Could Type 2 Diabetes be cured without the use of medication? New research shows it is possible

This post first appeared on Derby Telegraph. Read the original article.

Poor diet, excess weight and inactivity - as well as genetics - are known to be factors in the development of the most common form of diabetes.

But a new study on around 300 people has shown that diet and exercise alone can help reverse the condition in around half of patients.

A trial carried out on around 300 people has found around half of those with Type 2 went into remission after a year using an intensive low calorie diet and no medication.

Half received standard care from their GP, while the other half received a structured weight management programme.

Findings from the first year of the research, funded by charity Diabetes UK, showed that around 46% of those who took part in the diet programme were in remission after 12 months.

Participant Isobel Murray, 65, from North Ayrshire, lost more than 22kg and no longer needs diabetes medication.

She said: "I was on various medications which were constantly increasing and I was becoming more and more ill every day.

"When the doctors told me that my pancreas was working again, it felt fantastic, absolutely amazing.

"I don't think of myself as a diabetic any more. I get all my diabetes checks done, but I don't feel like a diabetic."

The trial found that around 86% of those who lost 15kg or more went into remission, compared with 4% of the control group.

The findings, which will be published in The Lancet medical journal, also stated that 57% who lost 10 to 15kg and 34% of those who lost five to 10kg also went into remission.

Remission was defined as having blood glucose levels (HbA1c) of less than 6.5% (48mmol/mol), with at least two months without any Type 2 diabetes medications.

Lead researcher Professor Roy Taylor, from Newcastle University, described the results as "very exciting" and said they could "revolutionise the way Type 2 diabetes is treated".

"This builds on the work into the underlying cause of the condition, so that we can target management effectively," he added.

Lead researcher Professor Mike Lean, from the University of Glasgow, said: "Putting Type 2 diabetes into remission as early as possible after diagnosis could have extraordinary benefits, both for the individual and the NHS.

"We've found that people were really interested in this approach - almost a third of those who were asked to take part in the study agreed.

"This is much higher than usual acceptance rates for diabetes clinical trials. "

An insulin injection

An insulin injection

Diabetes UK will contribute another £300,000 towards the trial, which will continue with follow-ups for participants for up to three years to assess how cost-effective the programme is.

Dr Elizabeth Robertson, director of research at Diabetes UK, said: "We're very encouraged by these initial results, and the building of robust evidence that remission could be achievable for some people.

"The trial is ongoing, so that we can understand the long-term effects of an approach like this.

"It's very important that anyone living with Type 2 diabetes considering losing weight in this way seeks support and advice from a healthcare professional."