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Can Weight Loss Reverse Diabetes

How Diabetes Is Harmful

How to reverse diabetes in 3 steps – Neal Barnard, MD

Most people dont really understand the way diabetes works, but a firm grasp of how it affects your body chemistry will help you better control the disease.

Your body is made up of millions of cells, and these cells use glucose as their energy source. Your body gets glucose from the food that you eat.

After a meal, your body secrets a hormone called insulin into your blood insulin works as a signal to let your cells know that glucose is on the way to feed your cells. But, for people with diabetes, the signals that tell the cells to absorb the sugar are defective, or the body does not make enough insulin. As a result, high levels of glucose remain in the blood, which is thought to alter the structure and function of many different types of cells in your body. This is why diabetes can cause so many different kinds of serious illnesses if not controlled.

Very Low Carbohydrate Diets

The third treatment is a very-low carbohydrate diet. Carbohydrate restriction can quickly result in lower blood sugar, less reliance on diabetes medications, weight loss, and can reduce hungerâ·. Many of these improvements can be sustained, tooâ¸. Usually, very low carbohydrate diets are defined by an intake less than 50g of total carbohydrates per day.

Can Losing Weight Help Me Reverse My Type 2 Diabetes

If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you can reverse the condition by losing weight. Your weight loss doesnt have to be drastic to accomplish this goal. In fact, the more important factor is your ability to maintain this weight loss through a sustainable plan.

According to a 2019 study from the University of Cambridge, 30% of participants were able to reverse their diabetes diagnosis by losing 10% of their body weight. The study followed 867 people aged 40 to 69 who were recently diagnosed with diabetes. Of those participants, 257 people were in remission from diabetes within 5 years of their diagnosis.

90% of study participants who lost at least 10% of their body weight were able to reverse their diabetes diagnosis. In addition, people who lost 10% of their body weight were more than two times as likely to be in remission from diabetes at the 5 year mark, compared to people who did not lose this amount of weight.

For most people, 10% is a very attainable weight loss goal. For example, if you currently weigh 300 pounds, then a 10% weight loss is 30 pounds .

This study is notable because participants were not required to undergo extreme calorie cutting measures. It also examined outcomes over time, checking in to see how patients fared 5 years after their diagnosis.

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Weight Loss Really Can Reverse Diabetes New Study Finds

How Weight Loss can Reverse TYPE 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects 422 million people worldwide. For decades, doctors have treated it with medications designed to keep blood sugar levels down.

But in a paper published in the Lancet, researchers in the UK describe a landmark study in which people with diabetes went into remissionjust by losing weight.

Nearly half of people in the study who were given a six-month diet plan and lost an average of 30 pounds went into remission and no longer had diabetes. None took any medications during that time to control their disease and relied on weight loss alone.

Type 2 diabetes is caused by the bodys in ability to break down sugars from the diet. Normally, cells in the pancreas work to release insulin, a hormone that can process sugar and either send it to cells that need it for energy or store it as fat for future energy needs. Cells in the liver are responsible for clearing insulin from the circulation. But excess fat in the pancreas and liver can start to shut down these insulin-producing cells, leading to spikes in blood sugar levels. Diabetes medications can bring sugar levels down but do not address the compromised insulin machinery.

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People newly diagnosed with diabetes for the first time can look at this and know it isnt necessarily for life, says Taylor. It isnt an irreversible, inexorable condition that you can never escape from at the moment, people are told that.

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The Role Of Visceral Fat

You can have type 2 diabetes and appear as though you cant spare 15 percent of your body weight.

Visceral fat isnt always visible. Its the type of fat that accumulates in and around the abdomen.

Michelle Routhenstein, MS, RD, CDE, CDN, is a cardiology dietitian and owner of Entirely Nourished.

In my private practice, I have seen many people who have a normal weight but an increased waist circumference, Routhenstein told Healthline.

We would still need to address insulin resistance and inflammation to target the abdominal region to help manage type 2 diabetes and reduce risk of other chronic diseases like heart disease, she continued.

