Well Being

More Conflicting Health News: Researchers Now Say Diabetes Usually Can’t Be Cured

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shutterstock_88761676You know all those doctors and reports tell you how to reverse diabetes, stating that say Type 2 diabetes can be cured with diet and exercise? Well, according to a new study, the chances of that happening are very slim, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers evaluated 4,500 obese adults with Type diabetes ages 45 to 76, for four years. Of the group, half were assigned an intensive lifestyle-change program, including counseling, weight loss and physical activity goals. The rest of the participants were offered just three sessions on diet and physical activity per year, and did not have any counseling or goals to meet.

What they found was interesting–and conflicting with prior reports: After one year of a healthier lifestyle, 11.5% of obese adults with Type 2 diabetes saw their condition improve with blood sugar levels decreasing to those of a prediabetic, compared with just 2% who did not receive the counseling. After four years, the rate of remission dropped to 7%, even with a continued focus on diet and exercise.

Keep in mind, this was just partial reversal–not a full-blown cure for the disease. The number of patients who did “cure” their diabetes with diet and exercise–meaning blood sugar levels returned and stayed normal–was just 1.3% after one year.

Confused? So are we. Because up until now, research and some doctors were claiming that Type 2 diabetes–a disease that affects 26 million Americans a year–could be reversed with careful lifestyle attention, including weight loss, healthy diets and regular exercise. But, according to this study, those things can definitely help, but the likelihood of them completely curing the disease for good is small.

It's important to take this information and talk with your doctor about it. Losing weight, eating right and staying physically active may or may not totally reverse diabetes, but it can definitely help to manage it, steady blood sugar levels and even keep people off insulin, so any steps towards that are positive and worthwhile.

“If the great majority of people are losing weight and their sugars are going down, whether or not we call that a remission…it's great news,” said Dr. Pieter Cohen to Fox News, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a general internist at Cambridge Health Alliance.

Photo: shutterstock.com