Weight loss key to type 2 remission

Monday, 6 January 2020

Weight loss needs to be the earliest and most important treatment for patients living with type 2 diabetes because it can help them achieve remission.

That’s the exciting news out of the UK! The DiRECT study, funded by Diabetes UK, has demonstrated for the first time that remission of type 2 diabetes is possible and the long held view of diabetes being a ‘life sentence’ isn’t necessarily accurate.

About the DiRECT study

The DiRECT study found that almost half of participants in the overweight or obese range who followed an intensive low-calorie diet of around 850 calories a day, for between 8 and 20 weeks, were able to put their type 2 diabetes into remission. The more weight that an individual lost, the more likely it was that they achieved remission. Nine out of 10 participants who lost 15kg or more were able to put their diabetes in remission and come off all diabetes medications. In a follow up 12 months later, over one third were still in remission.

What is remission? 

Remission in adults with type 2 diabetes means that their symptoms of diabetes are no longer present and their blood glucose levels no longer need to be managed with diabetes medication. Remission may not be permanent, so ongoing review and support continue to be important.

Australian T2 Remission Project

The results of the DiRECT study are extremely encouraging which is why Diabetes NSW & ACT is looking to establish the Australian T2 Remission Project. The purpose of the project will be to demonstrate that an intensive, supported, weight loss program can lead to the remission of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes NSW & ACT believes that if the same results are achieved in Australia, as in the UK, then the treatment of type 2 diabetes and the longer term health of the country will be transformed. That’s why we want to conduct the study in Australia.

“This ground-breaking research has major implications for Australia both for the health of people with type 2 diabetes and the cost savings achievable, if we can replicate this study and deliver comparable results,” said T2 Remission Project Program Director, Ian Corless.

If we can demonstrate success in the Australian context, it may have a lasting influence on the direction of national health policy. Positive outcomes may lead to a national program funded by Governments aimed at reducing the incidence of Type 2 diabetes, and the escalating costs of diabetes health care.

This program provides the possibility of a life truly free of the complications of diabetes.

“If the DiRECT study is replicated in the Australian context, this can lead to a significant paradigm shift in primary health care nationally.”  Professor Stephen Colagiuri. Professor of Metabolic Health and Director of The Boden Institute at the University of Sydney.

You can play a key role

Your support will help ensure we can replicate this groundbreaking study in Australia and deliver new hope and a better quality of life for people living with type 2 diabetes.

If you’d like to support this project contact our fundraising team on fundraising@diabetesnsw.com.au or make a donation today.

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