Search JIM Advanced Search

Journal of Integrative Medicine

• Commentary •    

Remission of type 2 diabetes depends on prompt comprehensive lifestyle changes upon diagnosis: How can this “Road to Damascus” experience be supported?

Theocharis Koufakisa, Kalliopi Kotsaa, Nikolaos Papanasb   

  1. a. Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and Diabetes Centre, First Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, AHEPA University Hospital, 54636, Thessaloniki, Greece
    b. Diabetes Centre, Second Department of Internal Medicine, Democritus University of Thrace, 68100, Alexandroupolis, Greece

  • Received:2021-12-03 Accepted:2022-03-01 Online:2022-04-12 Published:2022-04-12
  • Contact: Nikolaos Papanas

Theoretically, a new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) requires a dramatic change in an individual’s way of life. Weight loss and physical activity can lead to remission of diabetes, which has been associated with a lower risk of developing complications. Today, the importance of a healthy lifestyle is further highlighted by data showing that obesity and diabetes increase the risk of severe complications from coronavirus disease 2019. However, remission rarely occurs in reality, probably due to the inability of people with T2DM to adhere to the intensive lifestyle interventions that are necessary. The complexity of contributing factors may explain why making these changes is so challenging and underscore the fact that there is no magical solution for T2DM. Instead, hard work from both patients and health care providers is needed for the conversion to be achieved. This article calls for more research on the underlying reasons why adhering to a healthy way of life is so difficult for people with diabetes and obesity. Clearly defining these barriers would facilitate the planning of effective policies to promote the adoption of appropriate lifestyle changes early in the course of the disease.

Key words: Type 2 diabetes, Remission, Exercise, Diet, Lifestyle change

[1] Xin Wang, Wen-juan Song, Yi Ruan, Bing-chu Li, Can Lü, Nian Huang, Fan-fu Fang, Wei Gu. Core muscle functional strength training for reducing the risk of low-back pain in military recruits: An open-label randomized controlled trial. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2022, 20(2): 145-152.
[2] Yang-hao-tian Wu, Wen-bo He, Yin-yan Gao, Xue-mei Han. Effects of traditional Chinese exercises and general aerobic exercises on older adults with sleep disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(6): 493-502.
[3] Tong Zhao, Bing-jie Guo, Chu-lan Xiao, Jiao-jiao Chen, Can Lü, Fan-fu Fang, Bai Li. Aerobic exercise suppresses hepatocellular carcinoma by downregulating dynamin-related protein 1 through PI3K/AKT pathway. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(5): 418-427.
[4] Baoyi Shao, Saiying Hou, Yuenyan Chan, Changchun Shao, Lixing Lao. Remission of new-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus in an adolescent using an integrative medicine approach: A case report. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(1): 85-88.
[5] Dong-dong Yu, Liang-zhen You, Wan-qiu Huang, Hui Cao, Fan-jing Wang, Xiu-qin Tang, Zhao-hui Fang, Guo-ming Shen, Yu-xiang Guan. Effects of traditional Chinese exercises on blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c levels in patients with prediabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2020, 18(4): 292-302.
[6] Álisson de Carvalho Gonçalves, Einy Jéssika Siqueira Moreira, Guilherme Vannucchi Portari. Benfotiamine supplementation prevents oxidative stress in anterior tibialis muscle and heart. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2019, 17(6): 423-429.
[7] Bérénice Colleville, Nicolas Perzo, Guillaume Avinée, Anaïs Dumesnil, Frederic Ziegler, Paul Billoir, Hélène Eltchaninoff, Vincent Richard, Eric Durand. Impact of high-fat diet and vitamin D3 supplementation on aortic stenosis establishment in waved-2 epidermal growth factor receptor mutant mice. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2019, 17(2): 107-114.
[8] Zahra Hajmohammadi, Mojtaba Heydari, Majid Nimrouzi, Pouya Faridi, Mohammad Javad Zibaeenezhad, Gholamhossein Ranjbar Omrani, Mesbah Shams . Rhus coriaria L. increases serum apolipoprotein-A1 and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels: A double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2018, 16(1): 45-50.
[9] Hilal Yuksel, Yasemin Cayir, Zahide Kosan, Kenan Tastan. Effectiveness of breathing exercises during the second stage of labor on labor pain and duration: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2017, 15(6): 456-461.
[10] Marjan Ahmad Shirvani, Narges Motahari-Tabari, Abbas Alipour. Use of ginger versus stretching exercises for the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2017, 15(4): 295-301.
[11] Hidetaka Hamasaki. Exercise and gut microbiota: Clinical implications for the feasibility of Tai Chi. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2017, 15(4): 270-281.
[12] Yee Chi Peggy Wong. Need of integrated dietary therapy for persons with diabetes mellitus and “unhealthy” body constitution presentations. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2016, 14(4): 255-268.
[13] Sameer S. Ketkar, Atul S. Rathore, Sathiyanarayanan Lohidasan, Lakshmi Rao​, Anant R. Paradkar, Kakasaheb R. Mahadik. Investigation of the nutraceutical potential of monofloral Indian mustard bee pollen. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2014, 12(4): 379-389.
[14] Rajadurai Akilen​, Zeller Pimlott​, Amalia Tsiami​, Nicola Robinson​. The use of complementary and alternative medicine by individuals with features of metabolic syndrome. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2014, 12(3): 171-174.
[15] Dagmar Ehling. Integrative techniques using acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, diet, and supplements for polycystic ovary syndrome: A case report. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2013, 11(6): 422-427.
Full text



[1] Jiang Chong-bo, Wang Jun, Zheng Zhi-xin, Hou Jing-shan, Ma Ling, Sun Tong. Efficacy of cervical fixed-point traction manipulation for cervical spondylotic radiculopathy: a randomizedcontrolled trial. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2012, 10(1): 54-58
[2] Sung Min Lim, Sook-Hyun Lee. Effectiveness of bee venom acupuncture in alleviating post-stroke shoulder pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2015, 13(4): 241-247
[3] Hong-bo Cao, Hong-cai Shang . Connotations and extensions of comparative effectiveness research and feasibility analysis for clinical evaluation in traditional Chinese medicine. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2012, 10(4): 369-374
[4] Jun-hua Zhang, Hong-cai Shang, Bo-li Zhang. How to assess the quality of systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(4): 337-339
[5] Wen-bing Zhang, Hong-li Jiang, Wei Zhou, Yun-qing Zhong, Hong-mei Yang, Juan-juan Fu, Bing Mao. Chinese medicine for acute upper respiratory tract infection: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2009, 7(8): 706-716
[6] Chun-mei He, Jin-gen Lu, Yong-qing Cao. Effects of Yiqi Kaimi Recipe on gastrointestinal motility and neuropeptides in rats with colonic slow transit constipation. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2007, 5(2): 160-164
[7] Chuan-yue Niu. Thinking on English translation of traditional Chinese Medicine. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2007, 5(2): 220-222
[8] Li Yan, Xian-chuan Chen, Jian Guo, Li-li Qi, Yi-ming Qian, Xiong-gen Zhou. Prevention of hospital-acquired pneumonia with Yupingfeng Powder in patients with acute cerebral vascular diseases: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(1): 25-29
[9] Rong-fang Ji, Jian-zhao Niu, Shu-qiang Xu, Jian Li, Ji-feng Wang, Jian-ping Liu. Treatment of Alzheimer disease: an evidence-based review. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2007, 5(3): 247-254
[10] Chang-quan Ling​, Xiao-qiang Yue, Chen Ling​. Three advantages of using traditional Chinese medicine to prevent and treat tumor. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2014, 12(4): 331-335