Losing Weight Can Prevent and Cure Type 2 Diabetes

By: Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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Gaining weight is highly stressful to your body.  Sooner or later it is likely to break down in response to the stress and “give up” trying to cope with the abuse.  Western medicine marks such a tipping point with the label type 2 diabetes, which essentially means your ability to regulate blood sugar is more or less broken.  In reality, it was heading that direction as your fasting blood sugar elevates above 90.  A new study shows that taking off a significant chunk of weight over a two-year period can reverse the diabetes and/or prevent it, even if you still have more weight to lose.

This new study is consistent with my clinical observations.  Many people following the Leptin Diet and actually engaging the process of weight loss have no trouble ridding themselves of type 2 diabetes.  Emphasis needs to be placed on the phrase “engaging the process of weight loss.”  While it is my belief, based on considerable science, that the Leptin Diet is the most effective and safest way to lose weight over the long haul, losing weight in any manner seems to be of benefit.

It is also important to understand that you do not need to reach a goal weight to prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes.  While it is important for your own personal metabolic health that you do reach an appropriate goal weight sooner or later, this is not required for most people in order to prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes.  In other words, if you can simply get your body going in the right direction and take off a significant chunk of weight, then you have created a metabolic environment within your body that is far less likely to have or develop type 2 diabetes.  All you have to do is keep consistently moving in the right direction.

This is very encouraging because it means you do not have to be perfect before you experience a lot of health benefits that prevent disease. 

Researchers used BMI (body mass index) to predict obesity in patients.  BMI uses your height and weight to estimate your body fat.  There are many online calculators you can use if you are interested in knowing your score. 

The researchers found that among patients with BMI<35, 35-40 and 40-45 who did not lose weight after two years, type 2 diabetes incidence rates were 6.5 percent, 7.7 percent and 9.3 percent respectively. Among those with initial BMI 35-40, 40-45 and ≥45 who lost at least five BMI units after two years, type 2 diabetes incidence rates were 2.4 percent, 2.0 percent and 3.4 percent respectively, clearly showing that lower rates of diabetes can be found among obese patients who have lost five BMI units through any means. Further analysis showed that the rate of patients cured of diabetes after losing five BMI units was independent of the starting BMI at all BMI levels measured.

This means that those who are classified as obese by BMI will need to lose approximately 20 – 30 pounds over a two-year period to experience the lower risk rate of this study. 

I also like to use waist measurement as another low tech and highly accurate way to view this issue.  Obviously, a relatively flat stomach is best.  However, if you multiply your waistline measurement in inches by 2, it should never be more than your height in inches.  If it is, it is increasing your risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.  This relationship between waistline and height is reliable for any age.  In other words, a stomach that is too fat readily predicts that your arteries are clogging, a process that can be set in motion by age 3!  This relationship has been confirmed by studies measuring hardening of the arteries.  In my opinion it is a lot better to use this low tech way of predicting a problem rather than expose your body to radiation to get pictures (others have done it for you). 

Not only should you strive to have a fasting blood sugar on a lab test at 90 or below, but your triglyceride score (fat blobs) should also not be more than twice the level of your HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol).  When it is, you are more at risk for developing heart disease.

You don’t need fancy tests to predict or understand whether or not you are headed in the direction of very poor health.  The handwriting is on the wall.  And remember, you don’t have to be perfect before you experience a lot of health benefits in terms of disease risk reduction.  All you have to do is engage the process of weight loss and then stay consistently on track.  As long as you can keep the process of steady improvement going you are improving your health issues in a significant way and adding years of health quality to your life.

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