Intensive weight loss intervention could reverse type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is not commonly thought of as a reversible disease.

But a recent study published in JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association, found that exercise interventions can increase the odds of reversing type 2 diabetes in adults.

The study

The 4-year trial included 4,503 adults who were overweight and had type 2 diabetes. Half of the participants only received the most basic type of diabetes support and education--which included three sessions a year focusing on diet and weight loss. The other group received more involved lifestyle interventions including counseling and weight loss education every month. These tools were aimed to help the second group limit their calories and get at least 175 minutes of exercise every week.

Results

Within two years, one in 11 of the adults in the intervention group saw diabetes remission--at least partially. "Remission" referred to when a patient's blood sugar levels dropped below the diabetes diagnosis range without using medication.

In contrast, only about one in 60 participants in the control group saw diabetes remission within two years.

While the initial results were encouraging for the intervention group, researchers found that after four years, the number of people in diabetes remission for the intervention group was only 1 in 30. Researchers think this has to do with gaining back any weight loss or slipping up on healthy habits.

Heart disease and stroke

The study didn't see lower risks of heart disease or stroke for the patients in the intervention group, which resulted in the trial being put on hold.

"The disappointing results of recent trials of intensive lifestyle and medical management in patients with existing type 2 diabetes also underscore the need to more aggressively pursue primary prevention of diabetes," noted David Arterburn, of Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, and Patrick O'Connor, of HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research in Minneapolis.

Source: Huffington Post

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