Excess abdominal weight plays a role in type 2 diabetes because it is the most metabolically active type of fat. Its directly linked to both insulin resistance and low-grade chronic inflammation, said Routhenstein.

She helps her clients lower their abdominal weight by addressing insulin resistance and low-grade inflammation through science-based nutrition.

This includes ensuring macronutrient balanced meals and snacks with limited complex carbohydrates to assist the body in glucose metabolism, decreasing pro-inflammatory foods, and also by adding in therapeutic foods to reduce inflammation and assist with insulin sensitivity, said Routhenstein.

Yes Weight Loss Can Help Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Recent research has suggested that weight loss can significantly reduce symptoms or reverse type 2 diabetes. The NHS prefers to use the term remission, meaning blood glucose levels are within the healthy non-diabetic range.

A recent study published in the British Medical Journal found that while drugs and generic lifestyle changes have improved the general health of patients, many still develop vascular complications in later life, and their life expectancy remains lower than average. This study suggests greater emphasis on weight loss is required to achieve remission and better health long-term. Weve listed tips to help you do this below.

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Why Reversing Diabetes Depends On Sustained Loss Of Weight

So heres the rub: Weight loss may be easy initially but whats hard is keeping it off. Weight loss maintenance is vital, and you need to have appropriate strategies in place, says McCombie.

Thats the key. Otherwise, youre at risk for slipping back into your old habits. If that happens, your numbers can go right back into the diabetes range, says Martha McKittrick, RD, CDE, based in New York City. When people are first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, they become really strict, and start exercising and controlling their diet. They may even see their blood sugar numbers come down to normal levels. They lose weight, and are happy and relieved. But after a couple of months, the motivation goes away most people return to their old habits, and diabetes comes right back, she says.

Theres also something called the weight set point, in which losing weight gets increasingly challenging as you drop pounds due to a loss of metabolism.

McKittrick agrees that many people arent aware of just how important losing weight is when you have type 2 diabetes. I think that if they really understand that if you shrink your fat cells, you will be able to use the insulin more effectively, therefore you can produce less insulin, so in a way you are saving your pancreas from overworking and eventually not being able to make enough insulin they may be more willing to make permanent changes, she says.

Can Type 2 Diabetes Be Reversed With Weight Loss

Diabetes Reversal and Weight-loss with Neal Barnard, M.D.

by Diana Bone, FNP-C

The answer is YES! Diabetes can be reversed or placed in remission with weight loss. This means blood glucose level is within normal limits or HbA1C is < 6.5% without any diabetes medication for 6 months. However, diabetes can come back if weight is not maintained correctly. According to diabetes researchers, the most substantial evidence to reversing diabetes is weight loss. Losing 5% of body weight can lead to fewer medications, improving blood glucose levels, improving blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, eye damage, neuropathy. Weight loss of 33 lbs or greater can put diabetes in remission.

Understanding prediabetes and type 2 diabetesThe body comprises millions of cells, and these cells use glucose as their energy source. The body gets glucose from the food that you eat. After a meal, the pancreas secrets a hormone called insulin into your blood insulin works as a signal to let your cells know that glucose is on the way to feed your cells. But, for people with diabetes, the signals that tell the cells to absorb the sugar are defective, or the body does not make enough insulin. As a result, high glucose levels remain in the blood, which is thought to alter the structure and function of many different types of cells in your body. Therefore, diabetes can cause so many kinds of severe illnesses if not controlled.

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What Causes Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a medical condition in which the body has difficulty regulating and using sugar as fuel. Over time, this leads to too much glucose in the bloodstream, which can damage the heart, blood vessels, nerves, kidneys, eyes, skin, and other body systems.

With type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, which is the hormone that regulates the movement of glucose into the cells. At the same time, cells in the body respond poorly to insulin and take in less glucose to use as fuel.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Blurry vision
  • Dark colored patches of skin

If you notice these symptoms or are otherwise concerned that you may have type 2 diabetes, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

Type 2 diabetes is caused when two things occur: the cells in muscle, fat, and the liver become resident to insulin and the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to manage blood sugar levels. While there are a number of factors that may cause these issues, certain factors increase the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes:

While there is treatment for type 2 diabetes, including blood sugar monitoring and medication, it can also be treated through exercise, a healthy diet, and weight loss. In fact, you may even be able to go into remission from type 2 diabetes by losing weight.

