Type 2 diabetes remission with achievable weight loss

October 27, 2019 in Diabetes & Diabetes Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News, Weight Management

Type 2 diabetes remission with achievable weight loss

People who achieve a weight loss of 10% or more in the first five years following diagnosis with type 2 diabetes have the greatest chance of seeing their disease go into remission, according to a study led by the University of Cambridge.

The findings suggest that it’s possible to recover from the disease without intensive lifestyle interventions or extreme calorie restrictions.

While type 2 diabetes can be managed through a combination of healthy lifestyle changes and medication, it’s also possible for the high blood sugar level that defines diabetes to return to normal through significant calorie restriction and weight loss. An intensive low-calorie diet (700 calories per day) for 8 weeks has been associated with remission in almost nine out of ten people with recently diagnosed diabetes and in a half of people with longstanding disease.

Yet, there’s little evidence whether the same effect can be achieved by people participating in less intensive interventions, which are more sustainable and perhaps scalable to the wider population.

Can slow, sustainable weight loss reverse type 2 diabetes?

To answer this question, researchers at the University of Cambridge studied data from the ADDITION-Cambridge trial, a prospective study of 867 people with newly diagnosed diabetes, aged 40 and 69 years, recruited from general practices in the eastern region.

The researchers found that 257 participants (30%) participants were in remission at five-year follow-up. People who achieved a weight loss of 10% or more within the first five years after diagnosis were more than twice as likely to go into remission compared to people who maintained the same weight.

The results suggest that it’s possible to get rid of diabetes, for at least five years, with a modest weight loss of 10%. This will be more motivating and more achievable for many people.

Type 2 diabetes, while a chronic disease, can lead to significant complications, but as this study shows, it can be controlled and even reversed.

Source: Diabetic Medicine, September 3, 2019.

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