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Meatrition OP t1_j2rqo2e wrote

What predicts drug-free type 2 diabetes remission? Insights from an 8-year general practice service evaluation of a lower carbohydrate diet with weight loss Unwin1,2, Delon3, Jen Unwin4, Simon Tobin4 and Roy Taylor5 Correspondence to Dr David Unwin; Abstract

Background Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is often regarded as a progressive, lifelong disease requiring an increasing number of drugs. Sustained remission of T2D is now well established, but is not yet routinely practised. Norwood surgery has used a low-carbohydrate programme aiming to achieve remission since 2013.

Methods Advice on a lower carbohydrate diet and weight loss was offered routinely to people with T2D between 2013 and 2021, in a suburban practice with 9800 patients. Conventional ‘one-to-one’ GP consultations were used, supplemented by group consultations and personal phone calls as necessary. Those interested in participating were computer coded for ongoing audit to compare ‘baseline’ with ‘latest follow-up’ for relevant parameters.

Results The cohort who chose the low-carbohydrate approach (n=186) equalled 39% of the practice T2D register. After an average of 33 months median (IQR) weight fell from 97 (84–109) to 86 (76–99) kg, giving a mean (SD) weight loss of −10 (8.9)kg. Median (IQR) HbA1c fell from 63 (54–80) to 46 (42–53) mmol/mol. Remission of diabetes was achieved in 77% with T2D duration less than 1 year, falling to 20% for duration greater than 15 years. Overall, remission was achieved in 51% of the cohort. Mean LDL cholesterol decreased by 0.5 mmol/L, mean triglyceride by 0.9 mmol/L and mean systolic blood pressure by 12 mm Hg. There were major prescribing savings; average Norwood surgery spend was £4.94 per patient per year on drugs for diabetes compared with £11.30 for local practices. In the year ending January 2022, Norwood surgery spent £68 353 per year less than the area average.

Conclusions A practical primary care-based method to achieve remission of T2D is described. A low-carbohydrate diet-based approach was able to achieve major weight loss with substantial health and financial benefit. It resulted in 20% of the entire practice T2D population achieving remission. It appears that T2D duration <1 year represents an important window of opportunity for achieving drug-free remission of diabetes. The approach can also give hope to those with poorly controlled T2D who may not achieve remission, this group had the greatest improvements in diabetic control as represented by HbA1c.