Weight management programme can induce remission in type 2 diabetics
An intensive weight management programme has been shown to induce remission in patients with type 2 diabetes at one year, without the help of medications, according to a new randomised controlled trial. The study has been published in The Lancet and shows that after 1 year, half of the participants had not only induced remission of diabetes but on average each had lost 10kg (compared to 1kg for the control group). Previous research from the same team highlighted that type 2 diabetes is caused by excess fat within the liver and pancreas, they then suggested that intensive weight management with a very low calorie diet could help reverse this.
The researchers explained that current treatments for diabetes do not address the root cause; they focus on reducing blood sugar levels. This study aimed to develop discussion of using weight management and cutting calories as a form of treatment to induce remission. 298 adults took part in the trial, all of whom had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within the previous 6 years across the United Kingdom. The programme itself involved a preliminary diet replacement phase for 3-5 months, followed by stepped food reintroduction for 2-8 weeks. This was combined with interventions such as cognitive behavioural therapy and strategies to increase physical activity. All anti-diabetic medications were stopped at the beginning of the trial. The study authors have explained that the weight loss goals provided by the programme are largely achievable for many individuals struggling with weight management. Further to this, follow up of this particular trial will continue for four years in order to assess the long-term results.