes Federation Congress in Abu Dhabi, show that after one year, participants had lost an average of 10kg, and almost half had reverted to a non-diabetic state. The average weight loss in this group was 10 kilograms (22.1 pounds) compared with only 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) in the control group. Forty-six percent of participants in the test group reversed their diabetes and went into remission, while only 4% of the control group saw their diabetes go away.

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