Type 2 diabetes is a long-term, chronic medical condition that affects millions of people in India. A recent study published in the journal Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology shows that prevalence of Diabetes in India at 11.4%. Many factors can contribute to developing type 2 diabetes, including being overweight and obese. Type 2 diabetes can lead to life threatening complications such as heart disease and stroke, but with treatment people can manage the condition to go into remission or reversal.
What is Diabetes Reversal?
Diabetes remission or reversal is a condition when a person’s HbA1c is less than 6.5% for 3 months or more without diabetes medication. For diabetes remission or reversal, people should follow the advice of their doctors and nutritionist. Weight reduction is the key point for diabetes remission or reversal, as we all know that one of the leading causes of developing diabetes is obesity and more than 82 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight. But remission does not mean that diabetes has gone away. To continue in remission, one must ensure that they maintain the weight that they have lost and continue exercise and eat healthy.
A study done in 2017 in India showed that 75% of the young adults with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes achieved reversal of diabetes with intensive lifestyle therapy (Low-calorie diet of 1500 calories and brisk walk for one hour). Reversal rates at 1 and 2 years were 75% and 68.75% respectively. Diabetic medicines were either completely stopped or reduced significantly once the HbA1c was below 6.5%. Though this result was achieved for young adults we have seen very good results of the intensive lifestyle therapy for older adults as well. Hence, we suggest that all young, newly diagnosed patients with type 2 diabetes to undergo intensive lifestyle therapy to achieve reversal and other older adults to check if their condition is stable enough to undergo such therapy.
Precautions to be kept during and after the reversal program
If lifestyle changes are implemented during early diagnosis of diabetes and if no medications are required, this documents diabetes “remission” or diabetes “being reversed.” But to stay in remission or reversal it is necessary for diabetic person to continue following the lifestyle modification. (Low calorie diet plus the brisk walk)
It is also important to understand that while you are being treated with certain diabetic medications, such as insulin or sulphonyl urea, a low-calorie diet can make hypos more likely. Therefore, it is required that while undergoing such reversal program, your doctor makes required changes in your medication and adjusts your doses accordingly. Also, patients should check their blood sugar levels more often so that any episodes of low sugar or hypoglycaemia are averted.
How a diabetes reversal program works
- Change in diet: A low-carb, high-fibre diet has shown remarkable results in improving blood sugar control and promoting weight loss. You will need to focus on consuming whole, unprocessed foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Designing a customized diet plan as per the individual’s medical conditions as well as their eating habits is Oxyjon’s forte.
- Regular physical activity- Regular exercise plays a vital role in diabetes reversal. Engaging in physical activity helps lower blood sugar levels, improves insulin sensitivity, and promotes weight loss. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, such as brisk walking, swimming, or cycling. At Oxyjon we provide a personalized exercise plan for our patients depending upon their physical conditioning.
- Doctor monitoring – A doctor consistently needs to oversee your reversal program. A go ahead is given by the doctor for the program only once he has checked that there are no other secondary complications. Additionally, a doctor needs to continuously manage the medicine dosage as the lower dosages might be required as a result of falling sugars, because of the program.
Is Diabetes Reversal Possible for Everyone?
Not everyone with diabetes can reverse the condition. However, many people with type 2 diabetes can achieve reversal by making lifestyle changes.
If you are interested in reversing your diabetes, you can talk to the experts at Oxyjon about the best approach for you. With hard work and dedication, it is possible to reverse the diabetes for many and for others even when the diabetes is not reversed completely, they can live with vastly improved sugar control and free from the other complications of diabetes.