A new study from the Qatar Branch of Weill Cornell Medical School found that a year-long “intensive” trial successfully affected 61 percent of people with type 2 diabetes, highlighting a potentially very effective treatment option,media reported. Instead of focusing on drugs, the study focused on the overall lifestyle, with the task of getting participants to eat a low-calorie diet, lose weight and more.
Type 2 diabetes is often associated with lifestyle, including obesity, poor diet and lack of exercise. Treatment takes the form of drugs and insulin, but lifestyle changes are encouraged as part of the management of their disease. In the new study, subjects were randomly assigned control groups receiving standard care and intervention groups receiving fortified diet and exercise programs.
Participants who received standard treatment lost an average of 9 pounds after one year, and 12 percent of the participants no longer had diabetes after one year. By contrast, the intensive lifestyle modification group lost an average of 26 pounds, and 61 percent of the participants reversed type 2 diabetes a year later.
Notably, the study involved 158 patients, most of them male. At the start of the study, the participants, who weighed an average of 223 pounds, were both diagnosed with diabetes for less than three years. This underlines the importance of early intervention. Fortified lifestyle changes include walking at least 10,000 steps a day and at least 150 minutes of exercise per week.
Dr. Shahrad Taheri, lead researcher on the study, explained:
I think this is a real game changer in the management of type 2 diabetes. It shows that if you lose weight early enough during the course of the disease, you can actually reverse the disease, avoiding all other health problems and a reduction in quality of life.