There is a new word in the diabetes dictionary: Remission.
Type 2 diabetes has always been regarded as a "chronic progressive disease", but recent evidence has shown it is possible to put your type 2 diabetes into remission.
In September, the American Diabetes Association and other international bodies published a consensus statement in which they defined what remission meant. They defined remission as a return of HbA1c (a measure of blood sugar levels) to less than 6.5 per cent. It should occur spontaneously or following an intervention and persist for at least three months without the usual glucose-lowering medications.
Last month Diabetes Australia issued a position statement agreeing with this definition. One of the authors of the international consensus statement, Amy Rothberg, of the University of Michigan, noted "diabetes remission may be occurring more often due to advances in treatment".
Diabetes Australia stated that "remission has been achieved following a period of intensive dietary change". They also noted there is "strong evidence that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be reduced by up to 58 per cent in people who have prediabetes. This can be achieved through changes to diet and activity levels that result in sustained weight reduction".
There is now ample evidence that low carbohydrate eating can put type 2 diabetes into remission, with successful online programs in the UK and the USA, and the program I founded, Defeat Diabetes. The wonderful thing about these advances in the care of type 2 diabetes is it provides HOPE.
The main aim of treatment was to delay the onset of complications resulting from diabetes such as impaired eyesight, kidney disease, heart attack and stroke, lower leg amputation as well as dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Now those with type 2 diabetes have hope they can put their diabetes into remission and hopefully prevent those complications. These programs also give hope to doctors, dietitians and diabetes educators.
They now have a weapon to tackle this condition which affects over 1.2 million Australians. This Sunday, November 14 is World Diabetes Day. The theme for this year is "Access to care: if not now, when".
These programs enable those with type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes or with risk factors for diabetes such as a family history or obesity, to access information to better control their diabetes. And, in many cases, actually put their diabetes into remission.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.