The diabetic condition can be reversed with intensive medical treatment using oral medications, insulin and lifestyle therapies, suggests a study.
The trial, which was undertaken by McMaster University in Canada, managed to restore insulin production in 40 percent of its patients.
“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 three months after stopping diabetes medications,” said the study’s first author, Natalia McInnes, MD, MSc, FRCPC, of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
“The findings support the notion that type 2 diabetes can be reversed, at least in the short term, not only with bariatric surgery, but with medical approaches,” McInnes added.
The senior investigator on the trial, Hertzel C. Gerstein, MD, MSc, FRCPC, of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences added, “We chose to use metformin, acarbose and basal insulin glargine in this trial as these medications have all been shown to slow or prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.”
“The idea of reversing the disease is very appealing to individuals with diabetes. 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,” McInnes explained.
The study appeared in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.