Are you diabetic? Researchers from the University of Glasgow say that Type 2 diabetes is able to be reversed following an intensive weight management programme. Worldwide, the number of people with type 2 diabetes has quadrupled over 35 years, rising from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. This is expected to climb to 642 million by 2040. This increase has been linked to rising levels of obesity and the accumulation of intra-abdominal fat.
Diabetes is a syndrome characterised by disordered metabolism and inappropriately high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) resulting from either low levels of the hormone insulin or from abnormal resistance to insulin’s effects, coupled with inadequate levels of insulin secretion to compensate. There are three main types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes, which is usually due to autoimmune factors; Type 2 diabetes, which is characterised by insulin resistance in target tissues; and Gestational diabetes, which involves the hormones of pregnancy causing insulin resistance. The characteristic symptoms are excessive urine production (polyuria), excessive thirst, increased fluid intake (polydipsia), and blurred vision.
Now, a University of Glasgow study shows that your diet can change – and even completely reverse – type 2 diabetes. After one year on an intensive weight management plan using diet and exercise, the study’s participants had lost an average of 10 kilos, and nearly half had reverted to a non-diabetic state without using any diabetes treatment. Lead researcher Professor Mike Lean, from the University of Glasgow, says: “Putting type 2 diabetes into remission as early as possible after diagnosis could have extraordinary benefits, both for the individual and the NHS [National Health Service, in the UK]. [The trial] is telling us it could be possible for as many as half of patients to achieve this in routine primary care, and without drugs.”