Excess weight is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Many people who take steps to lose excess weight can often avoid diabetes or reduce its symptoms.
Keep reading to find out whether type 2 diabetes can go away completely after you lose weight. Lompoc Valley Medical Center can also talk to you about safely reversing diabetes and losing excess weight.
What Is the Prevalence Of Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes?
The World Health Organization says that type 2 diabetes is caused by being overweight or obese and physically inactive. It adds that an estimated 44% of people with diabetes worldwide are overweight or obese.
Researchers who led a 2016 study published in Circulation Research said that rates of type 2 diabetes are rising along with type 2 diabetes. They added that 85.2% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese.
Researchers have noticed that obesity and type 2 diabetes are prevalent in other countries also. Among 1,275 patients in Uganda with type 2 diabetes, 63% were overweight or obese, reports BMJ Open. Among a group of 612 patients in Saudi Arabia with type 2 diabetes, 85.8% were overweight or obese, reports the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care.
After looking at the evidence, it makes sense that losing weight may improve or resolve type 2 diabetes.
How Does Obesity Cause Type 2 Diabetes?
Obesity and excess weight causes your body to release higher amounts of substances that lead to inflammation and insulin resistance. Excess weight also leads to imbalances in many types of hormones. According to a 2014 study published in Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy, all these factors can lead to type 2 diabetes.
In people with type 2 diabetes, the body’s insulin is unable to fully reduce its sugar levels. This is why it’s critical to reduce your sugar intake and eat more healthy foods if you have type 2 diabetes.
If you eat more sugar than what your body can reduce with insulin, your blood sugar levels will stay high. If you cannot control your diabetes, you face a higher risk of nerve damage, heart disease, and kidney disease. Other serious health problems linked to type 2 diabetes are hearing problems, sleep apnea, and dementia.
Can Weight Loss Cure Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic health condition. Some doctors say that diabetes can never get cured, but you can successfully manage it with healthy behaviors. Other doctors say it’s possible to completely reverse type 2 diabetes, but only if you make permanent healthy lifestyle changes related to nutrition and exercise.
In a 2020 study, researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine examined the effects of a low-calorie diet and exercise in a group of patients with type 2 diabetes. One year later, 61% of the patients in the study were able to reverse their diabetes.
Weight-loss surgery may also reverse diabetes, and reduce or eliminate your need for diabetes medications, reports UC San Diego Health. Gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and gastric band surgery are examples of weight-loss procedures that may reverse type 2 diabetes.
Talk to your doctor if you have type 2 diabetes and want to know more about reversing your condition. Your doctor can look at your medical history and discuss your treatment options, including weight-loss surgery.
How Does Weight-Loss Surgery Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?
Weight-loss surgery reduces the size of your stomach pouch. This limits the amount of food you can eat in one sitting so you can lose extra weight.
Each type of surgery works differently to help you lose weight. In gastric sleeve surgery, about 80% of your stomach is removed to make it smaller. In gastric bypass surgery, a portion of your stomach is removed, and your small intestine is rerouted to make you absorb fewer calories. In gastric banding, a small silicone band is placed around the upper part of your stomach to help you eat less.
Weight-loss surgery can help patients lose up to 25% of their total body weight, says the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. It adds that 87% of people with type 2 diabetes who have weight-loss surgery benefit from better glucose control and can stop taking some of their diabetes medications. About 78% of patients can even achieve normal glucose control without taking any medications.
Patients who decide to have weight-loss surgery must commit to eating healthy foods and exercising regularly. These changes can often prevent weight regain after surgery. Patients must also commit to eating small portions and may need to take nutritional supplements to prevent malnutrition. Gastric bypass surgery can lead to malnutrition due to how it prevents your body from absorbing too many calories.
In addition to weight-loss surgery, these healthy lifestyle changes may also contribute to the improvement or reversal of type 2 diabetes.
What Are Other Risk Factors For Type 2 Diabetes?
Excess weight isn’t the only risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Lack of exercise, family history, race, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are other common risk factors.
Some diabetes risk factors cannot be changed, such as race and family history. However, if diabetes runs in your family, or you are Black, Hispanic, American Indian, or Asian American, you can live your life in a way that reduces your risk. Meeting these risk factors does not mean you are destined to get diabetes. For example, you can stay active, eat healthy foods, and avoid overeating to reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes.
Many other diabetes risk factors can be controlled to help you stay healthy. For instance, high blood pressure and cholesterol can often be managed and improved with diet and exercise.
What Should I Do If I Have Diabetes and Want To Lose Weight?
If you are overweight or obese and have type 2 diabetes, your doctors can work with you to develop a weight-loss plan and improve your symptoms. Your weight-loss plan may include exercise, healthy foods, and diabetes medications. This plan may also include weight-loss surgery if you are eligible for this procedure.
Weight-loss surgery is usually recommended for people who have a BMI of 40 or greater (morbidly obese). It is also recommended for people who have a BMI of 35 or greater (severely obese) and a weight-related health problem like type 2 diabetes. Your doctor may recommend getting weight-loss surgery if you cannot lose weight using other methods.
Some doctors may also refer you to a nutritionist who has experience working with people who have diabetes. A nutritionist can help you make specific changes to your diet that improve your blood sugar level.
Tips For Losing Weight When You Have Type 2 Diabetes
You can use several tricks to lose excess weight if you have type 2 diabetes. Here are steps you can take to get started:
- Eat fewer refined carbohydrates. Refined carbs like donuts, white bread, and cupcakes will cause your blood sugar to spike. Stick to healthy, complex carbs like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Eat a higher amount of lean protein. Sources of lean protein can help you burn more calories. Eat more fish, turkey, and chicken. Stay away from processed meats like sausage, bacon, and pepperoni.
- Eat more healthy fats. Healthy fats can improve your blood circulation and heart health, critical if you have type 2 diabetes. Avoid fatty foods like fried foods, and eat more healthy fats like fish, avocados, and nuts.
- Consume lots of high-fiber foods. Fiber can regulate your blood sugar and make you feel full sooner. It can also stimulate regular bowel movements and help you avoid overeating. Healthy sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
- Avoid processed foods. Frozen meals, canned foods, and fast foods contain lots of sugar and sodium that can cause weight gain and poor insulin control.
- Drink more water. Water keeps you hydrated and flushes toxins and waste from your body. Drinks like sodas, energy drinks, and alcohol can spike your blood sugar and cause weight gain.
- Exercise for at least 300 minutes a week. This equals one hour a day on five days a week. Exercising this often can help you lose extra weight. After you reach your weight-loss goals, you can start exercising for 150 minutes per week to maintain a healthy weight.
- Discuss medication options with your doctor. Some newer diabetes medications may help you lose weight. Ask your doctor if you can try another medication if you think your current medications prevent weight loss.
Weight-Loss Services At Lompoc Valley Medical Center
If you have type 2 diabetes and want to lose extra weight, Lompoc Valley Medical Center can help. Our doctors can review your medical history, perform an evaluation, and talk to you about your weight-loss options and health goals. We offer weight-loss surgery, prescription medications for weight loss, and nutrition services.
Contact us at (805) 737-3382 to learn more about our weight-loss services and get started on your weight-loss journey today.