A new study has shown that type 2 diabetes could be reversed by one in 20 patients.

  • A lifestyle change could help one in 20 people suffering from type 2 diabetes reverse their condition.
  • Researchers analysed the medical records for 162,000 people over 30 years in Scotland. 
  • The study showed that almost five percent of those who had been diagnosed with cancer achieved remission.
  • Although it was once considered incurable for many decades, there is hope for 4 million UK sufferers.

According to a major study, one in twenty people with type II diabetes could reverse it by changing their lifestyle.

It was thought that only extreme stomach surgery or a very low-calorie diet consisting of soups and shakes would be able to achieve this effect.

But when researchers analysed the medical records of almost everyone in Scotland with a type 2 diagnosis up to 2019 – 162,000 people over 30 – they found almost 5 per cent had achieved remission.

This means that you can maintain a normal blood sugar level for at least one year without taking any medication.

As many as one in 20 people with type 2 diabetes could reverse it with a change of lifestyle, says a major study (stock image)

A major study has shown that type 2 diabetes can be reversed by as many as 20% of people (stock image).

Only a tiny proportion of those surveyed had had weight-loss surgery. The soups and shakes diet wasn’t widely available on the NHS during the study.

Type 2 diabetes, which can be linked to obesity, may lead to complications such as sight loss or diabetic ulcers. 

It was considered incurable for decades. However, there is increasing evidence that it can be reversed. This gives hope to over four million UK patients.

The new study revealed that people were more likely than ever to beat type 2 if their weight was reduced. Nearly half of those in remission had lost 15kg or more (more then two stone).

It also showed that people over 75 were most likely to achieve remission – possibly because they tend to get diabetes at a lower weight and with a lower blood sugar level so need don’t need to lose so much weight.

While some people may have lost weight due to illness or frailty, those over 75 were almost 50% more likely than those between 45-54 to reach remission. Older women were more successful then older men.

People with lower blood sugar levels at diagnosis were more likely to get diabetes.

Dr Mireille Captieux, a researcher at Edinburgh University, led the study. She stated: “We have been able, for the first-time, to show that one in twenty people in Scotland with type-2 diabetes achieves remission.

The new study found people were far more likely to beat type 2 if they lost weight and almost one in five in remission had lost at least 15kg - more than two stone (stock image)

A new study has shown that people are more likely to beat type 2. People who lose weight are more likely to be successful. Nearly one in five patients in remission have lost at least 15kg (stock image). 

This is higher than expected, and suggests that many people were able to get remission without the need for weight-loss surgery or meal-replacement diets. 

“It may have been that they took the initiative to exercise more or eat healthier.

The study authors hope that doctors will be able to identify the most likely people to overcome diabetes.

Remission patients should avoid weight gain as it can lead to type 2 relapse.

The study published in PLOS Medicine showed that 710 of 162,316 people were able to achieve remission. 

Nearly half of those surveyed were over 65 years old and almost two-thirds were diagnosed at least six months ago.

Professor Roy Taylor, a Newcastle University diabetes expert, said that every piece of evidence showing people can reverse their diabetes is important was incredibly satisfying.