April 16, 2024

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Lancet: Research shows that diabetes is “reversible”

Lancet: Research shows that diabetes is “reversible”


Lancet: Research shows that diabetes is “reversible”.  A reasonable diet + exercise can help you embark on the path of reversing diabetes.

However, not every patient who succeeds in losing weight can reverse diabetes. This is related to each patient’s genes, pathogenesis, length of onset, and disease progression.

Lancet: Research shows that diabetes is "reversible"

In order to control blood sugar and avoid damage to the kidneys, eyes, heart and brain blood vessels, it is necessary to take medicine on time throughout the day.

In the past, almost everyone thought that diabetes was irreversible! Once diagnosed, it means that “diabetes” will accompany lifelong.

If someone stands up and shouts: Diabetes can be reversed, there is a high probability that it will be considered a “liar” or “whisper”.

However, what is the real situation? Diabetes can be reversed, is it a dream or a reality?



Does an epic “reversal” really exist?

In 2017, the top medical journal “The Lancet” (The Lancet) released the results of a diabetes study: Patients lost weight through dieting and successfully reversed type 2 diabetes.

“The Lancet” is even more authoritative in the medical field! At the same time, the results of this study were reported at the 2017 World Diabetes Federation Congress and the 2019 American Diabetes Association Congress, which attracted worldwide attention.

In this trial, patients only ate liquid foods such as low-calorie soups and milkshakes every day. In the end, nearly half of the patients successfully reversed type 2 diabetes and maintained their blood sugar within the normal range for at least 6 months to a year.

The so-called “reversal”, in fact, does not mean recovery, but does not require injections and medicines, only through a good lifestyle to maintain normal blood sugar, commonly known as “honeymoon period.”

In this epic breakthrough research, there are more profound data worth mining. Studies have confirmed that the reversal of type 2 diabetes is more common in patients who lose more weight. The specific data are as follows:

  • Weight gain group: 0% of people get relief;
  • Weight loss 0-5kg group: 7% of people get relief;
  • Weight loss group of 5-10kg: 34% of people get relief;
  • Weight loss group of 10-15kg: 57% of people get relief;
  • Weight loss of more than 15kg group: 86% of people get relief;


The more weight loss, the greater the patient benefit, which undoubtedly points out the direction for diabetes reversal: limit and burn your calories!



What is the secret behind the “reversal”?

In this epic “reversal” experiment, although it showed amazing results, there are still a lot of doubts: How did this reversal happen? Can it last for a long time? Why do some people’s symptoms continue to reverse, while others recover?

As the leader of the “reversal” experiment, Professor Roy Taylor of Newcastle University in the United Kingdom lived up to expectations. At the end of 2019, he uncovered the mystery for us in the world-renowned journal Cell Metabolism.

Studies have shown that most subjects still maintain diabetes reversal status within 2 years, but this is only possible when liver triglycerides and pancreatic fat content are low.

However, a small proportion of subjects had elevated liver triglycerides and pancreatic fat content, ending the “honeymoon period” with diabetes, and the symptoms would come back to life.


Why does the liver triglyceride and pancreatic fat content affect the reversal?

When the body accumulates too much fat that should be stored under the skin, the fat will be transferred to other parts of the body. The amount of fat that can be stored under the skin varies from person to person, which indicates that the human body has a “fat threshold”, beyond which fat will cause harm.

When fat cannot be stored safely under the skin, it will be stored in the liver and spread to other parts of the body, including the pancreas, and this will “clog” the pancreas.

The beta cells responsible for secreting insulin in the pancreas will be damaged if they are exposed to excessive fat for a long time, affecting the normal secretion of insulin, leading to type 2 diabetes.

This undoubtedly points out another direction for the reversal of diabetes: restoring the normal physiological function of β cells in the pancreas!



Who are more likely to achieve long-term reversal?

The human body has a self-regulating mechanism for energy metabolism. Insulin can lower blood sugar and transport sugar to cells. Without insulin, of course it won’t work. For example, type 1 diabetes is born with a lack of this function. Therefore, patients with type 1 diabetes cannot achieve the reversal effect.

In fact, a large number of medical clinical studies have shown that as long as the pancreatic β-cell function of type 2 patients is still acceptable, it can be reversed through effective treatment.


Who are more likely to achieve long-term reversal?

