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 diabetes
The 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.
How do overweight (BMI>25) and obesity (BMI >30) affect diabetes?
When a person has obesity or is overweight, they have too much glucose in the bloodstream. The pancreas is the organ that secretes insulin and gets the glucose out of the bloodstream into the muscle to use right away or stored in the liver for later use. When someone has obesity or is overweight, the cells resist to letting glucose in and can’t be stored in the liver because it is filled with fat. Therefore, glucose the cells don’t use gets accumulates as fat. Research also has shown that fat cells of people with obesity, have more abdominal fat that releases molecules that can be harmful to the pancreas. So, the more abdominal fat one has, the higher the risk of damage to the pancreas.
How does weight loss help reverse diabetes?
Weight loss helps decrease body fat accumulated in the cells and in the liver. Insulin can help glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells. As a result, the blood glucose will get back into the normal range. Studies also have shown weight loss can help maintain good functioning beta cells in the pancreas.
How do I start a weight loss program?
There are many weight loss programs offered everywhere. According to the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial [DiRECT]), published in Lancet, results showed almost half (46%) of the participants with type 2 diabetes experienced diabetes remission when following an intense weight loss program of 825-850 calories per day utilizing meal replacements. The participants were closely followed by health care professionals. Those that didn’t achieve diabetes remission, reported improved quality of life, improved blood glucose and decrease in diabetic medications.
Here at Scottsdale Weight Loss Clinic, we offer several different programs tailored to each person’s individual needs. However, those on the meal replacements program, have achieved diabetes remission or improvement in their glucose levels.
For more information visit www.scottsdaleweightloss.com