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Will Weight Loss Reverse My Patient’s Diabetes?

If you have a patient with Type 2 Diabetes, losing weight will help them lower their blood sugar level as well as help them feel more energetic — and by reducing the extra weight they may potentially reverse their Type 2 Diabetes. Reducing weight and reversing the diabetes may prevent them from getting the chronic metabolic disorders associated with Type 2 Diabetes like high blood pressure, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, low HDL and high triglycerides.  Losing weight and reversing diabetes also protects your patient from developing other common diabetes-related complications like retinopathy (eye disease) and neuropathy (nerve damage).


Even a drop in weight as low as 15 pounds can help your Type 2 Diabetes patient in the following ways
  • Lowering blood sugar
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Better cholesterol levels
  • Less stress on joints
  • More energy
  • Overall better emotional and mental state


While treating your Type 2 Diabetes patient, focus on placing them on a weight loss plan that will target the waist first.  Evidence supports the idea that adipose tissue (loose connective tissue composed of adipocytes) found around the waist, is the greatest risk for heart disease and other effects of Type 2 Diabetes. The main role of adipose tissue is to store energy in the form of fat, cushioning and insulating the human body. This fat can be stubborn and hardest to lose without professional intervention.


A low-calorie diet with the adequate amount of protein intake will help your patient continue scheduled meals without feeling deprived and help them to target the adipose tissue around the waist. Adding a regular exercise routine will also assist in the removal of excess weight around the middle.


Because your patient’s body will be undergoing rapid weight loss, special attention must be made to blood sugar, insulin and any diabetes medications they are taking. Helping diabetic patients make the best choices about what they are using for dietary supplements is also critical.


Is it safe for your Type 2 Diabetes patient to lose a lot of weight while taking any special diabetes medications?

It is generally safe to have your diabetic patient that is on medication cut up to 500 calories per day while in active weight loss. They should cut the carbs from their diet up to 45-50% – carbohydrates have the highest effect on blood sugar. The best type of carbohydrates to cut are the sugary or starchy carbs because these are the ones that will likely spike your patient’s blood sugar levels. Have your patient stick to carbs like low starch fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains. Your Type 2 Diabetes patient should also reduce their saturated fats from meats and fried foods. Instead, have the patient choose foods with unsaturated fats like flaxseed, nuts, avocados and fish. 


What studies support the claim that weight loss can reverse Type 2 Diabetes?

According to a study led by The University of Cambridge patients who achieve weight loss of 10% or more within the first 5 years following a Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis have the greatest chance of seeing their Type 2 Diabetes reversed. A modest weight loss can lead to diabetes remission. In this study of 257 participants (30%) were in remission after a 5 year follow up.  People who achieved weight loss of 10% or more within first 5 years after diagnosis were more than twice as likely to go into remission compared to people who did not lose any weight. 


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