Type 2 diabetes can be reversed following an intensive weight management programme, according to a randomised trial in adults…
Reverted to non-diabetic state without medical drugs
The study, published in The Lancet on 5 December 2017, showed that, after one year, participants had lost an average of 10kg, and nearly half had reverted to a non-diabetic state without using any diabetes treatment.
Focus on long-term weight loss
“Our findings suggest that, even if you have had type 2 diabetes for six years, putting the disease into remission is feasible,” says Professor Michael Lean from the University of Glasgow who co-led the study. “In contrast to other approaches, we focus on the need for long-term maintenance of weight loss through diet and exercise and encourage flexibility to optimise individual results.”
Obesity and intra-abdominal fat
The increase in people with type 2 diabetes has been linked to rising levels of obesity and the accumulation of intra-abdominal fat.
“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,” explains Professor Roy Taylor from Newcastle University, UK, who co-led the study.
According to Professor Taylor: “The weight-loss goals provided by this programme are achievable for many people. The big challenge is long-term avoidance of weight re-gain.”
Weight-loss primary goal
Writing in a linked Comment, Professor Emeritus Matti Uusitupa from the University of Eastern Finland discusses whether these findings should change treatment options for type 2 diabetes. He writes, “… the results, in addition to those from other studies of type 2 diabetes prevention and some smaller interventions in this setting, indicate that weight loss should be the primary goal in the treatment of type 2 diabetes…
Professor Uusitupa adds that the time of diabetes diagnosis is the best point to start weight reduction and lifestyle changes because motivation of a patient is usually high and can be enhanced by the professional health-care providers.”
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