According to the International Diabetes Foundation, although China is in the top spot, India has 62 million Diabetics, which is more than 7.1% of the adult population. American Diabetes Association study reports that India will see the greatest increase in people diagnosed with diabetes by 2030 if we don’t do anything actively to halt this epidemic. Nearly 1 million Indians die due to diabetes every year. More worrying is that the average age on onset is 42.5 years. The high incidence is due to a combination of genetic susceptibility plus our high-calorie, low-activity lifestyle.
Reversal or more appropriately remission of diabetes is possible in many patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Remission of Diabetes means normal HbA1c level without diabetes medication. Studies like the Direct trial have shown remission of diabetes with lifestyle and weight loss.
Early detection- Comprehensive screening for all at risk of diabetes is very important. The earlier diabetes is detected the easier it is to reverse it. A simple HbA1c test is all that is required and it can be done without fasting.
Weight management- Patients have to reach their goal weight and maintain it through healthy eating. Weight loss is one of the most important ways to reverse diabetes. Focus should be on carbohydrate intolerance one of the root causes of diabetes. The weight loss in diabetics have to be done under medical supervision without any crash dieting and increasing risk of health problems.
Medical management- Focus should be on insulin resistance and the newer medical drugs which do not cause apoptosis (death) of beta cells of pancreas so that medicines can be reduced safely and gradually.
Remission of diabetes should be done by fixing the actual problems that cause it. It is important to understand that this process may take 6 months to a year and it is important to monitor the progress.