Two Strategies for Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

This is an exciting time for work on the challenge of reversing type 2 diabetes. Two new studies came at this problem from distinctly different directions and both of them delivered some tantalizing results.

A small study (30 patients) of a very low calorie liquid diet (VLCD) for eight weeks showed that patients lost an average of 14% of their body weight and 40% of them had a remission that lasted for six months after the VLCD was over. The study is being published in the May issue of Diabetes Care. Robert Lash of the Endocrine Society commented on the study, saying:

What’s exciting here is that the improvements in glucose control persisted when the participants went back to eating a diet with a normal number of calories.

But the real question is how durable will this remission be, said George King, Chief Scientific Officer at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.

An entirely different strategy builds on considerable long-term data for diabetes remission after bariatric surgery. Among people with type 2 diabetes who have bariatric surgery, roughly half will have a complete or partial remission of their diabetes. A new study from Geisinger, published in JAMA Surgery, points the way to predicting who those patients will be.

Annemarie Hirsch and colleagues found that a simple score, called the DiaRem score, can help to predict which patients will be most likely to experience a cure for their diabetes. The best score is a zero. The maximum score is 22. A score between zero and two meant that the odds of a remission lasting at least five years were 82%. The odds of a cure were 50%. At the other end of the scale, the odds of a prolonged remission were zero with DiaRem score of 18 or higher.

The outcomes of diabetes can be devastating. Every bit of this knowledges brings us more ways to help more people prevent, reverse, and cure diabetes, in large measure by providing better obesity care.

Click here more on the VLCD study and here for the study itself. Click here for more on the study by Hirsch et al and here for the study itself.

Reverse, photograph © Jérémy Lelièvre / flickr

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April 23, 2016

One Response to “Two Strategies for Reversing Type 2 Diabetes”

  1. April 24, 2016 at 11:46 am, Allen Browne said:

    Prevention, postponement, cure all beat the heck out of treating diabetes.