I often tell patients that diabetes will change your life. In fact, it must: you will have to change the way you eat, what you eat, how you eat, etc. Developing diabetes is a complex disease affected by a mix of lifestyle and genetic predisposition. As we know, diet and exercise play a big role in controlling diabetes, but just how much can weight loss itself have an impact on diabetes?
Scientists from Newcastle University and the University of Glasgow have found that weight loss can put Diabetes into remission. Their study found that 64 percent of those who lost 22 pounds or more stayed in remission even after two years.
Why does weight loss work for treating diabetes?
Losing weight helps reduce the amount of fat in the pancreas, the organ vital to insulin production. This reduction leads to improvement in how well the pancreas works and to an increase in insulin production.
Diabetes specialist and Professor Mike Lean, who worked as the co-primary investigator in the study says, “People with type 2 diabetes and health-care professionals have told us their top research priority is ‘can the condition be reversed or cured’. We can now say, with respect to reversal, that yes it can. Now we must focus on helping people maintain their weight loss and stay in remission for life.”
It’s not breaking news that losing weight can help control your diabetes. However, we are learning more and more about just how much of an impact a significant weight loss can have on the condition. Discuss with your healthcare provider the best options and strategies for weight loss.
Jeremiah Robinson is a licensed and certified Physician Assistant at T. Douglas Gurley MD in Atlanta, GA.