Losing weight can reverse type 2 diabetes

A new study has shown that losing weight can reverse type 2 diabetes in obese patients
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A woman is checking her blood sugars

Losing 15% body weight can reverse type 2 diabetes in obese people, a new study has found.

Irish Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (IrSPEN) have said that type 2 diabetes in obese people can be reversed or put into remission if they lose 15% of their body weight.

According to IrSPEN, people can reduce or even stop their need for medication and also reverse the symptoms of the disease.

The cost of obesity

Currently in Ireland around €1.16 billion is spent each year on obesity-related diseases, which includes type 2 diabetes.

“The treatment of an obese person with difficult to control diabetes in Donegal is approximately €4,000 per year,” according to the IrSPEN.

After a person loses 15% of their body weight, the IrSPEN said that “this cost reduced to approximately €500 per year”.

European Obesity Day

The European Obesity Day will take place on 19th of May this year, and the theme is “tackling obesity together”.

Ireland has one of the highest rates of obesity in Europe; one in four adults are obese, and one in four children are overweight or obese.

A Consultant Metabolic Surgeon from the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Mr John Conneely, said that the “European Obesity Day offers us an opportune time to remind people that type 2 diabetes can go into remission if the person is able to lose 15% of their body weight”.

“This is a really positive message to people living with the condition to consider all of the options available to support them with this goal including diet, exercise, medication and surgery,” Conneely added.

Clinical trials

According to Conneely, “Ireland is now starting to lead the world in the clinical trials that are being offered to understand how the complications of obesity such as sleep apnoea and diabetes can be put into remission, we are very fortunate to be part of these developments”.

John Kane from Dublin took part in one of these clinical trials and successfully reversed his prediabetes.

“I feel 10 years younger so am able to do things that I had stopped doing as a result of my disease and for that I’m truly grateful,” he said.

Laura Sloan from Letterkenny, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2004 lost more than 15% of her body weight after a gastric bypass operation. Her diabetes is now in remission for almost a year and she requires no medication anymore.  

“This has been not just life changing but rather life saving for me. Since the day after my surgery I have been off all diabetic medicine, which is beyond words for me to be able to explain what that really means,” she said.

“I used to worry about my health and the possibility of losing my eyesight. I will be forever grateful to the team in Letterkenny as this has really been the cure for me,” she added.

For more information on obesity, and obesity prevention and treatment, visit the European Obesity Day website.

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