Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes, a disease wherein the body is incapable of
producing sufficient levels of insulin or doesn’t respond to
insulin correctly, can be a lifelong disease. It leads to the
build up of blood sugars and in the cell’s inability to
receive the energy it needs to function correctly. It’s also
more likely to afflict people over the age of 40, those who are
overweight, or anyone whose family has a history of diabetes.

Prior to this research, there was no definitive cure for type 2
diabetes, although experts have long hypothesized that it could
be reversible. A team of Canadian scientists have demonstrated
that this theory is indeed correct. In some patients, type 2
diabetes can be reversed through a combination of
lifestyle changes, intensive medical treatment using oral
medication, and insulin therapy. The researchers published
their
study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology &
Metabolism
.

A Clinical Trial Just “Reversed” Type 2 Diabetes in 40% of PatientsCredit: Sprogz

They tested their theory in diabetic patients who had been
symptomatic for up to three years. The subjects underwent a
personalized exercise regimen, and a strict diet that closely
watched and limited their calorie intake to just 500 to 700 a
day, and pharmacological treatment
with glucose-controlling drugs.

Four months after the intervention, the study revealed that 40
percent of the 83 subjects were able to effectively stop taking
their medications, staying in partial or even complete
remission.

One in Ten

The results of this pilot study suggest patients with type 2
diabetes have more options to treat their condition, said
the study’s first author, Natalia McInnes, of McMaster
University.

“The findings support the notion that type 2 diabetes can be
reversed, at least in the short term — not only with bariatric
surgery, but with medical approaches,” McInnes said in an

Endocrine Society press release
. “The research might shift
the paradigm of treating diabetes from simply controlling
glucose to an approach where we induce remission and then
monitor patients for any signs of relapse.”

According to the Society’s
Endocrine Facts and Figures
report, one out of 10 American
adults suffer from type 2 diabetes. Raising the
possibility of reversing the disease can prove to be strong
motivation for patients to actually make lifestyle changes and
maintain them, McInnes said. This new treatment could also give
the patients’ pancreases a rest and lower fat stores in their
bodies, thus improving insulin production in the long run.

Right now, the treatment has proven to be effective only in the
short term, but further study and other drug combinations could
ultimately lead to better results and higher remission rates.


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