Type 2 diabetes reversible with lifestyle changes 

Type 2 diabetes can be reversed with lifestyle changes, according to European Society of Cardiology spokesperson Professor Eberhard Standl, from the Munich Diabetes Research Group in Germany. Today is World Diabetes Day and this year's theme is Healthy Living and Diabetes. People can calculate their risk using a simple questionnaire and find out if they need to take action.

Prof Standl said: "The dramatic increase of type 2 worldwide has exceeded expectations. Globally there are 400 million people with type 2 diabetes and a similar number with the pre stages of type 2 diabetes. The epidemic seems unstoppable but there is very good and strong evidence that people can stop diabetes with ."

People who are at high risk of diabetes can prevent it from developing. Equally, early on after type 2 diabetes develops it can be reversed to a pre stage. Both groups can be identified using a simple questionnaire that asks about age, body mass index, waist circumference, physical activity, consumption of fruits and vegetables, use of anti-hypertensive medications, history of , and family history of type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Prof Standl said: "The questionnaire is very easy and people can do it themselves. A score of 12 or higher indicates that you should take some preventive action. Regular physical exercise is the most important thing you can do, followed by eating fibre rich foods, limiting saturated fats and losing weight."

He continued: "Many people hardly move during their working day and even during leisure time. To reverse or prevent type 2 diabetes, the goal is 30 minutes of decent physical exercise every day. This could be brisk walking, jogging, swimming or cycling and should be combined with muscle training."

Fibre rich nutrition in the form of whole grains is another way to reverse or prevent type 2 diabetes. Fibre delays the digestion and absorption of many foods and helps the gut to get enough of what's called the incretin effect, where insulin levels increase and cause to go down. Prof Standl explained: "When you eat fibre, you get more time and more power to dispose of all the carbohydrates."

People who want to reverse early diabetes into a pre stage of diabetes, or prevent type 2 diabetes from developing, need to lose about 5% of their body weight.

"To lose weight you have to limit your fat intake, particularly saturated fats, which are found in foods such as butter, sausages, fatty cuts of meat, cakes and cheese," said Prof Standl. "There is no question that people who have had type 2 diabetes for just a short period of time can reverse it with a low calorie diet. This can be effective within 3 to 5 days. Of course the continuing challenge is to maintain the lower body weight."

Prof Standl concluded: "Adopting lifestyle changes that prevent or reverse in the short term can also prevent death from cardiovascular disease over the long term.3 If you take the questionnaire and find out you're at risk of diabetes, it's not too late. Making positive changes by being more active, eating a healthy diet and losing weight can reverse diabetes and are also good for your heart."


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More information: "ESC Guidelines on diabetes, pre-diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases developed in collaboration with the EASD." dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/eht1083035-3087 First published online: 31 August 2013 eurheartj.oxfordjournals.org/content/34/39/3035

FINDRISC questionnaire for estimating risk of diabetes and measuring BMI here: www.escardio.org/about/press/D … -risk-chart-2014.pdf

Provided by European Society of Cardiology
Citation: Type 2 diabetes reversible with lifestyle changes  (2014, November 14) retrieved 16 January 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-11-diabetes-reversible-lifestyle.html
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Nov 14, 2014
Review Articles on Thiamine Preventing Diabetic Complications

An excellent review article by Dr Page was published in the 2011 issue of the International Journal of Clinical Practice, entitled "Thiamine deficiency in diabetes mellitus and the impact of thiamine replacement on glucose metabolism and vascular disease". Dr Page clearly links thiamine deficiency with the progressive atherosclerosis disease commonly found in diabetic patients with "metabolic syndrome". Dr Page writes: "Individuals with diabetes are thiamine deficient. The pathophysiology of recognised complications of thiamine deficiency is similar to that underlying atherosclerosis and the metabolic syndrome, namely oxidative stress, inflammation and endothelial dysfunction…" The evidence is now overwhelming that treatment of the diabetic patient should include thiamine supplementation,
jeffrey dach md

Nov 15, 2014
Professor Eberhard Standl makes some good points, but nothing in this article qualifies as news. We've known for quite some time that in many cases increased exercise and weight loss can reverse or slow down the progression of type 2 diabetes. But Professor Standl seems to ignore the fact that some type 2's are actually very active, don't have high blood pressure and are not overweight. His blanket statement that all type 2 need to exercise more, loose 5% of their body weight and eat healthier is presumptive at best.

A high fiber (whole grain), low fat diet IS NOT very helpful for most diabetics. Carbohydrates, in any form, raise blood sugar more than a diet rich in protein or fat. Fat actually slows the metabolism of carbohydrate much better than high fiber grains. Diets that limit the amount of carbohydrate are often more effective at controlling blood sugar. Ask any diabetic...type 1 or 2.

Nov 19, 2014
I did not notice any mention of controlling carbohydrate consumption especially ADDED sugars in one's diet. That is the key there, added sugar.

Nov 20, 2014
I also find this information rather dated, and tending on the side of outdated.

From my experience, I have found that refined sugars are the worst as such sugars have removed trace nutrients that are absolutely necessary for metabolism of the sugar. For me, sweeteners like honey, because of its anti-inflammatory nature, are well tolerated. YMMV

I am also tending toward getting less of my calories from carbohydrates and more from protein and fat, and that seems to be a better course of action for me. I feel more alert and need less insulin overall while my bg levels seem to be more stable.

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