Diabetes is becoming an increasing concern in New Zealand, with over 5% of Kiwis now having type 2 diabetes. So if you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, or recently told you are pre-diabetic, you are not alone.
A diagnosis like this can be worrying, confusing and scary. But, the good news is - there might be something you can do about it.
There is a strong, proven link between type 2 diabetes and being overweight, so losing weight can help put type 2 diabetes into remission, or stop you developing it at all.
So, for those wanting to reverse type 2 diabetes,
minimise its risks or avoid developing it, losing weight can help.
(It is important to note that, unfortunately, type 1 diabetes cannot be reversed by weight control and must be treated medically by your Doctor. Losing weight will, of course, help with overall health. This article is speaking specifically about type 2 diabetes).
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Insulin is a hormone, made by our bodies (in the pancreas), which helps to move food (sugars) into our cells, where it is converted to energy. Having type 2 diabetes means we can’t produce enough insulin (or the cells don’t process it effectively), and the sugar builds up in our blood.
High levels of sugar in our system can lead to long term organ damage and decrease our life expectancy by approximately 6 years. In fact, it is the cause of approximately 600 deaths per year in New Zealand. It can also cause nerve damage, eye problems, gum disease, low energy, decreased immunity and headaches.
What causes Type 2 Diabetes?
The exact causes are still not well understood and genetics does determine your susceptibility to type 2 diabetes, but it is now clear that being overweight is a key component in its development. Research shows that being overweight is the single most important predictor of whether someone will develop the disease. Excess weight, especially around the abdomen, significantly increases your chance of developing type 2 diabetes. A new term, "diabesity" has now been coined, acknowledging the huge role being overweight plays in developing type 2 diabetes.
This extra fat around the tummy, called visceral fat, secretes a pro-inflammatory chemical which diminishes our insulin's sensitivity and function. This insulin resistance, caused by too much visceral fat, is the hallmark of type 2 diabetes.
Being overweight has also been shown to trigger changes in our metabolism, causing fat tissue to release a molecule into the blood, which damages the effectiveness of our insulin.
What is Pre-diabetes?
You may have been told by your Doctor that you are pre-diabetic. Approximately 20% of New Zealanders are pre-diabetic, with over 80% of those unaware they are at risk. Pre-diabetes is where your blood sugars are higher than normal, but haven’t yet reached the levels to be diagnosed with diabetes. Being pre-diabetic dramatically increases your chances of developing full blown type 2 diabetes.
The good news is that this is the stage where losing weight can most effectively turn things around.
Managing or reversing Type 2 Diabetes
The strongest evidence available says that losing weight can reverse type 2 diabetes. That needs repeating - losing weight can reverse type 2 diabetes! In fact, losing as little as 5-10% of your body weight can put it into remission. Reversing type 2 diabetes would lead to dramatic improvements in your health, quality of life and longevity.
Research shows that weight loss is the most effective treatment for reversing type 2 diabetes, even more successful than metformin, the most common medicine used to control type 2 diabetes.
Those who lose 10% of their body weight in the first year of receiving a diabetes diagnosis are twice as likely to be in remission at 5 years, than those who lose no weight.
FastFx can help you lose weight quickly but still ensure you are getting all your essential vitamins and minerals.
It is important to note that we say ‘reversal’ or ‘remission’ and not ‘cure’, because, if you put the weight back on, the diabetes is most likely to come back. Your best chance at remaining healthy and avoiding diabetes is to keep your weight within the normal range.
Other lifestyle changes, such as exercising more and drinking and smoking less can also help manage diabetes.
Are you concerned about Diabetes?
You have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you ;
- Are overweight
- Have a close relative with diabetes (parent or sibling)
- Had gestational diabetes during pregnancy
- Are over 45 years old
- Don’t exercise much
- Have polycystic ovarian syndrome
Type 2 diabetes is a serious and life threatening condition,
but it can be reversed through weight loss.
Note - If you have diabetes, you can safely use FastFx for careful weight loss. Keep a close eye on your blood sugar levels and keep your Doctor in the loop, especially if you are taking medications, which may need to be changed as you lose weight.