Weight loss should be the focus of diabetes management, study finds

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In a recent study published in The Lancet, researchers recommended a pivotal change in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes to focus on obesity first and glucose control second.

They say that instead of focusing exclusively on lowering blood sugar, they recommend the primary approach to the treatment of Type 2 diabetes is on the treatment of obesity.

The study is from UT Southwestern Medical Center and elsewhere. One author is Ildiko Lingvay, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.C.S.

The researchers state that dropping 15% or more of body weight can have a disease-modifying effect in Type 2 diabetes, an outcome that is unattainable by any other glucose-lowering intervention.

The new focus would require updating current treatment guidelines and providing significant provider education, they note.

The current approach to diabetes treatment relies on clinical studies from the 1980s, which found that lowering blood sugar results in fewer complications from the disease.

These early results supported treating blood glucose as the key target. The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t address the core problem and does not offer an opportunity to reverse the disease.

According to the American Diabetes Association, Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease caused by obesity or by abnormalities in metabolism.

More than 10% of the U.S. population has been diagnosed with diabetes, and 1.5 million more are diagnosed each year.

Bariatric surgery can be effective for patients with obesity, but not all patients have access to this option.

The team says it’s hard to achieve sustained weight loss. Most lifestyle interventions result in progressive weight loss over six months, followed by a plateau and weight regain over one to three years.

New weight loss medications and those in the pipeline will help patients succeed in managing their weight over the long term.

The researchers also stressed the importance of advocating for insurance coverage that supports the treatment of obesity and diabetes and working in public health to increase access to care and reduce disparities.

If you care about weight loss, please read studies about better way for weight loss, and findings of diet that could boost your gut health and weight loss.

For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about drug that may prevent kidney failure in people with diabetes, and results showing that these vegetables may protect against kidney damage in diabetes.

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