Unwin D, Delon C, Unwin J What predicts drug-free type 2 diabetes remission? Insights from an 8-year general practice service evaluation of a lower carbohydrate diet with weight loss. BMJ Nutr Prevent Health. 2023;

New research to support the achievability of diabetes remission in general practice

02 March 2023
Volume 28 · Issue 3

A fairly novel concept, which now has considerable backing by clinical research, relates to the ability for diabetes to reverse—that is, to go into remission. According to Diabetes UK (2023), remission is defined by the HbAlc remaining below 48 mmol/mol (6.5%) for at least 3 months, free from medications used in the treatment of diabetes. Remission is more appropriate than the term ‘reversal’, as there is always a chance the levels may once again rise.

For remission to happen, weight loss is the key. In fact, by losing l5 kg safely and promptly following a diabetes diagnosis, there is a strong possibility of remission (Diabetes UK, 2023). However, insulin or sulphonylurea should be stopped prior to weight loss (Diabetes UK, 2023). Furthermore, those who are of healthy weight; have an eating disorder; are under 18 years; pregnant or breastfeeding; should avoid this approach as it could cause significant harm to them. Nonetheless, the majority of people with newly diagnosed diabetes do have problems with their weight and therefore, this approach may be effective for a large number of people living with the disease.

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