DOHA, June 20 – Qatar announced today, Saturday, the results of a new research study that showed the possibility of reversing the course of type 2 diabetes without using drugs or weight-loss surgeries.
The director of the National Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolic Diseases, and one of the main researchers in the research study, Professor Abdel-Badi Abu Samra, said in a press statement that the study targeted patients who had type 2 diabetes during the past two years.
Abu Samra said that a group of study participants got the usual model care that is provided to diabetics, which includes diabetes medication, health education and nutritional counseling.
He added that with the other group, a system based on meal alternatives was used for a period of three months in order to lose weight and after that a regular diet aimed at maintaining a healthy weight was applied as participants from the second group did not receive any medications to treat diabetes.
And that this resulted in a retreat of the course of diabetes, or in other words, recovery from it in the majority of the participating patients from the second group who did not get any drug treatment.
The study was conducted by teams from the National Institute of Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolic Diseases at the Hamad Medical Corporation, the Primary Health Care Foundation, the Qatar Diabetes Association and the Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, where its results are expected to lead to a change in the methodology for caring for type 2 diabetes in Qatar.
The study concluded that it is possible to reverse the course of type 2 diabetes in more than 60 percent of its participants by changing their diet, exercising, and physical activity and changing their behavioral habits and without resorting to the use of drugs or weight-loss surgeries.
The research study is considered the first intensive experience in the field of therapeutic intervention in patients’ lifestyle in the MENA region and the first clinical trial of its kind in Qatar at the primary care level.