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Type II Diabetes: No Longer a Life Sentence

Posted By Louise Probst, Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Diabetes has long been considered an incurable, progressive disease where high blood glucose levels impair circulation to the extremities and vital organs. Treatments use diet, exercise, and medication to enable those living with diabetes to remain active for as long as possible. Overtime, patients usually require multiple medications to normalize their blood sugar and the disease diminishes their energy, sleep quality, and general well-being.
Reversal of type II diabetes was almost never a treatment goal, particularly in those afflicted for several years. This has changed. New research has many doctors agreeing that a healthy lifestyle can virtually eliminate the risk of type II diabetes in pre-diabetics or entirely reverse an existing condition without medication.
One 15-year study published in 2015 compared the effectiveness of a healthy lifestyle with the use of diabetes drugs in 3,000 pre-diabetics. It found that those who followed the diet and exercised for at least 2 hours each week saw greater benefit than those on medication.
Virta Health, a company focused on reversing diabetes, has found success with an approach to food that embraces fats while limiting carbohydrates. This creates a "nutritious ketosis," enabling patients to feel satisfied with less food intake while improving the insulin sensitivity of their cells. A Virta Health study found that 87% of participants were able to reduce or eliminate insulin, 56% lowered their HbA1c below diabetic levels, and participants achieved an average of 12% weight loss. Using various approaches, several other companies that focus on supporting patients with diabetes to live healthier lives are reporting noteworthy outcomes. 
Energized by the opportunity to support employees in reducing or removing the complications associated with diabetes, BHC members and Board prioritized preventing, managing, and reversing type II diabetes as a shared focus for 2018 and beyond
Interested in helping guide this work? Lauren Schulte, BHC's Director of Well-being & Communications, would like to hear from you by email or phone (314-721-7800). Also, please attend the April 27th Spring Forum, Weighing In: New Considerations for Addressing the Obesity Epidemic.

Warm regards,

Louise Probst
BHC Executive Director


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