Can Weight Loss Reverse Type II Diabetes?Weight Loss Can Reverse Diabetes« click for printable PDF version

Most of you know that being overweight can lead to Type-2 Diabetes. Most of you also know that diabetes is pretty much an epidemic, costing our country billions in healthcare costs.

But did you know that losing the excess weight can eliminate Type-2 Diabetes?

Take 61-year-old Claudean Jackson as an example. Claudean had worked to control her diabetes with six insulin shots, two different types of medications and five finger-pricks for blood testing daily; she had done so for over a decade.

These days, however, Claudean has no worries about diabetes at all. Her secret? She recently worked to lose 110 pounds and in the process of doing so lost her diabetes as well.

Claudean's success didn't start after she lost 100+ pounds - in fact, her doctor told her she could stop with the insulin shots after losing the first 50 pounds. One month later, she was able to cut out the pills, too.

Today, her daily regimen has improved considerably. "All I take now is a multivitamin," says Jackson, "that's it." No more insulin shots, no more diabetes medication, and no more finger-pricks. It's all gone, just like the extra weight.

Over the last decade, the prevalence of Type-2 Diabetes has spread considerably. Today, approximately 26 million Americans have the disease.

Even so, there is still no cure for diabetes. Some people are able to control their diabetes with diet and exercise, but a larger and larger portion of the population need insulin shots and daily blood testing to stay in balance.

As we age, all of us are prone to contracting Type-2 Diabetes, especially if it already runs in our family. However, the single largest factor to the onset of the disease is not genetics but excess weight and lack of physical activity. This is borne out by the fact that approximately 80% of those with Type-2 Diabetes are, in fact, overweight.

The good news is that you don't have to have diabetes. As Dr. Michael Floyd, associate professor of medicine at Meharry Medical College says: "It is possible to reverse diabetes or prevent it from occurring in the first place through weight loss and exercise."

Type-2 Diabetes is a very serious disease, preventing the body from converting the sugars we eat into energy. When this happens, the sugars build up in the bloodstream and are converted to other compounds, including fat, which can eventually cause circulatory restrictions, leading to problems such as high blood pressure and vision loss.

In Claudean's case, diabetes had caused her vision to blur to the point where she needed prescription glasses, and the nerves in her feet were so damaged that she had difficulty walking. These are not unusual side-effects for those with diabetes.

In her interview, Claudean said of her feet that "They were just numb. I stepped on glass and I didn't even know that I had cut my feet." Ouch.

Since the weight loss and the disappearance of her diabetes, feeling has come back to her feet and even her eyesight has returned to normal. This is a direct result of no longer having that excess sugar build up in her bloodstream.

In another case, the medication prescribed to Brenda Morrow (60) for control of her diabetes made her feel even worse than the results of the disease itself. "They gave me pains in my stomach," said Brenda. "It was like a stabbing pain."

In Brenda's case, here doctors told her that her blood sugar levels were getting her ready for a stroke. If the diabetes didn't kill her first, the stroke might.

Like Claudean, Brenda focused on losing the extra pounds. And also like Claudean, she saw dramatic improvement almost immediately. After losing just 40 pounds, Brenda no longer takes the medication, and feels much better.

What about you?

If you're carrying around extra pounds, you too are at risk. But now you know what to do - whether you already have diabetes or only have elevated readings in a blood glucose test, the answer is clear - lose the extra weight. Every extra pound is that much more risk for your feet, your eyes and your health.

[News article based in part on reporting by Claudia Pinto of The Tennessean, 3/22/11.]

If you are already on the WeightWorks program, then you already know the secrets to losing weight and keeping it off. Be sure to keep close management of your diabetes until your doctor tells you that it is not longer necessary!

If you are not yet on the WeightWorks program and want to learn more about how we can help, please complete our online get-acquainted questionnaire. Enter the coupon code "ARTICLE50" and we will take 50% off the cost of an initial doctor consultation to review your situation, make suggestions and answer any questions you may have.

Click here to go to the questionnaire.

It's the best first step you'll ever take.

   - - Yours in health,   The Doctors of WeightWorks

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