Almost half of patients with type 2 diabetes can achieve remission through a GP-delivered weight loss program, a United Kingdom study shows.
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 earlier work showed that a radical change in diet can reverse type 2 diabetes. Only four per cent of the control group achieved remission.
The team previously confirmed that Type 2 diabetes is caused by excess fat within the liver and pancreas, and that consuming a very low calorie diet could restore normal glucose.
The team found that diabetes remission was closely linked with weight loss, with nearly nine out of 10 people (86%) who lost 15kg or more putting their type 2 diabetes into remission. Prediabetes was defined by the CDC as a condition that if not treated often leads to Type 2 diabetes within five years.
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A recent research has discovered that type 2 diabetes may be potentially reversed by weight loss as well as with a long-term aid of the medical professionals.
The researchers said the high rates of reversal showed that weight management should take priority over anti-diabetes drugs as the first-line treatment for people with type 2 diabetes.
In the study, patients who had diabetes for up to six years were randomised to usual GP care or to a weight management program involving a low-calorie diet for three to five months, followed by stepped food reintroduction.
The patients will have to keep to their healthy habits to avoid reverting back to diabetes, the scientists warned. "Rather than addressing the root cause, management guidelines for type 2 diabetes focus on reducing blood sugar levels through drug treatments".
Roy Taylor, a professor at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom who co-led the study said in a statement announcing the findings that the impact that diet and lifestyle has on diabetes are "rarely discussed". One that doesn't really on expensive medications or invasive surgery, but instead, on improved diet and lifestyle - which could also be beneficial in managing and preventing a number of other chronic conditions which are affected by weight. 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.