The di­a­betes diet

Now sci­en­tists say killer dis­ease can be rolled back with­out drugs... by eating smart and losing 2st 5lbs

Scottish Daily Mail - - Weekender - By Dean Her­bert

TYPE 2 di­a­betes could be re­versed – sim­ply by losing weight, ex­perts say.

Re­searchers found some pa­tients man­aged to be­come non-di­a­betic again by losing 15kg – or 2st 5lb – mean­ing they no longer need to rely upon pow­er­ful di­a­betes med­i­ca­tion.

Ex­perts are now con­duct­ing a ma­jor clin­i­cal trial to find out what pro­por­tion of type 2 suf­fer­ers are able to re­verse their con­di­tion via weight loss.

A study, pub­lished in the Bri­tish Med­i­cal Jour­nal by ex­perts from Glas­gow Univer­sity and New­cas­tle Univer­sity, states: ‘Con­sis­tent ev­i­dence shows that weight loss is as­so­ci­ated with ex­tended life ex­pectancy for peo­ple with di­a­betes, and that weight loss of around 15kg of­ten pro­duces to­tal bio­chem­i­cal re­mis­sion of type 2 di­a­betes.’

It adds: ‘Re­mis­sion pro­duces a strong sense of em­pow­er­ment. It also ben­e­fits med­i­cal sys­tems be­cause pa­tients no longer re­quire an­tidi­a­betes drugs.’

Pre­vi­ous stud­ies have shown that sur­gi­cal op­er­a­tions, such as gas­tric band­ing and gas­tric by­pass are po­ten­tial so­lu­tions to type 2 di­a­betes be­cause the dra­matic weight loss can lead to re­mis­sion for up to 80 per cent of pa­tients.

But now re­searchers have set out to find out whether sim­ple life­style changes can have the same ef­fect on pa­tients with­out the need for in­va­sive surgery.

Ex­perts have launched a clin­i­cal trial they say could rev­o­lu­tionise the way type 2 di­a­betes, trig­gered by be­ing over­weight and a lack of ex­er­cise, is treated and man­aged.

Cur­rent med­i­ca­tion for type 2 di­a­betes re­duces blood glu­cose but al­lows the dis­ease to progress, tak­ing five to eight years off a pa­tient’s life. But if weight loss can be proven ef­fec­tive for a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of pa­tients, re­searchers say it could have ‘mas­sive im­pli­ca­tions for health­care spend­ing’.

The DI­RECT (Di­a­betes Re­mis­sion Clin­i­cal Trial) study, led by Glas­gow Univer­sity’s Pro­fes­sor Mike Lean and New­cas­tle Univer­sity’s Pro­fes­sor Roy Tay­lor, will see 300 pa­tients aged be­tween 20 and 60 put on weight man­age­ment pro­grammes.

The ef­fec­tive­ness of this ap­proach will be com­pared to the best cur­rent type 2 care.

It is hoped the £2.4mil­lion study, funded by Di­a­betes UK, will help ‘stem the ris­ing tide of type 2 di­a­betes’.

Pro­fes­sor Lean has also called for GPs to start keep­ing more ac­cu­rate records of when type 2 pa­tients go into re­mis­sion.

He ex­plained: ‘GPs in the UK are re­warded with prac­tice pay­ments for record­ing that they have made a di­ag­no­sis of di­a­betes, and then for pre­scrib­ing drugs for it.

‘Record­ing re­mis­sion, how­ever, is ex­tremely rare, per­haps be­cause doc­tors fear that their pay­ments might cease.

‘In fact, if the cor­rect code is used, those pay­ments will con­tinue, but they ac­tu­ally de­serve a much greater re­ward if they can help their di­a­betic pa­tients achieve re­mis­sion, and save the NHS the costs of the drugs and the com­pli­ca­tions.’

NHS Scot­land spends an es­ti­mated £90mil­lion on drugs an­nu­ally to treat more than 276,000 Scots liv­ing with di­a­betes.

Emily Burns of Di­a­betes UK said: ‘The abil­ity to put type 2 di­a­betes into re­mis­sion could be trans­for­ma­tive for mil­lions of peo­ple around the world.’

Healthy: Weight loss through diet can re­verse di­a­betes

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