Many experts believe Type 2 diabetes is an incurable disease that gets worse with time. But new research raises the tantalizing possibility that drastic changes in diet may reverse the disease in some people.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1/3 of Americans will have diabetes. They will see a decrease in their lifespan of up to 15 years while experiencing a reduced quality of life. There are medical doctors, scientists, and nutritionists who believe that type 2 diabetes can be reversed. Based on a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, this type of diabetes can be reversed using lifestyle changes, insulin, and oral medications.
Signs You Have Type 2 Diabetes
Some people may have already been diagnosed with diabetes, but there are others who don’t know they have it. In fact, 25% of the population is considered pre-diabetic. When it develops into diabetes, it can have some side effects to our health, including:
- High blood pressure
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Kidney disease
Having diabetes can also lead to amputation for some patients. Because of these complications, many diabetics are hoping for a cure or at least a way to reverse the disease. The good news is that there are some researchers from McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences in Canada who believe that type 2 diabetes can be reversed. While there is no evidence that it can be treated, the disease may be in remission for at least a short period.
How to Reverse Diabetes According to Scientists
Recently, a small clinical trial in England studied the effects of a strict liquid diet on 30 people who had lived with Type 2 diabetes for up to 23 years. Nearly half of those studied had a remission that lasted six months after the diet was over. While the study was small, the finding offers hope to millions who have been told they must live with the intractable disease.
“This is a radical change in our understanding of Type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Roy Taylor, a professor at Newcastle University in England and the study’s senior author. “If we can get across the message that ‘yes, this is a reversible disease — that you will have no more diabetes medications, no more sitting in doctors’ rooms, no more excess health charges’ — that is enormously motivating.”
It is not the first time that people have reversed type 2 diabetes by losing a lot of weight shortly after a diagnosis. Studies have also shown that obese individuals who have bariatric surgery frequently see the condition vanish even before they lose very much weight.
But the new study, published in Diabetes Care, proved the reversal after diet can persist for at least half a year as long as patients keep weight off, and can occur in people who have had the disease for many years.
The researchers followed the participants after they had completed an eight-week low-calorie-milkshake diet and returned to normal eating. Six months later, those who had gone into remission immediately after the diet were still diabetes-free. Though most of those who reversed the disease had had it for less than four years, some had been diabetic for more than eight years.