Diabetes Can Be Cured Without Radical Measures: Scientists Opinion

Worldwide, about 400 million people suffer from type 2 diabetes: a chronic disease that affects several major organs and can ultimately lead to heart disease, kidney damage, blindness, and many other serious consequences. The good news is that type 2 diabetes can often be avoided by monitoring your weight, exercising regularly and maintaining a balanced diet - but even if you develop this pathology anyway, it will not necessarily be permanent.

In recent years, studies have shown that it is possible to send a disease into remission, and now new work has shown that recovery can be much easier than it seems at first glance.

“We have long known that you can send diabetes into remission using fairly radical measures, such as intensive weight loss programs and extreme calorie restrictions. But such interventions can be very complex and difficult to achieve for individuals, ”explains epidemiologist Hajira Dambha-Miller of the University of Cambridge.

And this, alas, is pure truth. In one clinical study in 2017, patients had to follow an extreme diet, in which they ate only low-calorie cocktails for five months, and then slowly returned to their normal diet. However, these types of extreme interventions give real results - like other intensive approaches, including combinations of drugs, insulin and lifestyle adjustments.

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But, according to Dambhe-Miller, people with type 2 diabetes may not need to go to such extremes to increase their chances of remission. “Our results show that you can get rid of diabetes for at least five years, but more modest weight loss of only 10%, ” he says. This became clear thanks to a new study, in which scientists examined 867 people aged 40 to 69 years, who have recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

All participants were natives of eastern England. For five years, some patients received interventional treatment (including additional medical advice and other resources provided), and the control group was content with conventional medical care. As a result, it turned out that at the end of the five-year follow-up period, 257 participants (about 30% of the total) experienced remission.

Compared to people who maintained the same weight throughout the study, people who lost 10% or more of their weight doubled their chances of achieving remission and canceling the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes - all without encouraging the need to adhere to strict diet.

The authors of the study note that previous clinical experiments aimed at significant weight loss (15 percent or more) could lose sight of patients who find it difficult to physically or emotionally achieve such ambitious goals. “This approach may provide some motivation for people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. It's better than focusing on specific and potentially unattainable goals for weight loss, ” the researchers explain.

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