Losing Weight Can Reverse Type 2 Diabetes, Study finds

Reversing Type 2 diabetes by weight lose

Doctors are aware of the fact that weight loss prevent diabetes and sometimes reverse it. Now Roy Taylor, MD, at Newcastle University, has discovered new traces as to why.

According to Taylor, “type 2 diabetes, is simply due to excess fat inside the liver and pancreas of people who happen to be susceptible to the fat-induced damage.”

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Losing a ample amount of weight can destroy that fat, thereby giving room for the organs to function properly again, including a return to normal insulin production.

Now Taylor is imploring other doctors to encourage weight loss as the first step to treatment instead of resorting to diabetes medications, adding that the ideal management is to immediately begin serious weight loss efforts.

“People have a different length of window when they remain reversible, for some, even 3 years is too late.”

In a previous study, Taylor and his team of researchers consigned 149 patients to the strict weight loss program and another 149 to usual care such as treatment with medications. Most were diagnosed within the previous 6 years before the study started.

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Only 4% of the usual care patients had remission of the diabetes after a year, but 46% of those on the weight loss program did. The more weight they lost, the greater the chances of reversal.

The team discovered that while 7% of patients who lost less than 11 pounds went into remission, 86% of those who lost 33 pounds or more did.

In diabetes term, “remission” occurs when the blood sugar levels of a person remain normal. This means it could always return if the patient regains the weight or returns to unhealthy habits.

A group of diabetes experts in 2009 wrote that “remission” is a term used when a person has normal blood sugar levels for one year without therapy or surgery.

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Taylor examined some of those patients who reverse, and they have a clear physiological handle on what is happening.

When the weight loss reduces the liver and pancreas fat, the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas come to life again. “Almost everyone will return to normal if they lose a significant amount of weight,” Taylor says. “This is a simple disease.” What’s yet to be figured out, he says, is why the weight loss doesn’t lead to a reversal in everyone.

Second Opinions on the study

A diabetes expert, Domenico Accili, MD, chief of endocrinology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons said;

“We have been talking for some time, that in diabetes, primarily type 2, the insulin-producing [beta] cell is not dead but simply inactive. If you put patients with diabetes on a diet, you can do marvels with their beta cells.”

Taylor’s research suggest that changes in lifestyle such as weight loss and exercise, may have a major impact on diabetes than experts had thought, Accili added.

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