Suffering from diabetes? Stressed about the various precautions that are an add-on to your misery. You will be surprised to know that it is possible to reverse the effects of Type 2 diabetes. Yes, you read that right. A recent study published in The Lancet journal, reveals that intense weight loss management can reverse the effects of the commonest type of diabetes that is caused due to the body’s inability to create insulin. The study by English researchers shows that participants who took part in the study lost an average 10 kg while half of them reverted to a non-diabetic state without using any diabetes treatment. Type 2 diabetes is a disease where the blood sugar levels in the body of a person shoot up as their cells become resistant to insulin and are unable to use it optimally. Reportedly, India has the dubious distinction of being the “diabetes capital” of the world.
According to the 2015 data of the World Health Organisation, over 69.2 million (8.7 per cent) people in India had diabetes. Out of this total number, more than 36 million people remained undiagnosed. Over the last 35 years, the number of people with Type 2 diabetes in the world has gone up nearly four times- from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014 and the numbers are expected to rise to 642 million by 2040. Over the last 6 years, 298 adults aged 20-65 years were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes during a study by the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT) from 49 primary care practices across Scotland and the Tyneside region of England between July 2014 and August 2016.
Prof Roy Taylor from Newcastle University, UK, co-led the study. While talking about the same he was quoted saying, “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.” He added, “A major difference from other studies is that we advised a period of dietary weight loss with no increase in physical activity, but during the long-term follow-up increased daily activity is important. Bariatric surgery can achieve remission of diabetes in about three-quarters of people, but it is more expensive and risky, and is only available to a small number of patients.”
While further talking about the study and the findings, Taylor said, “Our findings suggest that the very large weight losses targeted by bariatric surgery are not essential to reverse the underlying processes which cause Type 2 diabetes. The weight loss goals provided by this programme are achievable for many people. The big challenge is long-term avoidance of weight re-gain. Follow-up of DiRECT will continue for 4 years and reveal whether weight loss and remission is achievable in the long-term.”