Type 2 diabetes and remission

I was diagnosed as having Type 2 diabeties in 2004, back in the days when this chronic illness was just managed. Since then research at Newcastle University has demonstrated that it is possible for many to reverse their diabetes into a condition known as “remission”.

In March 2018 I began a calorie and carb-controlled diet and lost 16 kg over 4 months. My blood glucose levels dropped to below the threshold of diabetes and I’ve kept them there ever since. I would not have achieved this without using an on-line personal coaching service.

In September 2018 I helped form a diabetes peer group in the village where I live just north of Cambridge, UK, in conjunction with our Parish Council and Diabetes UK. We have monthly meetings with invited speakers, and so far around 10 members have succeeded in achieving remission, with many more improving their blood glucose management and therefore health and wellbeing. Our group web site can be found here if you have further interest.

There are many UK-based research projects concerning diabetes and remission. All projects have a “PPI” team – Public & Patient Involvement – and I am currently working as a volunteer with these projects:

RE:MISSION – Evaluation of the NHS England Low Calorie Diet trial.

5,000 patients are being offered a one-year programme consisting of a low-calorie “soups & shakes” diet followed with on-going support. This research is to evaluate the efficacy and viability of this trial prior to hopefully a nation-wide roll-out, and is being led by a consortium of universities led by Prof. Louisa Ells of Leeds Beckett University. https://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/news/2020/12/nhs-low-calorie-diet-evaluation/

GLoW – Glucose Lowering through Weight management

In the UK, standard care for people with a new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is structured diabetes education, which has low uptake and small, short term effects on weight and blood glucose. The GLoW trial at the MRC Cambridge University and led by Dr Amy Ahern is evaluating whether a tailored behavioural weight management programme that can be delivered at scale achieves better glucose control and other health outcomes than education alone. https://www.mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk/research/studies/glow/

SWiM – Supporting Weight Management

The SWiM study at MRC Cambridge University also led by Dr Amy Ahern is evaluating whether a new online self-help programme is better than standard advice at helping people to prevent weight gain and supporting good physical and mental health. https://www.mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk/research/studies/swim-c/

Peripheral neuropathy – self assessment via smartphone app

I’m part of the PPI team at Bournemouth University starting in 2021 looking at a phone-based app for patients to self-diagnose peripheral neuropathy, both for diabetes and stroke patients.