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Type 2 Diabetes Can Be Reversed in Four Months
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Type 2 Diabetes Can Be Reversed in Four Months

Type 2 diabetes can be reversed in just four months by cutting calories, exercising and keeping glucose under control, a new study says. Although the condition is considered to be chronic, requiring a lifetime of medication, Canadian researchers proved it was possible to restore insulin production for 40% of patients. The treatment plan involved creating a personalized exercise regime for each trial participant and reducing their calories by between 500 and 750 a day. The participants also met regularly with a nurse and dietician to track progress and continued to take medication and insulin to manage their blood sugar levels.

After just four months, 40% of patients were able to stop taking their medication because their bodies had begun to produce adequate amounts of insulin again, reports telegraph.co.uk. Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, said the program worked because it gave the insulin-producing pancreas ‘a rest.’ “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,” said the study’s first author, Dr Natalia McInnes, of McMaster. “The idea of reversing the disease is very appealing to individuals with diabetes. It motivates them to make significant lifestyle changes. This likely gives the pancreas a rest and decreases fat stores in the body, which in turn improves insulin production and effectiveness.

” The number of people in the UK with type 2 diabetes has trebled over the last two decades, rising from 700,000 in the 1990s to 2.8 million today, according to new figures from Cardiff University. The condition occurs when an individual does not produce enough insulin, the hormone that allows cells to absorb glucose into the blood, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly. As a result, blood sugars build up in the body and the cells do not receive the energy they need. Over time, type 2 diabetes can lead to damage to the blood vessels, nerves and organs and trigger kidney disease and blindness. It also increases the risk of a heart attack and stroke.

The charity Diabetes UK is currently funding a large trial to find out if a low-calorie diet can put type 2 diabetes into remission in the long term. Emily Burns, research communications manager of Diabetes UK said: “We’re looking forward to seeing the results in 2018. In the meantime, we encourage people with Type 2 diabetes to follow a healthy diet that is low in sugar, saturated fats and salt.

“We know that diet, exercise and medications can help people with Type 2 diabetes to manage their condition. We’re starting to see mounting evidence that putting Type 2 diabetes into remission is feasible as well.” The research was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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