Possible to reduce sugar levels to 'pre-diabetes' level with proper diet and exercise
Most of the people suffering from diabetes believe that it is not possible for them to reduce their blood sugar levels to normal. However, a new study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, has found that it is possible to reduce the blood sugar levels to ‘pre-diabetes’ stage, provided one sticks to a healthy diet and exercises regularly. Once the sugar levels become normal, one can reduce the medicines or get off them completely and lower the risk of developing diabetes related complications.
For their study, the researchers recruited 4,503 individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes. All the participants were also overweight or obese (BMI of 25 or higher). They were randomly divided into an intervention group and a non-intervention group. The participants in the intervention group were subjected to diet and exercise counseling which aimed at a reduction in the calorie intake by as much as 1200 to 1800 calories per day, and physical activity of not less than three hours per week.
It was noted that by the end of one year, almost 11.5% of the participants experienced partial diabetes remission. This means that the sugar levels of the participants were below the threshold even without medication. Compared to this, only 2% of the participants in the non-intervention group experienced partial diabetes remission. It was also noted that the sugar levels reduced to pre-diabetes stage more easily in participants who didn’t have long standing diabetes or those who lost more weight and became more fit during the course of the study.
But the researchers also observed that less than one third of the participants who achieved complete remission from diabetes were able to maintain low blood sugar levels for more than four years.