Weight loss after a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes increases the chances of remission

Type 2 diabetes has traditionally been a relatively similar condition to type 1 diabetes in that the end result, in essence, was very similar in both diagnoses, although the causes leading to one or the other type of diabetes were different. In the end, in both cases, insulin dependency occurs, and if type 1 diabetes was incurable, so is type 2 diabetes. That’s what we thought. But we were wrong… who knew.

Considering that in this channel we have always been alert to the advances in this field in order to be able to help you, it is necessary to remember that already in 2016 we were echoing “new hopes” not only in the dietary treatment of type 2 diabetes, something quite basic and known from long ago although not always well assumed, but also in its possible cure.

A new and uplifting study published in January of this year, has deepened the line of work on previous weight loss and has contrasted that, after a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, and under certain conditions (relatively within reach) a patient can reverse that diagnosis after 4-5 years. Briefly and for everyone to understand: it is possible that at one point someone was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and then cured, or at least did not meet the criteria to remain with that diagnosis. Even shorter: then yes and now no. As I said at the beginning, something unthinkable only 10 years ago. And the key is not that it was something particularly hidden and unimaginable, the condition that brings about this miracle is none other than weight loss. es la pérdida de peso

The highlights

The study itself looked at the evolution of a cohort of over 730 patients, mainly Caucasians, newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. All patients were randomly classified into two possible groups; in the first group they would receive standard or usual care, and in the second group they would receive additional support. All patients were assessed regularly over 5 years for weight, physical activity, diet and alcohol consumption.

After five years several conclusions could be drawn:

  • 257 Participants achieved remission of diabetes, defined as an HbA1c level of less than 48 mmol/mole (or 6.5%) without being on diabetes drug treatment or having undergone bariatric surgery.
  • People who lost at least 10% of their body weight in the first year after being diagnosed with diabetes were more likely to reach remission at five years compared to those who maintained their weight at the start of the study or gained it.
  • A similar positive trend was observed in those patients who had more modest weight loss, 5-10% during the first year after diagnosis, but this was not statistically significant.
  • AAchieving a 10% weight loss over the next four years (i.e., between the end of the first year and the end of the study at five years) was associated with more tha