Why Does Weight Gain Lead To Diabetes

Carrying too much weight can lead to diabetes because obesity and insulin resistance go hand-in-hand. Although scientists are still searching for why the interaction occurs, it appears it has to do with excess fat that is being stored and the amount of fatty acids, glycerol, hormones, cytokines and pro-inflammatory markers that circulate in an obese state, according to a 2014 study.

Additionally, an increase in Type 2 diabetes is seen more in people who are apple-shaped than in pear shapes . When too much fat overloads the body, the response to carbohydrate consumption can become dulled. You become less sensitive to how much insulin you need to release in response to the carbohydrate youve just consumed, and in response, blood sugar increases.

On the flip side, any activity that helps reduce the fatty acid buildup associated with obesity can help to reduce the mechanisms that created diabetes to begin with.

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Can Weight Loss Reverse Diabetes

Across the United States, approximately 34.2 million people have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Type 1 is believed to be caused by an autoimmune reaction, and is often diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults. By comparison, type 2 diabetes is most often diagnosed in older adults, and is often caused by a variety of factors, including being overweight.

Type 1 diabetes can only be managed or treated, not cured. However, people with type 2 diabetes or its precursor, prediabetes, may be able to reverse their diabetes through weight loss. Studies show that losing as little as 10% of your body weight can actually help you achieve remission from type 2 diabetes.

At Ideal You, we know that carrying excess weight is associated with a number of health conditions like knee pain and type 2 diabetes. Our goal is to help our clients lose weight quickly and to keep it off over time. In this way, we can help you achieve optimal health and wellness.

How Can Weight Loss Improve Diabetes Control

Can Weight Loss Reverse Diabetes

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So Can Diabetes Be Reversed

Yes, type 2 diabetes can be reversed if it is caught early enough and treated effectively with lifestyle changes.

There are some misconceptions about whether or not diabetes can be reversed, primarily due to the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

The Sooner You Get Started The Better

In research3 on men and women with type 2 diabetes who came to the Pritikin Longevity Center, those who were most successful were those who arrived when they were first diagnosed with the disease, not those who waited till theyd had the disease for many years.

The longer one continues treating type 2 diabetes with drugs while mostly ignoring what drives the disease process excess body fat, excess calories, inactivity, and a lousy diet the more rapidly the disease progresses. Beta cells are lost forever. It becomes more and more difficult to control blood glucose without drugs, explains Gomer.

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Losing Weight Sooner Beats Later In Diabetes Reversal

Still, while many responded to the weight loss program and achieved remission, others did not. To better understand why, researchers focused on 29 responders who achieved remission after dieting and 16 nonresponders who dieted but continued to have diabetes.

Taylor and his colleagues observed that people who were unable to restart normal insulin production had lived with diabetes for a longer time. Individuals who had lived with diabetes for an average of 3.8 years could not correct their condition through weight loss, while those who had it for an average of 2.7 years were able to regain normal blood sugar control.

Type 2 diabetes is a potentially reversible condition, but commencing successful major weight loss should be started as early as possible, says Taylor. Return to full health is possible especially after only a few years of type 2 diabetes.

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Joseph S. Galati, MD, a hepatologist with Liver Specialists of Texas in Houston, recommends weight loss as a means for diabetes control for his patients, and says that this study only underscores the importance of maintaining a healthy weight. Dr. Galati wasnt involved in the current research.

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Everyone has to remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint, he says. With weight loss, you need to be patient and methodical.

Choose Low Calorie Foods:

Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Naturally (The Basics) | Jason Fung

Go for low calorie foods. Vegetables and fruits are low calorie andnutrient rich, so pile your plate with them. Even if half your plate is full of steamed vegies, it will be less than 100 calories. The more colours you have on the plate, the more vitamins, and phytonutrients you get, and lots of fibre too.

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