By adding an exercise routine and healthy diet to their intensive medical treatment, patients with Type 2 Diabetes may be able to enter full remission after just a few months. This is according to a recent study by researchers at McMaster University, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. This could be positive news for the 1.4 million Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes every year.
Bel Marra Health reports that the study involved 83 diabetic individuals between the ages of 30 and 80. They had all received a Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis within the past three years. These participants were divided into three groups. The first received “intensive metabolic intervention” and was instructed to then follow an exercise and meal plan for 16 weeks. The second received the same treatment, then followed the health regimen for eight weeks. The third, the control group, received typical advice for diabetes patients about blood sugar management and leading a healthy lifestyle. Nurses and dietitians monitored the participants’ progress.
After the experimental group stopped taking their medication, researchers encouraged them to continue their healthy lifestyle. Researchers assessed participant health three months later, finding that the participants who maintained the health regimen for 16 weeks had the highest rate of partial diabetes remission.
“By using a combination of oral medications, insulin and lifestyle therapies to treat patients intensively for two to four months, we found that up to 40 percent of participants were able to stay in remission for three months after stopping diabetes medications,” Natalia McInnes, the study’s first author, of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, said in a statement.
These results could also be a significant motivator for people seeking to reverse the effects of Type 2 Diabetes, McInnes also said.
“The idea of reversing the disease is very appealing to individuals with diabetes,” she said. “It motivates them to make significant lifestyle changes and to achieve normal glucose levels with the help of medications. This likely gives pancreas a rest and decreases fat stores in the body, which in turn improves insulin production and effectiveness.”
As it stands, the diabetes drug market is predicted to grow exponentially over the coming years. Data from 2011 shows that pharmaceutical and drug store sales in the United States totaled to around $231.46 billion. Zeroing in on diabetes drug sales in North America, the industry was valued at around $16 billion in 2010 and is projected to hit over $33 billion in 2021, more than doubling its original worth.