Weight loss and reversal of diabetes

A new study in diabetes care shows that people who have had type-2 diabetes for many years can lose weight and reverse their diabetic condition when fat is removed from the pancreas due to caloric intake. The study holds great significance for those determined to find relief from symptoms of both the disease and the medications prescribed to control them. This study was conducted by Newcastle University, led by Prof. Roy Taylor, professor of medicine and metabolism.

The amount of weight loss necessary to produce symptom-free results varies from person to person, according to the research.

However, participants in the study showed that keeping their weight down allowed their pancreas to function normally and returninsulin levels to non-diabetes levels for as long as they kept the weight off. Similarly, a previous study conducted led by Taylor proved that diabetes could be reversed with a low-calorie diet. That study, published in 2011, left open to question whether diabetes would return. In the new study that used 30 volunteers with type-2 diabetes, participants were able to remain disease-free throughout the study's evaluation. Despite losing weight, patients remained overweight and in some cases obese but through diet managed to rid themselves of diabetes. Twelve of the participants who had suffered from diabetes for 10 years or less remained symptom-free after six months.

According to Taylor, the study proved that diabetes can be cured by diet, even in patients that had the disease for more than 10 years.

"The study also answered the question that people often ask me – if I lose the weight and keep the weight off, will I stay free of diabetes? The simple answer is yes," said Taylor. The research team found it important to note that 70% of severely obese people do not even have diabetes; this study solely addresses patients who have diabetes, as opposed to people who are overweight.

Nevertheless, the bottom line is that many people with type-2 diabetes can get rid of it if they lose the weight and keep it off, according to Taylor.

Weight loss: cure for diabetes?

While this study is fascinating for those who are very motivated to rid themselves of diabetes and the many side effects of related medications, injections, and various monitoring devices, it may not be the answer for everyone.

That, according to Taylor, is a separate question for which there is a separate major study underway seeking answers. Dieting affects a person's health and diabetes patients, like anyone else, should seek counsel from a qualified physician before undertaking an extreme, low-calorie diet.

Most notably in this study, patients with advanced symptoms showing no production of insulin from the pancreas reversed their diabetes altogether when fat levels in their pancreas were lowered enough to unclog the vital organ and allow production of insulin to resume.

In a case study, participant Allan Tutty, 57, was able to get rid of his diabetes by taking part in the study. "I was diagnosed with type II diabetes around May 2011 during routine exams by my GP, but my family and I were in disbelief because I had no physical symptoms which led me to consider I had the condition. While I didn't feel fat, I was fat – on the inside. I've seen the scan of my liver and you can see the fat around it."