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REPORT: 'People need to know type 2 diabetes is reversible'

WARNING: A new review argues that not enough people are aware that type 2 diabetes is reversible

TYPE 2 diabetes could be beaten into remission if patients shed around 15kg, [2.4 stones], reports BBC News.

In the past, type 2 diabetes was thought to be a life-long condition, however there is increasing evidence that even if it can’t be cured, it is possible to put the condition into remission through weight loss.

The surprising news is based on a review of type 2 diabetes management and remission by researchers from Glasgow University and the University of Newcastle, published in the peer-reviewed British Medical Journal (BMJ).

The researchers say that remission “is clearly attainable for some, possibly many patients but is currently very rarely achieved or recorded”. They say less than 0.1% of people with type 2 diabetes on a Scottish database were recorded as being in remission in 2017.

The review suggest reasons why this might be are:

- Doctors and patients might not be aware that remission is a possibility there’s no standard way to assess when someone is in remission from diabetes, and it is not routinely recorded

- The amount of weight loss required – around 10% of body weight or 15kg for people with severe obesity – is difficult to achieve

- Doctors may worry that patients who achieve remission from diabetes will become diabetic again in future and this won't be picked up

- The researchers say that diabetes remission has many benefits for patients, including people being able to come off medication, feeling a sense of achievement and saving money on life insurance and travel insurance. It would also benefit the NHS, which currently spends almost £1bn a year on diabetes medicines.

Unfortunately, as The Daily Telegraph reports, “less than 1 in 1,000 people” achieve remission.

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