Researchers from Newcastle University have uncovered that patients who reverse their diabetes and maintain a healthy weight are likely to remain free of the illness long-term.

Additionally, scientists found that even patients who have suffered with Type 2 diabetes for up to ten years can reverse the effects of their condition.

The study, published today in Diabetes Care, is the latest research from world-renowned Professor Roy Taylor, Professor of Medicine and Metabolism at Newcastle University, who also works within Newcastle Hospitals.

Taylor led a similar study, published in 2011, which demonstrated how diabetes can be reversed with the consumption of a low-calorie diet. The study was reputed on an international scale, but since it only spanned the course of six weeks, the question remained whether this was sufficient evidence to suggest that the condition could be everted for good.

In his new study, Taylor used a sample of 30 volunteers with Type 2 diabetes and put them on the same 600-700 calorie-a-day diet. On average, participants lost 14 kilograms, which is just over two stone in weight, and they did not regain any weight over the course of the next six months.

Included in the group were patients who had been diagnosed with long-term diabetes, which is defined as more than eight years, ranging to a total of 23 years.

Overall, twelve patients who had suffered from diabetes for less than ten years reversed their condition completely, and remained free of diabetes six months after the study. In fact, after that six month period, a thirteenth patient had also managed to reverse symptoms completely.

Despite the weight loss, participants remained obese or overweight, but had in fact lost enough to remove excess fat from the pancreas and allow for normal insulin production.

“What we have shown is that it is possible to reverse your diabetes, even if you have had the condition for a long time, up to around ten years. If you have had the diagnosis for longer than that, then don’t give up hope – major improvement in blood sugar control is possible,” said Professor Roy Taylor. 

“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!

“This is good news for people who are very motivated to get rid of their diabetes. But it is too early to regard this as suitable for everyone. That is a separate question and a major study is underway to answer this,” Taylor concludes.

Image via Pixabay

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