Type 2 diabetes is typically treated with medication, but a new study published in the Lancet medical journal provides evidence that diabetes remission can be achieved with a radical diet change.
Researchers at Glasgow University in Scotland and Newcastle University in the U.K. conducted a study with 149 participants over the course of a year. Participants followed an all-liquid diet consisting of a maximum of 853 calories per day for three to five months. After the liquid diet was complete, they followed a strict, low-calorie diet for the remainder of the year.
According to ABC News, 68 of the study’s participants were able to achieve diabetes remission without medication. Over the course of the study, 32 participants dropped out, leaving 117 participants remaining. Of those remaining, a majority lost an average of 20 pounds over the course of the year-long study.
Type 2 diabetes has long been linked to high calorie diets and low physical activity, yet still many physicians prescribe medication as a first step in managing the condition. This study provides strong evidence that a low calorie diet can be instrumental in managing Type 2 diabetes symptoms.
During the study, participants were not advised to increase physical activity. Following the completion of the study, they were encouraged to increase daily activity along with consuming a low calorie diet to maintain diabetes remission.
Approximately 100 million people living in the United States are currently diabetic or pre-diabetic. Professor Roy Taylor of Newcastle University, who co-led the study, is encouraged by the results and believes this could transform the way Type 2 diabetes is treated.
Over time, diabetes can lead to serious health complications. Heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease have all been directly linked to Type 2 diabetes. It can also greatly impact a patient’s lifestyle. Many patients have to take several medications and frequently monitor their blood sugar levels with blood glucose meters. All of these can be costly for both patients and insurance companies.
This study holds much promise for those battling Type 2 diabetes and who wish to live a medication-free life.