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Losing Weight with Diabetes Isn’t a Hopeless Case

Diabetes and Weight lossNo matter how heavy you are, if you have diabetes, losing weight will help you in your fight to control it. Experts say that losing even 10 or 15 pounds can bring about health benefits such as: 

  • Lowered blood sugar
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Improved cholesterol levels
  • Less stress on your hips, knees and ankles

But the issue isn’t losing the weight, it’s maintaining the weight loss in order to sustain the health benefits.

One diabetic expert, Richard Kahn, PhD, who was the chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association for nearly 25 years, is denouncing some weight loss programs as being ineffective in reducing the incidence of Diabetes and helping the patient to keep the weight from coming back. He outlined his theories in his paper that was published in the January edition of Health Affairs. Kahn stated that even though patients in one study lost 4% to 6% of their body weight, they regained 40% by the time the study ended three years later. He goes on the say that “one of the issues that prevents people from keeping the weight off is cheap, widely available, delicious food that we eat again and again.”

Listening to Kahn, one would conclude that it may be hopeless to even attempt weight loss because, in the end, you will just gain it all back and have to start over.

Not so! There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Dr. Sarah Khan, our resident pharmacist and a graduate of Albany College of Pharmacy, believes that Type 2 diabetes can be reversed by adhering to a sound weight loss program (Type 1 diabetics’ pancreases do not produce insulin so unfortunately reversing diabetes in these patients is not yet possible.) She stated that by adhering to a program that includes good nutrition and exercise and sticking with it as a lifestyle change, you can successfully reverse Type 2 diabetes.

No matter whether you are a Type 1 or a Type 2 diabetic, you can gain control of your diabetes or even prevent the diagnosis in the first place by checking with your doctor and informing him of your weight loss plans. Afterwards, you may need to consult with a diabetic educator and/or a nutritionist advises Larry C. Deeb, MD, a diabetes specialist in Tallahassee, Fla. and president-elect of the American Diabetes Association.

Losing weight is never easy, but with the right professionals on your team, you can develop a program that fits you and your lifestyle and includes realistic goals for your weight loss and diabetic control success.

January 11th, 2012

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