Weight loss can reverse type 2 diabetes

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More specifically, by reducing the amount of fat being carried in and around the abdomen, as accumulated fat in this region impedes the function of the pancreas.

The condition costs the NHS around £14 billion a year, and can lead to a number of serious complications such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease or stroke.

The trial was supervised by professors Mike Lean and Roy Taylor of the University of Glasgow and the University of Newcastle respectively.

Nearly half of the 306 participants recruited went into remission, which varied with the amount of weight loss, but the highest rates of remission being achieved in the group that lost the most weight.

Roy Taylor, a professor at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom who co-led the study said in a statement announcing the findings that the impact that diet and lifestyle has on diabetes are "rarely discussed". Prediabetes was defined by the CDC as a condition that if not treated often leads to Type 2 diabetes within five years. This builds on the work into the underlying cause of the condition, so that we can target management effectively.

According to Dr Sujeet Jha from Max hospital Saket, radical weight loss helps remove excess fat from the pancreas.

Type 2 diabetes can be reversed with weight loss, according to new findings by researchers in the United Kingdom, challenging conventional wisdom that the acquired disorder requires lifelong management. So far more than 250,000 have joined and results show that 60 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes were able to stop using insulin following the program. Those numbers are expected to reach 642 million by 2040.

Worldwide, the number of people with Type 2 diabetes has quadrupled over 35 years, largely due to the growth in obesity.

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In comparison, only 4% of the group treated with regular diabetes care showed signs of remission.

He said: "Rather than addressing the root cause, management guidelines for Type 2 diabetes focus on reducing blood sugar levels through drug treatments". "This allows increase in insulin production and even their secretion", he said, while explaining the logic behind weight loss for diabetes remission.

Weight loss surgery for diabetes remission is also getting common but few can afford it. "Bariatric surgery can achieve remission of diabetes in about three-quarters of people, but it is more expensive and risky, and is only available to a small number of patients". Only four per cent of the control group achieved remission.

The weight loss programme included a low calorie, nutrient-complete diet for 3-5 months, food reintroduction, increase in physical activity and long-term support to maintain weight loss.

"Our findings suggest that even if you have had Type 2 diabetes for six years, putting the disease into remission is feasible", Michael Lean, a professor from the University of Glasgow in Scotland who co-led the study, said in a statement. "In contrast to other approaches, we focus on the need for long-term maintenance of weight loss through diet and exercise and encourage flexibility to optimize individual results".

Isobel Murray, 65 from North Ayrshire, was one of those who took part. "With knowledge of remarkable results from this study, we could remove "Diabetic for life" label from many patients", said Dr Anoop Misra, chairman, Fortis C-doc hospital for diabetes. "I had type 2 diabetes for two to three years before the study".

"When the doctors told me that my pancreas was working again, it felt fantastic, absolutely incredible".