01 Obese Diabetes

Studies have shown that for obese type 2 diabetic patients, insulin resistance factors are more pronounced, while type 2 diabetic patients with normal or weight loss have a higher proportion of insulin deficiency.

Therefore, obese type 2 diabetic patients can effectively reduce insulin resistance by controlling their weight, and it is possible to achieve long-term reversal of diabetes.


02 New-onset diabetes patients

New-onset diabetes patients, these people have normal blood sugar in the past, often because of some accidents, such as infection, trauma, surgery, emotional ups and downs and other stress, or taking some drugs that affect blood sugar, resulting in a rapid increase in blood sugar. These conditions have gone through Treatment and control of diet and weight may achieve long-term reversal of diabetes.


03 Diabetic patients with mild islet damage

Islet function is one of the indicators to assess whether type 2 diabetes can be relieved for a long time. The lighter islet function damage, the easier it is to achieve long-term reversal.


04 Diabetes patients with a course of less than 5 years

A large study in the United Kingdom once suggested that when type 2 diabetes patients were found to have diabetes, their own islet function had been reduced by 50%. As the course of diabetes prolonged, the islet function continued to decline.

Of course, this does not mean that diabetic patients with a disease course of more than 5 years cannot be reversed, but in comparison, the smaller the course of the disease, the less the islet function is damaged, and the more likely it is to achieve a long-term reversal.



How can we help achieve a long-term reversal?

According to the two directions indicated by the previous analysis: limiting and burning your calories and restoring the normal physiological functions of the β cells in the pancreas, then there are 3 measures that can help achieve long-term reversal?

01 low carbohydrate diet

High-carbohydrate diet has a greater impact on blood sugar. When we eat a large amount of high-carbohydrate diet, blood sugar will rise rapidly, and excessively high blood sugar will cause damage to the islets.

Which foods have a fast rise in sugar, and which ones have a slow rise in sugar? There is an indicator that can help measure it, that is, the Food Glycemic Index (GI). A previous article has a detailed introduction on the Glycemic Index. Double eleven desugared rice cookers are selling well, can reduce the sugar of rice by 70%? really?

Therefore, our daily diet needs to be balanced, try to choose a low-carbohydrate diet, and foods with low glycemic index.

At the same time, the diet should ensure a certain amount of protein intake while reducing fat intake to prevent lipotoxicity from damaging pancreatic islet function.


02 Strengthen exercise

A moderate increase in physical activity can help reverse pre-diabetes. No need to do heavy work from the beginning. Simple changes and small increases in activity levels can help. Try to do 30 minutes of exercise, such as mixed exercise, for at least 5 days a week. Start slowly and proceed gradually to make these changes a permanent lifestyle choice.

Look for activities that you can stick to. Walking, climbing more stairs, doing more outdoor activities, hiking, gardening, aerobic exercise, using a stepper or stationary bicycle, and stretching are all moderate physical activities.


03 Protect the function of islets

Many drugs can damage pancreatic islet cells, such as certain antibiotics, antipsychotic drugs, hormones, etc., such as adrenaline, thiazide diuretics, glucocorticoids, thyroxine, phenytoin, diazoxide, interferon, etc. Directly damage pancreatic β cells and reduce pancreatic islet function.

In the hypoglycemic drugs, insulin secretion-promoting agents, such as sulfonylureas and glinides, can cause excessive insulin secretion and affect pancreatic islet function for long-term use.

Therefore, when using drugs to treat other diseases, people with type 2 diabetes should pay attention to explain to the doctor or read the drug instructions in detail to understand whether it damages islet function.

When choosing blood sugar lowering drugs for patients with type 2 diabetes, try to choose drugs that do not affect pancreatic islet function, such as metformin and α-glycosidase inhibitors.

Therefore, long-term reversal of type 2 diabetes is possible only if the function of pancreatic islets is well protected.

A reasonable diet + exercise can help you embark on the path of reversing diabetes. However, not every patient who succeeds in losing weight can reverse diabetes. This is related to each patient’s genes, pathogenesis, length of onset, and disease progression.

Even if it cannot be reversed, returning to a reasonable weight can help patients stabilize blood sugar and delay or avoid complications.

With the advancement of science and technology, perhaps mankind can really find a way to completely cure diabetes. Let us have hope and wait and see.





(source:internet, reference only)

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